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Chaká Restaurant Expands Offerings with New Yucatecan Regional Menu
At Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya, Mexico (January 6, 2016) – Situated amid the tropical jungle foliage of mangroves and Salam, Chechen and Chaká trees, Chaká restaurant at the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya is now open for dinner with a new Yucatecan menu inspired by the region’s traditional cuisine. The four defining pillars of Mayan cooking – Achiote (Annatto seed paste), citrus, habaneros (hot peppers) and smoke – are heavily used throughout the new menu which showcases the cuisine of the Mayan peninsula.

Standout appetizers include empanadas filled with pork, Oaxaca cheese and tomato sauce, served with avocado mousse, pickled onion, tomato, lettuce and sun-dried tomato dressing; dzotobichay tamales, a small variety made of masa and lard seasoned with achiote and habanero, filled with pumpkin seeds and wrapped in chaya leaf; and shredded beef tacos with a citrus infusion, topped with chicharrón (deep fried pork rind) on homemade guajillo chili tortillas. The authentic sopa de lima, a chicken soup spiked heavily with fragrant local lime juice, is also on the menu for tasting before the main event, which could consist of grouper marinated in achiote and spices served with plantains, fried onion, julienned vegetables and sweet-and-sour orange sauce or pollo pibil, chicken cooked underground with its juice, served with white rice, caramelized corn, refried beans, “chicharrón prensado” and coriander sprouts, among other options. Highlights of the dessert menu include yuca doughnuts with horchata ice cream and a pumpkin sweet topped with Xtabentún (an anise liqueur made in Mexico's Yucatán region) flavored cream.

Touting the reputation as the “foodie resort’ of the Caribbean coast, Grand Velas Riviera Maya features eight varied restaurants, including Chaká and Cocina de Autor, the first all-inclusive restaurant in the world to hold the AAA Five Diamond Award, all included in the nightly rate.

Chaká is open for dinner from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Reservations are required. Outdoor terrace and indoor, air-conditioned seating is available.

For reservations or more information on Grand Velas Riviera Maya, call 1-888-407-4869 or visit

About Grand Velas Riviera Maya:
Set on 206 acres of pristine jungle and mangroves and with the finest white sand beach in the Riviera Maya, the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya is an ultra-luxury all-inclusive resort. Guests can choose among three separate ambiances in this Leading Hotel of the World, including adults only oceanfront, family friendly ocean view and a Zen-like tropical setting, embraced by the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula’s jungle. All 539 designer-like suites are exceptionally spacious, more than 1,100 square feet each, all with balconies, and some with private plunge pools. All feature fully stocked mini bars, plasma TVs, Wi-Fi, L’Occitane amenities, artisanal tequila, and Nespresso coffee machines. Bathrooms deserve special mention with walk in glass shower, deep soaking Jacuzzi tubs and marble interior. Eight restaurants, including five gourmet offerings, present a tour through Mexico, Europe and Asia. Cocina de Autor, at the hands of world celebrity chefs Bruno Oteiza, Mikel Alonso and Xavier Pérez Stone, holds the AAA Five Diamond Award, the first all-inclusive restaurant in the world to win this prestigious distinction. Grand Velas Spa, a Leading Spa of the World, is the region's largest spa sanctuary at more than 90,000 square feet, known for its authentic Mexican treatments, offerings from around world and signature seven-step water journey. Other features include 24-hour Personal Concierge; 24/7 in-suite service; three swimming pools; two fitness centers; water sports; innovative Kids Clubs and Teen’s Club; Karaoke Bar; Koi Bar; Piano Bar, and business center. The resort offers more than 91,000 square feet of meeting space and outdoor areas for events inclusive of a 31,000-square-foot Convention Center, able to accommodate up to 2,700 guests. The resort has won numerous awards from Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, USA Today and several other magazines and major companies worldwide. This year, the resort entered TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame for obtaining the Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years in addition to the Signature Spa being awarded “Best Luxury Resort Spa-The Americas” at the World Luxury Spa Awards 2014. Grand Velas Riviera Maya was built and is operated by Eduardo Vela Ruiz, majority owner, founder and President of Velas Resorts, with his brother Juan Vela, Vice President of Velas Resorts.


The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Is Back

October 3, 2015

It is time to taste your way around the world again at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which started on September 25th and runs through November 16th, 2015. There are a series of tasting events going on around the park, demonstrations and seminars, celebrity chef meet and greets, and  you can stop at over 30 global marketplaces as you make your way around the World Showcase.

Every country has an array of traditional food and beverage options available, making it easy to embark on a culinary journey around the globe, without ever leaving the magic of Disney behind. In addition to the culinary treats, you can immerse yourself in the music, with entertainment featuring rockin' tunes from a variety of popular artists. We moved our feet to David Cook while we were there on Opening Day, and enjoyed the Eat to the Beat Concert with some tasty treats in hand.

Before you go, check out their website to plan out your stops and get an idea of what you want to try. Be sure to grab your Passport while you're there, and get a stamp at the different food locations. A valid park admission is required to attend the Food & Wine Festival, and the bites range in price from about $4.00 to $8.00. The price of the cocktails and beer also varies.

For more information on the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, you can visit their website.



Coming to The Shops at Midtown Miami this fall – Apeiro Kitchen & Bar, the wildly-successful Mediterranean restaurant and bar from rising star chef/co-owner David Blonsky. Opened in Delray in early-2015, the restaurant has won critical acclaim and raves for Blonsky’s rustic yet progressive cookery, inspired by the many regions that encompass the Mediterranean, as well as its lively atmosphere and gorgeous design. The Miami opening, slated for October 2015, will signal not only the concept’s expansion to Dade County but the return of Burt Rapoport, an iconic restaurateur and co-owner of Apeiro restaurants.    

In the works for close to a year, the arrival of Apeiro Miami couldn’t be timelier as Miami seems to be in the midst of a Mediterranean restaurant renaissance, with local foodies rediscovering the sublime simplicity that is a hallmark of the region. No doubt, they will find, in the new Midtown location, a Mediterranean Mecca. Apeiro (Greek word for “infinity”) spans the Mediterranean highlighting dishes and flavors spanning from Morocco and Italy to Greece and Spain. For ease of ordering and to better facilitate sharing, the menu is broken down into a wide range of sections – Small PlatesSoupsCrudoSalads,SandwichesFlatbreadsGrilled & RoastedHousemade Pasta andKabobs. No two meals at Apeiro will be alike and diners can craft their culinary journey any way they please. Apeiro devotees will, happily, find signatures such as the Moroccan Spiced Lamb Ribs with rosemary-fig BBQ sauce and pistachio yogurt; Double-Cut Pork Chop with apple mostarda, roasted carrots and Tuscan kale; and house-madeOrecchiette with saffron cream, spiced lamb merguez, arugula and pecorino. Other standouts include Bay Scallops Crudo with spiced green apple, toasted coriander and basil; Prime Rib Gyro, a spin off the classic with spiced lamb and prime rib off the rotisserie, tzatziki sauce, onion, tomato and shredded romaine; and Smashed Beets Salad with local ricotta, pickled radish, baby arugula, candied walnut and truffle-beet vinaigrette. In development are a number of dishes that will be unique to the Miami location. 

The mix-and-match menu structure is perfect for pairing with wine, beer or cocktails. Apeiro will double as a bustling bar scene, complete with a creative craft cocktail menu. The 30-seat indoor/outdoor bar will surely become a local hotspot for happy hour, featuring a chic design and a special small plates bar menu available into the wee hours. 

Designed by Manhas Designs, one of the region’s leading restaurant & hospitality design firms, the 6,129-square-foot restaurant will seat 320 with ample seating options available both indoor and on the covered alfresco patio overlooking the lively streets of Midtown. The restaurant will showcase a dynamic mix of traditional and modern design elements with hand-painted Mediterranean tile and solid wood, stained tabletops paired with sleek, contemporary white seating. The illuminated circular bar is central to the restaurant’s design, offering ample seating both inside and outside, and bringing in the vibrant energy from those in the alfresco patio – sure to become a stage for those who want to see-and-be-seen.

An Illinois native and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and Florida International School of Hospitality Management, Chef David Blonsky has been cooking in commercial kitchens since age 16. Throughout his career, he’s worked with some of the country’s biggest names in food, from chefs Rick Tramonto and master caterer Barton G to Shawn McClain of Las Vegas’ ARIA Resort & Casino. Prior to partnering with Rapoport for Apeiro, Blonsky worked with Chef Fabio Viviani at Siena Tavern. 

A visionary, third-generation restaurant aficionado, award-winning restaurateur Burt Rapoport has led an impressive legacy in the South Florida restaurant scene for over three decades. As President of Rapoport’s Restaurant Group in Boca Raton, Florida, he is revered for his dedication to providing high-quality cuisine for a good value, a warm and welcoming ambiance, and attentive service at all of his restaurants. Known for providing superior cuisine and impeccable service, Rapoport’s collection of restaurants include Bogart’s Bar & Grille; Henry’s; Deck 84; Burt & Max’s; and Max's Grille in Mizner Park, which he co-owns. Under the Unique Restaurants Concepts banner, Rapoport launched the careers of some of the nation’s top chefs, including a number of which – from Mark Militello and Johnny Vinczencz to Kerry Simon and more – instrumental in putting South Florida on the national map as a serious food town.

Apeiro Kitchen & Bar, slated to open in October 2015, will be located at 3252 NE 1 Avenue, Suite 101 in The Shops at Midtown Miami. Dinner served nightly; lunch and brunch will be introduced at a later date.  For more information, visit  www.apeirorestaurant.


Grand Cayman Marriott Recently Launched Their Beach House Experience

August 26, 2015

Grand Cayman Marriott recently launched their brand-within-a-brand, the Beach House Experience, which includes a $15 million redesign of the property and a highly curated farm-to-table culinary program. The Food & Beverage experience includes everything from an apothecary happy hour to a fresh pressed juice bar, to Taqueria and Tapas nights. From the moment you sit back in your beach chair and gaze out into the endless ocean blue, the Grand Cayman Marriott wants you to have a special unforgettable connection to the island.  

Photo courtesy of the Grand Cayman Marriott

For more information on this magical getaway, visit their website at


Don't Say Goodbye to Summer Just Yet
Crabfest Is Back at Red Lobster

August 20, 2015

The summer season may be coming to a close, but the folks at Red Lobster are doing all they can to keep it here just a little bit longer. They've brought Crabfest back to their restaurants, and there isn't too much time left to enjoy this crab lover's dream. 

Wild-Caught Crab Legs Dinner

Featuring the largest variety of crab dishes ever offered on the menu and a new type of wild-caught Alaskan crab, there is something for everyone. For example, the new Wild-Caught Crab Legs Dinner lets guests choose one of three different and delicious crab leg selections, including North American Snow Crab, King Crab, or Alaska Bairdi Crab. If decision-making isn't your strong suit, Red Lobster has it covered. The new Crab Lover's Dream offers wild-caught North American Snow Crab legs, Split King Crab legs and Red Lobster's signature Crab Linguini Alfredo - all in one plate.  For those who love shellfish of all types, the new Wild-Caught Snow Crab & Seafood Bake combines snow crab legs with shrimp, sea scallops, mussels and tomatoes in a garlic and white wine broth.

Lobster, Crab and Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms
and Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Appetizer

In addition to all these crab dishes, Red Lobster has added wild-caught Sockeye and Coho Salmon, fresh from the waters of Bristol Bay, Sandy Point and Prince William Sound in Alaska to its menu, to complement the Crabfest. If you're like me and need an appetizer to get the whole adventure going, you might want to choose their Lobster,Crab and Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms and Jumbo Lump Crabcake starter. I bet that will get you in the mood. And if you're more of a traditional gal or fellow, there's always Red Lobster's Classic Ultimate Feast, that will incorporate all your favorites: Maine Lobster Tail, Garlic Shrimp Scampi, Walt's Favorite Shrimp and good ol' North American Snow Crab legs.

Ultimate Feast

Addicting Cheesebread

Don't miss your chance to celebrate Crabfest at Red Lobster before it goes away - along with summer. But remember that as much as your taste buds will tempt you to - do not overload on their cheesebread. I know it's insane but you have to leave room for the Crabfest. Oh and if you happen to stop in at Red Lobster's Kendall Miami location, be sure to ask for Albert. He's got it going on and hooked us up with a really sweet Cheesecake to end our meal. Do it for the seafood lover in you.



July 10, 2015

Santos Mercedes Enriquez of Celebrity Cruises has been crowned Diageo Global Travel’s best bartender at a glitzy WORLD CLASS™ final held last night in the deluxe Diageo 396 Bar in Miami.

Judged by a panel of industry experts including Enrique de Colsa, Master Distiller for Tequila Don Julio; Spike Marchant, World Class Global Brand Ambassador; Erik Lorincz, World Class Bartender of the Year 2010; and Julio Cabrera, Managing Partner of The Regent Cocktail Club Miami, Santos triumphed with his creative flair and matchless mixology.

Santos, 38, from Peru, saw off competition from over 5,500 cruise line bartenders from three of the world’s leading cruise lines: Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, in the biggest year in Global Travel yet for WORLD CLASS.

He and fellow competitors were put through their paces on different aspects of their craft, showmanship, creativity and bartending knowledge. Santos wowed the judges with his signature serve: ‘Violetta Falernum’ featuring TANQUERAY®No.TEN™ Gin.

Santos will go on to represent Diageo Global Travel at the star-studded WORLD CLASS Global Grand Final in Cape Town from August  28th - September 4th,  2015, to battle it out against 50 of the world’s best bartenders for the coveted ‘Bartender of the Year’ title.

Santos Mercedes Enriquez, a senior bartender onboard Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Equinox , said: “I’m beyond excited and humbled to have won the Diageo Global Travel Final and to receive the incredible opportunity to represent Celebrity Cruises and all cruise line bartenders at the grand final of the world’s largest cocktail competition. This has been a life-changing experience so far, and I’m really looking forward to Cape Town."

Cornelius Gallagher, Associate Vice President of Food and Beverage Operations, Celebrity Cruises, said: “We are very proud of Santos’ win at last night’s highly anticipated competition. This has been a display of the best of the best in bartending, and it is an honor to be included. As a star member of our team onboard Celebrity Equinox, Santos delights our guests and really represents the rich and popular modern luxury experiences our vacationers can enjoy when they sail with us. We wish him the best of luck in Cape Town and are confident that his dedication and skill will be eye-opening.”

Thanks to the WORLD CLASS programme, cruise line bartenders have enhanced their skills in the art of creating exceptional drinks using award-winning spirits from the DIAGEO RESERVE collection. This partnership means that guests onboard will be experiencing more of the very best in the mixology business with a winning blend of the latest cocktail trends and the world’s finest luxury spirits.

If Santos is successful at the Global Final, securing the title of DIAGEO RESERVEWORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year, he will experience new and truly exciting opportunities. Since winning last year’s competition, Charles Joly has mixed at Jenson Button’s wedding and the Grammy Awards. 


Two of Miami’s Finest Female Chefs Face Off for the
Fork Off Chef Competition at New Times’ Iron Fork 2015

* * Eileen Andrade of FINKA Table & Tap vs. Dena Marino of MC Kitchen * *

June 17, 2015

For eight years in a row, Chef Allen Susser has scoured Miami’s culinary scene to choose the fiercest competitors for the annual New Times’ Iron Fork Chef Competition. This year, with so many new and seasoned chefs to choose from in Miami, Susser found himself a little stuck. And then it hit him.

“I realized that in all the years we’ve had this competition, we’ve yet to feature two female chefs at once," says Susser.

So he invited Eileen Adrade from FINKA Table and Tap and Dena Marino from MC Kitchen to join the fun.

Eileen Andrade vs Dena Marino
Image Courtesy of Miami New Times

“It made perfect sense. Both Chefs have made a name for themselves, for their restaurants and for Miami. We’re excited to see what they can do at the Fork Off.”

Hailing from Colorado in 2010 – and a large Italian-American family – Dena Marino has brought a mix of rustic Italian methods mixed with modern techniques to MC Kitchen to produce dishes any Italian mom would be proud of.

Eileen Andrade – a native Miamian – opened FINKA Table and Tap with her brother Jonathan in 2014. Their blend of Latin and Asian sabor (Peruvian, Cuban and Korean, to be exact) has created a feeding frenzy of demand at their location in South Miami.

“I’m so glad they brought the ladies into the competition,” says Andrade. “I think it’s safe to say that Dena and I will be a fiercer match-up than the boys. Sorry Todd."

Marino echoes that thought: “It's not always about male chefs, you know. Women can cook, too."

In addition to the Fork Off Chef Competition, Susser has also curated the Shuck It Oyster Competition. Chefs from select Miami Spice restaurants will be timed to see who can shuck a dozen oysters the fastest.  

The theme of both of this year’s competitions is all about fresh local produce and sustainable seafood. Having started a weekly Farm-to-Table dinner menu at Books & Books Café at the Adrienne Arsht Center, Susser believes firmly in the idea of using local resources to create the freshest, best meals possible. The chef also recently served on a panel for sustainable seafood in Monterey, California, and came back inspired to promote that concept in South Florida.

“We’re finally catching up down here with farmers’ markets popping up all over the city. Both professional chefs and at-home cooks have access to some of the best seafood in the world…It’s about time we focus on all the good ingredients we have to choose from down here,” says Susser.

At-home cooks, South Florida foodies and seasoned chefs alike will have the chance to view these culinary competitions at New Times Iron Fork, presented by the Downtown Miami Development Authority, on Thursday, July 30, 2015, held at the Hyatt Regency Miami and the James L Knight Center in Downtown Miami. The event opens to VIP ticket holders at 6pm and to General Admission ticket holders at 7pm.

As Chef Eileen Andrade says, “Put a fork in it and let’s do this.”

For more information, visit 


Fabio Viviani Selected As Celebrity Chef For The OBIES: 
A Taste of South Florida Presented By Florida Blue

May 27, 2015  

Culinary personality, restaurateur and New York Times best-selling author, Fabio Viviani returns to participate in the Orange Bowl Impact and Excellence Awards (The OBIES): A Taste of South Florida presented by Florida Blue as this year's Celebrity Chef. The event takes place on Friday, May 29th, 2015 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center at 7:30 p.m.

Born and raised in Florence, Italy, Viviani established himself as a successful chef and restaurateur in his home country by the age of 27. He eventually came to America and has opened restaurants in Los Angeles, Chicago and most recently Miami. He has authored three cookbooks. The most recent "Fabio's American Home Kitchen" was released in the Fall of 2014.

Chef Fabio Viviani suprised a "Wish Kid" Joey when he brought him
on stage to help him make his favorite dish (Macaroni & Cheese)
at last year's The OBIES.
Viviani turned into one of pop culture's most beloved chef's after appearing on the fifth season of Bravo's reality show, "Top Chef"', when he was named fan favorite by the viewers. He would later return for "Top Chef All Stars", and the spinoff, "Life After Top Chef". Viviani is a regular guest host on the Hallmark Channel and QVC. He also appeared on various shows including Access Hollywood, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Rachael Ray Show, The Chew and Good Morning America.

His recent, Siena Tavern, which opened in Miami Beach in the Fall, won the overall Flavor of South Florida award and the People's Choice Award at The OBIES: A Taste of South Florida presented by Florida Blue last year.

The OBIES: A Taste of South Florida presented by Florida Blue, features a night of extraordinary food, entertainment and giving as the Orange Bowl Committee celebrates those who share the organization's value of giving back to the South Florida community. Many of the area's top culinary chefs and restaurants will serve their bites for the chance to be named the Flavor of South Florida.

For more information and tickets, visit their website or call 305-341-4701. Stay connected by following @OrangeBowlOBIES on Instagram and Twitter.


Noble House Hotels & Resort Announces Michael E. Bloise as Executive Chef to Pelican Grand Beach Resort

March 27, 2015  

Noble House Hotels & Resorts proudly announces the appointment of Michael Bloise as Executive Chef to Pelican Grand Beach Resort, located just steps from the Atlantic in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In this role, Bloise will oversee all culinary operations for Pelican Grand and its signature waterfront restaurant, OCEAN2000 Restaurant & Lounge, which pays homage to local foodways, devoting itself to the fine combination of great mixology, good times and fresh American fusion cuisine. 

Chef Michael Bloise

“We’re extremely excited about the unique blend of creativity and the level of passion for cuisine that Chef Michael Bloise brings to Pelican Grand Beach Resort,” said Bob Keesler, General Manager of Pelican Grand Beach Resort. “His experience and ability to master new techniques in the kitchen exemplifies what an incredible asset he is to the team.” 

Chef Michael Bloise carries more than 17 years of professional cooking and kitchen management experience to Pelican Grand Beach Resort, having established a history of success whether working as a private chef or in some of South Florida’s top kitchens, such as Area 31, Tantra, WISH Restaurant and 1220 at The Tides Hotel, as well as The Gaucho Room at the Loews Hotel and Sushi Samba Dromo. Receiving an early education in food from his Italian father and Vietnamese mother, he learned to refine his flavor combinations, letting each ingredient on the plate stand out, and today Bloise serves playful and sophisticated dishes that draw from a wide breadth of taste tempting cuisines. 

Adorning 500 feet of Fort Lauderdale’s pristine beachfront, the recently enhanced Pelican Grand Beach Resort couples Old Florida grandeur with seaside elegance to offer a coastal-chic waterfront retreat. From watching stunning sunrises from private balconies, to indulging in culinary creations or craft cocktails at OCEAN2000 Restaurant & Lounge, and floating down Fort Lauderdale’s only lazy river, guests are engulfed by the unrivaled location of this laid-back luxury resort set amongst the soothing sights and sounds of the Atlantic Ocean. From Las Olas Boulevard with boutique shopping and chic cafes, to fine art museums and breathtaking gardens, Fort Lauderdale provides high fashion, historic homes, exhilarating nightlife and miles of white-sand beaches, just steps outside the resort. 

For more information, on Pelican Grand Beach Resort, call  954-568-9431 or visit


Celebrate the Easter Bunny Florida Style

March 18, 2015

Chocolate bunnies and treat-filled eggs are all the rage on Easter Sunday, but let's face it. It's that age-old traditional brunch that makes us giddy with anticipation. Florida always adds a bit of spice and flare to everything and Easter is no exception. Check out some of the places you can come to on April 5th to enjoy Peter Cottontail's favorite day of the year in culinary style.

Bongos Cuban Cafe
5733 Seminole Way, Seminole Hard Rock
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Special Easter Menu, Visit from the Easter Bunny, Goodie Bags for Kids and Live Entertainment

Larios on the Beach
820 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Special Easter Menu, Visit from the Easter Bunny, Goodie Bags for Kids and Live Entertainment

3800 Ocean
Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa
Easter Sunday Buffet, 8-11 a.m.
Easter Grand Lunch Buffet, noon - 3 p.m.
Easter Dinner, 5-10 p.m.

McCoy's Restaurant
Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa
Easter Brunch

The Oceanaire Miami
800 South Miami Avenue, Suite 111
Easter Brunch

III Forks Prime Steakhouse
501 Silks Run in the Villages of Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach
Easter Dinner, 5-9 p.m.



Premier Rosé Wine Celebration Comes to The Miami Beach EDITION
December 20, 2014
*** Save! Save! Save! Go to to purchase your tickets and enter discount code FOODAHOLIC to reduce price of General Admission tickets to $75 per person. Purchase must be made by December 31, 2014. ***

Miami-area pink fanatics rejoice! After the overwhelming success of the inaugural La Nuit en Rosé event held in 2014 in New York City, the world's first festival dedicated entirely to rosé wines and champagne announces its first Miami event, scheduled for January 30-February 1, 2015, at The Miami Beach EDITION, which is newly opened.
With an international lineup of wineries such as Château d’Esclans (Provence, France), Château Minuty (Provence, France), Vie Vité (Provence, France), Champagne Pommery (Champagne, France), Val d’Orbieu Americas (South of France), Wines of Rioja (Spain), Wines of Navarra (Spain), Mulderbosch (South Africa) and Miguel Torres (Chile), La Nuit en Rosé in Miami will bring to life the stylish ethos that rosé wines embody. 

“Rosé is more than just a wine category, it is a way of life and that’s what unique about rosé,” says Pierrick Bouquet, president of ABLE and co-creator of La Nuit en Rosé. “Rosé has made itself inseparable from a summer gathering, a pool party or a barbecue. Close your eyes and sip rosé, you’re immediately transported into a summer paradise. Drinking rosé is the epitome of chic! ” 

La Nuit en Rosé Miami will offer a variety of ways to celebrate pink wine: Start with a VIP Rosé Wine Pairing Dinner on La Vista Terrace at The Miami Beach EDITION, overlooking the ocean and featuring an exclusive menu from the Matador Room by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, presented by media sponsor Wine Enthusiast Media and followed by both media/trade and consumer daytime and evening events. The VIP dinner is specifically designed to showcase the elegance of the wines alongside an exceptional dinner and in the company of some of the people behind the world’s finest rosé wines. The wines for the evening will be Chateau d’Esclans’ “Whispering Angel” Rosé, Château d'Esclans’ Rosé, Château d'Esclans’ “Les Clans” Rosé, and Château d'Esclans’ “Garrus” Rosé. Château d'Eslcans was elected European Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine. 
Ticket options for the Miami La Nuit en Rosé are:  

VIP Rosé Wine Pairing Dinner Friday January 30, 2015, 8PM-11PM Only 150 seats available, $350 
Saturday Events Saturday January 31, 2015 Afternoon (1PM to 4PM) – Advance purchase $95*; General Admission $125 Evening (8PM-11PM) - Advance purchase $95*; General Admission $125 
Sunday Events Sunday February 1, 2015 Afternoon (1PM to 4PM) - Advance purchase $95*; General Admission $125 Evening (8PM-11PM) - Advance purchase $95*; General Admission $125 

* Advance-purchase pricing; expires December 14, 2014, at midnight. 

La Nuit en Rosé Miami will take place in Forum at The Miami Beach EDITION, 2901 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL. The first food and wine event at this brand-new hotel, The Miami Beach EDITION is its own private enclave right on the beach. Conceived in collaboration with architects George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg and landscape designer Madison Cox, this Urban Resort unites great design and innovation with personal, friendly, modern service as well as outstanding, one-of-a-kind dining and entertainment offerings “all under one roof.” For more information on The Miami Beach EDITION, please visit

For more information on La Nuit en Rosé, please visit  


Chef Michelle Bernstein Is Back For The Second Year During
Art Basel With Her Pop-Up Restaurant & Garden Cafe

November 26, 2014

Food is a form of art for famed Miami chef, Michelle Bernstein, and her foodie fans know this. Lucky for all, she is "popping up" again this year for seven nights during Art Basel. Chef Bernstein's concepts offer a wide range of delicious options in the Botanical Garden, steps away from the Miami Beach Convention Center. Throughout the day, Art Basel attendees can grab a quick, healthy lunch at her Garden Cafe, situated in a beautiful lush setting. For a more refined meal, guests can make a dinner reservation at Chef Bernstein's exclusive Michy's Pop-Up restaurant or book a private event as she is offering catering opportunities for groups of six or more.

Michy's Pop-Up restaurant will be a four-night dinner experience and Chef Bernstein will incorporate her signature South Floridian influence, utilizing freshly harvested ingredients.  She will offer a diverse selection of light and appetizing tapas, starters, plats de resistance and desserts. Guests can expect to find on the menu some of her distinguished dishes from her famed Michy's restaurant in Miami's MiMo district. A premium bar and an impressive international wine list have been paired perfectly to complement the menu. Reservations are a must as the restaurant will only be open from Wednesday, December 3rd to Saturday, December 6th from 6-11 p.m. in the Botanical Garden's Banyan Room and its adjacent terrace.

For private events during Art Basel, Chef Bernstein will offer exclusive catering opportunities for groups ranging from 6 to 100 in private or semi-private indoor or outdoor areas.  From seated lunches and dinners to intimate tea parties and cocktails, Bernstein's team will provide custom menus and set-ups, tailored to each group's needs.

At Chef Bernstein's more casual concept, the Garden Cafe, Art Basel attendees can take a mid-day break to enjoy a delicious and healthy lunch in the lush gardens. The diverse menu is comprised from locally sourced organic ingredients and includes tasty salads, sandwiches and special daily grilled dishes. Gourmet coffee and fresh baked pastries will be available and patrons can choose to be seated or grab a bite to go. No reservations are required. Check their website to preview all menus and find dates and hours of operation, or to make reservations for Michy's Pop-Up..

Chef Michelle Bernstein's Pop-Ups during Art Basel will take place at 2000 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach, FL.. 33139. 


The Federal Food, Drinks & Provisions Hosts Debut of
Windridge Yacht Charters Pop-Up Restaurant Cruise Series 
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions’ Chef/Owner Cesar Zapata is hosting the debut of Windridge Yacht Charter’s new “Pop-Up Restaurant Series” on Wednesday, November 12, from 7 to 10 p.m., with 6:30 p.m. boarding. Inviting Miami’s most innovative chefs to the spectacular South Florida waterways for a one-time only dining cruise event on its flagship yacht, Lady Windridge, the vessel will cruise along Biscayne Bay as guests enjoy a multi-course menu, signature cocktail pairing, beer and wine, DJ entertainment and more.

Highlights from Zapata’s menu include Kale Slaw with apples, jicama, chayote, celery and spiced pecans; Oyster Shooters of fresh Bloody Mary mix, chipotle, cilantro and tequila jelly; Smoked BBQ Pork Shoulder & BBQ Beef Brisket with housemade BBQ sauces; and Buttermilk Panna Cotta with drunken cranberries and mint. Departing from the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach, the cruise is priced at $125++ per person.

A critically acclaimed modern American food tavern in Miami, The Federal was recently selected to compete in the new Bravo TV culinary competition series Best New Restaurant. Premiering January 2015, the series is hosted by acclaimed chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio and produced by restaurateur and TV personality Gordon Ramsay’s production company One Potato Two Potato. Chef Cesar Zapata holds the distinction of being the first chef to ever launch a pop up in Miami.

Additional upcoming pop-up cruises include Phuc Yea! on December 10 and De Rodriguez on January 18, 2015, among others. For reservations or more information, please call 954-525-7724 or visit


Terror in the Jungle 

October 10, 2014

This Halloween, a petrifying attraction starred by scary mortals and zombie-like Aztec Indians has taken over South Florida’s favorite haunt to provide visitors with 20 nights of hair-raising events. Presented by Florida Event Productions and Jungle Island, Terror in the Jungle  also boasts a VIP Zombie Lounge by E11even Miami, the exclusive after-party sponsor.

From the creator of Festival of Souls (Demon Mansion), voted Florida's Scariest Haunted House by, Terror in the Jungle will feature a chilling 40 x 22-foot Toxic Zombie Jungle Entrance leading guests through five acres of terrorizing jungle paths and a 10,000 square-foot ancient Ruins Pyramid Haunted House. Daring guests will carefully navigate a dark jungle filled with zombies, demons and military HAZMAT containment units all while being chased by wild creatures. Many more surprises wait inside the Ruins Pyramid, which will give even the fearless the fright of their life. The terror will run from now until November 1st. Jungle Island is located at 111 Parrot Jungle Trail. For more information, visit their website.


Executive Chef Ramesh Kaduru Invites Guests To An Exclusive Indian Inspired Chef's Table Series, Cooking Demonstration And Weekend Of Diwali Celebrations

October 4, 2014

Inspired by foods, flavors and culture of his hometown of Chennai, India, Executive Chef Ramesh Kaduru invites guests to a six week long exclusive chef's table experience, cooking demonstration and Diwali weekend celebrations.

Beginning last night, Friday, October 3rd, The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami's private dining room transformed into a rich, vibrant and sultry dinner destination -- marrying traditions, spices and flavors of India for an intimate chef's table dinner experience. Each week, Chef Kaduru presents a beautiful five-course menu with a personalized touch and explanation of each dish. Limited to only 14 guests in a communal table style seating. $89 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations required by calling
(305) 644-4680.

Known as the "festival of lights", Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn each year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory over evil and is one of the most important holidays for the Hindu culture. Chef Kaduru invites guests to celebrate with friends and family in family-style dinner affair in Bizcaya, complemented by colorful entertainment, authentic cuisine and of course, glowing candles to pay tribute to the traditions of the celebration. Thursday, October 23rd from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. $69 per adult and $39 per child ages 5 through 12, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations required by calling (305) 644-4680.

Want to learn how to create Indian delicacies at home? Chef Kaduru invites guests to an intimate and exclusive cooking demonstration. After preparation of each dish, enjoy bites and tastes including a traditional Lassi beverage, appetizer and entrée. Sunday, October 26th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. $45 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Limited availability. Reservations required by calling (305) 644-4680.

Bizcaya at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami is located at 3300 Southwest 27th Avenue, Coconut Grove, FL.


2014 Craft Spirits Festival Hits Miami For Its 2nd Year

Celebrating the Art of Distilled Spirits & Craft Cocktails

**** Giveaway Alert. Be sure to read to the bottom. ****

September 25,2014

The Craft Spirits Festival - the original exhibition of craft, small batch & artisanal spirits in  Miami - will return for a 2nd year from October 1st- October 9th.

This year's festival will focus not only on celebrating and educating the public on Craft Spirits but on Craft Cocktails as well. There will be a weeklong series of events, including Seminars, Tours, Parties Happy Hours, Cocktail Dinners and Industry/VIP only events in and around Miami. The culmination of the Craft Spirits Festival will be the Grand Tasting. The Grand Tasting will take place on Thursday, October 9th from 7-11 p.m. in the New Orleans-inspired iconic Cruz Building in the heart of Coconut Grove, to showcase producers of whiskies, rums, vodkas, gins and other distinct spirits and beverages, as well as the bartenders/mixologists that prepare amazing cocktails. More than 30 exhibitors will be showcasing 100+ distinct spirits.  Attendees will be able to enjoy UNLIMITED samples plus delicious hors d'oeuvres by some of the best local chefs in Miami. Participating restaurants include Grove favorites such as Calamari Seafood Restaurant, TK's at the Villa Mayfair, La Gamba Restaurant and Strada, to name a few.

Grand Tasting tickets are available for $75 and include admission from 7-11 pm. A very limited number of tickets are available to the public. Special event ticketing options will be available through the website, social media and special promotions. 

However, readers of Adventures of the Foodaholic have a chance to win 2 tickets to this exciting event. All you have to do is post a picture of your favorite spirit on Instagram and tag @adventuresofthefoodaholic while also using the hashtag #CraftSpiritsFestival. You can also enter by tweeting the following on Twitter: I entered to #win 2 tix to @SpiritsFest with @mariasgoodtaste and you should too! Cheers! #TheFoodaholic #CraftSpiritsFestival. 

Winners will be selected on October 3rd and announced on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and this post. Don't forget to follow Adventures of the Foodaholic on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Good luck!

For more information on the Craft Spirits Festival, visit their website at


Laszlo Bollock Is Wowing Guests of the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami As Executive Pastry Chef

September 11, 2014

Photo Credit: Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne

Laszlo Bollok is the new Executive Pastry Chef of The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, responsible for the hotel’s entire dessert and pastry operations including banquets, in-room dining, Club Level and the resort’s four, globally-inspired restaurants, Cantina Beach, RUMBAR, Dune Oceanfront Burger Lounge and Cioppino.

Photo Credit: Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne

Laszlo Bollok’s passion and love for the culinary world stems from his grandmother, a chef and teacher at a local culinary school in Budapest, Hungary. Bollok’s grandmother taught the then, young aspiring chef how to perfect traditional Hungarian foods such as goulash, paprikash and dobosh. Bollok pursued his passion and craft by enrolling in the Karoly Gundel Culinary School in Budapest, specializing in pasty. “Pastry is an art form, complete with a rainbow of colors, a multitude of textures and endless possibilities,” states Bollok.

Photo Credit: Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne

After graduating from Karoly Gundel Culinary School, Bollok began his career at the pastry shop, Chocolia, followed by the Hungry Hotels. Shortly thereafter, Chef Bollok opened his own pastry shop in his Budapest hometown, and became known for his fresh breads, warm croissants and pogacha.

Photo Credit: Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne

Inspired for a change, Bollok moved to the vibrant city of New York, as the Executive Pastry Chef for world renowned opera singer, Placido Domingo’s Spanish restaurant, Domingo’s. His career continued as the pastry chef for Louis XVI in Long Island, Jean-Georges at The Mark Hotel, The Pierre Hotel and most recent tenure, Le Cirque.

Chef Bollok continues to hone his craft each day and continues to admire pastry greats such as French Master Pastry Chef, Christophe Michalak. When Bollok is not in creating masterpieces, he enjoys swimming, biking and spending time with his wife and French bulldog, Lupo. If you haven't tasted one of his sweet delights yet, head over to Key Biscayne and stop at The Ritz for a memorable experience.


The 5th Annual Samuel Adams Octoberfest is Here!

Revel In The Experience With Seasonal Brews & A Taste of Germany

September 4, 2014

Sam Adams Octoberfest, the number one selling seasonal beer of all-time has joined forces with powerhouse event organizers, Tony Albelo of Social House Event and Javi Zayas of Zevents to host the fifth annual Samuel Adams Octoberfest. The two day event will stay true to its German counterpart which begins in September and will take place on Friday, September 19 and Saturday, September 20, 2014 at the Sam Adams Castle-Soho Studios in Wynwood. The Samuel Adams Octoberfest will bring the true Bavarian tradition to Miami.

The dynamic duo sets to bring back the event's authenticity offering event goers an authentic experience while swaying away from the typical Miami party scene, bringing Munich to Miami. Octoberfest is all about the folklore; featuring plenty of seasonal brews, authentic cuisine, genuine music and entertainment.

"It's all about the beer! This is not some neon wearing, beat-pumping rave, but a true German party. Come drink the beer, consume the food, and revel in the experience." said Javi Zayas, event organizer.

Event tickets have been divided into three categories: The Bavarian, Der Kommisar and The Chancellor and range between $20 and $50.  "The Bavarian" ticket include admission and a free 156 oz beer. The "Der Kommisar" Stein ticket includes admission, a commemorative Sam Adams Half-Liter Stein and one free Stein fill. "The Chancellor", a VIP ticket option includes admission, a commemorative Sam Adams Half-Liter Stein, a souvenir Bavarian hat, access to "The Pavilion", private VIP Bathrooms and two free Stein fills.

"When creating ticket categories, we strategized to make tickets affordable while still including a free beer with each package to assure all event goers can experience Octoberfest. We will be offering a 50% off discount code as a pre-sale incentive", said Tony Albelo, event organizer.

Octoberfest will feature entertainment including live music, DJs and a "Miss Octoberfest" contest. This event will give Miami a taste of what Octoberfest is truly all about while enjoying limited-released Samuel Adams festival beers.

The Sam Adams Castle - Soho Studios Wynwood is located at 2136 NW 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33127.

Learn more about Samuel Adams Fifth Annual Octoberfest at


Tastemakers at Mizner Park Presents “Rock, Roll & Stroll”  

August 29, 2014

***Special Giveaway at the bottom of the post so be sure to read all of it! ***

Tastemakers at Mizner Park presents “Rock, Roll & Stroll,” a fabulous progressive food and cocktail tasting featuring amazing local restaurants and live rock music, on Wednesday, September 17 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Mizner Park in Boca Raton. 

“We are very excited about this year’s new ‘rock & roll’ theme with two live bands playing throughout the evening and are pleased to partner with the City of Boca Raton,” said Barbara Finn, marketing manager for Mizner Park.  “This event has been so successful in years past we extended it into the Mizner Park Amphitheater to include a separate craft beer tasting and additional entertainment.” 

The Mizner Park Amphitheater will be host to craft beer tastings from the Florida Beer Company, Gold Coast Distributors, Harpoon Brewery, and the New Belgium Brewery, and music by rock band, Amp’d.   
Tickets, available at starting August 1, are $30 per person and include one tasting and select beverage at each participating restaurant with presentation of the VIP Ticket Book.  Tickets may also be purchased at each participating restaurant.  In addition, the ticket booklets will include re-usable exclusive offerings from various Mizner Park eateries valid August 1 through October 31, 2014. 

Featured Mizner Park “Tastemakers” are: 

Dubliner – Shepherd’s Pie with Guinness Mac & Cheese and Irish soda bread, paired with a special “Black Velvet,” combination of Guinness and Cider. 
JAZZIZ Nightlife – Beef Carpaccio with horseradish aioli, black truffle and homemade potato chips served with a Blood Orange Cilantro Margarita. 
Kapow! – Banh Mi Vietnamese Baguette (slow-cooked pulled pork, buttery spicy aioli, cilantro, pickled carrots, daikon and jalapeno) with a Spicy Lover cocktail (Partida Reposado Tequila, cucumber, lime juice, tabasco green sauce, cilantro, and organic agave nectar) 
Max’s Grille – Crispy Duck Spring Rolls with spicy vegetables, soba noodles, pickled cucumbers, and Asian dipping sauce served with a Strawberry Saketini made with Stoli Vanilla Vodka, Tyku Sake and fresh strawberries. 
Racks – The A+A Roll made with hamachi, jalapeno, spicy tuna, crispy shallot, cilantro and avocado with Boca Lemonade, a refreshing mix of Stoli Vodka and Tyku Lemonade.  
Ruth’s Chris – Mini Seared Ahi-Tuna complimented with Aspirated sauce with hints of mustard and beer, served with a Raspberry Rosemary Cosmo made with Absolut Raspberri, Cointreau, lime & cranberry juices, muddled raspberries and rosemary. 
Tanzy – Housemade Ceder Plank Salmon with red pepper, lima bean, Israeli couscous and cucumber fennel salad paired with Prickly Pear Sour Sop Margarita mixed with cactus fruit, Florida Guanabana, hand-squeezed lime, El Jimador Tequila Reposado. 
Truluck’s – Fresh Seasonal Crab Claws served with Lagaria pinot grigio. 
Uncle Julio’s – Pineapple Bacon Guacamole & crumbled queso fresco paired with the popular Julio’s Gold, Uncle Julio’s special hand-shaken margarita. 
Villagio – Eggplant Rollatini – braised eggplant stuffed with seasoned ricotta cheese with marinara, parmesan, and melted mozzarella; and the Acai Thini, a blend of Acai Vodka with Cointreau, sour mix and a touch of Blue Curacao. 

Yard House – Ahi Poke Bowl – marinated raw Ahi and avocado with carrots, Daikon radish, macadamia nuts and wontons served with Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat Beer.

I have partnered with Tastemakers at Mizner Park to give away 2 passes to this fabulous event! There are four ways to enter and you can do all four to increase your chances of winning: Winner will be announced on September 10th via this page, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter so don't forget to check back!

1) Head on over to Adventures of the Foodaholic's Facebook Page and post this comment on the wall:  The first restaurant I'm going to visit if I win this contest is ____________ (Be sure to click Like on the FB page first)

2) Follow @mariasgoodtaste on Twitter then tweet the following: I just entered to win 2 tix from @mariasgoodtaste for Rock, Roll & Stroll by Tastemakers @ShopMiznerpark Please RT

3) Follow Adventures of the Foodaholic on Instagram  then find the picture for the Tastemakers event and Like it.

4) Sign up to receive the latest post on Adventures of the Foodaholic by email.


The Kitchen Hop Takes Over Coral Gables

August 21, 2014

This Saturday, August 23rd, get ready as Zevents presents The Kitchen Hop - Coral Gables Edition. The Kitchen Hop, the foodie crawl everybody has been talking about, will take over Miracle Mile and the Coral Gables area with a restaurant crawl of epic dining proportions. The delectable event will feature more than 8 of the area's best kitchens including Seasons 52, Cibo Wine Bar, BurgerFi, Morton's Steakhouse, Bulla Gastrobar, Bricktops, Red Koi Sushi, Fritz & Franz Bierhaus, Azucar Cuban Cuisine and Pincho Factory. Attendees will bounce from one kitchen to another, sampling chef-selected appetizers or entrees at each stop from 2-6 pm.  Crawlers will also enjoy drink specials throughout the afternoon to wash everything down. 

As the sun sets, participants will head over to the after party at Cibo Wine Bar for a complimentary welcome beverage. The Kitchen Hop is set to be this summer's best bite affair so be sure not to miss it. Tickets can be purchased at


Time to Bring Out the Stretchy Pants 
Miami Spice is Back

August 3, 2014

It's here ...It's here...It's finally here. It's Miami foodies' Christmas in August and September, when popular Miami restaurants pull out all the stops and serve lunch and/or dinner from a prix fixe menu. You know it as Miami Spice. I know it as the time of year where there is suddenly more of me to love. Either way, it is a fabulous opportunity to sample dishes from some of the restaurants making headlines in Miami (and some hidden gems that don't) for a great price.

Running from August 1st to Septmber 30th, the price this year is $23 for lunch and $39 for dinner. (It does not include two tiers as in previous years.) There are over 160 restaurants participating in the promotion, and after getting a sneak peak of some of the menu items this past Thursday, at Iron Fork, the annual kick-off event, I can tell you it is going to be hard to narrow down the choices. I've glanced at many of the menus (and actually already had a first bite at some of them), and most of the restaurants are showcasing some of their most popular signature items for the lower price. Remember, it's important to always check the days and times the Miami Spice menu is available for each restaurant before you head out, since it varies. 

In the meantime, check out my Miami Spice section on the right for updates and reviews as I eat my way through the city these next two months. For more information, or for a list of participating restaurants, visit their website at 


The Miami New Times is Kicking Off Miami Spice With
Iron Fork 2014

July 5, 2014

Miami Spice is just around the corner and the Miami New Times is celebrating the highly anticipated foodalicious time of year with their Iron Fork culinary event. This year they are partnering with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, and on July 31st, will kick off two months of discounted three-course meals at Miami's best restaurants during Miami Spice. Planned for the beautiful Hyatt Regency in Downtown Miami, the 2014 Iron Fork will draw thousands of diners and food lovers from across Greater Miami. They'll watch two of our city's finest chefs go pot-to-pot in a sizzling showdown for supremacy overseen by famed "Mango Gang" veteran Allen Susser. Each competitor will receive a basket of foodstuffs — plus one secret ingredient — then will create a tantalizing creation before a panel of local celebrity chefs hand selected by Chef Allen. The winner will receive the prestigious Iron Fork Award, signifying the area's top toque.

With a growing number of restaurants participating every year, this Miami Spice season promises to be the most delicious yet. Want a sneak peak? Then purchase your tickets for Iron Fork 2014 and get an early bite into the fun by sampling from over 40 of the restaurants on board. Even better, they're offering a special promo code for readers and followers of Adventures of the Foodaholic, and you can save $10 off General Admission (GA) tickets and $5 off VIP. The promo code for $10 off GA tickets  (regular price $50) is IF10GA5.  The promo code for $5 off VIP tickets (regular price $85) is IF5VIP5. Offer is good from now until July 30th at 9pm. Tickets can be purchased here.
Don't miss out. For more information, visit the Miami New Times Iron Fork website.


Stop the Food Truck! It's TGI Friday's Summer of Fridays

June 15, 2014

This summer, TGI Fridays' is introducing their handcrafted menu by taking to the road and sharing the best of their American favorites. The Summer of Fridays kicked off on Friday, May 23rd, with the launch of the TGI Fridays Handcrafted America Tour - a multi-city food truck journey through the hottest sights and sounds of the U.S. The tour features two custom-built food sampling trucks that will serve up free tastes from the new summer menu at Fridays, including a slider version of the All-American Burger, Ahi Tuna Crisps, and the popular Best Fridays Margarita. Of course, it wouldn't be complete without a sweet taste of Oreo Madness, so expect to indulge in that as well.

The Food Truck tour coincides with the national launch of a new menu at Fridays restaurants. For the first time in 25 years, TGI Fridays is abandoning the industry standard laminated menu and launching a sleek, new hardcover version that includes bold photographs that communicate the brand's handcrafted quality. But that's not all. With the new menu comes an elevation of signature favorites, the use of the freshest ingredients available, and tantalizing, flavorful accompaniments. It's an all-new experience at TGI Fridays' and I can tell you from experience, you will wonder if you've stepped into the same place.

In the meantime, check out if your city will be visited by the food trucks. Miami is not on the list, but Tampa is, so if you're planning a trip to Busch Gardens any time soon, and happen to be there during the Summer of Fridays, stop by and grab a complimentary bite and a drink Here's the schedule of all the dates and cities:

Detroit, MI: May 27-June 1
Red Bank, NJ: May 27-June 2
Chicago, IL: June 3-8
Garwood, NJ: June 5-8
NYC/Brooklyn, NY: June 10-15
Cleveland, OH: June 11-15
Washington, DC: June 17-22
Pittsburgh, PA: June 17-22
Tuckerton, NJ: June 24-29
St. Louis, MO: June 24-29
Houston, TX: July 1-6
Philadelphia, PA: July 1-6
Dallas, TX: July 8-13
Richmond, VA: July 8-13
Louisville, KY: July 15-20
Baltimore, MD: July 15-20
Atlanta, GA: July 23-27
Tampa, FL: July 23-27


Chef by Jon Favreau

June 5, 2014

With Jon Favreau at a private
screening of Chef in Miami.
Have you been to see Chef, the movie written, directed, produced and starring Jon Favreau? It costars an incredible cast including John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt and Scarlett Johansson. If you haven't, and love food and the culinary world, (which I know you do) then you need to go A.S.A.P. Chef tells the story about a chef who loses his restaurant job and has to start over. He tries to piece together his estranged family and his self-esteem by launching a food truck. The story line is funny, touching and will definitely make you hungry. Filmed in both L.A. and my hometown of Miami, it contains elements near and dear to my heart: food, Cubans and bloggers. Be sure to check out local time listings in your area, and grab a Cuban sandwich on the way there.


Culinary Crawl through Coconut Grove

May 28, 2014

Eager epicureans can cure their curious culinary cravings during an adventures in Miami's peacock paraded and historically known area, Coconut Grove. (Try saying that quickly five times).  Dishcrawl, a national start-up founded on the premise that communities can be brought together through good food and good company, is back in Miami to bring together communities as they celebrate their love for food.

On Wednesday, Jun 18th, at 7 pm. foodies from all over Miami will come together to meet neighbors and new friends while stopping at 3 different restaurants to try offerings of their signature dishes. Mingle and try unfamiliar plates along with traditional Coconut Grove favorites. The mission of Dishcrawl is to give locals a reason to get out of the house and socially engage with each other while also helping local restaurants gain exposure.

Participating restaurants are kept secret until two days before the event, at which time the first location is revealed to ticket holders. For only $45.00, food lovers can reunite as they walk and discover culinary cuisine from 3 restaurants.  Tickets can be purchased here.

For more information, visit Dishcrawl and check out the previous crawls.


                VERITAGEMIAMI Is Back!

April 8, 2014

VERITAGEMIAMI is one of the city’s most prominent food, wine and spirits celebrations benefitting the United Way of Miami-Dade. Formerly known as the Miami Wine & Food Festival, VeritageMiami celebrates its 19th year in 2014. The four- day extravaganza kicks off with a Craft Beer Tasting at the vibrant Wynwood Walls onWednesday, April 9. The world-renowned murals will serve as a gorgeous back-drop as the crowd samples favorites from local restaurants. In addition to delightful bites, guests will sample over 100 selections of craft beers and micro-brews. Thursday’s Fine WineTasting  at Village of Merrick Park features more than 350 wines from wineries such as Château D'Esclans, Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery, Santa Carolina, to name a few. Bites will be provided by Miami’s most celebrated restaurants including Dolce Italian at the Gale Hotel, Uvaggio, Pascal’s on Ponce and Truluck’s. One of the most anticipated events of this year’s four day celebration, the Interactive Dinner will take place at the InterContinental Miami featuring five of Miami’s most talented chefs – Alberto Cabrera of Bread + Butter, Todd Erickson of HaVen South Beach and Huahua’s Taqueria, José Mendin of The Pubbelly Restaurant Group, Giorgio Rapicavoli of Eating House, and Cesar Zapata of The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions. Guests will cook alongside the chefs, and enjoy the dishes prepared that evening. The closing event, Dinner on the Diamond, takes place Saturday at Marlins Park where guests will enjoy dinner on the field, silent and live auctions and a very special performance by Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth.  
All proceeds benefit United Way of Miami-Dade.

WHEN/WHERE:      Craft Beer tasting  - Wynwood Walls – Wednesday, April 9th 
VIP  6 p.m - 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., General Admission 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Fine Wine Tasting – Village of Merrick Park –Thursday, April 10
VIP  6 p.m. – 7 p.m., General Admission 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Interactive Dinner – InterContinental Miami Hotel -Friday, April 11
Cocktail reception 6:30 p.m., Dinner 7:30 p.m.

Dinner on the Diamond – Marlins Park – Saturday, April 12
Cocktail reception 6:30 p.m., Dinner 7:30 p.m.

For more information or to obtain tickets, please visit




March 8, 2014

Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli and business partner Alex Casanova, the talented young duo behind Coral Gables’ foodie favorite Eating House, is proud to announce the launch of their newest restaurant concept, Taperia Raca, a casual and fun Spanish tapas restaurant and wine bar, opening later this month at 7010 Biscayne Boulevard in the heart of Miami’s MiMo District on the Biscayne Corridor.

Boasting a menu of classic and modern Spanish flavors and the whimsical flair for which Rapicavoli is so well known, with an atmosphere that melds casual Spanish taperia and hip, urban eatery, the restaurant is the ultimate collaboration of owners Rapicavoli and Casanova, and is aptly represented in its name: Taperia, derived from the Spanish slang for “tapas restaurant” and Raca, a combination of the first two letters of the owners’ last names. Helping Rapicavoli split his time is Chef de Cuisine Ryan Harrison, previously of Preservation in Sunny Isles and Rapicavoli’s right hand at the pop-up Drinking Room, who will head the kitchen at the restaurant. Back at Eating House, Adriana Egozcue will take over as Chef de Cuisine. 

“Alex and I have wanted to do Spanish ever since the quick side trip we took to Barcelona after Terra Madre a few years back,” says Rapicavoli. “We’re stoked about the location and even happier to have Ryan behind the line.” 

Taperia Raca, located at 7010 Biscayne Boulevard in the MiMo District will be open Tuesday - Thursday, from11:00AM - 10:00PM; Friday & Saturday, from 11:00AM - 11:00PM; and for Sunday brunch from 11:00AM - 4:00PM. Telephone: 305.751.8756. Website: 


Get ready Miami. Dinner Lab Has Arrived.

January 21, 2014

There are a number of underground supper clubs in Miami, but none that can compare in concept or nationwide popularity to Dinner Lab. Dinner Lab is a membership-based social dining experience whose mission is to give up-and-coming chefs the opportunity to refine their skills and showcase their talents. Instead of recruiting already established restaurant Executive Chefs, Dinner Lab focuses primarily on sous chefs and line chefs that display a passion for their craft. They are taking the nation by storm, with memberships already in place in big cities like New York, New Orleans and D.C.; and they are growing their reach to foodie capitals like Chicago, Los Angeles, and sunny Miami. Their first dinner in the Magic City was tonight, featuring Austin-based Chef Brandon Byrd.

I met with Dinner Lab Public Relations Director, Kay Jones, to learn more about this exciting new dining adventure. It turns out they normally host approximately 80-100 dinners in one city each year, and none of the dinners are the same. "We liked the Miami market because of its diverse culture and we plan on showcasing a wide variety of culinary talent from different places. We usually like to feature cuisine that is different from that which the city is used to. For example, we won't plan a Cajun dinner in New Orleans and we probably won't do a Cuban one in Miami. If we do, it would have to have some sort of a twist."

The Dinner Labs are usually held in secretive locations like warehouses, parking lots and shops. Guests are given the opportunity to rate the food and give their opinions on the meal. The next dinner planned in Miami will be January 30th, with tentative future dates of February 5th and 14th. I plan on attending one of these myself so be sure to stay tuned to read all about it.

For more information on Dinner Lab, visit their website at


Official Closing Statement From Van Dyke Cafe on 
Lincoln Road

It's Not Goodbye...but Goodbye For Now

After 20 years of serving South Florida, Van Dyke Café will be closing on Sunday, January 26, 2014 with a celebration in honor of the memories we have created together. We thank all our loyal customers, staff, music directors and musicians that made both Van Dyke Café and Upstairs at Van Dyke one of the most special places on Lincoln Road.

We first opened our café in the historic Van Dyke building in 1994 and have been proudly serving Miami residents for nearly two decades. When Van Dyke Café opened its doors, Lincoln Road was just becoming the travel destination it is today, bustling with outdoor eateries -- perfect for people watching and enjoying the South Florida weather.

In the spirit of Van Dyke Café, Soyka Restaurant will continue with a similar live music program on weekends. We hope you will consider Soyka not only for a great meal but also to enjoy great live music by some of South Florida’s best.

To celebrate our history and honor our loyal patrons, we will be hosting a celebration on January 26 from 5 to closing. Please come by and enjoy a complimentary toast and let’s reminisce the good times!  We would like to extend a deep and heartfelt thank you to our dedicated staff and our loyal patrons.

But there may be a silver lining with this closing, we are very working hard with our landlord to find space within the Van Dyke complex so that we can keep the Van Dyke Cafe spirit alive by opening a smaller version, hopefully sometime in the spring!


Cochon 555 Announces Chef Lineup For An Epic Pork Event On February 9th at the Four Seasons Miami

January 9, 2013

Cochon US Tour and Goose Island Beer Co. are bringing Cochon 555 back to Miami on February 9, 2014. Going on its sixth year, Cochon 555 is the nation's premier culinary tour touting the flavor and benefits of eating heritage breed pigs.  The kickoff event features an all-star lineup of five chefs, five pigs and five wineries to celebrate breed diversity and family farming.

This year's competing chefs include Jose Mendin of The Pubbelly Group, Conor Hanlon of The Dutch, Bradly Herron of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Aaron Brooks of EDGE Steak & Bar and Dena Marino of MC Kitchen. The five chefs, champions to the pig, will battle it out in a friendly competition by preparing a maximum of six dishes each created from one whole heritage breed pig to win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges. In celebration of the tour's 6th anniversary, Rick Mace of Cafe Boulud will prepare an additional late-night sixth pig in an Asian Speakeasy style before dessert and prior to the awards ceremony.

Defending his title from last year, Host Chef Aaron Brooks will kick off the weekend on Friday night with a guest chef dinner at EDGE Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons.  Event judges include David Thomas from The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Timon Balloo of Bocce Bar and Chef Norman Van Aken following the release of his new book, No Experience Necessary. The winner of the event will go on to compete in the Grand Cochon at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in June for bragging right as the "King or Queen of Porc: and a four-day experience to Rioja, Spain's most prominent wine region.

"Heritage Breed Pigs celebrate the history of the animal and this humane treatment is something all chefs should be behind," states Jose Mendin.  "I grew up on an island where this practice is normal and eating pig is an essential part of the culture, so it just seems the only way to me.  As for the event, I'm so excited to compete, I can barely stand it.  Such a great line-up of chefs; I'm eager to see what everyone puts out. Game on."

In addition to 30 chef-prepared dishes, guests can experience:

The Goose Nest, an area featuring the Vintage Ales of Goose Island Beer Co. paired with Hudson Valley Foie Gras.
Live butchering demonstration at the Pop-Up Butcher Shop, benefitting the local culinary school.
Different ages of Prosciutto di Parma ranging between 14 and 30 months, sliced by a roaming Berkel and by hand off a bone-in leg.
Punch Kingscocktail competition presented by Breckenridge Bourbon.
A welcome cocktail from Four Roses Bourbon.
A Perfect Manhattan Experience featuring Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Breckenridge Bourbon, Hirsch, Templeton Rye and Luxardo.
Libations include the portfolio of Crispin Ciders table, featuring wines of Rioja, Elk Cove Vineyards, Barlow Vineyards, and the infamous Mezcal Bar.
TarTare Bar featuring Creekstone Beef, Rappahannock River Oysters, Cheese Bar including Rogue Creamery and the artisan breads of La Brea Bakery.
Swine & Sweets signature dessert course featuring Jenis Splendid Ice Creams.

All guests are invited to visit the website and sign up on the newsletter for a chance to win a VIP trip to Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival in New York City, including a Smart-Scoop Ice Cream Maker from Breville, a $1000 bottle of bourbon, a Judge’s slot at Punch Kings plus two VIP tickets to the event.

Where: Four Seasons Miami
1435 Brickell Ave.
Miami, FL 33131
When: Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tickets are priced at $125 general admission and $200 VIP (early admission and premium access to limited experiences, wines and spirits); to purchase tickets  visit


SOBEWFF Is Almost Here! What Are You Waiting For?

January 8, 2014

The 13th Annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival is right around the corner. Taking place from February 20-23, 2014, this year's line up of celebrity chefs and culinary personalities, including Giada De Laurentis, Bobby Flay, Rocco DiSpirito and many more, is going to take Miami by storm. Favorites such as the Festival's iconic Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents and KitchenAid Culinary Demonstrations will be returning. (By the way, I absolutely love using the KitchenAid blender I won last year during the festival). Other coveted events include the Amstel Light Burger Bash  hosted by Rachel Ray, the Wine Spectator's Best of the Best at Fontainebleau Miami Beach and Goya Foods' Swine & Wine hosted by Michelle Bernstein. The list is endless but time is running out to purchase tickets since many of the events are already sold out. Don't miss this opportunity to be a part of one of America's most prestigious gourmet gatherings. For more information, visit their website at


Farewell Van Dyke Café on Lincoln Road

December 28, 2013
For a while now the rumor has circulated. "Van Dyke is closing. Heard it from someone who knows." But yet open it remained and the rumors were quickly squashed by those representing the brand.  However, it appears the rumors were true. Sources have confirmed that Van Dyke Cafe will be closing its doors for the final time in January. Details are still emerging but the signature Lincoln Road veteran is definitely leaving the area and in its place another retail store will be born. Van Dyke's has been a popular spot for casual dining (breakfast all day) and live entertainment featuring local bands and aspiring artists for two decades. Whether Van Dyke will reemerge is yet to be seen. In the meantime, if you want to catch a few more meals for old time's sake, hurry before it's gone.


Eats & Beats Is Coming And It Promises To Stimulate 
All The Senses

December 18, 2013 

Eats and Beats, taking place on February 22, 2014 at the Moore Building located at 4040 NE Second Ave. Design District Miami, FL 33137 will be a culmination of the best culinary experiences in South Florida combined with the best and brightest talents in the Miami music scene. Taking place during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Eats & Beats is cementing its message that it is for locals by locals. Tickets went on sale yesterday with special early bird pricing.

Eats & Beats is the answer to those looking for an amazing food and wine event without the red velvet stanchion presence that one now expects at food events. The goal was to create an event that will not only satisfy the palate but also stimulate all of the senses. Comprised of a unique team of local hospitality and event consultants, the team behind this new Miami addition all bring unique elements to the equation ultimately, making the experience unique and of value to attendees coming out with “foodie” expectations. None other than Miami’s own DJ Irie will put together the musical elements which will include local DJ’s and bands adding a perfect ambiance to this fabulous affair.

Imagine a perfect showcase of local culinary artistry paired with premium wines and spirits, minus the velvet rope. Comprised of some of the most renowned restaurants in South Florida, to some of the most mouthwatering dessert artists, Eats N Beats will satisfy the local food enthusiast as well as the sophisticated “foodie” expecting to delight in some of the best dishes and libations our city has to offer. Not to worry, keeping true to our City known for beauty and some flash, the event will touch on all of the senses. Complete with dynamic production, local VIPS and Celebs Eats N Beats will also be outfitted with the comforts one has come to expect from an event in Miami. The showcase will attract those looking for an alternative type of food event, one that brings the best of three worlds: food, music and wines/spirits together seamlessly.

This new addition to the culinary scene in Miami will pair an array of our most frequented and popular eateries with local music, by some of the most celebrated talent to hit our local stages. As opposed to creating separate events, this inaugural fete was designed to create a progressive experience for attendees.

Guests will enjoy four floors of palate-pleasing food, sweets and delicious cocktails while dancing to the beats of live music curated by DJ Irie. The world renowned DJ has hand selected an impressive and diverse ensemble of bands and DJ’s while slated to hit the booth for a DJ spot himself. Eats N Beats will benefit the Irie Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization based in South Florida with a mission to aid youth and improve graduation rate.

For more information please contact, 305-595-7888.


Chef Alum Carla Pellegrino Bringing Some of Her Spunk and Flair to Miami

December 17, 2013

Carla Pellegrino
(Image from Facebook)

Brazilian-born and Italian-raised Top Chef Alum Carla Pellegrino recently announced she will be opening a new restaurant on the rooftop of the much anticipated E11even, a 25,000 square foot, 24-hour dayclub and nightclub that promises to entice the city with its cabaret and night life combination. Pellegrino's new venture, Touche Restaurant & Lounge, will be a 6,590 fine dining establishment slated to open in February. Although the menu hasn't been revealed yet, excitement continues to mount. Pellegrino is known as a fiery chef whose Brazilian/Italian roots have made her a household name in Las Vegas. In 2009, she was named VIP member of the James Beard Foundation and defeated Bobbly Flay in The Food Network's "Throwdown". In addition to her upcoming Miami venture, Pellegrino also owns Bratalian Neopolitan Cantina, an award-winning cozy Italian restaurant in Henderson, Nevada. 


Forget Traditional Food Courts - Dadeland Mall in Miami Is Taking The Eating Experience To A Whole New Level

December 6, 2013

Last weekend I had to go visit the Apple Store in Dadeland Mall to get my iPhone repaired. Imagine the mayhem there during this time of the year. The good thing is, it gave me the perfect excuse to walk the mall as I waited for my phone. Did you know Dadeland Mall has a whole new section that is going to include some big names in the dining scene? Five new restaurants will be opening soon: Bobby Flay's Burger Palace (opening tomorrow), Aoki Teppanyaki, Earls Kitchen & Bar, Balans and Aroma Espresso Bar. The new wing is spacious and will feature a great retailer line-up. If there weren't enough reasons to go shopping, Dadeland Mall's new dining opportunities just created five new ones.


MiMo Welcomes Via Verdi Cucina Rustica

The "Italian Invasion" Hits Biscayne and 69th

December 3, 2013

The block on NE 69th Street and Biscayne is about to get the dolce vita treatment. Three renowned Italian-born restaurateurs are combining their experiences to create a unique restaurant and bar experience for South Florida. The twin Chef brothers, Nicola and Fabrizio Carro, and Mixologist partner Christiano Vezzoli draw upon their 20 years of global experience to open VIA VERDI CUCINA RUSTICA today.

The chefs and mixologist owners wanted to create a space that was opening and inviting to MiMo district residents, but also one that draws South Florida locals and visitors from all over. The concept will include traditional, pan-regional rustic Italian cuisine with a dynamic presentation and warm gathering environment with indoor and outdoor spaces.

It's fine Italian dining meets your favorite gastropub. Come to eat because of the impeccable dishes, but stay because you long to hang out in the warm atmosphere. The three owners are all about good food, drink and company.  They are the experts but are very excited to interact with patrons, so together they can explore the subtleties of the different regions in Italy.

The inviting menu of authentic, Italian dishes and beverages will give patrons the feeling of taking a tour of Italy. Twin chefs, Nicola and Fabrizio, have been honing their skills in the South Beach area for over 8 years at Quattro Gastronomia on Lincoln Road. The menu will include dishes they know and loved growing up in Italy, to give South Florida an authentic Italian experience without needing to use their passport or cross the Atlantic. Their partner Cristiano, previously bar manager at Segafredo on Lincoln Road, has crafted unique cocktails utilizing top quality spirits to recreate his favorite Italian aperitiv with a personal touch.

Via Verdi will be open daily for lunch and dinner from 11:30 am while they include a special brunch menu for guests on Sundays. Call for reservations as the hours will be limited the opening week.


Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Is Jam Packed With An Incredible Program Of Events And Will Feature the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models

November 28, 2013

The 13th annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE is jam packed with an incredible program of events taking place February 20-23, 2014. Widely recognized as America’s most prestigious gourmet gathering, there are new (and unexpected) faces joining in on the fun this year. The Festival is pleased to welcome the addition of the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models, who will be featured at Moët Hennessy's The Q presented by Creekstone Farms sponsored by MIAMI magazine hosted by Michael Symon on Thursday, February 20. To date the Festival has raised more than $18 million for the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University, and the School will open its new state-of-the-art Teaching Restaurant Management Lab built as a result of these funds during the Festival weekend.

“We are delighted to announce our 2014 line-up of events, featuring several unique dinner experiences with renowned chefs, new parties and seminars, and the return of our signature events,” said Festival Founder and Director Lee Brian Schrager, who also serves as the Vice President of Corporate Communications & National Events for Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. “In addition to featuring the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models at one of our marquee events to kick-off the Festival weekend, we are also pleased to honor Union Square Hospitality Group CEO Danny Meyer and Caymus Vineyards owner and winemaker Chuck Wagner at our annual Tribute Dinner at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel this year”.

The 2014 line-up includes the return of the Festival’s iconic Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents and KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations, Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats hosted by Rachael Ray, Fontainebleau Miami Beach presents Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best sponsored by Bank of America & Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Celebrity Chef Golf Tournament hosted by José Andrés, Fun and Fit as a Family sponsored by Carnival hosted by Robert Irvine, Thrillist’s BBQ & The Blues hosted by Bobby Deen, Chicken Coupe hosted by Andrew Carmellini, Southern Kitchen Brunch hosted by Trisha Yearwood, Goya Foods’ Swine & Wine hosted by Michelle Bernstein, and more!

The Festival will once again highlight a variety of nationally and internationally acclaimed chefs, including Mario Carbone & Rich Torrisi, Bruno Oteiza, Rocco DiSpirito, Giada De Laurentiis, Masaharu Morimoto & Ming Tsai, Bobby Flay, and many more, taking place at popular South Florida restaurants with local chef hosts, as part of the plethora of intimate dinners offered in 2014. In addition, the Festival branches out to screen “Soul of a Banquet” – the deeply personal story of Chef Cecilia Chiang, known for introducing America to authentic Chinese food, at the Miami Beach SoundScape in partnership with Miami International Film Festival. Special guest Ruth Reichl, writer and former restaurant critic for The New York Times, will speak to the importance of Chiang's impact on the dining scene nationwide.

Those looking for one of the Festival’s swanky late-night soirées will be rewarded with plenty of options as well, including FLAUNT presented by Belvedere Vodka, Moët & Chandon Champagne, Hennessy, Champagne Veuve Clicquot & GM Titanium, Mix It Up with Morimoto & Friends, Sammy's Beach Bar Rum and CABO WABO Tequila present Emeril and Sammy's Rockin' Beach Party, and more!

Stay up-to-date with the excitement by following the Festival at or follow founder and director Lee Brian Schrager at


Boxpark Closed Its Doors For The Final Time Today

November 10, 2013

Boxpark, the innovative restaurant featuring original and healthy cuisine which opened its doors in July, has closed them for the last time today. Boxpark made an announcement yesterday from their Twitter account and on their Facebook page, stating that "for reasons beyond our control we will be closing our doors Sunday. Thanks to everyone who has supported us and showed us love." Boxpark was the sister restaurant to The Hoxton, the first venture in a trilogy of venues  that was supposed to include a sultry nightclub, Harvey Wolf. The Hoxton, advertised as an urban beach house, closed its doors last month.
The Vassili Group had envisioned this concept whose three adjacent locations would provide one continuous evening of British-inspired fun. Although official reasons for the latest closing have not been released, rumors have it that a dispute between partners could have been the cause.
Matt Hinckley, the chef at the helm of Boxpark, executed a menu that combined the freshest of ingredients, environmentally sound choices and great flavor; even participating in the SPE Program, which assists in enhancing the nutritional quality of meals without compromising taste. I had the opportunity to taste most of the items on the menu when they first opened, and there was a unique approach there that is definitely going to be missed.
Whatever the reasons, it is sad to see yet another promising restaurant end its story in Brickell. A string of recent closings also includes Gordon Biersch on Brickell Avenue. With a final brunch this morning, and a farewell, we bid adieu to Boxpark Miami.

Spain's Great Match Hits Miami... Ole

November 6, 2013

On November 12th, Wines from Spain returns to Miami for a stop on their annual ‘Spain’s Great Match’ U.S. tour. Taking place at The Moore Building located at 191 N.E. 40th Street in the Design District, The Great Match is a collaborative celebration of the distinctive wines and food of Spain. American importers and distributors of Spanish wines will be presenting their best products, from new wines to the latest vintages. More than 200 Spanish wines will be showcased in a walk-around tasting format, featuring wine stations and a selection of mouth-watering tapas. Leading Miami-area restaurants and tapas bars, such as Chef Jose Andres' Bazaar Miami and Xixon Cafe will serve their specialties paired to the wines, making way for an unforgettable evening. 

Guests will also have the opportunity to visit: Tapas: Spanish Design for Food, an exhibition organized by AC/E with the collaboration of SPAIN Arts & Culture, La Fundación España-Florida 500 Años and the Centro Cultural Español de Miami, in recognition of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the first European, Spaniard Ponce de León, to the shores of Florida. Tickets are regularly priced at $60 person and event proceeds will benefit Camillus House. However, because I have a huge passion for wine, I am giving away two pairs of tickets ($120 value per pair) to two lucky winners. Because I don't like really complicated giveaways with "helicopters" and such, here are the simple details to enter. (You have multiple ways to enter)


1) Like my Facebook Page and look for the picture above pinned to the top of my wall. Write what your favorite wine is in the comments.

2) Tweet the following on Twitter: I entered to win a pair of tickets to Spain's Great Match via @mariasgoodtaste @winesfromspain #GreatMatchMIA

3) Post a picture on Instagram of your favorite wine or tapa and tag @adventuresofthefoodaholic #GreatMatchMIA

4) Comment on this post and tell me what your favorite Spanish tapa is.

Winners will be announced on November 8th at 2:00 p.m. on this page, my Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check back as I will need some details from the winners in order to issue the prize. But that's not all. If you want to go ahead and buy your tickets now, I got the scoop on how you can save almost half. Just purchase your tickets through this website  and save 40%. Get ready, set, go. Cheers.


Tobacco Road Celebrates their 101 Anniversary Bash with Live Performances by Ivan and Ian Neville

November 5, 2013

Tobacco Road celebrates its 101-Year Anniversary with a huge bash featuring Ivan and Ian Neville, members of the legendary musical family in New Orleans! Can you believe Miami’s oldest bar has been open for that long? In proper anniversary fashion, Tobacco Road plans for an all-week long celebration! Come out for lunch between 11:20 p.m. - 1:01 p.m. Monday-Thursday, November 4 -7 and enjoy burgers for only $1.01! But it doesn’t stop there. On Friday, November 8th at 6:00 p.m., come out for 101 full minutes of $1.01 drinks taking place from 6 p.m. - 7:41 p.m.! After that, from 8 p.m. - 9:41 p.m, a $10 cover charge will be asked at the door, which will get you in with another 101 minutes of open bar!! Enjoy their unlimited Cajun Carving Station, which includes turkey, pork, and beef, and the all night open premium bar in the VIP Tent for just $100. The Outside Cajun Kitchen will serve Red Beans & Rice, Gumbo, Swamp Burgers, and Swamp Dogs. Now that's one happy anniversary! Tobacco Road is located at 626 S. Miami Avenue.


Adventures of the Foodaholic Has Been Nominated For 
Best Food Blog and Best Food Instagram For the 
Miami New Times Web Awards 2013

October 28, 2013

In our first year of eating our way through South Florida and beyond, Adventures of the Foodaholic has become an incredible way of meeting fabulous foodies, amazing chefs, and charismatic P.R. and advertising folks, who have become a wealth of new friends. Through this appetizing and often calorie-filled experience, the site has grown to be a place where many come to search for the best places to have a meal, learn about about the most memorable wines or find the hippest upcoming events in the culinary world. Of course, visuals are important in every aspect of life,and we work hard to bring you the most mouth-watering images possible along with descriptions that will make you feel you are sitting right there at the table with us. 

We now need your help. Adventures of the Foodaholic has been nominated for Best Food Blog and Best Food Instagram for the Miami New Times Web Awards. Voting for the final winners is now underway and will continue until this Friday, November 5th. Please take two minutes to click on the link here and vote for Adventures of the Foodaholic for Categories 5 and 11. In order for your vote to count, and for the form to be submitted, you need to vote for someone in each category. 

If you can share the link with your friends and family, we would be very grateful. Remember every vote counts and it takes a lot to get there.

It is very humbling for us to know that so many of you have enjoyed our work this past year, and took your time to help us achieve this nomination. We will continue to bring you fun, honest and original reviews from ALL the places out there - either those in what I like to refer to as the "hit parade" or the lesser known hidden gems you may only hear about here, because we just love what we do and want to share it with you. For all your support, friendship, kind words and company through each of our adventures, we thank you. Bon Apetit.


Seasalt and Pepper Debuts on the Miami River

October 27, 2013

Seasalt and Pepper will open the doors of its highly anticipated premier location on December 5, 2013. The opening will unveil Re-Collections XX: EL RIO, a permanent art installation by the renowned local artist Carlos Betancourt, commissioned exclusively for the venue. Located on the bank of the Miami River, Seasalt and Pepper signals the latest in redevelopment of this “up-and-coming” waterfront location.

The menu at Seasalt and Pepper is a thrilling mix of new and signature gastro classics with an emphasis on freshly sourced produce, harmonious flavor pairings and thoughtful presentations. The menu features items from wood burning ovens which will deliver deliciously roasted and flavored casseroles of seafood and vegetables along with sumptuous Grass Fed Ribeye Steak and Veal Chop, in addition to a variety of carefully-curated raw bar, pastas and risottos.

There are many delicious plates such as the Octopus Tenders (marinated octopus with homemade aioli) and the Shaved Fennel and Zucchini Salad (parmesan crostini, fiery mix and shallot vinaigrette). All salad selections are served with Colpo, a side shot of cucumber-celery-spinach chaser. Other options range from Braised Squid and Baby Artichoke (with roman smoke tomatoes and feta cheese) to Duck Confit Salad (served over mache greens, heart of palm, lotus root chips in champagne raspberry vinaigrette). The wood fired casseroles include Long Island Baby Clams (prepared with cherry tomatoes, basil, jalapenos and white wine) and Alaskan Black Cod (served with braised fennel, broccolini and pernod).

The artisanal cheese and charcuterie plates will feature American and European entries such as Vermont’s Cheddar Grafton and French Country Rabbit Pate. “This menu represents all my favorite dishes I like to prepare,” says executive chef Alfredo Alvarez, whose distinguished career included stints at Alfredo’s in Rome, Casa de Campo in Dominican Republic, Tratoria Dopo Teatro in New York and Giacosa Restaurant in Coral Gables. “After closing my Miami restaurant ten years ago, I’ve traveled all over the world and this compilation is a culinary snapshot of all of my travels.” Aiding Alvarez, a two Michelin star, Sicilian guest chef Giovanni Puglisi, will personalize some of the menu items. 

Desserts prepared in house are a compilation of most-loved sweets and include Semifreddo Croccante (mascarpone semi-freddo, amaretto and walnut praline) and Orange Blossom Pavlova with Passion Fruit (fresh berries and vanilla crème chantilly). In addition to signature cocktails Seasalt and Pepper will offer an impressive list of wines, beers, champagnes along with its very own private-label rosé wine. “Next to top-notch cuisine and entertainment, the notion of seeing and being seen is paramount to the success of all the places I have done. So is the journey of patrons from the moment they enter to when they leave,” explains Dupoux, credited with developing such hospitality brands as Nikki Beach, Buddha Bar and NYLO Hotels to name just a few. “I wrapped all those lessons I’ve absorbed over the years into this space that feels like a summary of all my professional accolades.”

Poignantly, Seasalt and Pepper design is a study in implicit restraint that blends organic and industrial elements with homage to the area’s nautical roots that fuse harmoniously with Betancourt’s installation that explores the fascination of the artist with memory and the ephemeral, while alluding to the culture of the Miami River and its history. Boat-friendly, with 250 feet of docking privileges, the restaurant with stunning downtown views makes the best of its waterfront location.

Seasalt and Pepper, located at 422 N.W.North River Drive in Miami, Florida, will be open daily for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Lunch served daily from 11:30 a.m; dinner served nightly beginning at 5:00 p.m. Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays will start at 1130 a.m. Telephone: 305.982.8995. For additional information please visit


25th Annual Festival of Chefs To Benefit Easter Seals Features An Impressive Line-Up 

October 20, 2013

South Florida’s top chefs will serve their most scrumptious culinary creations and popular artists will unveil their latest masterpieces at the 25th Annual Festival of Chefs on Wednesday, November 6, at Comber Hall, 1251 Palermo Avenue, Coral Gables, FL. The event kicks off with a VIP Reception at 6:30 p.m. hosted by Celebrity Chef Ingrid Hoffmann, author and TV host of “Delicioso” (Univision) and “Simply Delicioso” (Cooking Channel). General Admission begins at 7:30 p.m.

           Proceeds from the Festival of Chefs will benefit the Easter Seals South Florida’s Culinary Arts High School, a vocational training program for students ages 16 through 22 with autism and other disabilities.

          Event Chef Chair John Richards of Miami Culinary Institute has enlisted a remarkable array of leading chefs to join him for this very special event, including Host Chef Elgin Woodman of A Joy Wallace; Chef Alberto Cabrera of Bread + Butter, Chef Luis Lopez of City Hall, The Restaurant; Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli of Eating House; Chef Andre Bienvenu of Joe's Stone Crab; Chef Patricio Sandoval of Mercadito Restaurant Miami; Chef Brian Molloy of Nikki Beach Miami Beach; Chef Assia Dahrouch of Lemoni Cafe; Chef Jorge Montes of Roho Kitchen; Chef Allen Susser of The Daily Melt; Chef Kareem Anguin of The Oceanaire Seafood Room; Chef Norman Van Aken of Tuyo Restaurant and Chef Ricardo Baquero and Culinary Arts High School tudents from Easter Seals South Florida.

               Along with a stellar roster of chefs, famed artist MANO will also be there.  “People love the Festival of Chefs because they get to enjoy a variety of fine wines and dishes from Miami’s top restaurants,” said Event Chair Shelley Daniel Rutherford. “And at the same time, they have the satisfaction of knowing that they’re raising much needed funds to provide exceptional services so that all people with disabilities or special needs have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities.”

   In addition to a fabulous multi-course feast, the Festival of Chefs will feature an extensive live and silent auction of original paintings, sculptures, multimedia artworks, fine wines, luxury vacations and upscale merchandise. Tickets for the 25th Annual Festival of Chefs are $150 for VIP and $100 for General Admission. For reservations and more information, visit Easter Seals of South Florida or call Nanette Molina at 305-777-6835.


Some Spooky Culinary Celebrations To Take The Bite Out of Halloween 2013

October 15, 2013

Pictured: The Westminster Flip

SUSHISAMBA Miami Beach – The Lincoln Road outpost of the Japanese/Brazilian/Peruvian fusion restaurants celebrates its 8th Annual Cosplay Halloween Party, complete with Japanese pop-inspired costumes, music, candy and fun contests & prizes. The party will take place on October 31 inside the restaurant, with a giant street celebration on Pennsylvania Avenue. Smoked pumpkin caipirinhas ($12) will be available for purchase.

Quattro Gastronomia Italiana –provides the perfect perch for people-watching every Halloween. For $95/person ($75/person for inside reservations) Lincoln Road’s Italian gem will offer a delicious, 4 course prix fixed dinner on October 31. Diners can delight in the Halloween fanfare and marvel at the trick-or-treaters in their elaborate costumes while enjoying seasonal dishes such as pumpkin gnocchi with gorgonzola and walnut sauce.

The Betsy South Beach – Evokes the eerie spirit of Edgar Allen Poe this Halloween. From Oct 31- Nov 3, the hotel will offer a special holiday libation, The Westminster Flip ($12). Made with Brandy (Poe’s favorite spirit), egg, Benedictine and organic maple syrup this Poe-inspired potion is sure to please.


Savor the Sea at the Coconut Grove Seafood Festival

October 8, 2013

Head on over to Peacock Park in Coconut Grove (2820 MacFarlane Road), on October 20th from 11:00 to sundown to get your fill of the freshest, tastiest delicacies of the sea. Bushels of shrimp, oysters, crawfish, lobster, clams and fresh fish will soon overflow in the quaint neighborhood of Coconut Grove, just in time for the opening of stone crab season in October. There's no better place to savor a multitude of seafood prepared in a variety of ways including Caribbean, with its Bahamian cracked conch and Jamaican Jerk grilled fish, Latin American offering paella and Peruvian ceviche, Cajun with its gumbo, jambalaya and crawfish etouffee, North Eastern offering traditional chowders, lobster rolls and clam boils, Asian with the always satisfying sushi and sashimi, and last but not least, Florida seafood with its world-famous lobster, stone crab and fresh fish. In addition, people can head over to the "Grove Wharf" - a farmer's market meets seafood - where experts will be on hand to help them select the right items to purchase and take home.

To complete the Festive Equation, the Coconut Grove Seafood Festival will have a constant stream of live music including calypso, steel drum, reggae and Island Escapism. The Festival will also feature several nautically-themed exhibitors showcasing art, jewelry and decor.  

Admission is $15 per person online at Children 12 years and under enter for free. Tickets will also be available at the door for $25.


Grab Your Mug...Grovetoberfest Is Coming To Town!

October 6, 2013

Not to be confused, Grovetoberfest is the largest beer festival in Florida! For the third year, Coconut Grove will be treated to 250+ craft beers from across the county and the world. Held seaside at Peacock Park, right in the heart of Miami, Grovetoberfest is said to be the "most scenic beer festival in the world". Between 2:30 – 7:00 p.m., beer lovers will take an active role in sampling and voting for favorite beers. Interactive elements of the festival include an entertainment stage featuring live music, Brew F.I.U’s Beer Tasting 101, the Milam’s Kitchen Lab hosted by some of South Florida’s popular chefs, a Resorts World Bimini VIP Lounge, Miami’s Best Homebrew Contest and the ever-popular Safe Ride Home option for those who sample more than they can handle. For ticket information, visit or call (305) 461-2700.

Here are some quick facts:

• Over 250 Beers – The list is quite impressive. American craft beer legends like New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, Abita, Bells, Sweetwater, Founder's, Brooklyn and Goose Island, to name a few, will be present. Imports such as Duvel, Chimay, New Castle and Magners will also be there. From a local standpoint, Cigar City, Wynwood Brewing, Miami Brewing, Funky Budha and others will be representing.

• Your Vote Counts - Aficionados and the “casual beer fan” will take an active role in beer sampling by voting for their favorite beer in three categories – Domestic, Import and Wild Card. The friendly competition will make it fun for all including the breweries that are eager to become “The Top Beer of Choice” among consumers.

• Milam’s Kitchen Lab - Miami Heat’s Chef Michael Jacobs, Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli from Eating House and Chopped fame and Chef Michael Pirolo from Macchialina Taverna Rustica will all conduct food/beer pairings throughout the day.

• Miami’s Best Homebrew Contest – Home brewers will battle it out with their beer entries. South Florida breweries will judge these beers, and the winner will be announced at Grovetoberfest. He/she will not only have bragging rights, but their brew will be featured at a local restaurant/bar until supplies last.

• Beer Tasting 101 – Beer Tasting 101 is presented by Brew F.I.U. It’s a short workshop conducted in an easy and informative manner. Matthew Weintraub, professor and president of FIU Brew Club will be officiating. He’ll cover beer history, beer making, and lastly, beer tasting. This clinic is 20-minutes long and will take place several times throughout the day.

• Bougainvillea’s Live Music Stage – Bougies Bar has booked Liza Quin + The Bureau to perform during the festival. Liza has been in the music industry for a long time; writing songs, recording back-up vocals, producing and singing alongside several successful artists such as Alejandro Sanz, Jon Secada, Ziggy Marley, Carlos Ponce, Gloria Estefan, Francisco Cespedes, and as a featured vocalist with Ricky Martin on his One Night Only tour and UnPlugged for MTV.

• Food Row – A collection of the best beer-drinking food that money can buy.

• Resorts World Bimini VIP Lounge – For a separate ticket price, guests enjoy open bar, complimentary food and private bathrooms. It also offers early entry and a commemorative Grovetoberfest glass. VIP entrance opens at 2:30 pm.

• Safe Ride Home - Grovetoberfest will offer complimentary shuttle rides from the Metro Rail/Coconut Grove station to the event and back. Last shuttle leaves at 7:30 p.m.

• Tickets – $40 General Admission ticket, if purchased now via / $45 at the gate / $70 Beer Socialite Package – Includes early entrance, commemorative glass and souvenir tote / $90 VIP – This ticket offers early admittance, access to the VIP Lounge, complimentary food, a commemorative beer glass and special selection of high-end beer @ VIP Lounge.




October 5, 2013

The Hialeah Boston Market celebrates its grand opening on Friday, October 11th starting at 10:30 am. Head on over to 1001 W. 49 Street to enjoy a day filled with free entertainment, games, and giveaways. The fun begins with a ribbon cutting by Mayor Hernandez along with other local dignitaries, like Miss Hialeah. Each hour features contests and drawings for gift certificates. Get there early! Be one of the first 50 people lined up at the door on the day of the grand opening and receive a gift card good for one free Individual Meal per week for six months! Guests 51-100 will have the opportunity to enter to win a signed Florida Panther hockey stick and a signed hockey puck. For more information about Boston Market, visit them online at


Event returns for its 16th year at the Hyatt Regency Miami

October 3, 2013 
One of South Florida’s most popular annual food and wine fundraisers, March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction presented by Goya Foods, will return for its 16th year on Wednesday, November 6, 2013, featuring an array of amazing chefs from Miami’s most popular restaurants.  The event begins at 6:30 p.m., taking place at the Hyatt Regency Miami in downtown Miami.
This year's extravaganza will showcase dozens of Miami's top chefs. Top toques confirmed thus far include: Fernando Desa of Goya, Jaime DeRosa of Tongue & Cheek, Aaron Brooks of Edge Steak & Bar at Four Seasons Miami, Cesar Zapata of The Federal, Philippe Ruiz of Lippi Restaurant, Conor Hanlon of The Dutch at W South Beach, Doug Sisk from The Social Club at Surfcomber and David Bracha of Oak Tavern.
“People love the Signature Chefs Auction because they get to enjoy a variety of fine wines and dishes from Miami’s top restaurants,” said Event Chair Juan Esterripa, Senior VP of BankUnited.  “And at the same time, they have the satisfaction of knowing that they’re helping the March of Dimes in its mission to ensure that all babies are born stronger, healthier and full-term.”
In addition to a stellar roster of signature chefs and amazing food, guests will enjoy wines and champagnes from the world's finest vineyards and distilleries, courtesy of Southern Wine & Spirits.  This year’s event also promises exciting live and silent auction items including dining packages, fine wines and champagnes, travel and hotel stays in exotic locations, fine art and other specialty items, with all proceeds benefiting the March of Dimes.  In addition to Presenting Sponsor Goya Foods, current sponsors of note include Platinum Sponsor Mango’s Tropical Café, Gold Sponsor UDT, Silver Sponsors Greenspoon Marder, P.A., Marjorie Raines, Stonegate Bank, Wells Fargo, and Wine Sponsor Southern Wine & Spirits.  Media Sponsors include NBC 6 and Telemundo 51.
Tables of ten are $3,000, and individual tickets are $300 per person, which includes admission to a special “Meet the Chefs” Reception at 6:30 p.m.  All proceeds from the event benefit the March of Dimes.  The Hyatt Regency Miami is located at 400 South East Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33131.  For more event information and to purchase tables or tickets visit

Aventura Mall Aims To Break Guinness World Record For Largest Chocolate Mousse During Its 
Annual Chocolate Festival

October 1, 2013

Aventura Mall, Miami’s premier shopping destination, announces plans to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Chocolate Mousse at its annual Chocolate Festival on Sunday, Oct. 6 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Executive Chefs Rick Chiavari from Turnberry Ocean Colony and Danny Malone from Turnberry Isle Miami will lead the effort of beating the current 313 pound world record, while raising funds to benefit the Children’s Craniofacial Association, a national non-profit organization that addresses the medical, financial, emotional, and educational concerns of children craniofacial conditions.

Aventura Mall shoppers will have the opportunity to witness the record-breaking attempt and also taste the colossal dessert once it’s complete. Plus throughout the day, visitors will be delighted by elaborate chocolate displays and sweet treats from some of South Florida's most popular restaurants and chocolatiers. A special kids chocolate station, exciting raffle prizes and more surprises will provide entertainment for the entire family.

Visitors can tantalize their taste buds and help raise money for the Children’s Craniofacial Association by purchasing tickets at the event ($1 each ticket or $10 for 13 tickets) and exchanging them for treats.
Chocolate Festival participants include BC Café/Tacos, Churro Mania, Clarabelles, Crepemaker, Dolce Peccati, Fireman Derricks Pies, Florida International University, Ft. Lauderdale Art Institute, Mariners Sand Country Club, Munchcakes, P.A.C Pastries (Vegan, Gluten-free), Porto Vita, Sugar Yummy Momma, Sweet Tooth, The Daily Melt, Turnberry Isle Miami, Turnberry Ocean Colony, and Veggie Express (Vegan).

Chocolate Festival is sponsored by Ann and Ari Deshe Foundation, BC Café, Gym Kidz, Hercules, Mark Gordon Foundation, and New York Bakeries.

For more information, visit or call (305) 935-1110.


  Celebrity Chefs Step Up to the Plate -- Offer Up-Close Experience to Benefit Pediatric Cancer Research

 September 29, 2013

Five of the nation’s top chefs are teaming up to offer a unique dining experience while raising money for an important cause.  Norman Van Aken (Director of Tuyo Restaurant at the Miami Culinary Institute), Dena Marino (Chef and Owner of MC Kitchen in Miami), Max Santiago (Executive Pastry Chef for Swine Southern Table and Bar, 50 Eggs Inc.),  Michael Moran (Chef Instructor, FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality Management), and Vince Naverete (Executive Sous Chef for Levy Restaurants at Marlins Park ) are lending their talents to the “Celebrity Chef Wine and Culinary Experience” for the I Care I Cure Childhood Cancer Foundation.  On Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at the Skyline Terrace at Marlins Park, these renowned culinarians will be performing their gastronomic magic before a live audience, giving attendees a peek into their kitchens.
At this exclusive and intimate event, each of the chefs will take the stage and demonstrate how to prepare a course using local ingredients.  After each of the chefs prepares his/her course, attendees will be served these delicious creations along with a specially chosen wine pairing for each of the courses.  The evening will provide guests with an opportunity to enjoy a “Food Network” type of insider experience at a stunning venue while supporting groundbreaking research for childhood cancer cures. 
This incredible event is being organized and hosted by the I Care I Cure Childhood Cancer Foundation which is based in Davie.  Founded in 2007, I Care I Cure supports the development of, and raises public awareness about, cutting-edge, targeted therapies for childhood cancer, so that the treatment of childhood cancer will be gentler and more tolerable.  The organization was established by Beth and Brad Besner in memory of their son, Ian, who died at the age of 11 from complications from treatment for Leukemia.   While Ian‘s  cancer was in remission after 15 days of chemotherapy,  the toxic medications that were supposed to cure him, made him defenseless to an infection that took his life.
The founders of I Care I Cure are delighted that these prominent chefs have donated their creativity and prestige to make the Chef event a resounding success and the hottest ticket in South Florida.  “We are so grateful to be able to offer such a unique culinary experience to our donors, sponsors and South Florida’s ‘foodies’,” said Beth Besner.  “We can’t thank these five chefs enough for bringing attention to the need for new and innovative cures for childhood cancer and for helping us to raise much needed dollars to fund the necessary research.”

The Celebrity Chef event is the brainchild of Chef Michael Moran and his wife, Elaina.  Chef Moran is a faculty member at the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism at FIU and has been involved with the South Beach Wine and Food Festival since its inception.   I Care I Cure has a special place in the Moran family’s hearts as their son, David, now 18 and a Freshman at FSU, was a close friend of Ian Besner ‘s and was devastated when  Ian died over seven years ago.  When the Besner family established I Care I Cure, the Morans knew that they wanted to tap into their strong relationships with leading chefs to make a difference.   “We knew that our friends in the culinary community would embrace the opportunity to help children fighting cancer.  They have certainly stepped up to the ‘plate’ in a big way with this inaugural I Care I Cure event,” remarked Chef Moran.
The Celebrity Chef event is being sponsored by the law firms of Greenspoon Marder and Greenberg Traurig, the Miami Marlins and other generous corporations and individuals.  Sponsorship opportunities are still available.  Contact for more information or go to 

Miami Attractions Month Offers Priceless Savings

Miami Attractions Month Offers Buy One, Get One Free Admissions & Special Deals at Top Attractions and Hotels in October

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) launches its fifth annual Miami Attractions Month (October 1 - October 31) bringing locals and visitors Buy One, Get One Free Admissions to the destination's leading attractions.  And, this year, MasterCard has become a new partner allowing for consumers to save an additional 10 percent on purchases made with their MasterCard - from admissions to food to souvenirs in the gift shops.  

There is no better time to check those adventures on your vacation "wish list" off than now as Miami Attractions Month has something for everyone this October.  Tap your inner animal by swimming with the dolphins or get up close and personal with the alligators!  And save too!
Eighteen Participating attractions include:  
  • Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum
  • Coral Castle
  • Deering Estate at Cutler
  • Dolphin Harbor at Miami Seaquarium
  • Everglades Alligator Farm
  • Fruit & Spice Park
  • HistoryMiami
  • Jungle Island
  • Miami Auto Museum at the Dezer Collection
  • Miami-Dade Parks EcoAdventures
  • Miami Seaquarium
  • Miccosukee Indian Village
  • Monkey Jungle
  • Palmetto Mini Golf
  • Schnebly Redland's Winery & Miami Brewing
  • Seal Swim Program at Miami Seaquarium
  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
  • Zoo Miami
Also, Miami Attractions Month is offering attraction-themed hotel package discounts on accommodations, breakfasts and access to venues for the whole family. Visit  for full details on packages offered in hotels such as Hampton Inn & Suites Miami South Beach, Courtyard by Marriott - Miami Homestead and Hilton Miami Downtown.
 "Miami Attractions Month is an ideal opportunity for everyone, especially families, to treat themselves to Miami's best attractions at a fraction of the cost," said GMCVB President and CEO William D. Talbert, III, CDME.  "We are thrilled to welcome our hotel partners to the program and provide even more savings for our visitors.  Our residents might just take advantage to plan a family fun-filled staycation too!"
Don't forget to get social and participate in a Facebook promotion running throughout the month providing consumers with the chance to win $50 MasterCard gift cards.  Fans just need to share the Miami Attractions Month post for their chance to win. Details can be found at
More detail on two-for-one deals offered and downloading coupons during Attractions Month can be found at the dedicated website
Miami Attractions Month is part of the GMCVB's increasingly popular Temptations program, which takes a thematic focus on the best that Miami has to offer throughout the year at attractive prices. Other programs include Miami Romance Month, Miami Spice Restaurant Month, Miami Spa Month, Miami Museum Month, Miami Film Month, Miami Golf Month and Shop Miami Month.  For more information on the Temptations programs please visit


Second Spris Pizza Location Now Open In Downtown Miami

September 21, 2013
Graspa Group, the dining pioneers behind iconic restaurants such as TiramesU, Van Dyke Café, Soyka, Salumeria 104 and Segafredo Lincoln Road, is thrilled to offer the gourmet delicacies of Spris to Downtown Miami after enjoying much success at their original Lincoln Road location. Just opened, Spris will delight the senses with a delicious menu including gourmet pizza, Panini sandwiches, entrée salads and more, in a fast and casual environment.

Spris is named after a traditional aperitif from the Veneto Region of Northern Italy, Just as authentic as its roots, Spris will continue serve up guests with its famous menu. Unlike the Lincoln Road location, guests will order at the counter and will be served at the table for a quick yet gourmet pizza experience.
Conveniently located on Biscayne Boulevard inside the Southeast Financial Center's plaza, the new space seats forty inside, along with a large al fresco dining area. Miamians will rejoice at the selections of over twenty varieties of gourmet, thin-crusted pizza. Spris also features over a dozen vegetarian options, whole wheat and gluten-free pizza dough - there is definitely something for everyone!
Visit soon and indulge: Spris is located at 200 S. Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33131.


Guess Who's Coming for Dinner?
TRUMP Partners with BLT Prime at Trump National Doral Miami

September 17, 2013

Doral is celebrating! Trump Hotel Collection and ESquared Hospitality announced that BLT Prime will open at Trump National Doral® Miami in February 2014 as part of the property’s extensive $250 million renovation. Visible from the lobby in the resort’s main building and offering panoramic views of the iconic Blue Monster course, the modern American steakhouse will be triple in size thanks to enhancements that expand the building’s exterior wall toward the golf course. BLT Prime will be featured as the resort’s signature restaurant. 

Designed by Peter Niemitz of Boston-based Niemitz Design Group, in tandem with Eric Trump, BLT Prime will feature a dramatic circular bar at its center. The restaurant’s contemporary interiors will reflect the BLT Prime aesthetic – with clean lines and rich finishes of walnut, leather and suede – and be combined with signature Trump elements like rich and intricate millwork on the ceiling and walls, and natural stone surfaces. The interior bar and dining room will seat approximately 150. Two private dining rooms will be anchored by two striking walk-in, mirrored wine cellars.

Showcasing spectacular views of the golf courses and seating up to an additional 85 guests, an expansive veranda will merge superb dining with the iconic golf ambiance that is unique to the resort. It will be surrounded by towering Corinthian columns and feature Coquina stone balustrades and ornate handcrafted railings of wrought iron, polished brass and gold leaf.

“No steakhouse does it better than BLT,” declared Donald J. Trump, chairman and president of The Trump Organization. “The addition of BLT Prime at Trump National Doral Miami is an important milestone in our comprehensive renovation as weraise this iconic property to its place as the best golf resort in the country. It’s going to be better than ever.”

“Part of our commitment in restoring this legendary resort is to elevate the food and beverage offerings to a level that resonates with our golf club members and hotel guests,” explained Eric Trump, executive vice president of development and acquisitions. “To accommodate BLT Prime and provide an outstanding experience, we have extended the restaurant’s footprint toward the golf course to provide an experience that is up close and personal for golfers, residents, resort guests and local clientele. BLT Prime has wide appeal and is the perfect fit as Trump National Doral Miami’s fine dining restaurant. Refined but casual, it will be ideal for everything fromgolfer and family dinners to business lunches and special events. Two private dining rooms will be ideal for special occasions, while the veranda will bring the legendary golf courses front and center to enhance the overall dining experience.”

BLT Prime will serve the finest cuts of USDA Prime Certified Angus® beef available, including the 28-day dry-aged N.Y. Strip, Kansas City bone-in strip, and Porterhouse for two. The menu will also include BLT favorites – such as the signature popovers, tuna tartar and chopped vegetable salad starters; Doversole entrée; creamy spinach, mashed potatoes and onion rings sides; and peanut butter chocolate mousse dessert – and seasonal selections from the local market.

The complete renovation of Trump National Doral Miami will dramatically elevate all aspects of the resort, with luxurious hotel rooms and a greatly enhanced guest experience throughout the public spaces. Renovation of the main building, lodges, conference areas, spa and Champions Pavilion will set a new tone for the resort, while the Members’ Clubhouse will be redesigned to include vastly upgraded facilities and amenities. All five golf courses will be completelyrebuilt, and the driving range will be lengthened and expanded to more thantwice its current size, making it a world-class facility befitting of the resort and its historic golf legacy. 


Bar Louie Looks To Set World Records at 6th Annual
"Rock the Tot" Tater Tot Eating Contest

September 12, 2013

On Thursday, September 19th, Bar Louie locations around the country will host their annual "Rock the Tot" tater tot eating contest. The contest will be broken into two parts, team relay races and a solo competition. Each location will begin their relay race at 8 p.m., followed by the solo competition to crown their local "Rock the Tot" champion. The festivities will include a night of live entertainment and celebration as Bar Louie seeks to set the world record for most tater tots eaten simultaneously across all locations. Guests wanting to participate in the historic attempt will each receive one tater tot to eat at the designated time of 9 p.m. eastern standard time.

The relay race teams will consist of four persons lined up with one pound of tater tots in front of them.  At the sound of the buzzer, the first team member will eat their pound of tots as fast as they can.  The second team member will start their pound when the first team member has finished and so on. The team to finish their four pounds of tots in the quickest time wins four "Rock the Tot" champions t-shirts and free tots for a year at Bar Louie.

Solo competitors will face off in a challenge to eat as many tater tots as possible in three minutes. Contestants are allowed to have any drink of their choice during that time. At the end of three minutes, a winner will be determined and declared the "Rock the Tot" champion. Local solo winners will receive a $250 Bar Louie gift card, champion trophy, t-shirt and free tater tots for one year.

Registration is going on now at all local Bar Louie locations. Miamians can come check out the tot action at the Midtown location. For more information, visit their website at


Just When You Thought You Were Done With The Eating.. Here Comes
Dine Out Lauderdale!

September 10, 2013

I bet many of you are saddened to think the intense eating is just about over as Miami Spice nears its end. With September becoming a fabulous-tasting memory, you probably wonder "Do I have to wait a year to savor incredible three-course meals at great prices" and "Should I drown my sorrow at the gym?" The answer to both of these questions is "No!" As October approaches, it is time to loosen the belt and get ready for Fort Lauderdale's foodalicious time of the year: Dine Out Lauderdale

Now in it's 7th year, Dine Out Lauderdale is a popular six-week, $35 prix fixe three-course dinner promotion which runs from October 1st to November 7th. Every year more than 35 fine dining establishments participate in this gastronomic event, offering just about everything including dock and dining, farm-to-table, global cuisine, award-winning steakhouses and concept restaurants.

If you're suddenly feeling warm and fuzzy all over, don't worry, you're not alone. I plan to enjoy the best of Greater "Fork" Lauderdale myself as I embark on some mouthwatering adventures during Dine Out Lauderdale. Be sure to stay tuned. In the meantime, you can check out the list of participating restaurants at


Executive Chef Ramesh Kaduru Presents
A Passage to India: An Authentic Indian Pop-Up Restaurant

August 25, 2013

Executive  Chef Ramesh Kaduru

Inspired by foods, flavors and cultures of his hometown of Chennai, India, Executive Chef Ramesh Kaduru adds a touch of flair this season as he presents: A Passage to India: An Authentic Indian Pop-Up Restaurant. Beginning Thursday, October 3rd, The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, located at 3300 S.W. 27th Avenue, will transform its signature restaurant, Bizcaya, into a rich, vibrant, and sultry dinner destination -- marrying traditions, spices and flavors of India.

Kaduru joined The Ritz-Carlton family over 10 years ago in Naples, shortly after his arrival to the United States. Due to his expertise in Indian cuisine, he partnered with Ritz-Carlton sister properties to orchestrate culinary masterpieces for Indian weddings. Kaduru's pop-up restaurant menu remains true to original flavors, preparations and ingredients, yet crafts each dish with modern touches. Menu selections include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options with traditional favorites such as Masala Shrimp, Chicken Tikka, Masala Dosa, and Dal Makhani.

Often seen strutting majestic iridescent colors of bright blues, greens and golds in the lush neighborhood of Coconut Grove, peacocks serve as the inspiration of the decor and ambiance of the temporary restaurant, paying homage to Indian's national bird. Low lying sheer multicolor fabrics adorn the ceilings from end to end, as gold and silver-beaded accent pillows sparkle in cozy, soft seating, covered with bold tapestries.

Festivities of Diwali, or "Festival of Lights", will illuminate the restaurant on the last day of the month-long pop-up, in celebration of one of India's most important holidays.

Want to learn how to create Indian delicacies at home? Chef Kaduru invites guests to an intimate and exclusive cooking demonstration in the restaurant's private dining room.  After preparation of each dish, enjoy bites and tastes of each including a traditional Lassi beverage, appetizer and entree, Saturday, October 12th, from 4 pm -6 pm. ($35 per person plus tax and gratuity). Only 15 reservations available. Reservations required by calling 305-644-4675.

A Passage to India: An Authentic Indian Pop-Up Restaurant will be available from Thursday, October 3rd through Sunday, November 3rd, opening Thursday-Sunday from 6 pm to 10 pm. Reservations are strongly recommended.


Chefs Aaron Brooks & Todd Erickson Team Up for Pop-Up Cooking Class to Benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry®

“Small Bites, Big Appetites” Global Tapas Cooking Class, September 21st, Held at EDGE, Steak & Bar

August 13, 2013

This September, EDGE, Steak & Bar participates in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry by donating a portion of proceeds from its popular monthly interactive cooking class to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign. Special for this class only, Executive Chef Aaron Brooks partners up with Chef Todd Erickson of South Beach’s renowned Haven and HUAHUA'S Taqueria for a “Small Bites, Big Appetites” modern global tapas cooking class. Attendees will enjoy mixology demonstrations while the Chefs walk through how to prepare innovative tapas dishes sure to, literally, “wow” a crowd. The class will be held in a pop-up location within the Four Seasons Hotel Miami, and stay secret until the day of. Creating an intimate hands-on setting for Chef Brooks and Chef Erickson, the class has a maximum of 20 participants. The cooking class is $75 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Each class includes a welcome cocktail, three-course meal, wine and beer during class, hands-on instruction and a take-home gift bag. A percentage of proceeds from the class will be donated to the No Kid Hungry Campaign which supports ending childhood hunger in America. Tickets are on sale now at

EDGE, Steak & Bar is located at 1435 Brickell Avenue on the 7th floor of Four Seasons Hotel Miami. For more information, please call (305) 381-3190 or visit


End of Summer Getaways and Events For All Ages at 
The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove

Relax with Specially Priced Spa Treatments, Daily Hotel Credit, Family Pool Party, and Delectable Delights

August 8, 2013

The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami remains one of only two boutique Ritz-Carlton hotels, offering a bird's eye view of the Miami skyline and Biscayne Bay. With the summer winding down, guests can plan a last minute getaway or enjoy signature events featuring $50 daily hotel credit, $99 spa treatments and more.

Family Package, Kids Dine on Us: Overnight accommodations, breakfast for two daily, complimentary kids' meal with purchase of adult entrée. Available through September 30, 2013. Rates starting from $279 USD per night.

Discover with You: Overnight accommodations, daily $50 hotel credit, daily American breakfast for two, and admission to Vizcaya House and Gardens for two. Available through December 31, 2013. Rates starting from $369 USD per night.

Miami Spa Month: Relax and rejuvenate at The Boutique Spa, Coconut Grove. With personalized service and intimate environment, guests can leave the world's worries behind during local's favorite time of year, Miami Spa Month. Select from a choice of 80-minute treatments including the Ayurvedic Detoxifying Wrap, Ayurvedic Firming Wrap, Citrus Mimosa Body Treatment, Local Love Massage and Intense Hydrating Facial, each experience for only $99. After 80-minutes of complete bliss and pampering, bask in the Miami sun with complimentary access to the elevated pool terrace and fitness center. Planning a getaway? Enjoy overnight accommodations and daily $100 spa credit with the hotel's SpaCation package. Rates starting from $249 USD per night. Available through September 30, 2013.

Miami Spice: Hues of blue, violet and green inspired by the lush Coconut Grove landscape and bay front surroundings, sweep through Lazuli Lounge and welcome guests to indulge with an internationally inspired, three course menu created by the hotel's executive chef, Ramesh Kaduru. From Spiced-Cured Seared Pork Belly to Boule Seafood Cioppino, the three-course Miami Spice menu offers a variety of vegetarian selections, as well as dishes from the land and sea. Lunch: $19 plus tax and gratuity. Dinner: $33 plus tax and gratuity. Available Monday through Friday from
August 1st through September 30th. Reservations strongly recommended by calling (305) 644-4675.

Garden Cooking Class: Located on the courtyard terrace, Executive Chef Ramesh Kaduru's garden of bright greens and herbs are abundant and invites guests of all ages to an intimate, outdoor cooking experience. Fresh ingredients are handpicked from the garden and used to create a three course menu, with the assistance of our chefs, of course! And the best part, guests can eat the three course creation. August 10th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. $85 per person. All ages welcome.

Splish-Splash Pool Party: Soak up the weekend with a fun-filled, themed family pool party on the hotel's elevated pool deck featuring pool games, activities and afternoon barbeque. Sundays: August 4th and September 1st from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mad Hatter Tea:  Inspired by the tales of Alice in Wonderland, guests are invited to experience a whimsical afternoon tea experience in Lazuli Lounge. Nosh on a selection of tea sandwiches and pastries as the perfect complement. All ages welcome and big hats are encouraged. $35 per person. Sunday, August 11th. 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations required by calling (305) 644-4675.


Cocktail Cold Wars - Who Are You Voting For?

August 2, 2013

The Arsht Center is hosting a refreshing twitter competition in honor of their summer blockbuster Slava's Snowshow. Twelve of Miami's most popular restaurants and bars are participating in the Cocktail Cold Wars, which started on July 31st and runs through August 14th.  Each participant restaurant is creating a Slava's Snowshow themed vodka drink (Slava and his clown crew are Russian) and offering it to guests for $6 ($5 with Slava's Snowshow ticket stub). Twitter followers (that's us) will be the ones deciding the winner of the best cocktail by visiting the establishments, trying the Slava's Snowshow-inspired cocktails and voting for their favorite one. Each tweet mentioning @ArshtCenter, #CocktailColdWars, and the restaurant's cocktail will count as a vote for that restaurant. The participant with the most tweets (votes) will be declared the winner! So gas up the car, get your cocktail drinking groove on and remember to charge up your smartphone. The competition has begun!

Slava's Snow Cone

Doma Polo

HaVen Gastro Lounge
Purple Putin Eater

Sardinia Enoteca 
Basil Gimlet

Segafredo L'Originale
Marshmallow Martini

Van Dyke Cafe
Raspberry Coconut Martini

The Federal
Slava's Magical Ruby

Toscana Divino
Russian Lover

The Hoxton
Soviet Snow Cap

Sunset Tavern

Not Pictured:

Monty's Sunset
Snowy Sunset

Serendipity 3
Serendipity Snow Globe


Sushi Maki Brings The “Cronot” To Coral Gables

August 1, 2013


Remember how much fun it was to ditch school? Ever been caught faking pink-eye to enjoy a sick day off? Staffers at Sushi Maki recently took a break to explore the hottest trend hitting the pastry world since the creation of clarified butter. The “Cronot” is Sushi Maki’s take on Lower Manhattan’s Dominique Ansel Bakery’s Cronut. The incestuous cross-breed delivers a warm, flaky croissant wrapped in the sweet, crispy skin of a fresh donut. The sushi chain’s version foregoes the “traditional” custard filling, and will be topped with fresh vanilla glaze. Sushi Maki, Miami’s largest Japanese restaurant group, will be offering Cronots at its Coral Gables flagship location on weekdays during the month of August. 

Available August 1st– 31st
(Monday-Friday only)
$4 each
Sushi Maki Coral Gables
2334 Ponce de Leon Blvd

Coral Gables, FL 33134

Vasilli Group Opens Box Park Miami in Brickell

The burgeoning restaurant group adds farm-to-kitchen cuisine to its growing brand

July 30, 2013

Santiago Rodriguez, founder of the Vassili Group introduces Box Park, the company’s first farm-to-kitchen concept restaurant in Downtown Miami’s Brickell neighborhood. While known for bringing the Hamptons to Miami with The Hoxton Miami’s “urban beach house” theme, Rodriquez anticipates bringing something fresh and exciting to the Brickell area.

Located in the heart of Brickell, the 76-seat restaurant is located next door to its sister establishment and offers an intimate setting for patrons looking for a unique dining experience. Executive Chef Matt Hinckley demonstrates his knack of creating dishes with fresh and refined ingredients and he stays true to form with the menu at Box Park. The menu offers a wonderland of flavors from the fried alligator, Florida mangos and burrata, to a 6 month aged duck confit with sweet potato hash and the savory Everglades gumbo which includes wild boar andouille, alligator, shrimp, okra and sassafras. For the more conservative patrons, Chef Hinckley also includes oven roasted pizzas and fresh salads to the menu while staying true to the farm-to-kitchen concept. The dessert menu also offers its fair share of unique flavors like the “ten-fidy split”, a banana sundae like nothing you’ve experienced as a kid. This Box Park creation is made with an imperial stout ice cream complementing the traditional banana, sprinkles and peanuts.

"Box Park has been a project in the works for some time now and I have found it very rewarding to see the transformation of an empty shell to the beautiful restaurant it is now,” explains industry veteran Rodriguez. “I am proud of the food, the space and of my team!" After almost 15 years with renowned restaurant group Nobu, Santiago Rodriguez spearheads Box Park, his next ambitious establishment with the Vassili Group.

Box Park is now open from 6pm-11pm on Tuesdays-Thursdays and 6pm-12am on Fridays and Saturdays located at 1111 SW 1st Ave., Miami, Fla., Brunch and Lunch is coming soon. For more information please contact Box Park at 305.356.8385, email, visit or visit Box Park’s Twitter page at


Exclusive And Rare Gastronomic Culinary Journey:
  Fourth Annual White Truffle Dinner

A seasonal epicurean experience 

July 25, 2013

October marks the peaks of truffle season, when Alba, Italy proudly captivates the gastronomic world with its fresh crop of the rare and highly coveted White Truffle Mushrooms, also known as the “Diamonds of the Kitchen”. On Wednesday, November 13th, Chef de Cuisine Ezio Gamba of Cioppino at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Sommelier Jorge Mendoza and special guest Fiorenzo Dogliani of Batasiolo SpA winery presents a six-course pairing menu of fine delicacies. Dogliani brings with him vertical vintage wines from past decades of the Crus of Barolo, sourced directly from the private library at Batasolio SpA, as well as a selection of white truffles freshly gathered from his homeland. Guests will be guided through these rare wines, each expertly matched with the earthy, woody flavors of white truffles, shaved a la minute on the restaurant’s open kitchen, marble display.

White Truffle Dinner Menu

Uova Strapazzate con Fegato Grasso
Organic eggs scramble with Mascarpone, goose liver “tramezzini”, shaved white truffle
Tartara Manzo
Fassone beef tartare, condiments, shaved white truffle
Tajarin al Tuorlo D’uovo
Tajarin, shaved white truffle
Risotto al Tartufo
Acquarello rice, La Tur, shaved white truffle
Duetto di Vitello Brasato
Slow braised veal shank, agnolotti filled with braised shank, shaved white truffle
Prepared by Executive Pastry Chef, David Campbell
Coeur de Guanaja
Noisette Butter-Sautéed Asian Pear, Alba White Truffle, Caramel

Welcome reception and greeting with Fiorenzo Dogliani begins at 7:15 p.m., followed by six-course dinner. $220 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are very limited with only 60 spaces available.  For reservations, please contact (305) 365-4286. Cioppino at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is located at 455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne.


Who Wants Some Free Beer?

July 23, 2013

We all know Grovetoberfest is in October, but did you know there's a lot going on at theirs headquarters between now and then? For example, they are getting ready to launch their Grovetoberfest Free Tasting Series, featuring seven different tastings hosted at different locations. The theme of the first one is "Summer Beer is Here", and it is happening on Monday, July 29th at Barracuda Bar & Grill in the Grove from 6 pm to 8 pm. It's going to be a full house, so be sure to get there on time. There are only slots for the first 50 people. Check out the rest of the schedule below.

Free Tasting Schedule

Tasting 1: 7/29/13
Summer Beer's Here @ Barracuda Bar

Tasting 2: 8/12/13
Paleo Aleos @ Titanic

Tasting 3: 8/26/13
World of Which Craft? @ WOB (Dadeland)

Tasting 4: 9/9/13
Dark Side of the Moon @ OTC (Brickell)

Tasting 5: 9/23/13
Big Bottle Bonanza @ Barley & Swine

Tasting 6: 10/1/13
Dear Autumn: I'm Fallin' for Ya'
@ Pincho Factory (Gables)

Tasting 7: 10/7/13
Locals Only @ Grove Spot


1500 Degrees Affected by New Ownership of Eden Roc Hotel:

Executive Chef Paula DaSilva Leaves to Return to 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale

July 18, 2013

There's a lot going on over at the historic hotel formerly known as Eden Roc Rennaisance Miami Beach. It appears it isn't just the ownership and name that will be new, but also our beloved 1500 Degrees. Eden Roc Destination Hotels & Resorts, as it is now called, will be changing the name and the chef of the popular restaurant within the next month or so. Executive Chef Paula DaSilva is leaving and returning to 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, the same place she began her successful and renowned career back in 2000. DaSilva has become quite a celebrity in the culinary scene, with her unbelievable talent in the kitchen, unwavering farm-to-table approach to cooking and altruistic fundraising efforts. The Braziilian chef discovered her passion as a child; she was a finalist at Hell's Kitchen and has been invited to cook at the James Beard house, a prestigious honor reserved for the very best.

According to hotel managers, the restaurant will continue it's farm-to-table concept with a new chef at its helm. We'll just have to wait and see what unfolds when all the dust settles. In the meantine, DaSilva will be wowing guests at her old stomping grounds. and needless to say, the resort couldn't be happier to have her back. You can catch her at 3030 Ocean beginning August 1st.



July 11, 2013

Timon Balloo, executive chef and partner of SUGARCANE raw bar grill will appear on The Today Show on Thursday, July 18th during the 9:00 a.m. hour (EST).  The segment marks Balloo’s third appearance on the national NBC morning show.  During the segment, Balloo will teach viewers how to prepare a ONE POT MEAL reflecting the diverse “melting pot” of the award-winning chef’s heritage.

Born to Chinese and Trinidadian parents, Balloo’s scrapbook of memories leads with days on the farm, ethnic recipes and a favorite pastime of watching not-so-traditional childhood television - PBS’ Yan Can Cook. This exotic and unique upbringing is reflected in his cuisine, where he utilizes unlikely ingredients from his heritage in unique and creative ways.  On The Today Show, Balloo will demonstrate a dish inspired by his family and childhood memories.

The Today Show airs coast to coast on NBC Television beginning at 7:00 a.m. EST.  For more information on The Today Show, visit  For more information on Chef Timon Balloo, visit


Summer at EDGE Steak & Bar Means the Return of their Monthly Wine Events

July 9, 2013
Are you a wine aficionado? Then you'll want to partake in this hot summer treat! Every other Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., EDGE hosts Wine Tastings with Wine Watch, the premiere wine store of South Florida. Attendees can sample eight different wines each week served alongside a two course tasting menu prepared by Executive Chef Aaron Brooks. The cost is $35 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. In addition and to kick of the weekend, EDGE also features the Friday Night Wine Tasting Series Hosted by Barry Alberts, from 7-9:30 p.m. Wine educator Barry Alberts leads guests through 10 wines which vary by theme, grape type, region or country of origin each week. The cost is $20 per person, and includes a complimentary artisanal cheese platter for the group. For more information on all of EDGE's upcoming events, visit their page at



July 3, 2013

On Thursday, July 11th, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, located at 455 Grand Bay Drive, will unveil its Limited Edition Signature Rum (only 324 bottles produced) with a tropical themed soiree. Director of Restaurants Omar Saad traveled to Barbados, home to one of the oldest producers of rum, to nurture and select a specially crafted single and double-barrel from the Mount Gay distillery that was reserved exclusively for RUMBAR, the resort’s Old Havana inspired bar lounge.

Hotel and local guests alike are welcome to journey through the flavors blended and captured in the charred black barrel, aged with whiskey, with one-on-one tastings with Mount Gay Rum experts, while noshing on chocolaty sweet treats paired by the resort’s culinary team. Sultry, colorful entertainment, inspired by late actor Desi Arnaz’s Tropicana Club, (later renamed to Club Babalu) invite guests to partake on the dance floor with beats and sounds from four-piece Latin Band, Grupo Nostalgia and resident DJ.

While rum tastes are complimentary, for this one special evening, a 20 percent discount will be extended for rum aficionados who wish to purchase a bottle. Complimentary valet parking is available with validation and reservations are required. For more information, contact Clayton McRory at 305-365-4528 or via email at




July 2, 2013

Share Our Strength, the country’s leading anti-hunger organization and producer of the highly respected annual nationwide culinary benefit, Taste of the Nation, dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the fight to end childhood hunger across America, is getting ready to roll.  Now called Taste of the Nation South Florida and bigger than ever, this year the region’s premier culinary benefit is showcasing more than 50 fabulous restaurants from both Dade and Broward counties, the finest wines and spirits, and an impressive array of auction items.  The much-anticipated event will take place Thursday, July 25, 2013, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., in the spacious main ballroom of the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Tickets, priced at $125 per person as well as VIP tickets priced at $250 per person and providing access to the event an hour before the doors open, are available at: One hundred percent of ticket sales go to Share Our Strength to fight childhood hunger. 

“For the past 25 years Share Our Strength hosted two events in the region, Taste of the Nation Dade and Taste of the Nation Broward.  Now Taste of the Nation supporters will be able to enjoy the best food and wine offerings from both counties at a larger event, for the price of one ticket,” notes Jamie Balhon, Southeast Regional Manager of Share Our Strength’s culinary events. 

“This year’s event is creating a lot of excitement. Taste of the Nation South Florida is providing a much stronger platform for sponsors and is already generating a larger group of participating restaurants,” says the event’s Restaurant Chair, Chef Timon Baloo, of SUGARCANE raw bar grill, in Miami. 

“We believe this year’s Taste of the Nation South Florida will attract not just more restaurant participants but a larger group of food and wine enthusiasts, and will continue to grow and flourish, which bodes well for raising the critical funds required to end childhood hunger in Dade and Broward counties,” says long-time Taste of the Nation Miami-Dade chairman, Chef Allen Susser, of Burger Bar and Chef Allen’s To-Go, in Miami. 

An impressive mix of fine dining establishments is confirmed to participate. The list of restaurant participants to date includes: 3030 Ocean; Bianca at the Delano; Bloom Wynwood; Café Prima Pasta; Casa D’Angelo Fort Lauderdale; Dolce Italian; Edge Steak & Bar at Four Seasons; Florida Cookery; Gotham Steak & Bar at Fontainebleau Miami Beach; HaVen Gastro-Lounge; Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant; Katsuya; Lilikoi & Company; Khong River House; Little Palm Island; Makoto at Bal Harbour Shops; MC Kitchen; Meat Market; Milos by Costas Spiliadis; Oak Tavern; The Oceanaire; Palate Party; Preston’s; Loews Miami Beach; PubBelly Restaurant; Quattro Gastronomia Italiana; Raw Body Food; Red The Steakhouse; Restaurant Michael Schwartz; Sakaya Kitchen; Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante; Sea Level; Shake Shack; Shikany; St. Regis Bal Harbour; Steak 954; SUGARCANE raw bar grill; SUSHISAMBA Miami Beach; Susie’s Scrumptious Sweets; Swine Southern Table; Ten Palms; The Bazaar by Joe Andres; The Dutch at W South Beach Hotel & Residences; The Federal Food Drink & Provisions; Tongue and Cheek; Toro Toro Restaurant; Tosca; Whole Foods Market; Wolfgang’s Steakhouse; Wynwood Kitchen & Bar; Yardbird Southern Table and Bar and Zuma Restaurant. 

Taste of the Nation is very grateful for the support of national sponsors:

American Express, Sysco, Food Network and in select markets by ONEHOPE Wine, Emmi Roth USA, Cavit Collection Wines, E. J. Gallo Winery, Bodegas Riojanas, United Healthcare, OpenTable, S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water and Philadelphia Cream Cheese, as well as local sponsors Whole Foods, Lincoln Motor Company, The Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Southern Wine and Spirits, Nespresso, Share Your Wine, VeeV, Onli Beverages, Wine Watch, Mike Sipe Entertainment, Panache, Dining Out, Miami Magazine, Miami New Times, Ocean Drive, and Brustman Carrino Public Relations.  To purchase tickets or to get involved, visit


Mangia Mondays Continue at Quattro on Lincoln Road

June 26, 2013

Who says Mondays had to be mundane? Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, Lincoln Road's elegant Italian gem located at 1014 Lincoln Road, is continuing their Mangia Mondays series for the month of July, featuring a tasting menu from the Campania region. Twin chefs Fabrizio and Nicola Carro have rolled out a three-course prix-fixe menu, available on Mondays (for dinner only) that will showcase cuisine from the Campania region in Italy, along with the opportunity for diners to accompany their dinner with a selection of wines by the bottle at a discounted rate. Additional regions such as Tuscany, Liguria and Veneto will be showcased in subsequent months. For more information, visit Quattro's website.



June 10, 2013

Queso Fundido Wynwood Kitchen & Bar
 Photo Credit Patrick Walsh

Executive Chef Miguel Aguilar Celebrates Latin Cuisine with Monthly Culinary Showcase

Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, located at 2550 NW 2nd Avenue, launched ‘Taste of the Americas’ last month -a three-month series celebrating the signature cuisine of Latin American countries.  The series kicked off in May, with Executive Chef Miguel Aguilar showcasing specialty dishes from Mexico.
“Our menu is all about exploring Latin American cuisine from around the globe.  Taste of the Americas allows me an opportunity to spotlight some of my favorite cuisines and share those with our diners,” says Aguilar. “I was excited to start with Mexico because the food is simple yet fun and packs a lot of flavor.” This month, the country showcased is Peru, and every Thursday throughout the month, guests can enjoy delicious dishes prepared by Aguilar and featuring this country; home to such gastronomic flair. The month of July will bring cuisine from Venezuela. For more information, you can contact Wynwood Kitchen & Bar at 305 722-8959 or visit them online at


National Cheese Day

June 4, 2013

First, we celebrated holidays that marked special occasions. Now, we celebrate the food we eat. We just finished a month long celebration honoring burgers, and just yesterday we paid tribute to Humpty Dumpty's special day: National Egg Day. Well, today, June 4th, is no exception. It is National Cheese Day; 24 hours dedicated to the delicious food we get from pressed curds of milk. I don't know about you, but I happen to be a big fan. I enjoy eating all kinds of cheese from all different parts of the world, so I decided to bring you a recipe for an easy cheese appetizer I love: Cheddar Cheese Ball. When I start popping these in my mouth, it's like I'm a distant cousin of Stuart Little. So cheese lovers, grab your skillets and let's get cheesy!

Cheddar Cheese Ball


1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 3-ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 tablespoon milk or dry white wine
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
1 tablespoon diced pimiento
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup snipped parsley
Assorted crackers

1. Bring the cheeses and margarine to room temperature. Add milk, green onion, pimiento, and Worcestershire sauce; beat till combined. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.

2. Shape mixture into a ball; roll in parsley. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve with crackers. Makes 1 1/2 cups spread.

If you're on a roll with the cheese theme, Cocina 214, located at 151 Welbourne Avenue East in Winter Park, Florida, has sent me the recipe to their Queso Fundido especially for National Cheese Day. If you're feeling a little bold, and craving some more cheese, try your hand at this recipe. Send me pics please. I just love mouthwatering foodporn!

Queso Fundido from Cocina 214


9 oz. Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 oz. Yellow Onions (Diced)
1 oz. Poblano Peppers (Sliced)
1 oz. Pico de Gallo
3 Flour Tortillas
2 Tbsp Margarine
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Saute the poblano peppers and onions on the stove top with the margarine. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
2. Place the onions and peppers on the bottom of a small, round cast iron skillet and add the cheese followed by the pico de gallo.
3. At medium heat, allow the cheese to melt until it has a bit of color. Serve with the tortillas. Makes 1 serving.


Total Wine & More to open its next generation Wine Superstore in Kendall

May 22, 2013

Total Wine & More, America’s largest independent retailer of fine wine, spirits and beer, will bring its next generation retail experience to South Florida with the opening of its new store at The Palms Town & Country Shopping Center, 11960 Mills Drive, Kendall, Florida on May 23rd.  The store opens for business at 9:00am on May 23rd and will host a grand opening ribbon cutting celebration at 6:00 pm that evening.  Wine tastings, live entertainment, a cigar rolling demonstration and more mark the grand opening of the Kendall store.  Total Wine & More will make a charitable donation of $10,000 to Kendall area non-profit Read2Succeed (www.r2succeed) as a show of its commitment to the community it serves. 

Total Wine & More’s new Kendall store, at nearly 23,000 square feet, will include an incredible selection of more than 8,000 wines, 3,000 spirits and 2,500 beers.  The store will feature a state-of-the-art education center complete with desktop computers and Wi-Fi, to be used for wine, beer and spirits classes as well as for private tastings, meetings and special events.

“Customers in South Florida love us for our top notch service, outstanding selection and low, everyday prices”, said David Trone, who co-owns Total Wine & More with his brother Robert. “With this new store, we want to give our Kendall customers an unparalleled shopping experience by adding the latest technologies to educate and inform their wine, spirits and beer purchases”. Located throughout the store will be iPads with software that pairs wine with meals, flat panel television screens that stream video content on winemakers, distillers and brewers and quick response (QR) codes that instantly take customers - via their smartphones - to further information about their favorite wines, beers and spirits.  Additionally, a climate controlled wine cellar will house rare selections and a walk-in humidor will offer a vast array of fine cigars.

The Kendall store is Total Wine & More’s 21st store in Florida. For more information on Total Wine & More, including employment opportunities, please visit


VooDoo BBQ & Grill Set to Open New Restaurant in Kendall, Sunday, May 26

First 99 customers on opening day will get FREE BBQ for a Year!

May 19, 2013

You know how much I love to VooDoo! Matter of fact, I would say a  "chowfrauder" out there is even obssessed with my VooDoo passion. And judging from VooDoo BBQ's expansion, the chowfrauder is obviously in the minority. Since I know how many of you share the love for this off-the-wall BBQ place, I thought I'd let you in on the latest scoop.  VooDoo BBQ & Grill, the nation’s fastest-growing barbecue franchise, will open its next South Florida restaurant in Kendall on Sunday, May 26. To celebrate, VooDoo BBQ will be giving away free barbecue food for a year to the first 99 customers who come on opening day. The restaurant is located in The Palms at Town & Country shopping center, 8405 Mills Drive, Unit 208, in Kendall, just off of SW 88th Street near the Florida Turnpike.

Doors open at 11 a.m., but Jack Flechner, president of BBQ Boyz, LLC, which is franchising VooDoo BBQ & Grill in South Florida, said anyone interested in eating free for a year should line up much earlier.
“There’s been a lot of interest ever since we announced we would be opening in Kendall,” said Flechner. “We’re expecting a very large crowd, similar to the one we saw when we opened our Pembroke Pines store in January of this year.”

Flechner said even if you don’t get in line in time to be one of the lucky 99, the restaurant will be raffling off at least four more year-long BBQ meals during opening day, along with merchandise and other valuable items. Guests will also be treated to free food samples throughout the day. “It will be like a Mardi Gras celebration all day long,” said Flechner. “That’s the vibe you get when you set foot in a VooDoo BBQ & Grill.” For the latest information, visit their Facebook page at


Dishcrawl has arrived to the Magic City

May 14, 2013

Chef Aaron Brooks from EDGE Steak & Bar addressing the crowd

The group in front of Vapiano
Tasty treats from OTC
On Wednesday, April 17th , Dishcrawl arrived to Miami, taking foodies to new heights. 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. Dishcrawl Miami's debut took hungry guests to hot dining spots in Brickell, where they got to sample tasty dishes that rocked.  It was a huge success, kicking off at EDGE Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel, and continuing to local favorites such as Vapiano, OTC (Over the Counter),  and The Hoxton.  If you didn't make that one, have no fear. On Tuesday, May 21st, at 7 pm, Dishcrawl will venture back into Brickell and take a closer look at the rapidly growing dining scene; sampling mouthwatering fare from four more of the area's establishments. Participating restaurants will be kept secret until two days before the event, at which time the first location will be revealed to ticket holders. Isn't that incredibly exciting? Here's more...if you want to participate in this upcoming Dishcrawl, I got a treat for you. I have partnered with Dishcrawl to give my followers a 20% discount off their ticket purchase. Just head on over to and type in the discount code "miamifoodie". Hurry, though, tickets are selling fast. For more information about Miami's upcoming Dishcrawls, visit their site at

Celebrate the Release of this Year’s Most Anticipated Blockbuster “The Great Gatsby” with a Roaring 20’s Themed Party and Lavish Dinner Party at Miami Beach’s Villa Azur and Some Sweet Treats at Serendipity

May 9. 2013

Just like Gatsby himself, clean-cut and crisp Villa Azur, located at 309 23rd Avenue in Miami Beach, is the perfect spot to celebrate the year’s biggest blockbuster that is finally coming to life on May 10th, “The Great Gatsby.” The beautiful all white dining room, crystal chandeliers and candles has the same rich and opulent feel as Gatsby’s famous parties from back in the Roaring 20’s!
Just as Gatsby’s Supper Parties in NYC were extravagant and adventurous so are Villa Azur’s Thursday night extravaganzas…Therefore the hot spot co-owned by actor Olivier Martinez and frequented by Great Gatsby star Leonardo DiCaprio, will be paying tribute to classic movie by throwing a 20’s themed movie release party tonight, Thursday, May 9th at 9pm.

The dinner party will feature live music and a DJ spinning favorites from present day to the prohibition era, Gatsby inspired entertainers & old model cars from the time period parked out front of the restaurant.
Spirits were confined to the speakeasies during the Roaring 20’s but with Gatsby in charge…and Villa Azur mixologists in full-force, the drinks will be flowing all night! In addition to our regular cocktail menu we will be serving favorites from the decade such as the Mint Julep & Gin Martini.

As if that weren't sweet enough, once the movie is out at Lincoln Road Theaters, Serendipity 3 is offering a free Prohibition Cocktail (Mint Julep or Shirley Temple) when you bring in your movie stub! Let the flapping begin!


BC Tacos Goes Stationary

April 29, 2013

BC Tacos, the Fort Lauderdale based gourmet taco truck that has given the term "S'mores Taco" new meaning, just opened their first storefront earlier this month in Davie. In keeping with its food truck counterpart, BC Cafe will offer the signature tacos we all know and love, along with new items such as sliders, burgers, salads and wraps. Open Monday-Thursday for breakfast and lunch (8am-4pm), breakfast, lunch and dinner on Fridays (8am-10pm), and lunch and dinner Saturdays (11am-10pm), the caveman themed eatery will incorporate some surprises and twists on their menu. Brett Chiavari, owner of BC Tacos plans to continue to change the world, "one taco at a time", and if his success is any indication, I'm betting he will. BC Cafe is located in the Atrium Centre at 4801 S. University Dr., Suite 123. For more information and for updates on both their food truck and the cafe, follow them on Facebook at BC Tacos and on Twitter @BCCafeFL.


De Rodriguez Cuba Awarded the 2013 AAA 4 Diamond Award,
Best Latin Cuisine

April 22, 2013

De Rodriguez Cuba is now ranked among the finest restaurants in the country after being awarded the prestigious AAA 4 Diamond recognition. Located inside the Hilton Bentley Hotel at 101 Ocean Drive, it  now joins the top 10 Miami Beach restaurants to receive the AAA 4 Diamond Award including Barton G The Restaurant (2004), Casa Tua (2004), Gotham Steak (2012), Hakkasan (2010), Red The Steakhouse South Beach (2012), Scarpetta (2010), Tantra Restaurant & Lounge (2004), The Restaurant at The Setai (2006), and now De Rodriguez Cuba (2013).

Chef Douglas Rodriguez, a James Beard Award Winner, serves "Nuevo Latino and Modern Cuban Cuisine" in Miami Beach's chic South of Fifth neighborhood. Read my past review at De Rodriguez Cuba. "We are very excited to be added to the list of those deemed worthy of the AAA 4 Diamond Award in Miami Beach," said Chef Douglas Rodriguez. "I am also proud to represent the Latin community as the only Latin inspired restaurant to be included in the list." Congratulations Chef!


The Flat...A Before Experience

April 18, 2013

Last night was the official Grand Opening of The Flat, a trendy yet relaxed spot in the South of Fifth neighborhood featuring creative cocktails and signature verrines (light tapas). Bringing us a place to enjoy refreshing drinks and tasty bites while getting ready for dinner or a night on the town, The Flat introduces a much needed concept to the Miami scene. Guests enjoyed a live piano performance by Rosalyn McClore while sampling the items from their menu. Personally, I can see myself sitting there all night sipping cocktails and  biting into some crunchy prosciutto, while basking in the dimly lit ambiance and plush couches. The Flat is located at 500 South Pointe Drive in South Beach and for more information, you can contact them at 305 531-3528.


Diner En Blanc: The World's Largest Dinner Party

April 14, 2013

Think of it as a cross between an underground dinner club and a pop-up picnic. If you haven't heard of this phenomenon, it is called Diner en Blanc, and it is a "foodie" mystery of gastronomical proportions. It all began in Paris, back in 1988, when a man named Francois Pasquier organized a picnic for family and friends. Since they were meeting in a park, the diners were asked to dress in white so they would easily recognize each other. From this small beginning, the world caught on and 25 years later, it has evolved into worldwide events that gather thousands of people at a time.

Bringing their own food, wine, and even tables and chairs, attendees promptly arrive at the secret location, enjoy  each other's company, and then pick up and leave everything as if nothing had happened. Events have occurred in cities such as London, Singapore, Toronto, Barcelona, Sydney, New York, Las Vegas, Chicago and New Orleans, among others. Initially by invitation only, social media has played a recent role in further increasing its reach. Such is the popularity and intrigue behind Diner en Blanc, that a documentary was produced and directed by Jennifer Ash Rudick and Hughes Hariche, starring Francois Pasquier.

Jennifer Ash Rudick
It screened this past Tuesday, April 9th in West Palm Beach.  Dinner En Blanc: The World's Largest Dinner Party explains the true meaning behind these picnics, the concept's evolution and the message of solidarity it strives to convey. Collaboration and friendship intertwine with food, wine and nature in an effort to strengthen the human connections sometimes lost in daily life. "There is no profit, no political reasons for getting together," said Jennifer Ash Rudick, "It is a large group of strangers, or maybe friends, that meet and enjoy each other's company as they share their food and drinks." I could hear the awe and excitement in her voice as we spoke. "Just imagine 13,000 people being seated in a matter of minutes, wearing white clothes under the light of the moon," she said.  After a few hours of quiet conversation and enjoying their food and wine, they leave just as quickly as they arrived; like Cinderella at the strike of midnight. Breathtaking. For more information on the documentary, visit


Feeding South Florida to Honor Its Top Supporters at Inaugural “Get Crackin’” Private Brunch at Joe’s Stone Crab 

April 8, 2013

Feeding South Florida™ is joining forces with the legendary Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant in Miami Beach to present the nonprofit organization’s inaugural “Get Crackin’” private brunch on Sunday, April 21. The unique event will support the mission of Feeding South Florida, while honoring some of its most vehement supporters:  Honoree and local celebrity Chef Allen Susser, Media Hero Honoree The Miami Herald and Corporate Citizenship Honoree Southern Wine & Spirits.   

Feeding South Florida’s mission is to end hunger by providing immediate access to nutritious food, leading advocacy efforts in hunger and poverty, and transforming lives through innovative programming and education.

Over 300 attendees are expected to gather at Joe’s Stone Crab, located at 11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139, to celebrate the honorees and enjoy the famously delicious Joe’s cuisine. The brunch will kick off with an 11 a.m.noon reception, followed by brunch from 122 p.m.  The menu will feature scrumptious main course selections including stone crab claws, salmon, steak, and chicken; plus Joe’s delectable signature sides: coleslaw, spinach and hash browns. Guests will also enjoy Mimosa, champagne, and red and white wines.

Feeding South Florida CEO Paco Vélez and “Get Crackin’” Chair/Feeding South Florida Board of Directors Chair Diana Brooks will present honorees with awards to recognize their devotion to providing a brighter future and new hope for the nearly 1 million children, seniors and families that Feeding South Florida serves in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe Counties.

“The honorees have truly made the difference in the lives of our hungry neighbors, ensuring they have the chance to succeed in life, which they wholeheartedly deserve,” said Vélez.  “By holding this event, we are pleased to take the opportunity to thank them for exemplifying what it means to affect the South Florida community in such a profound way.”

“At Feeding South Florida, we strive to deliver our services with compassion, integrity and dedication, and those we will honor at the ‘Get Crackin’’ event are a true reflection of those values,” said Brooks.

Event sponsorships ranging from $1,500 to $20,000 are available to support the event and Feeding South Florida’s mission. Individual tickets are priced at $150. For more information regarding sponsorships or to purchase tickets, contact Feeding South Florida Director of Advancement & Community Investment Lisa Stoch at (954) 518-1843 or



April 4, 2013
With four dining destinations, each inspired by a different exotic locale, The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, invites guests and locals to a festival celebrating tastes and spirits from around the globe benefitting the American Red Cross on Saturday, April 20th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The afternoon includes personal meet-and-greets with the executive culinary team and wine & spirits experts, all while sampling dishes and desserts on the resort's oceanfront Grand Lawn. Perfect for the entire family, the festival includes musical entertainment and interactive children's activities.
A portion of the proceeds supports the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.
The cost of the event is $25 per adult and $12 per child. Each purchase includes four tickets for four tastes of  choice. Additional tickets may be purchased for $5 at the event. Reservations are required. 



March 26, 2013 

This year marks a culinary milestone: The fifth anniversary of Cochon 555, a one-of-a-kind traveling culinary competition and tasting event created to promote sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs. Arriving in Miami on Sunday, April 21 at the Four Seasons Hotel Miami, the pork-centric tour gathers together five chefs, five pigs and five wineries at each event – ultimately touching down in 10 cities across the country and bringing its message of nose-to-tail cooking, breed diversity and family farming to food enthusiasts nationwide.

Each Cochon 555 event challenges five local chefs to prepare a menu created from the entirety of heritage breed pigs for an audience of pork-loving epicureans and celebrated judges. The competing chefs are Aaron Brooks (Four Season Hotel Miami); Timon Balloo (Sugarcane); Jeffrey McInnis (Yardbird); David Thomas (The Bazaar) and Cesar Zapata (The Federal). Guests will be treated to an epic pork feast alongside wines from five small family-owned wineries including Elk Cove Vineyards, Bethel Heights, Hamacher, Montinore, and Alloro plus special tastings from Vibrant Rioja, Anchor Brewing, Eminent Domaine, Crispin Ciders, and Illegal Mezcal. Twenty judges and 400 guests help decide the winning chef, who is crowned the Prince of Pork and will compete against other regional winners at the finale Grand Cochon event at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen on Sunday, June 16. 

Also included in the evening is a preview of the new Heritage BBQ event in which Conor Hanlon of The Dutch will roll out family meal – an additional whole pig cooked barbecue-style immediately preceding the awards. VIP guests receive early access to the event and special offerings including a special tasting with three competing chefs. The VIP hour is filled with experiences that will not be found on the main floor such as access to "Punch Kings" - a new cocktail competition featuring Breckenridge Bourbon and six local bartenders, a VIP-only gift bag, the all-new Tartare Bar, Rappahannock River Oysters, and reserve wines and spirits. In addition, to celebrate five years of Heritage Breeds, Cochon added five bourbons to the lineup! All attendees will get samples of Breckenridge Bourbon, Eagle Rare, Templeton Rye, High West, Buffalo Trace and Four Roses in addition to the Perfect Manhattan Bar showcasing Luxardo and Eagle Rare. Also new in 2013 is the Chupito/Mezcal Bar, a tasting experience featuring Mezcales de Leyenda, Pierde Almas and Fidencio. The infamous Craft Cheese Bar sees a facelift featuring a local cheesemonger, Cypress Grove Chevre, Vermont Butter & Cheese, Spring Brook Farm with an exclusive tasting of blues from Rogue Creamery, and favorites from Kerrygold. Everyone can commemorate the experience by visiting the City Eats photo booth and voting for the best bite of the day. The after party will immediately follow at Edge Restaurant & Bar with food and drink specials each available for $5.55.

Tickets are $125 (general admission) and $200 (VIP); to purchase tickets, visit


Sous Chef Cara Thompson of Sushi Samba Dromo Takes Home The Grand Prize on Food Network's Chopped

March 21, 2013

Sushi Samba Miami Beach Sous Chef, Cara Thompson, took home the grand prize on Chopped, the Food Network's popular reality-based cooking show in which four chefs compete against each other, taking a mystery basket of ingredients and turning them into dishes that are judged on their creativity, presentation and taste. Judges Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy, and Alex Guarnaschelli proclaimed Thompson the winner of the episode titled "Redemption Intention" and awarded her the grand prize of $10,000.

One of four runner ups from past Chopped episodes, Thompson returned to redeem herself from previous defeat; this time emerging victorious. The episode's mystery ingredients included Sea Cucumber, Duck Tongue, Pork Shoulder and Mamaye Fruit and to celebrate the airing of the episode, Sushi Samba Miami Beach hosted a screening and offered a special menu, inspired by the ingredients Thompson worked with on the show.


BRIO Tuscan Grill To Open New Location at The Falls in Miami on March 14, 2013

March 11, 2013

Upscale, affordable restaurant serving authentic, northern Italian cuisine, BRIO Tuscan Grille, is opening a new location at The Falls in Miami, Florida. The restaurant, the eleventh BRIO Tuscan Grille in Florida, is slated to open March 14, 2013. It is located at 8888 S.W. 136 Street, Miami, FL 33176.

BRIO (meaning "lively" or "full of life") brings the pleasure of the Tuscan country villa to the American city. The subtitle, "Tuscan Grille", is descriptive of the menu that features oven-roasted steaks, chops, seafood, made-to-order pastas, flatbreads and entree salads, similar to what one would find in an authentic ristorante in Tuscany. BRIO also offers an ample dessert menu, full wine list and cocktail book. BRIO's motto is fashioned after the Tuscan philosophy of "To eat well, is to live well."

In addition to their regular menu, BRIO will be offering a Bellini Brunch, available Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm as well as the $3.95 Tuscan Taster bar menu, available Monday-Friday from 3-7 pm and Monday-Thursday from 9 pm to closing, featuring standouts such as Shrimptini, Beef Carpaccio, BRIO Burger and much more.

For more information or reservations, call 305-234-0012 or visit


Opening of the Alex Mijares Exhibit at The Viceroy

March 6, 2013

The Viceroy began showcasing a rotating art exhibition series at its 15th floor restaurant, Eos, on February 27th. The series began with an exclusive "Hanging of the Art" event, featuring works by Alex Mijares, an up-and-coming Miami-born artist whose Cuban and Spanish roots serve as a source of inspiration for his colorful paintings. 

With talented artist Alex Mijares

Mijares' work will be shown through the Spring season and after that, new exhibits will be displayed quarterly. Food presentation at the event was provided by Eos and the wine compliments of Stags Leap.


Get Ready For SPRUNG! 
The Spring Beer Festival We've All Been Waiting For!

March 5, 2013

Spring is nature's way of saying Get Sprung! On Saturday, March 9th, the producers of Grovetoberfest will launch Sprung! - a true Spring and Summer craft beer festival. The idea behind this event came from the South Florida craft beer enthusiasts who were among the 6,500 in attendance at Grovetoberfest 2012. The inboxes of the producers of this event were flooded with requests for a spring festival, because let's face it, once a year just isn't enough. "This event is by the people and for the people, and it 's because of them that we sprung into action to create it," said event director Tony Albelo. "We're going to continue focusing on our mission of expanding craft beer in South Florida, while adding seasonal beers and sprinkling a little more fun into the mix," he continued.

Because Sprung! takes place in March, beer fans will have the opportunity to sample over 150 Spring and Summer craft beers, which are considered to be some of the best seasonal beers of the year. Breweries like Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn Brewery, Kona, Magic Hat, Shiner, Shipyard, Harpoon, Blue Moon and many more will be showcasing their spring and summer offerings. Sprung! will also host a complete lineup of Florida beers from Schnebly, Cigar City, Tequesta Brewing, and Florida Beer, to name a few. As an added bonus, event goers will be treated to a selection of beer not available in South Florida like Sweetwater Brewing from Atlanta, and Fat Cat Beer from Wisconsin. Sprung! will also offer a homebrew section featuring brews created by local beer lovers.

To accompany the beer fun, Sprung! will feature a section for games as well as provide music by the hip hop ensemble ArtOficial. Wondering what will happen when the hunger pang hits? No worries! There will be plenty of food vendors offering a wide variety of tasty treats.

Tickets are currently on sale at, In addition to General Admission and Beer Socialite tickets, there are also a limited number of VIP tickets available, which will give ticket holders a one-hour head start and access to the VIP tent where food and a special selection of beer will be available on to those ticket holders. Sprung! will take place in Peacock Park in Coconut Grove. For more information, please visit or call 305-461-2700. 



February 28, 2012

Festivities Include Free Ice Cream, Face Painting, Raffle and Burger Battle Eating Contest

The Downtown Dadeland location of Elevation Burger (8975 S.W. 72nd St), the fast-casual restaurant serving 100% USDA-certified organic, grass-fed, free range beef burgers, will celebrate its one-year anniversary on March 2, 2013 with an all-day event. Recognized as the nation’s first and largest organic hamburger chain since opening in Falls Church, VA in 2005, the franchised chain prides itself on offering fresh, great-tasting, better-for-you hamburgers, veggie burgers, fries cooked in heart-healthy olive oil and hand-scooped milkshakes.

                                           Schedule of Events:
§ 12pm-6pm:Free Ice Cream for Kids 12 and under
§ 1pm: Face Painting
§ 12pm-4pm: Buy one, get one free burgers or shakes
§ 5pm-8pm: Free Kids Burger with purchase of Elevation Burger Meal
§ 5pm-6pm:Burger Battle - The Vertigo Challenge (First customer to eat 10-patties burgerwins $25 gift card, t-shirt, bragging rights and ½ price meals for a week/$4entry fee)


 United Way Miami Wine & Food Festival Announces New Name; New Celebrity Chef

Chef Daniel Boulud to headline VERITAGEMIAMI

February 28, 2013

The United Way Miami Wine & Food Festival is marking its 18th year in a big way - by changing its name to VERITAGEMIAMI and bringing in one of the world's most celebrated chefs, Daniel Boulud, to headline the four-day event, April 17 - 20, 2013. The new name reflects the evolution of the event, which over time has become much more than simply a food and wine festival.

"VERITAGEMIAMI is where food, wine and friends come together for a greater purpose with uncompromising quality and fun," said Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade. “VERITAGEMIAMI is the place to be for people who enjoy great wine and food experiences, engaging with one another and doing good for the community.”

Bringing added excitement to this year's festival is Chef Daniel Boulud who will be the featured chef at the popular Friday, April 19 interactive dinner taking place at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami; home of Boulud’s Miami outpost of db Bistro Moderne. The ultimate good time for foodies, Chef Boulud will guide more than 600 guests in the preparation of a three-course meal at their tables.

Chef Boulud is considered one of America's leading culinary authorities and one of the most revered French chefs in New York, the city he has called home since 1982. He is chef-owner of flagship DANIEL, the refined Relais & Chateaux, three Michelin-star restaurant, as well as Cafe Boulud, db Bistro Moderne, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud and Epicerie Boulud. Chef Boulud combines his warm hospitability with the soulfully satisfying traditional cooking he grew up with on his family's Rhone Valley farm in Lyon, France. His restaurants in Miami and Palm Beach as well as in London, Singapore, Beijing, Montreal and Toronto reflect ingredient-driven seasonal French-American cooking. Boulud is the author of seven cookbooks, the recipient of three James Beard Foundation awards, including Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurateur, and was named a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur by the French government, as well as Chef of the Year 2011 by The Culinary Institute of America. He is a generous and energetic supporter of Citymeals-on-Wheels, serving on their board of directors since 2000 and is also co-founder and Chairman of the Bocuse d'Or USA Foundation.

Chef Boulud is not the only Michelin-star chef to participate in VERITAGEMIAMI. On Saturday, April 20, Chef David Brovelli of II Sole di Ranco, a family-owned Relais & Chateaux property on Italy's Lake Maggiore, will prepare an Italian-themed dinner, paired with award-winning wines. The dinner will take place at the Orion Jet Center, a restored 1940s hangar at Opa Locka Airport, and will feature a live auction.

The other VERITAGEMIAMI festival events include: a craft beer tasting on Wednesday, April 17 at Wynwood Walls in the Wynwood Arts District; as well as a walk-around wine tasting on Thursday, April 18 at the Village of Merrick Park. For more information or to purchase tickets go to


Social Media Week in Miami

February 23, 2013

From left: Chefs Ralph Pagano, Giorgio Rapicavoli, Todd
Erickson, Myself, Jeff McInnis, Dewey Losasso
After a successful run last year, social media gurus and enthusiasts came together this past week for the second annual Social Media Week in Miami, to discuss the global impact and important role it plays in the political, economic, and social arenas. A series of speakers and panelists convened at different locations throughout the week holding conferences and seminars on yielding top results from being connected.  Beyond Food Porn: The Social Chef, was a social media/food lover's pick; uniting a panel of 5 award-winning and well-known culinary personalities in the Miami area, who discussed their opinions on this phenomenon. The speakers included:  radio personality and chef Ralph Pagano of Seaside Alba Italian, Giorgio Rapicavoli of "Chopped" and Eating House, Todd Erickson of Eater's "Hottest Chef" and HaVen Gastro-Lounge, Jeff McInnis of "Top Chef" and Yardbird, and Dewey Losasso of "Chopped" and The Forge Wine Bar. Moderated by Stephanie Dunn, Director of New Media at TARA, Ink, the chefs talked about their experiences in social media and its importance in the restaurant industry.

Stephanie Dunn interacting with the audience
All panelists agreed that social media greatly influenced the restaurant industry by giving everyone the opportunity to interact with the chefs and voice their opinions. The topic of New York's position on several restaurants banning food photography at their establishments came up. While all speakers agreed food photography is an important element in bringing customers into a restaurant, throughout sites such as Instagram, there was talk about having guidelines and restrictions in order not to interrupt other diners' experiences. Chef Losasso explained that while he enjoyed when guests took pictures of dishes after the care and detail that went into their presentation, there needed to be parameters as to not disturb nearby diners. "I was with my daughters at a restaurant last week and they were taking pictures of their food, along with others at nearby tables. After a while, the flash became uncomfortable and I asked my daughters to stop. It's O.K. to take pictures but I can understand why New York restaurants took that position if it became a problem with other guests," said Losasso. 

Todd Erickson speaking about his experiences with
social media
On to another hot topic, after being asked his opinion on how everyone is now a "food critic" and the importance of Bloggers and Yelpers, Chef Pagano stated that everyone's opinion counted and that ultimately chefs were responsible for providing an excellent culinary experience to their guests. If it was anything less than that, they needed to know. "If we look to these people to spread the word about our restaurants and our menus, then we also need to accept when they tell us that our dishes didn't taste like they should or perhaps just needed a bit more salt." The session was very enlightening and the week was a success. 


Be A Part of History: Smashburger Opens Its 200th Location in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, February 20th.

February 19, 2013

Founder Tom Ryan showing us the
Smashing Process
Some of the yummy delights
Ready for a smashing good time? Smashburger, the fastest growing chain of better burgers, with locations in twenty-nine states and four countries, is opening its 200th store right here in Fort Lauderdale, on Wednesday February 20th. Savor tasty, handcrafted Certified Angus beef burgers, which are always smashed to order and topped with premium ingredients, and see for yourself what all the buzz is about. But don't stop there, try a gulp of their delicious Haagen Dazs shakes and have yourself a happy ending. The new location is in the Imperial Plaza Shopping Center at 5979 North Federal Highway. Oh and almost forgot...just because we're so excited, we've partnered up to give away some Smash Cash. Three ways to enter:

Tweet a picture of  yourself eating at Smashburger or a picture of your all-time favorite burger to @mariasgoodtaste with hashtag #GrandOpening200 (Make sure you follow @mariasgoodtaste)

Post a picture of yourself eating at Smashburger or a picture of your  all-time favorite burger on my Facebook page at 
(Make sure you've Liked Adventures of the Foodaholic)

Post a picture of yourself eating at Smashburger or a picture of your all-time favorite burger on Instagram and mention @Adventuresofthefoodaholic and #GrandOpening200 
(Make sure you follow Adventures of the Foodaholic)

Contest ends Friday, February 22nd and winners will be selected randomly from all entries.  
Have fun!


Social Media Week in Miami
Beyond Food Porn: The Social Chef

February 16, 2013

Calling all foodies, social media junkies and trendsetters on the lookout for what’s new and what’s next: Take a bite out of Miami’s burgeoning culinary scene  on February 18th at the Mondrian South Beach, as experts in the field explore what it means to be ‘a social chef.’ While other chefs have ruled the kitchen domain, Social Chef panelists have become equally as prolific in the social media sphere, dishing their cultural insight, recipes, behind-the-scenes pics, and unique personalities to their hungry followers.
Star chef panelists include Todd Erickson of HaVen Gastro-Lounge; Dewey LoSasso of The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar; Jeff McInnis of Yardbird Southern Table & Bar; Ralph Pagano of Alba at Solé on the Ocean; and Giorgio Rapicavoli of Eating House. The event is moderated by TARA, Ink.’s Director of New Media, Stephanie Dunn.
The top toques, representing neighborhoods from Sunny Isles to South Beach, will discuss how social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Yelp are shaping Miami’s culinary landscape for chefs and diners alike, as well as how online conversations are able to foster authentic relationships within our community. For more information, visit the following link. Beyond Food Porn: The Social Media Chef


2013 Winners of the American Fine Wine Competition Announced

February 8, 2013

2013 AFWC Winning Wines

On February 5th, the winners of the 2013 American Fine Wine Competition, presented by Patriot National Insurance Group, were publicly announced at a Press and Bloggers Cocktail Party held at American Social in Fort Lauderdale. A total of 632 of America's finest wines were invited to participate  in the competition, held at Florida International University Biscayne Bay Campus on January 20th and 21st , 2013. Twenty-four nationally acclaimed sommeliers tasted and judged the wines during the two days, awarding the Best of Show and Best of Class honors. Guests to the cocktail party enjoyed some of the 2013 AFWC Award Winning Wines as they savored an array of hors d'oeuvres, while helping to raise money for charity. The winners were:

Best of Show 2013
Other White - Hagafen Cellars "Prix", Rancho Wieruszowski-Riesling 2009 Napa Valley
Pinot Noir - The Donum Estate, Donum Ranch Vineyard 2010 Carneros
Sparkling Wines - Mumm Napa, Devaux Ranch, Carneros 2008 Napa Valley
Late Harvest - Castello di Amorosa Gewurztraminer 2011 Anderson Valley Mendocino

Best of Class 2013
Sauvignon Blanc - Pine & Brown, 2011 Napa Valley
Pinot Gris (Grigio) - Solena Estate, 2011 Willamette Valley
Chardonnay - Frostwatch Vineyard, Bennett Valley 2010 Bennett Valley Sonoma County
Merlot - V. Sattui Winery 2010 Napa Valley
Petite Sirah - Frank Family Vineyards 2009 Napa Valley
Syrah - Bartholomew Park Winery 2008 Sonoma Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon - Promise, Winston Hill Vineyard 2008 Rutherford
Zinfandel - Paul Simeon Collection, St. Sophia 2009 Lodi
Red Bordeaux Style Blend - Blackbird Vineyards, Arise 2010 Carneros, Napa Valley

The AFWC continues to celebrate fine wines with a series of upcoming events including the Wine Carnival, being held on Thursday, February 21st, and the highly anticipated Gala Dinner, taking place on April 4th. For more information on these events and the AFWC, call 561-504-8463 or visit


Ron Garcia Joins NoVe Kitchen & Bar's Management Team Bringing A Whole New Level of Gourmet Burgers to the Area Around the Adrienne Arscht Performing Arts Center

January 30, 2013

NoVe Kitchen & Bar, located in the ground floor of the Opera Tower at 1750 N. Bayshore Drive, is taking things up a notch with their new addition.  Ron Garcia, creator and past managing partner for The Burger & Beer Joint, has joined NoVe Kitchen’s impressive management team to continue working his magic.  Garcia has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, leading the success of local restaurants such as Sushi Samba Dromo on Lincoln Road, and Sugarcane in Midtown, as well as widely acclaimed Aquanox in Las Vegas and several restaurants owned by the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group.

Ron Garcia joins NoVe Kitchen & Bar's management team
Photo Courtesy of NoVe Kitchen & Bar

Garcia will be bringing his expertise and creativity to NoVe Kitchen, incorporating some new, special dishes to the already mouthwatering menu designed and executed by Chef Hiro Terada. What are some surprises we can expect? For starters, the team is adding gourmet burgers to the mix, and with Garcia’s background, they will be a hit. If the burgers look and taste like the rest of the dishes created by Chef Hiro, there will be no staying away from this place.

NoVe Kitchen & Bar offers an extensive selection of uniquely prepared sushi rolls, as well as a combination of traditional Japanese dishes infused with tasty American favorites. (See post on Nove Kitchen & Bar) They recently unveiled their new Fall 2012-Winter 2013 menu, showcasing their own take on flavorful dishes such as Salmon Tartar and Cedar Planked Salmon. (See post on Nove Kitchen New Fall 2012-Winter 2013 Menu) In celebration of NoVe Kitchen’s exciting news, we have partnered to give away $25 Gift Certificates to four lucky readers starting on Friday, February 1st. Be sure to stop by my Facebook page at Adventures of the Foodaholic for details. For more information on NoVe Kitchen & Bar, visit their website at


American Fine Wine Competition Takes Place at the
FIU Biscayne Campus
January 26, 2013

President and Co-founder Shari Gherman
recording results
Finalists at the AFWC
The American Fine Wine Competition, now in its 6th year, is the country's most exclusive Fine Wine Invitational. Shari Gherman, President and Co-founder of the AFWC, got her inspiration while working for the South Florida Business Journal. Having an extensive interest and background in wines, she found that talking to her clients about wine was an excellent way to connect. Gherman spoke to her publishers and suggested they do a wine event as a networking tool among their clients. They agreed and it was a total success. The AFWC is unique among other wine events in that it is an Invitational only where there is no charge to the wineries, the wineries get branded and receive recognition, and it donates a large amount of money to charities.  In 2007, its first year, the AWFC donated over $100,000 to Children's Place and Kids in Distress.

Co-founders Monty and Sara Preiser

The judges voting for their favorites
Virginia (Philip) Santasiero, wine
director and 9th woman in the world
to earn the accreditation of
Master Sommelier
Throughout the year, Gherman, along with co-founders Monty and Sara Preiser, attend trade shows around the country to taste wines. "We look for the best. The most important quality in wine is balance and harmony" said Gherman.  The AFWC invites 600 wines annually to participate in the competition and host a series of events. This year's competition took place on January 21-22 at Florida International University, Biscayne Campus. Twenty-four acclaimed sommeliers and experienced wine industry professionals served as judges to select the winning wines. The winners will be announced on February 1st  at  a VIP reception, and an Awards Cocktail Party will take place on February 5th at American Social in Fort Lauderdale to present the awards. The AFWC Gala, benefiting the Diabetes Research Institute and 4Pets Charities, will be held on Thursday, April 4th, 2013 and will feature Chefs Norman Van Aken, Angelo Elia, Dean Max and Christina Machamer. For more information on the AFWC and a complete list of events, visit their website at


Norwegian Breakaway Gets A New Boss

January 18, 2013

Photo Source: Norwegian News Release
Norwegian Cruise Line announced that Master Baker Buddy Valastro, star of the popular TLC Television series "Cake Boss" and "Next Great Baker", will open an extension of his family business, Carlo's Bake Shop, on the Norwegian Breakaway, coming to New York City in May 2013. Featuring all of the delicious treats and confections that the original bakery is known for, Carlo’s Bake Shop on Norwegian Breakaway will also give guests the opportunity to pre-order custom specialty cakes for celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries. “Spending time with family is one of the most important things. A cruise is a wonderful opportunity for a family to relax and have fun together and that is one of the reasons why I wanted to bring Carlo’s aboard this fantastic cruise ship,” said Buddy Valastro. “I am thrilled to begin this partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line and open Carlo’s Bake Shop on Norwegian Breakaway, the ultimate ship for families.”  Featured menu items will include freshly baked cookies, cakes and pies, Italian butter cookies, biscottis, cannolis and an assortment of cupcakes. For a challenging and fun experience, Carlo’s will offer cupcake decorating classes, where guests can learn some of Valastro’s tricks of the trade. Carlo’s Bake Shop will be located on Deck 8 in the former Cakestand location, and the delectable goodies will be available for purchase à la carte. 


Twin Peaks Announces 10-Store Development Agreement in Miami

Ultimate man-cave concept to bring its Scenic Views to South Florida

January 13, 2013

Twin Peaks, the ultimate man-cave sports lodge, will be expanding to South Florida. DMD Restaurant Group, LLC signed a 10-store agreement to develop Twin Peaks in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach over the next several years. Twin Peaks is a sports-themed restaurant known for its rugged mountain lodge atmosphere, homemade comfort food, 29 degree draft beer, high-definition televisions and – its most prized assets – the Twin Peaks Girls. The DMD Restaurant Group is made up of franchise partners and experienced restaurateurs Jack Flechner, Joe Sloboda and Fred Burgess, all of whom will have a hand in the restaurant’s site selection, management and operations. “South Florida is an untapped market for Twin Peaks,” said Flechner, the group’s spokesperson. “Not only is it a densely populated area but with a concept as fun and attractive as Twin Peaks, we have no doubt that it will doubly benefit from the area’s year-round tourism. The possibilities for success here are endless.”

“We are very excited to be able to introduce Miami to this extraordinary concept,” added Flechner. “There’s really nothing else like Twin Peaks around here and between the mountain lodge setting, great food and the amazing atmosphere provided by the Twin Peaks Girls, we are sure that we’ll be a big hit with fans.” More information on Twin Peaks, including locations and franchise information, is available at


VooDoo BBQ & Grill To Open First South Florida Location on Sunday, January 13 in Pembroke Pines
January 5, 2013
First 99 customers on opening day will get FREE BBQ for a Year!
VooDoo BBQ & Grill, the nation’s fastest-growing barbecue franchise, announced it is opening its first South Florida location, in Pembroke Pines, on Sunday, January 13. And to celebrate its arrival to the Sunshine State, VooDoo BBQ will be giving away free barbecue for a year to the first 99 customers who show up on opening day. Doors open at 11 a.m., but Jack Flechner, president of the group that’s franchising the restaurant concept in Florida, said anyone interested in eating free for a year should line up much earlier.
“There’s been a lot of interest in our food ever since we announced we would be opening here,” said Flechner. “We’re expecting a large crowd to show up on our first day to take advantage of this special promotion.”
VooDoo BBQ & Grill offers competitive-style barbecue prepared with a New Orleans flair. The menu features ribs, pulled pork, chicken and brisket, all hand-rubbed with authentic Cajun spices and slowly smoked to perfection. It also offers Big Easy favorites like Gumbo and PoBoy sandwiches, as well as salads, hamburgers and other specialty sandwiches. Also on the menu are hearty side dishes that include Gris Gris Greens, Rattlesnake Beans, Corn Pudding, Zapp’s Potato Chips and Sweet Potato Souffle.
The Pines restaurant is located at 151 N. Hiatus Road, in the Pembroke Lakes Square shopping plaza on the corner of Hiatus and Pines Boulevard.  In addition to the great food, the restaurant provides a fun, party-like atmosphere that gives diners a sense they are eating in New Orleans during the Mardi Gras celebration.
In addition to the free BBQ for the first 99 patrons, everyone who eats at VooDoo BBQ & Grill on opening day will be entered to win special prizes.
The night before opening day, on January 12, the restaurant will host a fundraiser for Relay for Life Pembroke Pines which benefits the American Cancer Society. For a $10 donation, customers will get a chance to sample everything on the VooDoo BBQ menu and help out a great cause at the same time. The time for the event is 5:30pm until 8:00pm and the public is invited.
“We are looking forward to bringing a taste of New Orleans to South Florida,” said VooDoo BBQ co-founder and CEO Tony Avila. “We know from our research that Floridians love their barbecue and I’m convinced that once they taste our magic, they will be hooked like so many others have been.”


Devon Seafood + Steak will bring fresh offerings from the ocean and sizzling steaks to Kendall

January 4, 2013

Devon Seafood + Steak, an upscale but moderately priced contemporary American restaurant, prepares to open its first South Florida location in Kendall on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Diners will find a deliciously affordable menu of prime steaks and fresh ocean fare, served in a chic yet unpretentious setting. At the helm of Devon’s kitchen will be executive chef Scott Barrow, who has been tantalizing diners’ palates at Devon Seafood + Steak in Chicago, IL for the past 12 years. With its mouthwatering menu, impressive wine list, great cocktails and modern new location, Devon Seafood + Steak is perfectly positioned to become the area’s hot new dining and lounge destination.

The ambiance at Devon will be the epitome of casual elegance. Walls lined with reclaimed wood and accentuated by soft hues of gray and blue make guests feel as though they are dining on a luxurious yacht. Cozy brown leather booths and chairs, and wooden tabletops give off a warm and inviting energy while the steel, glass-encased wine cellar and black granite bar extend the nautical theme. 

Devon Seafood + Steak will work with quality fishmongers and artisan producers to ensure only the highest-quality ingredients are used in the restaurant. Devon will purchase select prime steaks from Jackman Wagyu Beef Ranch as well as work with the dayboat program at Lynn Brother’s Seafood to source sustainable seafood, both of which are located in Florida. In addition to the diverse menu, Devon Seafood + Steak will launch Happy Hour on the patio and indoor bar, Monday through Friday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Devon Seafood + Steak will be located at 11715 Sherri Lane, inside The Palms at Town & Country Mall, in Kendall. For more information, you can contact them at (305) 275-0226; or visit their website at


Miami’s Own Gourmet Popsicle Shop Causing a stir at the Shops at Midtown

December 30, 2012

Miami's favorite gourmet popsicle company opened its first retail store on December 1st, right in the heart of Midtown Miami at 3252 NE 1st Street.  Feverish, a premium quality adult ice pop maker, hand crafts a fusion of creative and fun flavors with organic ingredients and a socially conscious philosophy. Born four years ago after a fall while chasing an ice-cream truck, the idea of Feverish was brought to life by Felecia Hatcher.  As she dusted off and put her high-heels back on, Felecia realized there was a need for an adult ice-pop company that would create these tasty treats for the young at heart and cater to their events. "I realized I was way too old to chase after ice-cream trucks. I got this crazy idea and sort of put together my own old-school 'Pinterest' with pictures of ice-creams, while I worked it all out in my mind." Together with her husband, Derick Pearson, they bought two tricycle carts and peddled their way into the hearts of popsicle lovers everywhere.

<!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->From this dream, and through Chevy P30 Box Trucks, exciting flavors such as Jerk Chocolate, Pineapple Basil, Apple Martini and Peach Habanero were born, along with aBoozy Pops line which includes a series of Liquor, Wine and Beer Pops. "People have an emotional connection to food. It makes them feel good. We want to be a part of that", says Felecia.  At their Midtown location, customers are able to choose from 25 different flavors that change weekly (5 staple and 5 seasonal flavors daily). There will be a Karaoke stage to add some fun to the mix, as well as indoor and outdoor seating.  Feverish has been featured in Modern Luxury Magazine, Miami Herald and Boston Globe among others, and was recently honored at the White House for being one of the top 100 young entrepreneurs under the age of 30. Their clients include Google, Cadillac and Cirque du Soleil. 

Adult gourmet pops are not the only thing Feverish focuses on. They also give back to the community with their Sweet Success Program; helping at-risk teenagers learn the importance of business and being "Pop-preneurs". They have donated carts to 20 girls and teach them the ropes of the business, from manufacturing pops to marketing them. Half of the profits remain with the girls and the other half is placed into a scholarship fund. The program is currently being expanded to help boys learn the importance of technology, with an emphasis on gaming, which is what Felecia  has her background on after working with Nintendo for many years. "We help them see that whatever they want to do in life, they have to turn their passion into profit."

I was curious as to how they came up with the name for their company so I asked her.  Felecia smiled and said, "When you're feeling hot, or feverish, you gotta cool down. Just grab a popsicle."



December 20, 2012

Make your last minute holiday shopping easy and delight your favorite foodie or wine aficionado this holiday season with tickets to the 2013 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE. Known for bringing everyone’s favorite celebrity chefs, culinary personalities, winemakers, and spirit producers together for the ultimate gourmet beach bash, the Festival still has tickets available to marquee events sure please every palate this season!

  • For the whole family: Florida Blue presents Fun and Fit as a Family sponsored by Carnival featuring Kellogg's Kidz Kitchen (February 23 & 24). The Festiva’sl family-oriented program at Jungle Island is the perfect blend of education and fun for parents and their children during the Festival weekend. It features star-studded healthy culinary demonstrations in the Kellogg’s Kidz Kitchen from Reed Alexander & Lorena Garcia, Giada De Laurentiis, Rocco DiSpirito, Robert Irvine, Aarón Sanchez, and Andrew Zimmern; plus interactive Whole Foods Market Food Labs from Reed Alexander, Sunny Anderson, Hedy Goldsmith, Jeff Mauro and more! The event will also include physical fitness activities, healthy food samplings, and a sustainable garden.
  • For the night owl: Moët Hennessey’s The Q After Dark with Special Guest Chef Curtis Stone (February 21). Celebrity chef and television personality Curtis Stone is hosting the ultimate after party beachside at the Delano, accompanied by flutes of Moët & Chandon Champagne as well as concoctions from Belvedere Vodka, Hennessy Cognac, Grand Marnier, and 10 Cane rum. A special theatrical performance by Mansion Nightclub's renowned Cirque du Mansion will top off the evening!

  • For the Southern Belle: Southern Kitchen Brunch hosted by Trisha Yearwood: Part of The New York Times Series (February 24). Join Grammy-Award winning artist and host of the hit Food Network show Southern Kitchen Trisha Yearwood at the Loews Miami Beach, where she’s rounded up some of her favorite chefs for the ultimate comfort food brunch. Sip on Belvedere Lemon Tea lemonade or a flute of Chandon while you enjoy culinary creations from Hugh Acheson, Chris Barbato, Jeni Britton Bauer, G Garvin, Howie Kleinberg, Art Smith, and Kris Wessel.
  • For that person who wants it all: Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village (February 24). Our signature white tents at 13th & Ocean Drive house an array of cuisine from the finest chefs and a variety of wines and spirits under the MasterCard® Grand Tasting Tents – more than enough to keep you entertained and inspired for the whole day! If that isn’t enough, Food Network personalities Sunny Anderson, Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Robert Irvine, Michael Symon, and more will be appearing on the KitchenAid Culinary Demonstration Stages, along with a very special demonstration from renowned chef José Andrés conducted entirely in Spanish. Looking for an up-close-and-personal experience? Upgrade to the MasterCard Priceless® Demo Pass for reserved seating – available in limited quantities for MasterCard® cardholders.

The 12th annual edition of America’s favorite wine and culinary extravaganza will take place February 21 – 24, 2013 and benefits the Florida International University (FIU) Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center.

Pricing information and tickets to these events and more are available online at or by calling 877.762.3933. 


New Year's Eve Dinners to Welcome 2013 With A Bang

December 16, 2012

Blue Moon Fish Co. - Ring in the New Year along the Intracoastal at Blue Moon Fish Co.  Enjoy a spectacular Four Course Dinner with live music, party favors, and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.  For more information, visit or call 954-267-9888.

Rusty Pelican - Enjoy a Four Course Dinner menu featuring oysters, caviar, lobster, filet mignon and much more in the restaurant area or say goodbye to 2012 with chef's action stations, raw bar, open bar, junior's band and a DJ in their ballroom soiree. For more information visit the The Rusty Pelican or call them at 305-361-3818.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach - The iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach is home to several of South Florida’s most popular restaurants and this holiday season, these award-winning, signature restaurants:  ScarpettaGotham Steak and Hakkasan will be offering exclusive, special menus to help celebrate the New Year. Choose from a variety of options of delectable Four or Five Course Prix Fixe menus. For more information, visit or call them at 877-326-7412.

The Dutch - One of Miami's happening hotspots, The Dutch will be celebrating New Year's Eve with a delicious Five Course Menu in addition to their usual a-la-carte fare. The Five Course Menu will be available at selected seatings and unlimited wine and champagne during dinner is available for an additional price. For more information, visit or call them at 305-938-3111.

1500 at Eden Roc - Celebrate the good things to come in one of the "Best New Restaurants in America", as named by Esquire: 1500 at the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.  In their usual fresh, farm to table signature style, the restaurant will serve a special Four Course Prix Fixe Dinner on New Year's Eve featuring mouth-watering options. For more information, visit or call 305-674-5594.

Meat Market - Lincoln Road's sizzling contemporary steak house, offering  5-star cuisine and a bustling bar scene, is gearing up for a New Year's night of celebration. Enjoy a live DJ and a world class Three Course Prix Fixe First Seating or a Four Course Prix Fixe Second Seating, both including an array of their sumptuous delights. For more information, visit or call them at 305-532-0088.

Quattro Gastronomia Italiana - Ring in the New Year with a special menu featuring Italian delights such as antipasti, risotto, polenta and white truffles on iconic Lincoln Road. For more information, visit or call them at 305-531-4833.

BLT Steak - BLT Steak at the Betsy Hotel on South Beach will celebrate the New Year with refined elegance serving a Prix Fixe Dinner at 8 pm, which can be selected with or without wine pairings. A complimentary glass of champagne will accompany the meal. For more information, visit or call them at 305-673-0044.

Toro Toro - Downtown's newest hotspot at the Intercontinental Hotel is offering a Four Course Dinner complete with Family Style appetizers, all you can eat Rodizio Service and Family Style Desserts. There are two seatings available. For more information, visit or call them at 305-372-4710.

Diego's Andalucia Tapas -  Diego's Andalucia Tapas is hosting Noche De San Silvestre, an End of Year Celebration to ring out the old and bring in the new.  It will feature a special Four Course menu, bottle of champagne or wine and live music. The night wouldn't be complete without Chocolate Churros at midnight and they have taken care of that too.  For more information or to review the menu, you can visit  or contact them at 305 456-8130. 

Gol! The Taste of Brazil - Celebrate Auld Lang Syne at Delray Beach's dining hotspot Gol! The Taste of Brazil. There will be live entertainment from the talented guitarist Roger Mora and the exquisite pianist, John Walsh, along with a delicious endless feast of Brazilian cuisine. For more information, visit or call 561-272-6565.

Paradiso Ristorante - The elegant Italian restaurant in beautiful Downtown Lake Worth will celebrate New  Year's Eve with a delectable Four Course Dinner and a superior wine pairing. Enjoy a culinary celebration that will leave you remembering its taste all of next year. For more information, visit or call 561-547-2500.

TIKL Raw Bar &Grill TIKL Raw Bar Grill is Brickell’s hot new small plate eatery with a bustling bar scene and delectable cuisine. On New Year’s Eve, beginning at 9 p.m., TIKL will offer a special, multi-course tasting menu priced at $80 per person or $150 per person with open bar (excluding tax and gratuity).  For more information or to make reservations, visit or call (305) 372-0620.

The Oceanaire Seafood Room - To celebrate New Year’s Eve, Executive Chef Kareem Anguin is preparing a four course, prix-fixe menu that will tantalize your tastebuds.  Choices include Vanilla Infused Lobster Bisque, Oysters on the Half Shell, Grilled Mexican Black Grouper “A Lo Macho” with Aji Amarillo Cream, Shrimp and Calamari, and Turks and Caicos Lobster Tail Dynamite with King Crab, Scallops, Masago and Sweet Chili Butter. For more information, visit or call 305-372-8862.

The Catalina Hotel & Beach Club - The Catalina Hotel & Beach Club and Gerry Kelly present a New Year's Bash to remember. They are a featuring a 4 hour Open Bar with a lavish dinner buffet, gourmet sushi & raw bar, champagne toast, party favors and live entertainment. For more information, visit or call 305-674-1160.

CRAVE - Celebrate the New Year in style! CRAVE is offering a Four Course Chef Tasting Menu at $99 per couple. (Dinner menu also available). Choices include Lobster Bisque, Seared Beef Carpaccio, Grilled Shrimp with Risotto Cake and Prosecco Chocolate Mousse Tort. For more information, visit or call the Coral Gables location at 305-444-4595.

For a complete list, visit Adventures of the Foodaholic's New Year's Eve Restaurant Guide, or click on the Countdown Ticker to the top right. Visit often! Restaurants are updated regularly!


Intercontinental Miami And Team Up For Latest Kitchen Passport Experience

December 14, 2012

The newly redesigned InterContinental Miami is giving travel expert Jimmy Im an exclusive “Kitchen Passport” to the tropical, cosmopolitan city. Talented executive chef Rodolfo Cuadros of Toro Toro – acclaimed chef Richard Sandoval’s critically-acclaimed  Pan-Latin steakhouse concept at the InterContinental Miami – will team-up with Im to create four new holiday recipes inspired by Latin American hospitality and the vibrant, colorful city of Miami. The collaboration is part of the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts Kitchen Passport culinary program, which pairs media influencers with top hotel chefs to develop new food and drink recipes for the InterContinental Kitchen Cookbook iPad app.

Over two days, Cuadros and Im will work together to craft a variety of holiday-inspired recipes, such as mouthwatering Pork Belly Skewers Al Pastor, meant to be served as an appetizer; a Turkey Pastelón entrée, a Puerto Rican-style “lasagna” made with delicious layers of sliced plantains; and Churros con Dulce de Leche, a Latin dessert representative of the holiday season. Toro Toro head bartender Matthew Phillips will also work with Im to create a Holiday Red Sangria cocktail using Malbec, Cava – or Spanish sparkling wine, Beefeater Gin and Cointreau, as well as cinnamon, spices and a colorful assortment of fruits. The fun and festive recipes will be available to home cooks everywhere on the Kitchen Cookbook app, as well as on by the end of the year.

The InterContinental Kitchen Cookbook iPad app is filled with enticing recipes intended to bring the dishes of the InterContinental brand’s executive chefs from around the world into the homes of travelers. The app offers consumers the ability to build out grocery lists for each recipe, as well as access information about the associated InterContinental Hotels property and book a reservation directly within the app.


Salsa Fiesta to Open New Location in Aventura

December 12, 2012

Wildly popular for its delicious Mexican cuisine, unbeatable prices and exceptional customer service, Salsa Fiesta will open its doors in Aventura on Friday, December 14, 2012. And to celebrate the opening of its third location, every guest over 21 will enjoy a complimentary margarita; a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage will be offered for those under 21. 

The new store will be located at 18167 Biscayne Boulevard. Owners and operators Cesar Olivo, Adriana Perez Benatar and Samuel Perez Benatar opened the first Salsa Fiesta location in Miami in October 2009.  In September 2011, the entrepreneurial trio opened their second store in Pembroke Pines. With its dedication to delicious, freshly-made fare and customer service, Salsa Fiesta has positioned itself as a leader in the fast casual dining realm and a concept with endless growth potential.

Hours of operation will be: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Abundant free parking is available. 



December 6, 2012

South Florida's Island Oasis, the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami celebrates the holiday season with special experiences and activities fit for the entire family during the Eight Days of Christmas beginning on December 14th.

North Pole Tales - Friday, December 14th
Nestle in by the resort's 40 foot tree, as Santa's elves share tales and stories directly from the North Pole with cookies and hot cocoa. Complimentary 5 pm to 7 pm

Saint Nick's Flicks Under the Stars - Saturday, December 15th
With the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop and underneath the bright stars, enjoy a family-friendly showing of the movie Elf (PG) with complimentary popcorn and seasonal drinks as the perfect accompaniment. Located on the resort's Grand Lawn. Blankets welcomed. Cantina Beach menu available. 6 pm

Gingerbread Factory - Sunday, December 16th
Delivered directly from the North Pole, join Santa's pastry chefs for an afternoon of sweet treats and gingerbread house decorating. 2 pm to 5 pm $25 per person. All materials provided. Reservations required by calling (305) 365-4286.  
*Adult must accompany child during activity.

Santa's Workshop - Monday, December 17th & Tuesday, December 18th
Out littlest guests can create Christmas gifts, cards, ornaments and more, during a two-day holiday-inspired arts and crafts workshop. 5 pm to 8 pm. Prices may vary.

Deck the Halls...with Scrubs and Manis - Wednesday, December 19th
Let us spread the "spa-liday" cheer with sparkling mini manicures and make-your-own scrub ornaments. Complimentary. 5 pm to 7 pm. Reservations required by calling (305) 365-4197.

Santa Sighting - Thursday, December 20th
For one magical afternoon, Santa Claus escapes the chilly temperatures and joins all the boys and girls in sunny Key Biscayne for cookie delights and pictures. All bright smiles welcomed. 5 pm to 8 pm. Complimentary photo session and cookies. Prices for pictures may vary.

A Very Merry Celebration - Friday, December 21st
The Eight Days of Christmas concludes with A Very Merry Celebration, complete with Christmas caroling in the main lobby and throughout the resort, eggnog and season's cheers. Complimentary. 5 pm to 7 pm. Caroling from 5:30 pm  to 6:30 pm



December 2, 2012

 The newest Shula Burger opens tomorrow, December 3rd, at the Market Square Shopping Center located at 11790 SW 104 Street in Kendall. With three other Florida locations currently open at the Postcard Inn at Holiday Isle in Islamorada, Tampa International Airport and the Quay Shopping Center in Fort Lauderdale, Kendall Shula Burger is the fourth of a fast growing franchise expected to unveil another location in Delray Beach early next year.

Shula Frita
Shula Steak Sandwich
The menu includes Shula's Signature Burgers made with a juicy blend of Premium Black Angus Beef, Short Rib and Brisket, resulting in a tasty, juicy burger each time. Each location offers its own Regional Burger, which in this case is the Shula Frita made with cantimpalo chorizo, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, potato sticks, smoked paprika and ketchup. There's also a selection of Coach's Favorites which include the Shula Steak Sandwich, a perfectly cooked 7 oz New York steak with grilled onions, gruyere cheese, and herb mayo on a hoagie roll. For those not sure of what to have, there's also an option to create your own burger, starting from the bun to the premium toppings.

Blue Cheese Chips

Big Cookie
Besides the delicious meat, there is also a selection of appetizers and sides that will score a touchdown. The Blue Cheese Chips, loaded with ranch dressing, blue cheese and Applewood bacon are a winner, as are the flavorful Sweet Potato Tots. Before you finish your meal, make sure to grab a Big Chocolate Chip Cookie. It'll remind you of a frisbee in its size, and will leave you breathless in sweet surrender. Coach Shula, Shula Burger is the perfect end to the 40th anniversary of a Perfect Season!

Check the location for hours of operation and you can contact them at 305-390-8347.



November 27, 2012

Casablanca Seafood Bar & Grill’s original location on the Miami River, which has been operating for over 20 years, features a 200 seat dockside restaurant, interior dining room, and a diverse fish market,which on busy days, can cater to over 1,000 customers. What once could only be found along the Miami River is now available bayside in the Doubletree by Hilton Grand Biscayne Bay. Setting them both apart from the competition is the fact that the majority of their seafood arrives fresh daily, right up to the same dock where patrons are dining; delivering the freshest catch possible. With a restaurant that’s won over diners and critics alike, it was obvious to the long-time partners that a second location, a bit less hidden, was in order. Chef Joaquin Perea, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, who has previously spent time in the kitchens of the Fontainebleu, Versace and Doral Spa Resort, mans the helm alongside Chef de Cuisine Wilbert Sauceda who hails from Sra Martinez. Sauceda also worked at local hotspots including Brosia Miami, Michy’s, La Cofradia and Ortanique on the Mile. The kitchen serves up a menu reminiscent of the original location with the addition of several small plates, an extensive wine list and works with a seasoned mixologist for unique cocktails that complement the menu.

In the new Casablanca on the Bay location, guests will be treated to beautiful spacious dining areas that include both indoor and outdoor seating that overlooks the bay, the marina and scenic view of the Miami skyline. At entrance, guests are greeted with an exposed wine room, stocked full of a variety of vintages from around the world, resulting in a comprehensive wine list to the discerning diner. Two extended communal dining tables will set to the tone and create a vibrant atmosphere for guests to enjoy and mingle. A 36-foot, wrap around bar serves as the focal point of the restaurant, making it perfect for happy hour unwinding, oysters on the half shell and a selection of carefully selected scotches, bourbons and specialty cocktails. Adjacent to the bar is a glowing wood-fired oven turning out fresh flatbreads. Colorful stripped banquets pop to the eye against the subtle cream and stone colored bars and floors. Expansive ceilings are framed with sweeping arches that complement old-world architecture with distinctively modern charm.

With a menu of more than 50 dishes, Casablanca on the Bay and Chef Perea have developed items that include starters Pork Monfongo Rolls, Mahon Beer Mussels, Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Ceviche and Shrimp Escargot. Entrees run the gamut featuring the best from the sea including Pan Seared Salmon, Whole Fried Yellow Tail, Fresh Halibut and features the best of the favorite seasonal items like Stone Crabs and Florida Lobster. Perea also has several menu items for those looking for a more land focused experience; Grilled Pork Tenderloin, New Zealand Lamb Chops and Buccattini Carbonara, to name a few. An upscale, yet relaxed environment, Casablanca on the Bay is a prime spot for after-work, dinner with friends or date night. According to Perea, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if Casablanca quickly becomes the place to be for weekend brunch.



November 16, 2012

Bongos Cuban Café along with its sponsors: Florida Blue, Sedano's Supermarkets and Baptist Health South Florida are partnering with four local charities to feed the homeless and families in transition on this Thanksgiving Day at the 5th annual Bongos Cuban Café Thanksgiving "Feed A Friend."

Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Hispanic Unity of Florida, Chapman Partnership & American Red Cross will be inviting over 1500 guests to join together on the day of thanks for a Cuban-American, fusion holiday feast at Bongos Cuban Cafe (601 Biscayne Blvd.) on Thursday, November 22nd from 11am-3pm.

Over the past four years, the event has served more than 8,000 families in transition. This year, families will be able to join together once again for a Thanksgiving meal featuring traditional American classics such as roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce in addition to a traditional Cuban lechon asado (roasted pork) and classic Cuban fixings including fried plantains and cassava (yuca) in mojo sauce. Live music by The Beatlemaniax, pumpkin pie, and children's activities including face painting and crafts will provide a sweet finish to a day of giving thanks.

"Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, it's about sharing family, food and love. Which is why the "Thanksgiving: Feed A Friend" is the most special event we do all year, no gift giving involved except for the gift of love and care for the families that need it most. We are excited to support this event for the fifth year and look forward to many more." says Gloria Estefan

"I feel it's so important to give back and especially give back to a community that has given us so much. This event is proof that the giving spirit is alive and well", says Emilio Estefan. "We are excited to once again partner with our sponsors: Florida Blue, Sedano's Supermarkets and Baptist Health South Florida for this special event."

Celebrity volunteers will be on hand to spread holiday cheer and help serve in the food line.


The Awaited Dates of the American Fine Wine Competition Have Been Announced

November 1, 2012

The dates of the Sixth Annual American Fine Wine Competition have been announced. Created in 2006 by three winery insiders, Shari Gherman and Month and Sara Preiser, The AFWC, an exclusive, invitation only competition, showcases American-produced world class wines to a national audience. Twenty-four top wine industry professionals spend two days rigorously judging over 600 wines, then over 400 wine lovers are invited to celebrate the awarded wines, key sponsors and crucial charities at the AFWC Gala. Since its inception, the AFWC has proudly raised over half a million dollars for local and national charities and continues to contribute to vital non-profit organizations through the proceeds and donations from each event.

This series of events begins with a private Press Judging taking place in Miami at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort on November 14, 2012 and in Delray Beach, at 32 East on November 15, 2012. Hand selected press and media personnel will be invited to partake in the mock judging, followed by a four-course gourmet meal with wine pairings. JM Lexus will present the lavish Kick Off Reception at the luxurious Boca Raton Resort & Club on January 10, 2013. On January 20-21, 2013, 24 official AFWC Judges will examine, taste and evaluate over 600 wines  during the American Fine Wine Competition at Florida International University in North Miami Beach.

On Friday, February 1, 2013, the 2013 AFWC Results will be announced at an elegant VIP Party in Fort Lauderdale. This intimate celebration will be an evening of undeniable American celebration. South Florida Bloggers and Press Personnel will gather on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 for the launch of the first annual Bloggers and Press Cocktail Party announcing the results and hosted by American Social. The AFWC Wine Carnival and Consumer Challenge will take place in Boca Raton on Thursday, February 21, 2013. This exciting event will be open to the public and will provide a unique evening with perfectly selected wines paired with delectable cuisines from outstanding chefs. On Thursday, April 4, 2013, The Boca Raton Resort & Club will welcome guests to the AFWC Gala in a celebration of the nation's finest wines while raising awareness and funds for the Diabetes Research Institute. For more information on the 6th Annual AFWC, to purchase tickets or for sponsorship opportunities, visit their site at


Happy 20th Anniversary to Larios on the Beach

October 27, 2012

The year 1992  brought Miamians many great things, including the opening of Ocean Drive's first and only authentic Cuban Restaurant: Larios on the Beach, a Bongos Cuban Cafe Restaurant. Owned by International Superstar Gloria Estefan and her Grammy-Award Winning husband, producer Emilio Estefan, they are celebrating 20 years of tradition this year. There are few places that evoke the flavors of Cuba quite the way Larios on the Beach does. From its 1950s tropical decor, to the authentic taste of their food, guests feel transported back to old Havana's glory days. Add to this excitement their world-famous mojitos and live music, and it's a place both tourists and locals adore.

To commemorate their 20th anniversary, Larios on the Beach is introducing a three-course prix fixe dinner menu available from Sunday-Thursday throughout the month of November; priced at $19.92. Larios is located at 820 Ocean Drive. For more information or to make reservations for this incredible celebration, you can visit their website at or call them at 305 532-9577. Check out the menu below:

 Larios on the Beach
Anniversary Menu

*Complimentary "World Famous" Mojito

Cuban Trio Sampler
A sampling of or World Famous Bongos Combo served with a
Papa Rellena, Ham Croquette and Crispy Pork Chunks
Tostones Rellenos Duo
Two of our traditional Cuban Stuffed Plantain Cups
served with Cuban Creole Minced Beef & Criolla Shrimp
Lechon Asado
Traditional Cuban Style Roasted Pork
Camarones Enchilados
Shrimp sautéed in our Homemade Cuban Criolla Sauce
Cuban Style Sweetened Vanilla Pudding
Arroz con Leche
Traditional Cuban Style Rice Pudding


Graspa Group's Lincoln Road Locations
Go Strawberry For Breast Cancer Month

October 19. 2012

The Chefs and staff at Graspa Group's most visible and established locations on Lincoln Road came together with culinary inspiration to sweeten the pursuit for a cure to breast cancer. Spris, Van Dyke Cafe and TiramesU have created a pink-themed twist on their most popular desserts with half of the proceeds from their sales being donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  The specially-created strawberry desserts include the Strawberry Tiramesu at the namesake venue, the Berry Nutellino at Spris (pizza dough filled with Nutella and berries and topped with strawberry-flavored whipped cream and fresh berries), and Strawberry Cupcakes at Van Dyke Cafe. Need I say more?


Voo Doo BBQ & Grill Set to Open New Locations 
in South Florida

October 15, 2012

BBQ Lovers have I got news for you! VooDoo BBQ & Grill, the nation's fastest-growing barbecue franchise, is introducing its Cajun-Creole BBQ fusion menu to South Florida with the planned opening of its first Florida franchise in Pembroke Pines in mid-November. The new restaurant will be located in the Pembroke Square Shopping Plaza at 151 N. Hiatus Road, and will seat 60 people indoors and 30 outdoors.

New Orleans-based Voodoo BBQ and Grill has been recognized as one of the fastest growing fast casual restaurant franchises in the industry, with locations opening and under development in more than 56 cities and five states. It opened its first restaurant on Mardi Gras Day 2002 right on the parade route in New Orleans, and strives to maintain that same fun atmosphere and vibe in all of its VooDoo locations.

VooDoo BBQ & Grill serves brisket, chicken, pork, gumbo, PoBoy sandwiches, salads and burgers -- all with the spice and magic of Louisiana. Its competition-style BBQ is hand-rubbed with authentic Louisiana spices and slow-smoked to perfection. Diners can choose from three signature BBQ sauces, as well as a menu of down-home, well-proportioned side dishes including Gris Gris Greens, Rattlesnake Beans, Corn Pudding, Zapp’s Potato Chips and Sweet Potato Souffle.
While Pembroke Pines will be the first one to open in South Florida, VooDoo BBQ & Grill has other locations slated to open in Delray Beach in February 2013 and Kendall in March 2013.


Acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval To Unleash Toro Toro at the InterContinental Miami

October 14, 2012

As part of its multi-million dollar redesign, the InterContinental Miami will draw the culinary spotlight with the late-October opening of Toro Toro by Chef Richard Sandoval. Housed in the main lobby level of the hotel, at 100 Chopin Plaza in downtown Miami (adjacent to Bayfront Park), Toro Toro is Sandoval's creative Pan-Latin interpretation of a contemporary steakhouse.  The menu is varied, featuring a selection of meats carved tableside rodizio-style, along with an array of small plates, steaks served a la carte and composed main plates. Perfect for downtown Miami's cocktail crowd, the restaurant will feature a buzz-worthy bar, emphasizing craft cocktails made with ultra-premium Latin spirits. The sophisticated and sexy concept is modeled after Sandoval's Dubai Toro Toro, which was named "Best Latin" and "Best New Restaurant" by Time Out shortly after opening in mid-2012. Given Miami's internationally-inspired culinary and nightlife scene, Toro Toro is positioned to become the new must-try dining destination. Stay tuned for more information coming up soon!


Grand Dinner Under The Stars:
Fontainebleau Miami Beach Launches New 
"Once In A Bleau Moon" Dinner Series at La Cote

September 25, 2012

Is there anything more romantic than enjoying the beauty of a full moon? Beginning this Thursday, September 27th, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, located at 4441 Collins Avenue, will be introducing a new dinner series, "Once In A Bleau Moon", at La Cote, the resort's chic and trendy two-level outdoor restaurant. Boasting sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, it is the perfect spot to indulge in a moonlit dinner. Priced at $120 per couple, this romantic experience includes a secluded cabana, private butler service and a four course price fixe menu. "Once In A Bleau Moon" will be offered from 6-9 pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the full moon cycle on the following dates: September 27th-29th, October 25th-27th,  November 29th-December 1st and December 27th-29th. Menu is as follows:

First Course (Choice of):
Octopus Confit - Citrus Dressing, Fennel, Watermelon
Seared Haloumi Cheese - Cherry Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, Oregano Lemon Vinaigrette
Wild Mushroom Risotto - Shaved Parmesan Cheese, Truffle Oil
Seafood Platter - King Crab Legs, Oysters, Chilled Prawns, Littlenecks (for Two)
Second Course:
“La Cote” Salad
Arugula, Tomato, Cucumber, Chickpea, Grape, Pita Chips, Lemon Vinaigrette
Third Course (Choice of):
Pan Seared Grouper - Tomato, Fennel, Capers & Warm Champagne Vinaigrette
Roasted Boneless Half Chicken - Parsnip Puree, Roasted Root Vegetables, Lemon Thyme Jus
Surf & Turf - Grilled Hanger Steak, Jumbo Prawns, Asparagus, Herbed Butter
Lobster Thermidor - Mushrooms, Chives, Béchamel, Gruyere Cheese
Fourth Course (Choice of):
Quatro Leches - Coconut Biscuit Topped with Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Nutella Beignets-Milk Chocolate Shake

Please note: La Cote is an outdoor restaurant subject to weather permitting and availability. It is recommended to check the venue prior to confirming reservations. Menu subject to change. For reservations, please call (877) 326-7412.

Common Threads World Festival

September 23, 2012

On October 2nd, Common Threads is returning to Miami to hold its 3rd annual World Festival at The Moore Building located at 4040 NE 2nd Avenue in the Miami Design District. Taking place from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., it's a wonderful opportunity to help out a great cause while enjoying delicious food and awesome drinks. Common Threads World Festival raises money to provide nutritional education for youth by educating children on the importance of good nutrition and physical well-being; thus attempting to lower the rate of childhood obesity. The World Festival will be hosted by celebrity Chef Michelle Bernstein, and will bring together an impressive roster of talented local chefs. The lineup includes:

Featured Chefs:

Michelle Bernstein, Crumb on Parchment
Michael Reidt, Area 31
Julie Frans, Essensia
Jason Schaan, Michy's
Freddy Ortiz, Lantao Kitchen and Cocktails
Mark Zeitouni, The Standard - Lido Restaurant & Bayside Grill
Paula Dasilva, 1500 Degrees
Misha Gomez, Mischa's Cupcakes
Adrianne Calvo, Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar
Matthieu Godard, DB Bistro Moderne Miami
Christian Testa, La Gloutonnerie Vintage Kitchen
Makoto Okuwa, Makoto 
Cesar Zapata, The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions
Daniel Serfer, Blue Collar
Aaron Brooks, Edge Steak & Bar
Alex Rosado, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
Cindy Hutson, Ortanique
Vince Tien, The Local
Jordan Hoffman, Bianca at the Delano
Rolando Cruz-Taura, Biltmore
Alex Rosado and Luis Pous, The Dining Room at Little Palm Island
Sean Brasel, Meat Market
Conor Hanlon, The Dutch
Jamie DeRosa
Todd Erickson, Haven Gastro-Lounge 
Gabe Fenton, Bourbon Steak
Sam Gorenstein, My Ceviche
Nick Mencia, Real Sorbet
Aaron Taylor, STK

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


Room Service Restaurant Lounge, Miami's Most Anticipated Dining Venue and Lounge, Will Officially Open Its Doors On Thursday, September 27th.

September 18, 2012

On September 27th, a new, one-of-a-kind dining venue is opening in Miami Beach: Room Service Restaurant Lounge, located at 929 Washington Avenue. This fascinating new venue, like no other in South Beach, perfectly mimics the perception of checking-in to a luxury hotel, complete with "Bellmen" escorting diners to their "Private Suite", "French Maidens" providing bottle service, a spectacular menu with tantalizing dishes that embody American Cuisine with a Latin Flair and desserts served on "Room Service" carts. Celebrated local chef, Miguel Emmanuelli , whose culinary experience includes the 51 Supper Club, the Four Seasons and the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach hotels, has designed a delectable food menu that includes both small and large plates, salads and signature homemade desserts. There will be a daily Happy Hour from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and after dinner service nightly, at 11:00 p.m., Room Service Restaurant transforms into Room Service Lounge. The Grand Opening festivities taking place on September 27th are going to be huge! For details on attending the event, or for more information, visit my Upcoming Events page.


Celebrity Chef Michelle Bernstein Bringing Her Popular Restaurant Crumb on Parchment to Miami Beach: Crumb at The Webster Opening Its Doors on Wednesday, August 29th.

August 28, 2012

Bringing her beloved cafe concept from the Design District to Miami Beach, Bernstein's Crumb at The Webster will be a combination of food and fashion, set in a chic, trendy setting. The menu will feature the culinary creations Bernstein is known for, such as her soups, salads, hot plates and delectable baked goods, as well as some interesting surprises. Set in The Webster's first floor, located at 1200 Collins Avenue, the cozy space will have both indoor and outdoor seating and provide a great venue for people watching on Collins Avenue. For more information, you can visit The Webster's website at


  1. This is very nice and informative blog. I am waiting for your next updates... latest news

  2. my favorite tapas are definitely serrano ham and Spanish chorizo ;)