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Tocolo Cantina: Upscale Mexican in Garden City

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first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Chef Alexis Samayoa worries that patrons will expect stereotypical Mexican food when visiting his restaurant in Garden City, Tocolo Cantina. Busy Long Islanders, he fears, will favor a quick and easy taco or burrito over his upscale fare.Samayoa recently opened his 98-seat hotspot in hopes that locals have discovered a sense of pleasure in eating, especially flavors from south of the border. But, as I walked in and found a table in the dining room adorned with retro wood paneling, green copper and tile, I realized that a glimmer of the chef’s New York City inspired food flair has found its way to the isle.The Yucateco ($12), a mango, habanero chile, red onion and red bell pepper guacamole, which hit the table first, was split with a friend over homemade chips. They are warm and magical. A pleasant surprise to start the evening.A large, 10-seat-wide bar stood against the opposite wall, stocked with an abundance of tequila, mezcal, gin, vodka and other spirits, making the restaurant seem even larger at first glance from my corner booth. I skipped the margaritas after only sips and traded in for the chef’s special “happy juice,” a sweet sangria that hits the mark.One party at the center communal table seemed to be having a similar epiphany with pitchers in abundance. The manager tells us the cork board panels above are meant to counter the noisy buzz, which tends to fill new restaurants. The steady flow of wandering nomads from Westbury Plaza can surely be counted on to test their new soundproof ceiling.Tangy arugula ($11) and tenderly sweet green kale salads ($12) are placed on the table by our waitress, who remained attentive throughout the meal with tidbits of information about co-owners Lloyd Rosenman, Todd Birnbaum and Coby Rejwan, whose earlier years in northern California inspired the photography on the walls.I can see the chef spotted me from the open kitchen already and watches as I bite into one of a pair of lamb tacos ($12)—perhaps my favorite dish of the evening. I ask the waitress for the recipe, but am told it may be too difficult for the average home cook to prepare. Alas, the secret remains just that.The chicken ($9) and al pastor ($9) tacos are also nice, but the latter is better and more flavorful. I am still reeling from the lamb tacos and the slice of pineapple which topped the al pastor tacos minutes into the next entree. Every ingredient is chosen specifically for its ability to enhance its counterparts and the pineapple, which burst with flavor in my mouth, was imported from Hawaii for its intensity.Samayoa attributes years of tutelage under WD-50 chef Wylie Dufresne, and Empellón’s Alex Stupak, for the bold splashy tastes and presentation on display at his restaurant.And so, I’m expecting a scallop ($14) and snapper ceviche ($14) next, to match the previous dish’s efforts but am underwhelmed by their subtlety despite the array of beautiful colors that fill the plate. The prickly pear crunch is a bit off putting for non-native eaters alongside the tender scallops, which are in the dishes defense, cooked perfectly, but yearning for the bite that tends to accustom bolder ceviches. The snapper is acidic and has a kick—balanced only by slices of cool avocado.I could forego the fact that the blue corn tortilla quesadilla ($11) with chihuahua cheese, green chillies and salsa pasilla (a smoky, somewhat fruity Oaxacan sauce), didn’t have chicken in it after biting into some of the better and more authentic quesadillas I’ve had in my life. Perhaps Tocolo Cantina is Long Island’s most authentic Mexican restaurant?A somewhat messy dish followed by another messy fundidos tray was enough for me to be covered in a bevy of sauces. Not an unpleasant experience.The rest of my party made haste of the larger plates, setting their sights on dessert even after being delivered a platter of hanger steak ($28) and fideos ($28), what seems to be a Mexican paella of fried noodle, chorizo, clams and shrimp. I pick the shellfish off for myself, nearly mistaking the large shrimp for prawns.No one said no to the tres leches cake ($8), a delicate dessert with tender mango and kiwi sprinkled over its top, or the churros ($8). With the check were two complimentary hot chocolate shots, not meant to be an actual gulp, but a sweet end to a filling feast.Tocolo Cantina, 920 Old Country Rd., Garden City. 516-222-0060. tocolocantina.comVERY GOOD LOCALE Quite large, and inviting 98-seat restaurant that caters to larger parties with booths that ring around the corners of the restaurant and two larger communal tables for parties. Seats are available at tables for smaller parties of two. Full wheelchair access.PRICE POINT Prices range from $8-$12 for small plates and $18-$31 for larger entrees. All desserts are fixed at $8 each.RECOMMENDATIONS Yucateco, snapper ceviche, quesadilla, lamb tacos, al pastor tacos, pollo asado, parilla, churros, and tres leches. To drink: “happy juice” sangria, Mango Habanero Margarita and Smokey Y El Bandito.HOURS Lunch: Sunday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner: Sunday to Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m.; Friday to Saturday, 3 to 11 p.m.RATING Excellent, Very Good, Good, Decent, Not Worth Visiting.last_img read more

LOUD THINKING @ HrTurizam.hr / Influence of coronavirus on continental tourism – Slavonia

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first_imgMentor: Goran Rihelj, editor-in-chief of the HrTurizam.hr portal In the virtual studio we were joined by:  VIDEO / 1. LOUD THINKING @ HrTurizam.hr Influence of coronavirus on continental tourism – Slavonia. 2. JASMINA KRKIĆ POZNIĆ – owner of family accommodation Maksimilian and incoming tur. agency Maxi Tours, OSIJEK 1. KRISTINA DUKANOVIĆ – Director of Hotel Slavonija and Hotel Gem, VINKOVCI 3. ZRINKA SIX – owner of the electric solar ship Magenta 1 Vukovar Waterbus and DMC agency Danubiumtours 1. LOUD THINKING @ HrTurizam.hr we talked about the impact of the coronavirus on continental tourism – Slavonia.last_img

Pontus Lindwall – Product enhancements are re-energising Betsson AB

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first_img StumbleUpon GiG lauds its ‘B2B makeover’ delivering Q2 growth August 11, 2020 Betsson outrides pandemic challenges as regulatory dramas loom July 21, 2020 Share Related Articles Updating investors on Betsson AB’s interim 2018 results, Group Chief Executive Pontus Lindwall has declared that ‘confidence is back in the business’.Lindwall who regained leadership of Betsson AB in September 2017, following the departure of former incumbent Ulrik Bengtsson, would implement a ‘corporate efficiency program’ following a lacklustre 2017 trading.Named the ‘back on track plan’ by Betsson governance, the program has focused on three strategic areas; optimising operational efficiencies, improving product output and enhancing growth within core markets.Supporting the program, Lindwall has placed Betsson ‘M&A activities temporarily on hold’, focusing the firm’s recovery through organic disciplines.“We have continued to follow our ‘back on track plan’, which has delivered solid growth in both casino and sportsbook. Highlights have seen casino revenues exceed SEK 1 billion for the first time ever, as Betsson delivered a record period EBIT.“This plan is not finished, as we will continue to work on improving group efficiencies and product offerings, however, I’m pleased with the outcome of initiatives so far” Lindwall tells Betsson investors.In his presentation, Lindwall breaks down a busy period of output for Betsson development teams which have delivered effective product enhancements for the firm’s services.For casino, which Lindwall describes as ‘having bounced back’ from its 2017 slumber, Betsson has improved its live game offerings, installing Scandinavian-language tables across core brands, helping the company sustain ‘11% growth across the Nordics’.With regards to sportsbook, Lindwall states that the products significant growth during the ultra-competitive World Cup period is ‘a testament that the company is heading in the right direction’.A revamp of Betsson AB’s sports betting product across all core brands, has seen the operator launch its new BetBuilder tool, supported by an additional +230 new pre-match markets. Furthermore, the company has enhanced customer engagement and interactions by markedly improving sportsbook load times across all platforms.Closing a busy interim period Lindwall states “We are working around the clock, to bring Betsson back to where it belongs. The plan is built around core areas, but our culture and organisation remain central to everything. We are seeing improvements in our products and performance, but I remind you that we are still half-way through this process”Entering a crucial H2 2018 period, Lindwall states that Betsson’s executive team is ‘excited and on its toes’ to enter the re-regulated Swedish online gambling market, set to come into effect on 1 January 2019. Submit Share Kindred marks fastest route to ‘normal trading’ as it delivers H1 growth July 24, 2020last_img read more

I will miss Kumasi:Rashid Sumaila

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first_imgFormer Kotoko and now Sundowns of South Africa’s defender, Rashid Sumaila has thanked the people of Kumasi particularly Kotoko supporters, saying he would miss them now that he has left for South Africa. The centre back joined Kotoko from Ebusua Dwarfs on a season-long loan.A lot of Kotoko supporters at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium where the Porcupines took on Sundowns on Sunday, interestingly were touched by the true status of the hard working defender as his change of shirt from Kotoko’s red to Sundowns’ white evoked tears.Speaking to asantekotokosc.com after the game, Rashid Sumaila showered praises on the Kumasi fans for the support given him throughout his stay. “I am very grateful to the people of Kumasi especially Kotoko supporters. I will miss Kumasi and the supporters very much. I thank them for all the support they gave me. I promise to make them proud everywhere I go” said Rashid.“I am happy I won the league title with Kotoko. My move to Sundowns is another step in my football career. I am confident that with the exposure at Kotoko, I will succeed. I wish the club well and I wish to return to work either as a player or an official in future” he added.In quite an unforgettable last game for Rashid, the Porcupines lost 0-2 to Memlodi Sundowns in the international pre-season friendly game. Most of the fans bided an emotional farewell to Rashid Sumaila who has now officially joined the respected South African side. Smallboy Korbah scored an own goal to put the visitors in front in the 48th minute and Bongani Zungu made it 2-0 in the 81st minute to wrap up a game in which Kotoko was less impressive. Rashid was a pillar in Kotoko’s defence in the first half but as the players emerged from the changing room, he appeared in Mamelodi Sundowns’ all-white jersey and the supporters cheered the former Kotoko defender as he moved to Sundowns’ half.The first half was evenly played and with the scores ending goalless, both teams improved remarkably in the second half but it was the visitors who started to exert pressure on the host in the early minutes. In one of their quick moves, which was their third successive invasion of the Kotoko goal area in two minutes, a long pass was sent to the right side of attack to locate substitute Raymond Monama.He advanced with the ball and sent a cross into the Kotoko six-yard-box. In the haste of clearing the ball to safety, Smallboy Korbah’s touch unfortunately redirected the ball into the net. Then in the 50th minute, Teko Modise sent Luthberty Malatila through on goal on the left side.Unfazed by the challenge given to him by substitute Kofi Agyare, Malatila tried a low curler which Isaac Amoako was saved. Kotoko regrouped and for the first time in the second half, made inroads into the final third of Sundowns but tried as they did, the Porcupines could not surpass Rashid Sumaila and Alje Shut. Kotoko returnee, Albert Bruce managed to deflect Godfred Asante’s pass wider to the left in the 76th minute. Jafaru Samed and Joseph Ochaya combined beautifully to have the latter tear away dangerously towards the rear but Rashid Sumaila slid and kicked the ball to corner before the Kotoko could wreck havoc.With further cause for anxiety for Kotoko in the 79th minute, Thami Sangweni, who was presented with nice set up in the 18-yard box by Dowe Wome, could only shoot wide. Sundowns yet again took over the exchanges immediately after the restart. Gracefully, the visitors struggled to create the opening and so sent the ball back.The Kotoko midfield advanced forward and the ball was lopped behind them but only as far as Albert Bruce who was standing halfway into the Kotoko territory with only Kofi Agyare and Ohene Brenya behind him. The midfielder could not control the ball firmly before it was pounced on by Bongani Zungu, who ran with it towards goal with only Kofi Agyare confronting him. Bongani craftily placed the ball at the far lower corner to register Sundowns’ second goal.Kotoko pressed hard for a goal but Francis Adjei failed to utilize the glaring chance that fell his way in the 83rd minute. The youngster, with only Kennedy Nweene to beat, failed to take it early as he tried to dribble past the well-experienced Zambian goalie. Alhassan Bukari followed suit on the stroke of full time when his shot at the close range went over the bar. Kotoko lineup: Isaac Amoako/Felix Annan, Bobie Ansah, Joseph Ochaya, Smallboy Korbah/Ohene Brenya, Rashid Sumaila/Kofi Agyare, Michael Akufu/Godfred Asante, Issah Yakubu/Mickey Ofosu, Prince Baffoe/Albert Bruce, Seidu Bancey/Bukari Alhassan, Ransford Osei/Jafaru Samed, Michael Helegbe/Francis Adjei.Sundowns lineup: Kennedy Nweene, Bryce Moon/Rama Mphahehe, Tebogo Langerman/Elia Pelempe, Emmanuel Mathias/Rashid Sumaila, Alje Shut, Bongani Zungu, Teko Modise, Anthony Laffor, Thami Sangweni/Denise Onyango, Dowe Wome, Cathberty Malatila/Punch Senamela,last_img read more