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HOLIDAY PARTY: The Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey Dec. 6

ON SALE NOW! 2014 Holiday Party — Saturday, Dec. 6 at The Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey



15 Top Chairman’s Selection Wines for the Holidays

At the beginning of the month, I joined some media friends for the “fun” table at another Chairman’s Selection tasting. At these events, which are not public, the wine buyers for each Fine Wine & Good Spirits store learn about the upcoming new selections. We were offered the preview to discover these ourselves. I’ve prepared for you my top picks — keeping them all below $30 (because, really, who wants to spend more than that on wine, anyway?).


Many of these are great buys, but are also limited in availability. If you can, visit one of the area’s “premium” stores or use the app or website to find where these can be purchased.

As you know, Chairman’s Selection wines are handpicked and are typically at least 40 percent below nationally quotes prices.


CATEGORIES: Holiday, Pennsylvania, Wine

Giveaway: WTPA Birthday Bash

Looking for a way to rock your Black Friday?


2014 WTPA Birthday Bash presented by LB Smith Ford Lincoln, featuring KIX plus The Luv Gods on Friday, Nov. 28 at the Radisson Hotel and Convention Center in Camp Hill.


The Convention Center doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25; All Ages, 21 To Drink/Full Bar. For information call: 717-221-1124

This week, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to the WTPA Birthday Bash featuring KIX and The Luv Gods.

To enter, complete the Rafflecopter widget below. 

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CATEGORIES: Giveaway, Music, West Shore

Giveaway: Rubicon

One of the most highly anticipated restaurants to grace downtown Harrisburg opened this year just as summer said goodbye.

Formerly (though unrecognizably thanks to the rebuild by The JEM Group) Neptune, a small, once-favorite gay bar — Rubicon was teased for more than a year with images of its renovation, potential culinary delights and hints of coming-soon refreshing libations.

rubicon wine

A French-style restaurant, its oval bar looks upward dramatically to the second floor mezzanine. From some spot you can see the custom-designed refrigerated wine case, its doors built from remnants of the building original floor joists.

Cocktails – much like its sister restaurant, Suba – are superb, creatively designed by the mixology team. The food, the work of Chef Qui Qui Musarra, is inventive — and of course, delicious.

rubicon oysters

This week, we’re giving away a $50 gift card to Rubicon.

Complete your entries using the Rafflecopter widget.

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PREVIEW: Ad Lib and 1700 Degree Steakhouse {Hilton}

Last week, I joined fellow food and dining writers for a special preview of the Hilton Harrisburg’s coming-soon restaurants.

Gone is the stuffy Golden Sheaf, the boring Marketplace Cafe and cafeteria-style Raspberries. (Sorry guys, it’s true.)

In its place, you’ll find two new restaurants with multiple options (formal/informal, private/with a view, etc.)

First, Ad Lib Craft Kitchen & Bar, which essentially replaces the casual dining restaurants, will be a “new take” on traditional American cuisine, with many comfort and classic dishes “turned on their side.” The theme is fun, and they hope you’ll enjoy sampling a variety of items from the small plates-focused menu. They also will have more than 30 wines by the glass, more than 60 choices of beer and a revolving selection of craft, barrel aged and edible cocktails.

Ad Lib will essentially be the interior of the space, with access and engagement from the lobby, including cozy seating and fireplace that snuggles up to the bar.

ad lib hilton

1700 Degrees Steakhouse will have two dining rooms — one formal, one not. A “crossover” room will have the potential to function as private space or an extension of either restaurant, depending on the venue’s needs.

Two large windows will overlook Market Square, while black and white photography will don the walls; a centerpiece eight-foot high glass wine wall houses more than 900 bottles from the award-winning list. “A place to see and be seen [and] will be every bit as comfortable as it is sophisticated.”

The steakhouse’s name is in homage to the temperature of the kitchen’s broiler, guaranteed to provide that perfect sear on your prime, dry aged beef and certified angus beef.

Both restaurants are slated to open on Dec. 4. Click through for a preview of some of my favorite features. 


CATEGORIES: Food/Drink, Harrisburg

Beaujolais Day, 3rd in the Burg, #craftbeer, Thanksgiving, MORE

What a full week it has been. All kinds of old friends and family coming out of the woodwork, lots to do and celebrate — and Thanksgiving isn’t even quite here yet!

Thursday night – as planned – we had an amazing dinner at The Garlic Poet, followed by sharing a big bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau at Flinchy’s! It was okay this year — I opted to score the “fill a tote” deal at the Fine Wine & Good Spirits store for holiday gifts, instead, however.

Friday, Bruce and I went out on the town! We started with a little 3rd in the Burg-ing with stops at Andrew Sedgwick Guth’s reception a the Civic Center and Tara Leo Auchey’s 5-year celebration of Today’s the Day Harrisburg at St@rtup Harrisburg.

We took a mini break so I could chat with ABC 27’s Al Gnoza about the state of Second Street before having a terrific dinner at Cork & Fork.

abc27 al gnoza news

After dinner, we walked down for a cocktail at Buddha Buddha. This is one of Restaurant Row’s best-kept secrets: Rob has transformed this bar into a hip lounge with terrific cocktails. He made me a spicy cucumber martini that will be my new signature on every visit.

Rubicon was next on our list, and Bruce was wowed by the drama and beauty of the renovation. We had a cocktail here as well before a brief stop at the now non-smoking 704. After that, we parted ways to rest up for our show.


Yesterday, Dennis Owens joined us for much of the morning on The Bruce Bond Late Afternoon Show on Saturday Morning, followed by The Vineyard at Hershey’s Merlot Mike, who shared samples of wine, and Nate Kresge of GK Visual joined us as well to shoot some pics and chat with us as well. It was a blast.

bruce bond show

After the show, I joined some girlfriends for quick stops into the new Meeka Fine Jewelry and Carmina Cristina Makeup Boutique on Market Street in Camp Hill — remember of course to #shoplocal this Saturday (and whenever you can!).

Today, I have brunch at note, then home to work and clean, maybe with a few errands tossed in there.

Here’s what else we did this week:

From PennLive:

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Upcoming Events:


FREE Thanksgiving Day Brunch

Quickie giveaway: You have through the weekend ONLY to enter!

WIN FREE Thanksgiving Day Brunch for up to four guests (value: $127.80) at Best Western Premier the Central Hotel & Conference Center.

The Thanksgiving Buffet runs from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Central Ballroom. Reservations Preferred: Call (717) 561-2800

Thanksgiving at The Central Hotel is a holiday tradition unlike any other. Our chef has prepared a menu featuring the finest traditional ingredients certain to exceed your dining expectations.

Served in the elegant Central Ballroom, Thanksgiving at the Central Hotel is a culinary dream, reminiscent of a bygone era of grand buffets and lavish feasts. Live piano music and genuine, friendly service make this an event to remember.

View the Thanksgiving Menu

To enter to WIN brunch for four (4), complete the Rafflecopter giveaway below. It’s that simple.

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Have a Craft Beer Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just a week away and I know you’re preparing your shopping list to make sure the family is impressed. This year, put that wine bottle away, and make it a craft beer Thanksgiving. There are many different ways to incorporate craft beer into this gluttonous holiday, my mouth is watering just thinking about it right now.


For your craft beer Thanksgiving, you don’t have to serve a special beer with every course, you can cook with it too (or instead).

Let’s start with side items. There are tons of recipes out there to make some awesome food with beer such as Coconut Porter Brussel Sprouts, Beer-Battered Green Beans with Tarragon AioliBeer Mac n Cheese, and Garlic Herb Beer Butter Potatoes.

Plus, you can offer up more than pumpkin pie with desserts like Brown Ale Sea-Salted Peanut Butter Brownie Bars or No Bake Cream Cheese Caramel Pumpkin Ale Pie.

For the main event, it’s got to be Beer Brined Turkey.


Weekend Roundup 11/20

What a strange, packed but great week — friends and supporters, you really nailed this one.

Last night, I hit up the #hbgtweetup specifically in memory of our friend, Jersey Mike. #StayPositive — Better yet, #RunPositive with us this spring.


#tbt Post first Booze Cruise “prom” pic with Jerz.

Tonight, the plan includes a trip to the Garlic Poet (I’m falling behind my weekly quota of Chef Kurt’s food!), then possibly a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau over at Flinchy’s.

Tomorrow, it’s “Out with Bruce & Sara” as I take Bruce on a tour of Harrisburg, starting with some 3rd in the Burg activities, hitting up dinner, cocktails, then a final stop at 704, which Bruce is excited is now nonsmoking (and you should be too).

We’ll talk about about our night the next morning on The Bruce Bond Late Afternoon Show on Saturday Morning from 9 a.m. to noon on 92.1 WTPA — Tune in!

That night, it’s to the theatre for me! I’m joining friemds to see An Ideal Husband at Gamut Theatre.

Sunday, it’s brunch with a longtime friend at the ever-lovely note. I’m very excited to be heading back.

Need more inspiration? Tune in tomorrow morning during the 7  o’clock hour to Glenn & Bob on The River 97.3 for “Sara’s Weekend Picks.”

What are you doing this weekend? 


Project Runway’s Jay McCarroll Trunk Show Saturday in Carlisle

Andy and I both used to be huge Project Runway fans — in the early seasons, I loved that it was relatively drama-free (as in, no drama for the sake of drama — but eventually that changed), plus I loved the brusque critiques of Heidi Klum, Michael “I only wear jeans and black blazers” Kors, and the pre-Mikayla Maroney perpetually unimpressed Nina Garcia.

We eventually stopped watching after a few seasons thanks to a DVR conflict and the fact they extended the show to 90 minutes to add in seemingly unnecessary drama. We just liked seeing the clothes the contestants created — and well, season 2’s Santino was always entertaining to watch.

Anyway, this isn’t really the point.

What is — is that Project Runway season one winner — and Pennsylvania native — Jay McCarroll  is hosting a Trunk Show at the downtown Carlisle’s Harmony Society this Saturday.

What: Jay McCarroll Trunk Show
Date: Saturday, Nov. 22
Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Harmony Society, 136 W. High St., Carlisle
Cost: FREE

Come shop Jay’s latest collection of dresses, shirts, accessories, handmade pieces, and more. This is a great opportunity to pick up a unique holiday gift and to meet one of the most talented and creative people we know!

It’s a great opportunity to check out Harmony Society, whose cool wares I’ve been spying on Instagram, and a reminder to shop local this holiday season.


No Goal Race? No Problem

As November winds down, most runners’ big fall races are over. Whether you were aiming for a one-mile PR or finishing a marathon, you’re done. Congrats!

After finishing your goal race, it’s common to feel a little lost, or as some refer to it as “the post-marathon blues.” If you followed a training plan, it’s no longer there to guide you. Your motivation may not be as high because you’ve reached your goal, so why keep that 5 a.m. alarm?

hbg marathon kelly

As an added bonus, the cold has come in, and suddenly, sleeping in sounds much more appealing than logging a few miles for seemingly no reason through snow and the dark.

On the other hand, sometimes after a race, it’s hard not to abide by your runs. In the week after my last race, I was craving a run. I took a few days off, and when I felt like my body was ready to run, I ran. Slowly.

To me, a Saturday or Sunday morning feels hollow without a run. It’s how I like to start my weekends. But I also know when the inevitable snow and ice come, I too will be struggling to get out there. Here’s what keeps me motivated when I have no races on the horizon:



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