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mother's day

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8. Have you made your dining plans yet? Below, the only guide you’ll need to decide where to treat mom on her special day. Be sure to make reservations as soon as possible!

Adena Grill & Wine Bar {900 Silks Run, Hallandale Beach; 954.464.2333}
From 11am-4pm, the elegant steakhouse at Gulfstream Park will host a very special Mother’s Day brunch buffet featuring a variety of gourmet stations serving both breakfast and lunch options. Breakfast offerings include a home-baked bread station with homemade waffles, pancakes, bagels, and more, as well as a custom omelet and fresh fruit station. Lunch options will feature shellfish, sushi, and pasta stations, plus a meat-carving station and various entrées. $49 per adults; $20 for children 10. Adena’s regular à la carte dinner menu will be available from 4-10pm.

Apeiro Kitchen & Bar {3252 Northeast First Avenue, Midtown; 786.800.5389}
The acclaimed Delray Beach restaurant that recently opened in Midtown invites guests to Mother’s Day brunch from 11am-4pm. Specials include Stracciatella with pickled cantaloupe, watermelon, and crispy prosciutto; Bouillabaisse of mussels, clams, shrimp, octopus, and tomato broth atop cuttlefish capellini; and Rib-Eye with roasted fennel, fingerling potatoes, and saba reduction.

The Bazaar by José Andrés {SLS South Beach, 1701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.455.2999}
Visit The Bazaar from 11am-2:30pm for “The Brunch Table,” which will include a selection of Spanish cured meats and cheese, Iberico porchetta, smoked salmon, caviar selection, fresh fruits, pastries, and assorted yogurt parfaits. Guests can also choose one à la carte entrée, like the Huevos a la Cubana, Olive Oil Mini Pancakes, SLS Eggs Benedicto, Wild Alaskan Salmon Veracruzana, and more. Top off the meal with a choice of dessert. $75 per adult; $35 per child.

The Biltmore Hotel {1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables; 305.913.3200}
From May 6-8, the Biltmore’s signature French restaurant, Palme d’Or invites guests and their mothers to a spectacular six-course tasting menu with a complimentary glass of Champagne to toast the occasion. In addition, don’t miss out on the Biltmore’s Sunday Champagne brunch, an extravagant buffet that takes place every week in the hotel’s courtyard with delicacies such as caviar, smoked salmon, shellfish, carved meats, fresh omelettes, pasta, sushi, and more.

Café des Arts {22 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.534.2555}
South of Fifth’s Café des Arts’ has a new chef, Patrick Kirschner, who is offering a special Mother’s Day seafood tower for two paired with a bottle of rosé for only $60. In addition, all moms will receive a $20 gift card, so they can come back and try any of the other dishes they crave.

Cleo {The Redbury Hotel, 1776 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.534.2536}
Along with its nightly menu, Cleo at The Redbury will be offering a special prix-fixe Mother’s Day menu. All mothers who opt for the prix-fixe menu will receive a complimentary glass of prosecco with strawberries. $65 per person. Click here for full menu.

db Bistro Moderne {255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Downtown; 305.421.8800}
Treat mom to a bubbly Sunday brunch at Daniel Boulud’s downtown Miami eatery. Chef Clark Bowen is serving up a seasonal three-course prix-fixe menu from 11am-3pm along with a bottle of Moët & Chandon to share for every two guests. $70 per person; $50 per person without Champagne; $35 for children 12 and under. Click here for full menu.

Hyde Beach Kitchen + Cocktails {111 South Surf Road, Hallandale Beach; 954.699.0901}
Along with views of the Atlantic and beats by DJ YSL, this Hallandale Beach hot spot will be offering a brunch buffet that will include a complimentary mimosa or Bellini that will perfectly pair with its Blueberry Pancakes, Fried Chicken and Waffles, an omelette from the omelette station, and more. $45 per adult; $18 for children 5-12; free for children under 4.

Katsuya {SLS South Beach, 1701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.455.2995}
Join Katsuya for Mother’s Day dinner, where all moms will receive a complimentary Champagne cocktail. Enjoy bites such as the Crispy Rice with spicy tuna; the Hamachi Sizzle Roll, an array of options from the robata bar, and more. After dinner, all moms will receive complimentary chocolate-covered strawberries to end their night on a sweet note.

La Mar by Gastón Acurio {Mandarin Oriental Miami, 500 Brickell Key Drive, Brickell; 305.913.8358}
Mandarin Oriental’s signature Peruvian restaurant will be offering a special Mother’s Day brunch from noon-3:30pm featuring unlimited Champagne and brunch cocktails and savory entrées such as Egg-topped Lomo Saltado and Pescado Chorrillana. An elaborate seafood station with cebiches, causas, tiraditos, and Peruvian-style sushi rolls, as well an anticucho grill providing skewers, empanadas, sliders, and whole fish will also be available. $85 per adult; $35 for children ages 6 to 12.

Midtown Oyster Bar {3301 Northeast First Avenue, Midtown; 786.220.2070}
Chef Pierluigi Angioi has created Mother’s Day deals on several signature dishes, including a beautifully plated Whole Branzino, Oysters Rockefeller, and Seafood Paella. In addition, the restaurant is offering bottomless Syltbar sparking rosé for $25 per person, along with $7 Bloody Marys, $5 mimosas, and amazing select wines by the glass for $6. Not to mention, select oysters will be half-off all day long.

Quattro Gastronomia Italiana {1014 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 305.531.4833}
In addition to its regular dinner menu, Lincoln Road’s upscale Northern Italian eatery is celebrating Mother’s Day with special à la carte dishes such as Insalata Mista Di Crostacei (seafood salad with Maine lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, and lemon dressing), Paccheri con Polpo (pasta with octopus, cherry tomato, Taggiasca olives, and light red sauce; Filleto Di Manzo (seared filet mignon wrapped with prosciutto); and more.

The Restaurant at The Raleigh {1775 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.612.1163}
The Raleigh Miami Beach is offering an à la carte menu from noon-4pm. The Restaurant will also be featuring a raw bar that will include multiple varieties of oysters, king crab legs, poached lobster, and shrimp cocktail with assorted accompaniments and sauces. Every mother will receive a complimentary glass of rosé and chocolate-covered strawberries.

Riviera Focacceria Italiana {3252 Northeast Buena Vista Boulevard, Midtown; 786.220.6251}
Midtown Miami’s authentic Ligurian restaurant is launching its weekly Sunday brunch on Mother’s Day. Look for menu items such as the Polpettone Faglioni e Patate, a unique vegetable “meatloaf” with eggs, Parmesan, string beans, and potatoes, and a traditional home-cooked Frittata. Order either one with the restaurant’s new Basil Bellini, a refreshing cocktail of prosecco, peach purée, a touch of housemade basil syrup, and ground local sweet basil.

Scarpetta {Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.535.3283}
From 11am-3pm, Fontainebleau’s signature Italian restaurant will host an Italian-inspired buffet with countless options from an ample spread of Italian meats and cheeses, a frittata action station, live-action carving station, fresh seafood, a pasta station, and a cornucopia of desserts. $75 per adult; $37.50 per child under 12; free for children under four.

The Setai Hotel {2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 855.923.7899}
South Beach’s exclusive Setai Hotel always offers a lavish jazz brunch every Sunday, and Mother’s Day is no exception. From 11:30am-3pm, experience a delightful buffet with all the brunch staples you could imagine, along with limitless Louis Roederer Champagne and Bloody Marys while listening to the sounds of live jazz.

TiramesU {101 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.532.4538}
South Beach’s landmark restaurant is celebrating Mother’s Day with bottomless mimosas for just $25 per person. In addition, Chef Fabrizio Pintus will serve an à la carte menu with selections such as Tartare di Tonno, served between layers of pane carasau, a crispy flatbread from Sardinia; Grigliata di Pesce, an assortment of grilled scallops, head-on prawns, salmon, and tuna; and Ravioli with spring vegetables, ricotta, and sage butter sauce.

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

vodka

If you’re looking for something new in the world of spirits, why not get back to nature? Organic ingredients make for some of the purest handcrafted spirits available, ideal for sipping neat or mixing into your favorite cocktail. Here are four of our favorite organic spirits of the season.

Punzoné Vodka

Crafted from organic wheat sourced exclusively from Piedmont, Punzoné distills a clean, balanced spirit using water from the Italian Alps. The only organic vodka to receive the international five- star diamond award from The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences four years running, this Italian import aims to set a new standard in clear spirits. For something a little different, try the Punzoné Blood Orange Originale and Punzoné Lemoncino liqueurs.

Bonterra Organic Vineyards

Since 1993, this vineyard has been growing 100-percent organic grapes for one reason: It makes better wine. Using certified organic processes like composting and biodiversity, and avoiding synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, Bonterra Organic Vineyards makes wine that reflects the purity and intensity of each grape varietal. Situated in Mendocino County and intermingled with olive trees, lavender fields, and poppies, Bonterra Organic Vineyards is known for Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, along with a selection of biodynamic wines.

Farmer’s Botanical Organic Gin

This brand is all about sustainability and ecological preservation; it’s called Farmer’s, after all. Working with organic crop farmers, the distiller uses only high-quality, certified organic grains grown in the U.S., and thoughtfully selected botanicals—like lemongrass, angelica root, juniper, elderflower, and coriander—for a pristine aroma and taste.

Crop Harvest Earth Vodka

When it comes to vodka, the purer the ingredients, the better the product. That’s the case with Crop Harvest Earth Vodka, which is USDA Certified Organic and produced from American-grown grain free from artificial pesticides, fertilizers, and chemicals. The result? A crisp, clean, pure taste in a line of flavors that reflects the dedication to the earth. If you’re keen on flavored vodka, try the Crop Cucumber Vodka with soda or the Crop Tomato Vodka in your next Bloody Mary. For a sweet, tart variation, go for the Crop Meyer Lemon Vodka—lovely on its own or mixed in a martini.

Adena Grill

Steak and wine is a no-brainer, right? The two pair together like, well, steak and wine. At Adena Grill & Wine Bar, however, this relationship goes much deeper as its wine program boasts over 7,000 bottles—a true oenophile’s paradise.

Located at Gulfstream Park, Adena Grill & Wine Bar is known for its luxurious décor, farm-to-fork dining, and incredible wine collection. The spacious restaurant, which opened a year ago, features wine walls neatly stacked with bottles from all over the world. Guests can also head toward the steakhouse’s wine cellar where the selection continues with more wine walls and a dedicated wine vault.

In total, Adena Grill’s wine list spans 350 labels and 11 countries, with the biggest selection coming from the Tuscan region.

The wine cellar has exquisite touches like a natural tree-cut table, bistro chairs from Europe, stonework on the walls, a private patio, and a cozy bar. For special occasions or private functions, guests can dine in the wine vault, which holds up to 24 people and is climate-controlled at a wine-friendly 69 degrees. This is also where the restaurant hosts monthly wine events, such as dinners and tastings.

In total, Adena Grill’s wine list spans 350 labels and 11 countries, with the biggest selection coming
from the Tuscan region. (Wine connoisseurs will clamor for the 1990 Cordero di Montezemolo Monfalletto, a vintage Barolo. The 2010 Cabernet from Stags’ Leap is another star on the list.)

When it comes to wine pairings, Adena Grill & Wine Bar mainly sticks to the traditional, meaning big- bodied Cabernets with steak and lighter whites with seafood. They find that their younger clientele break out of these conventional rules more often and are attracted to vineyards with an interesting story. One such example is Hawk and Horse Vineyards, a winery committed to handcrafting both organic and biodynamic wines on very small lots in Napa Valley.

For those new to wine and wine pairings, Adena Grill’s staff is well-versed in all things grape and happy to make recommendations. Plus, tablets are available for guests to easily research the various varietals right at their tables. There’s
also an extensive by-the-glass menu, which encourages sampling and experimentation.

Adena Grill’s owners and management truly want their customers to enjoy wine, and make every effort to price the bottles reasonably. On Wednesday nights, the restaurant features a “Wine Vault” selection of 20 bottles listed at half- price. “Our wines are priced to sell,” notes John Kulhanjian, director of restaurants. “Adena Grill is not just for special occasions. We don’t want guests to simply admire the wines they can’t afford to buy. We want our guests to feel good and to try wines they might not normally get to drink. It’s not just about the bottom line. It’s about the experience.”

For more information on Adena, visit adenagrill.com.

By Jacquelynn Powers Maurice | Contributor 

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Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau by Fontainebleau

From its crisp white walls to its ocean-facing curves, the pulsing neon of its club to the refined elegance of its food, Fontainebleau is a modern marvel.

But this Miami landmark is no creation of the early aughts; its origins date back to 1954, when a modest 520 rooms housed guests in a hotel a third the size of Fontainebleau’s current property. In 1978, real estate mogul Stephen Muss bought the property and hired Hilton to manage it. It was only in 2008 when the now-majestic hotel really began to take form under direction from developer Jeffrey Soffer.

The first addition to the property was the Versailles Tower, adding 380 rooms. Then came two more towers, bringing the grand total to 1,504 rooms—the most of any property in greater Miami. While the additions were designed to modernize Fontainebleau with updated design and top-of-the-line amenities, they also stayed true to the property’s designation as a historic landmark. Thanks to this architectural foresight, guests can now enjoy the best of midcentury modern and 2016 aesthetics in the same space.

Not surprisingly, the renovation brought with it several brand new restaurants and serious culinary talent. Grounded in authentic Chinese cuisine, Hakkasan is what Vice President of Culinary Operations Thomas Connell calls a “concept-driven, not chef-driven, restaurant.” But guests can also find the culinary genius of celebrity chefs employed with panache, notably in Michael Mina 74, a casual American concept; Stripsteak by Michael Mina—a steak-centric Mina creation; and Scarpetta, the regional Italian inspiration of James Beard Award- winning Chef Scott Conant.

Unlike other hotel properties, where leased space leaves restaurants to their own devices, Fontainebleau has crafted a brilliant support structure that balances the experience of celebrity chefs Mina and Conant with Connell’s daily oversight and the innovation of each concept’s head chef. Thanks to recent additions to the hotel, the chefs can also lean on a full suite of onsite facilities—including banquet halls, a bakery, expansive storage, space for onsite butchery, and other research and development facilities.

“Fontainebleau’s unique model for collaboration works when you have common vision between founding chefs and property staff,” Connell says. “We always have open dialogue, and the chefs are onsite at least monthly so that they can interact with guests and review their concepts.” Thanks to this approach, nearly every concept on the property is leading its respective empire in revenue—while helping to define Miami as a culinary destination.

“Michael Mina 74 leads the brand,” Vice President of Food and Beverage Joshua Summers says. “And Hakkasan—which we brought over from London—outperforms all other Hakkasan locations. That’s because Chef Connell’s skills keep menus fresh and focused.”

Part of that focus is keen attention to sourcing. The chefs’ collaboration has ensured that only the best ingredients find their way into the hotel’s restaurants—including fish caught off the hotel’s boat, meat sourced fresh daily, and produce picked within miles of Fontainebleau.

Another perk of having top-notch restaurants in the same hotel: custom dining itineraries. “You can be here for days and not leave the property,” Summers says. Guests often craft their own hours-long enjoyment of Fontainebleau’s culinary talent, stretching from Champagne at Michael Mina 74 to light seafood indulgences at Scarpetta, to continental steak entrées at StripSteak. Some lucky diners have even been invited to the onsite pâtisserie, where they can pick and choose chocolate indulgences from the hotel’s pastry case.

Supposing loyal diners are keen on learning the ins and outs of Scarpetta’s pasta, or the secrets to pairing wine with steak, Fontainebleau also offers classes open to the public. Interested foodies can even have classes and events customized to fit their interests—and with such a diversity of concepts, the theme can be almost anything.

“Our culinary offerings are truly the majesty of Fontainebleau,” Summers says. It helps, of course, that the luxurious property is steps away from the deep blue ocean, and that there seems to be no limit to the talent and potential within its walls. If Fontainebleau aims to elevate Miami dining—indeed, to redefine it—it’s well on its way.

Dining Highlights at Fontainebleau

Stripsteak: For something a bit different, be sure to try the Japanese Whisky Ceremony— perfect for whisky aficionados and novices alike. Multiple varieties of Japanese whisky are brought to your table and your server will guide you to the whisky that most suits your taste. They then perfume the glass with ingredients and aromas naturally found in the whisky. Participants complete the ceremony with a luscious taste of the whisky they prefer.

28oz Dry-Aged Bone-In Rib-Eye—If you’re coming to StripSteak, this most regal of steaks is not to be missed. Dry-aged in the restaurant’s own butcher shop to enhance the flavor and tenderness, the rib-eye is then grilled over a wood-burning grill to perfection. The result is a beautifully marbled, tender steak that you will never forget.

Tuna Tartare—A classic featured at many Michael Mina restaurants, the Tuna Tartare is one of the property’s best-selling dishes. Spicy and sweet play well together in this blockbuster dish; sushi-grade tuna is mixed tableside with garlic, chile, and Asian pear for the perfect balance of flavors.

Hakkasan: Opt for the carefully curated dishes and drinks on the $45 three-course dim sum lunch menu—from authentic Peking Duck combined with caviar, to the crafted cocktails and eclectic wines. Don’t miss the the Smoky Negroni Cocktail, either. Must-try dishes include Pepper Steak and Honey Sea Bass.

Michael Mina 74: This is undoubtedly one of the best places in the city for innovative cocktails; there are three mixed drinks on tap, three barrel-aged concoctions, and three carbonated creations, all made in-house. Plus, you can enjoy the seafood cart filled with bounty from the hotel’s own boat. Necessary menu indulgences: Ahi Tuna Poppers and the Dry-Aged Steak Burger with American cheese.

To learn more about Fontainebleau, its amenities, and the many dining possibilities on property, visit fontainebleau.co

1. Eating Dirt Never Tasted So Good

focaccia

2. Focaccia col Formaggio at Riviera Focacceria Italiana
Located at the Shops at Midtown Miami, Riviera Focacceria Italiana may very well be Miami’s only Italian restaurant serving up authentic cuisine from Liguria, a crescent-shaped coastal region in northwest Italy that’s known for its focaccia (hence the restaurant’s name). But you haven’t really experienced this specialty bread until you taste the restaurant’s Focaccia col Formaggio, a signature dish hailing from the Ligurian town of Recca, where thin sheets of delicate, flaky dough envelop a layer of melt-in-your-mouth Stracchino cheese, which is air-freighted in weekly from Italy and has an unmistakable velvety texture and tangy finish. When combined with the warm, crispy focaccia casing, it creates a savory flavor that can only be enjoyed at a handful of restaurants nationwide. 786.220.6251; rivierafocacceria.com 

3. Casual Italian at Salumeria 104
Chef Angelo Masarin of Salumeria 104 will be the first to tell you that his restaurant is a very small place. With 50 seats inside and about 25 outside, the restaurant is known for its casual, intimate setting. And yet, what it lacks in size it makes up for in heart. “This is a neighborhood place with a neighborly feel,” says the chef, originally from Treviso, Italy. “This is a restaurant for every day, whether you come dressed as a superstar or dressed in pajamas.” This salumi shop is both restaurant and deli, where you can find both local and imported prosciutto di Parma, mozzarella, salami, and bresaola. Fresh pasta is made in-house, and many of the fish and vegetables are local. Now in its fifth year, the restaurant serves both professionals and casual diners, with dishes like Vitello Formata, Porchetta, and Spaghetti Bottarga—Italian pasta with cured Sardinian fish eggs grated on top—that keep guests returning again and again. 305.424.9588; salumeria104.com

Mare mio

4. Mare Mio’s Seafood Trolley
Miami is unique in that our cuisine can truly be “sea to table,” meaning that seafood is freshly caught and delivered to restaurants each and every day—never frozen! No place does this approach to sourcing hold more true than at Mare Mio, the newest restaurant to grace Miami Beach’s historic Española Way. Over 20 pescadores (fishermen) work with Chef and Owner Claudio Giordano to supply their freshest catches of the day, which are delivered to the restaurant late- afternoon, then laid out on the “Seafood Trolley” for diners to hand-select their main course for the evening. 305.397.8950; maremiorestaurant.com 

NAoe

5. Shoyu at Naoe
Guests to NAOE will notice one very distinguishing factor: There is no menu. Diners must arrive with an open mind and full trust in Kevin Cory, a lauded Japanese chef who takes to the kitchen every evening to serve a menu of his choosing. Expect plenty of shoyu (soy sauce) whatever the offerings—a unique blend from Cory’s family brewery, Naogen, which has been blending since 1825 in the small town of Oono, Japan. As a region known worldwide for its soy sauce production, Oono is the perfect inspiration for Chef Cory’s Japanese creations. 305.947.6263; naoemiami.com 

Italy

Pizza

6. The Italian Market at Made in Italy Gourmet
True to its name, Made in Italy Gourmet serves up deliciously fresh Italian cuisine daily at its Wynwood location. But you don’t have to dine in to experience this cultural delight. At the restaurant’s onsite Italian market, you can find a wide selection of direct-from-Italy products, including olive oil, tomato sauce, pasta, breads, desserts, and over 20 imported meats and cheeses, so you can take the Italian culinary experience home whenever you choose. 786.360.5671; madeinitalygourmet.com

Cleo

7. Marinated Wagyu Beef Kebabs at Cleo
We love Cleo for its vibrant, contemporary Mediterranean cuisine; global influences and local ingredients elevate just about every dish on the menu. With award-winning Chef Danny Elmaleh at the helm, you can expect a memorable culinary adventure of shared plates, flatbreads, savory meats, and handcrafted cocktails in an exciting and colorful atmosphere. Here, Chef Elmaleh shares his recipe for marinated Wagyu Beef Kebabs. 305.534.2536; sbe.com/restaurants

Wagyu Beef Kebabs
makes three kebabs
Ingredients
4 oz diced onion
1 tsp peeled and diced ginger
4 oz peeled and diced Fuji apple
3-1/2 oz Coca-Cola
5-3/4 oz brown sugar
6-2/3 oz soy sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp thyme
2 oz Shio Koji seasoning
1 lb Wagyu skirt steak

Method

Prepare marinade by blending first three ingredients to form a loose paste. Then, mix with all remaining marinade ingredients except steak in a large bowl. Set aside.

Slice the skirt steak against the grain, about 1/8-inch thick. Add steak to marinade and mix well. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for about an hour.

Remove meat from refrigerator. Measure about 5 ounces of thinly sliced meat and weave around a 10-inch metal or bamboo skewer. (If using bamboo skewers, make sure they have been submerged in water prior to use in order to avoid burning on the grill.)

Place skewered meat on a hot grill for 6 to 8 minutes, cooking to desired doneness.

Soho Bay Sushi

8. SOHO Ceviche at SOHO Bay
Although Miami Beach’s SOHO Bay is touted for having some of the best Japanese-inspired cuisine in town, the restaurant itself hails from Brazil, where it currently has eight locations throughout the country. It is no surprise, then, that several dishes on the menu have Brazilian influences. The SOHO Ceviche, in particular, is traditionally cut Brazilian-style and is made with biquinho (Brazilian peppers), seafood, spicy citrus cherry tomatoes, and onions. 786.618.2788; sohobayrestaurant.com  

Naiyara

9. Thai Street Food at Naiyara
Growing up on a farm in northern Thailand, Piyarat Potha Arreeratn (aka Chef Bee) learned quickly how to grow and prepare his own food. His grandmother was also a cook, who taught him how to make various Thai street foods that she sold at the local market. “In Thailand, we don’t have the luxury of fully stocked grocery stores. We live off what we find in the local markets,” Chef Bee says. This concept has translated to the menu at NaiYaRa, the chef’s Thai restaurant located in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood of Miami Beach. Front and center on the menu is the Makear Muu. “The vibrant color of the eggplant was always alluring,” Chef Bee says of his signature eggplant dish. “The way it softens while the ground pork provides nice texture, and Thai bird chiles pack the punch. This was a go-to dish for our family.” 786.275.6005; naiyara.com 

cafe des arts

10. Art + Mediterranean + Miami Beach at Café des Arts
The cool, laid-back South of Fifth vibe at Café des Arts sets the perfect tone for guests to sit back, relax, and envision they are dining at a trendy café somewhere along the Mediterranean. Not surprisingly, there is an emphasis on art, with the walls serving as a rotating modern art gallery with the featured artist changing monthly. “Miami has become an international art capital with Art Basel each year, a cosmopolitan city where the art scene is constantly evolving,” says Philippe Carteau, the restaurant’s owner. “We are continuing this synergy year-round, creating a cultural movement with our resident artists, art exhibitions, Mediterranean menu, and the Café des Arts ambience. Our art is chosen based on the incalculable quality of artists living in and around Miami Beach.” 305.534.2555; cafedesartsmiami.com 

Coya

11. COYA’s Bright and Bold Peruvian Tastes
Light, bright, and bold. That’s how COYA describes its Peruvian- inspired cuisine, which incorporates authentic flavors and creative ingredients at the intersection of food and art. COYA began its journey in London and Dubai, serving a menu of global cuisine focused on South American flavors. COYA is considered an art and music collective, wherein the dining experience is just as important as the food itself. All types of artistic and cultural expression are incorporated into COYA’s ambience and entertainment, from the art on the walls to the DJs and bands on stage. What’s more, the restaurant’s design recalls ancient Incan art and architecture, with brightly colored walls and furniture grounded by iron and wood fixtures. Hand-selected relics from South America further embellish this modern interpretation of an ancient empire.

When it comes to dining, COYA is known for its use of exotic cuts of meat, ancient grains, and authentic dishes brightened with modern innovation. Signature dishes include Ceviche de Lubina Clasico (sea bass ceviche), Chuletas de Borrego (lamb chops), and Ox Heart skewers. Furthermore, COYA’s Pisco Bar offers an opportunity for diners to share in the magic of modern mixology, watching as innovative cocktails and classic drinks come together with artisan ice forms, rare pisco varieties, and creative ingredients. COYA has big plans to expand around the U.S., and if it’s anything like what we’ve seen in Miami, we can’t wait. 305.415.9990; coyarestaurant.com/miami 

apeiro

12. Apeiro Kitchen & Bar’s Expanded Mediterranean Menu
Apeiro Kitchen & Bar has always featured the ingredients and flavors of the Mediterranean. But recently appointed Executive Chef Anthony Sitek revamped the menu to put the Mediterranean influence directly in the spotlight. The expanded menu is so new that even we haven’t tried it all yet, but we do know this: There’s a one-of-a-kind Chicken Firakh that we cannot wait to try. The boneless chicken breast and drumette served with crispy potatoes, charred onions, zucchini, and refreshing tzatziki fits seamlessly with the warm latitudes of the Mediterranean. “It’s very much a ‘hot weather’ dish,” Sitek says. We may not be in the Mediterranean, but here in Miami, it’s an ideal dish for spring. 786.800.5389; apeirorestaurants.com 

A Fish Called Avalon

13. International Sounds and Flavors at A Fish Called Avalon
A Fish Called Avalon—located in the wonderful Art Deco Avalon Hotel—is inspired by the warm ocean breezes, local seafood, and cultural melting pot that is Miami Beach. The cuisine is largely inspired by Chef Kal Abdalla’s travels around the world, with French, Mediterranean, and Asian influences. In particular, the Orzo Seafood Paella and the crabmeat-crusted Grouper are two best-selling selections. But the global flavor extends beyond the food, with live music from international talents almost every night. Enjoy Latin music Tuesday-Saturday and a trio of Spanish rhythm musicians in the late-night lounge Thursday-Saturday. And if you’re looking for something to fill your glass, A Fish Called Avalon will launch its new barrel-aged cocktail program this spring, beginning with a signature Manhattan. 305.532.1727; afishcalledavalon.com

Cafe Avanti

14. Home Away from Home at Cafe Avanti
Cafe Avanti has been operating under the same ownership for more than 26 years. It’s not often you find a restaurant with such staying power, or such an ability to make guests from anywhere feel right at home. Owner Luis Fuentes has run the restaurant since opening it in 1989. His chef has been with him most of that time, starting just six months later. And now, Fuentes’ daughter Jessica has taken on the role of general manager. Over the years, the Veal Meatballs, Chicken Parmesan, and Cannelloni have remained signature dishes for which Cafe Avanti is known. To adjust to the changing times, the current menu now offers fresh Oysters, Tuna Tartare, and Octopus, as well as Snapper and Branzino—fitting additions for a South Florida-based concept. “We focus on quality, so we are able to execute those dishes at the same level as our mainstay Veal Meatballs and Chicken Parmesan,” Jessica says. But more than that, Cafe Avanti is committed to service. “If we don’t know you, we want to get to know you,” she says, adding that guests can come from all over the world and receive the same warm, friendly treatment as a neighborhood local. “We are building relationships, one guest at a time.” 305.538.4400; cafeavanti.com 

French 27

15. Exceptional Creations at French 27
Vibrant, sophisticated, and exceptional. These are words that describe the cuisine at French 27, where influences from all 27 regions of France make their way into the classic and contemporary fine-dining menu. But more than that, French 27 is known for the quality of its cuisine. “We want patrons to know that we source only the freshest products—nothing is frozen. We make sure our produce is sourced from top-tier purveyors nationwide,” says Chef Andreas Trilk. “In Europe, we are accustomed to going to the market in search of the best of the best. It makes sense that we have searched for the best producers in the U.S. to provide us with the freshest products.” Here, all seafood is delivered fresh daily, and seasoning is added with a light hand—never overpowering the delicate flavors of shrimp, oysters, and fillets. Savor the Chilean Sea Bass made with tomato confit, cured shallots, and almonds for a delightful French seafood dish. If you’re craving something more classically French, opt for the Steak Frites prepared with any one of a variety of dry-aged meats, such as the New York or Bone-In Rib-Eye with France’s famous Café de Paris butter. At French 27, French flavors and Miami freshness come together beautifully. 305.764.3948; french27.com 

Clark Bowen

16. db bistro’s New Executive Chef
On top of all of its fabulous French fare, db Bistro Moderne has something else exciting to share: Clark Bowen has been promoted from sous chef to executive chef. Chef Bowen has been with the team for five years and knows the kitchen inside and out. db Bistro’s menu has always had a strong sense of French tradition and flavors imbued by Daniel Boulud, and we’re thrilled that Chef Bowen will be bringing his own creative touch to that menu. Look for lighter dishes, lots of seafood, and bright, vibrant Miami flavors combined with the traditional and impeccable French cuisine for which db Bistro is known. Additionally, the bar team at db Bistro is hard at work on bringing fresh, seasonally inspired cocktails to the menu. Each bartender is given the opportunity to put his or her own unique spin on a classic cocktail, and the result is always outstanding. This spring at db Bistro Moderne promises to be a very exciting one, filled with fresh new flavors and unique spins on French traditions. 305.421.8800; dbbistro.com 

17. Abundant International Flavors at R House
R House’s Chef Rocco Carulli knows a thing or two about international flavors in the kitchen. “A lot of it has to do with my upbringing,” he says. Carulli grew up the son of Italian immigrants, growing fresh vegetables in the backyard garden, canning homemade sauces, eating his mother’s braised lamb, and watching his father make his own wine. “I had a different palate than the other kids on the block,” he laughs. Later, his travels to Japan and Brazil influenced him further. Now at R House, Carulli incorporates international flavors and ingredients on the menu however possible, always adding his own spin. Take the Ceviche, traditionally prepared with hominy and sweet potatoes. While Carulli keeps the lime juice base, he replaces the hominy with an American sweet corn relish to balance the tart citrus notes. Another standout dish is the Brazilian Seafood Moqueca. Carulli uses authentic Brazilian dendê oil (red palm oil) but replaces the more traditional swordfish with fresh local mahi mahi, Florida shrimp, and sea scallops for variety and local flavor. While Carulli’s main objective is freshness, he also loves a bit of spice. “I find myself using a lot of jalapeños,” he says, and mentions his jalapeño-infused tequila—a key ingredient in the Jalapeño-Pineapple Margarita that won Best Margarita in the Miami New Times Best of Miami Awards 2015. We’ll drink to that. 305.576.0201; rhousewynwood.com 

Bazi

18. Bazi’s Kaiseki Dinners
Miami Beach’s modern Asian-inspired dining destination, Bazi, noted for its exciting takes on traditional Far East cuisine, has introduced an exclusive monthly Kaiseki dinner. Kaiseki traditionally consists of a sequence of small, artistically arranged dishes that foster a harmonious balance of taste, texture, and aesthetic. This one-of-a-kind experience will feature 10-12 courses designed and orchestrated by Michael Pirolo, a critically acclaimed chef and James Beard Award semifinalist, and will showcase seasonal ingredients from the decadent to the exotic. Dishes prepared Kaiseki-style are done so in a way that aims to enhance their flavor and energy. Every course will be paired with unique libations ranging from sake to Asian teas, courtesy of Bazi’s Beverage Director, William Rivas. Hosted monthly at the restaurant’s downstairs bar—an intimate setting limited to eight seats—means that reservations are first come, first served. Priced at $150 (including tax and tip), each Kaiseki dinner promises to be different from the one before, providing a rare curated experience. 305.695.0101; bazimiami.com 

19. Villa Azur’s New Menu
Long have we savored the Mediterranean delights of Villa Azur, Miami’s culinary pride and joy, elevated by the talents of Executive Chef Erwin Mallet. This spring, we’re particularly thrilled about some of the Provençal-style dishes Mallet and his team have created—including the Rack of Lamb with garlic and thyme, as well as the succulent Octopus. If you’re looking to explore more of the Mediterranean, consider the Italian-inspired, toothsome Risotto Carnaroli, best enjoyed in the environs of the château-style dining room. Chef Mallet’s inspiration is his own childhood and the bounty of nearby gardens and waters, so you can be sure that Villa Azur’s new menu is not only fresh, but deliciously authentic. 305.763.8688; villaazurmiami.com 

Old Lisbon

20. 25 Years of Old Lisbon
This year, Old Lisbon is celebrating its 25th anniversary. In January 1991, the restaurant opened its doors in a small space on Coral Way. Twenty-five years later, the brand includes two restaurants, catering services, and, most recently, a Portuguese market and bakery next door to the original restaurant. The secret of success has been simple: quality ingredients, homemade food, and top-notch service. So what should you try when you stop by? A world of delicious Portuguese dishes—from codfish to sardines, Portuguese cheese to Oporto wines. And keep Old Lisbon in mind for breakfast; the bakery offers a delicious medley of pastries, coffee, and simple breakfast dishes. Thank you, Old Lisbon, for reminding us of what it means to be authentically (and deliciously) Old World. oldlisbon.com

Seaspice

21. The Symbiotic Relationship of Design and Cuisine at Seaspice
There are many reasons to love the new Seaspice—not least of all the shimmering waterfront locale and seafood-driven, Old World-inspired menu. But the experience of dining at Seaspice transcends a traditional restaurant meal. Here, the décor flows from the food, and vice-versa. While it’s always best to experience this first-hand, here is a glimpse of the restaurant’s masterfully intentional design. 305.440.4200; seaspicemiami.com

22. Fresh Spring Menu at PAUL
PAUL Bakery is not exactly a new kid on the block; the bakery/restaurant dates back to 1889. That means the concept’s chefs and bakers have had more than a century to perfect their recipes—rooted in certified organic flour, hormone and antibiotic-free proteins, cage-free eggs, and seasonal ingredients. This spring, PAUL is launching a new menu with the same commitment to French tradition and unadulterated quality. From light spring salads to a variety of croque-monsieurs, crêpes to hearty cuts of beef, it will be a universal treat for devotees of French fare. And, as always, keep PAUL at the top of your list for breakfast and brunch spots; nothing beats the rich and delicate layers of their classic French pâtisserie. 305.531.1200; paul-usa.com 

GK Bistronomie

23. Chicken Lo Mein from GK Bistronomie
A delectable meeting of cuisines from all corners of the world, GK Bistronomie’s menu is a showcase of the eminently talented Chef Rafael Perez. This particular dish, a staple in Perez’s repertoire, is a paean to the spice-rich flavors of the East.

Chicken Lo Mein
serves one

4 oz julienned chicken breast
1 oz vegetable oil
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1 baby head bok choy
4 oz snow peas
8 oz fresh lo mein noodles
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 oz soy sauce
sesame seeds and chopped scallions, for garnish

Method

Heat a sauté pan over high heat. Add chicken, vegetable oil, ginger, and garlic and mix. Add all of the vegetables and cover, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Uncover and add noodles, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil. Mix together, then cover and cook for 2 minutes more. Uncover, add soy sauce, and stir. Garnish with sesame seeds, chopped scallions, and serve. 786.477.5151; gkbistronomie.com 

24. Peruvian Pisco—The Spirit of Spring
We love exploring international cuisines and ingredients, and that includes wine and spirits. As we toast to the Peruvian flavors we love, we cannot forget about the oldest spirit in the Western Hemisphere: pisco, a grape-based spirit which encompasses centuries of history and tradition.

A variation of pisccu, the word pisco comes from the ancient Quechua term for bird. Historically, the word pisco was also the name of a valley and seaport in the Ica region of southern Peru, known for its exotic bird population. Today, the spirit is concocted from Old-World grapes grown on vines that have adapted to the sunny Peruvian coast. Pisco is produced by distilling designated pisco grapes; no other additives or ingredients are permitted—not even water. Pisco is transparent, subtly fragrant, and bold in flavor, making it excellent for sipping on its own and splendid in a cocktail. This spring, savor the flavors of Peru by sipping pisco from a snifter, enjoying it in a traditional Peruvian pisco sour, or by mixing up a vibrant, aromatic “Shot of Love” (recipe at left).

A Shot of Love
In a shaker, muddle 1-1/2 ounces lychee purée with 3 mint leaves. Add 2 ounces Peruvian pisco, 3/4 ounce St-Germain, and a few drops of hibiscus syrup for a bright pink color. Add ice and shake. Strain over ice into a tall glass. Top with ginger ale. Garnish with candied hibiscus flower and lychee fruit.

Mr Chow

25. Noodle Shows at Mr Chow
Mr Chow is as international as they come. First opened in London in 1968, this restaurant has locations in Beverly Hills, New York City, and Las Vegas. It opened in South Beach in August of 2009 as the first Mr Chow to open inside a hotel, bringing its authentic Beijing cuisine and creative new recipes to the W Hotel South Beach. Mr Chow Miami offers luxurious indoor and outdoor private rooms, spacious patio, and stunning décor, like the 123-foot gold leaf Swarovski crystal chandelier in the dining room.

Of course, one of the main attractions here is the authentic Chinese cuisine, the hand-pulled noodles in particular. One of the master pasta chefs at Mr Chow, northern China native Chef Chung Yi Lau, learned the craft of hand-pulling noodles from the Chinese Culinary Art Center. He has pulled noodles every day since then, and considers it an important culinary art in an age when some Chinese restaurants are replacing noodle chefs with machinery. “I feel that the noodles taste different and are not as unique when made by a machine,” Lau says. “Therefore, I strive to keep the craft alive and hope it never fades out.”
Lau is considered an expert noodle chef, and that involves more than just mixing the flour, water, and salt. It also involves performing a “noodle show” at Mr Chow every night, in which Lau kneads the dough by physically twisting, flipping, spinning, and rolling it until it forms thin noodles. The show makes it look effortless, as entertaining as a magic act. “Whenever the clients watch the noodle-pulling performance, the natural reaction is to applaud and it is a great form of acknowledgement,” Lau says. “I hope people understand how much effort goes into a dish of hand-pulled noodles.” Although the process looks easy, years of practice have gone into perfecting the recipe, movements, and techniques needed to make them. The result? Fresh, authentic, toothsome noodles that are delightful served cold, stir-fried with sauce, or Chef Lau’s favorite: in beef soup with spiced beef and scallions. 305.695.1695; mrchow.com

brickell city centre farmers market

You’re probably familiar with the enormous Brickell City Centre project that has been slowly but surely engulfing a section of Brickell between Southwest Sixth and Eighth Streets along South Miami Avenue. The $1.05 billion, 5.4 million-square-foot development has been over four years in the making—and it’s almost complete!

In anticipation of the the massive live-work-play-shop-eat complex nearing its final stages, Swire Properties Inc., the project’s developer, has partnered with The Market Company to create a weekly farmers’ market that will run every Sunday from 11am-6pm along the landscaped pathway between Seventh and Eighth Streets, directly underneath the Metromover track. The first farmers’ market will take place this Sunday, April 17.

The Brickell City Centre Farmers’ Market will feature conventional and organically grown produce as well as a variety of cheeses, breads, and prepared foods. Zak the Baker bread, local honey, orchids, fruit smoothies, Argentine empanadas, artisanal olive oil, and herb plants round out the growing list. The farmers’ market hopes to continue growing with additional vendors and cultural programming soon to be announced.

It’s a welcome addition to the Brickell neighborhood, which hasn’t had a consistent farmers’ market in years.

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

 

mob oysters

East and West Coast Oysters

There’s no shortage of great seafood restaurants in Miami. But when it comes to fresh and affordable quality oysters, that pool of seafood restaurants diminishes significantly. At the top of our list is Midtown Oyster Bar {3301 Northeast First Avenue, Suite 103-1, Midtown; 786.220.2070}, Miami’s charming seafood kitchen specializing in oysters flown in weekly from prime locations across the U.S.

Although the restaurant recently revamped its menu, adding in a new focus on Mediterranean cuisine, its commitment to serving exceptionally fresh East and West Coast oysters is as strong as ever. Midtown Oyster Bar also features select types of oysters that can’t be found anywhere else in the city—including Fishers Island oysters, from New York’s ultra-exclusive island where the small oyster farm only sells to select restaurants (only two in Florida and one in Miami: Midtown Oyster Bar).

Quaint, quiet, and casual, Midtown Oyster Bar also features an exceptional wine list, providing the perfect pairing for your meal. The staff is friendly and extremely knowledgeable, particularly about the oysters on offer.

Lobster Bisque

Lobster Bisque

We recently had the opportunity to try out the new menu and to sample some of these famous oysters that we’d heard so much about. In addition to a selection of oysters—Shibumi oysters from Washington state, and Plymouth Rock oysters and Wellfleet oysters, both from Massachusetts—we started out the meal with warm Lobster Bisque, followed by the Branzino Carpaccio (served with fennel, Tuscan pecorino, and caramelized walnuts).

Branzino Carpaccio

Branzino Carpaccio

We then tried the Spanish Octopus (our favorite dish of the evening), served with chickpeas, rosemary coulis, extra virgin olive oil, and bread chips, and the equally delicious Seafood Ravioli, which was homemade and filled with snapper and arugula pesto and topped with shrimp sauce. We finished the meal with a trio of outrageous desserts—a must for any discerning diner with a sweet tooth.

Seafood Ravioli

Seafood Ravioli

And for those of our readers who are not seafood fans, Midtown Oyster Bar has other menu options as well, including the restaurant’s best-selling MOB Burger, a sensational delicacy in its own right.

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

What is your favorite internationally inspired dish on your menu this season?

Mathias Gervais

Chef Mathias Gervais of Jaya 
My favorite dish on the Jaya menu is our Hamachi, and it truly represents who I am as a French chef at The Setai. It is a great expression of my love for Asian food and culture, and my enjoyment of fresh, raw fish marinated in yuzu.

Benjamin Murray

Chef Benjamin Murray of Azul 
My favorite dish is our Warm Alaskan King Crab with umeboshi, Asian pear, and Thai basil. Umeboshi is my favorite ingredient. My mother used to serve us a piece in a bowl of rice when I was a child, and I would always ask for more. Umeboshi is a Japanese fruit that is salted, dried, and pickled; it is very salty and sour. Eventually, I started eating them like candy. We mix it with ponzu and butter and slowly poach the king crab in it until it’s just warm. We aim to hit all the taste buds with the sweetness of Asian pear and cucumber, the heat of pickled chiles, and the fresh herbaceous notes of the Thai basil. It’s a favorite dish of mine, and you will always see it here at Azul.

Fabrizio Picture

Chef Fabrizio Pintus of TiramesU
When I think of spring and summer, I think of light dishes and that usually means fresh seafood. Since South Florida is extra summery, a carpaccio allows me to create an even lighter dish without taking away from the depth of flavor. On the contrary, the delicate makeup of the Capesante—a scallop carpaccio dish—at TiramesU is layered with bursts of citrus, berries, and nutty almonds. That combination really speaks to my palate and I wanted to share it with our customers.

Carpaccio-style dishes are innate to Italian chefs like me and I wanted to find the best and freshest local ingredients to create a version that appeals to South Florida’s tropical palate. Scallops were my choice because they are consistently fresh. I truly see the Capesante as a beautiful combination of Italian and South Florida flavors.

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Dirt

Recently, a restaurant called DIRT {232 Fifth Street, Miami Beach; 305.239.3000} opened in Miami Beach. Located just a few blocks from the ocean, the concept is simple: top- notch food prepared fast with a farm-to-counter approach. All of it is designed with the consumer’s health in mind—“food that is good for you and good for the planet,” goes the company mission.

What’s surprising is that, while this is fine food, the restaurant is fast-casual through and through.

“We’re combining top-quality ingredients and a chef- driven menu with order-at-the-counter service,” says Co-Founder Jeff LaTulippe. “And that’s unusual for a fast-casual restaurant.” He explains that, in Miami, there are traditional fast food concepts like McDonald’s and fine-dining restaurants, but a lack of quality options in between. “There just aren’t many good, homegrown concepts in a fast-casual setting,” he says.

At 1,300 square feet and about 40 seats, the space is intimate but bright and airy. Just past the main entrance, there’s a copper wall with an intricate map of Florida showing where DIRT sources much of its local food. “Our values include honesty and transparency,” LaTulippe says. “This helps keep people informed.” The main menu also includes nutritional information and health benefits of the ingredients. Juices are cold-pressed in-house and smoothies are made with house nut milk.

Chef/Director of Operations Nicole Votano manages the culinary side of things, bringing 15 years of experience at institutions like Four Seasons and The Kimpton Group and working under chefs like Michelle Bernstein. She previously managed her own healthy food catering business, giving her valuable experience utilizing local produce.

“In Miami, we’re lucky to have a long growing season that starts in October and doesn’t end until May,” Votano says. “At DIRT, we try to let the season and produce dictate what we’ll serve, while also following some of the latest food trends.”

When guests come to DIRT, they look at a wall with a menu on a screen or pick up a pamphlet. Specials are listed on a board, and the menu highlights the paleo, gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options so guests immediately know which dishes fit their dietary needs and preferences. After ordering, guests receive a number, find a table, and then their food and drinks are delivered to the table.

“We use linen napkins and real silverware, so the experience matches the fine food,” LaTulippe says. “But we are truly fast-casual, and do whatever we can to make the guest experience as quick and easy as possible.” Delivery service and pay-ahead options make it easy to get meals quickly and efficiently, even if you live outside Miami Beach.

The diverse, seasonal menu changes every three months, with a new version rolling out in April. Spring vegetables like mushrooms, asparagus, and peas will play a bigger role. Look for the Santorini Salad with Harissa hummus, farro, cucumbers, sprouted chickpeas, feta, and Kalamata olives. “I intend to make a seasonal version of that salad several times a year,” Votano explains. Other spring dishes include the Seoul Bowl with spiced Napa cabbage, carrots, and sesame seeds with your choice of protein, and the Smoky Vegetable and Bean Chili with poblano peppers and sweet potato.

Even though the food is high-quality and well- prepared, the whole menu is intended to be served fast and at an approachable price point; DIRT recently added “Lite Bites” to the menu, which are priced at $10 or less.

For the immediate term, LaTulippe and Votano will focus on fine-tuning their flagship store. The hope is to open additional locations when the time is right, but their overarching goal will remain steadfast: to make healthy food as convenient and accessible as possible.

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1. Shanghai Nights at Bazi

When: Every Sunday beginning April 10
Where: Bazi {The Marlin Hotel, 1200 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.695.0101}
What: Starting April 10, every Sunday, Bazi will offer a special Shanghai Nights menu allowing diners to indulge in some of their favorite dishes—such as Chicken, Beef, or Shrimp Lo Mein; Beef and Broccoli, General Tso’s Chicken, and Mu Shu Pork—for only $10 each.

Quattro Miami Interior Photo credit Gary James

Quattro’s Wine Tower

2. Bacco Nights at Quattro

When: Every Monday night
Where: Quattro Gastronomia Italiana {1014 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 305.531.4833}
What: Lincoln Road’s top destination for authentic regional Italian cuisine introduces Bacco Night every Monday during dinner, where bottles of wine on La Bucca di Bacco, Quattro’s impressively diverse wine list of over 200 bottles from 20 different Italian regions, will be 50-percent off.

3. Half-Off Wine Bottles at TiramesU

When: Every Tuesday through October
Where: TiramesU {101 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.532.4538}
What: At its new South of Fifth location, the 25-year-old TiramesU continues to bring familiar flavors to the next level by creating specials that feature fresh seasonal produce and imported ingredients. Starting this month, every Tuesday, the restaurant will offer any of its bottles of wine at 50-percent off, a weekly occasion to indulge in one’s expansive taste or try different wines.

4. Administrative Professionals Day

When: Through April 27
Where: Bulla Gastrobar {2500 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables; 305.441.0107}
What: In honor of Administrative Professionals Day on April 27, Bulla is offering a free glass of sangría or dessert to all administrative professionals just by showing their business card. Bosses too can show their appreciation: Purchase a gift card for your assistant and receive a $10 gift card for every $100 you spend!

DIRT recipe

Beet & Goat Cheese Toast by DIRT’s Jeff Latulippe

5. StarChefs 2016 Rising Stars Gala

When: Wednesday, April 13, 6:30-9:30pm
Where: Marlins Park {501 Marlins Way, Miami}
What: StarChefs honors up-and-coming chefs and hospitality professionals who represent the vanguard of the contemporary American dining scene. The 2016 winners, which include Chef Diego Oka of La Mar by Gasón Acurio and Jeff Latulippe of DIRT, will be honored and will showcase their finest dishes alongside the winning sommeliers and bartenders. A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to Feeding South Florida, a nonprofit food bank that distributes more than 40 million pounds of food per year. General Admission: $85 per person. Click here to purchase tickets.

6. (Mostly) Jazz at The Betsy

When: Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8-11pm
Where: The Betsy-South Beach {1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 305.760.6900}
What: Twice per week, guests are invited to enjoy sumptuous BLT Steak cuisine at the Lobby Bar while enjoying the live jazz music. Upcoming performances include:

  • Wednesday, April 13: Roxana Amed / Martin Bejerano
  • Thursday, April 14: Mike Gerber
  • Thursday, April 21: Liz Bieler
  • Wednesday, April 27: Davis and Dow Duo
  • Thursday, April 28: Markus Gottschlich
Quality Meats_Double Rib Steak for two

Quality Meats Double Rib Steak

7. Quality Meats Three-Day Steer Roast

When: April 14-16
Where: Quality Meats {1501 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.340.3333}
What: Over the course of three nights, Executive Chef Patrick Rebholz is partnering with up-and-coming Chef Norberto “Negro” Piattoni for a whole steer cookout extravaganza. A 900-pound steer will be cooked in a specially constructed “fire kitchen” on Quality Meats’ expansive terrace. Events are as follows:

  • Thursday, April 14: Asada Barbecue ($59 per person including beer pairings) with whole ribs, sausage, and various steaks including bavette, hanger, flank, and skirt steak.
  • Friday, April 15: Family-Style Meal ($79 per person including wine pairings) with menu items such as Beef Liver Pâté, Fried Ground Beef Empanadas, Smoked Brisket, and Roasted Bone Marrow.
  • Saturday, April 16: Formal Night, a seated four-course affair ($99 with wine pairing) with a sophisticated menu to match featuring a main course of tender grilled Bone-In Rib-Eye with wild mushrooms and Charred Beef with grilled bok choy and dashi. Click here to reserve your space.

8. COYA Miami’s One-Year Anniversary Celebration

When: Thursday, April 14, at 7pm
Where: COYA Miami {999 Brickell Avenue, Brickell; 305.415.9990}
What: Brickell’s chic Peruvian eatery COYA is celebrating its first year in Miami with a special celebration featuring complimentary Para Picar and Pisco Sours in the Pisco Bar until 8pm. Guests who make dinner reservations will also receive complimentary bubbles and dessert. RSVP here: [email protected].

9. Fontainebleau’s Cellar 1954 Wine & Dinner Series

When: Thursday, April 14, at 8pm
Where: Scarpetta at Fontainebleau {Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 877.326.7412}
What: Fontainebleau’s Cellar 1954 Wine & Dinner Series continues with dinner at Scarpetta featuring Napa Valley’s legendary Opus One Winery. The evening will be hosted by France Posener, sales director for the winery. Diners will enjoy a five-course menu prepared by Chef de Cuisine Neil O’Connell, each of which will be paired with a different varietal from the winery. Price is $350 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by clicking here.

10. Standard Sounds Presents Jazz Lounge

When: Thursday, April 28, 8-11pm
Where: The Standard Spa, Miami Beach {40 Island Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.673.1717}
What: The Standard Spa, Miami Beach is bringing live jazz to The Lido. The hotel has teamed up with Peroni to bring you the best of Magic City’s scene the last Thursday of every month, April through June, curated and hosted by Dr. Chad Bernstein, trombonist, social entrepreneur, and lover of mollusks. Click here to RSVP.

Snail of Approval chefs and hosts

Slow Food Miami’s 2015 Snail of Approval chefs and hosts

11. Slow Food Miami’s Snail of Approval Tasting Party

When: Friday, April 29, 7-10pm
Where: 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach {2341 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach}
What: Join world-renowned chef, restaurateur, and TV host Tom Colicchio for Miami’s “Freshest Night Out.” The fifth-annual celebration will welcome South Florida’s best farm-to-table chefs, including Anthony Sitek of Apeiro Kitchen & Bar, Nicole Votano of Dirt, Mark Zeitouni from The Lido at The Standard, and many others. All event proceeds benefit Slow Food Miami’s Edible Garden Program. Click here to purchase tickets.

12. Las Olas Wine & Food Festival

When: Friday, April 29, 7:30-10:30pm
Where: Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale
What: The 2016 LOWFF will welcome 45 wineries and 60 restaurants to take over Las Olas Boulevard, one of the few nights of the year Fort Lauderdale’s main thoroughfare closes down to pedestrians. This year, the American Lung Association has partnered with CI Management to create an unforgettable evening. Each street will have a little flair with live music, DJs, culinary and mixology demonstrations, interactive retail displays, and more. Also new this year: Best of the Best Restaurant Competitions on the main stage featuring various dueling restaurants. An expert panel of judges from will decide who will be named best of the best. For a complete lineup of events and ticket information, visit lasolaswff.com or call 954.727.0907.

13. Villa Azur’s Five-Course Menu + Wine Pairing

When: Every Friday evening
Where: Villa Azur {309 23rd Street, Miami Beach; 305.763.8688}
What: Delight your palate with Villa Azur’s flavorful, refined, yet approachable Mediterranean cuisine with a five-course menu that changes weekly. Each dish is paired with a hand-selected wine—all for just $80 per person. Plus, on the last Friday of every month, the restaurant will feature live music to enhance your dinner experience. This month’s featured artist (April 29, 9pm-Midnight) will be the R&B/soul/funk musician Keba and her band.

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor