Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Armondo's Restaurant Introduces Seasonally-Changing Family-Style Menu

Armondo's Restaurant Introduces Seasonally-Changing Family-Style Menu

Renton’s Beloved Italian Restaurant Unveils New Concept August 6

RENTON, Wash.—(July 27, 2010)—Buon appetito! For 25 years, Armondo’s Café Italiano (www.armondos.com) in Renton has been serving up classic, family-friendly Italian food. On August 6 they’ll continue that tradition with an exciting new menu and refined style focusing on simple, seasonal and local flavors that are sure to leave Eastside diners more than satisfied.

The changes at the Italian eatery include: new lunch and dinner menus, a new family-style dining concept, and monthly special events such as winemaker dinners, cooking classes, and chef’s dinners.

“When we opened 25 years ago, we were providing a style of dining that wasn’t available in Renton. Over time, locals have become more sophisticated and are looking for innovative and new experiences. What we are offering is not only a well thought-out menu with the tradition of Armondo’s Italian cuisine behind it, but a new dining experience,” says owner Armondo Pavone.

Armondo’s Executive Chef Tom Small used his 18 years of culinary experience to create the new dishes. The menus (http://armondos.com/armondos_menu.php), which will change seasonally, feature local, of-the-moment ingredients, such as:

Risotto with white shrimp, asparagus, tomato and green onion (sm $8/lg $14)

Goat cheese pizze with scallions, olive oil, red pepper, arugula (sm $10/lg $13)

Cappellini with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic (sm $6/lg $11)

Warm seafood salad with arugula, white beans, oven-dried tomatoes (sm $9/lg $16)

Stone fruit crostada dessert with yogurt honey gelato ($6)

The expanded dinner menu also features plenty of Italian favorites — inspired by Northwest ingredients — such as:

Prosciutto prawns with white beans, rosemary butter (sm $8/lg $14)

Steamed mussels with pancetta and rosemary butter (sm $9/lg $15)

House-made gnocchi with ragu napoletana, grana padano (sm $7/lg $12)

Wild salmon with panzanella and salsa verde ($18)

Additionally, the new family-style concept will allow diners to experience the essence of true Italian eating by sharing and conversing over group lunches and dinners. Guests planning to order from the family-style menu can expect to pass around platters of Italian favorites like:

Sample Family-Style Dinner ($28/person)

House-made rosemary flatbread

Fried calamari with garlic aioli

Marinated olives with fennel and orange

Bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil

Linguini served with local clams in an 'acqua pazza' broth

Wild salmon with heirloom tomato panzanella and salsa verde

Grilled Draper Valley chicken with balsamic honey, white beans and broccolini

Warm chocolate cake with salted caramel gelato

While implementing updated menus, Armondo’s will keep the focus where it should be — on the customers. To get locals excited about the changes guests have been invited to one of two menu previews on August 4 and 5 (available by invitation only). The restaurant will re-open with normal hours and the new menu on August 6.

Armondo’s Café Italiano has been serving brick-fired pizza and calzone, pasta, and other Italian classics sine 1985. Open Monday — Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Saturday 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Located at 310 Wells Avenue South in downtown Renton. For more information, call (425) 228-0759 or visit www.armondos.com.

Follow Armondo's Online

Website: www.armondos.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/armondos

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Media Contact: Ashley McLean
Randall PR / (206) 624-5757

Local Duo Unleash wrazz.com to the Seattle Market

Local Duo Unleash wrazz.com to the Seattle Market

Social Networking Site Offers Killer Daily Deals and New Avenue for Bringing Local Businesses and Customers Together: Launching August 6

SEATTLE, Wash.—(July 26, 2010) — Eat. Drink. Play. Relax. This is the simple mantra users will be chanting when they tap into the liberating usefulness and convenience of wrazz (http://wrazz.com/).

Pronounced “razz”, the website is launching August 6 in Seattle and will provide the perfect mix of social networking and social commerce. wrazz users will be alerted to new daily discounts in neighborhoods they frequent through smart search functionality. These promotions, developed in partnership with 15,000 local businesses at launch time, will be available for up to three days, and will offer too-good-to-pass-up discounts of up to 80 percent. Geo-location lets select friends know where one is sipping a Martini, and an innovative gadget called “Game Plan” coordinates activities in real-time with friends on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wrazz/116371535048649).

wrazz expects 25,000 users to sign up within its first 60 days. Given the clamor for a service like this, the site is poised to expand quickly. Cities planned for the next six months include San Francisco, Portland, Scottsdale, and Salt Lake City.

The idea behind wrazz grew organically from Bret Eickhoff and Ian Porter’s social habits. These are the kind of guys a city like Seattle loves: Tech-savvy and plugged-in to a community of people who love hanging out downtown. Frustrated that no single site delivered efficient local business directories and that most social commerce deals tend to be short-lived (Groupon deals only last a day), they cooked-up wrazz to be the tool they wanted to use to enjoy their city.

“We love Seattle and we’re always looking for a new place to hang-out. Social media and commerce are snowballing, but the few sites that attempt to entice people to visit bars, restaurants and spas are frustratingly inefficient, and difficult to navigate,” pines wrazz co-founder Bret Eickhoff.

The traditional way to discover the undiscovered was by word-of-mouth. Currently, social commerce has proven the effectiveness of wildfire marketing. Foursquare.com boasts over 750,000 users; Livingsocial.com claims a user base of 85 million. wrazz promises to bring together the best of social networking and the effectiveness of tailored discounts in an organic and highly usable way, connecting people with the services they might not otherwise be hip to.

“Have you ever had one of those nights when everything just works? You find a cool little bar, your friends magically appear, the prices are great. We love those nights, and wrazz will foster that kind of interaction,” says wrazz co-founder Ian Porter.

With a goal of 25 markets in 18 months, Eickhoff and Porter want people all over the country to make their local downtown an easy place to grab a spontaneous bite and drinks with friends. The principals of wrazz have the financing chops to build an uncompromising service, and an investment offering will be available until sometime in August.

The era of the smartphone has clearly arrived, but the power of these devices to connect people with the things they want has yet to be fully exploited. The playing field is still wide open for the killer app that unites consumers and businesses. Wide open, at least, until wrazz.com launches on August 6, 2010.

wrazz.com connects consumers and their social networks with enticing local deals in the hippest North American markets. Launched by Bret Eickhoff and Ian Porter to facilitate a night on the town, wrazz.com promises to integrate social commerce with a dynamic user experience. For a good time visit wrazz.com.

Follow wrazz Online

Website: www.wrazz.com

Facebook: wrazz

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Media Contact: Andrea Courtney

Randall PR / (206) 624-5757

‘Pour On the Plaza’

El Gaucho® Bellevue Presents

2nd Annual ‘Pour On the Plaza’ August 14

Spirited Wine and Food Event Showcases Prestigious Northwest Wineries; Proceeds to Benefit Global Organization Room to Read

BELLEVUE, Wash.—(July 26, 2010)— Hot on the heels of being awarded Best in Show, Best Service and Best Private Dining by the Eastside’s own 425 magazine, El Gaucho Bellevue—is announcing the second annual Pour on the Plaza. On Saturday, August 14, guests are invited to sample the offerings of some of the region’s most distinguished wineries and restaurants while supporting the award-winning organization Room to Read.

Taking place from 2 to 5 p.m., Pour on the Plaza will once again be held on the City Center Plaza’s expansive, grassy outdoor area, in the heart of downtown Bellevue’s Financial District located at 450 108th Ave. NE, Bellevue. Cost is $95 per person and reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at (425) 255-2715 or by visiting the reservations page here. Validated self-parking is available in City Center Plaza Garage. Guests must be 21 years or older.

The gifted jazz guitarist and vocalist Brian Nova will lend his smooth, jazzy vibe to the event.

Partnering Northwest wineries include:

Alexandria Nicole Cellars (alexandrianicolecellars.com)

Andrew Will (andrewwill.com)

Barons V (baronsv.com)

Col Solare (colsolare.com)

Darby Winery (darbywinery.com)

DeLille Cellars (delillecellars.com)

Domaine Drouhin (domainedrouhin.com)

Domaine Serene (domaineserene.com)

Dunham Cellars (dunhamcellars.com)

EFESTĒ (efeste.com)

Elevation Cellars (elevationcellars.com)

Fidelitas (fidelitaswines.com)

Gorman Winery (gormanwinery.com)

Lachini Vineyards (lachinivineyards.com)

L’Ecole (lecole.com)

Long Shadows (longshadows.com)

Mark Ryan Winery (markryanwinery.com)

Northstar (northstarwinery.com)

Novelty Hill (noveltyhillwines.com)

Pepper Bridge (pepperbridge.com)

Sparkman Cellars (sparkmancellars.com)

Stevens Winery (stevenswinery.com)

SYZYGY (syzygywines.com)

Va Piano Vineyards (vapianovineyards.com)

Woodhouse Family Cellars (woodhousefamilycellars.com)

Woodward Canyon (woodwardcanyon.com)

El Gaucho will offer an array of appetizers, including its signature 28-day Certified Angus Beef®. Additional partnering restaurants include:

Grand Cru (grandcru-winebar.com)

Palomino (palomino.com)

Wild Ginger (wildginger.net)

“We want to position Pour on the Plaza as Bellevue’s premiere food and wine event. Everyone last year had a wonderful response, so we are thrilled to hold it again in City Center Plaza– this time with ‘Room to Read’ as the beneficiary,” says Mackay Restaurant Group COO Chad Mackay.

About Room to Read:

Room to Read is a non-profit organization established in 2000 by former Microsoft executive John Wood. Room to Read promotes literacy and gender equality by collaborating with local communities, governments and partner organizations in developing countries through Asia and Africa.

El Gaucho® is the Northwest's steakhouse legacy focused on elegant, old school, tableside service for people celebrating their lives. The menu highlights 28-Day Dry-Aged Certified Angus Beef® Prime steaks, cutting-edge fresh seafood selections from sustainable sources, and extensive wine and single malt scotch lists. El Gaucho offers intimate private dining and nightly live music. El Gaucho Bellevue is located at the City Center Plaza at 450 108th Ave. N.E. For more information on the Bellevue location, please call (425) 455-2715 or visit www.elgaucho.com.

Follow El Gaucho Online

Website: www.elgaucho.com


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Media Contact: Andrea Courtney

Randall PR / (206) 624-5757

Friday, July 23, 2010

Jamie Brown at Wine Rocks!

Check out Waters Winery's Jamie Brown at Wine Rocks in the August issue of Seattle Mag! (middle picture far right)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Down Under Answers Offers Trip to See Australia’s Largest Lake Filled for the First Time in a Century

Down Under Answers Offers Trip to See Australia’s Largest Lake Filled for the First Time in a Century

Once-In-A-Lifetime Australia Vacation Package to Lake Eyre Basin September 11-22

BELLEVUE, Wash.—(July 22, 2010)—Lesser known than Australia’s Great Barrier Reef but no less spectacular is Lake Eyre Basin, the lowest point on the continent at about 50 feet below sea level. Once every 50 years or more, life in this normally deserted region awakens as the lake, roughly twice the size of Texas, fills with water.

Award-winning travel wholesaler Down Under Answers (http://www.duatravel.com) is offering a unique 11-night Australian vacation package to see this wonder of the natural world up close, beginning September 11. Timed for when the region will be at its most lush and accessible, this extraordinary Australian vacation deal is only $6,099 per person based on double occupancy and includes:

· Airfare - Round-trip airfare on Qantas Airways from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Sydney and REX Airlines from Sydney to Broken Hill.

· Pre-Tour - One night accommodation in Broken Hill.

· On the Tour – Nine days of small group touring with an experienced guide and driver. Breakfast, lunch and dinner meals on the tour. Best available accommodations and all national park entry fees also included.

· Post-Tour - Two nights’ accommodation at Sebel Pier 1 in Sydney and round-trip seat-in-coach transfers from the Sydney airport to the hotel.

The Eyre Basin is normally inhospitable to life and usually contains little or no water. The shallow lake itself is a vast drainage system, but when it fills, or ‘floods,’ it is transformed into an abundant oasis for flora and fauna, providing breeding grounds for some six million birds. They travel from as far away as Japan and China, and the larger birds include pelicans, cormorants and ibis. Frogs and other amphibians hibernating for 50 years or more spring to life, and even wild camels are drawn to the lake’s shores by the scent of water.

Although it has contained water a number of times over the last century, Lake Eyre has filled to capacity only three times in the last 150 years; it is rare to see floods two years running. However, with this year’s high waters building on the benefits of 2009’s significant water level, Lake Eyre Basin (http://www.lakeeyrebasin.org.au/) is now a don’t-miss place for travelers who want to see a side of Australia that’s vastly different from an urban Sydney vacation.

“The Lake Eyre Basin is one of the most fascinating regions of the most unusual continent on the planet. We designed this comprehensive tour because we wanted to give nature-loving travelers, as well as those who are looking for a truly unique vacation in Australia, the chance to really experience this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon,” says Down Under Answers president Kirk Demeter.

Highlights of the circular route, which covers the Western Channel Country, include:

· Broken Hill, an isolated mining city of the outback known as the ‘Oasis of the West,’ and Tibooburra, established at the height of the Australian gold rush.

· Mutawintji National Park, with its breathtaking gorges and Aboriginal rock art, and the rolling red-sand dunes and grass-covered plains of Sturt National Park.

· The town of Innamincka, majestic red gum trees along the banks of the famous Cooper Creek, and a monument to Burke and Wills, who led an ill-fated expedition attempting a north-south crossing of the continent but perished in the desert of starvation and thiamine deficiency (beriberi).

· Explore the Diamantina River and Birdsville, in the heart of the Outback at the edge of the vast Simpson Desert, home to exotic wildlife including dingoes, red kangaroos and other marsupials, falcons, eagles, lizards and snakes.

· The old settlement of Marree, possible flights over Lake Eyre and the award-winning Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, home to more than 160 bird species and the endangered yellow-footed rock wallaby.

· Gammon Ranges National Park, which offers spectacular scenery teeming with wildlife and a wealth of cultural heritage both European and Aboriginal.

· A return to Broken Hill where travelers can relax and enjoy the town.

For a detailed itinerary, click here.

To book call DUA on (800) 788-6685, email info@duatravel.com or contact your local travel expert. The tour begins September 11 and concludes September 22, 2010.

Founded in 1992, Seattle-based Down Under Answers is the industry leader in travel to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Dubai and new for 2010, they have launched Africa Answers. Repeatedly voted Best Travel Wholesaler by Tourism New Zealand and Tourism Australia specialists, the company employs seasoned staff members to customize tours—ranging from unique, hands-on holidays to more traditional itineraries—for groups of virtually any size. For further information email info@duatravel.com, or call (800) 788-6685.

Follow Down Under Answers Online:

Website: www.duatravel.com

Twitter: @DownUnderAnswer

Facebook: Down Under Answers

Flickr: Flickr

YouTube: YouTube

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Bon Voyage!

Media Contact: Andrea Courtney
Randall PR / (206) 624-5757