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By Maya Silver | Editor

What’s a tequila company doing with a Greek name like Demetrio? That’s a good question, and the answer begets a not-so-short story. You see, Marion Mariathasan is not your average tequila company head honcho. Founding and managing Demetrio is just one of many of the sombreros Mariathasan wears.

Marion Mariathasan

Marion Mariathasan

Originally from Sri Lanka, his family fled the war-torn country when he was young, and settled in Kansas. Now, he owns several companies—mostly tech start-ups—and firmly believes that “you do well by doing good,” and has the distinguished title of UN Global Accelerator delegate to prove it.

Tequila entered his entrepreneurial radar thanks to family down in Mexico. His uncle introduced him to tequila that had been produced by the same family for three generations in the Guadalajara region, and was sold only in Mexico and other parts of South America.

“To be honest, I didn’t love tequila then and I wasn’t a connoisseur,” Mariathasan admits, but he was taken by the pure process the family used to make the tequila, and found it to be of notably high quality. And so he decided to invest in their operation, and, with a little rebranding and wider distribution, make it more successful.

“They’re great people,” Mariathasan says of the original tequila-making family. “They grow agave on their own land for the tequila, the use artesian well water, and they make really good tequila.” Tequila good enough to convert Mariathasan into a tequila drinker.

Mariathasan gave their tequila new packaging and a new name: Demetrio, an abbreviated version of the name of the original founder of the tequila operation over 60 years ago. Despite the new branding, the demetriobottleprocess is untouched. Double distillation makes for an award-winning, well-balanced tequila that’s perfect for sipping neat. Aged in white oak American bourbon barrels, the small batch Demetrio tequilas boast complex sweetness and caramel notes.

In addition to helping a family catapult their tequila to popularity, Mariathasan is committed to giving back through his company in other ways. Even though it’s a top-shelf tequila, Mariathasan prices bottles lower because he believes that good liquor shouldn’t only be accessed by those who can afford it. The company also partners with and supports Water For People, a non-profit organization that helps people build and maintain their own reliable safe water systems.

Demetrio Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo tequilas are available in liquor stores throughout Colorado, California, Nevada, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvannia, and Delaware. ¡Salud!

Looking for a summer sipper? When the heat strikes, we love a chilled cocktail on the rocks, and nothing beats a chilled glass of white wine overlooking the harbor. Here are several choices for your summer cocktails and wine. Cheers!

Cuba Libre

Mix 1 part Bacardi Gold rum with 2 parts chilled, bottled Coca-Cola. Add the juice of 2 lime wedges. Serve in a rocks glass with ice.

Stoli Raz Lemonade

drink-lemonadeMix 1-1/2 parts Stoli Raxberi vodka with 2 parts fresh lemonade in a shaker. Strain over ice and serve.

Herradura Fresh Margarita

In a shaker, mix 1-1/2 ounces Herradura Reposado, 1-1/2 ounces agave margaritanectar, and 1-1/2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice. Serve in a cocktail glass on the rocks, salted rim optional.

Treo Winemaker’s Blend Red, Hess Select

This blend of Merlot, Syrah, and Petite Sirah has aromas of wild cherry, plum, vanilla, wild berry, and black currant jam. Enjoy the juicy flavors of cranberry, pomegranate, and black cherry on the palate, with a long, soft finish. Pair it with flank steak, blue cheese burgers, or grilled salmon.

Sauvignon Blanc, North Coast, Hess Select

An aroma of grassy tones gives way to plenty of citrus and tropical fruit for a crisp, bright freshness and a full, rich mouthfeel. Fermented in stainless steel, this wine is a first-class warm-weather sipper, perfect when paired with prosciutto-wrapped grilled peaches, fresh basil and tomatoes, and chopped raw salads with goat cheese.

At Atrio—The Conrad Miami’s top-notch restaurant—there’s always something that’s titillating our taste buds. It turns out that our favorite this season is also one of the destination’s most popular treats. Do try this at home. {; 305.503.6529}

Goat Cheese Croquettes from Atrio at The Conrad Miami
serves four



Orange dressing:
3 c orange juice
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1/4 c Champagne vinegar
3 c extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Goat cheese croquettes:
1 c goat cheese, softened
1/4 c heavy cream
1 shallot, diced
1 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp chopped chives
1 tsp chopped basil
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c liquid eggs
1 c panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste

Beets and assembly:
1 yellow beet, roasted and quartered
1 red beet, roasted and quartered
4 blood orange segments, roughly chopped
8 oz micro-greens
2 oz candied pecans, roughly chopped
1-1/2 oz orange vinaigrette


For the orange dressing: Over medium heat, reduce orange juice to roughly 1 cup. Set in the refrigerator to chill. In a bowl, combine the mustard, the Champagne vinegar, the chilled orange juice, and the salt and pepper. Drizzle in olive oil slowly while whisking until dressing is emulsified. Adjust seasoning as needed.

For the croquettes: In a bowl, combine softened goat cheese, heavy cream, shallot, herbs, and salt and pepper. Assemble three separate bowls for dredging—one with the all-purpose flour, one with the liquid eggs, and one with the breadcrumbs. Shape the goat cheese mixture into 3-inch-long sticks, coat first with flour, then dredge in egg, and finish with breadcrumbs. Freeze until ready to fry. When ready, preheat vegetable oil in a pot or pan to 350 degrees. Fry until golden brown and set on paper towels to drain.

For the beets and to assemble: In a bowl, place the quartered yellow and red beets in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the beets among four plates, making a line of beets on each plate. Arrange the blood orange segment around the beets. Top with the micro-greens and candied pecans. Finish with fried goat cheese croquettes.


Summer cocktails at Lido Grill

1: Fresh Philosophies at Lido Restaurant & Bayside Grill The Standard Spa, Miami Beach

2: Croquettish at the Conrad 

3: Indulge Your Indecision Sardinia
You want the economy and fuller experience of a bottle of wine, but you’re wary of committing to a single varietal. There are so many wines to choose from, so many flavors to experience! Enter the quartino. Constituting a third of a bottle and taking the shape of a curvaceous carafe, the quartino is the ultimate solution for those who waffle over wines. Of course, Sardinia Enoteca offers their bianchi and rossi by the glass and bottle, too. To sweeten the deal, Sardinia is offering 40-percent off a selected wine every Tuesday. With other deals on the docket—like weekday happy hour from 5-7pm and bottomless mimosas on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6pm—there’s no excuse not to indulge. {; 305.531.2228}

4: The Personality of R House: Rocco Carulli
Rocco Carulli has quickly become one of our favorite things on the food scene in Miami. With his warm, infectious smile, and steadfast approach to his beloved R House, Rocco is there every night to meet and mingle with guests and oversee his staff. Rocco grew up in an Italian family, surrounded by a love of food. He studied at The Culinary School of America, and before he knew it, he owned his first restaurant in Provincetown before bringing his magic to Miami. Rocco had been working for the Goldmans, prominent real-estate and restaurant tycoons, during his winters off from P-Town when he was introduced to Wynwood, where he made R House a home. Rocco is a star personality and a star chef, and has made it his mission to guarantee that everything coming out of his kitchen puts a smile on your face—including the chef himself. {; 305.576.0201}

5: A Trip to Italy via Graspa Group
If you’ve been to Italy, no doubt you bemoan the fact that you can’t find panini or tiramisù half as good in the States, while those who’ve yet to go yearn to experience the Mecca of good food and wine firsthand. Thanks to the Graspa Group, you can voyage to Italy and back for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We have a soft spot for the original Graspa concept: TiramesU, opened in 1988. This year, it’s relocating from Lincoln Road to its original post on South Fifth, slated to reopen in the fall. We can’t wait to behold the new space and dig our spoons into a serving of the dreamy namesake for the restaurant. In the meantime, luxuriate in …

  • A cup of Italian roast—Segafredo Zanetti, the leading brand in Italy—and a pastry, or a truly authentic Italian aperitivo with captivating cocktails everyday from 5-7pm at Segafredo l’originale
  • A casual revelry in thin crust pizza at Spris
  • An intimate spot where you can also procure specialty meats and Italian products at Salumeria 104
  • A taste of Italy at your next event via Spuntino Catering

6: Ropa Vieja Empanadas at Wynwood Kitchen and Bar
Wynwood Kitchen and Bar is all about small snacks you pop in your mouth while socializing, but if you start with the Ropa Vieja Empanadas, you may just put the menu down.  Crisped up perfectly, and stuffed with marinated ropa vieja and cilantro crema, these classic Latin treats are near perfection.

7: Tony Chan’s Overflowing Dim Sum
Translating to “heart’s delight” in Cantonese, dim sum entails a mélange of

Dim sum at Tony Chan's

Dim sum at Tony Chan’s

small dishes—sort of like the Chinese version of tapas. You’ll have to become a regular at Tony Chan’s Water Club to say you’ve fully exhausted all of the dim sum possibilities on their menu. A staggering 53 possibilities await—all served daily and cooked fresh to order—from Jade Duck Dumplings and Pork Buns, to Rice Congee with fish, to Black Pepper Short Rib. You can partake in all this deliciousness in a more modern and elegant atmosphere than ever before thanks to a recent remodel. Think tile floors, a new bar, and breathtaking wall coverings. {; 305.374.8888}

8: Cooking with Cindy
If you can’t get enough of Miami’s delectable Ortanique, then spend some time with celeb Chef Cindy Hutson on Saturdays once a month and learn all about the “Cuisine of the Sun.” Get your hands dirty with meal preparation

Chef Cindy Hutson

Chef Cindy Hutson

and watch as your masterpieces are cooked and plated in front of you. What’s on the menu? Here’s a taste: Grilled Vanilla Bean Gelato, Balsamic-Marinated Cab Skirt Steak, and Captain Crunch Bread Pudding. Classes are limited to 24 people, so call the restaurant to reserve a spot. {}

9: Events We Love: Miami Spice, March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, and the South Beach Wine Festival 

10: Women in Charge: Liza Meli, Barmeli
The restaurant business is far from easy for anyone, so it is particularly impressive when women oversee everything from the books to the cooks. Liza Meli opened her very first café in Mallorca, Spain in 1993 before moving to LizaBarmeliMiami and opening the first-ever Ouzo’s Greek in 2002. Since then, Meli has single-handedly opened three other successful restaurants, all with her signature fresh Mediterranean fare, and all with an inviting, timeless neighborhood appeal. Now you can catch Liza any night of the week running the show at her Upper Eastside Barmeli Tapas and Wine Bar. {; 305.754.5558}

11: Larios Turns the Beat Around with New Renovations and Menu
Emilio and Gloria Estefan’s internationally acclaimed restaurant, Larios on the Beach, reopened with a newly designed interior and menu. The ambience aims to create the sensation of Miami Beach indoors with seashells adorning the walls and floors. Guests will be delighted to find signature favorites like the award-winning Léchon (roasted pork), Vaca Frita, and world-famous Mojitos on the menu. A new feature is the Triple C, or “Calorie Conscious Cuban,” a selection of delicious, guilt-free Cuban staples created by Gloria herself. Items include grilled grouper, vegetarian black beans, baked plantain chips, and whole grain, gluten-free brown rice. “Taste our tried-and-true Cuban cuisine, right out of Abuelita’s kitchen, and indulge your taste buds with our surprising new culinary sensations,” says Gloria Estefan. Come and soak up the Cuban culinary magic at the new Larios on the Beach. {; 305.532.9577}

12: Family-Owned Businesses Making History
Garcia’s on the River really began in 1966 as a fish market before it evolved into the restaurant it is today. Mr. Garcia started his wholesale business by buying a vacant lot that had gas pumps for boating. The property operated as a gas station, but Garcia used it as storage for the wholesale market. In the ’70s it became a restaurant, and so it has been here over 49 years—the pioneer of the Miami River, now a trendy dining destination. Luis Garcia, his brother, and mother have been running one of Miami’s favorite spots for fresh seafood on the water for over 20 years, making it one of the best catches on the coast. {; 305.448.2400}

13: Heath Porter, Head Wine-O at Uvaggio
Nicknamed “Rebel Sommelier,” Heath Porter takes the snob appeal out of vinology and puts his own whimsical and knowledgeable spin on what is a true passion for wine. With a self-deprecating sense of humor, Porter points out that he grew up in a teetotaling Southern Baptist family in Cullman, Alabama, deep in the heart of Dixie. “Rednecks don’t usually grow up to become sommeliers,” he says, “especially ones from dry countries.” That said, he has garnered several awards, medals, and pins throughout his career, and has now brought his expertise to Uvaggio Wine Bar in Coral Gables. His worldly wine list is not only impressive, but in-line with Heath’s no-nonsense personality. Would you like something sleek and firm, or plus-sized and full-bodied? {; 305.448.2400}

14: Cibo Wine Bar
Which celebrity have you enjoyed cooking for the most?
Executive Chef Massimo Giannattasio: Having cooked for a number of high-profile clients over the course of my career, I would have to say that the most memorable experiences came from working closely with Robert Di Niro. As the executive chef of his restaurant (Ago), I had the opportunity to work with him to create a menu to suit his tastes. {; 305.442.4925}

15: Whole Grilled Hogfish at Fish Fish
Good things don’t always come easy, which is why the rich, flaky flesh of a crispy whole hogfish might be one of our favorite things on the menu right now. Hogfish is rarer on Miami menus than other subtropical fish. One reason: It is mainly caught with a spear, which is sporty to some, a little labor-intensive to others. On clear days, divers spear Lachnolaimus maximus off the coral reefs. But when the winds pick up, spearing becomes impossible, making these tasty little creatures attractively hard-to-get. When available, try this delicacy at Fish Fish, where it’s perfectly scored and seasoned, fried to a delicate crisp, and served like it’s still swimming. {; 786.732.3124}

16: Celebrate the Good Life, Cipriani-Style
Miami’s newest event venue, The Cipriani Bar, is a premier private dining space offering unbeatable views of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay. Its floor-to-ceiling, wrap-around doors open onto a Grand Terrace, which boasts spectacular waterfront views. The expansive interior space features a crisp, nautical aesthetic accommodating up to 200 guests. The Cipriani Bar is an ideal choice for any special occasion. Whether planning a corporate event, social or nonprofit reception, a sit-down dinner, or an intimate art exhibit, guests will delight in the relaxing atmosphere, impeccable service, and world-renowned Cipriani cuisine. {; 786.329.4090}

17: Lamb Belly at Fez
Fez is located on historic Española Way and is the perfect escape for an exotic dining experience. All of the dishes here reflect the cuisine of Casablanca, Morocco where Executive Chef Faycal Bettioui is from. Yet one dish has become a local favorite and definitely one not to miss: the luscious Lamb Belly with celery root purée, onion jam, and pomegranate glaze. {; 305.672.4469}

18: Andrea Chiriatti of Big Fish
Born in Ortanto (Lecce, Italy), Chiriatti brings an authentic Italian appeal to Big Fish - andrea-chiriattiBig Fish on the River in Miami. With traditional Italian training in Florence and Milan, loads of experience, and a focus on raw and vegetarian food, Andrea is a master of Mediterranean cuisine. He honed his innovative techniques while working at Milan’s Armani Restaurant, Teatro 7, before bringing his European grace and professionalism to the kitchen at Big Fish. What a catch! {}

19: Hotel Dining Destinations

20: Ordering from the Yacht at Seasalt and Pepper
With 250 feet of dock space, Seasalt and Pepper brings a new meaning to waterfront dining. Just pull up alongside the restaurant in your home at sea, and for a small fee ($1 per foot per hour), you can order your lobster thermidor in the comfort of your own yacht. An all-day party on weekends, this is a boater’s paradise, with endless bottles of rosé flowing, and world-class cuisine marching out of the kitchen, bringing a whole new sense of swagger to the Miami River. {; 305.440.4200}

21: Stunning Downtown Views at Tuyo
There aren’t too many rooftop restaurants in Miami, making Tuyo a real jewel in downtown dining. From the moment you enter the dining room, which floats atop the Culinary Institute, you are swept away by breathtaking views of sparkling buildings and bridges, and, of course, glistening Miami waterways. {}

22: The Wine Shop in the Bistro at WD555
WD555 stands on its own as a lovely Mediterranean restaurant, housed in a fresh warehouse space with a lovely outdoor garden. Throw in a wine boutique wd555with 300-plus labels from all over the world and a mere $7.50 to crack one open (or $15 for the vintage room), and you have something very special. WD555 is the largest retailer in South Beach and the prices are just as desirable as the modest corkage fees. Highlights include coveted bottles of rosé, Champagne, and Grand Cru, so grab a bottle or two and ask your server to pour you a glass to complement a perfect plate of Foie Gras “au Torchon.” {}

23: Executive Chef Erwin Mallet of Villa Azur
At the age of 12, Chef Mallet began his career at Jean Monnet High School, focusing on hospitality and catering. He maximized his talent by working in the kitchen of some of France’s top restaurants, including Pastis, Tantra, Guerite, and Maccheroni. His food is the perfect marriage of old and new techniques, and he masters every dish he meets. The Pork Tenderloin, slow-braised in red wine and orange zest, and Truffle French Ravioli add home-style comfort to his menu at Villa Azur. {}

24: Altamare’s New Look, New Happy Hour
It’s the summer of AltaMare Restaurant. This fresh seafood landmark recently updated the interior décor with nautical rope accents, hand-painted lamps and chairs, and a wall made of reclaimed wood from a local dock. A new, original painting (commissioned by Carolina Sanllehi) now takes residence in AltaMare, depicting a colorful sense of motion influenced by the high ocean tides for which the restaurant is named. In addition to the new look, guests can now enjoy the Summer of AltaMare Happy Hour, celebrating the finest seafood, warm service, and a selection of casual cocktails perfect for unwinding after a hot day. Enjoy a glass of bubbly Prosecco or a house cocktail while noshing fresh-from-the-sea eats, like half-price oysters, Whole Fried Snapper, or a bright Wahoo Crudo with avocado, olive oil, and preserved citrus fruit. {; 305.532.3061}

25: The Betsy Hotel
The Betsy Hotel is one of South Beach’s best-kept treasures. Many rave about its award-winning BLT Steak, voted Miami’s Best Steakhouse by Miami New Times, but few know of the hotel’s Tuesday and Wednesday jazz nights, where some of the country’s most renowned trios, duos, and quartets indulge guests in intimate performances within one of The Betsy’s many book-filled rooms. In fact, CNN recently named The Betsy as one of “14 Beautiful Hotels Inspired by Literature,” as evidenced by its Escribe Aqui series, where well-known authors gather for poetry and book readings. Count on The Betsy for a little bit of culture on an otherwise cluttered ocean drive. {; 305.531.6100}

26: Small Bites at Semilla
Having your own dish is indulgent, but sometimes you’d rather be social and share. Semilla offers a prime environment for sampling small bites with a menu catering to tapas-style dining. We love the Braised Short-Rib Potstickers with green curry sauce for dipping, as well as the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with nashi pear. {; 305.674.6522}

27: Mo Bar + Lounge in the Mandarin Oriental
There’s nothing better than a bar with a view, and MO Bar + Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental is simply one-of-a-kind. Whether chatting up friends over French martinis or admiring Miami’s skyline while munching on small plates, it’s impossible not to feel the city’s energy radiating through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Thursday through Saturday, live bands take the stage, enticing you to stay for “just one more” as you listen to guitarists and Latin jazz trios. Come fall, MO Bar Unplugged returns, inviting high-profile Latin-American artists to host concerts within MO Bar’s warm, intimate setting. Go for the music, stay for the cocktails; there’s no wrong way to spend a night at MO Bar. {; 305.913.8288}

28: Chef Giovanni Arias of Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa
Chef Arias of The Canyon Ranch Grill is considered a “flavor genius” by The Johnson and Wales Culinary Arts program. He melds Latin and Caribbean roccoinfluences with French and Asian cooking techniques, creating a continuously evolving hotel dining menu of renowned health-conscious cuisine (try the Seared Scallops with mango-coconut glaze and micro-cilantro, or the Yucca crusted with black bean purée and Brazilian cabbage). “Chef Arias demonstrates a drive and passion to showcase healthy food to its fullest potential,” said Canyon Ranch Corporate Chef, Scott Uehlein. “His acute sense of layering flavors, as well as an understanding of what it takes to run a successful restaurant, are incredibly important assets to our team.” {; 305.514.7474}

29: Grilled Octopus at Milos by Costas Spiliadis
Estiatorio Milo’s by Costas Spiliadis has a reputation for world-class seafood, fresh from the Mediterranean. There is something especially memorable about the simply grilled, sushi-grade octopus that keeps people swooning. It is so simple in preparation and appearance, yet every slightly charred, delicately seasoned, juicy bite of this mysterious leggy delicacy brings a mouthful of oceanic delight. {; 305.604.6800}

30: Landry’s Family of Restaurants
We love the extraordinary dining options from Landry’s family of restaurants. Looking for succulent seafood? The Oceanaire Seafood Room features fresh seafood flown in daily. Or, indulge in juicy, USDA prime-aged steaks at Morton’s The Steakhouse. What’s more, Chart House is the perfect setting for enjoying magnificent views, fresh fish specialties, prime rib, and steaks—a scenic Coconut Grove jewel! Great service and quality food make these the perfect Miami dining destinations. Reserve your table today for an unparalleled dining experience. {;;}

31: Signature Rolls at Barezzito
Keeping the menu as fun and spicy as the venue itself, Barezzito serves up some of the best signature rolls in town, like the My Chick Roll, with crab salad, tempura flakes, spicy mayo, eel sauce, soybean paper, and honey on top. Another favorite is the Hottie Roll, with shrimp tempura, scallions, cream cheese, spicy mayo, jalapeños, Parmesan cheese, and eel sauce. {}

32: Orangetheory Fitness
Let’s face it: dining out in Miami means you need a serious workout regimen, and the way to get it in gear is Orangetheory. The idea of Orangetheory is simple: a 60-minute workout designed to push you into the Orange Zone. This creates “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” or EPOC. It’s what burns calories after your workout and gives you noticeable, lasting results. Our favorite benefit? Free reign to eat what you please. {; 305.232.7722}

33: Boundless Dining with the Pubbelly Group

34: Summer Libations

35: Oysters au David Bracha at The River Oyster Bar and Oak Tavern




Fontainebleau {4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.538.2000}

Fontainebleau is a beacon of Miami glamour for many reasons, one of them

The Fontainebleau

The Fontainebleau

being the amount of fine-dining options under one roof. Dive into the bold Asian flavors at Hakkasan; have a tête-à-tête over French cuisine at La Côte; indulge in the rich Italian cooking at Scarpetta; and finally, top off your night at Fontainebleau’s latest venture, Michael Mina 74, part restaurant and part ultra-lounge set inside one of the hotel’s former clubs.

Avalon Hotel {700 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 305.538.0133}

Located on one of Ocean Drive’s busiest blocks, the Avalon Hotel is an icon of Art Deco glory. It also happens to house one of South Beach’s most iconic

The Avalon

The Avalon

restaurants, A Fish Called Avalon, which epitomizes everything you’d ever want from a dining experience in Miami.

JW Marriott {255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami; 305.421.8600}

The JW Marriott has a secret: Drakes. This lounge has the feel of a private club, where only Miami’s most powerful and elite congregate, but it’s every bit as inviting as you’d expect for a restaurant at the Marriott.

SLS Hotel South Beach {1701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.674.1701}

Such an emphasis was placed on dining at the SLS that the hotel forewent a lobby, choosing instead to greet guests with the sumptuous smells of small plates from the kitchen of The Bazaar by José Andrés. Beyond that, the doors to Katsuya lead to one of the most tantalizing sushi experiences ever to hit your taste buds.

The Catalina Hotel and Beach Club {1732 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.674.1160}

Whether you’ve headed to Maxine’s for a post-party burger or you’re just starting out your night with drink specials and Korean barbecue at Fung Ku, The Catalina never fails to provide a fabulous ambience and great food. Just remember: What happens at The Catalina, stays at The Catalina.

The Setai {2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.520.6000}

The Setai

The Setai

An air of mystery may surround The Setai upon first inspection, but one bite into any dish from The Grill or The Restaurant and you’ll realize quickly that these establishments are so grand, they need no name to be recognized.

The Four Seasons {1435 Brickell Avenue, Miami; 305.358.3535}

Whether you come for happy hour on EDGE Steak & Bar’s rooftop terrace, or you’re slicing into a juicy cut of meat in the restaurant’s bustling indoor dining area, there’s no doubt that EDGE is one of the best establishments to have happened to Brickell Avenue.

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne {1 Lincoln Road, Miami; 786.276.4000}

One need not go to Mexico for an authentic Mexican dining experience. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne houses Cantina Beach, an intimate outdoor oasis where you can dine under a breezy tiki hut and pair your meal with the perfect tequila as recommended by the restaurant’s tequilier.

Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach {101 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 305.938.4600}

No time spent in Miami is complete without a solid meal at a Cuban establishment; with a vibrant ambience, an extensive cocktail and food menu, and a prime location on Ocean, De Rodriguez at the Hilton Bentley is one you must try.

The Essex Hotel {1001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.534.2700}

The Essex House is a boutique hotel in Miami Beach done right, especially when it comes to dining at Zen Sai, the Asian fusion grill located within its Art Deco walls. Whether sipping on sake or enjoying any of the restaurant’s delectable seafood dishes, a meal at Zen Sai is everything right about Asian cuisine.

The Ritz-Carlton South Beach

There are myriad restaurants facing the ocean, but surprisingly none with an actual ocean view. DiLido at The Ritz-Carlton is the only fine dining establishment on Collins to boast this view, which is comparable only to the restaurant’s perfectly crafted menu.

The Biltmore {1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables; 858.311.6903}

Two concepts anchor the world-class Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables: Palme d’Or and Fontana. At Palme d’Or, an upscale ambience welcomes guests both

The Biltmore

The Biltmore

local and distant, serving Chef Gregory Pugin’s Michelin-starred French cuisine that “has a twist of modernity to it.” At Fontana, the hotel’s courtyard restaurant, Chef Beppe Galazzi dazzles with local and farm-fresh ingredients, rounding out an Italian-inspired menu for any meal. We love Palme d’Or’s flaky Chilean Sea Bass, and Fontana’s potato-ricotta Gnocchi.

The Conrad {1395 Brickell Avenue, Miami; 305.503.6500}

Located within the Conrad Hotel, Atrio is cozy and intimate, save for the grandiose view of Miami’s skyline. The choice cuisine is locally-sourced and sustainable, from the produce to the fish, and the option of sitting within the restaurant’s wine room for a private tasting with friends makes this a definite Magic City gem.

La Gamba {3437 Main Highway, Coconut Grove; 786.464.0908} 

At La Gamba, great food and a friendly atmosphere take precedence over the

La Gamba

La Gamba

theatrics that often run the Miami food scene. The menu at this delicious Coconut Grove grotto is chock full of tapas and entrées at such fair prices, it’s possible your meetup with friends may turn into a full Saturday affair. Traditional Spanish plates such as Piquillo Peppers stuffed with cod and squid ink sauce, and Garlic and Mixed Croquettes roll out one after the other amidst the buzz of intimate conversation and live music on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It’s small, intimate, warm, and inviting—a good addition to one of Miami’s most personable neighborhoods.

Riviera Focacceria {3252 Northeast Buena Vista Boulevard, Suite 110, Miami; 786.220.6251}

To dine at Riviera Focacceria is to be whisked away to a Ligurian countryside villa, and it may just be the only place in Miami, if not America, where this is

Fresh pasta at Riviera

Fresh pasta at Riviera

possible. Every Italian dish and detail inside this new Midtown favorite is made to Northern Italian perfection, from the Ravioli Genovesi al Tocco, homemade and filled with a succulently braised Angus brisket, to the Vino Pigato, a white wine made with grapes from the Genovese region, grown so close to the ocean you can almost taste the Mediterranean sea in every sip. You cannot dine at Riviera Focacceria, however, without indulging in the Focaccia di Recco—two layers of thinly sliced dough filled with stracchino cheese, of which 200 pounds are imported from Italy weekly to ensure that the dish is as close to the real Italian thing as possible. It’s this attention to detail, to the authenticity and integrity of the dishes, that makes Riviera Focacceria molto bene indeed.

Bistro Be {1111 Southwest First Avenue, Miami}

When searching for authentic Belgian food, Miami is probably not the first place that comes to mind. That’s why we love the new Bistro Be, an authentic

Bistro Be

Bistro Be

Belgian restaurant bringing new tastes to our vibrant dining scene. Here, you’ll find a contemporary European escape, where the sophistication of French fare combines with the boldness of German cuisine, all orchestrated by Belgian native and Owner Emmanuel Verschueren. Bistro Be Executive Chef Frederik Appelt recreates tasty homeland fare like Currywurst, Mussels, Steak Tartare, and even Noordzeepannetje—Belgian fish stew, to the lay person. And don’t worry—he’s happy to help you decipher the menu.


SoFi Café {500 South Point Drive, Suite 180, Miami; 305.763.8692}

This new addition to Miami Beach makes healthy eating easy, affordable, and tasty. With the shores of South Beach just a block away, it’s the perfect spot for a pre- or post-beach day meal—or to pick up light and refreshing food to bring with you. The Açaí Bowls are must tries. Each comes with a base of açaí, banana, and other fortifying ingredients. Toppings like kiwi, berries, granola, chia seeds, and honey make it a meal. Come lunch, the nutritious wraps and pitas—washed down with fresh-pressed juices—nourish without weighing down your afternoon. If you’re tempted by the burgers and shakes on the menu, fret not. They’re health-ified, too, so that you literally can’t go wrong on this awesome and affordably-priced menu. sofi-café.com

Vintro Kitchen {2216 Park Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.674.9200}

This summer, we advise locals to check out a new boutique hotel—not for a staycation, but for the food. In the heart of the new cultural district, Vintro Hotel and Kitchen is home to many striking dining outlets to plug into: a wine lobby bar, a roof deck, and a canal-side terrace. Mediterranean-inspired and Latin-flavored, Vintro Kitchen is committed to handcrafted food and drink with dishes designed for sharing. Local and responsibly-sourced seasonal ingredients fill the blackboard, while the cocktail list features perfected classics and craft favorites. Grower wines pair perfectly with the tapas arranged upon the table. Raw bar enthusiasts will be wowed by a 26-foot signature cold bar featuring wild-caught Hamachi crudo and hand-picked salads. It’s the perfect spot to fall in love—or fall in love again—with aphrodisiac bites and artisanal cheese and charcuterie to linger over as you sip.

Sardinia {1801 Purdy Ave, Miami Beach; 305.531.2228}

Named after the Mediterranean island from where its cuisine hails, Sardinia is one of Sunset Harbour’s best kept secrets. Duff Goldman, master baker behind Ace of Cakes, raves about the eatery’s lamb shank, but that’s only one reason why you should visit. There are at least 250 others, all bottled and sealed with a cork, as the restaurant puts much emphasis on its curated wine selections. They even go so far as to use only the highest quality glassware in order to heighten the tasting experience. The restaurant boasts both indoor and outdoor seating, providing an ambiance that’s as refined as it is laid-back, as comfortable as it is enticing.

RIver Oyster House

There’s no denying it: Oysters are having a moment. If you have mad shucking skills, you can be the envy of your friends by harvesting them yourselves and enjoying them raw. Or, if you’re like most people, you can still enjoy them fresher than fresh at either of David Bracha’s supreme spots.

At The River Seafood and Oyster Bar, we’ll take them fire-roasted with sofrito butter, ancho cream, queso Manchego, and chorizo (recipe and wine pairing follows). If Spanish flavors aren’t up your alley, not to worry. With eight to 10 different types of preparations available on any given day, you’ll have plenty to choose from to eat shucked-to-order and raw and as-is, or all dolled up. To enjoy your oysters for half the price, slide in the door between 4:30-7pm. And if you’ve never had an oyster shooter, it’s high time you try one. At River Oyster Bar, Blue Points come with a housemade Bloody Mary mix and sparkling vodka. {; 305.530.1915}

Over at Oak Tavern, the oysters get a more simple treatment. Here, you can savor a sampling of the coasts in the shade of a colossal, enchanting oak tree on the courtyard patio. Go west with half a dozen from Kumamoto in Humboldt Bay, California, and get six more from Peter’s Point in Onset, Massachusetts. Or, enjoy whatever is featured in the daily selection. {; 786.391.1818}


Fire Roasted Oysters from Chef David Bracha of River Seafood and Oyster Bar
serves five to 10

RIver Oyster House


Ancho cream:
2 ancho chiles
10 oysters (medium to large)
1 c heavy cream 

Sofrito butter:
1/2 poblano pepper
1/2 red pepper
1/4 Spanish onion
3 sprigs thyme
6 sprigs cilantro
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Spanish hot paprika
2 tsp black pepper
2 plum tomatoes, seeded
1/2 lb unsalted butter 

2 links of good quality spicy Spanish chorizo
1 c shredded Manchego cheese 


For the ancho cream: Remove the seeds and ribs from the ancho chile. Place the heavy cream and ancho chile in a small saucepan. Shuck the oysters, leaving the meat on one side of the shell, and refrigerate. Discard the other side of the oyster shell, take the natural juice from the oyster, and add it to the ancho chile-cream mixture. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half. Set aside to cool. 

For the sofrito butter: Remove butter from refrigerator a half hour before cooking. In a food processor, combine poblano and red peppers, onion, thyme, cilantro, garlic, tomatoes, hot paprika, black pepper, and cumin. Blend until very finely chopped (if a food processor is not available, mince all ingredients by hand). Add the butter to the vegetable mixture and blend well. Place the butter in the refrigerator for 20 minutes until it becomes firm.

To serve: Peel and slice the chorizo very thin, then set aside. Remove oysters from refrigerator and drizzle a touch of reduced ancho cream on each oyster along with a dollop of sofrito butter, some shredded Manchego, and a slice of chorizo. Place under a broiler or on top of a charcoal grill for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven or broiler and serve immediately.

Wine recommendation: 2004 Gramona, Cava, Gran Cuvée, Penedes, Spain


By Maya Silver | Editor

What if your neighborhood watering hole had the homey feel of the fictional bar “Cheers,” world-class cuisine, and a sommelier’s Shangri-La all in one supreme spot? With Pubbelly Restaurant Group, this is possible—six times over.

Full of youthful vim and a passion for good food, founding partners Andreas Schreiner, José Mendin, and Sergio Navarro opened the doors to their first spot, Pubbelly Gastropub, in 2010. Since then, the group has seen an avalanche of growth. “The main philosophy,” Schreiner says, “is chef-driven, innovative cuisine that breaks the norm; intuitive service; and a focus on the local community.”

While the original Gastropub has inspired all succeeding links in the Pubbelly chain—with themes of local sourcing, boss beer selections, and handcrafted cocktails—each tackles a different cuisine and has carved out its own unique space in the local scene. Next, Pubbelly takes on Mexico, with five restaurants set to open in Mexico City, Monterrey, and Playa del Carmen. Before Pubbelly becomes an international phenomenon, however, you should first get to know its original holdings.

Pubbelly Gastropub {1418 20th Street, Miami Beach; 305.532.7555}

Nods from James Beard (Chef Mendin was a three-time semi-finalist for Best Chef in the South in 2012, 2013, and 2014) are no surprise with dishes like a Korean hot dog with kimchee, Udon Carbonara, and Shortrib Tartare with apples, quail egg, green mustard, tobanjan, and pine nuts.

Pubbelly Sushi {1424 20th Street, Miami Beach; 305.531.9282}

Pubbelly Drinks_0178Welcome to the first Asian-inspired gastropub to hit Miami! Sushi takes cues from Americana in the Soft-Shell Crab BLT Roll and the Bigeye Tuna Sashimi with basil vinegar, Burratina, and heirloom tomato.  

PB Steak {1787 Purdy Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.695.9550}

The Pubbelly boys recently revamped their steakhouse, marrying former PB Steak staples with seafood faves and rum-based refreshers from their PB Fish pop-up. The menu is scrawled on chalkboard walls amidst quirky tchotchkes. Delight in the raw bar, premium meats, and fresh seafood. Come back for a weekend brunch of housemade bacon and a very gourmet Steak and Eggs.

Barceloneta Restaurant {South Beach and South Miami locations}

If you make it past the well-curated appetizers—including homemade Garrotxa cheese—and raw bar beginnings, the Catalan bistro menu brings you to Pubbelly Miami Beach,Barcelona and back. Don’t miss the epic cava selection as well as this Spanish sparkler’s appearance in cocktails and martinis.

L’echon Brasserie {6261 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 786.483.1611}

Red-and-white-checkered napkins, Parisian panache, and escargots—oui, oui, Pubbelly transports you to France at the newest of its establishments. We’re enamored with the L’Echon Burger, topped with roasted pork, mojo onions, Emmenthal cheese, and aïoli. Bonus: the brasserie is located at the Hilton so there’s a pool and a poolside menu. Dive in.


By Monica Parpal | Senior Editor

Swaying palm trees line the shore. Bright sunlight reflects a warm, healing glow on the gently lapping waves. From under broad umbrellas on the waterfront deck, guest enjoy bites of juicy watermelon salad and bright ceviche as they take in the view.

There’s no doubt that The Standard Spa is an idyllic retreat from the rest of the world. Set on the stunning Biscayne Bay with views of Miami Beach, it’s

Chef Mark Zeitouni

Chef Mark Zeitouni

especially attractive to those who seek out healthy and well-being, taking advantage of the spa’s many therapeutic services. And at a hotel like this, a waterfront restaurant with fresh, healthful options year-round is only fitting.

That’s where Lido Restaurant & Bayside Grill comes in. Executive Chef Mark Zeitouni maintains enviable health, enjoying active hobbies and preparing (and eating) foods that are astonishingly nutritious (we’re talking sprouted quinoa, kale smoothies, and fresh-from-the-ocean seafood). He’s a perfect fit for the job, even though he admits that he found his way into the culinary industry by happenstance.

Dive into the juicy Watermelon and Falafel Salad with arugula, pickled onions, heirloom tomatoes, and a spicy yogurt dressing. Topped with shrimp or octopus, it’s an exciting lunchtime choice.

“I needed a job in high school, and I happened to start working in a doughnut shop. I excelled at it, and I enjoyed it. Cooking was something I was good at. But it wasn’t until years later that I looked at it as a career.”

Zeitouni later got a job in a Japanese restaurant, where he worked while attending art school. “I was having fun with painting and sculpture. At the restaurant, I liked to think that I was creating temporary sculptures with food every day. It was the restaurant owner who suggested I go on to culinary school.”


He did, and quickly built upon his experiential foundations. “Eventually, I got into high-end, cutting-edge French cuisine in Miami and Northern California,” he says. While building his skills and honing his career, Zeitouni also experienced an organic shift in his own diet. “Over time, my body became less and less tolerant of the dairy products and starches often used in French cooking, like butter and potatoes. So when I started becoming a chef in my own right, I started cooking lighter.”  Since then, he’s sprouted a gentle but pointed passion for vegetable-based, health-conscious eating.

For these reasons and more, Zeitouni was offered the executive chef position at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach, shortly after Lido Restaurant & Bayside Grill opened. “Here, it’s my job to make the food cohesive with the spa and services, which are primarily focused on the cultures of the Mediterranean. One of the reasons I work here is because the food I cook is the way I currently eat. So it’s part of my lifestyle.”

Broadly speaking, this health-conscious way of cooking and eating does reflect a Mediterranean diet. Zeitouni cooks with olive oil, herbs, fresh fish, sprouted grains and beans, and organic vegetables on a regular basis. But Zeitouni says that it’s more about what he’s not putting in the food. Many dishes exclude items like dairy products, white flour, starches, and gluten, and focus on ingredients that are light, crisp, and refreshing.

“People are surprised that they can find a raw vegan plate on the same menu as a steak and burger.” —Executive Chef Mark Zeitouni.

In particular, Zeitouni’s menus offer many bright, satisfying vegetable-based dishes reflective of West Indian and Mediterranean cultures. “We make a traditional Mediterranean side dish called Eggplant Caponata with roasted eggplant, pine nuts, capers, and raisins, which adds such a depth of flavor to the dish.” Served with local swordfish spritzed with lemon, this bright, flavorful dish is satisfying any time of year. Try it from their Grill Mix + Match menu. Or, dive into the juicy Watermelon and Falafel Salad with arugula, pickled onions, heirloom tomatoes, and a spicy yogurt dressing. Topped with shrimp or octopus, it’s an exciting lunchtime choice.

In addition, Zeitouni and his team have lately taken to sprouting their own grains. They soak quinoa, beans, and other grains until they sprout, as if they’re preparing to take root and grow. Sprouting grains, although a relatively recent nutritional phenomenon, spurs the plant’s enzyme activity and transforms the internal starches into simpler molecules.

Sprouted chickpeas

Sprouted chickpeas

“When those enzymes start working, the food delivers a completely new benefit,” says Zeitouni. The food molecules become more easily digested by the new, growing plant—and by some people, too. Case in point? The Sprouted Grain Salad—made with greens, avocado, sprouted lentils, and sprouted quinoa, drizzled in carrot-ginger vinaigrette—has been a popular staple on the menu for years.

It might be easy to pin this type of health-focused diet on Miami’s fashion-forward, skin-baring beach community, where whittling the waistline is a common goal. But Zeitouni has another perspective. “The bottom line is that a healthier diet must include more vegetables,” he asserts. “That’s true all over the country, not just in Miami.”

One of Zeitouni’s greatest rewards is being able to offer a culinary sanctuary for diners with food intolerances, or specific vegetable-based diets. “Most of the guests come here with a healthy lifestyle in mind. As a result, people are able to stay here and enjoy our food without having to leave the hotel in search of another restaurant.”

That said, Zeitouni hopes everyone can find something they love on his menus. In fact, guests can come to Lido Restaurant and order a burger and fries if they wish. “People are surprised that they can find a raw vegan plate on the same menu as a steak and burger,” he says. “What I enjoy the most is that this hotel has always appreciated my menus and the way I cook. It’s cohesive with the spa, and that makes for a great experience all around.”

Just as a lentil or grain of rice needs a bit of soaking to sprout and grow, guests of Lido or The Standard Spa, Miami Beach are encouraged to stay a while, soak up the sun and ocean views, and be nourished by Chef Mark Zeitouni’s offerings. Spa or not, good food and great views can do the body wonders.

2 db Bistro Miami  Bar & Lounge 2 by C. Uribe

By Jen Suskin-Lazaroff | Miami Publisher

DiningOut: What’s your go-to summer cheese and wine pairing?

Sommelier Christopher Birnie-Visscher: When it comes to pairing wine with cheese, Champagne is always a go-to option. The natural acidity found in Champagne works really well with many cheeses like Humboldt Fog and a Blancs de Blanc. Plus, Champagne is a great way to cool down in the summer.

DO: What are your edible/drinkable secrets to staying cool in the summer?

CBV: In the Miami summer heat, it’s the perfect time to explore crisp, cool wines. Rosé is a great summer wine that can be enjoyed with or without food. Every major wine region produces rosés and the best part is the price. You can get a delicious rosé for under 20 dollars. It’s a dry, refreshing, and delicious choice to enjoy with friends and family at summer picnics.

DO: What ingredients will you be focusing on, and what are some dishes you’d like to highlight from your summer menu?

Crab at db Bistro

Crab at db Bistro

Executive Chef Jason Pringle: When I was creating this menu I starting thinking about seasonal and classic light fare. Summertime is perfect for tomatoes, mangoes, and stone fruits. We have brought back some Daniel Boulud summer classics like our Tomato Tarte Tatin, Melon and Shrimp Salad (recipe follows), or the Nine Herb Mezzaluna.

We also just kicked off our dbQ—a daily barbecue from 5-8pm in the lounge and terrace that runs through August 29.

DO: What’s your favorite fruit, vegetable, and protein? How do you like to prepare these picks at home and at db Bistro?

JP: Cherries, peaches, melons, stone fruits, and seafood are some of my favorites for summer. When I’m cooking at home, I keep things simple with just salt, pepper, and olive oil or lemon juice. I always prefer to grill or roast my vegetables and seafood when the weather starts heating up.

At the restaurant, I still keep it simple, but my presentation is more upscale than when I’m at home. Instead of just grilling my vegetables and fruits, I like to pickle them at the restaurant to make the freshness last all year long. I tend to have more equipment at the restaurant to be creative with each dish and its flavors.

DO: What would you cook for a Bastille Day celebration?

JP: Classic summer French dishes come to mind. It’s hot in France during that time so rosés are a must and seafood, of course. I’m thinking mussels, shrimp, oysters, clams, grilled fish, and vegetables.

Melon Salad with Lemongrass Shrimp from Executive Chef Jason Pringle of db Bistro Moderne Miami

serves four

melon salad


Lemongrass dressing:
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp finely grated peeled ginger
2 tsp finely chopped lemongrass
zest of 1 lime
freshly-squeezed juice of 2 limes
1/8 tsp Tabasco
salt and freshly ground white pepper

1-1/2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 ripe honeydew melon
1 ripe, small, round red watermelon
1 Tbsp finely chopped purple basil leaves, plus additional small leaves
1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves, plus additional small leaves
salt and freshly ground white pepper


For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, ginger,
lemongrass, lime zest and juice, and Tabasco in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the salad: Cook the shrimp in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water for 3-5 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle, slice lengthwise in half. Cut the honeydew and watermelon in half. Cut away the rind, and remove the seeds. Cut the melons into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Remove the watermelon seeds (it’s okay if the slices don’t stay intact). Using a cake ring or glass that is slightly smaller than the mouth of a 14-16-ounce martini glass or Champagne coupe, cut 16 slices from the watermelon, and 16 slices from the honeydew. Save the nicest 4 watermelon slices for the top.

To serve: Set out four 8-12-ounce capacity martini glasses or Champagne coupes.

Layer two slices of watermelon and honeydew in each glass, lightly sprinkling each melon layer with lemongrass dressing, chopped basil, chopped cilantro, salt, and pepper. You may need to trim the melon slices so they fit neatly into the glasses, which should be half-full at this point. Divide the shrimp among the glasses, arranging them in concentric circles. Season the shrimp with dressing, basil, cilantro, salt, and pepper.

Layer the glasses with the melon in reverse order: the honeydew, and then the
watermelon, seasoning each layer as before. Top each salad with a reserved watermelon slice and sprinkle lightly with dressing, basil, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Garnish each salad with a basil and cilantro leaf.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving (the melon and shrimp taste best when well chilled).

Wine Pairing: The Chilean 1999 Santa Rita Reserva Sauvignon Blanc’s high acidity, low alcohol content, and tropical fruit scent add zing to the mellowness of the honeydew and cantaloupe. A more elegant choice would be the 1998 Kendall-Jackson Vinter’s Reserve Chardonnay from Sonoma, California, whose rich toffee and butterscotch flavors retain a hint of fruitiness, keeping it lively on the palate.

Sourced from “Daniel’s Dish: Entertaining at Home with a Four Star Chef,” by Daniel Bouloud (Filipacchi Publishing, 2003)