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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 …

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 …

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 …

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