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Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village Featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations - 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE

The past few days have been a whirlwind—a dizzying series of daytime beach festivities, nighttime tastings, late-night soirees, chef meet-and-greets, cooking demonstrations, intimate dinners, burgers, pasta, barbecue, and, of course, lots and lots of free-flowing wine.

Here’s a look back on some of our favorite highlights from South Beach Wine and Food Fest 2016.


Giada De Laurentiis

Sobefest kicked off for us on Thursday evening with Barila’s Italian Bites on the Beach hosted by the one and only Giada De Laurentiis. The walk-around tasting event under the stars on the sand featured dozens of chefs presenting their favorite Italian dishes. The deliciousness that ensued set the tone for some of the amazing things to come.

Image courtesy of Robert Sullivan Photography

Image courtesy of Robert Sullivan Photography

The Italian feast came to a close at 10pm, just in time for us to switch locations—and (in respect to food) continents—for Tacos After Dark at the Loews Miami Beach, presented by the Mexico City tourism board and hosted by Aarón Sánchez of “Chopped” fame. A highlight of this event was our chat with acclaimed Mexican Chef Enrique Olvera, considered one of the best Mexican chefs in the world. (Check back for our 10 Questions feature with the chef later this week.)

Image courtesy of Robert Sullivan Photography

Image courtesy of Robert Sullivan Photography


Amstel Light Burger Bash Presented By Schweid & Sons Hosted By Rachael Ray - 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE

Things started heating up on Friday night with several signature SOBEWFF events, including the Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons and hosted by Rachael Ray. The winners of the evening were Chef Masaharu Morimoto, who won the coveted People’s Choice Award for his Menchi Katsu Burger, and Miami food truck favorite Jersey Dawg’s Classic Slider, which won the judges’ Very Best Burger Award. In Addition, Boston burger masters Kathy Sidell and David Daniels of MET Back Bay wowed celebrity guest judge Andrew Zimmern to take home Red Robin’s Best of the Bash Award for its Jacques Burger.

Red Robin, Andrew Zimmer

Photo courtesy of Brian Blanco/AP Images for Red Robin

Also on Friday evening was Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The upscale event featured 60 of the nation’s top chefs showcasing their top dishes to pair with over 100 different wines, all of which were rated 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator’s scale.

wine spectator best of the best


Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village Featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations - 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE

The tasting events continued Saturday at the Grand Tasting Village, an endless display of wine, food, and fun spanning several blocks on the sand, with the picture-perfect ocean as a backdrop. Cooking demonstrations were led by Rachael Ray, Neil Patrick Harris, Guy Fieri, and many other famous faces.

Meatopia Presented By Creekstone Farms Sponsored By Thrillist Hosted By Michael Symon - 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE

Saturday night, the tents in front of the Delano were once again hopping for the second-annual Meatopia, presented by Creekstone Farms and hosted by Food Network’s Michael Symon. Fire department employees were kept on hand just in case at this smoky, open-flame affair, where some of the nation’s top chefs cooked up their meatiest dishes for hundreds of carnivorous festival-goers. Each guest was given a red token to vote for their favorite bite of the evening. Miami Beach’s own Quality Meats took home the coveted People’s Choice for its thick and juicy House-Cured Slab Bacon.

Meatopia Presented By Creekstone Farms Sponsored By Thrillist Hosted By Michael Symon - 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE


Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations - 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE

In true SOBEFEST fashion, the Grand Tasting Village did not disappoint on the final festival day, with revelers soaking up their last chance of the weekend to eat and imbibe. Food Network and Cooking Channel personalities, including Tia Mowry and Tiffany (Amber) Theissan took the stage all afternoon long presenting some of their favorite dishes to an eager crowd.

Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations - 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE

In all, the 2016 South Beach Wine and Food Festival was a huge success! The only downside is that now we have to wait an entire year for it to come again.

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

berries in the grove

Berries in the Grove {2884 Southwest 27th Avenue, Coconut Grove; 305.448.2111} has long been a neighborhood favorite for lunch, dinner, and, especially, weekend brunch. But now, you can enjoy Berries’ famous breakfast dishes during the week as well. The restaurant recently launched breakfast service every Monday-Friday from 7-11am.

Expect all your favorite home-style breakfast platters, including Belgian Waffles, French Toast, and Pancakes, served with butter and syrup or topped with your choice of banana brulée, berry compote, or rum raisin; and fresh-to-order omelettes such as the Western Omelette with ham, red and green peppers, onions, and cheddar cheese; or the Spanish Omelette with tomato, chorizo, onions, and mozzarella cheese.

berries in the grove

You can also make your own omelette, choosing from a variety of fresh ingredients, including ham, sausage, bacon, turkey, peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, potatoes, and cheese (American, Swiss, or cheddar).

Other menu items include the Traditional Eggs Benedict (a toasted English muffin topped with Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and hollandaise) served with home fries; the Smoked Salmon Platter (cream cheese, tomato, capers, red onions, lettuce, and smoked salmon) served with a toasted bagel; and the Egg and Cheese BLT (a toasted brioche bun topped with a fried egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and Swiss cheese) served with a side of hash browns.

berries in the grove

And lastly, The House Breakfast (two eggs, home fries, whole wheat toast, and choice of sausage, bacon, or ham with American coffee) is available only during the week (Monday-Friday) for just $7.95. It’s so good, your colleagues will wonder why you’re suddenly showing up to work with a little more spring in your step!

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

La Mar Cebiche Clasico

Cebiche Clasico from La Mar by Gastón Acurio at Mandarin Oriental, Miami {500 Brickell Key Drive, Brickell; 305.913.8358}

3-1/2 oz fluke, cubed
red habanero, brunoised
1 fresh lime
2 oz leche de tigre
1 oz red onions, julienned
sweet potato
Method: In a bowl, mix fish, salt, habanero, lime juice, and leche de tigre. Form the mixture into a mountain shape, and place red onion on top. Decorate with sweet potato, choclo, and micro-cilantro.

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

riviera focacceria italiana

If you didn’t know it was there, you might miss it. Sandwiched between two other small eateries in the Shops at Midtown Miami, lies a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

While there are hundreds of Italian restaurants that dot the Greater Miami area, Riviera Focacceria Italiana {3252 Northeast Buena Vista Boulevard, Suite 1100, Midtown; 768.220.6251} is one of only a handful that specializes in authentic cuisine from Liguria, a crescent-shaped coastal region in northwest Italy, bordering the southeastern tip of France to the west and Tuscany to the east.

Owner Fabio Domenichini, who hails from the Ligurian capital of Genoa, greeted us warmly in his thick Italian accent and sat us on the patio out front. Unlike other restaurants in Midtown with tables spilling out onto the pedestrian-crowded sidewalks, Riviera’s patio is quaint and private.

Wine is a must at this rustic, no-frills eatery, and rows of bottles line the back wall. As we settled in with our beautifully crisp white from Sardinia, we were greeted by our friendly server who placed a tin of freshly baked focaccia bread on the table.

riviera focacceria italiana

Focaccia al Formaggi

You’ll be tempted to fill up on the delicious focaccia—it is, after all, where Riviera Focacceria gets its name. But you haven’t really experienced this Ligurian specialty until you taste the restaurant’s signature Focaccia al Formaggi: thin sheets of delicate, flaky dough blanketing a layer of melt-in-your-mouth Stracchino cheese (air-freighted in weekly from Italy), served piping hot in the pan it’s cooked in. Trust us when we say you’ve never tried anything like it.

riviera focacceria italiana

Pansoti al Pesto di Maggiorana

This could have easily been our full meal, but Fabio warned us to “not to eat it all,” so we could save room for what was to come: the creamy Pansoti al Pesto di Maggiorana, a ravioli-like pasta (handmade from scratch) with marjoram, pine cuts, Parmesan pesto, and a touch of butter; and the Tonna alla Ligure, a tuna fillet seared on one side and topped with capers, pine nuts, parsley, and Taggiasca olives gremolata spread over a chickpea purée. Both exquisite.

riviera focacceria italiana

Tonna alla Ligure

As we sipped up the last of our wine, we studied the dessert menu. We learned that the Panna Cotta al Vino Rosso is a must-try, but our server also let us know that a special chocolate mousse with strawberry sorbet was available that night. If this close-your-eyes-to-savor-each-bite dessert is any indications of the others, then it’s safe to say there’s not a bad one in the bunch. And if you’re too full for dessert, you can always wrap one up to-go. All desserts, along with olive oil, cheeses, homemade pastas, sauces, and focaccias, can be purchased at the market on premises.

riviera focacceria italiana

Specialty Chocolate Mousse Dessert

So the next time you’re at the Shops at Midtown, be on the lookout for this tiny slice of Liguria. It might not be the trendy place to see and be seen, but you may just find your new go-to Italian eatery.

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

Blair Wilson

Chef Blair Wilson (Photo by Mike Pisarri)

Not to worry if you didn’t snag tickets to one of the 80-plus largely sold-out SoBe Fest events. There are a slew of worthy satellite alternatives you can still get into, including next Thursday’s late-night Mediterranean Feast with Top Chef’s Mike Isabella, Jennifer Carroll, and George Pagonis. The second annual event, hosted by local talent Chef Blair Wilson of The Social Club, will be held at The Surfcomber on Thursday, February 25, 2016 from 9:30pm-12:30am.

Taking place around the pool area and on the back lawn of the Surfcomber, Wilson, Isabella, Carroll, and Pagonis will each demonstrate their individual areas of expertise for a late night, flavor-packed beachside exploration of the Mediterranean. Sip on fine Greek wines and craft cocktails and visit food stations including an Oyster Raw Bar by Travis Croxton of Rappahannock River Oyster Co. in Virginia that will include a selection of hand-shucked oysters and delicious garnishes; as well as a Wood Burning Spit Station with Merguez sausage and spit-roasted lamb on grilled flatbread with romaine, pickled onion, and radish; and charred octopus with a shaved fennel and citrus salad. You’ll also enjoy housemade Greek spreads and charred flatbread, including tzatziki, Revithosalata, and Taramasalata.

A Mediterranean Seafood Bar promises hot delicacies such as saffron roasted lobster; Gulf shrimp with piri piri; grilled whole local fish with tapenade and preserved lemon gremolata, spicy artichoke, and spinach; and warm savory bowls of bouillabaisse, as well as cold dishes including shellfish escabeche; charred scallop and squid salad; shrimp cocktail; stone crab claws; king crab legs, and all the accoutrements.

Tickets are just $95 per person, and are on sale now at mediterraneanfeast.eventbrite.com.

Social Club and High Tide are both located at the Surfcomber Hotel at 1717 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.


Midtown Oyster Bar new menu

New menu items: Salmon Tiradito and Croquettes

Last week, Graspa Group eatery Midtown Oyster Bar {3301 Northeast First Avenue, Suite 103-1, Midtown; 786.220.2070} debuted its revamped menu and a new logo with the tagline “A Fish Kitchen.” The popular restaurant is staying true to its original concept by continuing to offer an unmatched selection of fresh oysters, but it has refocused its menu to embrace “seafood dishes made simply.” The idea is to make guests feel comfortable with a more approachable, seafood-centric menu.

The menu has three brand-new sections:

Crudo: Featuring a selection of raw bites such as Salmon Tiradito (marinated salmon, orange, and pink peppercorn), Branzino Carpaccio (fennel, Tuscan pecorino, and caramelized walnuts); and Tuna Tartare (yellowfin tuna, carrot, celery, and zucchini mirepoix).

Fried: Featuring flavorful items such as Croquettes (cod croquettes with spicy aïoli and baby arugula), Fritto Misto (calamari, shrimp, baby smelt, and vegetable tempura), and the Shrimp Combo (shrimp kataifi, phyllo-wrapped, and yogurt mint sauce).

Crostoni: Featuring five sandwiches, including the Open Face 9 Grain Bread (octopus, cabbage, tomato, and crispy kale) and the beloved MOB Burger (Angus beef, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion with french fries).

Other menu additions include the Burrata appetizer (white anchovies, tomato confit, baby arugula, and crispy onions); the Duo of Sardines (homemade, marinated sardines with brioche bread and homemade butter and breaded sardines topped with pickled onions); and the Mediterranean Salad (organic salad blend, grapefruit, pistachios, grilled calamari, and berry dressing).

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

Scarpetta at Fontainebleau

This Wednesday, February 10 at 8pm, Fontainebleau’s signature Italian restaurant Scarpetta {4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 877.326.7412} will host the next edition of the popular Cellar 1954 Wine & Dinner Series, which pairs the cuisine of the hotel’s award-winning restaurants with some of the most prestigious wines and winemakers.

This week, diners will enjoy a decadent five-course meal prepared by Scarpetta’s new Chef de Cuisine Neil O’Connell complemented by wines from Napa Valley winery Odette Estate and its sister wineries Cade and PlumpJack, presented by winemaker Jeff Owens.

Menu items include a trio of canapés—Roast Chicken Arancini, Hamachi Crudo, and Crispy Polenta—followed by Caramelized Veal Sweetbread, Truffle Raviolini, and Herb-Crumbed Loin of Lamb, topped off with a Walnut Financier for dessert.

Cost is $225 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by clicking here.

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

In just a few weeks (February 24-28), the 15th-annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival, one of the most anticipated foodie events of the year, will welcome thousands of visitors, culinary personalities, chefs, celebrities, and more to Miami for five full days of food and wine fun. With over 75 special events, parties, dinners, cooking demonstrations, and more, it’s hard to decide which events you may want to attend. Here are five signature events you need to know about:

Giada de Laurentiis

1. Barilla’s Italian Bites on the Beach hosted by Giada De Laurentiis
Thursday, February 25, 6:15-10pm
Where: PMG North Venue (Beachside at Delano)
Tickets: $150
What: Join Emmy Award-winning Food Network personality, best-selling author, and restaurateur Giada De Laurentiis on a culinary tour of authentic Italian fare as she hosts 30 of the nation’s best chefs serving up dishes originating from various regions of Italy. Expect delicious samples from Massimo Giannattasio of Cibo Wine Bar, Loris Navone of Tamarina Restaurants; Michael Pirolo of Macchialina; Todd Zimmer of Prime One Twelve and Prime Italian, and many, many more.

Amstel Light Burger Bash Presented By Schweid & Sons Hosted By Rachael Ray - 2015 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival

2. Amstel Light Burger Bash hosted by Rachael Ray
Friday, February 26, 7:30-10:30pm
Where: PMG North Venue (Beachside at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach)
Tickets: $250
What: Don’t miss out on celebrating the 10th anniversary of one of SOBEFEST’s most anticipated events: the Amstel Light Burger Bash. Presented by Schweid & Sons and hosted by TV personality Rachael Ray, this year’s event will bring together the country’s leading burger maestros to compete for top honors in front of an esteemed panel of judges—David Burtka, Neil Patrick HarrisNatalie Morales, George Motz, and Marcus Samuelsson—who will decide which chef will receive the coveted Very Best Burger Award. Attendees can also cast their vote for the Amstel Light People’s Choice Award.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach Presents Wine Spectator's Best Of The Best Sponsored By Bank Of America And Merrill Lynch - 2015 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food

3. Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best
When: Friday, February 26, 7:30-10:30pm
Where: Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Tickets: $350
What: Nearly 60 acclaimed chefs gather at the iconic Fontainebleau hotel to showcase their most gourmet samplings, which are paired with over 100 wines rated 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator’s scale. Only proprietors and winemakers from each winery are invited to pour their top varietals, so you can hear about how the world’s greatest vino makes it from their vineyards to your glass. Notable chefs featured include Scott Conant of Scarpetta; Jeremy Ford of Matador Room; Benjamin Murray of Azul and Diego Oka of La Mar by Gastón Acurio, both at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami; Gregory Pugin of Palme D’Or at the Biltmore Hotel; Laurent Tourondel of BLT Steak; and Mark Zeitouni of Lido Restaurant at the Standard Spa, Miami Beach.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's Meatopia: The Q Revolution Presented By Creekstone Farms Hosted By Guy Fieri Curated By Josh Ozersky - 2015 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival

4. Meatopia hosted by Michael Symon
Saturday, February 27, 7-10pm
Where: PMG North Venue (Beachside at Delano)
Tickets: $250
What: Meatopia, presented by Creekstone Farms, was the brainchild by the late carnivorous visionary Josh Ozersky, a James Beard Award-winning food writer and longtime friend of the festival. For its second edition, the event will feature from more than 25 of the country’s greatest chefs to cook their best meat dishes low and slow over open fires, using only wood or charcoal as a base. The King of Carnivores, Michael Symon, will host this marquee affair as guests enjoy a live musical performance by Gregg Allman while sipping on cold beer and an array of brown spirits.

KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations - STAGES/BOOK SIGNINGS - 2015 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival

5 . Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village
Saturday, February 27 and Sunday, February 28, noon-5pm
Where: Grand Tasting Village (13th Street and Ocean Drive)
Tickets: $225 per day
What: Last, but not least, the all-day tasting extravaganzas—a culmination of SOBEFEST’s participating chefs, restaurants, beverage sponsors, and more under the MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents on the sand. In addition to sampling bold cuisine, stylish wines, and creative spirits, witness KitchenAid culinary demonstrations, your favorite cooking personalities competing on the culinary demo stages, and even a new interactive trivia game hosted by Guy Fieri. Pace yourself as you stroll through a never-ending celebration of the senses. And for the fourth year, guests will be able to vote for their favorite dishes and decide which restaurant will win the Miami New Times’ Best Bite on the Beach Award.

Don’t forget, there are dozens of other events are taking place throughout the city during the festival, so be sure to visit sobefest.com for a complete list. We hope to see you there!

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

Azul Chirashi Don Izakaya Nights

“Chirashi Don”

Starting this Thursday, February 4, Azul at Mandarin Oriental, Miami {500 Brickell Key Drive, Brickell; 305.913.8358} will be celebrating the Japanese roots of its chef, Benjamin Murray, with a new series called “Izakaya Nights.”

Every Thursday through March 31, Chef Murray will offer a special menu inspired by the shareable cuisine found at traditional Izakaya restaurants in Japan, complemented by a full selection of cocktails featuring Asian spirits and ingredients.

The weekly rotating menu will fuse Japanese fare with Murray’s contemporary techniques. Highlights include Gyoza Dumplings with short rib, miso, shrimp, scallion, and togarashi; Branzino served with kabocha squash, kalamansi, eggplant katsu, and shiso, a Japanese mint-like herb; Chirashi Don, a Japanese rice bowl served with yellowfin tuna, avocado, sushi rice, furikake, and ponzu; and Croquettes of Okinawa Sweet Potato, which are lightly fried and served with piquant “Bulldog Sauce.” A dessert sampler will include Japanese-style Cotton Cheesecake, Wolfberry Coconut Mochi, and Green Tea Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Azul’s “Izakaya Nights” menu is $55 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Includes four shareable plates plus dessert. Themed cocktails and sake pairings are available for $30 (two cocktails) or $25 for sake.

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

Valentine’s Day is less than two weeks away. Do you know where you’re spending it? Below, we offer the most complete roundup of V-Day offerings Miami has to offer. Here’s how to spend Valentine’s Day in Miami.

Downtown and Brickell

Valentine's Day in Miami

Atrio’s Raspberry Mille-Feuille

Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room {Conrad Miami, 1395 Brickell Avenue, Brickell; 305.503.6529}
Spoil your sweetheart with a three-course meal with choices such as Poached Oysters and Beef Tenderloin, and decadent Raspberry Mille-Feuille, all with a side of skyline backdrop from 25 stories up. Price is $65 per person; includes one glass of prosecco and complimentary valet parking.

Azul {Mandarin Oriental, Miami, 500 Brickell Key Drive, Brickell; 305.913.8358}
A five-course meal will be served Feb. 12-14 for $350 per couple. Includes bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, a box of handmade chocolates, and a rose petal decorated table. Menu items include Yellowfin Tuna, Whipped Foie Gras, Sea Scallops, Hibiscus Braised Short Rib, and a Couples Dessert.

Scampi al forno

Langoustine Scampi al Forno from Cipriani

Cipriani {465 Brickell Avenue, Brickell; 786.329.4090}
Celebrate V-Day Cipriani-style with an authentic three-course Italian dinner for $95 per person. Includes signature welcome Bellini; choice of appetizer; choice of entrée from Gnocchi al Pomodoro, Roasted Rack of Veal, or Langoustine Scampi al Forno; and choice of dessert. Click here for full menu.

db Bistro Moderne {255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Downtown; 305.421.8800}
February 13-14, Daniel Boulud’s French bistro is offering a four-course menu for $155 per person, featuring choice of Peekytoe Crab Salad or Guinea Hen Terrine, followed by Black Truffle Risotto and your choice of a Duo of Beef or Butter-Poached Lobster. Sommelier Alan Feldman will offer wine selections to highlight the dishes. Click here for full menu.

La Mar by Gastón Acurio {Mandarin Oriental, Miami, 500 Brickell Key Drive, Brickell; 305.913.8358}
A trio of special dishes will be available 11:30am-11pm February 12-13 and 6-11pm February 14. Also on V-Day, indulge in a Peruvian-style brunch with cebiches, specialty entrées, and decadent desserts, plus unlimited Champagne and brunch cocktails for $85 per person.

Seaspice valentines

Seaspice’s Seafood Carnival

Seaspice {422 Northwest North River Drive, Miami; 305.440.4200}
Enjoy the Seafood Carnival, market priced from $600-$750, which includes two two-pound lobsters, eight jumbo prawns, 24 oysters, Alaskan king crab, Florida stone crab, tuna sashimi, salmon sashimi, hamachi sashimi, salmon coconut ceviche, and 2oz Sevruga caviar. Tip: Ask for Table 85, a dimly lit riverside table overlooking the downtown skyline.

Tamarina {600 Brickell Avenue, Brickell; 305.579.1888}
February 12-14, enjoy the chef’s special tasting menu for $180 per couple. On February 13, there will be a free open-air movie, “The Book of Life,” at the Brickell World Plaza, where Tamarina will be serving Valentine’s sweets and gelato. On Sunday, the restaurant hosts its “Lovers Brunch,” featuring a live jazz band performing in the plaza.

The Trapiche Room {JW Marriott Miami, 1109 Brickell Avenue, Brickell; 305.329.3500}
Share a romantic dining experience with a four-course menu for $80 per person (or $105 per person with featured wine pairings). Includes amuse bouche, Chef’s Creek Oyster, and entrée selection of Chocolate-Dusted Prime Filet or Coho Salmon. Click here for full menu.

Miami Beach

Bagatelle {221 21st Street, Miami Beach; 305.704.3900}
Order the $185 Le Sobe, which includes 16 market oysters, half an Alaskan king crab, stone crab claws, one Maine lobster, eight littleneck clams, 12 mussels, 12 shrimps, seafood ceviche, yellowfin tuna tartare, and Scottish salmon tartare. Tip: Ask for Table 203, the restaurant’s most romantic table.


Bazi Dining Room

Bazi {1200 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.695.010}
Chef Michael Pirolo is offering a five-course menu for $75 per person. Start with Dressed Oysters, followed by Sweet Potato Dumplings, Shrimp and Crab Udon, and a choice of Miso-Marinated Grouper or Grass-Fed NY Strip Steak. Cap off the evening with a Molten Chocolate Bowl with passionfruit and Thai basil anglaise.

BLT Steak {The Betsy-South Beach, 1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 305.673.0044}
February 12-14, BLT Steak is featuring a three-course menu for $70 per person, with enticing selections such as Royal Red Shrimp Ceviche, Seared Yellowfin Tuna, Meyer Lemon Quinoa Risotto, and Raspberry Chocolate Cake. Click here for full menu.

Café des Arts {22 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.534.2555}
South of Fifth’s new Mediterranean café will offer a $75 menu featuring Maine Lobster Salad; a choice of Dorade Fillet or Tender Wagyu; and choice of dessert. Also includes a Love Kiss Shot (a cold shot of red beet and gin) and glass of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne. Click here for full menu.

Cleo {The Redbury Hotel, 1776 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.534.2536}
Enjoy a prix-fixe menu for $85 per person featuring choice of dip (hummus with tahini, cucumbers and yogurt, labneh with feta, or baba ghanoush); classic items such as the Brussels SproutsSpicy Cigars, Grilled Branzino, and chef’s selection of gourmet desserts. Click here for full menu.

Miami Beach Edition

Movie under the stars at the Miami Beach EDITION

EDITION Miami Beach {2901 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 786.257.4600}
Spend a romantic evening under the stars while enjoying a picnic basket for two and watching “Casablanca.” Baskets are $100 and include cheese and charcuterie, freshly baked bread, tuna tartare, gourmet popcorn, house-baked cookies, and a bottle of rosé. Movie begins at 7pm.

Jaya {The Setai, 2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 855.923.7899}
The Setai’s new restaurant will offer two five-course menus, one February 12-13 for $98 per person, and one on February 14 for $125 per person. Wine pairings are available for an additional $110 per person. Ladies receive a complimentary glass of rosé and delectable macarons. Click here for Friday and Saturday menu; click here for Sunday menu.

Katsuya {1701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.455.2995}
Take a culinary journey with Chef Jose Icardi’s special family-style menu, offered Feb. 13-14 for $85 per person. Menu items include Toro Tartare, Wagyu Foie, Whole Lobster, chef’s dessert selection, and a complimentary glass of Champagne. Click here for full menu.

Standard Valentine's Day drink

2 Hearts R Better Than 1 from the Standard

Lido Restaurant at The Standard {40 Island Avenue, Miami Beach; 786.425.0990}
Be sure to order Beverage Director Amy Demoga’s specialty Champagne cocktail, 2 Hearts R Better Than 1: Veuve Clicquot Rich over ice with red pepper hearts.

Macchialina {820 Alton Road, Miami Beach; 305.534.2124}
Miami Beach’s beloved rustic Italian eatery will offer a five-course menu for $75 per person featuring dishes such as Dressed OystersYellowfin Tuna CrudoTruffled RisottoVeal Cheek Crepinette, and Molten Chocolate Cake.

Michael Mina 74 {Fontainebleau, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.674.4636}
Spoil your loved one at the Fontainebleau’s contemporary American bistro with a lavish four-course menu for $250 per couple (add wine pairings for an additional $100). The menu can also be served in a romantic private cabana for $500 per couple. Click here for full menu.

Quattro Gastronomia Italiana {1014 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 305.531.4833}
Lincoln Road’s upscale Northern Italian eatery is offering several à la carte dinner specials, including Tuna Carpaccio, Creamy Truffle Polenta, Gnocchi Pesto with Shrimp, and Rack of Lamb with beech mushroom sauce. Click here for full menu.

TiramesU {101 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.532.4538}
South of Fifth’s quaint Italian eatery is offering an à la carte dinner menu. “Each dish is meant to awaken passion, through your palette,” says Chef Fabrizio Pintus. A specialty cocktail appropriately named “Valentino” includes strawberries, basil, balsamic, and Effen vodka. Click here for full menu.

Coral Gables

The Biltmore {1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables; 305.445.8066 ext. 2373}
Let Executive Chef David Hackett personalize and prepare a custom menu for you within a private cabana nestled alongside the Biltmore’s world-famous pool. Four-course dinners start at $200 per person. Let the Biltmore Design Team enhance your cabana experience with flowers, live music, or special décor.

Bulla Cordonices

Bulla Cordonices con Rosas

Bulla Gastrobar {2500 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables; 305.316.3631}
The Gables’ favorite gastrobar will offer a weekly à la carte Valentine’s-themed menu; highlights include Pargo a La Sal, Florida red snapper baked in salt; Codornices con Rosas, grilled semi-boneless quails; Carrilleras de Ternera Lechal, veal cheek fricassee; and Brazo Helado de Mango y Vainilla, Mango gelée roll filled with vanilla ice cream and yogurt.

Ortanique on the Mile {278 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305.446.7710}
Chef Cindy Hutson will host a themed cooking class on February 13 from 11:30am-2:30pm for $108 per person. Dishes include: Hearts on Fire, steamed artichoke hearts, crisp greens in a pink peppercorn Caesar, and shaved Grana Padano; Sweet Cheeks, Niman Ranch braised pork cheeks and sweet corn polenta in a cherry chipotle agave glaze; and Making Whoopie, red velvet cookie cake filled with white chocolate cream cheese icing.

And Beyond

Hyde Beach Kitchen + Cocktails {111 South Surf Road, Hallandale; 954.699.0901}
From 11am-3pm, couples can revel in a $50 brunch buffet that includes dishes such as Fried Chicken and Waffles, Blueberry Pancakes, and thick-cut bacon topped off with $30 bottomless rosé. For dinner, there will be a $75 prix-fixe menu with plates such as the Pumpkin BriocheWasabi Tuna Tartare, Mushroom Gnocchi, and a selection of desserts. Click here for full menu.

Mortons valentines

Morton’s Valentine’s Day Surf ‘n’ Turf Special

Morton’s The Steakhouse {Locations in Brickell, Coral Gables, and North Miami Beach}
February 12-14, Morton’s is offering a taste of the good life by offering diners the chance to order a succulent steak AND a cold water lobster tail with drawn butter for only $55.

Riviera Focacceria Italiana {3252 Northeast Buena Vista Boulevard, Suite 110, Midtown; 786.220.6251}
For a quiet evening at home, order Riviera’s take-home basket for a Valentine’s dinner that you and your loved one can prepare together. Baskets are $45 and include Red Shrimp Ravioli with a creamy pink peppercorn sauce, chef’s choice of dessert, and a bottle of Syltbar Rosé.

Pisco y Nazca {The Palms at Town & Country, 8405 Mills Drive, Kendall; 305.630.3844}
Treat your love to a seat at the bar to share one of the special Valentine’s Day menu items. And don’t forget to order the Noche de Pasion cocktail, a mixture of Ron Cartavio Black, passionfruit purée, vanilla cinnamon syrup, lemon juice, Garnish black cherry, and sprinkled cinnamon.

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor