Home / Posts Tagged "palme d’or"

In Miami, everyone who’s anyone has heard of—and likely been to—The Biltmore. Perched on Anastasia Avenue like a European castle that somehow found its way to The City Beautiful in 1926, The Biltmore’s exquisite architecture, hand-painted frescos, vaulted ceilings, and that glamorous pool have made it a neighborhood icon. The brainchild of Coral Gables founder George Merrick, this rare hotel is a place where the world’s finest can do what they love most: sleep, relax, be pampered, and of course, eat.

The Biltmore
The Biltmore Bar

At The Biltmore, it doesn’t take long for guests to realize that the hotel’s restaurants are some of the best in Miami and beyond. Since its inception, The Biltmore has always drawn cultural influence from the Mediterranean, evident in the property’s fine dining outlets. Yes, you read that correctly; there are nine dining experiences in total (not including private dining and room service), from the award-winning Palme d’Or and Fontana to the casual bites of Cascade and 19th Hole Bar and Grill to the swanky Biltmore Bar, The Cellar Club, Succo Juice Bar, a daily Afternoon Tea experience, and the hotel’s now-famous Sunday brunch. 

The Biltmore
Hotel & Golf

“We have a great variety of dining destinations,” says Philippe Parodi, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at The Biltmore.
“Whether you’re seeking the warmth of a traditional restaurant or the bliss of dining alfresco, either formal or casual, we provide an unforgettable culinary journey. I think it’s one of the reasons why our team is internationally-recognized for our food and service.”

And it’s because of that caliber of restaurant quality and service that you could map out a whole day at The Biltmore in food alone. Start your day at the hotel’s extraordinary fine-dining Italian restaurant, Fontana, which has an extravagant daily breakfast that locals and visitors alike swear by. When you get there, take your pick of everything from fresh-baked croissants, bagels, and smoked salmon to perfectly ripe Florida fruit, made-to-order omelets, a mimosa bar, and so much more. If you like to start your mornings on a healthier note, head to Succo Juice Bar, where you can sip on green juices and Bananas Foster smoothies, the latter of which is tastefully crafted using almond milk, bananas, vanilla protein, and cinnamon.

When you’re ready for lunch, take a break from your pool day and pull up a chair at the blissful Cascade. Tucked under a 23-foot waterfall, this alfresco joint is your go-to for a classic like the Cascade Burger or Maine Lobster Salad Sandwich paired with sparkling pool and golf course views. Want to get even closer to the green? Head to 19th Hole Bar and Grill, a casual terrace bar and restaurant that overlooks the hotel’s Donald Ross Golf Course. Diners can watch a golf game, tune in to sports on multiple flat-screen TVs, savor some signature Cilantro Lime Shrimp, and enjoy a cool, refreshing beer from the restaurant’s “Brews of the World” menu. 

The Biltmore

When that 3 pm break time hits, grab a glass of wine or a cold, tropical drink from The Cascade Bar, and to ensure the rest of your night is deliciously hands-on, sign up for one of The Biltmore Culinary School’s full-scale cooking classes. Of course, Afternoon Tea is always a good idea. It takes place every Wednesday through Sunday in The Biltmore’s magnificent lobby and has a harpist who will serenade you as you drink bespoke teas and Champagne and nosh on traditional scones and petit fours.

And while all of that is bar none, its two fine-dining establishments are where The Biltmore really shines. Unlike anything on the Miami dining scene, the five-diamond, James Beard Award semifinalist Palme d’Or immerses guests in another era of French fine dining. Here, indulge in a set menu of farm-to-table fare, like the Sautéed Corvina, in an ornate setting that nods to the Jazz Age. But, if Italian is more your style, the same Fontana where you had breakfast continues to impress at dinner. This elegant and romantic courtyard restaurant dots tables and chairs around a Mediterranean fountain and serves Italian-inspired cuisine from Chef Beppe Galazzi, like Pappardelle Bolognese made with homemade pasta and béchamel. Come back Sunday morning for the hotel’s lavish Sunday brunch, which you’ve no doubt heard of before; it boasts an entire wall of desserts you won’t be able to resist.

With so much remarkable, palate-pleasing food to eat, cocktails and tea to drink, and cooking classes to attend—not to mention the hotel’s elegant spa, fitness classes, golfing, shops, and glamorous pool—the real luxury of The Biltmore is that guests’ time there can be anything they want it to be.

The Biltmore
The Biltmore Hotel – Golf Suite

“No two stays are ever the same at The Biltmore, but if I were to pick the perfect day for myself, I would start with breakfast in bed inside one of our newly renovated rooms,” says Parodi.
“From there, I would head over to the gym for a TRX class, then practice my swing on the golf course. Later, I would meet with my family and friends for lunch at Fontana and invite them to stay and enjoy the swimming pool. I would wind down from the afternoon with a relaxing massage at The Biltmore Spa, and then top the day off with an exquisite meal at our French fine dining restaurant, Palme d’Or.”

There’s a word for a day like that: Paradise.

By Jennifer Agress, a contributing writer

There’s nothing quite like sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal.  Between the turkey, multiple sides and decadent desserts, it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleasing treat.  For those that want to enjoy the food without the backbreaking work involved to get it on the table (or deal with the mountain of dishes left to clean), these Miami restaurants are offering tempting Turkey Day specials.

3540 Main Highway, Coconut Grove
(305) 640-5862


Chef Michael Beltran has captured food lover’s hearts with an innovative fare that blends modern-American with the chef’s Cuban roots. Showcasing seasonal ingredients, the cozy Coconut Grove space marries exquisite food in a relaxed space.  For Thanksgiving, the restaurant will be offering a New American feast from 3 pm to 10 pm where diners will be treated to an all-you-can-eat buffet ($75 per adult and $35 per child under 10 years old, excluding tax and gratuity.) Menu offerings include an assortment of holiday favorites and Chef Michael Beltran’s beloved family recipes with a contemporary twist. Guests can enjoy dishes like Smoked Turkey Legs, Fried Turkey Breast, Green Bean Casserole, Cheddar and Fresno Cornbread and Candied Yams.  Deserts include Pecan Pie, Goat Cheese Flan and Apple Streusel Pie. 

1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables

Palm d’Or

Set in Coral Gables’ stunning Biltmore Hotel, this elegant award-winning restaurant is a go-to destination for special occasions.  For Thanksgiving, the restaurant will be offering a tasting menu (priced at $95 with an additional $75 for wine pairing, excluding tax and gratuity) featuring classic fall dishes.  Begin with the Pumpkin Soup, served with Crispy Cranberry Bread, Sunflower Seed tuile and Spinach Cream Cheese followed by a Fall Salad (kale, fresh cranberries, roasted butternut squash, and apples.)  Beyond the Oven-Roasted Turkey (served with Sweet Potato Confit and Cranberry Compote) main courses include Jumbo Sea Scallops with Honey-Roasted Carrots, Celery Root Confit, Carrot Purée and Lentil Cake, Sea Bass with Cauliflower Purée, Baby Leeks and Ginger Beurre Blanc and Wagyu Strip Steak with Truffle Mashed Potato, Sauté Shiitake Mushroom and Vermouth Veal Jus.  Follow dinner with the restaurant’s legendary cheese cart followed by dessert options of Pecan Pie, Crème Anglaise, Caramel Sorbet and Warm Apple Tart.

 3201 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne

Rusty Pelican

Pair Thanksgiving celebration with a quintessential Miami sunset by heading to this long-standing favorite.  For $89 per adult and $35 per child (excluding tax and gratuity), the Brunch Buffet served from 10 am to 3 pm includes a wide assortment such a  Banana French Toast, Baby Kale and Goat Cheese Scrambled Eggs and Applewood Smoked Bacon and Pork Sausage. Beyond breakfast, diners will enjoy a raw bar, sushi, and ceviche plus carving stations with Rosemary Crusted Leg of Lamb, Garlic Crusted Tomahawk Prime Rib, Miso Glazed Mahi-Mahi and of course, a Hickory-Smoked Whole Turkey. End the meal on a sweet note with an assortment of Mini Desserts and Pastries like Pumpkin Pie, Carrot Cake, Pecan Cheesecake, Apple Tart and Chocolate Mousse Cake. 

4041 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140 

Bird & Bone

Chef Richard Hales dishes out Southern-inspired cooking in a modern farmhouse setting at the Confidante Miami Beach.  From 5 pm to 10 pm, the restaurant will be offering a Thanksgiving prix fixe dinner ($60 per person) with a choice of a starter, main dish, accompaniments, and dessert.  Diners can enjoy a Seasonal Squash Bisque, Turkey Cooked Two Ways, Cornbread Dressing and a Trio of Sweets: Chocolate Pecan Tart, Dutch Apple Cobbler, and Pumpkin Brûlée. 

255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami

Boulud Sud

Celebrated chef Daniel Boulud’s Miami eatery is an ode to refined Mediterranean cuisine.  The South Florida outpost to New York’s original is a welcome addition to Downtown.  For Thanksgiving day, Boulud Sud is serving a three-course prix-fixe menu featuring starters like  Spiced Pumpkin Soup and Italian Chicory Salad and Pumpkin Agnolotti, Seared Mediterranean Branzino and Lamb Chops for the main course.  Desserts range from Spiced Pumpkin Sundae to Pecan Tarte.  Prices are $65 per person, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm or $75 per person from 2:30 pm to 10 pm

3025 Collins Ave., Miami Beach


Set in the posh Palms Hotel & Spa, this restaurant has a keen focus on seasonal fare, promoting the use of local and sustainable ingredients, beginning with their own on-site organic garden.  For Thanksgiving, a buffet dinner priced at $54/per person, and $22 for children 12 and under gains access to a bounty of dishes like Deviled Eggs with Salmon Caviar and Smoked Paprika, Winter Harvest Salad with Arugula, Pickled Golden Beets, pomegranate, feta, toasted pine nuts, and lemon vinaigrette dressing and Slow-Roasted Heritage Turkey with Turkey Gravy, Rosemary and Cranberry-Orange Chutney.  Prime Rib Roast and Salt-Baked Salmon will also be served along with signature sides like Caramelized Butternut Squash Wedges with Sage Hazelnut Pesto and Roasted Roots of Parsnip, Yams, Carrots and Ginger-Maple Glaze.  They’ll be an assortment of seasonal desserts and pies as well. The buffet will run from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

9011 Collins Ave, Surfside

Renowned Chef Thomas Keller is the mastermind behind this elegant eatery with a nod to the property’s historic past.  The restaurant will be offering a special menu priced at $150 per person featuring starters of Crudités, Deviled Eggs, Fall Spiced Nuts and Cheese and Crackers followed by a Waldorf Salad.  Main courses include the choice of  Slow-Roasted Turkey Breast with Confit Leg En Persillade, Sage Gravy, Cranberry and Blood Orange Relish, Olive Oil Poached Halibut, or The French Laundry Garden Pumpkin Cannelloni. Cornbread stuffing with Garlic Sausage and Leek Confit and Garnet Yam with Brown-butter Gingersnap Streusel are among the delectable sides. Dessert features Bourbon Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Cranberry Cherry Coulis

1901 Collins Ave, Miami Beach

Turkey Tamale

Mexican cuisine is mastered by Argentinian Chef Jose Icardi at this Shore Club signature spot. For those looking to step outside the traditional Thanksgiving box, head over to the poolside restaurant for Turkey Tamales made with braised turkey in tomato chipotle sauce, cotija cheese, and topped with pickled red onions, Mexican cream and tamale sauce. They pair well with anything off of the beloved tequila cart making the rounds.

151 NE 41st St Suite 117, Miami 

Ember Roasted Cornbread Custard

Chef Brad Kilgore’s contemporary  American bistro has garnered South Florida’s attention with unique dishes like Fire-roasted Lasagna and Roasted Cornbread Custard with Bone Marrow Butter. Come Thanksgiving, the restaurant will serve a pre-fixe dinner ($65 per person from 4 pm to 9 pm) offering holiday favorites like Pumpkin Soup with Bacon, Pecan, Maple and Pumpkin Seed Oil, Slow Roasted Heritage Turkey, Cornbread Stuffing and Smoked Neck Gravy. Dessert comes by way of a Pie Station featuring Sweet Potato Pie, Apple Pie, Pecan Pie, and Peanut Butter Pie.

CORSAIR kitchen + bar
19999 West Country Club Drive (inside of JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa)

CORSAIR kitchen + bar

Tucked away in Aventura’s Turnberry Isle Miami, this venerated brunch-spot favorite is the second South Florida restaurant of celebrity Italian chef Scott Conant.  The contemporary American boasts a 45-seat bar and an overall festival vibe that makes it an ideal Thanksgiving destination.  Appetizers include Calabaza Soup, Prosciutto, and Figs, Seared Sea Scallops or Sweet Potato Gnocchi.  For entrees select Roasted Turkey Breast with Stuffing, Buttermilk Mash, Green Beans, Cranberry Sauce, and Gravy  Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash, Seared Chilean Sea Bass or Pan-Roasted Filet Mignon. The trifecta of Thanksgiving Day pies (pumpkin, apple, and pecan) are offered for dessert.  Prices are $65 per person, $32 for children 5-12 and will run from noon-10pm.

By Alona Abbady Martinez
Staff Writer

Where elegance and creativity intersect

Biltmore Hotel Exterior

At the beautiful Biltmore Hotel, guests will find a range of dining options for palates and budgets of all types. But for a flagship dining experience, there’s no question: Palme d’Or is unrivaled. At its entrance, the fine French establishment highlights its many accolades—including the prestigious Five Diamond Award—and sets your expectations sky high for the meal to come (and exceeds them easily).

Palme d’Or gives off a distinct white tablecloth impression at first, but there’s no stuffiness to be found. The eatery’s à la carte approach ensures that all diners are welcome. If you feel like just having a few bites, you can. If you’re celebrating a special occasion and feel like splurging, you’re encouraged to go for it.


Offerings at Palme d’Or can be summed up simply as “elegance meets creativity.” You’ll find classic French fare with twists throughout. The menu is divided into three sections—Appetizers, Entrées and Additions—but despite the simple organization, figuring out what to order is hard; it all sounds superb.

Thankfully, the accommodating staff is more than happy to walk you through the menu—and you should certainly let them. Much of the staff has been with the Biltmore for years, and from firsthand experience they know the menu front-to-back. Seriously: Ask them a question, and they’ll rattle off an answer instantly.

Beef Tartare

Appetizer-wise, you can expect any dish to look like something straight out of a model shoot. Take the Hamachi, for example. With its bright apples, watermelon radish, cucumbers and hearts of palm, it is stunning. The same goes for the Beef Tartare with its capers, shallots and Gherkins. All the little elements on each plate make for magical presentations—and everything tastes magical, too. While the portions are large enough to share, you’re better off ordering one appetizer per person—you’ll likely want to keep each bite for yourself.

Entrée sections are split into The Sea and The Land, where you can expect similar heft and presentation. The Grilled Colorado Lamb Chop with coconut purple potato purée and piquillo peppers packs an ample amount of heat and an abundant amount of flavor. There’s more than enough on the plate for one person, but odds are there will be nothing left once you’re done. Palme d’Or’s branzino might be one of the simpler-sounding items on the menu but looks are deceiving; chili sauce, smoked bacon and pineapple help the dish walk the delicate balance of savory and sweet.

Cream Puff

Ending your meal with dessert is a must. Get the cream puff: It’s $14…a small price to pay for enjoying the to-die-for Madagascar vanilla caramel cream.

All in all, Palme d’Or is an exceptional experience. The food commands a premium (rightfully so), but an à la carte menu makes the price tag much more approachable. Rest assured, it’s money well spent—especially for a meal you’ll be talking about well after it’s over.

By Geoffrey Anderson Jr. and Dianne Rubin-Anderson

Four Miami Spice Restaurants for Couples

Jaya at The Setai

With 200-plus restaurants offering three-course dinners for just $39 per person, Miami Spice is one of the best times of year to treat your special someone to an extravagant night out on the town. But with so many great restaurants, how do you know where to go? That’s where we come in. Read below for our favorite date-worthy restaurants on the Miami Spice list.

Pao by Paul Qui {3201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 786.655.5630}

James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur, Paul Qui, runs a sexy Asian restaurant in the extravagant Faena Hotel—and its sultry hues, whimsical unicorn statue, and intimate ambience make it a great place for a date night. Go during Miami Spice, and you and your S.O. can enjoy a three-course meal with Kinilaw, Pao’s popular Fried Chicken with roasted banana ketchup, Mushroom Bistek, Sisig Rice with crispy pork and fried egg, and for dessert, Elderflower Peach Sorbet with almond baba and Concord grape syrup.
*Miami Spice dinner at Pao by Paul Qui will be available every Tuesday through Saturday, from August 1 through September 30.

Café Roval {5808 Northeast 4 Court, Miami; 786.953.7850}

With its coral-rock walls, antique chandeliers, torchlit patio, and cascading waterfall, the Mediterranean-inspired Café Roval is definitely one of Miami’s most romantic restaurants. During Miami Spice, treat your special someone to appetizers like barbecued cobia Kebabs with manouri cheese or Buttone with braised lamb neck and green olives, followed by Gnocchi with rabbit sausage, Whole Orata with a fava bean labneh, or a Mixed Grill Platter with urfa peppers and tarator sauce. Finish the meal with Chocolate Marsala Cake, a Macadamia Nut Tart, or a Roasted Strawberry and Coconut Sorbet, and leave with a happy heart and a full stomach.
*Miami Spice dinner at Café Roval will be available every Sunday through Thursday, from August 1 through September 30.

Jaya at The Setai {2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 855.923.7899}

The Setai, Miami Beach is like an Asian temple, and inside, Jaya at The Setai serves a menu of Indian-inspired fare with Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese influences. Grab a seat in the intimate dining room, or for a real romantic ambience, opt for a candlelit table by the hotel’s courtyard zen pond. Appetizers like Hamachi with avocado mousse and Chive or Truffle Dumplings are on the menu, as well as main dishes like Faroe Island Salmon with cardamom-scented sweet potato purée, Green Curry vegetables, Lamb Masala, and a tandoor-baked Chilean Sea Bass. For a romantic ending, get the Textures of Valrhona Chocolate with milk chocolate mousse, chocolate nib crumble, white chocolate snow, and chocolate sorbet, or the Masala Chai Crème Brûlée with chai-infused custard and a spiced chantilly.
*Miami Spice dinner at Jaya at The Setai will be available every night of the week, from August 1 through September 30. 

Palme d’Or {1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables; 305.913.3189}

As if The Biltmore wasn’t alluring enough, try its signature French restaurant and you’ll never want to leave. Helmed by Michelin-star Chef Gregory Pugin, Palme d’Or serves haute French cuisine in an elegant, vintage setting. Start with appetizers like Pan-Seared Lump Crab Cake with a curry aïoli or Pate de Foie Gras with brioche chips and buttery sautéed apples. From there, move on to Roasted Duck Breast with a wild berry gastrique or the Marinated Flat Iron Steak with shishito peppers and a pink peppercorn sauce. The desserts are sure to be as sweet as your other half—think: Madagascar Vanilla Cream with soft caramel, Chocolate Fondant Cake, or a Macaroon Tart with pineapple compote and mango sauce.
*Miami Spice dinner at Palme d’Or will be available every Tuesday through Saturday, from August 1 through September 30. 

By Jennifer Agress, contributing writer

Mandarin Oriental Spa

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Miami

By Sherri Balefsky | Online Editor

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Of course, you’ll do brunch. But wouldn’t an even better present include both brunch AND a sumptuous spa treatment from one of our city’s many luxury hotels? Here, we round up some of the best places in Miami that successfully offer both.

1) Mandarin Oriental, Miami {500 Brickell Key Drive, Brickell; 305.913.8288}
What’s for Brunch: La Mar by Gastón Acurio will serve up a sumptuous Peruvian meal that includes unlimited brunch cocktails with savory entrées such as Egg-Topped Lomo Saltado and Grouper Chorrillana with bacon-mashed yucca in addition to a seafood station with cebiches, tiraditos, and Peruvian-style sushi rolls and an Anticucho Grill station. A dessert carousel completes the meal while all mothers will receive a sweet surprise gift to take home.
Spa Specials: The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Miami is offering four rejuvenating Mother’s Day treatments throughout the month of May: Elegant Wellbeing, a half-day experience that includes a 60-minute Time Ritual massage and a Hydrating Oxygen Facial; Mom’s Escape, a customizable package with choice of massage, plus mini facial and Oriental Scalp Massage; New Beginnings, designed for moms-to-be; and Mother & Daughter, where moms and daughters can relax and reconnect in a VIP Couples Spa Suite with treatments for each.

Scarpetta at Fontainebleau

Scarpetta at Fontainebleau

2) Fontainebleau {4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.538.2000}
What’s for Brunch:
 At Chef Michael Mina’s innovative steakhouse, StripSteak, guests will be greeted by the signature cocktail, the Fizzy Bellboy, and freshly baked breads and pastries. The feast continues with choice of appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Meanwhile, Scarpetta is offering a succulent Italian-inspired buffet-style brunch that includes choice of a Bloody Mary, Bellini, or signature cocktail along with a spread of hot and cold appetizers, live-action carving station, delectable pasta station, and a bevy of desserts.
Spa Specials: Give Mom the gift of relaxation with a day of renewal at Fontainebleau’s award-winning Lapis Spa. Select one of the signature Mother’s Day treatments, such as the Queen of the Day, an Instant Foot Relief Massage with Lapis Soak and a Take A Load Off My Back Massage, or A Mother’s Love, a Lapissage Massage with Radiance Express Facial.

Spa at Betsy Hotel

The Wellness Garden & Spa at The Betsy

3) The Betsy Hotel {1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; .305.531.6100}
What’s for Brunch:
BLT Steak at the Betsy is offering a special Brunch Blackboard featuring a tasty array of signature dishes, including Wild Smoked Salmon Salad with baby frisée, red onions, local radish, brioche crouton, and grainy mustard vinaigrette; Open Face Double Cut Bacon Jalapeño Biscuit with heirloom tomato, pickled red onions, and local arugula; Brown Butter Waffles with wild berries and honey Chantilly cream; and much more.
Spa Specials: The Wellness Garden & Spa at The Betsy—Miami Beach’s only outdoor spa—is designed to soothe the senses with Zen-inspired wood, stone, bamboo, and natural fibers all shaded by retractable sails and private cabanas. Choose from a number of unique spa therapies, such as the signature Wood Stone Ritual with chilled stones or the indulgent Coconut Hot Towel Facial.

The Biltmore Hotel

The Biltmore Hotel

4) The Biltmore {1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables; 855.311.6903}
What’s for Brunch:
The spectacular Biltmore is famous for its sprawling Sunday brunch buffet, which continues to be ranked among the best in all of Miami. If you’d rather celebrate Mom later in the evening, The Biltmore Palme d’Or is offering an authentic French culinary dinner with Chef Pugin’s special tasting menu, while Chef Beppe at The Biltmore Fontana is offering a special three-course dinner in the courtyard.
Spa Specials: Let Mom pick out her own treatment with a $200 gift card to the award-winning Biltmore Spa. As an added Mother’s Day bonus, she’ll receive a complimentary Vosges four-piece Praline Truffle collection and Soy Delicious Travel Candle.

The Setai Courtyard

The Setai Courtyard

5) The Setai {2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 855.923.7899}
What’s for Brunch:
The Restaurant at The Setai’s elaborate Sunday brunch features all your favorite brunch staples, bottomless Champagne, and a few surprises like caramelized legs of lamb; truffle-roasted chicken; and a raw bar with ceviche, shrimp, and muscles all to the cool beats of live Spanish and Flamenco jazz music.
Spa Specials: The Spa at the Setai by Thémaé is offering a special Pampering Ritual throughout the month of May. For just $300, you can treat Mom to hours of indulgence with this exclusive package, which includes the Aromatherapy Foot Polish, a 60-minute traditional Balinese massage, and a 60-minute Thémaé Rejuvenating Facial.

By Sherri Balefsky | Contributing Writer

March isn’t just about green beer and parades. Miami has much to offer this month in the way of parties, dinners, and special menus. Here are the five Miami food events you just can’t miss.

Semilla French Gastro Week
1. French Gastro Week at Semilla
Monday, March 9 – Saturday, March 14
Chef Frédéric Joulin of Semilla Eatery & Bar has invited his Michelin-starred and Maîtres Cuisiniers de France friends (Chef Jean-Jacques Noguier of La Ferme de l’Hospital Restaurant in Bossey, France; Chef Jean-Christophe LeBascle of La Manufacture in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France; and Chef Yvan Zaplatilek of Paris’ Yvan Restaurant) to join him in his kitchen for a weeklong celebration dedicated to French cuisine. To make reservations, call 305.674.6522.

hearts and stars gala

2. Hearts and Stars Gala
Saturday, March 14
The Little Lighthouse Foundation, a local charity dedicated to helping children and families that struggle with educational, financial, and medical hardships, will host its annual Hearts and Stars Gala: Casablanca at the private waterfront in Miami Beach.  Sponsored by Haute Dining and Credit Suisse, this intimate soirée is one of South Florida’s premier philanthropic events, where guests can enjoy an open bar of top-shelf beverages, light hors d’oeuvres from some of Miami’s best restaurants, and live entertainment from Drums of the Sun all while supporting a very important cause. While the gala is now sold out for the fifth year in a row, guests can still attend the Hearts & Stars Gala Kickoff Party, which will take place on Friday, March 13, at Hyde Beach at the SLS. Donations can be made at hydebeach.com/heartsandstars.Fontainbleau Cellar Wine Series

3. Cellar 1954 Wine & Dinner Series
Tuesday, March 17
The Fontainebleau hotel announces the return of its monthly Cellar 1954 wine series with a decadent meal at its newest dining venue, StripSteak by Michael Mina. Presented by Chef du Cuisine Derrick Roberts, diners will enjoy an exclusive four courses, each paired with a different varietal from Sonoma Valley’s Adobe Road Winery hand-selected by Owner/Winemaker Kevin Buckler.

Palme D'Or

4. Louis XIII Whiskey Dinner at Palme d’Or
Friday, March 20
The award-winning Palme d’Or restaurant at the Biltmore hotel in Coral Gables will host Louis XIII de Rémy Martin Ambassador Victor Blanquart for an exquisite dinner prepared by Chef du Cuisine Gregory Pugin and paired with selected wine. A highlight of the evening will be the rare chance to taste of the famous Louis XIII Cognac.

Uvaggio BBQ

5. Uvaggio’s Booze, BBQ, and Blues Birthday Bash
Sunday, March 22
Uvaggio Wine Bar celebrates its one-year anniversary in Coral Gables with a fun-filled afternoon of live blues music, barbecue dishes prepared by the restaurant’s very own Season 5 Top Chef contestant Bret Pelaggi, and, of course, lots and lots of wine. Another bonus: all ticket proceeds will go toward the Buckhams, a local family whose young daughter was recently diagnosed with Wilms’ Tumor and has been undergoing chemotherapy for the past few months.

This Valentine’s Day, there are tons of romantic activities, dinners, and specials to celebrate in the Miami area. From lavish five-course dinners, to luxurious spa packages, we don’t know where to begin! Here’s our round-up of the ultimate V Day events to take advantage of.

Deals and Packages

Cleo airplane on bay 012

Cleopatra’s Love Package

Surprise your better half with a memorable Skyline seaplane tour and a romantic dinner for two at the famous Cleo South Beach {1776 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach}. Your night will begin with a 15-minute flight from the bay towards South Beach. You will pass over the eclectic Downtown Miami, Star Island and admire the trendy South Beach Deco Drive with its many hotels and restaurants. The package is just $395 for two, and is available February 14 and 15. Upgrade with a bottle of Moet Rose or Whispering Angel Rose for $445.

Valentine’s Day Spa Deals at The Mandarin Oriental

Indulge in one of the spa packages at The Mandarin Oriental {500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami}. The Couples Delight package is perfect for guests seeking a truly pampered and romantic experience, offering all the pleasures of the hotel’s five-star spa enhanced by amorous amenities. The package includes two hours of treatment time plus relaxation time in a VIP Couples Suite, Champagne, and an assortment of chocolate pralines. The package is $720 plus gratuities for two, or $360 plus gratuities for one, excluding advanced facials.

Perfect as a gift for a loved one or as a personal treat for Valentine’s Day, the spa is also offering the luxurious Perfect Beauty package. With an 80-minute Hydrating Oxygen Facial and a manicure, guests will leave feeling pampered, refreshed, and looking their best. The package is $285 plus gratuities.

Couples seeking an experience to treat the senses can enjoy the Couples Connection Journey, which includes Inner Strength Massage in the VIP Couples Suite, side-by-side Mandarin pedicures with mimosas, and his and hers perfume from Dossage to take home. The Journey is $845 plus gratuities, and is also available for one.

My Valentine Package at Azul 

Azul {Mandarin Oriental, 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami} is offering the My Valentine Package, which includes overnight accommodations in a deluxe room, a full American breakfast at La Mar with mimosas, and a romantic welcome gift including a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, for $739.

Dinners and Meals

La Mar Chocolate Mousse HR

A Special Evening at La Mar by Gastón Acurio

La Mar by Gastón Acurio {Mandarin Oriental, 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami} will serve a trio of special dishes created in celebration of romance, with Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline serving as the backdrop. Available on an á la carte basis from 5:30-11pm on February 14, the Power, Passion, and Spicy menu is priced from $9 to $25 per dish and includes:

  • Power Cebiche with scallops, oysters, and uni in a creamy rocoto leche de tigre with chalaca
  • Passion Tiradito with thinly sliced salmon, peanut sauce, and passionfruit leche de tigre
  • Spicy Parihuela, a traditional Peruvian soup with chiles, served with toasted baguette

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Azul

At Azul {Mandarin Oriental, 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami}, a sumptuous five-course Valentine’s Day menu will be served from 6:30-11pm on February 13 and 14 for $148 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Guests will enjoy:

  • Two glasses of Champagne per couple
  • Beausoleil Oyster with herb granita and Tellicherry
  • Citrus Marinated Beets with caviar, crème fraîche, fennel, and radish
  • Maine Lobster Espagnole with tomato, saffron, lavender, potato, and garlic
  • Wagyu Beef Duet with au poivre, onion mousse, pickled shallot, black truffle, and forest mushroom
  • His and Hers Desserts: Passionfruit Mascarpone Cream Dehydrated Strawberries with white chocolate sorbet, and Chocolate Truffle Cream Salted Caramel Crunch with peanut ice cream

Un-Valentine’s Day Boozy Brunch at Barceloneta 

Chef Juliana Gonzalez has singles and couples covered at Barceloneta {locations in South Beach and Miami Beach}. From noon to 4pm, guests can celebrate their singlehood at the Un-Valentine’s Day Boozy Brunch. For $30, one can enjoy specials à la carte and an open bar that includes: well liquors, draft beer, Aperol, and citrus popsicles, tangerine Mimosas, and a make-your-own sangría bar, including three different types of sangría with fresh fruit.

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Barceloneta 

At Barceloneta {locations in South Beach and Miami Beach}, couples can enjoy a six-course dinner for two, plus a bottle of Juve Camps Reserva de la Familia Cava, for $90. Sample menu items include Salmon Crudo with raw salmon with a citrus vinaigrette, watermelon radish, pickled grapes, and garnished with salmon roe; Fig Toast with rustic flatbread with herbed goat cheese, Port-poached figs, Forum reduction, and Paleta Iberico de Bellota Ham; Grilled Langostines with grilled prawns over a bouillabaisse broth and garnished with a fresh fennel salad; and Strawberries and Cream with compressed strawberries, stracciatella gelato, balsamic reduction, and sugared rose petals. Call for reservations.

A Special Menu at L’echon Brasserie

Chefs Jose Mendin and Josh Elliott are letting couples celebrate Valentine’s Day from Friday throuh Sunday at L’echon Brasserie {Hilton Cabana, 6261 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach}. Guests will enjoy a special menu including dishes such as Foie Gras Torchon with Sicilian pistachio, rhubarb chutney and confit, aged balsamic, and brioche; and Butter Poached Maine Lobster with sauce Américaine, orange, braised fennel, and lobster mushroom. Call for reservations: 786.483.1640.

Oratnique Interior

Lovers Lane Martini at Ortanique on the Mile

Enjoy menu specials and this V Day cocktail at Ortanique on the Mile {278 Miracle Miles, Coral Gable} from 5-11pm. Or, shake up the martini yourself with this recipe!

Lovers Lane Martini

Muddle 2 ounces watermelon in a shaker. Add 1/2 ounce St. Germaine, 1/2 ounce lychee juice, and 2 ounces Bacardi grand melon, and shake vigorously. Serve in chilled martini glass with a watermelon garnish.

The Biltmore

Valentine’s Day at The Biltmore

At Palme d’Or {1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables}, enjoy a five-course tasting menu prepared by Chef Pugin for $135 per person. Over at Fontana {1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables}, a three-course dinner for $95 per person tempts. Fontana is also offering La Settimana del Tartufo–a week of truffles! Chef Beppe will serve four courses featuring truffles for $75 per person. Make your reservations online or by calling 305.913.3200.

The Avalon

Three-Courses at A Fish Called Avalon 

Choose from a medley of offerings to create three fantastic courses for your Valentine’s Day Dinner at A Fish Called Avalon {700 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach}. Sample selections include charcoal-grilled Mediterranean Octopus or Bang Bang Shrimp for the first course; an 8oz Roquefort Filet Mignon or Macadamia-Crusted Snapper for the main course; and  Chef Kal’s Cheesecake or Classic Key Lime Pie for dessert. Pricing depends on entrée choice, and ranges from $42-$180.


Valentine’s Menu at Seaspice

A five-course menu plus a bottle of Veuve Rose at Seaspice {422 Northwest North River Drive, Miami} is a splendid way to spend Valentine’s Day with your significant other. The first course is a dozen Shigoku Oysters served family-style. The second course is a Pan-Seared Diver Scallop. The third course is Alaskan King Crab Fettuccini, and the fourth course is the Wood Oven Roasted Chateaubriand with chestnut purée, Brussels sprout petals, and fresh shaved black winter périgard truffles. For dessert, look forward to the Strawberry and Rosewater Crémeux. The dinner is $500 per couple, excluding tax and service charge.


Valentine’s Day Dinner at Siena Tavern

Siena Tavern {404 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach} is offering a four-course prix-fixe menu for $85 this Valentine’s Day. Add on an order of West Coast Oysters for $20 to start your evening, and a bottle of Champagne to make sure it stays lively and fun. Here’s a sampling of some of the dishes on the menu: Burrata with seared foie gras, walnut crème, pomegranate, and brioche toast; Beet Gnocchi; Pan Seared Branzino; and Red Velvet Cake with dark chocolate gelato and candied rose petals.

Valentine’s at Zen Sai

Indulge in a three-course dinner at Zen Sai {1001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach} this Valentine’s Day for just $49 per person (plus tax and gratuity). The meal comes with one glass of wine or Champagne, or a specialty cocktail. Enjoy Asian-flavored dishes like Garbanzo Spring Rolls, Robata Grilled Organic Chicken Steak, and Fried Green Tea Ice Cream.

Fontainebleau {4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.538.2000}

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

The Fontainebleau

The Fontainebleau

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

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

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

The Avalon

The Avalon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Setai

The Setai

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ritz-Carlton South Beach

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

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

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

The Biltmore

The Biltmore

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

The Conrad {1395 Brickell Avenue, Miami; 305.503.6500}

Located within the Conrad Hotel, Atrio is cozy and intimate, save for the grandiose view of Miami’s skyline. The choice cuisine is locally-sourced and sustainable, from the produce to the fish, and the option of sitting within the restaurant’s wine room for a private tasting with friends makes this a definite Magic City gem. conradhotels3.hilton.com


We can always count on The Biltmore to offer the dining experience that we crave. There’s Cascade for a fun yet casual lunch or dinner. Palme D ‘Or makes it a date, or the perfect place to take visitors or guests for fine French cuisine. And then there’s Fontana—an Italian romance on the plate and in the ambience. Whichever setting you prefer, there’s many a deal to be had, and many a party to look forward to. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite happenings this month.

Bastille Day Festivities 

The United States celebrates its national holiday with barbecue and ice cream, while France commemorates Bastille Day (Monday, July 14) with brasserie fare like steak frites and tarte tatin. Celebrate at Cascade at the Biltmore with a Pétanque Tournament and Ricard Cocktails.

Pan-American Member Party 

Join the pan-American member party on Friday, July 18 from 7-9pm in the Alhambra ballroom in a member guest celebration of the Americas at The Club at the Biltmore. Come enjoy an assortment of flavors, music, and culture from ALL of the Americas at this ALL-of-a kind celebration!

There will be dominoes, cigars, specialty foods, and drinks to take you on a glorious trip throughout the Americas. Come out and dance, imbibe, embrace, and enjoy! Different specialty cocktails, wine, and food included in price, plus a five dollar cash bar. Tickets are $20 for members, and $30 for guests.

‘Round the Clock Rendezvous  

Here’s the regular lineup of specials and fun.

Daily Happy Hour
Monday-Friday, 5-7pm
Half-priced featured drinks

Afternoon Tea
Daily at 2pm and 3:30pm in the lobby
For a more subdued experience, have a cup at daily afternoon tea in the hotel lobby with live harp. Call 305.913.3200 to make reservations.

Champagne Tuesdays
Bubbly buffs can get their fix at the Palme D’ Or, when selected bottles are $75, or $18 for a glass.

Early Dining Special at Palme d’Orbiltmorepalmedor
Tuesday-Thursday 6-7:30pm
This new specials allows you to enjoy a three-course dinner at Palme D’ Or for only $45.

Cigars Under the Star
Thursdays at 7pm at the Cascade
Live music, drink specials from Flor de Caña, and hand-rolled cigars.

Live Music Poolside
Thursdays at 7pm
Join us every Thursday evening at Cascade for live music and an extended Happy Hour until 10PM.

19th Hole Bar & Grill
A flight of craft beers for only $10 during your favorite sporting events!

A Taste of Italy at Fontana
A tasting menu offered all month with regional specialty dishes created by Chef Galazzi. Prix-fixe dinner is $39.

For the Love of Pasta at Fontana
Chef Giuseppe “Beppe” Galazzi presents “For the Love of Pasta”: $13 Pasta menu every Thursday!

Business Power Lunch at Fontana
$19.99 per person includes complimentary valet parking.

Braised Meat Wednesdays at Fontana
Enjoy a braised meat special menu—Tuttu Brasato—every Wednesday. Lunch is $29 per person; dinner is $39 per person.

For more info on events at the Biltmore, visit: biltmorehotel.com/resort/events.asp


By Josh Tyson | Contributing Writer

Most cities with a culinary culture as robust and vigorous as Miami’s are peppered with French restaurants. These are seen by most food aficionados as benchmarks of a city’s seriousness in the matter of fine dining—France being the birthplace of many of the techniques and recipes used in modern kitchens worldwide.

In Miami, however, there’s always been just one serious French restaurant to speak of: Palme d’Or in The Biltmore Hotel of Coral Gables. Overall, The Biltmore offers unparalleled dining excellence within each of its restaurants, from the chic Fontana to the fine French Palme d’Or, whose acclaim includes a four-star review in The Miami Herald and top ranking by Zagat.

In a move that seems to buttress the hotel’s long-standing reputation as one of Miami’s most pedigreed luxury resorts, the ownership recently brought in Chef Gregory Pugin to helm the Miami institution. A classically-trained French chef, Pugin brings serious ability and unique verve to the post.

Before coming to Miami, he was in Las Vegas running the kitchen at Le Cirque in The Bellagio. “I saw coming to Miami to work at Palme d’Or as a great opportunity,” Chef Pugin says. “We share the same vision.”

Prior to that, the James Beard nominee was handpicked to work in the laboratory of Jöel Robuchon, the meticulous master chef with more Michelin stars than anyone on the planet. Working closely with Robuchon for four years involved globetrotting, opening restaurants, and working on a television show, but the biggest lessons imprinted on Pugin were precision and consistency.

“I’m always thinking about the experience,” Chef Pugin says. “I want this to be the best meal Biltmoreanyone has ever had.”

Pugin sticks to classic recipes and techniques, but likes to finish his dishes with a twist, creating presentations that burst to life in Palme d’Or’s luxe dining room. The Langoustine au Caviar, for instance—langoustines marinated in a citrus vinaigrette with passionfruit tapioca and finished with an apple-vodka gelée-—has an elegant richness that matches the verdant romanticism of the setting.

“We’re very excited to have a chef of Gregory’s caliber,” Director of Marketing Danielle Finnegan says. “There’s nobody in Miami with a résumé like his, and he represents the new frontier of culinary experience at The Biltmore.”

Pugin notes that with the full support of ownership, his ultimate goal is to craft a culinary experience on par with the fine French restaurants of New York and Paris: “Palme d’Or has always been the best French restaurant in Miami, and now I want it to be recognized as the top of the top in America.”

Creating The French Laundry of Miami might seem like an otherworldly undertaking, but anyone who’s been to The Biltmore knows that sublimely otherworldly things are à la mode here.

In fact, The Biltmore has always been associated with high style. From the massive pool where silver screen siren Esther Williams worked out her underwater choreography in the 1940s, to the barrel-vaulted ceilings bearing hand-painted frescos that lend the property the air of a Venetian palazzo, to the Moorish Giralda tower that gives the impression of a Spanish castle, The Biltmore is an ethereal place where magic happens.

Another gustatory portal awaits at Fontana, where Chef Guiseppe “Beppe” Galazzi, a native of Ferrara, Italy, creates rustic, seafood-focused dishes that are bright, big, and savory. The courtyard restaurant has an idyllic bubbling fountain and resplendent views of the property, but the real draw is a menu of classic Italian dishes. Chef Galazzi travels home to Italy for inspiration, bringing back authentic dishes that are often new to guests. For instance, a fresh Fava Bean Salad topped with sweet red onion and ventresca (preserved tuna belly) offers fresh tastes for Miami’s discerning palate.


“This is something that lots of restaurants don’t have,” Chef Galazzi says, going on to describe a salad topped with tender octopus from the Adriatic Coast cooked in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven.

Of course, capturing the rustic delights of Northern Italy demands housemade pastas, and Fontana does not disappoint. Here, fresh pappardelle sings in a beef ragoût and homemade potato gnocchi radiates comfort in tangy pesto.

Fontana is also where you can find the Biltmore’s Champagne Sunday Brunch, a lavish affair with a reputation that stretches nationwide. Offering everything from caviar to carved meat, to fresh omelettes to sushi, the brunch is capped by a wall of desserts created by Executive Pastry Chef Olivier Rodriguez.

Like all of the best pastry chefs, he’s a bit of a mad scientist, and Rodriguez knows the hotel inside and out. He joins Pugin and Galazzi at The Biltmore Culinary Academy, a recreational school for guests that teaches them how to create some of the gustatory enlightenment the property is famous for.

And if Chef Pugin has his way, Palme d’Or might become something The Biltmore is famous for—in a whole new way.