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When it comes to Peruvian food and drink, no one does it better than Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar {8405 Mills Drive, Miami; 305.630.3844}. Brought to you by the talented team behind Bulla Gastrobar {2500 Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables; 305.441.0107}, this popular chain puts a modern twist on traditional Peruvian favorites, serving up different anticuchos and causas, lomo saltado, parihuela and innovative ceviches like jalapeño, rocoto, ají Amarillo, passion fruit and more. After the success of its first Kendall location, which opened in late 2015, Pisco y Nazca opened a second location in Doral in June 2016.
Catering to Miami’s summer temperatures, Pisco y Nazca recently added new refreshing drinks and specials to its daily “Hora Loca” happy hour and weekend brunch. Along with the locale’s signature Peruvian cocktails, diners can now stay cool with one of three Peruvian Sangria Pitchers: El Shandy, Sangria Peruana, or Sangria Brava.
For a taste of these sweet sippers, head to either location during weekend brunch or Hora Loca, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m. daily. Go during the latter and order one of each pitcher… rumor has it they’re 50% off.
Happy dining!
By Jennifer Agress | Miami Editor


Renderings, Coral Gables “Streetscape” Project

As life often teaches us, you’ve got to take the good with the bad. So when beautiful Miracle Mile and Downtown Coral Gables started construction for the highly-anticipated “Streetscape” project—which will renovate Coral Gables’ public works systems, sidewalks, and landscaping and turn it into a destination location—affected restaurants had to face the reality that their streets would be closed-off to cars for weeks. Fortunately, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, the City of Coral Gables, and other partnering organizations have come up with a way to support these restaurants while simultaneously indulging in good company and great food: an activation initiative called DineOut!

Launched to get community members to do just that, DineOut! encourages Coral Gables residents and employees to show their love for the affected restaurants by dining at them during their lunch breaks. A re-boot of a successful 2009 program, when the Chamber wanted to stimulate tourism after 9/11 and during the Great Recession, this activation project will not only support the restaurants themselves, but will deter any notion that they’re closed during construction. To bring it to a reality, leaders of the initiative are urging businesspeople to host breakfast meetings and dinner appointments over lunch, move date-nights up to lunchtime, and switch their weekend plans to take friends and family, colleagues, and co-workers out to lunch on Miracle Mile and its surrounding streets.

Having kicked-off on Wednesday, July 13th, and continuing weekly through summer, DineOut! is already off to a great start. And you can do it, too! So where should you go when you join the fun? Some of our favorite spots include: The Local Craft Food and Drink {150 Giralda Avenue, Coral Gables; 305.648.5687}, Bulla {2500 Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables; 305.441.0107}, Cibo Restaurant and Wine Bar {45 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305.442.4925}, Ortanique {278 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305.446.7710}, and Talavera Cocina Mexicana {2299 Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables; 305.444.2955}.

And when the construction is all over, Coral Gables businesses and residents are excited to see the change and beauty the Streetscape project will inevitably bring. “Miracle Mile is Coral Gables’ ‘Main Street,'” says Mark A. Trowbridge, President and CEO of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce. “In the end, we’re putting the ‘miracle’ back in Miracle Mile.”

See you there, diners!

By Jennifer Agress | Miami Editor

The holiday season is just around the corner. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be celebrating in the meantime. Here’s a look at nine of the top events taking place in Miami this November—until Thanksgiving. We’ll have an entirely new roundup for you then.

fontainebleau frank sinatra
1. StripSteak and Jack Daniel’s Celebrate Frank Sinatra
When: November 11 at 8pm
Where: StripSteak by Michael Mina {4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.674.4780}
What: The Fontainebleau continues its celebration of Frank Sinatra and his upcoming centennial birthday with a special five-course dinner at StripSteak hosted by Chef Michael Mina himself highlighting some of Ol’ Blue Eyes’ favorite dishes paired with specialty Jack Daniel’s cocktails. Click here for reservations.

2. Ortanique on the Mile Charity Wine Dinner
When: November 11 at 7pm
Where: Ortanique on the Mile {278 Miracle Mile Coral Gables; 305.446.7710}
What: Join Chef Cindy Hutson and Delius Shirley for Ortanique on the Mile’s second-annual Charity Wine Dinner benefiting The Learning Experience School, which supports children and young adults with developmental disabilities. The special five-course meal will begin with a Champagne reception with passed hors d’oeuvres and will feature wines by Far Niente, EnRoute, and Dolce. Space is limited; call TLC at 305.546.2315 or email [email protected] to reserve your tickets.

Flying with the stars3. Flying with the Stars with Salumeria 104 and Midtown Oyster Bar
November 11-12, 7-11pm
Where: Former Al Capone Mansion {93 Palm Avenue, Palm Island}
What: The second-annual Flying with the Stars will be two nights of six-course wine-paired menus curated by acclaimed Milan-based Italian chefs Alberto Buratti, Claudio Francesco Ceriotti, and Luigi Taglienti in collaboration with Chef Angelo Masarin of Salumeria 104 and Midtown Oyster Bar. The first evening will focus on Midtown Oyster Bar’s sea-based menu, while the second evening will focus on Salumeria 104’s land-based concept. The dinners will feature silent auctions, all in support of the Miami Children’s Health Foundation. Click here to purchase tickets.

4. A Night with the Winemakers at Wine by the Bay
November 12 at 7pm
Where: Wine By the Bay {888 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 112, Downtown; 305.455.9791}
What: Join Wine By the Bay for a special night with iconic Italian winemakers Ettore Germano (whose family has owned and cultivated land in the Barolo region since 1856) and Silvia Piaggia (a cult winemaker from Carmignano, Tuscany). The duo will answer questions and share their wines with some of Chef Daniele Cosmo’s amazing creations. Planned pairings include Il Sasso, Carmignano 2013 paired with mini croissants with speck, Brie, arucola, and truffle sauce; and Barolo Serralunga 2011 paired with risotto with Taleggio cheese and truffle. Seating is limited. Click here to purchase tickets.

Lef Kraounakis

Lef Kraounakis

5. Thursday Happy Hour at La Mar
Every Thursday, 4-7pm
Where: La Mar by Gastón Acurio {Brickell Key Drive, Brickell; 305.913.8358}
What: Celebrated for its unparalleled Peruvian cuisine and lively bar scene, Mandarin Oriental’s bay-front Peruvian restaurant has launched a sophisticated weekly happy hour under the supervision of Eleftherios “Lef” Kraounakis, who was recently appointed head of the restaurant’s expanded nightlife program. The new happy hour offers $8 creative cocktails, including traditional and flavored Pisco Sours; $6 wine and beers; and light bites such as Cebiche Criollo, Anticucho Chicken, Empanadas, and Pan con Chicharron for just $8 each. A live DJ will also playing music from the bar’s superior sound system.

6. Fifth-Annual Water Party MIA
November 13, 6-10pm
Where: Four Seasons Miami {1435 Brickell Avenue, Brickell}
What: Join Bulla Gastrobar and soon-to-be-opened Pisco Y Nazca for a special fundraising event in honor of Global Water Brigades, an international, nonprofit organization constructing clean water systems in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Ghana. The goal of the event is to raise $12,500 to benefit the community of El Hatillo, Nicaragua, which is home to 67 families in need of a clean water supply. The minimum donation of $35 in advance will entitle each guest to endless cocktails by various beverage sponsors and savory bites from Bulla Gastrobar and Pisco y Nasca. The night will include music, a silent auction, and more. Click here to purchase tickets.

7. Weekend Lunch at Michael Mina 74
Every Saturday and Sunday, Noon-6pm
Where: Michael Mina 74 {4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.674.4636}
What: The Fontainebleau’s signature American restaurant is now open for lunch on the weekends with a daytime menu featuring an array of starters, selections from the fresh seafood bar, and the restaurant’s award-winning burgers, including the classic Dry-Aged Steak Burger, the Heritage Turkey Burger, and the Prime Beef Crunch Burger, which is topped with double-smoked bacon, pimento cheese, peanut butter, and potato chips.

8. Sunday Brunch at Tamarina
Every Sunday (starting November 22) 11am-6pm (buffet open until 3pm)
Where: Tamarina Restaurant {600 Brickell Avenue, Brickell; 305.770.6223}
What: Tamarina officially launches its Sunday brunch, which will feature all-you-can-eat buffet of breakfast and lunch staples accompanied by live music and all-you-can-drink specials. Expect to find made-to-order omelettes, pancakes, waffles, and crêpes; an American station featuring corned beef hash and roast beef; a fresh salad bar; a grill station featuring steak and eggs and pork ribs; an Italian station with frittatas, charcuterie, and homemade pizzas; a seafood station with oysters, shrimp, and smoked salmon; and a variety of freshly baked breakfast pastries, muffins, and scones; and much more.

Seed Food & Wine9. SEED Food & Wine Festival
When: November 18-22; Grand Tasting November 21
Where: Grand Tasting at MANA Wynwood {318 Northwest 23rd Street, Wynwood}
What: The second-annual SEED Food & Wine Festival, the nation’s only plant-based food and wine experience, will be a five-day festival featuring upscale dinners, film screenings, garden parties, and a Southern brunch, all leading up to a large-scale outdoor festival and grand tasting on Saturday, November 21, from 11am-6pm, with food, wine, juices, music, gifts, organic body care, clothing, yoga, and everything that celebrates conscious plant-based living. For more information, visit seedfoodandwine.com.

By Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

march of dimes signature chefs

Dozens of fundraising events take place in Miami throughout the year, but the upcoming Signature Chefs Auction benefiting the March of Dimes is one of our all-time favorites. Accompanied by a silent auction, chefs from some of the top local restaurants will serve up samplings of their favorite dishes. This will be followed by a sit-down dessert and live auction, where guests can bid on exclusive dining experiences, travel, and more.

Proceeds from the 2015 Signature Chefs Auction will allow March of Dimes to further its mission through research and community programs to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The 18th-annual Signature Chefs Auction presented by GOYA will take place on Thursday, October 29, from 6:30-9:30pm at the Westin Colonnade Coral Gables. 

We had the chance to catch up with participating Chef Diego Solano of Bulla Gastrobar {2500 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables; 305.441.0107} to discuss giving back to the local community and what he has in store for the upcoming event.


DiningOut: We last spoke in April. What has been going on at Bulla? Have there been any additions to the menu?
Chef Diego Solano:
Yes, we actually created several new lunch, brunch, and dinner items that we are very excited about! These include the Bikini and the Garbanzo Frito [brunch], the Arroz Negro con Pulpo and the Solomillo de Cerdo with beer sauce [lunch], and the Coca de Frutas [dessert].

You talked about plans for opening a new concept, Pisco y Nazca. How is the project coming along?
Pisco y Nazca will be opening late October at The Palms at Town and Country in Kendall. It will definitely set a new standard for Peruvian cuisine in South Florida. This concept will show the passion we have for hospitality and pioneering amazing cuisine.

Tell us about Bulla’s involvement with local charities.
We are always enthusiastic when it comes to helping our community through events that bring awareness to local and national charities. It goes back to our roots in hospitality, as it truly makes us feel great when we take care of others. Giving back to the community is both an honor and a privilege.

At the moment, we are participating in the No Kid Hungry campaign, where each diner at our restaurant donates a certain percentage to the cause for the month of September.

What about the March of Dimes specifically drew you to the Signature Chefs Auction?
Children are the future, so we saw a real value in helping the March of Dimes organization.

You have so many amazing dishes on your menu. How do you even begin to decide what you want to serve at an event like this?
When creating new dishes, we always strive to present food that really showcases our style of cuisine and that represents our brand.

What is the dish you plan on preparing for the upcoming event?
We will be serving Insalada de Pulpo with heirloom tomatoes, grilled octopus, and cucumber.

Will Bulla have any auction items up for bid?
Yes. We are auctioning off a four-course wine pairing where I will cook my own created dishes and Joel Mesa, our mixologist, will assist in choosing the wines.

By Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

One of the things we love most about Miami Spice is that it doesn’t just last for one month, it lasts for two whole months. This means that there’s still plenty of time to visit all your favorite restaurants—and some brand-new ones—and enjoy unmatched three-course Miami Spice menus at discounted prices (dinner: $39; lunch: $23).

As we try to hit up as many Spice menus as we can, here are five more of our favorites we don’t want you to miss:

1. BLT Steak & The Betsy {1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 305.673.0044}
Spice menu available for lunch Monday-Friday and dinner Sunday-Friday.

Veal & Pork Meatballs from BLT Steak

Veal & Pork Meatballs from BLT Steak

We love that Celebrity Chef Laurent Tourondel likes to keep things interesting—his blackboard menu changes daily—and that means he’s entirely revamped his Spice menu for the month of September. For appetizers, our hands-down first choice is the Veal and Pork Meatballs. Chef Tourondel served these babies up for us during a special preview dinner last March, and we’ve been dreaming about them ever since! For entrées, it’s a toss-up between the 12oz CAB Coulotte and the Grilled Black Tiger Prawns. To round out the meal, you’ll also be able to choose your own side and melt-in-your-mouth dessert. But that’s not all! Even though it’s Miami Spice, you’ll still receive the complimentary goodies that are brought to every table at dinner: Chicken Liver Mousse with artisan bread and pickled vegetables, and the famous giant Popovers dusted with Gruyère cheese.

2. Bulla Gastrobar {2500 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables; 305.441.0107}
Spice menu available for lunch and dinner daily.

Branzino a la Vasca from Bulla Gastrobar

Branzino a la Vasca from Bulla Gastrobar

There’s nothing more disappointing than arriving at your planned restaurant of the evening, sitting down at your table, and then having your server tell you: “We’re not offering our Miami Spice menu right now.” With many establishments placing restrictions on when their specials are actually available, it’s comforting to know that at Bulla, it’s always time for Spice. Just last week, the Spanish restaurant rolled out updated Spice menus, featuring items such as the Albóndigas de Cordero (lamb meatballs), Branzino a la Vasca, and the Torrija dessert. As an added bonus, for both lunch and dinner, you can enjoy TWO glasses of any of Bulla’s popular sangrías for just $10.

3. Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room {1395 Brickell Avenue, Brickell; 305.503.6529}
Spice menu available for lunch and dinner daily.

Pan-Roasted Monkfish from Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room

Pan-Roasted Monkfish from Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room

For Miami Spice, the Conrad Miami’s signature restaurant is serving up some of its classic dishes and seasonal favorites. For appetizers, we recommend the crisp Waldorf Salad, followed by the Pan-Roasted Monkfish, which is served with confit garlic, Mediterranean baby vegetables, and red wine reduction. And for dessert, don’t miss out on the gooey Chocolate Coulant Cake served with salted caramel ice cream. Plus, if you’re looking for a quick power lunch, Atrio’s got you covered. Simply ask for the special “Taste of Time” menu, which guarantees (if you so choose) that you’ll be in and out in 45 minutes or less. An hourglass will be placed on your table at the start of the meal; and if your meal isn’t completed in time, your lunch is on the house.

4. Scarpetta {4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 877.326.7412}
Spice menu available for dinner Sunday-Thursday.

Creamy Polenta from Scarpetta

Creamy Polenta from Scarpetta

Celebrity Chef Scott Conant’s menu at Scarpetta at the Fontainebleau is drool-worthy any time of year. But during Miami Spice, it becomes even more enticing. The restaurant recently revamped its Spice menu, giving you even more options to savor. For appetizers, we recommend the Creamy Polenta, which is served alongside a medley of truffled mushrooms (which happen to be a specialty of the restaurant this time of year). Continue the experience with the Short Rib Agnolotti Dal Pin before ending with the traditional dolce: Almond Panna Cotta. If you’re not in the mood for Italian, Fontainebleau’s three other flagship restaurants—Hakkasan, Michael Mina 74, and StripSteak—have also updated their Spice menus for the month of September.

5. The Bazaar by José Andrés {1701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.455.2999}
Spice menu available for dinner Sunday-Thursday.

Bao con Lechón from The Bazaar by José Andrés

Bao con Lechón from The Bazaar by José Andrés

Decisions, decisions! Hands down, one of the most extensive option-filled Spice menus out there is from the SLS South Beach’s Bazaar by José Andrés. First, you’ll choose your appetizer, or “snack,” from five different options (we recommend the Bao con Lechón—pork belly on a Chinese bun). Next, you’ll select THREE options from an expansive menu that includes several “Verduras,” seven types of “Carnes y Mariscos,” and three “Fruits and Vegetables” dishes. And don’t forget: You’ll also get to choose a dessert, so be sure to save room!

By Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

Bulla - Miami, Florida

Last month, DiningOut was invited to a special media dinner at Bulla {2500 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables; 305.441.0107}, a unique Spanish-style gastrobar that is consistently cited as one of the best in Miami. Not only were we able to try some amazing dishes, but we learned more about the restaurant’s parent company, Centurion Restaurant Group, and its plans for expansion. There are several projects in the works, including a new Peruvian concept called Pisco y Nazca, slated to open at Town & Country in Kendall this August, along with second locations of both Bulla and Pisco y Nazca at the brand-new Shops at Downtown Doral in 2016.

We had a chance to sit down with Bulla’s Executive Chef Diego Solano, who joined Bulla in June 2014, to talk about the restaurant’s concept, menu, what’s in store for the future, and more.


What drew you to Bulla?
Much like those famous gastrobars in Spain, the bar at Bulla is the center of attention; but the emphasis on quality gastronomic creations is what drew me the most! Bulla (pronounced boo-ya), is slang for “chatter” or what people are talking about. It is devoted to delighting you by serving your favorite Spanish and Catalan dishes.

You went to Spain with Carlos Centurion and Juan Carlos Marchan [the top executives of Centurion Restaurant Group] when you were first hired. How did this change your culinary philosophy or techniques?
It definitely enriched my culinary experience. Spain is known for its inventive dishes that combine various ingredients. I was able to taste a variety of Spanish cuisine staples, from paella to tapas. I was exposed to the best chefs and had the opportunity to observe their cooking techniques, which has helped me create our menu.

How does your Costa Rican background influence your menu and style of cooking?
Tico cuisine incorporates several staples of Latin American cuisine, but differentiates itself by being much healthier with the inclusion of an array of fresh fruits and vegetables. This makes me strive to search for seasonal and quality products to ensure I deliver all of our menu items with excellent flavor and freshness.

Zarzuela de Mariscos Bulla

Tell us about the weekly market menu. How do you come up with the dishes every week?
We want to take our guests on a gastronomic journey that fuses new flavors beyond our daily menu. Our weekly menu focuses on of-the-moment ingredients that revive and rethink classic Spanish dishes for the Miami palate. Every Tuesday, we carefully curate a menu, creating and tasting recipes, and reviewing the balance of the plate, presentation, and flavor. The menu is designed to be creative with the use of fresh elements and food trends, ultimately lending to an outstanding culinary experience.

Diners can expect items such as Zarzuela de Mariscos, a seafood stew with clams, shrimp, mussels, monkfish, calamari sofrito, pine nut, picada, and white wine (pictured above); Solomillo con Polenta with filet mignon, polenta fries, portobello mushrooms, and Port reduction; and Panna Cotta de Miel y Yogurt, a honey and Greek yogurt panna cotta made of citrus sponge cake, lychee foam, and organic honey. Additionally, the house mixologist revs up for a new cocktail each week.

What might surprise new visitors about the menu at Bulla?
We are not your standard restaurant; we are proud to describe ourselves as a gastrobar that features a large variety of tapas and a full bar, allowing us to bring the flavors of Spain to the Coral Gables community. We are proud to be listed in top 10 as one of the most vibrant bars in all of Miami.

Huevos Bulla

What would you recommend to first-timers?
Huevos Bulla (pictured above) is definitely a must for first-time guests. This dish is prepared with homemade potato chips, Serrano ham, potato foam, and truffle oil.

What can you tell us about Centurion Restaurant Group’s new concept, Pisco y Nazca?
Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar is a chef-driven concept that will serve authentic Peruvian dishes in a fun and casual setting designed by Celano Design Studio (responsible for Bulla and STK in Las Vegas and Miami). The menu will feature a variety of dishes paired with an innovative beverage program with 100 types of artisanal crafted beers and handcrafted liquor cocktails–the first of its kind in Miami. With Miguel Gomez, one of the best Peruvian chefs in the U.S., at the helm, paired with the expertise of the Bulla Group, we have no doubt this will be a hit.

-Sherri Balefsky | Online Editor