Chef Brian Cantrell — most recently Executive Chef at Prime Italian on Miami Beach after serving at Blue Moon Fish Company, of A Fish Called Avalon and Nemo’s — is now  Executive Chef of Thasos, a contemporary Greek restaurant in Fort Lauderdale co-owned by Sophia Mylona and Gus Leontarakis. The restaurant will continue to offer a menu of Greek favorites and innovative dishes including fennel salad with orange, frisée, manouri and pine nuts; flame-broiled shrimp Saganaki with roasted tomato and feta; lamb chops with Yukon gold potatoes, green beans, Thasos oregano and lemon; and Lavraki – grilled whole Mediterranean Sea bass with fine herbs, lemon and Thasos olive oil.

Thasos is open seven nights beginning at 5 p.m.   3330 East Oakland Park Boulevard, just off of A1A.   (954) 200-6006.

lion mandarinOn Friday, February 8, Mandarin Oriental, Miami will host a Chinese New Year celebration 2013 to usher in the year of the snake in style. According to the Chinese calendar, the snake represents a zodiac sign that is intelligent and graceful. The evening begins at 7pm with a champagne reception at the pool deck, dinner at  Azul and Café Sambal, lion dance performances, Asian ribbon dancers and Chinese calligraphy demonstrations. All guests will receive a ‘red lai see packet’ filled with wishes of good health and good fortune.

Dinner at Azul (USD 135 for a four-course set menu, plus tax and gratuity, includes champagne reception) lists “Longevity” Quail Consommé with Green Scallions and Handmade Long Noodles; “Good Luck & Fortune” Fresh Water Eel & Foie Gras, Compressed Asian pear, Tangerine puree or  “Abundance & Wealth” Steamed Local Fish & Scallop Mousse, Baby leeks, Tender Chinese greens, Young Ginger, Lemon grass, and White soy & Sesame oil and Szechwan Style Short Ribs, Daikon and Okinawa Sweet Potato cake; and “Togetherness” Chocolate Dragon Ball, Soft Almond Cake, Black Tea Ice Cream.

At Café Sambal (USD 85 for a three-course family style menu at Café Sambal and USD 35 for children ages 6 to 12) the culinary team will prepare Chinese specialties served family style like Peking Duck Lettuce Wraps, Chinese Egg Roll, Long Life Egg Noodles, Barbecue Pork Dumplings, Soy Braised Baby Back Rib, Singapore Chili Seafood, Wok Fried Beef Strips in Orange-Ginger Sauce and a selection of Chinese inspired desserts.

For more information or to make reservations: (305) 913 8358. Mandarin Oriental, Miami is located at 500 Brickell Key Drive, Downtown Miami

Angelique now offers a hearty and healthy two-course meal priced at $15 and an indulgent three-course dinner for $35. The 2-course Lunch Prix Fixe $15 menu includes; lentil soup; ensalada chorizo, moules meunière & frites, gnocchi del día, cajun chicken panini & frites, pastas and an add-on dessert option for $2.  For menu details, click here.

The 3-course Dinner Prix Fixe $35 includes Escargot a la Provençal, garbanzo frito, charcuterie plate, artisan salad and braised lamb osso bucco, Scottish salmon, char-grilled sirloin & truffle frites; seafood bouillabaisse and a choice of desserts. For menu, click here.

Angelique Euro Café, 117 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, 305.529.9922

Angelique now offers a hearty and healthy two-course meal priced at $15 and an indulgent three-course dinner for $35. The 2-course Lunch Prix Fixe $15 menu includes; lentil soup; ensalada chorizo, moules meunière & frites, gnocchi del día, cajun chicken panini & frites, pastas and an add-on dessert option for $2.  For menu details, click here.

The 3-course Dinner Prix Fixe $35 includes Escargot a la Provençal, garbanzo frito, charcuterie plate, artisan salad and braised lamb osso bucco, Scottish salmon, char-grilled sirloin & truffle frites; seafood bouillabaisse and a choice of desserts. For menu, click here.

Angelique Euro Café, 117 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, 305.529.9922

From January 16th until February 13th,  Legal Sea Foods is cooking up “Giant-Flavored Shrimp Dinners” as a three-course feature for $24.95.    The menu includes New England Clam Chowder; Pasta and Bean Soup; Shrimp and Sausage Orecchiette;  Cajun Shrimp and Stone Ground cheddar cheese Grits and bacon with braised greens; Crispy Fried Shrimp and Pickled Vegetables - sweet potato fries and chipotle mayo; and for dessert Eggnog Bread Pudding - rum caramel sauce and ice cream bon bons dipped in chocolate.  South Florida’s Legal Sea foods is located at 6000 Glades Road in Boca Raton Town Center.  (561)447-2112.



The Coral Gables Farmers Market is back every  Saturday through March 23,  from 8am to 2pm in front of City Hall, with fresh produce & baked goods, live music, kids’ activities, a free gardening workshop, and a cooking demonstration by Seasons 52 at 10am. For a full schedule of the Farmers Market through March, click here or contact the Parks and Recreation Division at 305-460-5600.



Starting January 15th, Rosa Mexicano at Mary Brickell Village is rolling out a $12 Lunch Crunch on weekdays from 11:30am-4:00pm complete with all their house favorites on one plate, including:  Guacamole en Molcajete: Signature green goodness with warm house-made tortilla chips; Baja Fish Tacos: Line-caught crispy local fish with jalapeño tartar sauce; Tortilla Soup: Pasilla chile, grilled chicken, avocado and crema; Flan de Rosa: Vanilla-espresso flan served on a warm, ancho chile brownie. The Lunch Crunch deal will also be available at Rosa Mexicano South Beach, for $14.    (

Executive Chef Steven Acosta has returned — after serving at  Cascada Grill at the Turnberry Isle Resort, Vix’s Restaurant at Hotel Victor in Miami and the Solea restaurant at the W South Beach Hotel — to Da Campo Osteria’s kitchen.  He brings new menu items such as Canelloni di Maiale –suckling pig confit, butter poached arugula, chanterelle mushrooms, and sheep’s milk ricotta; Roasted Beet & Robbiola Cheese Salad; Ravioli di Costola Breve – with braised short ribs, Barolo wine reduction, Calabrese peppers, tomato and Pecorino cheese; Guance di Vitello Brasate – braised veal cheeks served with roasted cauliflower, oven-cured tomatoes, cipollini onions, and artichoke chips; and Pollo Arrosto al Funghetto – roasted boneless half chicken over caramelized Brussels sprouts, fingerling potatoes, roasted mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes.

The 78-seat, 1600 square foot Da Campo Osteria with views of the waterway continues to serve classics like Fresh Pulled Mozzarella  prepared tableside; Scallops Puttanesca; Lobster Tagliatelle; Spaghetti & Jumbo Meatball   and Seared Diver Scallops; oven-roasted pizzas, meats and fish dishes.

da Campo is opened for breakfast and lunch daily, and for dinner Tuesday – Sunday, 4:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Mozzarella classes are offered for $35 per person every Thursday from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Il Lugano Hotel at 3333 Northeast 32nd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.  (954) 226-5002.

From  Friday, January  25 through Sunday, January 27 Chef Frederic Delaire  of  Preston’s Loews Miami Beach offers a  “Fuel-Up”  menu specially-designed for the 5k ING™  Marathon racers at $35 per person,  not  inclusive  of  tax  &  gratuity.  Reservations 305 604 5420. Preston’s is located at 1601 Collins Avenue, and is
open for dinner daily at 6 p.m.

The 50 Eggs Restaurant Group team, including Executive Chefs Jeff McInnis, Chef Bee, and Cory Lambert -- the team behind Lime, Yardbird, and soon-to-open Khong and Swine -- will be on site during a Career Fair on Thursday, January 10, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Khong River House, 1661 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach, (2nd floor)  for Front of House and Back of House positions. 

Interested Parties and anyone with aspirations for being a future Gatekeeper should submit their resume to or apply online at

big city tavernAfter 10 years at the helm of Big City Tavern kitchen, Executive Chef Louis Bossi is now offering charcuterie on the menu including pancetta, house-made guanciale (unsmoked Italian bacon prepared with pig's cheeks), prosciutto, salami and lardo. In addition to fresh seafood, steaks, pastas, pizza and salads,  the menu also offers a variety of new homemade pasta dishes with local and seasonal ingredients and cocktails made with freshly squeezed juices.

City Tavern, 609 E Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301(954) 727-0307

The Local House restaurant in The Sense Beach House offers a daily all day brunch, from 8:30am-5pm, with endless mimosas daily and farm to table ingredients.   Brunch favorites include a bevy of eggs Benedict , Sweet Potato Pancakes; Shrimp Cornmeal Porridge with bacon bits and spicy brown sugar glaze. The Local House is located inside The Sense Beach House at 400 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139.   786.230.8396

City Hall The Restaurant has appointed Luis Lopez — formerly of Soyka restaurant and Williams Island —as their new executive chef. While keeping the menu’s  favorite selections and the Express Lunch at $11.50 per person, Chef Lopez and owner Steven Haas have introduced healthy options such as Gluten Free and Vegetarian selections.

New menu items include Traditional white & black bean hummus - with warm pita, cucumbers, carrots and a roasted red peppers spread; Grilled vegetables and mozzarella pizza with classic marinara sauce; Seared Ahi Tuna with vegetable stir fry, green tea soba noodles with fermented black bean vinaigrette and sriracha aioli; Seafood stew, with fresh fish, mussels, scallop, shrimp in seafood tomato broth served with cilantro white rice.  Chef Lopez, originally from Puerto Rico, has added his own touch to the American comfort menu by adding a 12 oz. grilled rib eye steak with parmesan French fries and truffle butter and Shrimp & grits with Tasso cream, among many others.

City Hall The Restaurant, 2004 Biscayne Blvd. (west corner of 20th and Biscayne Blvd.) Miami, FL 33137.   305 764 3130.  Self parking available directly behind City Hall the Restaurant.


To re-open the Setai Grill with its beautiful mother-of-pearl communal table and private nooks of indoor and outdoor tables,  Executive Chef Mathias Gervais and Chef de Cuisine Thomas Griese -- who together combine work experience at seven Michelin-starred restaurants, under the tutelage of cooking greats like Joël Robuchon, Thomas Keller, Annie Feolde, Paul Bocuse, and Andre Rochat -- are offering a menu composed of rich cattle cuts, southern European plates, seasonal and local ingredients and products from the industry’s most renowned purveyors.

“The Setai Grill is a perfect marriage of Chef Gervais’ authentic French culinary training, techniques and recipes—and Chef Griese’s intricate experience with classic American cuisine,” explains Guenter Richter, vice president and managing director of The Setai, Miami Beach.   

On the meat menu Filet (12oz),  a Dry-Aged Prime New York Strip Loin (18oz), a 35-Day Dry-Aged Black Angus Prime Bone-in Rib Eye Steak (22oz), a Porter House (26oz), and the signature Setai Tomahawk Bone-In Steak (32oz).

Additional menu selections include items like Le Caviar with Florida stone crab, crème fraîche, and 1 oz. of caviar from either California, the Caspian Sea, or Russia; Foie Gras Terrine ; Côte de Boeuf with roasted potato gratin and Roquefort sauce; and Blanquette de Veau, braised veal en cocotte, mushrooms, carrots, onions, leeks and potatoes.  Items from the sea include Florida’s rock lobster served with grilled vegetables and basil nage; and monkfish with tomato confit, pinenuts, sauce vierge and roasted fingerling potatoes.

At the Setail Lounge, in addition to small plates & snacks served at the bar, there is a display of charcuteries and salumi;  seafood on ice and bone-in jamón Ibérico sliced on-demand.

The Setai Grill and The Setai Lounge are open Wednesday – Sunday for dinner; Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to midnight.   305.520.6400 or

 Max’s Grille in Boca Raton’s Mizner Park has reopened for dinner with a fresh new look after extensive renovations.

“We are delighted to kick off the season and enter our 22nd year in business with a sophisticated new look,” said owner Dennis Max.

The  contemporary menu with Asian and Latin influences, paired with an extensive wine list, is updated daily and seasonally but maintains its popular signature dishes, including meatloaf, radiatore pasta, steaks, grilled fish, chopped salad, and complimentary crispy breadsticks and hummus on each table.   Max’s Grille,  Mizner Park at 404 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. 561-368-0080.

 From Tuesday, December 4 through Sunday, December 9, Noon to midnight daily, SAMBAPOP, a SUSHISAMBA dromo six-day pop-up concept during Art Basel, offers an abbreviated menu in the space formerly occupied by Sustain.

The menu includes items like Duck Anticuchos  with peach white soy ($12), the Baura Sandwich served SAMBA-style ($16), raw fish selections - tiraditos, seviche, sushi and sashimi - as well as bento boxes, small plates and SAMBA Rolls.  Pastry Chef, Jill Montinola finishes the experience with housemade desserts of Mochi, Warm Chocolate Banana Cake and her signature Catupiry Cheesecake, all for $10.

A full service bar of sakes ($8-$24), wines ($9-$11) and beers ($8) will be available along with cocktails like the Nina Fresa®, Classic Caipirinha, Classic Mojito and Chu-Cumber ($8).

SAMBAPOP, 3252 NE 1st Avenue, Miami, FL 33137 (formerly Sustain). No reservations required.

matthew mcghee palm beachAfter a summer stint in NYC culling the latest culinary trends, Chef Matthew McGhee has returned  to the The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach’s sAmerican supper club restaurant, Angle.     Angle, named one of the Top 10 Restaurants by Palm Beach Illustrated, offers a new menu by Chef McGhee drawing upon traditional regional cuisine to offer innovative seafood and prime cut selections.

Chef McGhee trained at The French Culinary Institute in New York City and the Culinary Institute of America, also in New York. McGhee embarked on his career as a banquet cook at the five-diamond Hilton at Short Hills, New Jersey and from there completed an externship at the Five-Star resort, The Ritz-Carlton Naples in 2003. While Chef Matthew honed his craft as Chef Tournant at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, it was the Greenbriar Resort, where he developed skills in classic American cuisine.

There is a new Cocktail Culture Series, a seven-hour happy hour every Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight at Café Prima Pasta. Choose  from a menu of six L’Chaim martinis and six authentic Italian dishes priced at $6.69 each while enjoying pop-up, cultural experiences spanning art, cinema, fashion, music, mixology and gastronomy.

Café Prima Pasta is open Monday through Saturday for dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. and Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.   414 71st Street, Miami Beach, FL 305.867.0106

Every Sunday, beginning Sunday, December 2 from 11:30am to 3:30pm  The Mandarin Oriental, Miami serves Sunday Brunch by the new infinity-edge pool. The outdoor brunch will feature a lavish menu, Pommery champagne and live jazz. The brunch menu includes made-to-order omelet and egg station, carving station, sushi, fresh salads, exotic fresh fruit, bakery items and a selection of pastries by Pastry Chef Frederic Monnet. A fresh seafood presentation including shrimp cocktail and stone crab claws will complete the menu.   The cost of the Sunday Brunch is USD 55 per person plus tax and gratuity and includes one glass of champagne and USD 25 for children ages 6 to 12.  Children under 6 years old are complimentary.    For Sunday Brunch reservations or more information:  (305) 913 8358 or visit Mandarin Oriental, Miami is located at 500 Brickell Key Drive, Downtown Miami

To celebrate its fifth anniversary, Bourbon Steak is offering a five course dinner prepared by executive Chef Gabriel Fenton, paired with wines.

On the menu, some of Chef Michael Mina's signature dishes such as American Caviar Parfait, Maine Lobster Pot Pie with Truffle Cream and  Seasonal Vegetables, Miso-Glazed Sea Bass, a duo of beef with a trio of signature side dishes and dessert.

Chef  Michael Mina will be at the restaurant for the celebrations on December 6 & 7. The menu must be ordered by the entire table. Cost: $125, wine pairings $55. Bourbon Steak at Turnberry Isle Miami, 19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura,  RSVP (786) 279-6521

joeys italian cafe interior with mural photo credit simon hare


Starting Sunday, November 11, Joey’s Italian Café in Wynwood will open its door from noon until 10 p.m. for an Italian-Style Brunch with a score of affordable à la carte dishes including uova alla fiorentina, frittata con cipolle e salciccia and more.    Joey’s will also offer lunch and dinner on the recently updated patio from its vast  menu featuring Italian specialities, salads and pizzas.  Joey’s Italian Café, located at 2506 N.W. 2nd Avenue in Wynwood, serves lunch Monday –Friday, and dinner Monday – Saturday. Now open Sundays noon until 10 p.m.    Valet parking available.    (305) 438-0488 .

On Wednesday, November 14 The Dutch celebrates its 1-year anniversary with a special three-course menu put together by chef/co-owner Andrew Carmellini and chef de cuisine Conor Hanlon. The prix-fixe menu, available from Sunday, November 11 through Sunday, November 18 is priced at $65 and features favorites such as the trio of little oyster sandwiches, butter lettuce salad, papparadelle, steamed red snapper and a is finished with a delicious house made seasonally-inspired pie. The Dutch, inside W South Beach Hotel & Residences, 2201 Collins Avenue,  Miami Beach, Florida, 33139 (305)

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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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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