NEW RESTAURANT OPENING: Contorno’s Restaurant

I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening and media tasting event for family-owned, Contorno’s Restaurant, a rustic Italian Ristorante and wine cellar on West 31st Street located inside the new boutique Holiday Inn Express just steps away from the Empire State Building and the hustle and bustle of Herald Square. The open layout (with seating for 110) allowed guests ample space to explore and mingle.

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Contorno’s is the passion project of the Impagliazzo family, who were looking to introduce NYC to the tastes and feel of their traditional Sunday Family Dinners; a time for family and friends to come together at the dinner table to talk, laugh, and share many small Italian tapas-style dishes of traditional, old world Italian food paired with fine Italian wines. Fellow guests and I enjoyed wine tastings as well as a selection of amazingly delicious “small plate” hors d’oeuvres from the menu developed by executive chef David Buico which included some of the following:

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Hand Rolled Ricotta Gnocchi w/ Wild Boar Bolognese & Shaved Dry Ricotta, Gorgonzola and Fresh Honey Comb served on toasted Raisin Walnut Ciabatta, Old fashion Veal Meatballs w/ Chick Pea Puree, Shrimp Al Pancha w/ White Heirloom Beans, Homemade Fettuccine w/ Porcini Mushrooms, Grandma’s Homemade Spaghetti, etc. Featured in the photo below are just a few of the must-have entrees available at Contorno’s
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Some of the wines, led by some of Contorno’s favorite sommeliers, indulged guests with wines from around the world.
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Dessert was heavenly, a wonderfully delicious way to end the savory and hearty meal we experienced at Contorno’s, you must experience the below Milk Chocolate & Pistachio Tart and New York Cheese Cake

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On February 28th, Contorno’s introduced Wine Flight Tuesday’s. Each week GM/Sommelier Marta Cisneros will lead customers in sampling a red or white wine flight from a different region, and help them learn about the wine and how to pair it with different dishes. Contorno’s also recently introduced a late night bar menu as well as a weekly Happy Hour Special from 4:30pm-6:30pm— all house wine, well drinks and beer are just $5.00

Contorno’s Restaurant is located at 30 West 31st Street in New York and is open for dinner seven days a week, Sunday-Thursday, 5 pm-10:30 pm and Friday & Saturday, 5 pm-11:30 pm. Contorno’s is also open for lunch and weekend brunch.

For more information about Contorno’s, please visit: www.contornosrestaurant.com.

Tassimo T20 by Bosch Home Brewing System

For those of you who like me, do not drink coffee, is a single person living in the city and is pained to give up $5 for a cup of tea from Starbucks, you’re going to love the Tassimo T20 by Bosch ; you can make your own at home for 1/4 the price. As winter makes it appearance (somewhat), curling up with a hot cup of Chai Tea or Hot Chocolate is a necessary treat. Of course being a single girl that’s always on the go, I don’t have time to wait for a kettle to boil every time to make one cup of tea. Plus when my coffee-loving mom comes to visit, each of us can enjoy our respective beverages without ruining each others. These are the reasons I’m in love with the Tassimo T20 by Bosch

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“The Bosch® T20 Home Brewing System is designed with an eco-friendly, on-demand water heater for fast brewing. It’s easy, too; just pop in a T DISC, and the T20 reads the barcode and brews the perfect cup of coffee, cappuccino, latte, espresso, tea, or any one of our coffeehouse-style beverages.”

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I was very excited when Tassimo sent me this T20 Single-Serve Brewer, I’ve been dying to try one of these machines every since I laid my eyes on it and I have been enjoying some lovely cups of Chai Tea and Hot chocolate since I got it. Tassimo offers 12 distinctive beverage brands and a wide variety of hot and cold beverage choices, including coffee, real milk cappuccino and latte, espresso, crema, tea, iced coffee, and hot chocolate – an amazing variety of beverages to satisfy an assortment of tastes. As I stated before, I am not a coffee drinker, so to have a machine that allows my favorite hot drinks whenever I please is an amazing thing. See below for video of my first cup of Chai tea using the Tassimo T20 (please forgive the unsteadiness and the bit of rambling – I was trying to do everything while holding a video camera – sometimes you just need an extra pair of hands)

The Tassimo T20 features include:

  • Bar code technology allows the Tassimo machine to prepare each beverage with the exact pressure, temperature, water, and time duration, so each and every drink is perfect
  • Instant heat-up and fast first cup
  • Customize your beverages with a single touch of a button
  • Noise reduction system for quiet preparation of beverages
  • Low energy consumption: zero-watt hours in standby mode and an on-demand heating element
  • Height adjustment and removable cup stand allows you to use the cup or travel mug of your choice
  • Automatic cleaning and descaling with use of a special T DISC keeps your beverages tasting clean
  • Removable cup stand and splash cover lets you customize the color to suit your kitchen (mine didn’t come with extra colored covers so if yours doesn’t, make sure you call Tassimo)
  • Removable 1.5 L water tank

The Tassimo T20 comes in three colors – Black, White and Grey and retails for $99.99. It can be purchased directly at www.tassimodirect.com or at retailers such as Macy’s, jc penney, Best Buy, Bloomingdales, Bed, Bath & Beyond, P.C.Richard & Son, Target, etc.

The Refreshingly Sweet Taste of Mirassou Moscato

Sometimes the day gets to be so stressful, you need a break. Times like these call for a relaxing bath, some peace, and quiet, maybe some soothing music and definitely a good glass (or more) of wine. Before you reach that point, make sure your bar is properly stocked with some fabulous wine…i a sucker for a good white grape. I want to make a particularly delectable wine recommendation that is new to me. I was recently introduced to Mirassou Moscato and its incredible crisp, clean and sweet palette and all I can say is wow…..I am hooked.

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The delightful Mirassou Moscato is made with carefully selected California fruit from several regions, with the majority coming from San Luis Obispo County along the Central Coast. From the moment the bottle is opened intense fruit aromas of orange blossoms, peaches, pineapples and ripe citrus delight the senses. The refreshing flavors of peach, tangerine, melon and honeysuckle make their Mirassou Moscato a sweet expression of California’s most celebrated growing regions.
Moscato isn’t the only delight from Mirassou Winery; White wine lovers will enjoy their Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Reisling while lovers of Red will swoon over their Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Balancing intense fruit flavors with delicate aromas, Mirassou wines embody the optimism and pioneering spirit passed down through six generations of the Mirassou family.

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Featuring a bright, uniquely approachable style, these wines honor the Mirassou family’s heritage while appealing to a new generation of wine enthusiasts. So take some time out for yourself with a glass of Mirassou Moscato or any of their other wine offerings, you will thank me for this.

The Ninja Professional Blender – Snow Maker

Whether you’re playing bartender at your summer parties or looking to drop a few pounds, adopt a healthier lifestyle and eating habits or just save money by making your own smoothies, then you need a great blender. You need a blender that is fast, versatile, and hard-working – in other words, you need The Ninja Professional Blender.Ninja Professional Blender image

The Ninja Professional Blender has a 1000 watt motor and exclusive blade system. This innovative blender offers professional power and performance but at a price that’s easy to swallow. Like much more expensive, professional-grade products, this blender has the speed and accuracy to blend batter, soups, sauces, and dips evenly; whip up a smoothie to help lose weight or improve your health; or concoct yummy frozen drinks for your guests if that’s more your style. And, with the largest capacity in its class, the 72 ounce jar can easily serve six ten-ounce frozen drinks, making the Ninja Professional Blender the perfect product for large families, health enthusiasts, or those who love to entertain.
One thing that blew my mind about the Ninja Professional Blender is the fact that it crushes ice, make that pulverizes ice into snow…..in seconds – it’s an amazing thing to see.

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So amazing that I took video of this wonder blender in action when I was whipping up some at-home Jamba Juice Smoothies (more on that in another post) for a few friends I had over. I must add that I wasn’t the only one impressed with the Ninja Professional Blender‘s power, the word WOW was used several times. Check out the video below

Ninja products are designed to be affordable as well as revolutionary in their capability to crush, blend, chop, and puree,” says Mark Rosenzweig, CEO of Euro-Pro, the company responsible for developing innovative Ninja products. “In fact, the new Ninja Professional Blender crushes ice and blends ingredients faster than any other blender, and yet it won’t crush your budget.” At $99.00, the Ninja puts several more expensive blenders to shame (I speak from first-hand knowledge), So whether you want to into snow for sno-cones, blend frozen fruits into creamy smoothies, or puree vegetables into delicious, fresh soups or dips, make your first choice the Ninja Professional Blender. The Ninja Professional Blender is available at retailers in the U.S. and Canada such as Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s. Visit www.ExperienceNinja.com to learn more.

Lifeway Frozen Kefir Giveaway

As the weather gets sunnier and the temperature gets hotter, we look for things to cool us down and sometimes (most of the time), we tend to ignore healthier foods and snacks and go for taste, well thanks to Lifeway Kefir, we can combine healthy snacking with yummy keep-you-cool snacking. Lifeway Frozen Kefir is an extra-healthy, probiotic, 90-calories-per-serving frozen yogurt alternative from Lifeway Foods, Inc. that provides the amazing benefits of Kefir’s 10 live and active probiotic cultures (up to three times more than yogurt with roughly half the calories) that help stimulate digestion and support the immune system but in a deliciously frozen form.

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The delicious frozen treat is available in four fun flavors: Mango, Pomegranate, Original and Strawberry, the first Kefir Treat in the Freezer Aisle. The original flavor will also be sold in a 3.6-oz. single-serve size packaged with a spoon. All four varieties will come in one-pint containers selling for $4.49 to $4.99. Lifeway Kefir’s new good-for-you frozen yogurt alternative is the latest addition to an extensive line of Kefir dairy beverages and associated probiotic foods

Lifeway Frozen Kefir is also great to help you keep a flat stomach. This creamy low-fat, “flat belly power food” also provides all-natural, gluten-free and 99% lactose-free benefits. To help you stay cool and fit during the hot summer months, I am gifting four winners a VIP Coupon for a FREE PINT of Lifeway Frozen Kefir.

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment on this post stating which Lifeway Frozen Kefir flavor you’d like to try

Extra Bonus if you:

1. Tweet this Contest – tag @guestlistblog
2. Like Lifeway Kefir on Facebook
3. Share/Like this contest on Facebook
4. Follow Lifeway Foods on Twitter
5. Be a Fan of My Life on and off the Guest List on Facebook

LIFEWAY FROZEN KEFIR GIVEAWAY

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Must be legal U.S. and Canada resident, 18 yrs or older to enter. Sweepstakes to commence on May 30th, 2011 at 12:00:00 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) and end on June 6th, 2011 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET. My Life on and off the Guest List will determine (4) five winners by random drawing from all eligible entries. Four Winners will receive (1) one VIP Coupon for ONE FREE PINT of Lifeway Frozen Kefir. Limit one prize per household. Odds of winning are dependent on the total number of eligible entries. Approx estimated retail value of prize $4.99 each. Winners will be notified by email. Offer valid while supplies last. Giveaway sponsored by My Life on and off the Guest List; Prize provided by Lifeway Foods.

X-RATED Fusion Liqueur Unwraps Holiday Cocktails

I love holiday parties. I know what you’re thinking – who doesn’t, right? But maybe unlike you, i don’t love everything about it. I love the decor, the togetherness, the gifts, etc but my god I am sick of eggnog. I know its a holiday party staple but we are seriously in desperate need of a change. Holidays cocktails do not have to be the same old boring stuff. Even a shot of smooth rum (or two) cannot persuade me anymore.We need cocktails that are a bit more excited, a bit more thrilling, a bit more x-rated. I’ve been on the hunt for new holiday cocktails and since X-Rated Fusion Liqueur gave me the wonderful Haunted-X Halloween Cocktail, I didn’t have to go too far to get some spicier and sexier cocktails. So to begin, I’ll ask – are you in the mood for a little holiday mischief? Hopefully you shouted out YES!!! I hope you are prepared because the recipe is below. This pink and orange bubbly is sure to tickle more than you fancy

Holiday Mischief Maker

mischief maker1 oz. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur

½ oz. orange liqueur

1-2 dashes orange bitters
4 oz. sparkling wine
1 teaspoon grenadine
garnish: sugar rim
Rim a champagne flute with sugar by rubbing it with a cut lemon, then dipping it into white, granulated sugar. Set aside. Pour X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, orange liqueur and bitters into a mixing glass. Shake with ice. Gently strain into sugar-rimmed champagne flute. Top with chilled sparkling wine. Gently drizzle grenadine into the glass, allowing it to settle at the bottom to create a layered effect.

Now if you are the type that is a bit shy and reserved (until you’ve had a drink or two) or can’t decide whether you’ve been both good and bad? Then St. Nick’s Naughty or Nice Punch is definitely for you. Either way, you will definitely enjoy this gift – no coals for you this time around. So why choose? Be bad while enjoying this very good drink.

 

St. Nick’s Naughty or Nice Punch
Naughty or nice
2 parts X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 part SKYY Infusions Pineapple
2 parts brewed peach herbal tea
½ part freshly squeezed lime juice
pinch of ground clove (approx 2 teaspoons for 1 punch bowl)
1 part club soda (use lemon-lime soda for sweeter punch)
garnish: whole cloves embedded into citrus wheels
 
Pour all ingredients into a punch bowl just before guests are due to arrive. Float clove encrusted citrus wheels on the surface of the punch for décor and aroma. Ladle into ice-filled wine glasses when serving.

Of course there’s always the sweet and innocent part of ourselves – the angel, the adorable cherub, the part of you that wishes good will to all men (and women). What would that side of you like to drink – perhaps something equally sweet like guava or wholesome like milk. If you combine the two and add a little zest (like lemon) then you’d have the Sassy Little Elf.

Sassy Little Elf
Sassy elf
2 oz.X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 ½ oz. guava juice or nectar
1 oz. half-n-half
½ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
garnish:lemon zest (or mini candy cane)
 
Vigorously shake all ingredients with ice.
Strain into a chilled martini glass.
Serve with the garnish on the rim of the glass.

Say goodbye to Eggnog during this festive holiday season and say hello to X-Rated Liqueur’s sinfully delicious holiday cocktails, your guests will thank you.

Belvedere Pink Grapefruit Pop-Up Store Hosted by Matthew Williamson

Last night, we returned to the fabulous Belvedere Pink Grapefruit Pop-Up Store in the Meat Packing District to officially celebrate the collaboration between Belvedere Pink Grapefruit Vodka and Designer, Matthew Williamson.

More than 1,000 people came out to drink, celebrate and partake in the extremely strong libations Belvedere had to offer – seriously, I felt like my liver was going through the Maceration process; those bartenders were very generous with the Belvedere – VERY

You may remember me stating that Designer, Matthew Williamson, who hosted tonight’s event,

created a Limited Edition Pink Print Kaftan in celebration of Belvedere’s newest flavor and you saw a photo of Model and MisShapes member, Leigh Lezark modeling the Kaftan – well she wore the $1,500+ garment last night and looked amazing with her fellow MisShapes band members while performing her DJ duties for the evening

Among the revelers were celebrities Ashley Olsen, Chelsea Handler, who we know probably has stock in Belvedere Vodka and if not, she should, Bar Refaeli, Kelly Osbourne, Estelle, and Kelly Choi.

One of my favorite things of the night, besides the cocktails of course, were the Rollerboys (and girls) but it was all about the rollerboys, one in particular was very flirty – very naughty just the way I like them. They made the evening even more fun. I love to go to events and the people who are workignthe event are having a blast. Check out a little peek of someof the fun had

PHOTO CREDIT: Marion Curtis, StarPics

Robert Verdi’s The Future of Fashion Retreat

Celebrity Stylist Extraordinaire, Red Carpet Aficionado and now host of his own show, The Robert Verdi Show Starring Robert Verdi hosted his third The Future of Fashion Retreat for the fashion elite to relax and unwind in between the mad dashes to shows. We, lucky few, were treated to “Blowouts from PHYTO’s professional hair stylist, Manicures from Ginger+Liz, Make-up touch ups from Jouer Cosmetics (all were too busy so I never got a chance to enjoy), New ABSOLUT Berri Acai cocktails, Healthy lunches & recovery kits from Blue Print Cleanse, SmartWater & the new VitaminWater Zero, Aluminum bottles from Coca-Cola, Rock & Republic Jeans (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE), ShatoBu Shapewear Bar (heaven), Vans custom shoe station (I never got a chance to try it out), Shades from Carrera (I never got to check these out either) and one-on-one fittings to find your perfect bra size from Maidenform” and a few more treats.

Before I go into detail on my gifting experience, let’s find out a bit more on this amazing retreat (and a few other tidbits) from the man who created it – Robert Verdi. Although I didn’t get to experience every aspect, Robert Verdi does go into great detail the brands featured in his retreat.

Now, my first stop was to Popcorn, Indiana. I must say that Kettle Corn is my favorite and as you can see below, there was plenty of it to enjoy.

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I then ventured to the private boudoir to get fitted for my perfect bra size by Maidenform thanks to Nicole. I found out some very interesting things including the fact that I have to get rid of most of the bras I own as they are the wrong size.

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I was introduced to a new bra guaranteed to give you two cup sizes instantly – as many of you may know that is something I don’t need so Nicole introduced me to the custom fit bra. I asked her the one question that all women should know the answer but don’t – because I didn’t

My next stop was to sample the fantastic and healthy food and drinks from BPC (Blue Print Cleanse). I loved the Spicy Lemonade and Cashew Milk from BPC and the amazing cocktail made with Absolut Berri Acai (a delicious combination of Acai, Blueberry, and Pomegranate)

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Then it was off to the Rock & Republic Denim bar to find a new pair of favorite jeans. Rock & Republic is a luxurious denim brand who makes “must have” jeans and has recently branched out into the Cosmetics market to join their handbag and accessories lines.

 

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My favorite were these embellished skinny jeans (UPDATE: the jeans are called F#@k Me B#@!H)

 

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Then I was introduced to what could possibly be my new best friend – The ShāToBu™ Shaper, the workout you wear. ShāToBu™ burns up to 12% more daily calorie- that is my type of workout. “Designed to be worn all day, every day, ShāToBu™ offers enough resistance in the bands to provide a significant toning and burning effect”. I welcome the challenge to these thighs of mine.

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And although I didn’t get to personally try out the Carrera Sunglasses which has been around since 1956 and has made quite a comeback thanks in part to Lady Gaga and other celebs, in my interview with Robert Verdi, he does talk about them and I do have a photo (thanks to a friend).

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What do you think of the items we saw at the Robert Verdi’s The Future of Fashion Retreat? Any favorites you’ll be keeping an eye out for?