What´s new
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
Mister Collins restaurant opens in Bal Harbour PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 22:08

Mister Collins, a new American classic restaurant  at ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa offers home-style American cuisine with a focus on fresh, local, high-quality ingredients. The menu is peppered with favorites like Prime New York Strip, sous vide Pop’s Pork Chop, Mac and cheese, True Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, and a fruit-forward Ahi Tuna Salad.

Mister Collins is open seven days for breakfast- 7:00 AM – 11:30 AM,  lunch - 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM, dinner - 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM.   ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa, 10295 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour,    www.ONELuxuryHotels.com (305)-455-5460.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 22:07
Azul At Mandarin Oriental, Miami debuts new menu under Chef Joel Huff PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 22:00

chefjoel huffAzul, the signature restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, Miami, is now offering a new menu by chef Joel Huff.

The new menu of modern European cuisine with American and Asian influences starts with “Beginnings” listing “silver & gold egg” with Italian caviar — quail egg cooked at 63 degrees, caramelized onions, potato espuma and chive oil, “Toro Blue Fin Tuna” with Iberico ham, basil oil, feta snow and ponzu jelly and “panzanella salad” with heirloom tomato, california burrata, brioche toast and olive vinaigrette.

The “Main Event” from the “Sea” range from “brioche crusted yellow tail snapper” with cuttlefish, chorizo brandade and squid ink charcoal to  “sake marinated black cod” — Huff’s take on the traditional hot pot —   served with cedar wood ham hock dashi and pickled mushrooms.

From the “Land,”  “Lamb Head to Toe” trio includes lamb rack, loin and meatballs scented with North African curried spices and served with three types of purees – date, greek yogurt and fresh hummus and Israeli couscous. The “Snake River New York strip” features corned short rib, smoked potato espuma, white asparagus, bone marrow and bush berry au poivre.

Desserts list “bittersweet chocolate cream” with macaroon, nashi pear and blood orange sorbet, “hazelnut strusel” with brioche donuts, pineapple and brown butter ice cream and “yogurt cloud cake” with fresh berries, rhubarb, strawberry syrup and Meyer lemon ice cream. All followed by a traditional cheese course with selections ranging from Spain’s mellow Drunken Goat to Roaring Forties blue cheese, available in large plates of five.

chefjoelmainelobstersaladOn August 3, 2011, Chef Huff will appear on The Today Show preparing one of his signature dishes alongside weatherman Al Roker. In addition, he will be a guest chef at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.

Azul is located at Mandarin Oriental, Miami, 500 Brickell Key Drive.  Dinner is served Monday to Saturday from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.  Reservations are suggested at (305) 913 8358.  Valet parking; all major credit cards accepted.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 22:07
Jordi Panisello appointed New Executive Pastry Chef at Fontainebleau Miami Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 21:52

jordi panisello final 2Jordi Panisello (46),  a career pastry professional, who has been named one of the ten best pastry chefs in the U.S. by New York Times Magazine and has cooked at the James Beard House five times, is now Executive Pastry Chef of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.  After completing his culinary studies in Barcelona in 1981, he relocated to New York City where he worked with award-winning chef Alfred Portale at Gotham Bar & Grill and at Club 21. In Florida he went from the position of assistant pastry chef at the prestigious Boca Raton Resort to  Executive Pastry Chef at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in 1999, and at the Mandarin Oriental.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach is located at 4411 Collins Avenue on Miami Beach.  For more information on any of Fontainebleau’s dining outlets, please call 305-538-2000 or visit www.fontainebleau.com.

5 Napkin Burger opens on Lincoln Rd, South Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG Staff   
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 21:40

ud - 5 napkin burger5 Napkin Burger opens on Lincoln Road on Thursday, June 16, 2011. The restaurant menu by Executive Chef Andy D’Amico focuses on burgers at the Miami location just as it does in New York and in Boston.  The signature is 10 oz of  ground chuck topped with rosemary aioli, caramelized onions and melted gruyère on a soft white roll.  The full burger lineup includes the all-American Bacon Cheddar, Italian Turkey, Veggie, Lamb, Tuna, Inside Out, and a Burger Salad.

The menu for both vegetarians and carnivores extends to sushi maki rolls, Matzo Ball Soup, Steak Frites and Fish & Chips. The Beverage lists a selection of 50 wines and 80 beers, 10 signature cocktails, 40 bourbons and a host of decadent milk shakes and floats.  5 Napkin Burger, 455 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach , 305.538.2277, www.5napkinburger.com

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 22:08
Graziano Sbroggio’s Graspa Group to run Soyka Restaurant PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Thursday, 09 June 2011 18:15

Restaurateur Mark Soyka has passed the baton of the day-to-day operations of Soyka Restaurant in the 55th Street Station off of Biscayne Boulevard to his long-time business partner Graziano Sbroggio.

Graspa Group management company  founded by Graziano Sbroggio, owns TiramesU, Spris on Lincoln Road and Maitardi in the Design District, and has been Mark Soyka’s partner for over 15 years with Segafredo on Lincoln Road and Van Dyke Café on Lincoln Road.  
“Mark’s decision to partner with us was much more about bringing our experts in to take Soyka to its full potential,” explained Graziano Sbroggio, President of Graspa Group. “The main changes will occur behind the scenes, how we manage the staff, kitchen operations and purchasing.”

Alberto Marcato, Graspa Group’s Corporate Executive Chef who oversees the kitchen operations in all of Graspa’s venues will keep the American comfort food concept and has already implemented more cost effective procedures. Alberto shares: “I am applying Graspa’s motto to leverage our purchasing power as a group while increasing quality so the customer is happy that the food is good and the price is affordable”.

In addition,  the newly refurbished Garden Room, adjoining the intimate patio corridor dining area, has been expanded and will hold private parties and special events for up to 75 seated guests or 125 standing. New features include happy hour drink specials, a bar menu with smaller portions and music-related events staying within the theme of the recently added Soyka Live Jazz Nights held every Friday and Saturday from 9pm to midnight. www.soykalivejazz.com

Soyka Restaurant
is open Sunday through Thursday  for lunch and dinner 11am to 11pm, Fridays and Saturdays 11am to midnight.  5556 NE 4th Court, 55th Street Station, Miami, FL 33137 tel: 305-759-3117 fax: 305-759-4115 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 22:08
Kane Steakhouse opens in South Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Thursday, 09 June 2011 18:12
Kane 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, is opening at  431 Washington Avenue in South Beach.
The 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 restaurant will also feature a vast selection of fine wines and innovative cocktails.
The front of the house will be overseen by expert restaurant manager John Thai, a familiar face in Miami by virtue of his nearly 16 years at Carpaccio Restaurant in Bal Harbour. The design firms of Francois Frossard Design and 7 Sins Design Group have collaborated to create a chic, sexy and organic interior dining 122-seats dining room with black eel-skin booths and white onyx bar with chrome inlay and black raw silk tufted walls.
Plasma screens line the back of the bar and when not in use are hidden behind mirrored panels. A private dining area with Murano glass chandeliers, and full audio-visual capabilities, including a 60- inch plasma screen, seats 12 guests.
Kane Steakhouse, 431 Washington Avenue in the heart of South Beach.  Dinner to be served seven nights a week.




Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 22:08
Il Corso Trattoria opens in Coral Gables PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 01 June 2011 21:17

il_corso_trattoria_to_girl_talk_night_twoOwners Geovanna Accetta and Yamil Yordi teamed up with chef LeRoy Bautista, formerly of Angelique Euro Café, to bring Italian cuisine — homemade pastas, brick oven-fired pizzas and other specialties from various regions of Italy — to Downtown Coral Gables with the opening of the 75-seats Il Corso Trattoria in the 3,600 square feet space previously occupied by Archie’s Pizza, now lined with five large flat screens  and Complimentary Wi-Fi.

Chef Bautista’s menu includes appetizers such as Misto, prosciutto di parma, parmigiano reggiano, ciliegine, roasted garlic spread, charred tomato, crostini and fire roasted peppers, Suppli’ - mozzarella stuffed fried risotto balls with a marinara dipping sauce as well as an assortment of soups and salads.  Pastas list a vast selection of fresh homemade pastas, a variety of meat, chicken or seafood entrees such as Mahi Mahi, caramelized polenta balls with zucchini ribbons in a tomato-basil sauce, Filetto Mignon, grilled Filet Mignon topped with chianti butter and roasted crimini mushrooms and Polleto al Forno, brick-oven roasted chicken, roasted potatoes and caramelized sweet onions.   The brick oven turns out a good selection of pizzas.

Il Corso Trattoria , 166 Giralda Avenue, Coral Gables,   is open seven days a week.  Lunch from 11:30am-3pm daily;  Dinner Thursday though Sunday from 6pm-11pm till midnight on Friday & Saturday. www.IlCorsoTrattoria.com 305.603.7137.

Gelato Nostro gourmet gelateria opens On Brickell PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 01 June 2011 20:54

gelato nostroThe first Gelato Nostro gourmet gelateria in the U.S. opened on Brickell Ave. with more than thirty distinctive flavors including Brickell Bacio, Fig Caramel, Dulce de Leche, The Godfather and Mascarpone just to name a few.  Hand crafted daily, the gourmet gelato has 30 to 40% less fat than regular ice cream and has no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Partners Oscar PiccoloHector Amici and Marco Marchi, who run a chain of eight gelaterias throughout Italy under Gelato Nostro’s original name ‘La Scintilla,’ are behind the Gelato Nostro concept.  The trio plans to open more Gelato Nostro locations in South Florida including one in Midtown Miami, one in Coral Gables or Coconut Grove, and one at the Village at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach.

Gelato Nostro offers creamy gelato cakes created as works of art by Gelato Nostro’s culinary artisans and pastry chefs as well as desserts, empanadas, and quiches, Nespresso coffee, cappuccino, latte, and gourmet teas.  There is also a hot fudge station where only you say “when” or “basta” as hot fudge compliments gelato in a cone or sundae

Gelato Nostro,   1111 S.W. 1st Avenue on Brickell in Miami, is open from 8 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Saturday.     www.gelatonostro.com 305.677.8808 1.888.908.0342.

The Local Craft Food & Drink opens in Coral Gables PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 16:08

Chef Alberto Cabrera of STK and Karu & Y fame is now in the kitchen of The Local Craft Food & Drink in Coral Gables, the 50-seat restaurant where Randazzo first opened on Giralda Ave.

The  concept is high school friends Jose Mallea and Mauricio Lacayo’s baby with Domingo Murillo as GM.    24 beers on tap at the bar, including microbrews and artisanal beers, a full bar and a menu at reasonable prices.   The menu spans from pub food like Buffalo-style sweetbreads with blue cheese and apple, chayote, and celery slaw to fish and chips with potato wedges, malt vinegar, and tartar sauce to actual entrees like fried clams with smoked pimentón aioli; and squid ink meatballs served with Romesco sauce and rice crisps.   House-made charcuterie, salads and a choice of high-end American cheeses complete the menu. The Local Craft Food & Drink is open every day for dinner and will be for lunch Monday through Friday as of next week.

The Local Craft Food & Drink, 150 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables, 305-648-5687. www.Thelocal150.com

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 22:08
Haven Gastro-Lounge opens in South Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 21:02

new gastro loungeHaven, a 2,000-square-foot, high-tech modern gastro-lounge just opened at 1237 Lincoln Road is the first South Florida venture by entrepreneur Mike Boles, who plans to expand the concept to other cities domestically and abroad  by hospitality and services. 

A black beach pebble water wall leads into the 120-person indoor/20-seat sidewalk venue with an open kitchen and chef’s counter,  white Siberian onyx and reclaimed American-walnut bar tops, recycled black-leather banquettes and ottomans, and  a rich high-tech ambiance.   A 35-speaker high fidelity audio system; a ceiling grid of 1,000 color changing frosted replicas of the ice cubes used by Haven’s mixologists and low-energy LED down lighting. 

Executive chef Todd Erickson, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and most recently executive sous chef at Zuma Miami, has planned a locally inspired  menu.  The listing includes Dandelion Salad with mixed citrus supremes, Medjool dates, pistachios, fennel and sherry vinaigrette ($8); Crackle-Pop, spicy tuna and pickled daikon rolled in seared and crisped rice and painted with yuzu-shichimi aioli ($14); Rock Shrimp crisped with coconut panko and wasabi-sour peach marmalade for dipping ($12); “Duck Duck” Quail Slider, in-house ground duck burger topped with quail egg, foie gras butter and served with parsley-shallot salad ($11);  Monster Prawn “Cocktail” with aji Amarillo, fresh horseradish and heart of celery salad (market price); and Swedish Meatballs skewered between roasted crimini mushrooms and served over cucumber salad and a splash of lingonberry gastrique ($10). The sweets menu includes desserts created using molecular-gastronomy techniques, such as sub-zero Nitro Ice Cream, made to order with fruity, nutty and candy mix-ins ($12). An after-hours menu is available past midnight with featured items nightly.

Haven offers five  cocktails: the Disco Fizz, ugni blanc flower liqueur and strawberry limoncello ($17); the eleVate, vodka stirred with green chili over lychee and pear sorbet topped with prosecco ($15); and the Pressure Drop, infused tequila with passion-citrus “dots” and a dash of cracked pepper ($17). Classic libations include The haVen, aged rum with Filthy Cherry maraschino-cherry mix and sugarcane garnished with orange peel ($15); and the feVer, tequila blended with pineapple, lime, sage and acacia honey ($15).

Haven is open for dinner seven days a week, 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., 1237 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, FL 33139. 305.987.8885   www.havenlounge.com.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 May 2011 21:06
Rusty Pelican, Key Biscayne temporarily closes for major renovation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 20:08
John Tallichet, president and CEO of Specialty Restaurants Corporation (SRC), owners and operators of The Rusty Pelican, a Miami landmark dining destination for close to 40 years, announced today that the restaurant will close temporarily on Tuesday, July 5 for a $6 million upgrade and redesign by Hatch Design Group; projected to take three to four months.  
The property which is renowned for its spectacular views in one of Miami’s few waterfront dining locations will see a transformation of the rustic patio area and the interior bar into a chic indoor/outdoor lounge with stylish furnishings, a VIP room for private dining and bottle service, updated ballrooms and bridal rooms.
Both menu and wine list will be revamped.  During the temporary closure, an onsite sales office will remain open to field calls for special events and parties for November 2011 and beyond.  . General manager Peter Knezevic, who has been with the organization for close to twenty years, will manage the onsite transformation and transition.
According to Tallichet, “When my father first saw the area where the restaurant now stands, he realized the incredible potential and built The Rusty Pelican on the site, opening it in 1972 . It’s been in the family ever since.   We are excited to make some major changes to The Rusty Pelican that will help broaden its appeal among a new generation of diners; while remaining an iconic part of Miami’s culinary evolution.”
The Rusty Pelican, 3201 Rickenbacker Causeway in Key Biscayne, Florida.  The restaurant will remain open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch and special events, through Monday, July 4.  For reservations or to book an event:  305-361-3818.
Blade Sushi Lounge opens at Fontainebleau Miami Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:39
With 12 venues for dining, cocktails and entertainment on the premises, there’s very little left wanting  at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, except a sushi bar.  So now, to fill the gap, Blade Sushi Lounge — sharing space with the American brasserie, Vida — focuses on fresh sushi and sashimi, and a novel selection of specialty appetizers and rolls.  
Blade is manned by sushi chefs Benny Bandi, Aki and Diego Ng who have all trained with top sushi masters including Nobu Matsuhisa and Morimoto, and have honed their knife skills at some of South Florida’s top dining destinations including Nobu, Sushi Samba Dromo, Morimoto and Sushi Shoji.  
The menu offers dishes strong on traditional Asian flavors as well as modern, creative takes on classic rolls, tartares and carpaccios.  Appetizer stand-outs include octopus carpaccio with sweet pepper, tomato, red onion, cucumber and spicy vinegar dressing and yellowtail tartare  with Asian pear, avocado and yuzu miso sauce.  Among the specialty rolls: the Blade roll —  marinated salmon, fresh mozzarella, spicy mayonnaise and fried garlic;  lobster roll – a mélange of cucumber, mayonnaise, masago,avocado, tempura flakes and eel sauce;  the Vida  with chopped Hamachi, asparagus, ooba leaf, wasabi tobiko and Serrano chili.
There is a selection of sakes by the glass and bottle as well as a selection of Japanese beers; and diners can order cocktails and wines by the glass or bottle from Vida’s beverage menu, as well as order from Vida’s brasserie menu dishes like:  beef churrasco with chimichurrirosemary lemon chicken and garlic prawns, Vida burgerbraised beef short ribs with celery cream, Brussels leaves and bordelaise and crispy snapper with white beans, spinach, and roasted garlic soppresatta in addition to pastas, salads and pizzas and a selection of sinful desserts.
Vida & Blade Sushi  lobby level of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach at 4441 Collins Avenue.  Lunch is served at Vida & Blade Sushi from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily; dinner is offered Sundays through Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and until 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Vida is open for breakfast7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. daily, with a breakfast buffet served until noon on Sundays, lunch and dinner daily.   Telephone: (305) 674-4730.
More closings: Abokado, Downtown Miami PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:19

Abokado closes its doors after three years at Mary Brickell Village. There is talk of a new tenant, but mumm’s the word on who is will be.

The beloved Rathskelter at UM in Coral Gables — the only place on campus that serves alcohol with its fries and hamburgers — closes after thirty years "thanks" to a recent donation of $20 million to fund a new student activities center on the Coral Gables campus. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:44
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