Lou's Beer Garden (Miami Beach's first gastropub) is hosting its 1st Annual Micro‐Brew Beer Cook‐off on Sunday, August 22nd from 5-8pm. It's free to attend, and all attendees get a vote plus they get to taste all of the dishes as well as enjoy some great beer!
Participants can create an appetizer, entrée, dessert, or tapas. All dishes must include a micro‐brewed beer as one of the ingredients. Other than that, there are no other requirements.
Participants must bring enough food (Dixie cup size) for 100 tastings. Since attendees get one vote each, the more people who try their dish, the more votes they will get! The judging will take place by 5 esteemed judges (each have one vote) and the people’s choice (1 vote). Six (6) votes will determine the winner.
Participants must sign up to compete and can contact ann@thenewhotelmiami.com  for a sign-up sheet or they can just complete it while at Lou’s and return to the Bartender.  There will be three prizes.
Lou's Beer Garden, 7337 Harding Ave. (behind The New Hotel), Miami Beach

Beginning Friday August 13, and every Friday, The Restaurant at the Setai will offer an 8-course Dim Sum dinner and a glass of Champagne Taittinger for $75 per person.  An extended Chef’s Tasting Menu with wine pairings is also available. For reservations: 305-520-6400 or setaidining@ghamericas.com. The Setai,  2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach FL 33139

Several elite NYC restaurants graded unclean

Last Updated: 8:04 PM, August 8, 2010Posted: 5:59 AM, August 8, 2010

These top chefs haven't passed the mustard.

The Health Department's new letter-grading system has some of the city's best known kitchens in hot water - en route to earning lowly Bs and Cs for cleanliness. On track to receive a B for dirty or unsafe kitchen conditions are: celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain's flagship brasserie, Les Halles; Upper West Side staple Shun Lee; Dylan Thomas' favorite pub, the White Horse Tavern; and Di Fara's Pizzeria, often hailed as the city's best slice.

The 540 Park Restaurant at the Regency Hotel and at the iconic McSorley's Old Ale House, Manhattan's oldest bar, are two of the more than 100 restaurants that racked up so many violation points last week that they currently qualify for a cold C for health violations. Eateries that earned a B or a C have one last chance to contest the grade before receiving their scarlet letterClick here to read more....


chef sean bernalAfter six years with The Oceanaire Seafood Room Miami, former operating partners Chef Sean Bernal and General Manager Kevin Amiott  have joined forces with Wyland’s Ocean Blue, a new fine dining concept and art gallery that opened its first location in Fairview, Texas last month.  “We were approached by Wyland’s Ocean Blue at a time in our careers when we were ready to branch out and try something different,” said Chef Bernal. “It was an opportunity we just couldn’t pass up,” added Amiott.

 Bernal will serve as Vice President of Culinary Development and Amiott will serve as Vice President of Operations.

 The new restaurant concept was developed by noted marine wildlife artist Wyland and Florida-based restaurateur Peter McFarland, principal of McFarland Management Company.  The brand has an aggressive growth model with expansion plans that include openings in Colorado and other cities throughout Texas, all before 2011.  McFarland Management Co. is scouting South Florida locations for the Wyland restaurant brand, so Bernal and Amiott will most likely bring their talents back to Miami in 2011.


After three and a half  years at The Setai in Miami Beach where he raised the bar for fine dining and brought a new dimension to food in Miami , Executive Chef Jonathan Wright has accepted an appointment  at the famous Sandy Lane Resort in Barbados.  His last day at the Setai is September 3.  “ It was a hard decision, I thought long and hard about it, but it was one of those opportunities that don’t come along very often,” explained Chef Wright.  “It is a wonderful property and I am very excited about the opportunity to bring the Culinary program up to a world class experience.”

Regarding a replacement, he said: “They’re doing a worldwide search for a new Executive chef. But, I’ve put together a very strong crew and they’ll do a great job until the Setai finds one.”


There's a new Small Plates Menu and à la carte selections in addition to its American Churrasco menu at ZED451 .  “We listened to our guests,” explained Chef Steve Byrne, director of culinary operations. The new Small Plates choices range from a fire-grilled Ribeye with balsamic glazed onions ($14) to an Asian Pork Belly in five-spice hoisin sauce ($10).  For those who prefer fish, Chef’s selections include seared rare Ahi tuna with miso soy vinaigrette ($12) or citrus dusted salmon ($12).  New à la carte selections include citrus rosemary seasoned double-cut lamb chops ($19), grilled prawns and diver scallops with a house made basil oil and summer ratatouille ($15) and ZED Kobe Burger ($14).   House made desserts by Pastry Chef, Kate Milashus, include Mango Crème Brûlée ($10) and Butterscotch Bread Pudding ($10). 

The American Churassco prix-fixe menu is $44 per person, the Summer Harvest Tables menu is $22 per person.

ZED451 is open seven days a week for dinner starting at 4 p.m., and Sunday brunch starting at 11 a.m. Complimentary valet parking.  201 Plaza Real in Boca Raton’s Mizner Park lifestyle center.  (561) 3-ZED451 or visit www.ZED451.com. 

Slow Food Miami is planning an Edible Film Series.   The series,  a selection of films that will be shown in different areas of town,  kicks off on August 26 with a screening of the film Ingredients at the new Coral Gables Museum and the  Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival.  Ingredients looks at how people around the country are working to revitalize the connection between food, community and health.

There will be a “dine around in the Gables” at some select restaurants  before the film and then the screening will be at Coral Gables Museum in the main Gallery at 8pm.  All the restaurants (TBA) are within 1 -2 block walking distance.  We plan to have a and will offer a fixe price meal early meal at 6:30 p.m.  and then the movie will be at 8pm.   

Mark your calendar and stay tuned for ticket and event details.    http://www.slowfoodmiami.com/2010/07/save-the-date-slow-food-miamis-edible-film-series/

Starting Thursday Aug 5, from 7 to 11 p.m., and every Thursday to follow, vocalist Stephanie Jordan will perform with classic, Latin and jazz musicians with Champagne and Jazz float and Asian-inspired small plates. RSVP 305-520-6400 or setaidining@ghamericas.com 2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

Starting Friday, from 6 to 10 p.m.  there is cocktails and fashion on the Rooftop at The Webster, with two for one house wine, beer, or drinks while listening to DJ Ethics on Miami Beach’s luxurious and chic 1930’s-style rooftop terrace.

 In addition, Parisian eatery Kaspia will be pouring Duval-Leroy Champagne for the first arrivals, as well as serving complimentary Parisian hors’ d’oeuvres including smoked salmon on mini potatoes, goat cheese artichokes, caviar bites and other delicious edibles until 8pm1220 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach 33139 305.674.7899

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday this summer, the Setai is offering a Balinese Hour with Asian-inspired cocktails, Balinese Gamelan performances and complimentary charcoal grilled Indonesian Satay. The Courtyard at The Setai, 2001 Collins Ave.,  Miami Beach,  FL 33139. 305-520-6500.

Executive Chef Frank Jeannetti and his team have created new menus emphasizing  flavor and simplicity by blending wholesome, fresh local, seasonal, and organic ingredients from local purveyors to create “inventive, beautiful dishes where the purest of ingredients shine and work together without heavy or overpowering sauces and spices, ” says chef Jeannetti

Among the new items: homemade pastas with organic ingredients; healthy and colorful salads and appetizers like Essensia’s organic orchid petal salad and grilled giant prawns with mango rice. In addition there’s  miso glazed wild north Atlantic black cod with celery root puree and shaved organic radish salad, and pistachio crusted domestic rack of lamb with cauliflower puree, petit summer vegetables and plum wine huckleberry sauce. The Angus beef short ribs and the Maine diver scallops will remain on the summer menu with a fresh interpretation to their preparation. 

Pastry Chef Gail Goetsch has added new desserts such as  rustic apricot tart with spiced almonds and ginger almond ice-cream as well as a raspberry lavender-honey napoleon with candied lemon sorbet and mint syrup.  

Sunday Brunch continues throughout the summer with traditional brunch specialties  with organic eggs only, fruits and berries,  hot and cold breakfast items, risotto and pasta station,  a salad station and an outdoor grill.   

Essensia is open 7 days per week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. The Palms offers complimentary valet parking with dinner, up to 3 hours. RSVP 305.908.5458. www.thepalmshotel.com  www.essensiarestaurant.com . The Palms Hotel & Spa, 3025 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach.



 JB Kitchen & Bar in Downtown Miami has prepared a schedule for every day of the week in summer: 

  • “IN THE BIZ” MONDAYS: Half-off specials all day for those in the industry.  (*Must present an industry ID or paycheck stub.)
  • WINE DOWN TUEDSDAYS: All bottles of wine are 50% off all night.
  • WHISKEY WEDNESDAYS: Half-off all calls, wells, premiums and super premium whiskeys including Johnny Walker Blue all night.
  • LADIES NIGHT THURSDAYS: Half off specialty cocktails for ladies all night including Watermelon Mint Martinis, Cucumber Martinis, Raz Mojitos and more.
  • EXTENDED FRIDAYS: Happy Hour is extended two more hours on Fridays throughout the summer. $4 domestic beer, $6 well drinks, $6 glasses of house wine (red or white) along with $6 bar bites including Rock Shrimp Tempura, Cracklin’ Calamari and JB’s wings.
JB Kitchen & Bar is open for lunch and dinner daily with a menu prepared by executive Chef Frederick H. Kelly, who recently introduced   Sunday brunch until 3pm.  1250 South Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33130


To celebrate its second year in the heart  of Downtown Coral Gables Red Koi Thai & Sushi Lounge, has revamped its menu of authentic Thai and Asian dishes incorporating  the flavors of Miami.   

Sushi Chef Chris Chung has created innovative sushi rolls such as the Havana roll  with fish katsu, guava paste, macadamia nuts, cilantro and avocado, and the Caribbean roll with coconut shrimp, fig, asparagus, cilantro and Japanese chili powder rolled in soy paper.  There’s also a Cuban  roll (grilled chicken, onion, cilantro, avocado and black bean sauce served with sweet plantains on the side) and a Gallego roll (white fish katsu, asparagus, cilantro, aioli topped with Manchego cheese and chorizo).

 In celebration of the two year anniversary, from August 2nd through August 8th, diners that order either the Cubang roll, Gallego roll or Caribbean roll will receive a complimentary bottle of Red Koi’s signature, organic pineapple sake.

  “There’s a strong international, predominantly Latin, influence in Miami and the fusion of all these cultures, along with Thai and Japanese traditions continue  to inspire me to create original dishes with distinctive flavors,” explains chef Chung. On the menu, there’s Lobster Yellow Curry ,  Pad See Iew Noodles - sautéed noodles with egg, broccoli, and beansprouts, with a sweet sauce and served with meat or seafood. And for dessert there’s Green Tea Flan or Wontonamera, the Thai take on a Cuban favorite- fried wonton filled with cream cheese and guava paste.

Red Koi Thai & Sushi Lounge is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to10:30 p.m., Wednesdays through Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to midnight, and Sundays from 3:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.   the second story lounge is open Wednesday through Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.  305.446.2690  www.redkoilounge.com





“We invite the South Florida community to celebrate summer and save at Morton’s with our extraordinary summer deals,” according to GM Michael Savitt.

 In addition to prix-fixe menus, the casual dining Bar 1221 at Morton’s is now open seven days a week for Power Hour from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close and serves select wines by the glass, beers and cocktails from $5 to $7, and Bar Bites for  $5 or $6 a plate, including filet mignon sandwiches, mini prime cheeseburgers and the newly added crab cake BLTs and smoked salmon pizza.    Morton’s The Steakhouse,  500 East Broward Blvd.,  Fort Lauderdale. (954) 467-9720  www.mortons.com






At a Miami spice preview during which we went restaurant hopping – we were whisked from one restaurant to another, cocktails in hand, for a tasting of their Miami Spice menu - I could see and feel The Fontainebleau, Miami Beach  sizzle and crackle in anticipation of the Miami Spice Restaurant month, from August 1 to September 1.

While the Cantonese Hakkasan offers a family-style Dim sum lunch menu for $22 on Saturdays and Sundays, the three restaurants - Gotham Steak, Chef Alfred Portale’s classical steakhouse with specialty meats and fresh seafood menu and an 8,000-bottle wine tower;  the Italian restaurant Scarpetta, New York star chef Scott Conant’s innovative and sophisticated take on  cucina povera; and Hakkasan, the swanky London import with Cantonese cuisine -   are all offering  spectacular cocktails  and discounted valet parking  Sunday to Friday (not Saturday night) to go with their $35 three-course prix-fixe menus with choices as follows:






At Scarpetta:   Home-made spaghetti with tomato and basil; creamy polenta with a fricassee of truffled mushroom; Mediterranean Branzino; Spice roasted chicken; prime aged sirloin of beef and Amedei chocolate cake and mocha swirl cheesecake.

At Hakkasan: Grilled Shanghai dumplings; sweet corn soup; wok-fried cod in XO sauce; stir-fry mwild mushroom with water chestnusts; crispy Szechuan shredded rib-eye beef; stir fry scallops; vegetable fried rice and wild mushroom hand pulled noodles.

dsc08124At Gotham Steak: Chef Alfred Portale’s very own recipes as well as Chef de cuisine John Suley’s creations such as Local heirloom tomato salad summer corn and jumbo lump crab risotto’ grilled primer hanger steak; miso-marinated black cod; Berkshire pork ribs and chef Portale’s classic tuna tartare with shiso, lime and ginger. Desserts include passion fruit mousse, tiramisu brownies and mild chocolate candy bars.

At Vida: An all-American contemporary menu including fresh fish and sushi, rotisserie chicken and a selection of patisserie by Solo's Executive Pastry Chef Yannis Janssens.

For those who want to try it all over the weekend, including the spa and the pool, get additional information from The Fontainebleau  at www.fontainebleau.com or call 1-866-940-4512 

Get away from sultry Miami for a weekend of food, wine, music  and  fun.

This fall, September 23 to 26, Greenville, SC,  will celebrate its growing culinary experience with the 5th annual Euphoria- food, wine and music festival,  as chefs from all over the country join the local chefs for a weekend full of culinary delights paired with wines from the world, educational seminars by some of the premier Master Sommeliers in the country – including Wayne Belding, Member of the Court of Master Sommeliers since 1990; Prestigious Krug Cup winner; Owner of “The Wine Merchant” in Boulder, CO and Laura Williamson , Member of the Court of Master Sommeliers since 2003; Certified Wine Educator; Co-owner of “Vin Tabla”, Tuscon, AZ -,  wine tastings, and all set to a musical backdrop starring hometown hero, Edwin McCain.You can see the full event schedule, guest chefs, and musical talent scheduled to perform all at www.euphoriagreenville.com

The first few years of Euphoria, in the small-town setting of one of the South’s most celebrated downtowns, have been filled with big names:   from Thomas Keller to Frank Stitt, and  from Branford Marsalis to Drivin N Cryin. Find out about  this year’s  guest chef lineup , seminars and events, musical performances and tickets  by going to: www.euphoriagreenville.com



On Saturday July 31, the Miami Spice Kickoff Event and Fundraiser will be held at the Miami Beach Convention Center with a tasting from a selection of participating Miami Spice restaurant in benefit of Share Our Strength (SOS) and Madison’s Wish.

VIP admission 6-10 p.m. $75 in advance - $100 Day of event (includes open bar, preview from 6 - 7 0.m. and complimentary valet parking); General Admission 7 - 10 p.m. $35 in advance and $50 day of event. For tickets and more information: www.iLoveMiamiSpice.com 

The ninth annual Miami Spice Restaurant Program takes place August 1st – September 30th 2010. During that time restaurants will offer three course prix fixe lunches, at $22 per person, and dinners at $35 (excluding taxes and gratuities). Each menu will include an appetizer, entrée and dessert offering an average discount of 30-50 percent off the regular value. For further information on Miami Spice and the launch event, please visit www.iLoveMiamiSpice.com.

From Friday, July 30 to Sunday, August 8, the Key Largo Food & Wine Festival offers unlimited temptations of food and wines in a laid back relaxed and fun setting.

By popular demand, theKey Largo Festival organizers have extended the events two additional days as Key Largo’s culinary experts step up to the plate to show you what Key Largo has to offer in 10 days:  multiple wine tasting events, cooking demonstrations, wine dinners, progressive wine dinners, food and wine pairing classes, cook book signings, art and wine “shows,” cigars and wine, and of course Key Largo’s famous sunsets, scuba diving, tourist attractions, shopping, and a great time. For more information and a schedule of events: www.KeyLargoFoodandWineFestival.com

Starting July 22, there's  Bubbles, Beer & Beats Thursdays from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Essensia Lounge, with  ½ off Roederer Champagne ($7 instead of $14), ½ off Stella Artois beer ($3.50 instead of $7) and ½ off its new lounge & restaurant appetizers, combined with live entertainment by local acts playing a range of upbeat world music.  Half-off appetizers include Executive Frank Jeannetti’s signature Asian Chicken Salad Wraps ($6 instead of $12), Baked Goat Cheese Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms Stuffed with Mint & Basil Infused Goat Cheese ($7 instead of $14), Harissa Shrimp Tempura ($9.50 instead of $19), Mandarin Duck Salad ($6 instead of $12), Five Spiced Charred & Chilled Domestic Lamb Loin ($7 instead of $14), Grilled Giant Prawns with Mango Rice ($9 instead of $18), and much more.  Valet parking is $9.00 for Bubbles, Beer & Beats guests and complimentary if combined with full dinner at Essensia. Essensia Lounge @ The Palms Hotel & Spa3025 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140. 305.908.5460. www.thepalmshotel.com   

New this summer, EPIC has teamed up with Miami-based independent bookseller, Books & Books, to provide guests with books-on-demand delivered right to their room.  Guests who book a minimum two-night, three-day stay will get a  complimentary copy of their favorite title from the EPIC Virtual Nightstand delivered in-room (reservation code: READ when booking by phone or online, offer valid through September 30, 2010). Throughout the summer, EPIC will provide children (up to eight years old) with a complimentary book they can read and take home, courtesy of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe whose mission is to promote early developmental learning and child literacy.

During  the complimentary daily wine hour program the hotel offers an Author Meet-and-Greet, a series of book signings and “art of storytelling” events. EPIC is located at 270 Biscayne Blvd Way.    (866) 760-3742 or (305) 424-5226 or  www.epichotel.com. 



dsc08093Though September 6,  the famed steakhouse has a Summer Grill special with Light and Healthy options, traditional and inventive salads, Nibble & Noshe, Sandwiches & Burgers, Sea & Be Seen all paired with wines by the glass. But this is a Steakhouse so it's most certainly worth a visit for its Tried & True and Thick & Juicy selections of  bone-in rib eye, lamb chops and medalions of filet mignon as well as lobster.  Desserts are  huge and so great for sharing...The service is as delightful and efficient as always.
There is a special four-course prix fixe Summer Celebrations menu available in the Private Dining rooms now through Aug. 31, http://www.smithandwollensky.com/summer_celebrations_2010.html.
Another attraction: it is one of the few waterside bars and restaurants in Miami.  The patio overlooks the Port of Miami with the magic of the big cruise ships gliding by and with tables set over the renovated park, the entertainment is endless. 
 The Summer Grill Menu is offered daily for both lunch and dinner in Wollensky’s Grill and on the patio . Smith & Wollensky Miami Beach steakhouse and Wollensky’s Grill are open Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.—12:00 a.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m.—2:00 a.m. Smith & Wollensky, 1 Washington Ave., South Pointe Park, Miami Beach. www.smithandwollendsky.com. 305-673-2800.





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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