Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dishcrawl Miami - Delving Deeper into Brickell

What’s better than getting your gastronomical groove on at a great restaurant? How about getting it on at four? Dishcrawl, the foodie phenomenon that has been taking enthusiasts by storm across the country, held its second Miami event on Tuesday, May 21st, 2013, delving deeper into Brickell’s culinary scene.

As you may or may not know, Dishcrawl is an event that was launched in San Francisco as a way to give like-minded food lovers the chance to meet, discover neighborhoods and local restaurants, and share an intense portion of delicious fun. Since its inception, Dishcrawl has grown to include dining experiences in New York, Montreal, Ottawa, San Jose, Toronto, Philadelphia, D.C., Baltimore and more.  For $45 (plus a processing fee), crawlers get to sample dishes from four restaurants in the area.  Although drinks are not included in the price, many restaurants offer discounts for participating guests. One of the most exciting things of this adventure is not knowing where you’re going for the night and trying to guess along the way. Two days before the event, I received my email letting me know what the meeting place was going to be. By this point, I had scoured their Facebook page for clues and had pretty much figured it out. “Where do you get the best view in Brickell?” they asked. I knew that one:  Atrio Restaurant and Wine Bar at the Conrad Miami Hotel.

We parked at the Conrad, and took the elevator up to the 25th floor, to their sky high restaurant, Atrio.  While we waited for everyone to arrive, (there was a great turnout), we sipped on some cocktails at the bar. Atrio has the most breathtaking, panoramic views of the city skyline and if you happen to be there at the right hour, you can enjoy a spectacular sunset from an unbelievable vantage point.  To add some more pizzazz to the fun, the Conrad had an exciting contest going on for Dishcrawlers, giving away spa certificates to two lucky winners for tweeting about their experience that evening. Once the eating got underway, we got to sample three delicious bites: an open-faced lobster sandwich, grilled snapper with a sweet mango salsa and basil aioli, and grilled hanger steak with fingerling potatoes and tasty chorizo. If you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, you know my fingers were getting a workout sharing images of the mouthwatering fun. Having said that, guess who won a Brazilian Body Treatment? Woop Woop!

Our next crawling destination was Fado Irish Pub, in the Mary Brickell Village. I happen to have been here before for happy hour and find it to be a lot of fun at a great price. I didn’t know what they were going to showcase, so I was shaking in my boots with anticipation. (I wasn’t really wearing boots) Fado treated us to a sampling of several of their signature dishes including a Harp-battered fish taco, a piece of delectable slow-roasted pork belly, a pulled lamb slider and my all-time favorite, a homemade jalapeno stuffed cheese puff.  I could’ve taken a dozen of those balls into my mouth and been content. As a matter of fact, I actually had to swat a sneaky hand when I noticed it was trying to snatch a piece of mine. You know who you are…

In a single file line, we headed over to our next stop: Bonding, a sushi and thai food restaurant owned by Bond Trisransri, a popular, charismatic Bangkok-born restaurateur also known for his Little Havana spot 2B Asian Bistro, and his larger than life hair.  It was his birthday and he was nice enough to come spend time with us. Is that cool or what? After some friendly bonding, we indulged in a shrimp dumpling, Massaman Chicken Curry with white rice, and a dragon ball sushi roll. There was a moment of silence as we all indulged in the yumminess. I couldn’t walk out of there without trying one of their famous Sake Bombs I had heard so much about (thanks Gio). It’s a must-do or your visit just isn’t complete.

What about dessert you ask? Well, that is what we went to sample on our last stop at Amore Gelato. After all that feasting, it was nice to end our night with a creamy sweet indulgence. There was a variety of sorbets and gelatos to choose from and while I was caught between which one to pick, I finally decided on the chocolate (who would've known?) and shared a combination of lemon and strawberry sorbet with the owner of the aforementioned sneaky hand.
If you didn’t make it out to this Dishcrawl, there’s another one already set up for June. This time around, crawlers will be taking over Midtown Miami (and you know how many awesome dining spots have popped up there.) For more information, or to get in on the fun, visit their website at

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