Wednesday, January 27, 2021
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Miami Beach has long been the place to celebrate New Year’s Eve in South Florida. This year, please don’t party it up — everyone’s safety depends on it. If you don’t want to ring in the new year at home, you can still celebrate safely at one of these Miami Beach restaurants. Each is serving up delicious dinner packages with outdoor seating and safety protocols in place, so put on your prettiest mask, resolve to keep your distance, and bid a firm farewell to 2020.

Sardinia Ristorante

This cozy Italian enoteca in Miami Beach will serve a four-course NYE menu including selections like fresh lobster Catalana, filet mignon tartare, homemade tagliolini, and roasted suckling pig. The dinner is priced at $95 per person, and guests have the option to add on a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut for $100. Ferghettina Franciacorta specials will also be available starting at $55.

Details: Sardinia Ristorante is located at 1801 Purdy Ave, Miami Beach. For reservations and more information, call (305) 531-2228.

Villa Azur

Villa Azur’s “La Bella Vita!” New Year’s Eve extravaganza will transport guests to the French Riviera, offering a “best of the best” a la carte menu by Chef Carlos Torres during two seatings, one at 7 p.m. and one at 9:30 p.m. Dinner will be accompanied by a live pianist, DJ, magician more festive surprises throughout the night in the restaurant’s whimsical courtyard. Bottle packages will be available for those looking to go all out on this special evening. Reservations are highly encouraged.

Details: Villa Azur is located at 309 23rd St, Miami Beach. For reservations and more information, call (305) 763-8688.

The Shelborne South Beach

This iconic Miami Beach hotel will serve up a lavish multicourse meal al fresco overlooking the beautiful Art Deco pool area. Guests can dig in to creamy crab bisque, fresh hand-rolled sushi, tender bay scallop gratin, and more. Dinner will be served from 7-11 p.m. and is priced at $75 per person. After, guests are invited to celebrate the opening of Sweet Beach, a popup by Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Co.

Details: The Shelborne South Beach is located at 1801 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. For reservations or more information, call (305) 531-1271.

Diya Sunset Harbor

Craving some authentic Indian food to celebrate a new year and new beginnings? Head to Diya in Sunset Harbor. They’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve with a “Mask-erade” on the patio. Starting at 4 p.m., diners will enjoy a three-course dinner, a complimentary glass of champagne, and access to a VIP lounge afterward for $150 per person or $350 per couple (you’ll get a full bottle of champagne if you’re here as a pair).

Details: Diya is located at 1766 Bay Road, Miami Beach. You can make a reservation via Eventbrite. For more information, call (305) 763-8948. 

Byblos Miami

Go Mediterranean at Byblos Miami, offering several dinner packages on December 31. Choose between a seating from 5:30-7 p.m. priced at $75 per person for a three-course dinner and a later seating from 7:30-10 p.m. priced at $225 per person for a four-course dinner. Every two people will receive a complimentary bottle of bubbly. Guests can also pay $75 to enjoy a four-hour open bar at the Sultan’s Garden Masquerade starting at 9 p.m., featuring a DJ, special performances, and live entertainers outdoors in Byblos’s garden.

Details: Byblos is located at 1545 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. For reservations or more information, contact info@byblosmiami.com.

In Haiti, the days between Christmas and January 2 (Ancestor’s Day) is a prime time for sipping krema, a sort of egg-nog crafted with condensed milk, cinnamon, and strong rum. Every family has its own recipe, but the spirit of choice is usually Rhum Barbancourt. If you’re craving something strong, sweet, spicy, and seasonal, we invite you to take part in this island tradition by mixing up your own batch of krema. Spices can be added to taste as you refine your own personal spin on the drink, but in the meantime here’s an easy recipe to get you started.

What you need:

  •  2 cups of sweetened cream of coconut
  • 2 cups of condensed milk
  • 2 cups of Rhum Barbancourt
  • 2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of ground nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons of fresh lime juice 

How to make it:

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into a glass container or a glass bottle and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve. You can also be serve it over ice. Always shake the bottle or glass container before you serve. Store in the refrigerator. This recipe should yield about six cups.

In Miami, we’re blessed with blue skies, sunshine, and warm weather year-round — but if you’re craving a taste of summertime in the middle of the festive season, here’s the perfect recipe for you. Created by Brielle Fratellone, Fontainebleau Hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef, this piña sherbet is the perfect blend of sweet, sour, and creamy. It also won “Best Dessert” at the SOBEWFF Sweets and Beats competition in February 2020. You’ll need a juicer and an ice cream machine to make it, so add them to your holiday gift list if you don’t already have ’em.

What you need:
7 cups of coconut milk
6.5 cups of fresh pineapple juice
1/3 cup of kalamansi juice
4 tablespoon of agave syrup
1 cup of whole milk powder
1 ½ cups of granulated sugar

How to make it:

Using a juicer, press fresh, ripe pineapple chunks. Warm the coconut milk and whisk in the granulated sugar and milk powder to dissolve. Let the mixture cool and add in the pineapple juice, kalamansi juice, and agave syrup. Blend the mixture well. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and spin until frozen. Enjoy the sherbet freshly spun or return it to the freezer to be stored up to one week.

After temporarily closing, MILA made a grand reentrance in September with a brilliantly revamped food and cocktail menu and plenty more big surprises. We talked to some of the star players of their team about what’s new in the kitchen and behind the bar, their process of reinvention, and what they love best about Miami’s food scene. 

What motivated the team to revamp the menu for MILA’s reopening in September? What inspired the new menu items, which are you most proud/excited about, and what was the overall vision behind the new selection of dishes? 

Romain Devic, executive chef: The menu launched in January was more ordinary, influenced by Mediterranean or Japanese cuisines, but the ‘Mediterr-Asian’ DNA was not yet reached. We had an opportunity to create a real and unique culinary signature that belongs to us, with dishes and flavors that could not be tasted anywhere else; it is what really differentiates us from any other restaurants. We fine-tuned our custom spice blends with ‘La Boite à epices NY,’ reconsidered our sauces, infused more herbs, and challenged classic cooking techniques to create the unexpected. 

Romain Devic

Are there any dish + cocktail pairings you can recommend to our readers from MILA’s new menu? 

Romain: The pork belly chicharrone with a Margarita Verde, and the branzino tataki with the Sun Salutation.

Can you walk us through the process leading up to MILA’s reopening in September? How has the business been in the months since then? 

Romain: We felt like people were scared and not ready to go out, dine out, and enjoy. They needed more time, so we listened and we took that time to work on making a new grand entrance in Miami’s culinary scene in September. Not only did we elevated the menu, but we also changed the interior layout to create a higher energy. We completely revamped the private dining room to create a brand-new lounge area, particularly liked by late-night diners. You cannot rush something you want to last.

Can you tell us about some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your line of work because of the pandemic? Conversely, have there been any silver linings? 

Kate Farrel, pastry chef: We lost some of our people. But since every cloud has a silver lining, that also gave us the opportunity to meet new amazing talents that are contributing to the success of MILA every day.

Kate Farrel

What is your favorite dish to cook, and what is your favorite dish to eat?
Daniel Marin, executive sous chef:
The whole branzino, robata-cooked and flambéed with Pastis. Not only are the flavors incredible, but the dish is also beautifully designed and the show at the table is incredible. 

Finish this sentence: “Miami’s food scene is…” 

Daniel: …a revolution, so eclectic and constantly evolving, getting more and more interesting with new entrants every month. The expectations, standards, and tastes are getting higher and more refined, while the celebration/nightlife aspect remains such a big component to the equation, and so unique to this city. It is very exciting to be part of this industry. 

Make MILA’s Whole Grilled Branzino 

What you need:

1 whole branzino 

3 slices of lemon 

Half a grilled lemon 

1 sprig of thyme 

Salt to taste

10 grams of olive oil 

2 grams of cilantro 

How to make it:

Score the skin of the branzino three times on each side. Stuff the branzino with thyme, lemon slices, salt, and olive oil. Carefully place the branzino on the grill and leave it until it can be flipped on its other side. This can take about seven minutes on each side. Once both sides are crispy, check the flesh for cooking preference with a knife. If it needs more time, cover and remove it from the grill, place it in aluminum foil, and put it back on the grill.

Deciding on the perfect gift for someone special in your life can definitely be a stressful endeavor — but if you have a foodie or a cocktail connoisseur on your list, we have you covered. Here are three gifts that bring plenty of fa-la-la-la-flavor.

Chaya’s Craze Boards

Nothing levels up a gathering like a beautifully arranged charcuterie board, and Miami local Chaya Kenigsberg is the queen of boards. Founded during the early pandemic lockdown, her company, Chaya’s Craze Boards, quickly became a cult favorite. Chaya’s boards are handcrafted with all kinds of kosher-certified charcuterie, cheeses, and other delicious, locally sourced ingredients — like fresh and dried fruit, veggies, nuts, dips, and crackers. You can even choose gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan options. If you’re looking to gift one for a holiday or special occasion, you can commission themed boards around Yom Kipper and Rosh Hashanah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and more. 

Chaya’s Craze Boards offers contactless delivery throughout South Florida for an additional fee. Boards start at $60 and can be ordered here.

A Wild Fork Gift Box

Local meat and seafood market Wild Fork has unveiled a series of gift boxes curated to please any palate. Starting as low as $45, each box includes frozen food selections ranging from Wagyu steak to escargot to Chilean sea bass. You can choose a box pased on the personality or flavor profile of the recipient — there’s one for burger fans, bagel bosses, seafood lovers, and even adventurous eaters called The Curious Chef (our favorite — it comes with alligator tenderloins, beef marrow bones, and more). 

For full information on how to order and where Wild Fork ships, please go to https://wildforkfoods.com/pages/wild-fork-gifting. Gift boxes usually arrive within 24-48 hours, depending on the zip code.

Miami Beach Mambo Cocktail Courier Kit 

Haig Club Clubman (which launched this past year) and brand partner David Beckham have joined forces to create the perfect gift for cocktail lovers. It’s a kit that comes with all the ingredients you need to whip up a tasty, tropical Miami Beach Mambo, a drink that pairs Haig Club Clubman whisky’s sweet toffee, coconut, and citrus notes with zesty key lime and guava chai flavors. The kit is available exclusively for purchase in Florida and includes a full-sized bottle of Haig Club Clubman and a beautiful copper shaker. 

The Miami Beach Mambo Cocktail Courier Kit is priced at $88.99 and makes 10 drinks. Order one here.

What you need for the pork/marinade:
4-6 lb. pork shoulder                
4 cups of sour orange                             
40 cloves of garlic                                   
4 tbsp of salt                          
2 tbsp of oregano                              
2 tbsp of cumin                                  
4 tsp of ground pepper                                   
4 tbsp of rosemary                            
4 tbsp of thyme                                                         

For the pork/skin:
4 lbs. of coarse salt                          
4 egg whites                           
½ cup of white vinegar                                    

½ cup of apple cider vinegar

For the prepared lechon mix:
2 tbsp of olive oil
10 oz. of diced pork
18 oz. of pineapple slices
4 tbsp of shallots
4 tbsp of green bell pepper
4 tbsp of red bell pepper
4 tbsp of red onion
2 tbsp of jalapeno      

For the mojo verde:

2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of salt
½ tsp of cumin
¼ tsp of course ground pepper
1 ½ bunches of cilantro
4 tbsp of lime juice
½ cup of olive oil 

For the tostones:

2 platanos
¼ cup of pork mix
1 tsp of mojo verde
Fresh cilantro leaves to garnish

How to make it all:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Begin by preparing and roasting your pork shoulder joint in the oven. Before roasting, marinade the pork shoulder overnight then cover with salt.
At R House our marinade is made with sour orange juice, chopped garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, ground pepper, rosemary, and thyme. We then make a thick salt coating using coarse salt, egg white, regular vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Roast the marinated pork shoulder in the oven for 2 hours. After roasting, remove the salt crust – this salt will have taken on lots of flavor and can be used to season
the dish just before serving – then cool, de-bone, and dice the meat into small chunks. Prepare a simple sofrito by sauteeing four tablespoons each diced shallots, green bell pepper, red bell
pepper, and red onion and two tablespoons diced jalapeños. Separately, grill 9 oz. of pineapple slices until dark grill marks form. Dice the pineapple then add to your sofrito mix. When mixed well, add 5 oz. diced pork and continue to mix. Next, to make the tostones, fry 16 thick slices of platano. After initial frying, smash platano slices so they form thin and wide slices, then re-fry until golden brown. When crispy, remove from the pan and pad off any excess oil. Place the toston slices on large plates, then on each piece place a quarter cup of your pineapple-pork mix. Place 1 teaspoon of mojo verde on top then season with the salt from your original salt crust. Garnish each toston with cilantro leaves then serve!

Whether you’re joining a socially distanced holiday happy hour via Zoom or looking to elevate dinner with your roommates or significant other, a festive cocktail can go a long way in enhancing any occasion. We tapped the bar teams at a few of Miami’s top-rated restaurants for recipes that only taste like they took a lot of work. Cheers!

SP11CE & Everything Nice by Zuma’s Jules Gomez

Ingredients:

1.5 ounces of E11EVEN Vodka

0.5 ounce of Italicus

Lemon juice to taste

Simple syrup to taste

A dash of cardamom bitters

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a small shaker and add ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy!

Apple of my Islay by Beaker & Gray and The Sylvester’s Ben Potts

Ingredients:

1 ounce of The Botanist Islay Dry Gin

1 ounce of extra dry vermouth

1 ounce of apple cordial

1 dash of aromatic bitters

Directions:

Stir the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, then strain into small cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

StripSteak’s El Guapo

Ingredients:

1 ounce of Gracias a Dios Espadin Mescal

1 ounce of cacao-infused Revolucion Tequila

0.75 ounce of Averna Amaro

0.75 ounce of Pineapple and Burnt Orange

2 dashes of Bitterman’s chocolate bitters

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker full of ice, shake, and pour into a rocks glass over a large ice sphere. Express and garnish with charred orange peel.

There are so many reasons to love MILA Miami, from its boho-chic atmosphere to its incredible cocktails and dishes, but the team behind this beloved Miami Beach rooftop restaurant and bar has introduced a slew of new offerings worth getting excited about. Among them is a new Sunday brunch experience that features a selection of shareable cold and hot apps, starting at $75 per person and served between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. There’s also a new happy hour, called Golden Hour, which will take place Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 6-7:30 p.m., featuring crafted cocktails, signature bites, and select beers and wines ranging from $6-$12. 

Finally, guests can look forward to tasting their way through MILA’s new imaginative “MediterrAsian” menu (if they haven’t done so already, that is). Introduced when the restaurant reopened in September, the reinvented menu spotlights delicacies like wagyu imported from Japan, tender beef short rib “kalbi,” prime filet grilled on black lava rocks, and more. With its combination of indoor and outdoor seating, it serves as the perfect setting for any occasion, from anniversaries and birthdays to date nights and beyond. The cocktails are top-notch, too, so make sure you try at least one off the drink list.

The holidays are coming up quickly, and we’ve never been more excited to welcome a new year. Whether you prefer fine wines, ice-cold brews, or expertly mixed cocktails, here are three Miami bars that are perfect for raising a glass to new beginnings and hopefully a much better year ahead. 

Copper 29 Bar

Photo by Luis Antonio, @TheLouisCollection

This buzzy spot on Miracle Mile has added limited-edition holiday-themed cocktails to the menu, including an Amplified Mule with apple cinnamon syrup and an Xmas Tini infused with cranberry and mint liquor. Happy hour runs every evening from 5 p.m. until close with $7 cocktails, $4 beer, and $5 wine. And ladies, visit on Wednesday and sip champagne for free starting at 8 p.m. There’s outdoor seating, too, so you can enjoy the sweater weather. 

Details: Copper 29 Bar is located at 206 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. For more information, call 786-580-4689.

Edge Steak & Bar at Four Seasons Miami

Few hotel bars are as classically glamorous as Edge Steak & Bar at Four Seasons Miami. On December 17, Edge will reopen for happy hour starting at 4 p.m. They serve up one of the best old fashioned’s in town, and the bites on the bar menu are delicious. If you prefer beer or wine, Edge has a great selection that caters to every palate. 

Details: Edge Steak & Bar at Four Seasons Miami is located at 1435 Brickell Ave, Miami. For more information, call 305-381-3190. 

Mo Bar + Lounge at Mandarin Oriental Miami

Want to make a toast while enjoying Cuban jazz, Spanish guitar, and dazzling panoramic water and skyline views? Head to Mo Bar & Lounge at Mandarin Oriental Miami. Social hour takes place every night from 5-7 p.m., spotlighting specially priced handcrafted cocktails, wine, and local beer. For the live music, visit on a Friday or Saturday night. You can pair every drink with delicious light plates like steamed edamame, chicken wings, and sushi rolls. 

Details: Mo Bar + Lounge at Mandarin Oriental Miami is located at 500 Brickell Key Dr, Miami. For more information, call 305-913-8358. 

By Amanda Mesa, Contributing Writer