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Sophisticated Italian in an equally sophisticated ambiance

Sophisticated Italian in an equally sophisticated ambiance

Culinary

Published 11/4/19

By Daisy CabreraThe menu is truly inspired – traditional and modern, creative and diverse, expansive and impressive. Veteran restauranteur Piero Filpi (of Miami Beach’s Mezzanote and Bal Harbor’s Carpaccio fame!) expressed, “Olivia’s cuisine is a fusion of past and present. There are some recipes that have been passed down through generations, and others that take a modern twist on classic recipes.” The open, spacious setting is light, airy and welcoming: super high ceilings, muted color hues, copper light fixtures, blonde wood floors, white marble walls, comfortable seating throughout, centered large bar as a focal point and floor-to-ceiling windows draped in breezy curtains. Executive Chef Michael Vitetta shares, “The décor is inspired by the Italian coastline and Downtown Hollywood’s burgeoning, colorful art scene.” Vitetta, a graduate of the Florida Culinary Institute, worked as a Banquet Chef at the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa and the Biltmore Hotel …

CUBAN-INSPIRED COCKTAILS MEET CONTEMPORARY CUISINE

CUBAN-INSPIRED COCKTAILS MEET CONTEMPORARY CUISINE

Culinary

Published 9/5/19

By Daisy CabreraAs Hispanic Heritage Month is upon us, we’re thrilled to feature an old school meets new school restaurant that sits in the heart of Little Havana - Café La Trova. Showcasing Cuban and globally-inspired dishes with a unique, modern approach, it’s headed by the renown Maestro CantineroJulio Cabrera alongside James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein and her restaurateur-husband David Martinez. The Cuban-born Cabrera, who grew up watching his father bartend, found his calling as a “Cantinero” - an expert bartender who thoughtfully creates craft cocktails while fashioning the drinking experience into a stylish and sophisticated one. His resume is worldly, extensive and impressive: working across multiple countries, winning several cocktail competitions, and representing top shelf spirits. The result of his collaboration with Chef Bernstein at her previous establishment, Sra. Martinez was prestigious recognition as “one of the 100 best bars in America.” …

Two Month Miami Spice = Twice As Nice!

Two Month Miami Spice = Twice As Nice!

Culinary

Published 8/8/19

By Daisy CabreraEnough to whet any foodie's appetite, GMCVB hosted an exclusive Miami Spice Kickoff & Heritage Showcase on July 31 at Jungle Island. Miami Spice is part of their Miami Temptations year-round program which includes Miami Arts & Heritage Months, Miami Health & Wellness Months, Miami Attractions & Museums Months, Miami Hotels Months, Miami Spa Months and Miami Entertainment Months.“Over the course of 18 years, the ‘Miami Spice’ program has evolved into a culinary movement celebrating the best in Greater Miami’s food scene” said GMCVB President and CEO William D. Talbert, III, CDME. “We’re thrilled this program not only gives diners the opportunity to sample signature dishes by world-class chefs but also offers exceptional seasonal savings to visitors and locals alike.”The well-attended sneak preview of the two-month culinary celebration was buzzing with excitement, art activations, and hungry guests visiting rows upon rows of restaurant …

Caribbean305 was a night of carousing, cuisine and culture

Caribbean305 was a night of carousing, cuisine and culture

Culinary

Published 7/1/19

By Daisy CabreraThe 3rd annual Caribbean305 on June 22 was a festive representation of the region’s offerings: warm hospitality and generous smiles; traditionally-dressed moko jumbies stilt walkers; deliciously elevated culinary bites; refreshing handcrafted cocktails; and colorful Carnival dancers in head-to-toe bright feathers, and shiny sequins.“This year, Caribbean305 is in a new venue - Mana Wynwood - as it allows us to accommodate for the growth we have seen with this event year after year,” said Matthew Cooper, Chief Marketing Officer for Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA). “Wynwood is one of Miami's most eclectic districts known for dynamic street art and as an enclave for Caribbean immigrants, so it was the perfect location to showcase a new and improved Caribbean305. As well, this year we had some wonderful national companies as sponsors, including Monster Energy and Belvedere.” Also new to the event was the ‘2019 Contemporary Caribbean Individual …

SUN, SAND, SEA AND SULTRY RUM RECIPES

SUN, SAND, SEA AND SULTRY RUM RECIPES

Culinary

Published 6/28/19

By Daisy CabreraFrom India, Japan, Mozambique and Australia to France, Spain, Denmark and Germany - rum is made around the world in more countries that we can count. As the first branded spirit ever made, the top-selling rums hail from across the Caribbean and Latin America regions. Puerto Rico leads the way, producing over 70 percent of rums sold in the U.S.July 21 would have been Ernest Hemingway’s 120th birthday. The great writer was a big lover of mojitos, and rum in general. In fact, a Cuban bartender created the “Papa Doble” drink in his honor, which Hemingway referred to as a “Double Frozen Daiquiri” and famously wrote, “This frozen daiquiri, so well beaten as it is, looks like the sea where the wave falls away from the bow of a ship when she is doing thirty knots.” In his honor, and in celebration of National Rum Day on August 16, we gathered up some hand-crafted cocktail recipes from beloved Latin restaurants for your enjoyment.Tucked away in South Beach, …

DUCK DUCK GOOSE: A FEAST OF FLAVORFUL FOWL

DUCK DUCK GOOSE: A FEAST OF FLAVORFUL FOWL

Culinary

Published 6/28/19

By Daisy CabreraBirds of a feather flock together... and so they did! Local foodies gathered ‘round to celebrate a galore of creative, mouth-watering bites as a stellar lineup of masters threw down.The all-star headliners read like a marquis of gastronomic gurus:• Brad Kilgore (Kilgore Culinary, Brava by Brad Kilgore, Kaido, AMA, Alter, Ember)• José Mendín (Pubbelly)• Brian Mullins (Ms. Cheezious)• Scott Linquist (Coyo Taco)• Nicole Votano (FOH Inc.)• Douglas Rodriguez (Alma de Cuba)• Clark Bowen (Boulud Sud Miami)• Fabian Di Paolo (Cvltvra)• Melanie and Jason Schoendorfer (Babe’s Meat Counter)• James Strine (Trophy Room)• Andrew Zarzosa (Yuzu)• Nando and Valerie Chang (Itamae)• Steve Santana (Off Site)• Tom Bils and Joshua Gonzalez (Mama's Boys)• Alex Meyer and Luciana Giangrandi (La Pollita)• Santiago Gómez (Cantina la 20)• Carlos García (Obra Kitchen Table)• Pablo Zitzmann (No Name Chinese)• Alissa Frice (Frice Cream)• Sasha Ullman …

UNCORK A SUPERB TIME AT THE BLIND MONK

UNCORK A SUPERB TIME AT THE BLIND MONK

Culinary

Published 6/28/19

By Daisy CabreraGeneral Manager and Cicerone Jason Hunt describes the overall concept, “When Ben Lubin started The Blind Monk, he wanted to create a transportive, Zen-like place where guests can come, relax and forget about the stresses of the outside world.” Since opening nine years ago, the bar has committed to excellence - constantly improving their menu offerings, staff knowledge and level of service.What began as an offbeat wine bar on a quiet downtown side street has become one of the leaders in the fine wine and food scene in the county. Today, The Blind Monk is recognized as one of the top 15 wine bars in the nation by Travel & Leisure. Here you’ll see beers that you don’t see at most bars - new and seasonal releases, and classic craft and import beers. With a spectrum of different beer styles, they spotlight beers that are chosen as world-class examples of their style. In turn, The Blind Monk’s eclectic and artisanal food philosophy presents a thoughtful …

A COCKTAIL CONNOISSEUR’S IDEA OF HEAVEN?  DRINK MIAMI!

A COCKTAIL CONNOISSEUR’S IDEA OF HEAVEN? DRINK MIAMI!

Culinary

Published 6/28/19

By Daisy CabreraAnd, what an incredible oasis of creative libations it was. Off we merrily go! Throughout the property’s rooms, bungalows, courtyards, gardens and upstairs at 27 Restaurant - leading brands served up interactive stylish settings, dynamic décor, and completely decked-out experiences paired with specialty drinks much to the delight of 750 guests. As travelers were transported through the uniquely different encounters, collecting passport stamps all the while, they enjoyed showcased craft cocktails that highlighted the very best Miami has to offer.Co-founders and partners Gabe Urrutia and Giovanny Gutierrez said, “DRINK Miami says a lot about how Miami's drinking culture has evolved. Many always thought of Miami as a vacation spot with big colorful frozen daiquiris and mojitos, but we house some of the best bars in the world. Miami is a melting pot of cultures that lends itself to think outside the box, and create some extraordinary tastes and flavors. Look at our …

HERE PIGGY PIGGY! COCHON555 WAS A PORK LOVER’S DREAM COME TRUE.

HERE PIGGY PIGGY! COCHON555 WAS A PORK LOVER’S DREAM COME TRUE.

Culinary

Published 6/28/19

 For the 7th year, the national Cochon555 competition returned to Miami on May 19 to serve up a gourmet experience in an entertaining and inspiring setting. Founder Brady Lowe shared: “Miami is one of the stops that we love. It has always been very welcoming to the tour and continues to grow year after year. It brings another twist to our tour as it is one of our more Latin-influenced stops, which we love to include the diversity into our lineup for Grand Cochon.”The hyper-local competition featured five chefs cooking five whole heritage breed pigs, alongside five sommeliers and five barkeeps. Beyond showcasing talent, the organization highlights the agricultural importance of heritage breed pigs and promotes local family farming. Not sure what a heritage breed pig is? Lowe explains, “Consumers should understand that the difference between commodity pork and heritage breed pig are: heritage breed pigs are raised in pastures, free roaming, are fed specific feed depending …

Wine Spectator's Grand Tour Miami Was a Whirlwind of Wine

Wine Spectator's Grand Tour Miami Was a Whirlwind of Wine

Culinary

Published 6/28/19

They say life is too short to drink bad wine, and we couldn't agree more. Known as the world’s leading authority on wine, Wine Spectator uses a 100-point rating scale to determine the qualities of a wine, and “outstanding” wines are those rated 90 points or higher.Naturally, Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour Miami presented only the very best of the best - “outstanding” flagship wines from 244 leading wineries across 17 countries. Seasoned experts poured their exceptional wines, and offered valuable insight on their estates and wine-growing regions. >From grape to glass, there was much to learn here.“Wine Spectator's blind tasting methodology is designed to eliminate bias and preconceptions about what a wine *should* be and instead to focus on what's in the glass. Our tasters consider the different elements of a wine and how they fit together--the flavor range, the structure, the style--and we try to describe these components to our readers in the tasting note and with the …

At the Table With Miami's Top Chefs

At the Table With Miami's Top Chefs

Culinary

Published 6/28/19

By Daisy CabreraThe New York Times named Chef Michelle Bernstein “One of Miami's Culinary Stars” and we couldn’t agree more. A Miami native of Jewish and Latin descent, she is a leading author, philanthropist, caterer, and Emmy award winner: PBS 2’s Check, Please! South Florida and ABC 10’s SoFlo Taste. With husband David Martinez, the chef and restaurateur embarked on her latest endeavor - Café La Trova. Hailed as “One of America’s Best New Restaurants” by GQ, the Cuban-inspired bar and café in Little Havana combines innovative and traditional Cuban-style and technique. Chef Bernstein is a James Beard Award winner.Lots of buzz surrounding Chef Hemant Mathur, and with good reason. The impressive Tandoor master, who is fluent in five languages, has graced prestigious eateries in Jaipur, Delhi, Kolkata, Berlin, and worked as a private chef in Mexico. In NYC alone, Chef Mathur opened Tamarind, Diwan Grill, Amma, and two Michelin-starred restaurants - Devi and Tulsi. …

Foodie   Diaries:  THE VIBRANCY THAT IS VERDE

Foodie Diaries: THE VIBRANCY THAT IS VERDE

Culinary

Published 5/1/19

Sit indoors, or enjoy the gorgeous nature-inspired veranda to relish lush, shaded surroundings: sub-tropical hanging gardens, hypnotic blue waters, glorious clear skies, and a warm breeze brushing your skin. Ahhh!  The gigantic deck, located on the east terrace, offers a leisurely experience for everyone to take pleasure in - from kids playing and folks relaxing on lounge chairs, to teens enjoying the swings and couples taking selfies on the steps.The best part? The vibrant views complement the vibrant eats. Verde’s menu is bursting with a mouth-watering culinary variety of locally inspired New American dishes, including family-friendly plates.“Kaytlin Dangaran, Executive Chef of Museum Park, draws the majority of her inspiration for the menu from the changing of the seasons. Whatever ingredients are most fresh or in season really come to the forefront when composing new dishes,” said John Dangaran, Verde’s Restaurant Manager. “From there, it’s all about …

FOODIE DIARIES - MERCI CAFÉ BOULUD, MERCI.

FOODIE DIARIES - MERCI CAFÉ BOULUD, MERCI.

Culinary

Published 4/2/19

By Daisy CabreraOriginally built in 2003 and redesigned in 2015, the timeless fine-dining restaurant matches the landmark’s sheer glamour, warmth and intimacy. And, the romantic and posh courtyard is an open-air oasis complete with statuesque palm trees, an elegant fountain and plenty of tropical foliage. Café Boulud’s gourmet French-American cuisine (with a loving nod to South Florida) is as upscale as its swank, nostalgia-inducing setting. You wouldn’t expect anything less from the world-renowned chef and iconic visionary hailing from Lyon who has enjoyed a four-decade career including: building a global gastronomic empire, earning multiple Michelin stars, authoring numerous books, and winning several James Beard Foundation awards among his many achievements.Headed by the highly recognized and award-winning Executive Chef Rick Mace - who has worked alongside Boulud for years - let’s obsess over the exceptional, seasonal ingredient-driven cuisine. But, before we …

FOODIE DIARIES - Café Prima Pasta is as Old School Italian as it Gets

FOODIE DIARIES - Café Prima Pasta is as Old School Italian as it Gets

Culinary

Published 3/26/19

By Daisy CabreraGrazie Café Prima Pasta for always being our go-to. With its plentitude of outdoor and indoor seating, a daily happy hour, charming hospitality, expert service, and endless Italian dishes to devour, it’s no wonder this popular establishment continues to wow almost three decades later.Family-owned and operated, the award-winning Café Prima Pasta is headed by Gerardo “Gerry” Cea (Founder) overseeing operations alongside Fabian (brother), Arturo (father) serving as Executive Chef, and Carla (mother) baking fresh breads and desserts daily. They consider their staff of 50 “family.”“When we first opened in 1993, it was a cash only restaurant that sat 28 and served beer and wine,” said Gerry Cea. “Today, we seat 150 across four different dining areas and offer a full bar.” The eclectic décor and dim lighting makes this cozy, full-service eatery feel like home - everything from decadent chandeliers, Moroccan lamps and wood ceiling beams to hanging …

FOODIE DIARIES – BALL & CHAIN – CUBAN MORSELS, MUSIC AND MUCH MORE!

FOODIE DIARIES – BALL & CHAIN – CUBAN MORSELS, MUSIC AND MUCH MORE!

Culinary

Published 2/19/19

By Daisy CabreraBall & Chain not only sits in the heart of all this lively energy, it brings flavorful sazon to this go-to neighborhood. And, we’re completely enamored with this beloved haunt!Zack Bush, co-owner of Ball & Chain and Mad Room Hospitality, shared his love for Little Havana and its people. “Little Havana is this incredible darling of a community, and Little Havana is what it is today - vibrant, authentic, alive - because of its incredible people.”Before we praise the yummy food, let’s start with Ball & Chain’s musical legacy. Grab your guayabera and get ready to groove to everything from jazz, clave, son and rumba to salsa, mambo and even Afro-Cuban funk. (Don't miss their free, weekly dance classes!)This iconic locale, built in the early 1930s, is synonymous with music. In fact, Ball & Chain offers 100 hours of live music - for free - every single week! Between the inside area and outdoor “Pineapple Stage”, countless singers and …

FOODIE DIARIES - Soya & Pomodoro  - Simple food made with love

FOODIE DIARIES - Soya & Pomodoro - Simple food made with love

Culinary

Published 1/30/19

In 2004, co-owners Rosario Magrelli and Cristian D’Oria opened Soya & Pomodoro in a former bank originally built in 1945. Nestled narrowly between two storefronts, the reclaimed space resembles an alleyway – giving new meaning to the term “hidden gem.”Love is in the air with the delightful sounds of live music that fill the space, from Cuban rhythms to pure jazz, performed nightly Thursdays – Saturdays. Then there’s the eclectic, curious and completely charming décor: wrought-iron entrance, dim lighting, terrazzo floors, antique furniture, quirky knickknacks, and bohemian art throughout – complete with a laundry line hanging high above.Their love, passion, and appreciation for their country inspired the rustic setting, Magrelli shared. “We wanted to recreate a typical vision of traditional Italian houses, where clothing lines separate two neighbors. The overall ambiance and atmosphere emulate the Italian feel we want to share with our clients – cozy and …

Foodie Diaries - Artisan Beach House  Waterfront dining at its finest

Foodie Diaries - Artisan Beach House Waterfront dining at its finest

Culinary

Published 12/27/18

The upscale Artisan Beach House offers up a plethora of delicious dishes, glorious ocean views at sunrise, and romantic bayside views at sunset. A fabulously chic restaurant, it is set inside the award-winning, 5-star Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour. Heaven on earth, truly.While taking in the view, let’s start with a cocktail, shall we? The Smoked Orange Blossom, a bourbon-based beauty served on the rocks, arrives in a glass dome. Take in this fruit-forward drink’s smoke and fragrant smells of orange marmalade, simple syrup and distinct orange bitters. It’s divine.There are plenty of small, incredible bites to launch into this culinary journey. The Charred Octopus is a tender tentacle bursting of flavors that play to all the senses. It shares the plate with Tandoori-style carrots, blended Vadouvan spices, mango and curry sauce, dollops of sour yogurt and touch of fresh cilantro. It’s a mouth-feel of goodness.The Cobia Ceviche is simple perfection. Thinly sliced, firm white fish with a …

Foodie Diaries - FOR THE LOVE AND ART OF FOOD  - ART WEEK EDITION

Foodie Diaries - FOR THE LOVE AND ART OF FOOD - ART WEEK EDITION

Culinary

Published 11/27/18

By Daisy CabreraEndless frolicking through South Beach and Wynwood’s satellite fairs is guaranteed to work up anyone’s appetite. So, after consuming all that art, it’s time to consume some delicious grub. We’ve got you covered!A classic American standard, aptly named after the award-winning Executive Chef Laurent Tourondel, this is where you want to eat, period. The warm, earth-toned space is filled with a curated collection of artistic black and white prints with a sprinkle of mirrors. Just as welcoming is the live nightly jazz, the longest running jazz series in Miami Beach.First to arrive at your table is a steamy basket of super-sized, and quite scrumptious popovers. Served with warm butter, this hollow bread showcases a perfectly golden brown crust. Made with three cheeses (emmental, gruyere, fontina) and a hint of cracked black pepper, it’s an exemplary taste of the food to come. Brace yourself. Wine lovers will delight in LT Steak & Seafood plentitude of …

Calling all cocktail  culture vultures! Cheers!

Calling all cocktail culture vultures! Cheers!

Culinary

Published 11/1/18

By Daisy CabreraIngredient-driven cocktails made from carefully crafted recipes make our discerning hearts sing! The days of uninspired vodka tonics and frozen concoctions have given way to a burgeoning renaissance of elevated libations orchestrating a symphony on the palate. Let it pour, let it pour. We are so here for it!In search of top-notch establishments, we embarked on a merry tri-county adventure. We pulled up a stool to some of the hottest craft cocktail bars, spoke with contemporary cocktailians, and here’s a delicious swig of our findings.Have drinks al fresco in the courtyard, or enjoy the welcoming lounge area – which feels very much like a “Florida Room” – super cute bamboo furniture, array of greenery, plenty of windows – and an added bonus: a psychic. So quirky, and unexpected! Reading, anyone? “You need a ‘front’ for a speakeasy. The psychic is ours,” he added.Inside EO, the lux Art Deco-ish bar is full of character and old world charm: rich wood …

Wines of the World

Wines of the World

Culinary

Published 10/10/18

Wines of the World, an annual wine and food extravaganza affectionately known as WOW, is set for Friday, Nov. 16 at Pier 66. Now in its 23rd year, the unparalleled evening of global vintages and fine cuisine benefits Symphony of the Americas.said James LaBonte, who has co-chaired the event since its inception. “It’s a memorable experience for novices and oenophiles alike.”Featuring PenfoldsThis year’s featured winery is Penfolds, an Australian house that has been creating quality vintages since 1844 and has been named top winery of the year by Penfolds prestigious Wine and Spirits magazine more than 20 times. Ewan Proctor, who currently serves as Penfold’s ambassador and head of luxury education for Treasury Wine Estates, the second largest distributor in the industry, will be on hand to chat with guests about the company’s winemaking process and compelling vintages such as the Penfold’s reserve wines, which will be served in the VIP room at WOW.Festivities …

20 reasons to go to this restaurant before Miami Spice ends

20 reasons to go to this restaurant before Miami Spice ends

Culinary

Published 9/20/18

By Daisy CabreraIf you haven’t tried authentic churrasco, get ready for some serious deliciousness as this churrascaria serves up the best Brazilian-style barbecue outside of Southern Brazil. A wide variety of the finest cuts of meats are seasoned, skewed and roasted over an open flame on a churrasqueira grill, and Fogo de Chão stays true to this centuries-old traditional Gaucho cooking technique.Boy do we have unlimited love for all this unlimited meat! Roaming gaucho chefs, dressed in full garb, use gigantic swords to skillfully carve fresh slivers and chunks of glistening meat from the metal skewers right onto your plate. The warm setting is inviting: flaming fireplace, wide-open room, dark wood panels, soft lighting. And, the high level of attention and non-stop feast of high quality eats is just as welcoming.With 39 locations spread across the country, the upscale Fogo de Chão’s Miami Beach location opened 10 years ago. Sommelier Alex Burgos shared, “The wine menu is …

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, one bite at a time

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, one bite at a time

Culinary

Published 8/30/18

By Daisy CabreraAt La Mar by Gastón Acurio, exquisite taste is timeless. The five-star menu features the cuisine of award-winning Chef Gastón Acurio as presented by Executive Chef Diego Oka. The expert chef spent time at various Acurio-owned establishments across global cities, and here he brings the finest in Peruvian gastronomy.Sit outside for dinner, and enjoy the sweeping views while sipping on classic Pisco Sours. The juxtaposition of Brickell’s high-rises in the horizon, glistening Biscayne Bay waters, and an Art-Deco-inspired Miami sunset sky will take your breath away. All the while, La Mar’s dishes are gorgeously presented against this gorgeous backdrop. This is a vacation, friends.The Bachiche dish is an extraordinary Tiradito. Sashimi-style slices of fresh snapper meet leche de tigre (a citrus-based marinade), colatura (fish sauce), and basil oil basking in aged parmesan cheese and topped with darkly-colored garlic chips.With several unique cebiche options featuring …

Miami’s food halls  are a feast for the palate

Miami’s food halls are a feast for the palate

Culinary

Published 7/11/18

By Daisy CabreraFoodies rejoice! From sweet, savory, and salty eats to saturated, succulent and spicy dishes – Miami is a bon viveur playground of gastronomy. With the smorgasbord of food halls popping up, it’s quite easy to stuff yourself with whatever you fancy. First thing’s first – let’s explore the massive 40,000 square foot Italian food haven known as La Centrale. No passport needed to tour its three levels, 14 different restaurants and eateries. This is home to handpicked gems spanning food and wine regions (Sardinia, Tuscany, Sicily, Piedmont, Veneto, Puglia, etc.) Ciao bella!The ground floor is an Italian piazza with grab-and-go street food stations, and an outdoor terrace to bask in the warm sun. Roticceria has paninis and mini calzones waiting for you. At Focacceria, enjoy minestrone with a piadina classica. Insalate is salads galore, and add truffle cream, and crispy pancetta to those greens!The Expresso bar offers much more than macchiatos; such as …

Caribbean305 was all about island hopping – no passport needed!

Caribbean305 was all about island hopping – no passport needed!

Culinary

Published 6/28/18

By, Daisy CabreraThe timing was simply perfect as June marks Caribbean-American Heritage Month. And, since Miami is the gateway to the Caribbean, it serves as the perfect backdrop for a flavorful fête of all things Caribbean!"Caribbean culture is so important in Miami because it's deeply rooted here. I feel like we are an extension of the Caribbean itself. Our people, the music, the food, the agriculture, and the traditions,"stated Chef Adrianne Calvo, South Florida ambassador for Caribbean305.While the lively and colorful Caribbean is world-renown for its beautifully picturesque landscapes, the distinct islands offer an equally lively and colorful array of varied cultures and gourmet delicacies.An extravaganza of unlimited culinary bites and tasty cocktails, all set to live entertainment, is a foodie’s idea of heaven! And, luckily for Caribbean305’s “vacation-mode” attendees, 16 Caribbean destinations showcased their best cuisine: …

Foodie Diaries - Kraken Crudo

Foodie Diaries - Kraken Crudo

Culinary

Published 12/28/17

We're always on the lookout for new, innovative eateries that are tucked away from the mainstream, hidden gems waiting to be discovered and appreciated for their fresh culinary take. After receiving a hot tip from a trusted foodie, we saddled-up and made our way down to Kraken Crudo, located in an unassuming strip mall. We weren't sure what to expect, but the idea of mashing-up Latin flavors with traditional sushi was definitely intriguing to our overactive palates and we were curious about Venezuelan Chef Samuel's creations. Once inside, we were immediately hooked by the small intimate vibe. There are just three tables and a small counter area you can eat at, which provides an up-close look as your food is being meticulously prepared. The décor is modern meets industrial, with light fixtures dangling from ceiling pipes, and gorgeous street art, featuring the legendary octopus-like Kraken sea monster, dominating the walls. Looking at the menu, we were pleasantly surprised to note …

FOODIE DIARIES - Canvas at sagamore Hotel

FOODIE DIARIES - Canvas at sagamore Hotel

Culinary

Published 11/28/17

Inspired by Miami Art Week, we decided we wanted to have an extra creative Foodie experience this month to get our artistic juices flowing. What better place to visit than Canvas? After all, it’s located at the Sagamore Hotel Miami Beach, one of the most renowned art hotels in the country, and right at the heart of so many Art Week events. We were immediately impressed with the casual, chic vibe, flowing from the Sagamore’s gallery into an outdoor poolside patio that’s quintessential South Beach. The sophisticated décor incorporates a black & white color scheme, with silver touches and floor-to-ceiling drapes. Once seated, we were anxious to experience what Executive Chef Michael Smerda had whipped up for the occasion. We’d heard he’s been in the industry for over 22 years, and even hosted radio and cooking shows where he shared his talent and tips with everyone! We were definitely ready to experience his bold, balanced and flavorful works of culinary art for …

FOODIE DIARIES - Mojo

FOODIE DIARIES - Mojo

Culinary

Published 11/1/17

As culture lovers, we truly appreciate fine culinary, artistic, and musical experiences. After our latest foodie adventure at Mojo, we’re thrilled to report we hit the trifecta of great food, art, and music, all under one roof! From the moment we walked through the doors, we couldn’t help notice all the terrif artwork decorating the walls, HUGE canvases splashed with vibrant colors, quite artistically. We immediately inquired about the art, and were told that not only is one of the owners, Domenick Falcione, the Chef, he is also the artist. His masterpieces adorned both dining rooms with his gorgeous abstract art (which is available for sale), giving the restaurant an artsy vibe. The décor had an almost Country Fresh feel to it, with a dash of pizzazz. We visited on a Thursday night and were happy to discover that Mojo has live music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The flair of acoustic guitarist, Michael Bianco, really added to the atmosphere, and had us wanting to …

Foodie Diaries Special Edition: Trinity Restaurant

Foodie Diaries Special Edition: Trinity Restaurant

Culinary

Published 9/29/17

If you’ve been peeking at our Foodie Diaries over the years, you know we just love all the great food South Florida has to offer. But how do we feed our passion when we’re traveling and get that all too familiar craving for a delish dish? We recently faced this dilemma while vacaying in New Orleans, where we discovered this gem! So we decided to break from our usual format and serve up something totally different for you to chew on. One thing’s clear: If you’re ever in New Orleans, you must find your way to Trinity Restaurant!New Orleans is often called the “city of festivals.” Known for its authentic Cajun influences in music, celebration, and of course, food, this unique city welcomes travelers from all over the world, eager to immerse themselves in the unique vibe. In a place with so much going on, the best way to truly understand New Orleans is through its culinary delights. This is the mission of the city’s popular Trinity Restaurant. Located in the historic French …

FOODIE DIARIES - Il Mulino New York

FOODIE DIARIES - Il Mulino New York

Culinary

Published 8/24/17

We were really in the mood to experience the elegance of acclaimed Italian restaurant, Il Mulino New York. With locations in New York City, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Puerto Rico, and of course, our hometown Sunny Isles and South Beach, we knew this wasn’t going to be a typical chain experience. Il Mulino definitely radiates class in each of its locations. The Sunny Isles Beach location at the Acqualina Resort & Spa boasts a stunning, oceanfront locale, filled with old world charm that’s accentuated with lovely tapestries and antique décor. In contrast, the atmosphere at the South Beach location combines the elegance of New York, with a modern, stark-white Art Deco flavor that screams chic. But one thing both locations have in common are excellent food and service. From market-fresh daily specials, to an extensive selection of fine Italian wines, and sumptuous entrees, Il Mulino delivers in spades. The wait staff is composed of career waiters whose intimate knowledge of the …

Stick a Fork in It: Our Top 10 South Florida Steakhouse Picks

Stick a Fork in It: Our Top 10 South Florida Steakhouse Picks

Culinary

Published 6/30/17

Before diving into the meat of the matter, a little overview of beef protocol is in order. Most people are familiar with the basics: …

FOODIE DIARIES - Fabio the Venetian

FOODIE DIARIES - Fabio the Venetian

Culinary

Published 4/5/17

Located in the Heart of Fort Lauderdale, Fabio the Venetian has an amazingly romantic vibe that envelops you in its spell as soon as you walk through the door. From the black table cloths and flowers adorning each table, to the homey, subdued lighting and framed family photos throughout, the result is a very intimate atmosphere that feels almost like a homecoming, especially when we could see right through to the kitchen as they prepared our feast. To add to the very authentic, European feel, there was Italian music playing in the background. And the smells! Mama Mia! Our stomachs grumbled with anticipation. We were honored when Chef Fabio Cracco, himself, visited our table. “We have brought Northern Italy to South Florida,” he explained, regaling us with fascinating tales of the culinary history of Venice and the surrounding areas, and the uniqueness of every dish and how it represents northern Italy. Since the restaurant offered great wines by the glass, we decided to pair each …

FOODIE DIARIES - The Deck at Island Gardens

FOODIE DIARIES - The Deck at Island Gardens

Culinary

Published 3/20/17

Located right behind the Miami Children’s Museum, The Deck, part of the Island Gardens Yacht resort complex, provides a quintessential South Florida waterfront dining experience. You can arrive by land or sea, and can sit comfortably at The Deck’s full-size dining tables or waterfront cabana lounges. We were mesmerized by the huge, private, mega-yacht, boasting a 50-person crew, docked right in front of the restaurant. It provided the perfect setting. Imagine enjoying an outdoor meal on a balmy, winter evening, palm trees swaying in a slight breeze, as a rainbow hued Downtown Miami sparkles across the moonlit waters of Biscayne Bay. There were lots of flickering candles and torches all along the deck, including the private VIP seating areas along the water’s edge, complementing the lush, tropical atmosphere nestled under the gorgeous, cream-colored canopies. The spell had definitely been cast. We were just dying to find out what Mediterranean-inspired magic Chef Alfredo Alvarez …

FOODIE DIARIES - B BAR TAPAS & GRILL

FOODIE DIARIES - B BAR TAPAS & GRILL

Culinary

Published 3/20/17

Immediately upon entering B Bar, we were impressed with the homey, neighborhood atmosphere and open space. Things were hopping on a Thursday night, creating an energetic, yet relaxed, vibe that completely drew us in. The décor was unique and understated, with white walls and plenty of wooden tables, illuminated by Edison bulbs creatively dangling from ropes attached to the ceiling. We absolutely loved the mural that dominated one wall of the restaurant, a colorful depiction of the life of Buddha that added just the right touch of exotic flavor. On the opposite wall, there was a long bar that was buzzing with friendly activity. We couldn’t help notice that the mixologist, Matt Giles, was very enthusiastically mixing drinks, two at a time, while creating his own delish concoctions. Martinis poked with bamboo skewers? Loved it. Pssst. Just between us, try the Garden Margarita! We did some polite snooping and got the scoop: Thursday night features drink specials for the ladies, …

FOODIE DIARIES - Beaker & Gray

FOODIE DIARIES - Beaker & Gray

Culinary

Published 3/20/17

Nestled in the heart of Miami’s trendy Wynwood Arts District, Beaker & Gray was the perfect spot to grab a bite and some drinks to complement our evening of artistic exploration. We adored the cool, modern décor. It was very hip, with high, exposed wood beam ceilings, capping the large, open dining area. The aged Chicago brick walls, two grand bronze chandeliers, wood tables and chairs added to the cozy, rustic vibe, making us feel right at home. An added plus? The intimate lounge and inviting bar, equipped with built-in cell phone charging stations. It was such a beautiful night that we decided to dine on the outside patio, affording us views of the fab street art the area is known for. Right from the get-go, we were definitely impressed with our server, who not only was extremely courteous and personable, but demonstrated exceptional knowledge of the menu, guiding our choices with her awesome suggestions. We have to admit, after all the accolades we’d heard about the dynamic …

FOODIE DIARIES - Wolfgang’s Steakhouse

FOODIE DIARIES - Wolfgang’s Steakhouse

Culinary

Published 3/20/17

Stepping inside Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, we immediately soaked in the mouthwatering aroma of perfectly marinated and sizzling Porterhouse, the intimate ambience of the Brazilian cherry wood floors and elegance of the alabaster chandeliers. There are three levels of seating consisting of chocolate-hued distressed leather booths and low-top tables, as well as lofted private rooms overlooking the dining room. Even though there are waterfront views from any seat in the house throughout the comfortably elegant atmosphere, we couldn’t resist dining outdoors on such a lovely evening, and were seated on the terrace, giving us a breathtaking view of Biscayne Bay and the lush palm tree landscape. It really felt like a tropical paradise. …

FOODIE DIARIES - Juniper on the Water

FOODIE DIARIES - Juniper on the Water

Culinary

Published 3/20/17

Tucked away on the Intracoastal and off the beaten path, Juniper immediately won us over with its absolutely gorgeous views of the waterway, which took our breath away. It was like stepping into an idyllic scene from Southampton: Intimate, minimal decoration, and wood rafters and floors, provide an almost rustic atmosphere that was very inviting. The light colors combined with the open floor plan created a casual European elegance that immediately made us feel right at home. Aside from the main dining area, we noticed a fabulous bar area that’s ideal for Happy Hour, which we fully intend to return for. Another big plus is that the water taxi stops at Juniper, making it a convenient destination when planning a cultural outing on the water. …

FOODIE DIARIES - Burlock Coast Seafare  & Spirits

FOODIE DIARIES - Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits

Culinary

Published 3/20/17

Located at the posh Ritz-Carlton and just steps away from Fort Lauderdale beach, Burlock Coast definitely has a unique vibe that immediately drew us in. Think chic industrial marketplace meets understated elegance and you get the idea. The tables are wood, sans tablecloths, adding to the atmosphere. Once seated, we were awed by the stunning views of the Atlantic, which set the perfect mood for our dining experience. Aside from the main dining area, there is also a private dining space that can be reserved for a perfect romantic interlude. There’s also a bar that is ideal for Happy Hour fun. Glancing at the menu, we were impressed that Chef de Cuisine Gavin Pera draws heavily from local resources, tapping into the region’s bounty, from fruits and vegetables to fresh fish and farm-raised meats. And not only was the staff extremely friendly, they were also exceptionally knowledgeable about the menu, which was perfectly balanced between land and sea selections. We couldn’t wait to …

FOODIE DIARIES - O'Lima

FOODIE DIARIES - O'Lima

Culinary

Published 3/20/17

The first words that came to mind when we strolled through the doors of O’Lima were trendy and chic. Nestled amid the fashionable shops of Bay Harbor’s Kane Concourse, O’Lima’s open floor plan radiates style and comfort. White tablecloths drape every table, while contemporary light fixtures dangle from the high ceiling, creating an air of sophistication and stylishness that made us feel right at home. In addition to the main dining room, there’s also a cozy bar area, with a signature cocktail menu offering a selection of martinis, mojitos and six pisco cocktails, including our fave, Pisco Sour, in addition to a robust wine selection. As excited as we were about the drink specials, we couldn’t wait to sample the cuisine. Executive Chef German Gonzales, who studied at Le Cordon Bleu, has created an expertly prepared menu, featuring Peruvian fusion fare. A selection of dishes with Japanese influences, historically rooted in authentic Peruvian cuisine? …

Wine Industry Icon Attends Symphony of the Americas Benefit

Wine Industry Icon Attends Symphony of the Americas Benefit

Culinary

Published 10/7/16

Michel Rolland, who owns and manages several fine wine estates and consults for more than 100 vintners worldwide, will travel from France to attend this year’s gala. “This is an event that focuses on the enjoyment of fine wines from all over the world,” says sommelier Steven Bachenheimer. “And this year, we’re bringing in one of the world’s premier winemakers.” …

Forget Your Troubles, Come on Get Happy Hour!

Forget Your Troubles, Come on Get Happy Hour!

Culinary

Published 7/6/16

Bar Grill …

The 2016 Culinary Forecast is in and it’s HOT!

The 2016 Culinary Forecast is in and it’s HOT!

Culinary

Published 7/6/16

Breakfast is considered by some to be the most important meal of the day, providing energy and nutrients to get through the stresses of daily activities. But in 2016, we’re not talking waffles and cereal. Leading the top five in this category are ethnic-inspired breakfast items, such as Asian-flavored syrups, chorizo scrambled eggs, and coconut milk pancakes. This is followed by ricotta pancakes, and traditional ethnic breakfast items, like huevos rancheros, shakshuka, and ashta. Prix fixe brunches are also trending in 2016, as is regional gravy, including sausage, black pepper, and tasso ham. …

Art & Libations: Untucked

Art & Libations: Untucked

Culinary

Published 7/6/16

“Tucked” away inside Intracoastal Mall’s iPic theater in North Miami Beach, The Tuck Room is an intimate and chic drinking den and gastro lounge, offering a seductive culinary and beverage escape. Guests can enjoy an extensive menu of sharable plates and handcrafted cocktails. But the Tuck Room experience goes beyond just fantastic cuisine. It is infused with a taste of the arts. When iPic Theaters decided to bring their premium movie theater franchise to North Miami Beach last December, they took great pains to make sure the ambience conveyed a high-end, yet comfortable feel to visitors by showcasing innovative artwork, which carried over into the décor of The Tuck Room, the theater’s in-house restaurant. Those who haven’t tried the iPic experience should definitely add it to their must-see list. In addition to offering chaise-lounge-style stadium seating, including pillows, blankets, and food & drink service throughout the film, iPic is also …

Shaken or Stirred?

Shaken or Stirred?

Culinary

Published 7/6/16

A cocktail is defined as "an iced alcoholic drink mixed with flavoring.” There are two schools of thought regarding the origin of the term “cocktail.” The first theory is that “cocktail” is derived from the French “coquetel,” an egg cup that was used for serving drinks. However, the term is also believed to have originated in Mexico, where drinks were stirred with a long root, known as a “cola de gallo,” or “cock’s tail.” …

Get Your Aprons On: Publix Cooks Up Some Fun!

Get Your Aprons On: Publix Cooks Up Some Fun!

Culinary

Published 7/1/16

Looking for a fun night out? Look no further than these demonstration-style cooking classes from Publix Aprons Cooking Schools. These sessions are designed to give customers a kitchen to learn, practice, and have fun in. The classes entertain, amuse, and inspire confidence, no matter what you're cooking up. Workshops cover a world of cuisines and trendy topics, a baker's dozen of techniques, special seasonal topics, and even guest appearances by celebrity chefs—TV stars, cookbook authors, and local restaurateurs. You can even schedule private, customized classes for special occasions, from showers, to birthdays, to company team-building events. …

Foodie Diaries - Hardy Park Bistro

Foodie Diaries - Hardy Park Bistro

Culinary

Published 5/4/16

We could tell right from the start that we had discovered a neighborhood treasure when we first arrived at Hardy Park Bistro. It’s located very close to Broward Center for the Performing Arts, making it an ideal pre-theater dining venue. The small, intimate setting was minimally decorated, featuring white tablecloths and white walls, accented by mirrors and artwork. The vibe was definitely casual, with a dash of sophistication that immediately drew us in. There’s a “Specials” board each night that highlights unique dishes from the menu, which changes weekly, keeping diners’ choices varied and interesting. That’s another one of the things we loved about this hidden gem: it’s small and chef-owned, which allows for more creativity and flexibility in the menu selections, showcasing what’s in season, and featuring the freshest ingredients. Owner Chef Philip Darmon began his cooking career in Sydney, Australia, and has displayed his talents in 5 Star hotels, gastro pubs, …

Foodie Diaries - Chef Michael’s

Foodie Diaries - Chef Michael’s

Culinary

Published 4/4/16

From the moment we stepped into Chef Michael’s, we were immediately smitten by the romantic, elegant, atmosphere of this upscale eatery. Soft, warm lighting sets just the right mood in the intimate dining area, decorated in a pleasing, creamy palette, with fish and wildlife décor capturing that unique Keys flavor. There was even a cozy bar with a wide selection of wines that piqued our interest. Quaint and inviting, Chef Michael’s is one of the few restaurants in the Florida Keys operated by its very own chef, and we couldn’t wait to test its reputation as a place locals flock to in order to experience an evening to remember. Executive Chef Michael Ledwith is an artist himself, and an inventive, yet traditional, Chef with a passion for the evolution of food. Having trained in some of the best kitchens in N.Y., Chef Michael traveled to St. Thomas, St. John and Martinique in the Caribbean, honing his skill in fish cookery at top Caribbean Resorts and restaurants. …

Foodie Diaries - Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill

Foodie Diaries - Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill

Culinary

Published 3/4/16

We’d heard a lot about Smokey Bones, but weren’t quite sure what to expect. Little did we know we were in for a nice and tasty surprise. As soon as we entered, we were immediately drawn in by the comfy and cozy atmosphere, featuring wood paneling, large screen TVs, a lively full-service bar, and friendly faces. The menu was huge, with so many tasty options. There were 4 sauces on our table, including the KC barbecue (which was phenomenal), but the chipotle spicy barbecue was our fave. We learned you can place your order online and pay for it, then come and pick it up at your leisure. Simple, convenient, and fabulous food. We couldn’t have asked for more. And the icing on the cake was the reasonable prices for such delish dishes. …

The Key West Food & Wine Festival Returns!

The Key West Food & Wine Festival Returns!

Culinary

Published 1/6/16

Voted Best Food and Wine Festivals in the country by the Travel Channel, the Key West Food and Wine Festival is a series of wine and food themed events showcasing a diverse range of wines and inventive cuisine, hosted by their passionate creators at iconic island locations. …

Foodie Diaries - Modern Garden

Foodie Diaries - Modern Garden

Culinary

Published 1/5/16

Nestled on the banks of the Miami River, Modern Garden captures the essence of waterfront dining, with stunning views of the downtown skyline. Immediately upon entering, we were blown away by the extraordinary permanent art installation composed of two large trees made and shaped from nominal lumber, forming a canopy that spread throughout the space. This design was complemented by teardrop light fixtures randomly hung from the branches, providing soft, atmospheric illumination to the table seating and bar areas. We had heard that this permanent art installation was designed by Santiago Pelaez and was unveiled to a select audience during Art Basel 2014, but seeing it up close with our own eyes was totally impressive! …

Foodie Diaries - Brava! – Adrienne Arsht Center

Foodie Diaries - Brava! – Adrienne Arsht Center

Culinary

Published 11/19/15

There’s nothing like an afternoon or evening of theater for an enriching cultural experience. And what better way to complement the occasion than with the perfect dining ambiance? BRAVA! is conveniently located on the second floor of the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center for pre-show dining. Patrons can relax and enjoy their meals without having to worry about missing a single minute of their theatrical adventure. The atmosphere is sleek and elegant, featuring plush seating, white linen table cloths, 3D flower murals, modern lighting fixtures, and an open floor plan, with views of the surrounding downtown area. We couldn’t wait to take our seats and let the culinary tour de force begin! …

Foodie Diaries - Bistro Cassis

Foodie Diaries - Bistro Cassis

Culinary

Published 10/7/15

Looking for a great French sidewalk café feel in sunny South Florida? Look no further. Bistro Cassis captures the authentic French atmosphere and more. Nestled in Midtown Miami, Bistro Cassis is a slice of European ambience featuring a 2,000 square-foot café, which seats a combined 74 guests indoors and out, and includes a welcoming bar, as well as patio seating shaded by market umbrellas. When we first entered, it was like being transported from South Florida to the South of France in a casual and comfortable setting. Bistro Cassis’ authentic ambiance really set the mood, taking its inspiration from classic French cafes with bistro chairs and tables, white subway tile walls, tile floors, decorative French posters and framed photographs of the City of Lights. The beautiful old-fashioned wooden bar, salvaged from a 1920’s era hotel, serves as the perfect platform for Bistro Cassis’ signature cocktails, highlighting French spirits in avant-garde …

Serve Your Next Event Shaken & Stirred with a  Cultural Twist

Serve Your Next Event Shaken & Stirred with a Cultural Twist

Culinary

Published 8/31/15

Traditionally, options for planning that special event have centered on choosing the perfect décor, food, and venue. However, with so many festive occasions being celebrated each season, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to make that engagement party, wedding reception, anniversary, bar mitzvah, etc. stand out and be noticed. Today, there is a wealth of emerging, creative and exciting options available to design events that are truly spectacular, memorable, and incorporate a unique cultural or South Florida flair. Whether it involves the latest hip, pop-culture craze, or paying homage to traditional affairs, there are endless choices to spice up Events, and Artists are answering the call by translating their amazing talents into something that can really up the WOW factor and create a splash. …

Foodie Diaries - Kuro

Foodie Diaries - Kuro

Culinary

Published 8/28/15

When we embarked on our Kuro adventure, we weren’t sure what to expect. Of course we’d heard that Kuro is a new-style Japanese concept that features handcrafted dishes, applies classic Japanese techniques, and crafts contemporary, artisanal creations. But we were totally blown away when we arrived. The atmosphere can best be described as embodying the fantasy vibe of Vegas. Yes it’s a bit pricey. But boy, is it worth it! Upon our arrival, we were immediately greeted enthusiastically in Japanese and escorted to our table through the dining area, featuring ultra-trendy décor with warm hues and pop music filtering through the air in true Hard Rock tradition. The 9,500-square-foot restaurant is an accessible showpiece that boasts an open, theater-style dining room and a bar featuring 110 bottles of wine. The lounge’s skylight and the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows, which overlook the resort’s tropical pool oasis, ensure ample lighting and …

3 Sommeliers Give us the Dish on Wine Pairings!

3 Sommeliers Give us the Dish on Wine Pairings!

Culinary

Published 7/31/15

When we started the Foodie Diaries several years ago, our goal was to give readers a taste of the fabulous eateries South Florida has to offer to better plan their culinary outings. …

Take a Bite out of  Summer with Miami Spice

Take a Bite out of Summer with Miami Spice

Culinary

Published 7/31/15

Both local and visiting Foodies are in for a real tasty treat to spice up the summer. The organizers of the 14th Annual Miami Spice Restaurant Program, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), are proud to announce the return of exclusive dining deals on three-course lunch and dinner menus. Miami Spice is a mouth-watering restaurant promotion showcasing the very best of Miami cuisine from South Florida’s finest restaurants. From August 1 – September 30, participating restaurants offer three-course meals featuring signature dishes created by world-renowned chefs at reduced prices: Lunch $23 and Dinner $39. The Miami Spice program’s dining deals include an appetizer, entrée and dessert (excluding beverages, gratuity, tax, and service charges). This year’s Miami Spice Iron Fork Kickoff is on July 30, at the Hyatt Regency Miami Downtown. …

Foodie Diaries - Cava

Foodie Diaries - Cava

Culinary

Published 6/23/15

Settled in the heart of Calle Ocho, a genuine piece of Spain’s vibrant tradition is ensconced within the walls of Cava restaurant. Patterned after the historical Spanish Tablao’s developed in Spain during the 1940’s, this intimate, and family friendly, dining experience offers live singing and authentic flamenco performances for patrons to enjoy, while experiencing the delicious Andalusian cuisine in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The red bricks walls, mosaic pillars, and vaulted ceilings, really set the Mediterranean mood and add to the authentic flavor of the entire experience. It’s like being transported to another time and place. But make sure to make a dining reservation if you want to experience the splendor of the shows from the best seats in the house. …

Foodie Diaries - Vintro

Foodie Diaries - Vintro

Culinary

Published 6/15/15

Imagine a haven where time blends together: an exotic mix of the Old World and the New. Chef de cuisine, Keith Suarino’s, kitchen is Mediterranean-inspired with a dining room that’s Old Florida. The restaurant’s cuisine is a fusion of Mediterranean & Latin inspired dishes, featuring carefully crafted ingredients for discerning foodies. The contemporary menu is designed for sharing with a wide array of cheeses and charcuterie, tapas, fish, responsibly-sourced meats, and sinful desserts. If you’re a wine lover, you’re in for a real treat! Try one of the many wines from around the world, available by the bottle or glass, perfect for the connoisseur or novice alike! Under the canopy of the dramatic 30-foot ceiling, guests can still experience intimate moments, especially if they venture out to the terrace, which provides breathtaking views of Collins Canal. And don’t forget to visit the hotel while you’re there. Not only can you treat yourself …

Foodie Diaries - Hard Rock Cafe

Foodie Diaries - Hard Rock Cafe

Culinary

Published 6/15/15

Love all. Serve All. That’s the mantra of Hard Rock Café and its teams. And our own office team sure felt the love when we all walked through the glass doors and into the restaurant’s open, spacious floor plan. From the beams in the vaulted ceiling shaped like the neck and frets of a guitar, to the iconic memorabilia from artists such as REM, Prince, Paul Simon, Eddie Van Halen, and the Beatles lining the walls, it was quite the Grammy adventure. Immediately, we were given the Rock Star treatment, led to a table right by the center stage, where guitarists serenaded us with rock ballads, as our ace server, Brittany, paraded course after course of fantastic platters our way. We had the pleasure of experiencing what Hard Rock Café has been showing off for over 43 years: ultimate cuisine prepared by a team of culinary artists, exceptional service, and most of all, a unique dining experience that makes you feel part of a perfectly orchestrated show. The staff was …

Foodie Diaries - 3030 Ocean

Foodie Diaries - 3030 Ocean

Culinary

Published 6/15/15

Imagine a modern, yet casual, design with panoramic views of the Atlantic. Contemporary, circular lighting fixtures overhead create an intimate atmosphere for patrons, as they dine in comfortable chairs in the carpeted dining area. For over a decade, 3030 has been a fixture of fine dining in South Florida, renowned for sophisticated seafood and rustic American cuisine. Even though we visited on a Tuesday night, there was a full house of patrons, a testimony to 3030’s distinguished reputation. The establishment features a creative, contemporary assortment of fresh seafood, prime meats, and locally sourced ingredients, exquisitely prepared and presented. New menus are printed daily to reflect the availability of the freshest selections. The wait staff is the epitome of efficiency and professionalism. Not only was our server, Ricardo, extremely knowledgeable, his humor also made our dining experience that much more memorable. 3030’s Executive Chef, Paula DaSilva, has received …

Foodie Diaries - Toro Toro

Foodie Diaries - Toro Toro

Culinary

Published 4/6/15

Nestled inside the Intercontinental Hotel, Toro Toro has transformed its atmospheric locale into a thriving hot spot in downtown Miami, catering to young professionals experiencing the scene, as well as sophisticated diners out on the town. The grandiose, marble lobby of the hotel transitions into the restaurant’s dark, rustic wood floors, whetting your appetite for the chic mood and deliciousness to come. The wrought iron lighting fixtures and comfortable leather seating are warm and inviting, letting you know you’ve embarked on a unique dining adventure. We were thrilled to discover that this elegant and rustic steakhouse is sooo much more than a tapas bar! …

Foodie Diaries - Valentino

Foodie Diaries - Valentino

Culinary

Published 4/6/15

This Italian gem shines bright in Fort Lauderdale. With its charming, circular Art Deco-like entrance, neon sign and floor to ceiling glass exterior, Valentino’s atmosphere is wide and open, modern, yet elegantly modest. Wood beam rafters and arched alcoves provide a touch of rustic, old-world allure. There’s a private dining area available for special events that seats up to twenty guests. In the main area, a few lucky patrons have the treat of “ringside” seats surrounding the gleaming, industrial-style kitchen, where Chefs create their masterpieces in an almost syncronized performance over flaming, stainless steel grills. Chef Giovanni Rocchio, who is also the owner, and Chef Luke Bergman, pour their passion and souls into each magnificent dish in an atmosphere that’s serene and inviting. No “Hell’s Kitchen,” antics here. More like “Heaven’s Kitchen” …

Foodie Diaries - 15th & Vine

Foodie Diaries - 15th & Vine

Culinary

Published 4/1/15

Towering 15 stories high above Brickell Avenue, 15th & Vine Kitchen and Bar reflects the dynamic energy of Miami’s cultural mosaic. As you dine, you’ll be in awe of the spectacular views of Biscayne Bay and tempted to take a dive into the iconic 300-foot swimming pool. The beautiful, outdoor space feels like stepping into a mystical garden, and features communal tables, as well as a ten person private dining area for more intimate occasions. …

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