A unique column of finds in New York from the eyes of someone who is a “discoverer”...Rhonda Erb

Summer Sensations

Paramount Bar:

Spend a summer evening basking in the cozy atmosphere of the Paramount Bar. The recently opened nightspot, located in New York’s iconic Paramount Hotel, evokes the feeling of a bygone era, with velvet banquettes, crystal chandeliers, and a mirror-paneled bar. Sample one of their signature cocktail creations, the "Bright and the Beautiful", with the recipe below.

Paramount Bar, 235 West 46th Street, New York City

2 oz Tanteo Jalapeno Tequila
1 oz Fresh Watermelon
1/2 oz Agave Nectar
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into chilled martini coupe glass. Garnish with mint and/or cilantro.

SodaStream Fizz:

This new addition to the SodaStream line of products includes an interactive Fizz Chip that allows you to control the fizz strength of your homemade soda. Choose from more than 30 regular, diet and caffeine free sodamix flavors to add to your drinks.

Available at: Bed Bath & Beyond stores, $149.99; www.sodastreamusa.com

Soft Serve Fruit:

Fresh fruit puree, filtered water and organic cane sugar are the only ingredients in Soft Serve Fruit. It is all natural and fat, gluten, dairy and cholesterol free. Loyal fans flock to the New York City and Hamptons locations where they can also choose from more than 24 toppings. Each 3.5 oz serving contains only 90 calories or less, so it is truly a guilt free indulgence. Shipping is available.

Soft Serve Fruit Co, 1371 Third Avenue, New York City; www.softservefruitco.com

Colman’s Mustard:

Since 1814, Colman’s Mustards have been adding flavor to all sorts of meals. Break away from the usual cookout fare with this recipe for grilled Mahi Mahi that is anything but ordinary.

Available at: Amazon.com and food stores nationwide; www.colmansusa.com

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Fresh Herbs


1 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh lime juice
1/2 C. dry Chardonnay
1 T. Colman's Original Prepared Mustard
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. pepper
4 T. fresh cilantro or 2 Tbsp. dried, chopped
1 lb. Mahi Mahi steaks
1 C. mesquite wood chips

Combine olive oil, lime juice, wine, mustard, mustard seeds, chili, pepper and cilantro in a bowl. Place the Mahi Mahi steaks in a non reactive dish and coat thoroughly with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Brush the grill lightly with oil. Light the coals or gas grill. When the coals turn white add the mesquite chips. If the chips flare up mist them with water. When the chips start to smoke place the steaks on the grill rack and cook turning once, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Serves 4 .

French Bull Melamine Dinnerware Set:

This brightly colored 12-piece set is durable, BPA free, dishwasher safe, and heat resistant to 365 degrees F. It’s available in two patterns and comes in an attractive gift box.

Available at: www.amazon.com, $36.40

Andrew Marc Canyon Sunglasses:

These stylish sunglasses are accented with braided leather on the arms. They feature CR-39 distortion free optical quality lenses and UV400 protection.

Available at: www.andrewmarc.com, $125.00

Ellecante Sleepover Duck Bag:

Ellecante is known for producing eco-friendly, organic clothing and accessories of the finest quality. This organic cotton sleepover bag can hold all of your child’s overnight essentials.

Available at: www.ellecante.com, $65.00


This looks like a tiny replica of a classic sports car, with rubber tires, flashing headlights and a trunk that opens. It is actually a 2.4 G wireless mouse that is both PC and MAC compatible and comes in an array of colors. There is even one in pink because girls like cars, too.

Available at: www.motormouse.us.com, $49.95

T. Taio Bath and Shower Back Scrubber:

Turn your daily shower into a spa experience with this exfoliating sponge that leaves your skin silky smooth. It’s great to use before self-tanning.

Available at: www.ttaio.com, $1.98

Talbot’s Washed Silk Cargo Shorts

Stay cool and comfortable in these lightweight shorts made of breathable silk. They’re perfect for walking around city streets on a hot summer day.

Available at: www.talbots.com, $47.70, on sale

Nokia Astound (T-Mobile)

This sleek and affordable smartphone has premium features like an 8-megapixel camera, HD 720p video recording, a 3.5 inch AMOLED display and touchscreen operation. It also has voice-guided Ovi Maps navigation, so wherever your travels take you this summer, you’ll know exactly where you are.

Available at: www.nokiausa.com, $49.99 with a service contract

Past Better Bets: 'Fireworks & Fun'
Better Bets: 'Suddenly Summer'
Better Bets: 'Father's Day Time Zone'
Better Bets: 'Mother's Day Gift & Giveaways'
Better Bets: 'Easter Gifts'
Better Bets: 'Keep Calm & Celebrate Spring'
Better Bets: 'On & Off the Runway'
Better Bets: Valentine's Day
Better Bets: Snow Daze
Better Bets: Last Minute Gifts
Better Bets: Holiday Gifts for Him
Better Bets: Holiday Gifts and Giveaways
Better Bets: Holiday Cooking
Better Bets: High Tech Holiday Gifts
Better Bets: Holiday Toys
Better Bets: Festive Foods

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