new caracol_restaurantFor $29.00 per person, diners at Caracol Restaurant, at Marenas Resort in Sunny Isles will enjoy a first course of soup or field greens salad in addition to four medium stone crab claws paired by the restaurant’s sommelier with a wine flight of Joel Gott wines — 2009 Chardonnay with bright aromas of pear, melon, orange blossom, and honeysuckle; 2009 Sauvignon Blanc bursts with tropical notes of mango, lemon, lime, citrus, lychee, pineapple, and guava; and the 2009 Riesling rich with honeysuckle, jasmine, lychee, orange blossom, lime, mango and white peach notes.

 Caracol Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, indoor and alfresco dining, overlooking the surf. Marenas Resort, Sunny Isles Beach 305.503.6000.

Red Koi Thai & Sushi Lounge launches its gourmet mobile food truck The Red Koi during Carnaval on the Mile on Saturday, March 5 from 10 am - midnight and March 6 from 10am – 8pm.  

The Red Koi  — a red 26-foot custom-built truck equipped with 2 plasma screens that display the truck’s digital menu, an 18x9-foot state-of-the-art kitchen, three open windows, one for ordering and one for food pick-up and one to view the sushi chef in action.— can be found  on the corner of Douglas Road and Miracle Mile during those days.

The  menu of authentic Thai and Japanese flavors, lists items like the signature Bangkok Shrimp Tacos, Shrimp Shumai, Pad Thai, several types of sushi boxes, and refreshing Lychee Lemonade, all reasonably priced between $2.50 – 9.00. Food truck aficionados can also indulge in desserts like Red Koi’s Wontonameras and Thai Donuts.

For more information  call 305.446.2690 or visit

the-forge-miami-restaurant-long-tableStarting  Sunday, March 6, 2011, Miami Beach’s The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar is open for “Sunday Brunch at The Forge” every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m..

The brunch menu reflects executive chef Dewey LoSasso’s “Progressive American” cuisine with a farm- and ocean-to-table approach with ceviches, assorted house-made breads, traditional breakfast items,  sweet and savory blintzes, salads, waffles, homemade sausages, potato and regular pancakes and more.  For the cost of $55 for adults (excluding tax and service fee) and $32 for children, the brunch will feature unlimited Mimosas, full Bloody Mary Bar, multiple stations in addition to more than 15 different entrées such as mac and cheese topped with roasted wild mushrooms and truffles; Thai basil poached black cod with lemongrass reduction and herb salad; grilled skirt steak with goat cheese frittata; Porcini seared sea scallops with grilled broccoli rabe, Israeli cous cous and vanilla butter; The Forge French Toast with sautéed apples and mango, Land of Goshen maple syrup;  Angus Short Rib “Pot Pie” with  Toasted Garlic Mashed and Porcini Gravy and more…

The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar, is open nightly for dinner from 6 p.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday, and to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and for brunch Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 432 Forty-First Street, Miami Beach,  305.538.8533

Share Our Strength’s  Eighth Annual Great American Bake Sale® officially kicked off nationwide on March 1, 2011. Great American Bake Sale is a national campaign that encourages Americans to hold bake sales in their communities to raise funds for Share Our Strength, the leading organization ending childhood hunger in America.

Share Our Strength is asking families, kids, neighbors, businesses, churches and even whole towns to hold bake sales to help raise funds to support Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® Campaign to end childhood hunger in America by 2015.

To find a bake sale in your area or to get information on hosting a bake sale, visit

In addition Americans are invited to join the Great American Bake Sale National Challenge May 13-15, 2011. In its second year, the Challenge is a three-day call to action to hold as many bake sales as possible in as many states as possible.

Register your bake sale or learn more at


sail brunch pool deck- coconut groveOn Sunday, March 6, celebrate Miami Sailing Week in style with a grand Sunday Brunch and be a kid again by racing remote-controlled mini sailboats across a 60-foot pool at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove’s “Sunday Brunch Regatta.”

Sunday Brunch and hotel guests can start their day at Bizcaya restaurant for the lavish brunch feast (12 to 3 p.m.) or head straight to a barbecue (2 to 6 p.m.). Sunday, March 6,  Brunch:  12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Barbecue and “Regatta”: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

 Open only to Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove Sunday Brunch and  hotel guestsSunday Brunch $65/adults; $25/children VIP Private Cabanas: $150/ per day The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami,3300 SW 27th Avenue, Coconut Grove, FL 33133


Every Thursday, starting Thursday March 10, from 6:00 p.m. to 11 p.m., Café Sambal at Mandarin Oriental, Miami offers themed and prix fixe “Indian Nights” dinners with live entertainment by a sitar player, lavish Indian décor and a special family-style menu prepared by Guest Chef Jayaseelan “Jay” Mariadoss — a native of India, Chef Jay has worked in India, Grand Cayman and now resides in Miami.

The menu draws from Chef Jayaseelan’s Bangalore origins and all ingredients will be flown in directly from India, ensuring the presence of the rich flavors and intoxicating aromas that Indian food is known for.

Starters include savory dishes like Soft Shell Crab Pakora with tandoori shrimp and calamari and a Kebab Tasting, samples of Chicken Tikka, Fish Tikka, Sheek Kebab and Paneer Tikka. Traditional entrees list the Bombay Palate with Navabi cashew lamb, chicken tikka masala, shrimp malai curry and saag paneer; the Delhi Palate with chicken noorjehani, lamb roganjosh, shrimp shajahani and aloo gobi; as well as additional arrays of Palates. Also on the menu, Naan bread and basmati rice as well as traditional Indian sweets like Rasamalai and Mango & Pistachio Kulfi.

The cost is USD 45 per person and USD 22.50 per child plus tax and gratuity. “Indian Nights” takes place at Café Sambal every Thursday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Café Sambal is located at Mandarin Oriental, Miami, 500 Brickell Key Drive.  Reservations are suggested at (305) 913 8358.

Every Thursday Palme d’Or’s Bouillabaisse Provençale — Chef Philippe Ruiz’s rendition of a classic ‘Bouillabaisse Provencal’ for $39 per person or $59 with Sommelier’s wine pairings.

Every Wednesday Fontana’s Tutto Brasato — Braised Italian dinner specialties including lamb, veal or short ribs for $39 per person.

Daily, Fontana’s Pranzo Italiano - A two-course Italian lunch special for $22 per person.

Daily Fontana’s La Cena dello Chef - A three-course Italian dinner special for $39 per person.

 To celebrate Pi Day  — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is 3.141592653… an infinite and constant number known as Pi — Morton's  Miami, Coral Gables, North Miami Beach, and Miami Beach are  offering  a slice of their famous  Key Lime Pie for only $3.14...

To check location, to make reservations and for additional information, log on to .

carnavalOn Sunday March 6, at 9 p.m. SUSHISAMBA dromo kicks off Carnaval, a celebration of traditional Brazilian entertainment, music, food and drinks. Featuring live performances by elaborately costumed samba dancers and batucada drummers, SUSHISAMBA dromo will offer Carnaval specials in addition to the regular menu.

Specials include Casquinha do Siri of blue crab, dende oil remoulade and fresh lime ($14); Acarajé with Braised Short Ribs with cilantro and pickled onions ($24); Mangueira Roll of king crab, tuna, yellowtail, salmon, eel, shrimp, avocado, soy paper and aji panca ($22); and Beijinho Flan, a sweet coconut flan with a lime beignet and pineapple caipirinha sorbet ($8). To get into full Carnaval spirit, guests can enjoy a Tangerine Honey Caipirinhia ($12).

SUSHISAMBA dromo will also broadcast a live feed from the festivities in Rio de Janeiro transporting the energy and excitement of the world’s largest party to Lincoln Road.

SUSHISAMBA dromo, 600 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305.673.5337,

 Every Monday-Thursday between 6-10 p.m., diners  will receive a free glass of wine or beer with their meal, including the $23 prix fixe menu. Tagliatelle, 124 Collins Ave, Miami Beach is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday from 11:30am to 11:00pm and Friday through Sunday from 11:30am to 12:00am. 305.397.8019;

Inspired by his family’s Michelin-star restaurant and farm in the Maremma, on the coast of Tuscany,  Vino & Olio’s  Chef Andrea  Menichetti  is bringing Spring ingredients like fennel, broccoli rabe, asparagus and peas to his menu with dishes including Cured Salmon Carpaccio with Fresh Fennel, Sicilian Oranges and Taggiasche Olives; Sea Bream with Broccoli Rabe, Grapes and Pine Nuts; Veal Sweetbreads Sautéed with Asparagus and Balsamic Vinegar; Roasted suckling pig served with green pea puree and fresh mushrooms and Peach sorbet with sliced peaches sautéed with orange and honey, and a peach mousse.

Starters (including soups, salads and antipasti) range from $9 to $18, pastas from $12 to $20, and entrees are all $35 and under.

Vino & Olio is open Monday through Saturday from 12:00pm – 3:00pm (lunch) and 5:00pm – 11:00pm (dinner), the 2-for-1 Happy Hour has been extended  Monday through Friday from 5pm – 8pm. while the bar and lounge are open until 2:00am. 139 NE 39th Street in Miami’s Design District      305.573.0707 or .

Monday to Friday from 11am-4pm through April 30, Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana’s Chef Paolo de Papa and owner Flaminia Morin, a native of Rome, will customize a half order of pasta, paired with a side salad or soup, and soda; a half salad (try the Ravello - baby spinach, almonds, goat cheese, green apples, lemon dressing) or half a panini ( a favorite is the Palermo - homemade focaccia with albacore tuna, sundried tomatoes, red onions, mixed greens, extra virgin olive oil) in addition to soup or salad and a soda, for $8.

The fettuccine, linguine and gnocchi are fresh and the dried traditional rigatoni, penne, spaghetti and capellini are from Italy, with options for whole wheat and glutten-free selections. Pastas come with a choice of 15 traditional -- and nontraditional – sauces ranging from simple Aglio e Olio (garlic and olive oil with crushed chiles) and Funghi e Tartufi (dried porcini and fresh cremini mushrooms in buttery truffle sauce) to The Frutti di Mare, a mix of calamari, mussels, shrimp, baby clams, tomato, garlic & chili, and Flaminia’s grandmother’s special marinara sauce, Sugo della Nonna. Beef up the dishes with broccoli, fresh mozzarella, meatballs or a variety of other additions.

The menu also includes Parmigiana di Melazane (eggplant parm), Suppli Romani (fried risotto balls with mozzarella, beef sauce, served with marinara), Saltimbocca alla Romana (veal scaloppini with parma ham and sage severed with broccoli), Dentice al Fornocon Gamberi, Cozze e Calamari (Red snapper with shrimp, mussels and calamari), Lasagna Rossa and daily specials that change with the availability of fresh ingredients.  The restaurant also offers an array of Italian and local wines by the bottle or the glass. Appetizers start from $5, paninis $7.50, pastas from $10, entrees from $13.50, dessert from $5.

Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana is open Sunday-Thursday, 11am-10pm; Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm. 14871 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami Beach, 305.944.1006 |

Chefs  Philippe Ruiz of Palme d'Or at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Dean James Max of 3030 Ocean at Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale  and  Zach Bell of Café Boulud in Palm Beach are  semifinalists for Best Chef (South) in the prestigious 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards.

The semifinalists were selected from a record 28,000 online nominations, and a 550-judge panel will narrow each list down to five finalists in each category.

The final James Beard Award winners willbe announced at the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception, on Monday, May 9, 2011 in New York City,  at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall.

Here is the list of semifinalists for BEST CHEF: SOUTH in Florida:

Philippe Ruiz, Palme d'Or at the Biltmore, Coral Gables, FL

Dean James Max, 3030 Ocean at Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Zach Bell, Café Boulud, Palm Beach, FL

Scott Hunnel, Victoria & Albert's, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Philip Krajeck, Fish Out of Water at WaterColor Inn & Resort, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

James and Julie Petrakis, The Ravenous Pig, Winter Park, FL

Hari Pulapaka, Cress, DeLand, FL

For a  full list of semifinalists go to:  

Every last Wednesday of the month, and this month on Wednesday February 23rd, at 6pm,  Maitardi hosts Maiart, an Italian Art Design series with Alex Turco Art Designer Gallery with complimentary Prosecco and tapas until 7pm and music by Soul P until 9pm. Alex Turco’s works will remain at Maitardi for the next four weeks inside the restaurant.

The next MaiArt is scheduled for Wednesday March 30th at 6pm. Maitardi, NE 2nd avenue and 39th Street (163 NE 39th Street)

Every Thursday from 7pm to 11pm  The Grill at The Setai  offers a complimentary glass of Taittinger Champagne with tapas-style dishes by Executive Chef David Werly.
There also is Music Under the Stars at The Bar & Courtyard with live Jazz and specialty cocktails.
For reservations or more information: 305 520 6400 or The Setai,  2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach," class="twitter-share-button" data-count="none" data-via="sdiament">Tweet

Beginning Wednesday, February 16th and from 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m  in The Village at Gulfstream Park’s Champions Plaza the Green Market will take place every Wednesday evening, rain or shine, with an eclectic mix of vendors selling a wide variety of products and diverse items such as locally grown produce, baked goods, fresh cut flowers, orchids, plants, bamboo, herbs and spices, jams, honey, arts & crafts, baskets, dog treats and much more. Visitors can also enjoy live music each and every Wednesday at this distinctive evening farmers market.  The Village at Gulfstream Park, 501 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale, FL 33009


Twin chefs Nicola and Fabrizio Carro of Quattro Gastronomia Italiana have launched three prix fixe tasting menu options through summer 2011:

 Prix Fixe Lunch ($25), a two-course menu from Monday through Friday with a selection of antipasti and secondi such as  fontina ravioli drizzled with white truffle oil.

Prix Fixe Dinner ($48), a three-course menu from Monday through Thursday with antipasti including tartare of tuna with capers and mustard or savory braised beef ravioli in a Piedmontese sauce and second-course options such as a flattened, grilled succulent Cornish hen marinated in lemon and herbs.

For theatre and concert-goers Pre-Theatre Two-Course Menu ($38),  Monday through Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., any two-courses from the Prix Fixe Dinner Tasting Menu with the addition of a complimentary glass of house wine or a cappuccino.

Quattro Gastronomia Italiana,  1014 Lincoln Road,  South Beach. Reservations suggested: (305) 531-4833.


Chef Douglas Rodriguez has relocated his signature restaurant De Rodriguez Cuba at the Astor Hotel on Washington Ave., to De Rodriguez Cuba at the Hilton Bentley on Ocean Drive with indoor and outdoor seating and two full bars, including one poolside and a 25-foot marble raw bar.    

 The menu includes an assortment of 15 ceviches such as  Big Eye Tuna and watermelon with kumquat, yuzu, thai basil and tarragon or Mixed Seafood with mussel, clam, shrimp, octopus, calamari, lime juice, aji amarillo and sweet potato slices. Entrees list Maine Lobster infused with coconut water and thai chili, Duck Duo of chive and scallions crepa stuffed with duck ropa vieja, candied walnuts and goat cheese; Vaca Frita with avocado and tomato chimichurri, and Chicken Imperial of yellow rice with roasted peppers filled with chicken stew.    

Read a review of De Rodriguez on Ocean Drive

Cuban-style cocktails such as the Old Cuban and Pink Elephant and a comprehensive wine list including a by-the-glass program complement the atmosphere and accompany nightly live music with performances every Thursday through Sunday, including Afro-Cuban Funk group PALO on the first Thursday of the month.

 De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean offers complimentary parking and is located in the Hilton Bentley at 101 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. The restaurant is open seven days-a-week for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7AM to 11PM Monday – Thursday, 7AM to 12AM Friday and Saturday, and 7AM to 10PM on Sundays. For reservations: 305.672.6624.


Every day of the week, including weekends, from 5-7 pm  China Grill at the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina‘s waterfront bar is now offering a happy hour with  two-for-one cocktails — from the Spicytini with Serrano pepper- infused Russian Standard Vodka, passion fruit puree and triple sec, and the Pear Margarita with Milagro Silver, pear liqueur, sour mix, pear nectar and grenadine to beer or wine-by-the-glass —,  half priced sushi — from Salmon Crudo and Aussie Waygu Beef Tatakito to  rolls like the Kaleidoscope, the Havana and the Three-Headed Dragon.—  and appetizers — i.e.  Spicy Beef & Scallion Dumplings or Lobster Pancakes. China Grill at Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina, 1881 SE 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 954.759.9950

Every Sunday through May, the  Pinecrest Gardens Farmers Market --  the "Best Miami Farmers Market 2010" according to the  New Times-- , will be open from 9 am. to 2 p.m. with fresh produce from local farms,  vendors and more. A family event. Pinecrest Gardens SW 57th Avenue @ SW 111th Street. For additional information contact:, or call 305/775-2166.  Free admission.
B Bar winter events line-up inside the historic Betsy Hotel on South Beach.
Mondays:  Vinyl Night, WIRE Magazine’s  night on the town, with DJ’s, drink specials and great music get underway at 9 p.m.  No cover or minimum.
Wednesdays: Industry Night with complimentary spirits from 10 to 11 p.m., with signature drinks all night for hospitality industry professionals with DJ’s.   No cover, no minimum.
Thursdays: Jazz and Songwriters with vocalists  Maryel Epps: February 3rd ,CatShell: February10th ,  Maryel Epps:  February 17,  Maria Zouroudis: February 24th
Friday/Saturdayfrom 9 p.m. open to the public with rotating DJs and drink specials nightly. The B Bar at The Betsy South Beach is located at1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139. 305-760-8288

Food & Wine Talk Radio

Achile Sassoli, Director of Gelato World Tour
and Gelato Artisans:
James Coleridge, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Abdelrahman Al Teneji, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Matthew Lee, Austin, Texas
Ahmed Abdullatif, Kingdom of Bahrain
Stefano Versace, Miami, Florida
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The House of Mandela Wines from South Africa


Chef Scott Conant: Scarpetta


Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect, The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor


Elizabeth Minchilli, author of  Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City.  


James Beard Award-winning wine journalist Lyn Farmer on: Garnacha from Carinena; the next great wine


Cindy Hutson,chef/owner, Ortanique and Zest, author of From the Tip of My Tongue


Lidia Batianich, celebrity chef, TV host, author and restaurateur 






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