bachour2585Bachour Bakery + Bistro, a contemporary bakery and bistro from celebrated pastry chef and 2016 James Beard Award semifinalist Antonio Bachour – formerly of JG at the St Regis Bal Harbour, and former Eating House Chef/Partner Henry Hané, has settled on the southwest corner of the Brickell World Plaza building located at 600 Brickell Avenue, where Tamarina stood, with restaurant access and valet located on SW 7th street.

Bachour’s side features delicate pastries and freshly made morning viennoiseries, including Danish, brioche, and a variety of flaky croissants – gianduja, almond and a Miami-centric guava and cheese; signature desserts such as bonbons, macaroons, petits gâteaux (small cakes), layered verrines, entremêts and tarts; and large specialty cakes. From Hané, there’s a rotating menu of   savory breakfast dishes and scrumptious lunches with leaf and grain-based salads, open-faced sandwiches, housemade soups and veggie-heavy main dishes. Also in the kitchen, Sous Chef Karina Rivera worked with Bachour for four years at the St Regis, a prior at Celebrity Cruise Lines, and at high-end resorts in Cancùn and Los Cabos, Mexico.  

Bachour Bakery + Bistro located in the southwest corner of the Brickell World Plaza building at 600 Brickell Avenue,  is open for breakfast, lunch, early dinner and an all-day weekend brunch,  Monday through Friday from 7a.m.-7p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7a.m.-5p.m. 305-330-6310



Glass & Vine, a 200-seat indoor/outdoor restaurant with a 24-seat bar as the interior’s focal point, has opened in the former Coconut Grove Library space in the heart of Peacock Park in Coconut Grove,   as part of Grove Bay Hospitality Group’s expansive project, with the talented chef Giorgio Rapicavoli – of “Eating House” fame, at the helm. 

“We’re beyond excited to celebrate the grand opening of Glass & Vine. We think Glass & Vine’s setting, design, menu and style will appeal to all walks of life.  Our vision for a new spot in the Grove perfectly aligned with Giorgio’s,” said Grove Bay Hospitality Group’s Ignacio Garcia-Menocal and  Francesco Balli who plan to transform Coconut Grove into a culinary and retail destination for locals and visitors alike. The partners leased from The City of Miami a seven acre property along the water’s edge, to be named The Harbour, and in 2017, will introduce two additional restaurants; an indoor/outdoor event space overlooking the bay; a marina complete with an inviting bay walk; retail shops and a public mini-park.

Chef Rapicavoli - Food Network Chopped champion, FORBES 30 Under 30 list-maker and James Beard Award semi-finalist - crafted the menu after a whirlwind culinary and cultural tour of Europe.










Menu categories are divided into GardenSea and Land. All offerings are designed to be shared, mix n’ matched.  Garden ($10-13) offerings will include a refreshing Watermelon Salad – crema, cotija cheese, toasted corn and cilantro; a Grilled “Wedge” Salad – buckwheat, bacon and buttermilk dressing; and Florida Stracciatella – charred cabbage, black truffle, egg and potato. Sea ($14-34) options will comprise of the freshest local catch with Florida Clams – frijoles negros, lime and herbs; Local Fish Tartare – frozen leche de tigre, jalapeño and radish; and Housemade Bucatini – sea urchin butter, citrus and rock shrimp.   Land ($12-55) dishes feature Grilled Sweetbreads – celery root and celery chimichurri; Lamb Ribs – “305” spice, peanuts and mint; Grilled Duck Breast – carrots, carrot puree and smoked carrot juice; and 28 Oz. Bone-In Ribeye – marrow/truffle butter and smoked sea salt.

Rapicavoli’s innovative Desserts ($11) feature Buttermilk Panna Cotta – pistachio, lemon, sweet herbs and California Olive Ranch olive oil; “Eton Mess” – whipped cream; condensed milk, local sorbet, meringue and passion fruit; and Frozen Blue Cheese – toasted hazelnut; saw palmetto honey and black pepper.     

Cocktails ($12)  created by Eddie Fuentes and Cocktail Cartel  include Yellow Submarine – Olmeca Altos Tequila, apples, local citrus and cayenne; Our Dark & Stormy – Cruzan Blackstrap Rum, vanilla bitters, nutmeg and ginger soda; Catcher & The Rye – Jim Beam Rye, lillet, chamomile, cinnamon smoke and bitters; and The Miami Incident – Effen Vodka, Kaffir lime, strawberry and eucalyptus tincture. The bar program also includes an array of Florida craft beers as well as white and red wines by the glass, quartino or bottle.

Glass & Vine is located at 2820 McFarlane Road in Coconut Grove. Dinner will be served nightly beginning at 4PM. Valet parking is available in front of the restaurant on McFarlane Road.  (305) 200-5268





In the age of pop-ups, the Asian-inspired Prey has alighted with a bang  on the gorgeous rooftop of the funky 1 Hotel South Beach and will remain there through April 30, and hopefully beyond that date, caressed by balmy sea breezes and hydrated by deliciously infused sakes (I enjoyed the hot and spicy Chinese Firecracker Sake throughout dinner) and creative cocktails made of local, wild and health-giving plants.

chefbunThe host is the nature-inspired eco-luxe beachfront hotel, home to Beachcraft; Celeb chef Tom Colicchio's elegant beachside grill.  The Chef is Bun Lai, of Miya , who revolutionized New Haven, CT, with his concept based on fusing sustainable seafood and plant-based products with invasive species.  Hence the name: Prey - an animal that is hunted and killed by another for food.

The idea is to repair the damage inflicted by humans on predator-and-prey relationships and help restore the precarious balance to destroyed habitats. The result is a sui generis menu ranging from $8 to $35 with headings like “Mama told you to eat your veggies” listing salads – the Kavalcada ensalada with massaged kale, and a Karma-virtue chickenots fingers. Next come “Oh, Those Invasive Fish!” with Catfish Blues – Chesapeake Bay blue catfish, asparagus, apricots and black soybean; Finger Linckin’ Fish Ribs with Asian carp and Kiribati Sashimi with Florida lionfish.










Most sushi options are plant-based, make with brown rice, and filled with all manners of nut creams and vegetables. Over the River and Through the Woods proposed different recipes using land animals that are not conventionally used for sushi: Where The Antelope Play is a nigiri with grilled Texas antelope and sesame seeds; Cerdo Imperialista, is made with feral pork, cheese and topped with quail egg; and Crickle Berry Blue is make with crickets, cheese and plum.

But don’t expect the bizarre to stop there, it continues with dessert which I will not recommend to anyone with loose teeth. There must be a reason, which eludes me at this point, why the Seven Deadly Sushi rolls of mocha, cashew butter, strawberries and cacao nibs topped with coconut-plantain sorbet is endlessly chewy.

A tasting menu under the heading “Future Sushi Omakase” – the most popular suhi recipes from the 2150, is available for $95.00 per person. There are also prix-fixe and late-night bites.

Prey is open through April 30. Dinner Wednesday through Sunday begins at 6 p.m. For reservations, call 305-604-1000. 2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.



Palmeiras Beach Club has opened a boutique hotel with 20 rooms in the beautiful Grove Isle overlooking the breathtaking views of the Biscayne Bay, with an all-white dining-room and large bay windows in the spot where once stood Gibraltar and Baleen.    

It owes its concept to Sami Kohen, former general manager at Seasalt & Pepper,  and Jacques Wulffaert , a former luxury cruise executive.  Dining is in the hands of culinary ambassador, the Venezuelan chef Alfredo Alvarez and his team – including Chef de Cuisine Abraham Silva and GM Werner Piccolino, all last seen at Seasalt & Pepper on the Miami River.   

IMG 1409IMG 1410

The Mediterranean menu features a selection of pizzas and flat breads ($15 - $18), starters like seared sepia ($18) with baby artichokes, feta cheese, mint tabbouleh, tomato confit, chorizo, and piquillo peppers; a charcuterie tray, the house salumeria ($24) with prosciutto, mortadella, capicola, salami al finocchietta, house cheeses, mustard, and dates; lobster and tuna cornets ($24), Key lime, mâche, frisée, tarragon, snow peas, lychees and soy dressing; and a seafood selection ($28 to $60) - oysters, shrimp, Maine lobster, Alaska king crab legs and stone crabs  priced individually or in a seafood tower.   



IMG 1417IMG 1419Homemade pastas range from mushroom or artichoke ravioli ($24 ) to Tagliolini en Brodo ($21),  with arugula, crisp lardon, thyme, parmesan, and garlic chips.


Entrées list Mediterranean Turbot ($38) with tomatillo sauce, fennel, snow peas, pearl onion, tomato confit, carrots and sturgeon caviar; seared branzino ($32) with garlic broccolini, baby zucchini, grape tomatoes, baby carrots, and herbs d’Provence; 14 oz. “Duroc” Pork Chop ($45) with compressed green apples, glazed fennel, celery, shallot purée, passion fruit au jus, Veal chops and grilled steaks.   

Desserts – mango mousse, brie tiramesù, chocolate feast with Valrhona crust, black and white ganache, chocolate soil, Grand Marnier ice cream – are all housemade and the wine list is well curated.

IMG 1421IMG 1420

 In addition to the main dining room Palmeiras Beach Club offers a private 20-seat Perrier-Jouët Chef’s Table ; the Patrón Tequila Lounge open all day, a pool and beach areas featuring cabanas, lounge chairs, Hamptons-style day beds and a separate menu; and the large awning-covered outdoor Taittinger Lounge and Beach Club to sip champagne and enjoy bites from either the main dining room or pool menu.   

Palmeiras Beach Clubis open to the public and island residents seven days a week for breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Taittinger Lounge and Beach Club and poolside dining are open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Patrón Tequila Lounge is open from 4 p.m. until closing.  A membership package is available to non-residents offering discounts, complimentary valet and priority reservations on club amenities. Palmeiras Beach Club at Grove Isle can be reached by car or boat – valet parking and docking, including yachts, are available day and night.  For restaurant and beach club reservations :


The West Palm Beach Marriott has appointed Christian Quiñones as Bistro Ten Zero One’s executive chef, Marriott’s signature restaurant.  He will oversee the hotel’s in-house banquet and catering services as well. Quiñones comes to Bistro from Puerto Rico, where he worked as the corporate chef for Santana Enterprises and most recently opened up Emigrante Gastrobar at TRYP by Wyndham Isla Verde. He previously worked at Mar-a-Lago, the Four Seasons and the International Polo Club, before working at Agata & Valentina in New York City. Along the way, Quinones has worked with a star-studded line-up of chefs including Alain Alegretti, Jean Georges Vongerichten and Mollie (Oprah Winfrey’s chef); and has had the honor of cooking for the Princess of Jordan and the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson; and for Donald and Melania Trump’s wedding.

Bistro Ten Zero One is located inside the West Palm Beach Marriott at 1001 Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach.   (561) 209-3353

A Seismic Shift in How People Eat

To read the full story log on to:

Eating habits are changing across the country and food companies are struggling to keep up.

The food movement over the past couple of decades has substantially altered consumer behavior and reshaped the competitive landscape. Chains like Sweetgreen, a salad purveyor, are grabbing market share from traditional fast food companies. Brands such as Amy’s Kitchen, with its organic products, and Kind bars are taking some of the space on shelves once consumed by Nestlé’s Lean Cuisine and Mars.

For the large established food companies, this is having disastrous consequences. Per capita soda sales are down 25 percent since 1998, mostly replaced by water. Orange juice, a drink once seen as an important part of a healthy breakfast, has seen per capita consumption drop 45 percent in the same period. It is now more correctly considered a serious carrier of free sugar, stripped of its natural fibers. Sales of packaged cereals, also heavily sugar-laden, are down over 25 percent since 2000, with yogurt and granola taking their place.

General Mills will drop all artificial colors and flavors from its cereals. Perdue, Tyson and Foster Farm have begun to limit the use of antibiotics in their chicken. Kraft declared it was dropping artificial dyes from its macaroni and cheese. Hershey’s will begin to move away from ingredients such as the emulsifier polyglycerol polyricinoleate to “simple and easy-to-understand ingredients” like “fresh milk from local farms, roasted California almonds, cocoa beans and sugar.”

Those announcements reflect a new reality: Consumers are walking away from America’s most iconic food brands. Big food manufacturers are reacting by cleaning up their ingredient labels, acquiring healthier brands and coming out with a prodigious array of new products. 

To read the full story log on to:

Other than the name alteration from Room to Tavern, fewer animal trophies on the wainscotted walls and new upholstery, litlle seems to have changed at Michael Schwartz’s fine dining spot now named The Cypress Tavern. But things aren’t always what they appear to be.

After the exodus en masse from the Cypress Room kitchen – chef de partie Bryan Rojas now runs run the kitchen at Fooq’s and former chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia is their consultant – the location has been renamed Cypress Tavern and the brasserie-like dinner and weekend brunch menus (to view log on to ) have been developed by chef Schwartz and The Genuine Hospitality Group executive chef Bradley Herron. Wine & Spirits Director Eric Larkee is in charge of the beverage program.

Cypress Tavern, 3620 NE 2nd Avenue, Design District, is open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 6-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 12 a.m., and Sunday until 10 p.m, and Brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  Closed Monday.  3620 NE 2nd Avenue, Design District,  305.520.5197.   




Just opened in the Wynwood Arts District is GK Bistronomie, a restaurant concept that offers globally inspired Peruvian cuisine, in a sleek and stylish setting. The spacious dining room features an exhibition style kitchen, a unique indoor-outdoor bar, complete with an impressive selection of Pisco infusions, as well as an intimate outdoor courtyard.

Executive Chef Partner, Rafael Perez, a native of Peru, brings to CK Bistronomie an impressive culinary background - he has owned four restaurants in Ecuador, one of which was recognized by the Relais & Chateaux Guide as top 300 restaurants in the world, earning him the title of Grand Chef in the Relais & Chateaux Guide. Under his tenure at The Little Palm Island Resort & Spa in Little Torch Key, the restaurant was voted the third best in the nation and #1 in Florida by Zagat.

GK Bistronomie is open for lunch and dinner.  For more information on the restaurant and the menu please visit gkbistronomie.com218 NW 25th St., Wynwood District ,Miami, Fl 33127   (786) 477 5151


On Monday, October 26, 3030 Ocean at the Fort LauderdaleMarriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa reopens after extensive renovations, with newly-appointed  Executive Chef Adrienne Grenier who replaces chef Paula Da Silva.  

“We are excited to show off 3030 Ocean’s sleek new look and menu and couldn’t be more thrilled that Adrienne will be leading our team in the kitchen,” said Patrick Manley, Food & Beverage Director for the resort.  

Chef Grenier brings her own style of inventive farm-to-table fare – which won her the title of champion on Food Network’s Chopped –  with a menu focusing on seafood and seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients.   

In keeping with the restaurant’s beachfront location, the raw bar will remain an integral part of the menu with choices ranging from east and west coast oysters to gulf shrimp. Starters from the sea will include snapper crudo with fennel, crushed olives, lemon, chile and mint; Florida clams served with bacon, baby potato, fresh herbs and crème fraiche; and spiny lobster ceviche with coconut, lime, papaya and chile.

Then follow vegetarian plates like raw Swank Farms squash with hazelnut-mint pesto, lemonette and queso fresco; roasted pumpkin soup with toasted seeds and crème fraîche; and  vegetable plate – a variety of seasonal and local vegetables served with heirloom grains. Entrées list  pulled pork pasta with hand cut noodles, smoked tomatoes, aged goat cheese and house ricotta; sautéed Florida flounder with cauliflower puree, almonds, golden raisins, capers and brown butter; roasted Lake Meadow Naturals chicken with calabaza, wild rice, maiitake mushrooms, spinach and jus; and Jackman Ranch bone-in ribeye with roasted potatoes and black garlic truffle butter. Rounding out the menu are savory sides including local corn succotashcrispy Brussels sprouts with mustardwild rice and mushrooms and broccolini

For desserts there is local tropical fruit tart – crispy vanilla bean meringue, mandarin curd, fresh fruits and guava sorbet; mini key lime pie – graham cracker crust, key lime curd and coconut sorbet; pumpkin and dark chocolate bread pudding with ginger ice cream; and snickers tart – dark chocolate ganache, Caramelo, peanuts and salted caramel ice cream. 

3030 Ocean’s  new fall-inspired craft cocktail menu features  Peter Pumpkin Eater Martini  American Honey Bourbon, pumpkin purée and cream;  Cheshire Regiment – Bulldog Gin, Chambord, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, rosé champagne and rose syrup; Cranberrylicious Margarita – Don Julio Tequila, house made cranberry purée, Grand Marnier and house made sweet and sour; Gingerbread Man Martini – Stoli Vanilla Vodka, Kahlua, cream and house made gingerbread syrup; andCinnamon Apple With A Punch – cinnamon infused syrup, apple juice, Mount Gay black barrel rum and sweet and sour.

3030 Ocean at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa3030 Holiday Drive is open for dinner nightly beginning at 6PM. Reservations   (954) 765-3030  Valet and complimentary self-parking available.

bar1The newest kid on the block in upscale SoFi is TiramesU, a Lincoln Road import reborn under the aegis of managing owner Valeria Longoni, a native of Milan who has worked with Cipriani in Sardinia among other prestigious hospitality groups.

The 75-seat restaurant and bar is decorated in chic grey and beige tones by Italian interior designer Francesco Fregonese who used elegant chandeliers and candelabras, the 1930’s Orient Express train lighting appliques and some of the art work that hung on the walls of its Lincoln Rd. namesake. The wrap-around dark grey quartz bar bar offers a variety of inventive handcrafted cocktails and Italian classics, spirits, bubblies and wines by the glass.

Executive Chef Fabrizio Pintus, who also worked at the Lincoln Road location, has wrought a modern menu based on Italian traditional dishes with modern and contemporary flair.rabbitpasta

Appetizers ($14 and $16) range from the Mediterranean Polpo – octopus, potatoes, crispy speck and salsa verde – 
to the Northern Alpine Tartare di Capriolo – venison tartare served with raspberries and mango; quinoa salad with goat cheese, nuts and apples and ricotta cheese freshly made from imported buffalo milk from Campania.  There is  
also a special selection of cheese plates such as Pecorino Sardo, Rosso di Langa and Taleggio.


Primi Piatti list house-made fresh pastas ($14 - $22) with seasonal locally-sourced ingredients such as kale Fettucine with rabbit ragù;  blue potato Gnocchi with sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, capers in an arugula pesto, and Risotto with Castelmagno cheese, pears, grape confit and wine reduction. There is even gluten-free Pappardelle with San Marzano tomato sauce and basil.  











duckThe Secondi Piatti ($26 - $32) menu ranges from honey-glazed duck with apple puree and chargrilled kale, Australian lamb chops with blue smashed potatoes and blueberry, and Sterling Silver beef tenderloin Filetto di Manzo, to Scottish salmon with red beets and sour cream, Mediterranean seabass and a catch of the day like Branzino on a bed of  saffron.  Side dishes or contorni ($6 - $8) include grilled asparagus with pecorino sardo and crispy speck and an Insalata di Pomodoro with organic tomatoes, onions and e.v.o.o.

All home-made, the classic Italian desserts ($8 - $10) range from three choices of tiramesù, a Panna Cotta with vanilla, honey and pistachio, and Sgroppino, an unusual squid ink sorbet with limoncello and prosecco, to a Semifreddo with ricotta cheese, candied fruit topped with blood orange sauce and sundry sorberts and other  favorites.

TiramesU, 101 Washington Avenue, South of Fifth in Miami Beach is open for dinner and will soon be open for lunch. For additional information log on to:



chateau petit douy miami 300x210It is a rare sight to behold, and one easy to overlook in the midst of Brickell’s concrete jungle of skyscrapers , banks and office buildings: Miami’s only known French château at the corner of Brickell Avenue and SW15th Road.  

The two-story, 5,837-square-foot Château Petit Douy, sporting two octagonal towers with tent roofs, parapet gable roof and dormers, crenellated garage roof, and trefoil arch windows with leaded or stained glass, was built in 1931, at a cost of $365,000, by a prominent Miami couple,  John Murell (George Merrick s attorney ) and Ethel Murrell*, known for their strong community activism.  The building is patterned after the fourteenth century Priory St. Julienne de Douy in l’Eure-et-Loir, in France.    

Originally designed by architect Martin L. Hampton**, and after changing hands several times since Ethel Murrell passed away (The property belonged to the late cancer surgeon Everett Sugarbaker and was sold to the owner of Inyx Inc a pharmaceutical company in 2006), the "Petit Douy"  is in the process of being restored to restaurant and hospitality space by Commercial real estate developersMast Capital and historic preservation architect,Richard Heisenbottle.  According to floor plans furnished by broker Michael Comras, the space will be leased as a private club and restaurant.  1500 Brickell Ave, Miami 



*John Murrell, who came to Miami in 1921 served as George Merrick’s attorney and also represented other pioneer families, including the Brickells. Mr. Murrell founded the Miami Humane Society and instigated the successful use of teams of black and white officers in the Miami Police Department.

*Ethel Murrell, an attorney, author, and lecturer, graduate of UM Law school in 1934, is best known as one of Florida’s leading feminists. Mrs. Murrell drafted the Married Women’s Emancipation Bill which was passed in Florida in 1943 and was elected president of the National Women’s Party in 1951.  

** Martin L. Hampton was part of a group of architects collaborating with George Merrick in the creation of Coral Gables. Hampton also had an extensive practice in Miami Beach and designed such buildings as the Old Miami Beach City Hall, the Embassy Hotel, and numerous private residences.



Photos by Phillip Pessar  courtesy of Comras Company 

mercado de san miguelStarting Saturday Sept 26 and through January 31, 2016, the white 9,000-square-foot tent erected in Miami’s Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd) is not another traveling circus coming to town.   It is La Feria del Mercado de San Miguel on the first stop of its US Tour.

With outdoor seating and dining tapas bars, it is the “pop-up” version of Madrid’s 100-year-old gourmet food emporium, El Mercado de San Miguel, which originally opened in Madrid in 1916 and was renovated in 2009.   

Like its home base the indoor tent will team with chefs and vendors, Spanish and local, wines and cocktails and freshly prepared foods from paellas and montaditos to tapas, gazpachos, seafood and regional delicacies such as pata negra ham, cheeses, sweets and charcuterie.    .

The Feria will open on Friday, September 25 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Montserrat Valle, owner and president of Mercado de San Miguel, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez and Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado before the open-air market opens at 10 a.m. Saturday.

La Feria Del Mercado de San Miguel is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and till midnight Friday and Saturday. Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Downtown Miami.

interiorNi.Do. Caffé ( -- the Italian words Niente Domani mean ‘no tomorrow’, or enjoy the day --) is a stark white, bright ravioli1and attractive 3,600 square feet neighborhood trattoria, where Il Tulipano and North 110 used to be, with warm wood floors, a welcoming bar, a private dining area with a projector, a casual dining room with an urban feel and an entire wall lined with refrigerated shelves selling products available on the menu and gourmet souvenirs.

It is the second outpost of Ni.Do. Caffe, an Italian restaurant which first opened in Miami’s MiMo District nearly five years ago to rave reviews.  

Free of pretense, it is expertly managed by manager Miro Cuturilo and  general manager Luca Delogu, an experienced restaurateur who previously worked at Trattoria Sole, Blù in Miami and in Venezuela and Dominican Republic.  The kitchen is in the hands of Executive Chef Claudio Sandri, from Piedmont, who brings with him more than three decades of international experience, an Italian Culinary Federation “Master Chef ” award and appearances on The Food Network’s Iron Chef America.

antipastiThe list of WINES (stands for Whimsical, Inspirational, Native, Esoteric andSensuous) offers well-priced Italian andosso.buco international choices, all organic or biodynamic  is affordable and vies for attention with a vast choice of beers and cocktails.

Until the food arrives, nothing about Ni.Do hints at what the kitchen can do. En the cheese platters seem to be a chance for the kitchen to shine. And when servers deposited on the table one of the best pizzas I’ve had in the US and, from the mozzarella bar, a dish of creamy, tangy yet sweet, fresh Mozzarella di Campania DOP served with cherry tomatoes, an addictive Sicilian caponata in a silver bucket and green olives, I didn’t imagine it would be so delicious.

Pizzas ($12 - $16) thin-crusted, light and extremely flavorful thanks to a long fermentation process are topped with a variety of great ingredients or you can have it as focaccia with rosemary and olive oil ($4) to accompany an enticing antipasto of cold cuts and cheeses ($17 for two; $29 for four)  and a creamy, truffle Burratina al Tartufo.

Chef Sandri’s craftsmanship shows from the antipasti ($8 - $16) such as pumpkin soup with amaretti and rosemary, carpaccio of octopus and Fontina-truffle fondue with Parma ham and fried pizza dough to black mussels in white wine garlic sauce and the lightest fried calamari and zucchini.

The pasta menu (($17 - $19) is based on both the chef’s sensible approach to cuisine and the quality of the ingredients.

The pivotal dish is the Ravioli di Ossobuco di Vitello. Both delicate in texture and hearty, the large, silky ravioli stuffed with tender veal ossobuco are cooked in butter and gently tease the flavor out of the fresh tomato sauce.    Ravioli di Fichi in Salsa di Gorgonzola e Noci, a fig ravioli in a light and creamy gorgonzola sauce topped with roasted walnuts may seem more sophisticated but is actually heavier than the ossobuco ravioli.  The pillowy potato gnocchi alla Sorrentina with fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella.

There’s also Linguini alle vongole with clams, white wine and Bottarga or cured fish roe;  Bigoli Integrali con Acciughe e Pan Grattato, whole wheat and handmade bigoli pasta with Sicilian anchovies, red pepper flakes and bread crumbs and the eminently regional Chitarrucci ai frutti di mare, square pasta with a flavorful seafood sauce shock full of shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari, scallops, tomatoes and parsley.

dessert1Secondi Piatti ($23 - $32) or main dishes list  Branzino Mediterraneo, grilled and simply seasoned in roasted red pepper sauce; the traditional Mixed Seafood Fry; and the perfectly cooked, melt-in-the mouth king of Milanese cuisine: the ossobuco con risotto alla Milanese. Have a yen for grilled meat? Then the 12 oz Rib-eye from 100% Gaucho Ranch natural grass fed beef will do.

Desserts like Caffe Ni. Do., a shaken espresso with a swirl of hazelnut chocolate sauce served in a martini glass and topped with freshly whipped cream, toasted almonds and slivers of chocolate, poached pear with vanilla ice cream or fried dough with chocolate ganache are all homemade and change according to the chef’s mood.

It is a rare occurrence to be treated to such complex, subtle and simply good Italian fare such as chef Sandri’s in a casual, family-oriented trattoria.  Ni. Do. Caffe is open for dinner daily from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and will soon open for lunch and weekend brunch. Soon to come: Mozzarella-making classes and cooking classes. Ni.Do. Miami Shores is located at 11052 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33161, and in the MiMo district at 7295 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33138   (786) 953-5120 .


Lincoln Road casualties: Piola South Beach and The Van Dyke Café close

After 15 years of turning out thin-crusted pizzas with delicious toppings, Piola restaurant, located around the corner from the Regal movie theatre on Lincoln Road has closed.  The rent fee of the new lease was too high, according to  Illiyana Stefanova, Piola’s marketing manager. The Downtown location, 1250 South Miami Ave., remains open as well as three other locations in Broward.  

Another casualty is the historic Van Dyke Café, a historic landmark of the revival of Lincoln Road, renowned for its red awnings and its upstairs Jazz Club.  It will be replaced by Lululemon Athletica, a corporate clothing store. 


Pizza Numero 28 with buffalo mozzarella, speck, truffle cream and mushrooms  (photo: SFG)


A new Italian pizzeria is vying for attention in the colorful and picturesque Española Way. The indoor/outdoor  Numero 28 Pizzeria is the eighth location, the first in Miami, owned and operated by the New York-based  Biamonte Family and locally by owner Gianmarco Di Michele.

An imported wood-burning oven taking center stage in the open kitchen manned by Master Pizzaiolo Maurizio Procopio spews 28 different types of pleasantly charred Neapolitan-style pizzas in three sizes  – from the traditional Margherita with tomato, mozzarella and basil and the Tartufo with mozzarella, mushrooms and truffle oil  to the Numero 28 with buffalo mozzarella, speck, truffle cream and mushrooms and sweet Nutella Pizza  - and wood-fired pastas     












The menu also offers a selection of Antipasti Salads,  Primi  and Secondi -or hearty entrees, as well as Contorni (sides,) a Mozzarella Bar with prosciutto crudo, soppressata, tomatoes or green peppers and Desserts ($8) such as Torta della Nonna with custard cream and pinoli; chocolaty chocolate cake; Cannolo Siciliano with ricotta or chocolate cream; and Tiramisù.

Numero 28 Miami, 432 Española Way, in the heart of South Beach, and is open seven days a week for Lunch and Dinner from 12 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.   786.359.4323


Wynwood Diner, a modern take on the classic American diner,anchors the newly developed Wynwood Block with a Wynwood.diner2multifunctional indoor-outdoor venue of three interconnected spaces: diner, cafe and outdoor ​patio.  

The Envision Diner 2.0 diner space features tufted maroon banquettes, industrial lighting fixtures, unfinished concrete walls and an open kitchen tucked behind a wrap-around diner counter, creating a modern sensibility with a nod to the past.  “As a native from Holland, I am happy to be in a space that merges the charming European café culture with a cool, nostalgic vibe of an American diner,” said Jerry Böck, General Manager of Wynwood Diner. Böck brings with him more than eleven years of experience in the Miami food scene, having worked as General Manager at Cecconi’s, Prime Italian, Nikki Beach and Prime 112.

The menu pays tribute to the classic diner,  with all-day-breakfast options, including nutmeg and bourbon French toast, and specialty omelets like the pork belly, feta and baby arugula omelet; chicken and waffle club sandwich, made with fried heirloom tomatoes and chipotle mayo with a side of crispy truffle fries. 

Head chef Michael Castino aka “Commander In Chef,”   trained with chefs Jean George and Kerry Simone, with work experience ranging from Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis, to Pride & Joy, and Tavern on the Green in NYC.  He believes in using fresh and natural ingredients, remaining conscious of the sustainability within his food resources. The diner serves premium natural beef, nitrate free pork, and all natural chicken and eggs, along with daily baked bread by Zak the Baker and coffee by Relentless Roasters. 

Wynwood Diner also offers a unique all-day handcrafted cocktail menu created by Vanessa Hulsey formerly of Broken Shaker and 27,  and an impressive craft beer selection. The ​den-like hangout is ​equipped with all things necessary for a proper cocktail, coffee or conversation, with an alfresco cafe extension serving as a prime location for private events, live music, countless happy hours and everything in between.

Wynwood Diner is located at 2601 N.W. Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33127.For more information please visit or call 305.747.7888

Michael SullivanOwner/Operator/ GM Michael Sullivan, formerly of OTC, and Executive Chef Tomas Prado named their new 1,500 square foot, 55-seat, indoor/outdoor farmhouse restaurant  concept  after Florida’s native Golden Fig. “We want to help enrich the food culture in Miami by evoking passion, encouraging integrity and sharing knowledge. We want to help raise industry standards – to make sustainable practices and high-quality dishes more accessible,” said Sullivan of the golden.figcasual, rustic, yet sophisticated décor with wooden tables, white metal chairs, tiled floor,  murals from Cynno of Wynwood and a gorgeous Scott Handler hand-crafted communal table, seating 12.

Executive Chef Tomas Prado brings to the kitchen an impressive resume: he worked at The Bazaar by Jose Andrés,  
 DB Bistro Moderne, Café Boulud, and most recently as part of the corporate team at My Ceviche.   The moderately priced menu  lists hand-crafted snacks such as Kentucky Cox Farms thick chunks of Crispy Pork Belly with tangy housemade IPA Mustard; Oysters; Edwards farm Virginia Ham Croquettes and charcuterie Boards ($3-$8) with well-sourced cheeses; light starters for sharing ($10-$15) i.e. Atlantic Tuna Tartar with preserved lemon and saffron aioli; Hudson Valley Foie Gras Parfait layered with spiced mango compote and served with rustic ZTB toast;  a Homestead Farmers Salad and Maine Mussels, steamed in Florida Cracker Beer.















There’s also local and in-season Market Vegetables ($7-$10) dishes including a hearty Vegetable Stir-Fry – quinoa, zucchini, squash, and bean sprouts, all from Homestead, Florida and Crispy Calabaza Blossoms from Paradise Farms.  For mains ($15-$25); pasture-raised meat s like the juicy Joyce Farms Grass Fed Burger ; the crispy Joyce Farms Buttermilk Fried Chicken and pan-seared, pre-sliced Flat-iron steak from Cox Farms, Kentucky, share the board with seafood like Florida Keys Black Grouper Brochette over Saffron couscous with seasonal vegetables and caper chimichurri and Maine Pan Seared Scallops served with chunks of pork belly and a corn succotash with fava beans, tomato, okra and basil.

Desserts ($9) are chef Prado’s take on American classics such as the Sundae – chocolate stout, cinnamon and malted milk ice creams, ginger snaps and salted caramel; Key Lime Jar – graham cracker crumble and meringue; Organic Peach Cobbler – Oat Crumble and cinnamon ice cream and the S ‘mores Jar – Chocolate mousse, torched marshmallow and graham cracker.

Golden Fig, opening Monday, July 27 at 1250 South Miami Avenue in the Brickell neighborhood of downtown Miami, is open for dinner from 6:00pm -10:00pm, Monday-Thursday, and 6:00pm-11:00pm, Friday and Saturday.   305-374-4612.  


cindy hutson


South Florida chef Cindy Hutson of Coral Gables Ortanique on the Mile is bringing her signature “Cuisine of the Sun” flavors to downtown Miami this fall with Zest, her newest fine-dining concept, and Zest MRKT, a “grab and go” concept open for breakfast and lunch.                 

And In anticipation to the opening in Fall of Zest MRKT, Zest Pop Up offers a variety of ethnically diverse breakfast and lunch options including egg dishes, sandwiches, soups and salads, as well as desserts supporting our local dessert divas, fruit juices, smoothies, coffee and more.

Zest and Zest MRKT, Lobby of Southeast Financial Center, 200 S Biscayne Boulevard,  is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Chef Kris Wessel’s year-old gluten-free Oolite restaurant at 1661 Pennsylvania Ave., South Beach, has closed. The culprit: $61,000 monthly rent which went unpaid for the better part of the year; do the math! 

The bar remains open. 

IMG 3312

Chef Julie Franz is no longer at Essensia at The Palms Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach.IMG 3306

She is replaced by chef Venoy Rogers who is a disciple of the natural, fresh produce and farm-to-table philosophy Chef Franz put in place at Essensia. The restaurant with the charming wrap around terrasse at the beautiful Palms Hotel and Spa Hotel retains the tropical charm and character of luxury constructions of the beginning of the 20th century.  

The Miami Spice menu ($39) which will be offered as of August 1 begins with creative cocktails ($10)  hand-crafted from fresh fruit blended with high-end spirits such as the Black Mamba made with blackberries, lemon, agave nectar and American Prairie Whiskey; the spicy passion fruit margarita with Milagro tequila, Ancho Reyes liqueur, lime, agave nectar, passion fruit and jalapeños; or the Hemingway mojito with Caña Brava Rum, lime, cane syrup, plenty of fresh mint and prosecco.

The Miami Spice menu sizzles with flavors and fresh flavors. At a preview dinner we sampled a choice of three starters beginning a Yelo tomato gazpacho with avocado, basil and cucumber. "That's actually the name of the tomato," said chef Rogers who is very particular about the provenance of his products. "It is a special type of yellow tomato grown in Canada that tastes like a real tomato should taste."   Then come two salads: a spinach and grilled watermelon salad with cucumber, mint and local goat cheese drizzled with lemon tarragon vinaigrette; and a "megene" salad, slices of sweet potato layered with an edge of sharp Maytag blue cheese softened with slivered tomato, sweet red grapes and livened by a Champagne poppy seed vinaigrette.

IMG 3313

IMG 3316










For mains there's a vegan splurge: a grilled cauliflower "steak" over sweet potato fettucine, yellow bell pepper purée, with a kick of garlicky chimichurri. The Florida citrus brined natural chicken is juicy, plump and flavored with citrus and fennel and accompanied with grilled onions, roasted pee wee potatoes and wilted arugula. Then comes a hearty Florida-raised Angus beef short ribs richly braised in red wine and set over soft yellow corn polenta hemmed with sweet confit baby carrots; or a choice of saffron-poached flaky black grouper with seared Brussels sprout leaves, a zesty Spanish chorizo studded farro and squid  aioli.

IMG 3318

IMG 3320










There's a choice of three desserts, quite different from the sweets fare one expects from hotel restaurants. Dolce de Abacate: a coconut sponge cake with sweet avocado cream and candied green mango; chocolate "bar" with rich dark chocolate covered with a raspberry glaze and toffee popcorn; passion fruit cheesecake with mango, passion fruit gel and cinnamon Graham crumb. 

Essensia, 3900 Collins Avenue inside the Palms Hotel & Spa Hotel.

AngelinaAngelina Bastidas, the girl with the Mona Lisa smile, (25),  has been appointed executive chef at Piripi Restaurant at Merrick Park by owners Gus Abalo and Teo Arranz .  Born in The Bronx, New York, Bastidas moved to Miami as a child. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, she started her culinary career while still in cooking school in the kitchen of Wish (since closed) on Miami Beach. Bastidas honed her skills in a number of Miami’s restaurants including Area 31, Bazaar, Palme D’Or and Taperia Raca and most recently was chef de cuisine at Tongue & Cheek on Miami Beach, where she was selected as one of Zagat Miami’s 30 Under 30 Miami Rock Stars Redefining the Industry.

Chef Angelina will be implementing a number of changes to the restaurant’s authentic Spanish menu, except the restaurant’s paellas, which are the province of imported-from-Spain paella maestro, Chef Ernesto Lorenzo Veloz. 

Piripi is open for lunch, dinner and brunch  as well as a Happy Hour bar : Sunday 11:30AM – 9PM, Monday-Wednesday 11:30AM – 10PM, Thursday 11:30AM to 11:00PMand Friday and Saturday 11:30AM – midnight..  Piripi, the Village of Merrick Park, 320 San Lorenzo Avenue in Coral Gables.  305-448-2423

Food & Wine Talk Radio




ad michelle.jpeg
Miami's Community Newspapers




Home   Advertise   Subscribe   Privacy Policy   About Us   Contact Us   Copyrights

©The South Florida Gourmet
5410 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables, FL 33146
Tel: 305-975-1425 

Web Site By:


RocketTheme Joomla Templates