On Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2012, RA Sushi will be rolling out a campaign of their own:  with any tab of ten dollars or more, guests wearing their “I Voted” sticker will receive a complimentary California Roll. Popular with both parties, the California Roll features crab meat, cucumber and avocado; wrapped in nori and white rice ($6.50). Downtown at the Gardens: 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave. / 561-340-2112.  The Shops at Pembroke Gardens: 201 SW 145th Terrace / 954-342-5454


Throughout November, Talavera and Executive Chef Oscar del Rivero celebrate three years of authentic Mexican cuisine with a special “Best of Talavera” tasting menu including  Queso Frito ($11) Crispy melted cheese served with salsa verde and shoestring potatoes;  Ceviche Natural ($11 / 18) with shrimp, scallops, octopus and calamari; Empapelado ($24) Fresh fish with vegetables, baked in parchment paper with a cilantro pesto; Puntas Chipotle ($24) Beef tenderloin tips in tomatillo and chipotle sauces, served with house white rice.    Talavera’s signature “Margarita Lab” happy hour, available Monday through Friday from 6 to 9 pm.   features discounted specialty cocktails including Talavera’s   margaritas, each paired with complimentary sopes appetizers. Talavera Restaurant, 2299 Ponce de Leon, 305.444.2955


bartonRestaurateur/hotelier/Party Planner and caterer par excellence Barton G. Weiss will celebrate the 10th anniversary of his eponymous restaurant by unveiling his newest event space, the 120-seat UpTop at Barton G., a handsomely designed area with a terrace overlooking the garden on the second floor of Barton G. The Restaurant at 1427 West Avenue, Miami Beach. He will also announce that a new Barton G. The Restaurant is slated to open early January 2013at 861 North La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood, Los Angeles.

The later will be the fourth themed restaurants —  Barton G. The Restaurant on South Beach’s West Avenue, Prelude by Barton G. in Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, and The Dining Room at The Villa by Barton G. (the former Versace Mansion)  — all with menus by Executive Chef Jeff O’Neill  .

Chef O’Neill has worked at Le Cirque, Charlie Palmer’s Aureole, Daniel Boulud’s Daniel and as Sous Chef alongside Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin, before relocating to Palm Beach to open L’Escalier at The Breakers and later for a four year run as Executive Chef at the Trump Family’s Mar-A-Lago.


Modeled on Miami Spice, French Spice offers French dining experience at prix fixe prices — lunch, $15 - $20 for 2 and 3 courses and dinner, $35 - $50 for 3 to 5 courses— at any of the many participating restaurants. French wine enthusiasts will also enjoy French wines starting at $20 per bottle and $6 per glass.

The list starts with The Armillary Grill at the InterContinental at Doral Miami with meals prepared by Chef Seydou “Frank” Kindou (2505 NW 87th Avenue  Doral, FL 33172). More information on participating restaurants and menus at www.FrenchSpiceMiami.com

 books  booksOn Saturday, November 3, Books & Books founder/owner Mitchell "Mitch" Kaplan  will celebrate the independently-owned bookstore’s 30th anniversary with a day’s worth of festivities at his flagship store in Coral Gables. The party is dedicated to South Florida’s Readers & Writers, those whose support has allowed the bookstore to do business and stay open for 30 years.

The Miami culinary authors that have toured their books through Books & Books will cook up their signature dishes at the party. The participating chefs:  Allen Susser, Bernie Matz, Michelle Bernstein, Norman Van Aken, Douglas Rodriguez, Thomas Buckley, Abe Ng, Steve Haas and Cindy Hutson. The event on Saturday, November 3, is free and open to the public, as follows: 11am to 2pm. Children and Family Activities; 7:00 – 9:00pm Street Party with Food by Participating Guest Chefs, Drinks on the House and live music in addition to all-day 30% OFF sale at the Coral Gables store.

For additional information log on to www.booksandbooks.com .  Click to Listen to an interview with Mitch Kaplan on FOOD & WINE TALK WSFG

Books & Books Store, 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, 305-442-4408. Street party directly in front of bookstore.

books  books 2mitch kaplan 





Listen to Mitch Kaplan on FOOD & WINE TALK WSFG

Essensia Restaurant’s Chef, Julie Frans  and the Essensia culinary team present the Fall edition of Essensia’s Seasonal Supper Series on Thursday, November 8, at 7:00 p.m.      

The 5-course farm-fresh flavored dinner paired with fine wines  selected from Essensia’s sustainable wine list begins with a Cocktail Social and passed hors d’oeuvres in the hotel’s private beach area, home to Chef’s Organic Garden. On the menu: White Bean and kale soup with butternut squash, local oyster mushroom, garden celery, and crispy serrano ham; mini jackfruit carnita served with local avocado, garden herb chimichurri, and heirloom tomato salsa fresco; Grilled Okechobee shrimp served with Mediterranean Salad with purslane, mint, and pomegranate;  Hog Fish en papillote with lemongrass, ginger, Thai basil, sweet chile, over coconut black Thai rice, and for dessert Panna Cotta with local strawberries, aged balsamic, Tellicherri pepper, served with lavender rosemary biscotti.

Seats are limited to 50 guests. $95.00 per person (not including tax or gratuity). RSVP 305.908.5490 Essensia Restaurant & Lounge at The Palms Hotel & Spa 3025 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140. www.essensiarestaurant.com.

On Wednesday, October 24, 6:30pm-9:30pm, Rosa Mexicano launches its first annual Fall Harvest Dinner. A 4-course meal (cocktails purchased separately) crafted by Culinary Advisor Jonathan Waxman, with appetizers like Fall Guacamole with toasted hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds; cocktails such as otoño rosado (pink fall) with Herradura Reposado, Pedro Ximenez Sherry; La Abejita with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, chipotle-infused local honey, crème de cacao, mezcal and fresh lemon¸ the menu continues with wild mushroom and chorizo salad with butternut squash; grilled lobster and scallop tacos with papaya and pumpkin seeds; and ancho chile pumpkin cheesecake.

Rosa Mexicano at Mary Brickell Village, 900 South Miami Ave. Tickets available for pre-purchase at www.rosamexicano.com for $45/person (plus tax and gratuity)

Starting Sunday, October 21 and running each Sunday through November, the weekly dinner series, served family-style, priced at $38 per person/$22 per person for kids under 12 (excluding beverage, tax and gratuity), will feature a weekly theme or cooking style based on seasonality and chef Bernstein’s whim.  The Sunday, October 21’s dinner theme: Spain, featuring Sra. Martinez classics (i.e. crispy artichokes and shrimp tiradito).    To accompany the dinner, Martinez will hand-pick select bottles wines, offered at amazingly affordable prices -- $25-$30 per bottle, $6-$8 by the glass.  This dinner series is .

about fun and family – good food, made with love and meant to be shared and enjoyed,” says chef Bernstein who insists on the no cell phones, no emails, no TV or videogames – just great food and conversation policy. And if your  server does not see an IPod, smartphone or any other electrical device at the table during the meal, everyone in that party will receive a complimentary red velvet cupcake (a must-try, signature Michelle Bernstein dessert).

Michy’s is open for dinner Tuesday – Thursday, 6:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 6:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.; and Sunday, from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.    6927 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami.  (305) 759-2001 www.chefmichellebernstein.com


eat wellBeginning on October 17, Rapoport’s Restaurant Group will offer a new lower calorie, health conscious, “Eat Well. Be Well.” eat well 2menu at three of its locations. Bogart’s Bar & Grille, Deck 84 and Henry’s will now offer five new menu items ranging from 452 to 520 calories and a description of each item’s nutritional content including fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, sugar, fiber and protein.   It will also be available at Burt and Max’s when they open in December.

Guests who order from the “Eat Well. Be Well” menu will receive a complimentary week of personal training at The Facility for Personal Training in Boca Raton.  “We wanted to create a menu that offered additional healthy options to cater to a variety of dietary needs. When deciding on what menu items to include, taste was highly important in addition to being gluten free and lower in calories,” says Burt Rapoport, President of Rapoport’s Restaurant Group.

The menu including Grilled Salmon with Ratatouille and Pistachio Basil Pesto ($24);  Citrus Marinated Mahi with Warm Quinoa Pilaf, Fresh Spinach and Piquillo Pepper Yogurt ($22);  Mojo Marinated Chicken Chop with Wild Rice Quinoa Pilaf and Orange Tarragon Braised Carrots ($18);  8 oz. Turkey Chop Steak paired with Steamed Seasonal Vegetables, Shredded Lettuce and Sliced Tomato ($12) 8 oz. and Grilled Petit Fillet accompanied by Warm Potato, Green Beans and Roasted Tomato Salad with Fresh Arugula and Red Wine Vinaigrette ($28), was created by Henry’s Executive Chef Ben Burger and developed in conjunction with The Facility for Personal Training in Boca Raton.


In addition to their regular Mediterranean menu, Gibraltar at Grove Isle Resort and Spa celebrates Oktoberfest with chef Gerd Richter’s special menu of German  recipes, from hot baked Pretzel with mustard ($3) and cream of potato with bacon and chives ($6) to Bratwurst over sauerkraut ($18), beef brisket “sauebraten” with spatzel and red cabbage ($28) and  Apple strudel with vanilla ice cream ($8). Gibraltar, Four Grove Isle Drive, Coconut Grove. www.groveisle.com.

Dinner in the Sky is a high-flying dining experience that takes 22 guests to a viewing height of 180 feet.  The dining table and seats are on a platform connected to a crane. The opulent multi-course dinners will be served by Caffé Luna Rosa and Candyfish by Union.  The event will be held on Old School Square Park and will include four seatings, 5:30, 7, 8:30 and 10 p.m.

In addition to the dinner, all guests will be treated to an exclusive pre- and post-dinner party with complimentary cocktails in a red carpet area reserved only for participants, a high value swag bag and a chance to win a Lamborghini for the day.

Tickets to the event are $500 per person, limited to 88 seats. All ages are accepted but guests must be over 4’11’ tall.  Dinner in The Sky will be at Old School Square Park, 51 North Swinton Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444.  For tickets  call:  (561) 279-1380 ext. 17.  More information:   www.delraybeachdinnerinthesky.com

Every Friday, starting October 19th at 5:30p.m. Stone crabs lovers are invited to an all-you-can-eat stone crab dinner accompanied by a choice of steaming soup, crisp Caesar or the signature house salad, freshly baked bread and sides like herb-roasted, red bliss potatoes and corn on the cob for $55 per person (tax & gratuity not included). After which you are invited to dance to the sounds of a  live DJ.   Kitchen 305 in the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort,  16701 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida 33160. 305-749-2110
Every Sunday from 5pm-10pm, Ouzo's Greek Island Taverna offers a  Greek Feast "Family Night" with unlimited food, wine and fun for $35 per person (kids under 12 no charge).   Ouzo's Greek Island Taverna   620 NE 78th Street, Miami 33138, 305-758-2929, http://www.ouzosgreekmiami.com

 In honor of breast cancer awareness month, Toscana Divino is partnering with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Research Center to offer a specialized menu with 20% of the proceeds directly benefiting the organization.  
Below are the specially added menu items:

Litchi Rosa – Chambord flavored Vodka, Aperol, with whole lychee muddled in fresh lemon, pomegranate and a touch of Rose
Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake - Raspberry & while chocolate cheese cake with a lemon poppy seed base and strawberry candid almond ice cream

Toscana Divino located at 900 S. Miami Ave in Mary Brickell Village; 305-371-2767

From Friday, September 28 through Sunday, September 30, 2012 Whole Foods Market – Coral Gables is throwing a Fifth Anniversary Celebration three-day long bash with live music, special store discounts, beer tastings, an outdoor BBQ, face painting for kids and the chance to win a Whole Foods Market gift card. As a way of giving back to the local community, proceeds collected during the weekend will be donated to support Fellowship House South Miami, a non-profit organization founded to assist adults with psychiatric disabilities and substance abuse disorders. Schedule of events follows:

Friday, September 28

·         8 am – 10 pm; Exclusive Anniversary One Day Sale. Prices valid at the Coral Gables store.

·         6 pm – 8 pm; Five Year Anniversary Gala: For a $10 donation per guest customers are invited to enjoy live music, wine and cheese pairings throughout the Café, a gift basket giveaway and a champagne toast to five more amazing years in Coral Gables.

Saturday, September 29; 9 am – 11 am; Rise N' Shine in the Gables: Complimentary continental breakfast including pastries, juice, fruit and coffee. The first 50 customers to stop by the Customer Service desk and request a free Better Bag tote will have the chance to win a mystery Whole Foods Market gift card valued at $5, $10, $20 or $50.

Sunday, September 30; Noon – 2 pm; An afternoon of Family Fun Giving Grill:   For $5 per plate, guests will enjoy their choice of two grilled skewers (chicken, veggie or shrimp), sides, a cookie and a drink. While getting their grill on, customers can listen to live music and enjoy free beer tasting for the adults and complimentary face painting for the kids. Proceeds collected will benefit Fellowship House South Miami.

Whole Foods Market – Coral Gables is located at 6701 Red Road. Telephone: (305) 421-9421.


Call to all aspiring Pastry Chefs...

chef peter vauthyRed, the Steakhouse is kicking off their “Socially Sweet” Facebook contest beginning October 1st. The contest gives aspiring pastry chefs and at-home cooks the opportunity to have their recipe featured on Red's dessert menu.

All  Facebook fans/ aspiring pastry chefs must  a) LIKE Red Facebook page and b) submit their dessert recipe and image of desert via email to sweetred@diamondpr.com by October 15th.

The judges: Executive Chef Peter Vauthy of Red The Steakhouse in Boca Raton and Miami Beach and Simone Diament, editor-in-chief of www.southfloridagourmet.com will select 10 finalists  to be featured on www.southfloridagourmet.com, and both Red Boca and South Beach Facebook pages (https://www.facebook.com/RedtheSteakhouse) & (https://www.facebook.com/RedTheSteakhouseBoca).

From October 16- 31, 2012 fans will have the chance to vote for their favorite dessert by “liking” the image. The image with the most “likes” by the end of the voting period will be the winner.

The winning recipe will be featured on the menu for one month.

For more information or dinner reservations call 305.534.3688 or visit www.redthesteakhouse.com.  


 Beginning Thursday, September 27Fontainebleau Miami Beach offers   “Once in a Bleau Moon,a new moonlit dinner dinner series at La Côte, the resort’s chic two level outdoor restaurant, including a secluded cabana, private butler service, and a four course prix fixe menu.   “Once in a Bleau Moon” at La Côte will be offered from 6-9 p.m. 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 . $120 per couple  reservations: (877) 326-7412. La Côte at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach is located at 4441 Collins Avenue, on Miami Beach, FL 33140.


As Mercadito Midtown continues its yearlong Tacos for Strength program benefitting  Share Our Strength, Chef/Partner Patricio Sandoval welcomes China Grill Brickell's Chef Sean Mohammed as October's featured chef.

Throughout the month of October Chef Mohammed's taco — lamb spare ribs with tzatziki sauce — will sell for $16.50 for an order of four tacos, Five percent of which will be donated to Share Our Strength, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger by 2015.

 Reservations may be made by calling (786) 369-0430. Learn more about Share Our Strength here. Mercadito Midtown is located in the heart of Miami's Midtown district at 3252 NE 1st Avenue. website,

Research links eating breakfast with better test scores, better attendance and better health.  This is why local celebrity chefs have partnered with Miami-Dade School System to promote a good breakfast. 

michelle bernsteinOn Wednesday, September 19, Chefs Michelle Bernstein, Kris Wessel, Michael Schwartz, Julie Frans, Doug Rodriguez, Richard Ingraham and Lorena Garcia, will be out at schools supporting Florida School Breakfast Week and jump starting the District’s initiative to expand the FREE Breakfast program which is available to all M-DCPS students, as follows:

6:45 am – 7:15 am  Michelle Bernstein of Michy’s and Crumb on Parchment @ North Miami Senior 13110 NE 8 Avenue, North Miami, FL 33161                 
6:45 am – 7:15 am Richard Ingraham, Personal Chef @ Miami Northwestern Senior, 1100 NW 71 Street,  Miami, FL  33150
7:30 am – 8:15 am Doug Rodriguez of D. Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean and Ola @ David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Ctr., 15000 Bay Vista Blvd, North Miami, FL  33181                                     
7:30 am – 8:30 am Kris Wessel of Red Light Little River, Ada Merritt K-8 Center, 660 SW 3 Street, Miami, FL  33130
7:30 am – 8:30 am Julie Frans of Essensia @ North Beach ES, 4100 Prairie Avenue, Miami Beach, FL  33140
7:30 am – 8:30 am Lorena Garcia of Lorena Garcia Cocina @ Biscayne Elementary,   800 77 Street,  Miami Beach, FL  33141
7:30 am – 8:30 am Bradley Herron of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink @ Phillis Wheatley ES, 1801 NW 1 Place, Miami, FL  33136

The outdoor Pop-Up Beer Garden at Brickell Irish Gastropub will host a Countdown to Oktoberfest on weekends from Saturday, September 8th to Sunday, October 7th from 12pm to 7pm and will include a Countdown Launch Party, Pop-Up Beer Garden and All Day Beer Brunch with pork schnitzel sliders, duck confit benedict,  homemade soft pretzels, cheddar buttermilk biscuits and house-made saurkraut among other traditional German specialties. All dishes — from $2.99 to $7.99 — will be presented with a suggested beer pairing. The Brickell Irish Gastropub, 1451 South Miami Avenue, Downtown Miami , (786) 473-6456 www.BrickellIrishPub.com.

The JW Marriott Hotel Miami has appointed Chef Daniel Goldich as the hotel’s new executive chef. Mr. Goldich served as executive chef at Pelagia Trattoria, at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel. He also served as Sous Chef at the Five Star, Five Diamond St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa in Dana Point, California. Chef Goldich obtained his culinary training at the renowned Academy of Culinary Arts in Atlantic City. After graduating in 1999, he moved to Chambery in southeastern France, where he worked at the Michelin-starred L’Essentiel.

Chef Goldich is in charge of menu planning and development at the hotel’s restaurants, as well as banquets and special events. This includes his culinary stewardship of the hotel’s ultra-exclusive Trapiche Room, which seats only 20 and, according to  hotel’s General Manager, Florencia Rotemberg is one of Miami’s elite dining destinations. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/miajw-jw-marriott-hotel-miami/ 1109 Brickell Avenue Miami, FL 33131. 305-329-3500

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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