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Salsa Fiesta Urban Mexican Grill opens second location, Pembroke Pines PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Tuesday, 30 August 2011 19:33

Salsa Fiesta Urban Mexican Grill is opening its second location at a new 2,600 square foot contemporary space locale with  indoor/outdoor seating and a sleek décor and menu.  

Along with the addition of  Agave Wheat draft beer to the list of domestic and imported beers, there are  Raspados for dessert, vintage Mexican snow cones consisting of shaved ice formed into a ball and flavored with Watermelon, Spicy Mango, Habanero Lime, Red Passion Fruit, Kiwi, Chipotle Pineapple, Raspberry and Tangerine, and a Cotton Candy flavored raspado for kids.

Salsa Fiesta is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week from 11am to 10pm. Brunch, online ordering and catering will soon be available at the new location.   Cobblestone Plaza at 14914 Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines  954.432.0005 or visit www.salsafiestagrill.com.
 
Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack to open in Coral Gables in 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Sunday, 28 August 2011 17:33

Shake Shack, Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) modern day "roadside" burger , is slated to open in Coral Gables in the second half of 2012, in the location The Diner and Smoke once occupied across from the University of Miami (at 1450 South Dixie Highway). This is the second location in Miami: the first is on Lincoln Road in South Beach.

Shake Shack is part of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group ( www.ushgnyc.com) —  Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Blue Smoke ,Jazz Standard, and The Modern among many others —which actively supports the communities in which the restaurants are located and supports hunger relief and civic organizations as well as other causes.   www.shakeshack.com

 

 

 
Open Kitchen, a One Stop gourmet shop and café opens in Bay Harbor Islands PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Sunday, 28 August 2011 17:20

Sandra Stefani — previously Chef/Owner of Casa Toscana Restaurant ­ — has made a comeback with the newly opened Open Kitchen, a One Stop gourmet shop and café, in partnership with Ines Chattas —former General Manager of Miami Beach’s Icebox Café in South Beach .

The owners, who have been friends and colleagues for over 14 years, have joined their 40 years of combined experience in the food and beverage industry to develop Open Kitchen, a One Stop gourmet shop and café, from their full service Catering company  Pure Simple Cooking.  The menu ( check it out on www.openkitchenmiami.com ) features ‘world inspired’ foods with a twist, prepared with seasonal ingredients “and lots of soul,” they say.  The cafe also has a market corner with a variety of gourmet products and boutique wines not sold at big retailers.

In addition to its regular operation with deliveries available to Bay Harbor, Bal Harbour and Surfside, the space is open for intimate parties in the evenings, and doubles up at Chef Sandra’s popular “hands-on” cooking classes on Thursday evening and Saturday morning.

Open Kitchen is open for Lunch, Mon-Fri, from 11 am to 6 pm.  1071 95th St Bay Harbor, 305-865-0090 www.openkitchenmiami.com

 
Best Friends opens second location, Biscayne Corridor, Midtown Miami PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Sunday, 14 August 2011 23:27

miami-best friendsBest Friends Midtown Corp has opened a 230-seats casual indoor/outdoor eatery on Biscayne Blvd. where Calamari used to be.  This is their second location — the first is in South Miami on the premises of Blu Pizzeria on 7201 SW 59 Ave, South Miami, which their purchased from Maurizio Farinelli of Trattoria Sole.

Self-touted as “Best Friends since 1880, specializes in Wood oven Pizzas and wood charcoal Burgers”  their vast menu replicates that of Pizzeria Blù with the addition of an entire menu of ½ pound Burgers ($9.95) stuffed with all kind of cheeses and topped with fresh sauces. The paninis ($9.95) with chicken breast, skirt steak, wood-roasted salmon or prosciutto are served with pesto parmesan or French fries.

The menu starts with Antipasti for sharing ($12.75 to $17.75) such as antipasto Blù, a cornucopia of Italian cheeses, prosciutto, salumi and baby artichokes, olives and sun-dried tomatoes served with pizza bread; fried calamari, carpaccios and caprese tour; followed by Salads in small or large plates ($7.25 to $12.25) like my favorite, the Candida, full of baby spinach, dried apricots, pistachios, grana padano cheese, raisins and a delicious citrus dressing, or pere con noci with baby greens, toasted walnuts, pears, endive, gorgonzola cheese , the usual Caesar and a gresh Caprese.

Since they have kept their predecessors’ wood burning ovens, the Special Salads ($12.75 to $15.75) come with wood roasted salmon fillet, or skirt steak, seared tuna or wood-roasted shrimp, and their thin crusted pizzas   ($10.75  – $14.75) with over 25 different toppings are as good as the ones prepared by the Neapolitan pizzaiolos at Blù.  Then there are Calzoni and Focacce ($4 to $12.95) and a sinful list of desserts ($6.25).

Best Friends Midtown is open Sunday to Thursday for lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and till close on Fridays and Saturday. Other services include Take Out,Delivery and catering. 4770 Biscayne Blve., Modtown Miami, FL 33137. 786-439-3999

 photo: Sallie Byrd

 

 

 
Matthew Leonard new Executive Chef of Eos at Viceroy Miami PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Sunday, 14 August 2011 22:23

Matthew Leonard (53) has been appointed executive chef of the Viceroy Miami. Leonard was executive chef at several Montage Hotels and Resorts Group properties in Laguna Beach, California and Montage Deer Valley.  His long culinary career took him from The Royal Palms Hotel and Casitas, in Phoenix, Arizona; The Arizona Biltmore and The Phoenician Hotel, in Scottsdale, Arizona to the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, the El San Juan Hotel & Casino in Puerto Rico and Mark Miller’s Coyote Café in Santa Fe.

For the Restaurant Eos on the hotel’s 15th floor, Chef Leonard will introduce a new menu following the restaurant’s trademark light and healthy Mediterranean, Spanish, and Italian influenced cuisine. New items will begin appearing on exiting Chef Michael Psilakis’ menu, gradually over the coming months.

Chef Leonard will oversee culinary operations at Eos as well as the property’s catering and banquet operations.

EOS, on the 15th floor of Viceroy Miami485 Brickell Avenue is open seven days a week, for breakfast from 7am - 11 am, lunch from 11 am - 2pm; dinner Sunday through Monday from 7 pm to 10 pm and Thursday through Saturday from 7 pm to 11 pm.   (305) 503-4400www.viceroymiami.com.

 

 

 
English Tap & Beer Garden, a Todd English concept, serves more than pub fare in Boca Raton PDF Print E-mail
Written by Erik Mathes   
Friday, 12 August 2011 23:24

englishpub4The English Tap & Beer Garden, now open in the Shops at Boca Center, is the latest restaurant concept from celebrity chef Todd English, playing off the popular German biergarten trend that’s recently swept through New York City.  But, this is elevated to Boca standards.

Instead of the long wooden tables and benches traditionally found in biergartens, the English Tap has swanky, comfy round booths in an outdoor area with a fountain.  The restaurant’s indoor and outdoor bars serve over 100 beer selections – tap and bottled – from around the world.

englishpub11Executive Chef Ken Stevens, formerly of Todd English’s recently shut-down Wild Olives in Boca, has developed a broad menu; from traditional pub fare -- “bangers & mash,” shepherd’s pie, handmade soft pretzels, burgers and sliders -- to contemporary favorites like wasabi tuna, Asian chicken salad, braised short ribs, paninis and flat breads.  There’s even a raw bar for those of you who like oysters and clams with your craft beer, and plenty of other menu items outside the realm of the expected German and British and bar bites.

Owner John Watson, who also owns local favorites Taverna Opa in the Dolphin Mall and Todd English’s Wild Ginger in West Palm Beach, believes his new venture will be another success story.

englishpub12The English Tap & Beer Garden Restaurant is open  for lunch and dinner  Monday - Friday ~ 11:30am – 2 am and on Saturday & Sunday from 4pm to 2am. Daily Happy Hour specials from 4-7pm (half-priced drinks, $4.95 appetizers, and more depending on the day of the week). Shops at Boca Center,5050 Town Center Circle,Boca Raton, (561)-544-8000 www.theenglishtap.com


photos: Adeline Ramos

Last Updated on Friday, 12 August 2011 23:30
 
Vic & Angelo’s Coal Oven Enoteca opens on Ocean Drive, Miami Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Thursday, 28 July 2011 23:44


dusk at vic  angelosDavid Manero Restaurants, and yachting entrepreneur, John Rosatti have opened the two-floor Vic & Angelo’sdsc09292Coal Oven Enoteca in South Beach on the heels of the DeVito restaurant. This is the third Vic & Angelo’s in South Florida  — the second location is in Delray Beach.  Since the first location opened in Palm Beach Gardens in 2006, Vic & Angelo’s has hosted visiting celebrities from Jerry Seinfeld, Timothy Hutton and Diana Ross to Andre Agassi, Martha Stewart  and Liza Minnelli, among many others.  The décor remains a contemporary Mediterranean take on retro modern classicism with a large outdoor terrace with funky designers chairs, private cabanas with lipstick red chandeliers and green, blue and orange drapes.

Two outdoor patio areas feature a built-in fire pit surrounded by lounge seating for pre-dinner cocktails and appetizers and the upstairs dining area has been customized for  private parties and corporate events.  A DJ station provides lounge music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and a private balcony overlooks Ocean Drive.

va_coal_oven_pizzaAccording to David Manero, a former partner of DeVito’s and founder of David Manero Restaurants the concept of  affordable and authentic rustic Italian cuisine is well-adapted to our times. Vic & Angelo’s Corporate Chef Paul Griffin brings to South Beach the same menu that made the other venues popular with the addition of a few  South Beach-style dishes.

Known for its specialty Coal Oven Pizza the restaurant offers a thin pie made from an old Italian family recipe with spring water from New York, sprinkled with Grana Padano before the sauce is added and topped with ten different toppings such as the Mott Street (Pepperoni, Mozzarella, San Marzano) and Truffle with Wild Mushroom (Truffle Cream, Wild Mushrooms, Truffle Cheese).

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Starting with an extensive selection of Antipasti, salads, hand crafted Italian meats (Salumi) and Italian cheeses (Formaggi) as well as Giant Carpaccio , caviar and Colossal Jumbo Shrimp, the vast menu offers more than 15 different pasta dishes, some made in-house on a daily basis like tortelloni, gnocchi, fettuccine — ours with frutti di mare was very good  and others imported from Italy.

 

dsc09291For appetizers, Vic & Angelo’s 11oz Giant Meatball is huge, moist, tasty and deeply comforting, bathed in abundant San Marzano tomato sauce and topped with mascarpone, and a seafood tower —which pales next to the giant meatball.  Signature favorites are the Shrimp Penne Alla Vodka (Creamy Vodka Sauce, Gulf Shrimp, Peas) and the traditional Sunday Gravy (Giant Meatball, Pork, Sausage, San Marzano Tomatoes, Impastata).

Meats are all from proprietary and certified natural farms and are seared and charred over a traditional 900 degree Southbend cooking range. On the list a  22oz Veal Chop,  Veal or Chicken Milanese, Veal Scallopine, Stuffed Chicken Francese and Pan Roasted Chicken Breast, among others.  Fish dishes include Branzino, Roasted Sea Bass, Black Grouper, as well as Snake River Trout and Wild Salmon.

 

dsc09297For lunch there are Italian favorites, including a choice of 10 specialty Paninis, traditional Italian soups, as well as the dinner items like Coal Oven Pizza, pasta, chicken and fish.

Desserts are traditional Little-Italy Italian and range from Cannoli (Impastata, Mint Chocolate Chips, Crushed Pistachios) to Vanilla Venetian Cake (Sponge Cake, Vanilla Custard, Toasted Merengue) and more traditional presentations of favorites such as Tiramisu and Affogato.

Sunday Brunch Menu lists Steak and Eggs any style, Omelette specials (also made to order) and French Toast (two ways) with fruit, among other selections.  A late night bar menu for happy hour and beyond will compliment the extensive range of Vic & Angelo’s specialty cocktails and include Chicken Wings, Carpaccio and Baked Clams, among other appetizers taken from the main menu. 

Vic & Angelo’s Coal Oven Enoteca is open daily for lunch and dinner and offers Sunday brunch. 150 Ocean Drive, South Beach, 305-531-0911.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 23:54
 
Norman Van Aken appointed executive chef of the new Miami Culinary Institute at MDC PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Saturday, 23 July 2011 20:52

Chef John Richards, the director of the college’s International Hospitality Center, has appointed  Norman Van Aken as the MCI’s new executive chef. He will now be responsible for managing the foodservice operations for the MCI’s world-class top floor restaurant that is set to open in October, its café and catering services.

Under the guidance of Richards, Chef Van Aken will oversee all menu vision and development, the mentoring and training of a world-class kitchen team, and the infusion of food culture innovation into the MCI food operations. He will also develop relationships with other recognized chef leaders, organizations, farmers, markets, growers and green-sustainable food and energy providers to ensure breakthrough eco-culinary practices at the institute.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to join such a respected, trend-setting institution,” said Chef Van Aken. “More importantly, I will work with a great team of chefs and faculty that will train the next generation of food innovators keeping Miami’s food scene at the top.” For more information on the Miami Culinary Institute, please call 305-237-3276 or visit www.miamidadeculinary.com.

 
George Fistrovich appointed executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton Resorts, Naples PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Saturday, 23 July 2011 20:02

fistrovichThe Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples has appointed George Fistrovich as executive chef.  Chef Fistrovich was most recently executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami. He was executive chef for a number of leading hotels and restaurants around the world, including The Kerry Centre (Beijing); Harrods (London); The Royal Towers at Atlantis (Paradise Island,Bahamas); The Marina-Mandarin Hotel (Singapore); and The Hayman Island Resort (Great Barrier Reef, Australia).

In his new role, Chef Fistrovich will lead more than 100 culinary professionals in overseeing all food and beverage operations and culinary services for the 10 dining experiences (Bites, Global, The Grill, Gumbo Limbo, =H2O+, Lemonía, The Poolside Grill, The Poolside Café, The Sushi Bar, and Terrace) and group banquets between The Ritz-Carlton, Naples beach resort and The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, both located on Southwest Florida’s Paradise Coast.

After studying at Chicago’s Washburne Culinary Institute, Chef Fistrovich expanded his education to include advanced curricula at the Culinary Institute of America, InternationalPastry Arts Center, and Carma Ltd. in Dübendorf, Germany.

The Five-Diamond, 295-room Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples ranked as the No. 1 golf resort in Florida by Condé Nast Traveler (June 2010) www.ritzcarlton.com 1-800-241-3333.

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 20:09
 
Cevichery brings Peruvian cuisine to Española Way, South Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG Staff   
Saturday, 23 July 2011 19:33

causa de camarones 5Peruvian owners Manuel Forero and Alonso Galvez have partnered with restaurateurs Nicolas De Justo and Fernando Jimenez of Tapas & Tintos restaurants to open the indoor/outdoor Cevichery, a Peruvian neighborhood eatery in the former Café Barcelona location on Española Way.

Executive chef Diego Pilares has created a menu that pays homage to his traditional Peruvian roots starting with several varieties of its fresh daily namesake, Ceviches - also known as cebiches - ranging from $4.00 to $18.00.prepared with corvina, choclo and slices of boiled camote (sweet potato: Ceviche Shot, Traditional Peruvian Ceviche, Traditional Peruvian Ceviche with Crispy Calamari, Shrimp Ceviche, Spicy Rocoto Pepper Ceviche, Yellow Pepper Infused Orange and Mint Juice Ceviche and a Mixed Seafood Ceviche.  


ceviche al aji amarillo y menta 2 Tiraditos ($10.00 to $14.00), a modern version of Ceviche with Japanese influence — distinctive by the way the fish is thinly cut and by the absence of onions, as well as the addition of an aji- or rocoto-based pepper sauce — offer the catch of the day in six different ways: Tiraditos Dos Colores, topped with a spicy rocoto cream and leche de tigre; Tiradito Tres Colores topped with a spicy rocoto cream, a yellow pepper cream and leche de tigre; Tiradito al Aji de Naranja y Menta topped with a yellow pepper and mint-infused orange juice; Tiradito de Maracuya topped with a passion fruit and spicy aji limo sauce and a Tiradito de Lomo with thinly sliced filet mignon in its own juices.

choros a la chalaca 4Los Calientes or hot appetizers list Conchas a la Parmesana – scallops in shell topped with a béchamel sauce and freshly grated parmesan and Papa Rellena – a large deep-fried potato dumpling stuffed with ground beef, raisins, onions and fresh spices; followed by Los Frios (cold appetizers) such as Pulpo al Olivo – grilled marinated octopus with a botija black olive cream and homemade wonton chips and Papa a la Huancaina – sliced papas amarillas drizzled in a aji cream sauce made with a fresh white cheese called queso fresco; Ensaladas y Sopas (salads and soups) including a nutritious and restorative Aguadito made with rice, noodles, vegetables on a concentrated chicken broth with aji amarillo and cilantro and a Ensalada Andina – a quinoa salad with grilled chicken in a passion fruit vinaigrette; and the Peruvian signature Causas (a papas amarillas-based dish mixed with fresh key lime, pressed into a cake, stuffed filled with a savory filling and served cold) includes a Chicken filled Causa; Causa topped with shrimp; Causa filled with tuna; and a Causa filled with thinly sliced octopus (all from $7.00 to $14.00).

The 10 entrée options reflect Peru’s rich culinary history with Aji de Gallina – a shredded chicken dish traditionally prepared with a creamy ají amarillo and parmesan sauce ($14) and the Lomo Saltado, the Peruvian version of a stir fry of strips of filet mignon with onions, tomatoes, soy sauce, vinegar, aji and served with Papas Fritas (French-fried potatoes) ($16).  Chaufas – a rice-based dish that brings together Spanish paella and Asian fried rice using Peruvian flavors is offered with chicken ($13), shrimp ($14) or a variety of seafood ($18). For sides there iswhite Jasmine rice with choclo ($5); pasta in a yellow pepper cream or spicy pepper sauce ($5); Papas Fritas ($5) and Quinoto - quinoa cooked risotto-style in a pesto, pepper or creamy parmesan sauce ($8).

lucuma cheesecake 3House-made desserts ($8.00) range from Arroz con Leche – Peruvian sweet rice pudding ($6.00), Cheesecake de Lucuma – cheesecake topped with slices of fresh lucuma, a subtropical fruit from the Andean region reminiscent of a mango ($6.00) and Mousse de Chocolate y Lucuma.


fruity pisco sours - strawberry maracuya  kiwi 2Inside a 10-seat bar offers cocktails like the classic Pisco Sour made with fresh lime juice and simple syrup also offered in multiple varieties made with maracuya (passion fruit), kiwi, strawberries or blueberries ($10) or The Chilcano made with pisco ginger ale and aromatic bitters, and can be spiked with sweet cinnamon or spicy aji limo ($10).

Happy hours are offered daily from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with Cevichery’s two-for-one drinks. Live Peruvian rock music on Fridays. On most Sundays, Chef Pilares will cook up exotic specials from his homeland (such as the popular street food anticuchos).

Cevichery is located at 440 Espanola Way in Miami Beach. The restaurant is open everyday for lunch and dinner: Sunday from noon to 11 p.m.; Monday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday from noon to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from noon to 12 a.m.   305.532.6620 or  www.facebook.com/cevichery

Last Updated on Monday, 25 July 2011 23:03
 
NINE Restaurant slated to open in newly renovated Hotel Breakwater, South Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Saturday, 23 July 2011 15:03

 Hotel Breakwater, an Art Deco property built in 1939, on Ocean Drive, has reopened on the heels of a multi-million-dollar renovation. Axel Gasser is the Regional Hotel Director.  The hotel became famous in the 1980s when Bruce Weber shot the Calvin Klein advertisement for Obsession perfume with supermodel Kate Moss on the rooftop terrace.

While the décor has remained classic Art Deco in all of the 100 guest rooms, there are modern amenities everywhere, from the rooftop Intimissi Lounge with its daybeds, loveseats and views of the Atlantic Ocean, the poolside Wellness Garden with a wrap-around line of  cabanas to the the guest-only beach zone and the state-of-the-art Internet Lounge.

The soon-to-open indoor-outdoor restaurant NINE located in the hotel’s lobby, an “east-meets-west” culinary concept, offers European-American comfort cuisine. Three executive chefs, Ezequiel ZingoniBilly Devlin and Manuel Mattei have created a menu with natural and organic items including traditional Neapolitan pizzas, hand-made pastas, local seafood as well as meat and poultry dishes.

NINE will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. daily. 940 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, 305.532.2362 www.breakwatersouthbeach.com.

 
Brasserie-style City Hall Restaurant opens on Biscayne Corridor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Saturday, 23 July 2011 00:00

Seasoned restaurateur  Steve Haas —chairman of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), former co-owner and operating partner of Soyka Restaurant, and long-time general manager for China Grill Management — and chef Tom Azar (43), previously of chef Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants in New Orleans, Orlando, and Miami, have teamed up to open the down-home, brasserie-style City Hall restaurant at 2004 Biscayne Boulevard. They have enrolled pastry chef Gail Pretzfelder, formerly of china Grill.

There's a New York City urban feel to the two-story, 6,000 square foot eatery, located five blocks north of Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and a five minute drive from downtown Miami -- the restaurant's target clientele is the area’s business and political folks, residents and theater aficionados.  The décor is chic with lacquered concrete floors, floor to ceiling windows with an 80 ft. long light box mural stretching across one wall, comfortable leather banquets, original art and Art Deco accents.

The moderately priced menu averages below $20 per person for lunch and $25 per person for dinner with a list of Chef Azar’s comfort food specialties as well as a selection of classics with a twist and an assortment of starters or Opening Statements and Commitment before Decisions, ($7-$16) including tuna tartare with truffle-soy vinaigrette, papaya, avocado, wakame and crispy wontons; honey glazed chicken wings with creamy herb aioli; seafood and Andouille gumbo with steamed rice and butter fried croutons, and pan fried jumbo lump blue crab imperial with sweet corn, bacon and tomato glaze.

For lighter fare there is a choice of six farm fresh salads, including  spicy seared north Atlantic salmon served on mixed baby greens, grapes, strawberries, red onion, radish and sunflower seeds with a passion fruit vinaigrette iceberg lettuce wedge, made with caramelized Applewood bacon, vine ripe tomatoes and a creamy blue cheese dressing and a salad of burrata mozzarella and baby arugula topped with crispy pancetta .

On the menu, a vast list of sandwiches offers a tilapia burger served with a perky cilantro aioli and Chef Azar’s signature -  a burger with a mixture of Black Angus beef, brisket and pork, and a fried oyster po’ boy sandwich,   served with a choice of hand-cut fries, sweet and spicy coleslaw, or a side salad, as well as pizzas from the wood burning oven.

Mains ($17.50 - $33)  or Primary Decisions list fresh seafood  like seared scallopswith a jalapeño emulsion, pico de gallo, black bean and sweet corn salsa and fried plantains; fettuccini with sautéed jumbo shrimp, cherry tomatoes and herb, lemon-caper butter sauce and  Maine lobster, shrimp and scallop pot pie with parsnip mashed potatoes, English peas, sweet corn.

Old school entrees include country-style meatloaf with house-made gravy with chorizo and maple mac ‘n’ cheese, baby French green beans and crispy onions; several cuts of steak, and a roasted chicken, served with steakhouse traditional sides, in addition to crispy fried chicken with collard greens, corn and bacon, as well as house cured pastrami, corned beef and brisket.

The Sidebar section features pizzas and burgers ($11.25-$14), including a classic house-made mozzarella pizza with sliced vine ripened tomato, basil, oregano and marinara. A house blend beef burger with brie, Applewood bacon and caramelized onion, and a turkey burger with fontina, mushrooms, spinach and tomato aioli are also on offer.  Sides ($7-$8), dubbed Supporting Decisions; encompass tri-color French fries, creamed spinach, crispy Brussel sprouts with lemon pepper aioli, baby French green beans, and southern style collard greens, among others.

The full bar is well stocked with specialty cocktails, drinks, beers and pours . The restaurant offers private dining facilities and an accessible complimentary parking lot (at 20th Street, between Biscayne Blvd. and N.W. 2 Avenue) in addition to late night dining to accommodate theater-goers.

City Hall restaurant, at 2004 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, is open daily for lunch and dinner, Monday – Thursday from 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. - 1 a.m., and Sunday’s from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. www.cityhalltherestaurant.com (305) 764-3130

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 19:53
 
Kane Steakhouse opens in South Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Monday, 18 July 2011 00:00
 
 
snapshot kaneKane Steakhouse, a partnership between Mathew Glazier –the man behind NYC’s Strip House and Michael Jordan’s The Steak House at Grand Central Terminal and others, and nightlife triarchy Roman JonesJustin Levine, and Eric Milon – creators of Mansion, SET, Louis Bar-Lounge and others, has opened where Tuscan Steak used to be at  431 Washington Avenue in South Beach. The decor by the design firms of Francois Frossard Design and 7 Sins Design Group is in black and white, in tune to the waiters' uniform, with  Plasma screens lining the back of the bar that, when not in use, are hidden behind mirrored panels, and a wine wall in the back. For being such a newcomer to South Beach's restaurant scene, the restaurant was full of familiar faces, including that of restaurant manager John Thai, a familiar face in Miami by virtue of his nearly 16 years at Carpaccio Restaurant in Bal Harbour. 

The wine list is quite self contained with a good by-the-glass program and a very nice selection of pours. Our wine for the night was a 2005 Brunello di Montalcino Col d'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy, which paired beautifully with our food. 

dsc09278The menu by chef Daniel Ganem (28) – who had worked under Michelin starred chef Martin Berasategui in the Basque region of Spain, was previously of Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak and, most recently, Laurent Tourondel’s BLT Steak -  features upscale steakhouse classics:  appetizers, perfectly charred premium cuts of beef, as well as seafood, pork, and poultry and creative sides.
 
The night's amuse was a refreshing gazpacho, followed by appetizers for sharing:($14 - $22) A lightly fried crab cake full of  lumps of fresh crab set of a spicy remoulade; the house special: duck fat fries - thin stips of spuds that serve as a vehicle to melted Blue cheese and  cold salsa; a creamy burrata so fresh under its tuft of micro greens it oozed over its bed of cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and basil oil; a torchon of foie gras with onion marmelade and apricot jam. 
Entrees ($32 -$48) focus of course on steaks of all sizes and cuts. Ours was a ribeye cooked to perfection under its glistening crust - "we finish it with a special extra virgin olive oil," confided chef Ganem - and a thick slab of fresh grilled snapper topped with chorizo and set over a bed of crab and tomato, Spanish-style. The sides ($8 - $14) are huge portions of fabulously airy flash-fried seaweed; a cheese cauliflower gratin that needed a few minutes more in the oven; delicious hash brown cakes toped with creme fraiche and chives and Kane garlic and herbs French fries.
dsc09276Let's not forget that chef Ganem was a pastry chef! All sorberts are homemade and change nightly. Ours - lemon and passion fruit - enhanced a simple fruit salad studded with berries: raspeberries, blackcurrants, blueberries and more. While the much touted upsidedown pineapple cake just about makes the mark, the doughnuts in a shoe box  are a winner; light, airy, sprinkled with white sugar powder they are even more delicious when dipped in a rich Nutella sauce or a tart rasperry coulis.  
Kane Steakhouse is a restaurant with a purpose with a chef that knows where he's going and a service to par. While it is meant to be a place to see and be seen, when the food is set on the table, all eyes are on the plate!   A great addition to South Beach. 
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Kane Steakhouse, 431 Washington Avenue in the heart of South Beach.  Dinner is served seven nights a week.

 

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Last Updated on Monday, 18 July 2011 18:51
 
Chip Cassidy now Director of Wine Programs at FIU PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Sunday, 17 July 2011 23:03

Chip Cassidy,  has announced his resignation from the position of Wine Director/Buyer for Crown Wine & Spirits, after 26 years - and possibly after bringing Crown to the top tier of  wine buyers in the South East - to accept the position of Director of Wine Programs at Florida International University (FIU).

Mr. Cassidy has been instrumental in the creation of the School of Hospitality Management's wine program.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 July 2011 23:12
 
Greek Restaurant Egg & Dart opens in Design District PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Sunday, 17 July 2011 21:59

 


egg  dart whole grilled fish photo credit michael pisarriThe 202-seat Egg & Dart, Miami Design District’s newest dining destination, is a Greek cuisine concept by co-owners Costa Grillas and Niko Theodorou .  Mr. Grillas comes from Maria’s, the Greek restaurant on Coral Way   and Mr. Theodorou’s family operates the Sea Satin Market on the island of Mykonos in Greece..

 

Under the guidance of Theodorou’s mother, Vagia Theodorou, who operates a successful catering company in Athens and a restaurant on the island of Tzia, the menu at Egg & Dart will bring fresh, wholesome cooking from all regions of Greece, starting with a vasts array of meze (small plates) including calamari, grilled and stuffed with a trio of cheeses ($12); shrimp saganaki ($14) sautéed in a tomato and feta sauce and steamed mussels, infused with white wine, dill, garlic and parsley ($14) to Greek staples like hummus ($5), a selection of olives ($6) and dako, the Greek version of bruschetta, topped with crumbled feta ($8) for starters.

For Main courses there’s a selection of grilled meats, seafood and   whole fresh fish for two drizzled with Greek olive oil, lemon, oregano and dramatically presented on an elevated tray of glass (market price).  Meals are rounded out with a variety of side dishes including lemon roasted potatoes ($4), horta – a medley of red, white and gold Swiss chard with escarole, dandelions and spinach ($7) and Greek fries, tossed with oregano and grated kefalograviera cheese ($4); all with a selection of signature specialty cocktails, as well as traditional Greek liquors like ouzo, metaxa and masticha.

Grillas and Theodorou collaborated with their designers to create a rustic environment with an urban appeal:     organic clay walls, polished concrete floors and white lacquered tabletops, a banquette lining the length of the restaurant, an Indonesian teak communal table and an eye-catching fresh seafood display. “Egg & Dart will combine the best of what Greek dining has to offer – comforting rustic cuisine and warm and inviting service, with a hip, modern surrounding,” says Theodorou.

Slated to open mid-July 2011, Egg & Dart  is open for dinner  Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday 6 p.m. – midnight, as well asFriday and Saturday from 6 p.m. – 2 a.m. 4029 N. Miami Avenue in the Miami Design District.    (786) 431-1022.

 
OYE Cuban Grill opens in Pinecrest PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG Staff   
Sunday, 17 July 2011 00:00

 

Father and son partners Hector and Ian Gutierrez have opened OYE Cuban Grill [OYE - an acronym for “Organization of Young Entrepreneurs.”] in a sleek 3,000-square-foot space in Pinecrest.  with a lush terrace,  an open-air dining room featuring dark wood-top tables surrounded by comfortable booths, and distressed brick walls  scribbled with Cuban proverbs and lyrics of local musician Cris Cab.

The vintage-inspired menu offers from classic Cuban fare with innovative preparation techniques including Bistec Empanizado a la milanesa with criollo, bolo ham and melted cheese; Croquetas stuffed with beef, ham, or chorizo; and The OYE Wrap with grilled churrasco, sautéed onions, mozzarella cheese, sweet plantains, and cabbage.

Putting their own the OYE Burger - a  traditional ‘frita’ with a twist -, combines 7 ounces of ground beef and chorizo topped with fried potato strings. Guests are encouraged to design their own sandwich, salad or wrap, choosing from a large variety of fresh Latin ingredients and a selection of OYE’s original sauces such as Mango-Papaya Salsa, Creamy Mustard or OYE Mojo Vinaigrette.

OYE serves a variety of micro brewed beers from around the country  such as Magic Hat No. 9, Monk in the Trunk and OYE’s Express Counter serves baked empanadas with guava and cheeseCuban Donuts with dulce de leche and Cuban coffee.

 

OYE Cuban Grill is open seven days-a-week serving breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday - Thursday 7AM – 10:30PM, Friday- Saturday 7AM-12AM, and Sunday 7AM-9PM. The Suniland Strip Mall at 11327 South Dixie Highway, Pinecrest.   786.249.4001.   www.oyecubangrill.com

 

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 July 2011 22:30
 
Wynwood Kitchen & Bar appoints new executive chef, Miguel Aguilar PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 22:12

The  new executive chef at Goldman Properties’ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar (WKB) is Venezuelan Miguel Aguilar (41).  Chef Aguilar comes to WKB from Philadelphia, where he served as executive chef at Doug Rodriguez’ Alma de Cuba; catering chef for Stephen Starr and opening chef for El Rey Restaurant.

For Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, he is creating a menu of small plates and chef’s specials with Latino flavors which will  be served for dinner nightly and  on Monday, August 15  for lunch.

Wynwood Kitchen & Bar summer hours:  Open for dinnerMonday – Saturday5 p.m.midnightbar open until 1 a.m. Happy Hour Fridays, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., live music also on Fridays, from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. on the restaurant’s outdoor terrace, surrounded by Wynwood Walls murals. WKB will reopen for lunch on MondayAugust 15, 2011. Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, 2550 N.W. 2nd Avenue.     305-722-8959www.wynwoodkitchenandbar.com.

 
Mark Soyka and Frank Crupi Buy Dogma Grill PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 21:31
Dogma Grill which opened in 2003, is now the property of restaurateur Mark Soyka and sandwich shop guru Frank Crupi , both partners at the Van Dyke in South Beach. Crupi, of the popular sandwich shop Frankie’s Big City Grill, is taking the menu concept back to the classics (think NY style hot dogs) and is adding a selection of signature Americana-style sandwiches.

The list from classic to specialty hot dogs includes the all-beef Classic Dog, the ¼ lb Jumbo Dog, brats and sausage on hoagies with toppings like sauerkraut, chili, creamy slaw, baked beans, bacon, pushcart onion sauce, BBQ sauce, bell peppers, hot peppers and the good ol’ cheese whiz.  Roast Beef sandwiches, Oyster Po’Boy and of course, Frankie’s Philly Cheesesteak.  

The all American burgers  —  ¼ lb of high quality ground beef — come with lettuce-tomato-pickle-ketchup-yellow mustard (the Dogma Burger), or for the Andiamo Burger with marinara sauce, provolone and oregano or for the Memphis Burger with BBQ sauce topped with onions rings.  Soon to be:  the 4th of July Backyard Burger  is a burger plus a classic hot dog on a burger bun with ketchup, yellow mustard and pickles.
  
Dogma’s Specialty Sandwiches menu ranges from the pork roll (Taylor ham with American cheese called “Atlantic City” on the menu), the New England Lobster Roll, the Baltimore (deep fried crab cake with lettuce, tomato and remoulade sauce), to the New Orleans’ fried fish Po’Boy, the Oyster Po’Boy, the Roast Beef Po’Boy and the Chicago Italian Beef sandwich.

Dogma Grill is a window sandwich shop located at 7030 Biscayne Boulevard (305.759.3433) open Monday through Sunday 10am to 9pm.  For more information:  www.dogmagrill.com
 
 
Chef Jeff McInnis to open Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in the Fall, South Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG Staff   
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 19:09

chef-jeff-of-gigiGuess what Chef Jeff McInnis of Top Chef fame — formerly of Gigi and the Ritz Carlton South Beach — is up to next?  Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in South Beach,  a venture between Restaurateur John Kunkel, and his partners Chef Jeff McInnis and Chris Romero from Southern Brand Collective.

Yardbird will feature regional and farm fresh ingredients, humanely raised meats in traditional Southern comfort cuisine infused with modern technique — “a down-to-earth joint that preaches the gospel of good food and good company,” writes their PR Bullfrog & Baum.

Yardbird will include an extensive whiskey and bourbon bar and will serve lunch, dinner and a weekend brunch with different menus for each.  Yardbird will be located at 1600 Lenox, at the corner of 16th Street, one block from Lincoln Road. For more information, visit www.RunChickenRun.com

 
Tapas & Tintos opens second location in Midtown Miami PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Tuesday, 28 June 2011 20:33

tapas y vinoLocal restaurateurs Nicolas De Justo and Fernando Jimenez have opened a second location of Tapas & Tintos in Midtown Miami — the first is in Miami Beach.  The resto-lounge’s logo: a black bull in a red board glows at night over the sidewalk terrace, and the sounds of live music — from flamenco to Latin jazz, draws locals and tourists to what was once an industrial neighborhood.

Inside, simple tables in a funky Spanish-like  atmosphere:  walls hung with vintage Almodóvar film posters, Spanish comic strips and nostalgic album covers; an oversized cherry red lighting structure made with large disks of actual bull horns, and  Tapas & Tintos’ outdoor terrace with lounge seating for dining al fresco and a small stage for live performances.

Tapas & Tintos Midtown Executive Chef Fernando Andres has created a vast menu of over 50 cold and hot tapas with a smaller section of paellas and fish entrees.

The wine list is entirely Spanish, and very reasonably priced and offers sangria and cocktails that pair well with the menu’s items like Jamón Iberico de Bellota, a.k.a. Pata Negra ($44.95);  Garbanzos con chorizo, a piping hot casserole of chickpeas, garlic, smoky Spanish chorizo and tomato ($8.25); Gambas al Ajillo, shrimp sautéed with garlic and extra virgin Spanish olive oil ($10.95); Pimientos del Piquillo Rellenos, piquillo peppers stuffed with cod fish ($8.75); Patatas Bravas, sautéed potatoes with skin topped with a spicy tomato sauce ($6.50); Queso de Cabra al Horno, baked goat cheese served with tomatoes and a garlic sauce ($10.25); Dedos del Diablo, lightly breaded and fried jumbo shrimp stuffed with Serrano ham, goat cheese and served with a tomato salad and avocados ($13.75); and Huevos Calientes, a hearty mix of Spanish chorizo and potatoes topped with fried eggs ($8.50).

“Ensaladas” (salads) list Ensalada del Rey, potato, avocado, Morrón pepper and mussels in a vinaigrette sauce ($10.50); Desesperada, mixed greens, onions, walnuts, pear slices, Cabrales cheese served with a homemade raspberry vinaigrette dressing ($11.50); and Ensalada Ibiza, mixed greens, medium-rare tuna strips, black pepper, drizzled with an Ibiza-style mango vinaigrette sauce ($12.95); and the popular summer dish Melón con Jamón, Serrano ham served over cantaloupe melon ($11.95).

For entrees there’s grilled seafood and fish as well as Rice dishes and Paellaall meant to be sharedsuch as  Arroz Negro, squid ink-blackened paella ($38.45);  Paella Bogavante served with Spanish main lobster ($58.95); Fideua, a pasta-based paella with fish, calamari and vegetables ($39.95); Arroz al Horno, an oven-baked rice dish with pork, morcilla, chick peas and potatoes ($31.95); and a classic Paella Valenciana Mixta served with seafood, pork, chicken, vegetables and finished with saffron ($37.95).

Desserts ($4.95) are traditional:    what I liked best;  Queso tetilla with Quince Jelly, honey, roasted nuts and slivered almonds.Crema Catalana;  Tarta Gallega de Chocolate ; Flan, a caramel custard with a Spanish twist;       Tarta de Santiago, a sweet almond pie sprinkled with powdered sugar and an imprint of the Cross of Saint James (Cruz de Santiago de Compostela).

Tapas & Tintos offers a two-course lunch menu ($10) from noon to 3 p.m. as well as happy hour promotions such as two-for-one cocktails and $1 draft beer on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Weekly live music and Flamenco dancers including  a “Rock en Español” band led by Patricio Suárez Vértiz on Saturdays and a Sunday brunch with paella made à la minute and a glass of Cava or Sangria ($10.99) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday.

Tapas & Tintos Midtown is located at 3535 NE 2nd Avenue in Midtown Miami. The restaurant is open every day for lunch and dinner. Hours are Monday - Wednesday from noon to 2 a.m.; Thursday – Saturday from noon to 4 a.m.; Sunday from noon to midnight. For reservations, please call 305.392.0506.

 

Tapas & Tintos South Beach is located at 448 Española Way in Miami Beach. The restaurant is open every day for lunch and dinner. Hours are Monday - Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Wednesday from noon to 3 a.m.; Thursday from noon to 4 a.m.; Friday - Saturday from noon to 4:30 a.m.; Sunday from noon to 2 a.m. For reservations, please call 305.538.8272.  www.tapasytintos.com.

 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 22:07
 
Daniel Boulud names Jim Leiken Executive Chef at Café Boulud Palm Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 22:11

daniel boulud new chefRenowned  chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud has appointed James “Jim” Leiken Executive Chef of Café Boulud Palm Beach at The Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club to replace Chef Zach Bell who has held the position since the restaurant opened in 2003.

Chef Bell announced that he will take a break for a month to help his wife Jennifer with The Sugar Monkey, a high end pastry shop in Palm Beach before  joining Addison Reserve Country Club, a private upscale community and resort in Delray Beach, in late July.

Chef Leiken, a seasoned veteran of the New York kitchens of Daniel Boulud since 2001, will start officially on July 4. “Jim was already in the kitchen with me at DANIEL in NY, when we were opening Café Boulud Palm Beach. He next took on the challenges of db Bistro Moderne’s busy Midtown Manhattan kitchen, not to mention the opening of DBGB Kitchen and Bar. He’s  been through the ‘school of Boulud’ with excellent grades, while also maintaining his own unique character and style,” said Mr. Boulud.

Currently celebrating its eighth anniversary, Café Boulud Palm Beach has become one of South Florida’s celebrated dining destinations with a menu that mirrors its sister restaurant’s on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with the four categories: La Tradition, classic French cuisine; La Saison cooking in harmony with the seasons; Le Potager named for the French vegetable garden, and Le Voyage, Daniel Boulud’s interpretation of various world cuisines.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 22:07
 
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