From the owners of Por Fin comes Bulla (boo-ya – the ability to create a buzz), a 5,300-square-foot Spanish-Mediterranean gastrobar in the street corner building that once was Por Fin in Coral Gables. Designer Vincent Celano's sleek interiors decorate a lower level dining area, an upstairs lounge, a main bar open to the street, and a 700-square-foot balcony and patio space the owners plan to use for private parties and Sunday brunch.

The design is by Vincent Celano whose casual and modern decor evokes traditional tapas bars in spain. Cheeses, charcuterie and  tapas  ($4 to $14) are the core of the menu and portions are large enough to be shared: freshly made Tortilla española, albondigas or meatballs, patatas bravas, sepia a la plancha, croquetas de jamon with fig jelly and bomba: shrimp and potato croquette and more.  Happy hour until 7 p.m. lists half price drinks. Some family-style dinner options like arroz a banda or seafood rice ($32) and grilled angus bone-in ribeye ($52) - chuleton a la parilla - are also on the menu.

Bulla Spanish Gastro-Bar, 2500 Ponce de Leon, Coral Gables 305-441-0107

The Cypress Room is the latest addition to the Michael's Genuine Food & Drink family, at 3620 Northeast Second Avenue in Miami’s Design District.

The elegant American dining room is a nod to the spirit of classic 1920s fine dining,  with a freshly polished finish in food, service, bar, and decor.

The dinner menu centers around the restaurant's wood-burning grill and rotisserie, offering appetizers, selection of cheeses, entrees, sides, and house specialties cleanly composed by Chef de Cuisine Roel Alcudia using the freshest, highest quality ingredients, hand-picked from America's best small farmers, foragers, and fishermen.

The Genuine Hospitality Group Wine Director Eric Larkee's  Beverage Book —designed  by Ilysa Corns — contains a focused collection of wines by the glass and bottle with attention to regional, old world varietals; new cocktails carefully crafted by Beverage Director Ryan Goodspeed, as well as dessert wines to pair with executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith’s dessert menu.  Simeon Humphreys, of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink and Harry's Pizzeria, leads the team as General Manager.

The Cypress Room is open for dinner six days a week, Monday through Thursday 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 6:00 p.m. to 12 Midnight, and Closed Sunday.   The Cypress Room.  3620 NE 2nd Ave.,, Miami Design District FL 33137305.520.5197

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink: Atlas Plaza,130 N.E. 40th Street,Miami, FL 33137 305.573.5550


Following the enthusiastic reception of My Ceviche in Miami Beach (235 Washington Ave), the duo chef Samuel Gorenstein (BLT Steak at the Betsy Hotel,  Michael Schwartz’s  Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and the Raleigh Hotel on South Beach) and seafood entrepreneur Roger Duarte, have opened their second  counter service restaurant:  My Ceviche in Downtown Miami.

They are joined by Executive Chef/General Manager Tomas Prado ( The Bazaar by Jose Andres, DB Bistro Moderne and Café Boulud).

The menu, based on seasonality, sustainability, and local availability includes a vast choice of ceviche in different sauces from Aji Amarillo to crema de rocotto, asian, Caribeño (large $14.95, medium $11.95 and ceviche bowl  $9.95 over a bed of cilantro quinoa, coconut-Jasmine rice or mixed greens), appetizers and stone crab claws.

There are salads with interesting dressings and sides, and a vast choice of seafood tacos and Caribbean style Burritos (one $ 3.50,  three $ 9.95) with grilled local fish - cobia, yellow jack,  triggerfish - grilled shrimp, charred octopus , raw yellowfin tuna, served  with pickled red onions, queso fresco, radishes, cilantro choice of salsa, and crispy corn chips. The restaurant lists two beer selections ($3.95 each), desserts and hot and cold drinks.

My Ceviche is open seven days from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Delivery begins early April.  1250 South Miami Avenue,  Brickell, Downtown Miami, 305-960.7825

 Siga La Vaca, an all-you-can-eat Argentinean Steakhouse in the heart of coral Gables offers an extensive selection of over 20 salads from the salad bar, various high-quality Argentine-style cuts of beef from filet mignon to NY steak , pork and chicken from the grill, including sides and French fries, half a bottle of house wine, a pitcher of draft beer or a soda and desserts at a prix-fixe price. The Lunch special:  $19;  lunch: $29;  and dinner: $35.

More perks: Coral Gables residents with proof of residence get 10% off for lunch and dinner and  employees of Coral Gables corporations get  a 20% discount for lunch, Monday through Friday if they register with the restaurant a .   
Siga La Vaca is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 16 p.m. every day; for dinner Monday to Sunday from 5 to 11 p.m. and  Friday & Saturday till 1 a.m. 121 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables, 305-448-2511/305-448-2512


Swine Southern Table & Bar, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar's sister restaurant -- a 50 Eggs Group management latest endeavor — opened a 100-seat restaurant with an authentic old rural feel at 2415 Ponce De Leon Blvd in Coral Gables, in the old Les Halles location.

The Southern table at Swine features heritage breed pigs and local farm-sourced produce, as well as regional fish and fowl. For starters, the menu offers a selection of small plates including 1855 Black Angus Burnt Ends with fried cornbread, Kansas City molasses mop sauce and local purple watercress; BBQ Bone Marrow, Cox Farm Alabama marrow, yam jam and grilled country bread; and Brunswick Stew, with alligator sausage, smoked rabbit, butter beans, pickled okra and preserved lemon.

Big plates range from the Heritage “Pork n’ Beans”, a 12-hour-smoked pork shoulder with stewed beans, tomato-peanut relish and Paradise Farms honey glaze;  to 14-Hour House Smoked Brisket, with a chicory and spice rub; and Shrimp & Grits, with spiced Florida pink shrimp, crisp Virginia ham and Adluh South Carolina stone-ground grits. All  in addition to a changing menu of seasonally inspired side dishes and traditional Southern desserts. Parties looking to go “whole hog” can take advantage of the large-format dinner options featuring entire pigs, ducks and more.

Swine offers an extensive bourbon collection featuring rare, limited editions and house infusions, in addition to an inventive, culinary-driven cocktail menu.
Swine is open  for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight. Lunch will be served Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and brunch on weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Swine Southern Table & Bar, 2415 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables (786) 360-6433

Pelican Grand Beach Resort to open Ocean2000 waterfront restaurant, Ft. Lauderdale

Pelican Grand Beach Resort — part of the Noble House Hotels & Resorts family — is set to open its waterfront restaurant with a zero entry pool and a 500-foot private beach, Ocean2000, on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013.  In the kitchen, Executive Chef Todd Lough focuses on integrating Latin flair, regional and local produce into a menu of small-plates with bold flavors. In addition, a serious mixology program offers Classic Reinvented Cocktails  every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m.,

Ocean2000 is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday 7 a.m. through 11 p.m.  Sunday Brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  954-563-9431 or visit

dsc01338With the opening of Dolce Italian at the newly-renovated Gale South Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, LDV co-founders and restaurateurs  John Meadow and Curt Huegel —   LDV Hospitality oversees 15 restaurants, bars and lounges across the country, partnering with   celebrity chefs including Scott Conant, Marc Forgione, Alain Allegretti among others — are fulfilling their aspiration is to bring the dream of La Dolce Vita to life.    The design is simple and modern Vintage photos of young Federico Fellini,  Marcello Mastroiani , Anita Ekberg as well as stars of the dolce vita decade line the wood paneled walls  of the sleek restaurant. Outside it is a typical Italian sidewalk café with big umbrellas and a bar.     GM Dean Tsakanikas orchestrates the different food and beverage locations of the hotel, from the sit-down restaurant dining room the outdoor café, the private room and the poolside deck to the  Regent Cocktail Club and the Rec Room at the Gale where  Master mixologist John Lermayer shakes up a creative hand-crafted Italian cocktails.

dsc01342In the kitchen, Italian executive chef Paolo Dorigato — formerly executive chef at Azure at Revel Resorts in Atlantic City— turns out a menu of Italian specialties including thin-crusted pizzas in the wood-burning oven ($13 to $18). From the classical Margherita with fresh mozzarella and Napoleatana to Prosciutto and Rucola and Tartufata, they are large enough for sharing among four for starters.  So is the Dolce tray of imported artisanal meats and cold cuts ($26) and the Caprese with house-made mozzarella ($14).

There’s a variety of fresh salads ($9-$13) from classic hearts of romaine with Caesar dressing to arugula salad with pears, asiago, speck and candied walnuts. Hot and cold antipasti ($14-23) list grilled tender octopus served on a bed of chickpeas and ginger pistachio farro; Dolce meatballs with soft polenta and Parmigiano; and burrata served with Boston Bibb lettuce, cherry tomatoes, crispy shallots and bacon.    In addition to seafood risotto redolent of shrimp, scallops, calamari and tomatoes, most pastas on the menu ($18-$24) are homemade like the silky trands of pappardelle alla Bolognese and the Tagliatelle with shrimp and pesto.

dsc01343Main plates or Secondi ($24 - $32) include a luscious, slow-braised and fork-tender Veal Spezzatino over risottodsc01347 alla parmigiana; seared red snapper  over artichoke hearts, soft polenta and olives;   roasted branzino served with fingerling potatoes and spinach; roast chicken and the more classical veal Milanese with salad and Tuscan fries, eggplant parmigiana and the Italian American spaghetti & meatballs.

Dolce Italian is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  1690 Collins Avenue in the Gale South Beach.   786-975-2550

Chef/Restaurateur Angelo Elia of Casa D’Angelo fame has opened the second D’Angelo Pizza ▪ Wine Bar ▪ Tapas, a 2,800 square feet indoor/outdoor eatery at 1370 Weston Road in the Country Isle Plaza in Weston.  This is the sixth restaurant by Chef Elia who is founder and sole owner of AE Restaurants. The D’Angelo Pizza ▪ Wine Bar ▪ Tapas concept offers

The menu – by chefs Elia and Executive Chef Tony Sassi, who hails from Barletta, on the southeast coast of Italy and previously worked for the Mezzanotte company – offers an array of approachable Tuscan small plates, pizzas,  paninis, pastas, premium cheeses, charcuterie and wines served up in a chic, relaxed and modern setting.

On the menu, small plates ($8-$15) list creamy burrata cheese over arugula and figs; veal and pecorino cheese meatballs; zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella; and the Tour of Italy – a sumptuous sampling of arancini, suppli, potato crocchette and crispy polenta.   ceviche and carpacci ($11-$14) range from polpo – octopus with olives and tomato pesto to manzo – beef carpaccio with shaved Reggiano and truffle oil; and salads and soups ($7-$14) change  daily.

Wood oven Pizza ($10-$15) are a specialty of D’Angelo, and so are the housemade pastas ($17-$19), the paninis, calzone and frittatas ($10-$16).  Desserts, all homemade, list from the traditional tiramisu,  cannoli and the Torta della nonna, or  grandmother cake with lemon, cream and pine nuts to a vast list of artisan gelato and sorbets.

The mostly Italian wines hand-picked by Elia and D’Angelo expert sommelier Koen Kersemens, include Jankara Vermentino, Elia’s very own wine from his recently-acquired winery in Sardinia, as well as a variety of spirits, beers and cocktails.

D’Angelo Pizza ▪ Wine Bar ▪ Tapas at 1370 Weston Road, in the Country Isle Plaza in Weston, Florida  serves lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.  Ample free parking available.   (954) 306-0037







50 Eggs C.E.O and restaurateur John Kunkel —  the team behind the popular Yardbird Southern Table & Bar — have opened Khong River House with Northern Thai cuisine and authenticity in the decor. The interior -- with 100 seats, two private back rooms and an upstairs 75-seats dining area with reclaimed materials, weathered hardwood slats and corrugated tin ceilings -- is reminiscent of rural farm houses along the Mekong River; from China and Laos to Thailand and Vietnam.

The menu reflects the foods prepared in Thai street markets, just like those Mr. Kunkel became acquainted with when traveling throughout Thailand as a young adult.  Executive Chef Piyarat Potha Arreeratn (known as Chef Bee);  Chef de Cuisine Duangwiwat Khoetchapayook (known as Chef Danny) ;and Sous Chef Sudarat Loasupho (known as Chef Pai), from three different regions in Thailand , run the kitchen.

The menu lists traditional dishes like Jin Som — marinated pork cooked in banana leaves, Kauyteaw Reau Neau (Boat Noodles — a recipes from Chef Danny’s sister who operates one of the most popular boat noodle restaurants in his region — Goong Lui Dong ma Keua Tesh (Myanmar-Style Prawns); and Gang Kee Lek (Cassia Leaf Curry), the chefs source products such as Galanga, Thai Guava, and Miang and Pandan leaves from local farmers.

Khong River House’s beverage program includes a cocktail list with Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian touches. Just let your imagination soar...

Khong River House serves dinner from 5:30PM – 12AM, Sunday – Thursday and 5:30PM – 2AM, Friday and Saturday. The restaurant will also be launching lunch and weekend brunch in the coming weeks. 1661 Meridian Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139   (305) 763-8147

George’s Kitchen in Miami Midtown is the third location owner George-Eric Farge and partners David Dallard and former Miami Dolphin Craig Erickson are opening in Miami — the others are in South Miami and Coconut Grove.  “Following the success of George’s South Miami and Coconut Grove, Midtown is the perfect place to open and introduce George’s Kitchen French cuisine to a new audience,” said George-Eric Farge.

In his open kitchen Executive Chef Steven Rojas — who earned a Michelin star at Saddle Peak Lodge in the Malibu hills and previously held positions at Patina Restaurant and at Chez Papa Resto in San Francisco — fuses his French and Spanish cooking techniques to create a menu with dishes like  Short Rib Tartare served “on the bone” with capers, poached bone marrow and caviar; Diver Scallop and Grilled Pork Cheek Duo with watercress and mustard seed jus; and Kabucha Squash Agnollotti with poached egg, truffle brown butter and aged pecorino.

Local designer and nightlife entrepreneur Sean Saladino has designed the 2,000-square-foot space around the exposed kitchen with a 100-seat dining room with  floor-to-ceiling windows; original wood trusses,  beams, dining tables made out of solid walnut with copper inlays; rich fabrics and leathers; and a romantic skylight left from the building’s original structure. A suspended staircas leads to an upstairs lounge and nightlife venue called The Loft at George’s Kitchen which offers a full-service bar, tapas menu, wines and specialty cocktails created by mixologist Mo Dahab.

George’s Kitchen is open for dinner Sunday to Thursday from 5pm to 11pm, and on Friday and Saturday from 5pm to midnight. Lunch and Sunday brunch hours to follow. The Loft at George’s Kitchen is open daily beginning at 4pm.   3404 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33127. 305.438.9199.


Devon Seafood + Steak, an off shoot of Devon Seafood + Steak in Chicago, IL, where executive chef Scott Barrow has been working for the past 12 years, is an outdoor/indoor upscale but moderately priced contemporary American restaurant with waterfront views of the canal, a private dining room, a lounge and a wine cellar room slated to open on January 12, in Kendall.

The vast menu starts with appetizers like mini New England lobster rolls ($11.50); tempura shrimp sushi rolls with cucumber, soy, wasabi and pickled ginger ($8.50 sm.); and jumbo lump crab cakes with creole remoulade and mango tartar sauce ($18) in addition to fresh, raw East Coast oysters; Beau Soleil from New Brunswick ($2.50 ea); Salt Ponds from Point Judith ($2.50 ea); Quivett Creek from Rhode Island ($2.75 ea); and Rhode Island Wilds ($3.50 ea).

Entrees list fish and seafood dishes from sustainable sources  as well as prime steaks including a 6 oz. center cut filet mignon ($31); a 12 oz. USDA Prime New York strip ($41); and an 18 oz. USDA Prime bone-in ribeye ($45) served with a choice of two seasonal sides.

Devon Seafood + Steak is open nightly  for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. (till 11 p.m. on weekends) and for Happy Hour on the patio and indoor bar, Monday through Friday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with original cocktails,  house wine and champagne by the glass( $6), discounted well drinks and beers  and  $1 oysters and $3 lobster claws.  11715 Sherri Lane, inside The Palms at Town & Country Mall, in Kendall. Free parking. (305) 275-0226

Barceloneta Sunset, a sister location to the sexy tapas bar on 20th St.,  just opened in South Miami.  It is "the labour of love of Juliana Gonzalez, Daniella Rezai and Manuel Suarez-Inclan, who have teamed up with the superstar team of Pubbelly," says their site, to transport diners to Mercat La Boqueria in Barcelona.

The decor is rustic with brick walls, dark wood tables and blackboards listing the day’s specials. In the back there's a cava room lined with crates and bottles of cava.   The menu by chef Juliana listsfrom chacuterie with homemade butifarra; Garrotxa cheese from Catalunya and small plates like Pulpo a Feira topped with potato foam to escalivada, croquetas, Spanish rice dishes like country paella, steaks, chicken and fideos a la cazuela with langoustine, rabbit, sobrasada, artichoke confit, dried tomatoes and peas ($18)

Barceloneta Sunset,5850-B Sunset Dr.,South Miami, FL 33143, 305-538-9299


Serafina Restaurant, a Northern Italian cuisine chain with locations in NYC, East Hampton. Tokyo, Moscow, Mumbai and Sao Paolo — Additional restaurants in the group include Geisha Table and Brasserie Cognac in NYC —  has opened at the Dream Hotel in the space formerly known as Tudor House.

Owners Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato have infused the lobby of the 129-seats indoor/outdoor art-deco Tudor House, with enthusiasm and energy. The cafeteria-like eatery gets a touch of sophistication from the 16-seat bar at the entrance and the frescoes of seraphs on the walls by artist Michele Martello.

truffle pizza final_1

While there is no sidewalk seating, there is a romantic outdoor terrace shaded by Serafina’s bright yellow umbrellas that match the waiters and waitresses chic T-shirts with Serafina's wings on the back — a clothing item I wouldn’t mind wearing myself — contributing to a fun, upbeat environment.

Simplicity and good quality ingredients are the secret of Serafina’s success worldwide. Partners Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato  — who,  while traumatically lost at sea,  pledged to open a restaurant serving the best pizza and pasta in the world at reasonable prices if they were to survive the ordeal —claim that “people can come in for just pizza or a salad or have a great Italian meal for under $32” with family recipes passed down from generation to generation.

The menu includes 24 varieties of pizza ($10 to $18), all thin-crusted and made with "00" Italian flour, filtered water, extra virgin olive oil and Sicilian sea salt — our Tartufo Nero with robiola cheese, fontina, truffle cheese, truffle oil and sliced black truffle was outstanding —, and  offers a variety of  appetizers and salads, a huge pasta section, then fish, vegetables and fresh grilled meats.

Appetizers ($7.50 to $19) include large and plump Mussels al Prosecco;  carpaccio di filetto con salsa di tartufi neri, thin sliced prime filet mignon with warm black truffle sauce and boiled potatoes; a refreshing ceviche di  Branzino with with papaya & mango, tequila marinade; a Tartare di Sofia with toro grade tuna and salmon marinated the Italian way;  Prosciutto di parma and melt-in-the-mouth mozzarella di buffala;  Vitello tonnato, thin slices of cold poached veal tenderloin served with Italian tuna fish sauce and Sicilian capers  and more Italian specialties.

Salads ($8 to $15) list  Watermelon and mint with crumbled feta cheese, marinated in citrus zest and extra virgin olive oil;  warm Italian goat cheese over baby spinach topped with honey and roasted pine nuts; the classic Carcioffi and Parmigiano with fresh sliced artichoke hearts, aged Parmigiano Reggiano shavings, lemon and extra virgin olive oil; Serafina chicken salad with grilled organic chicken breast tossed with romaine and mesclun, sun dried tomatoes, raisins, pine nuts, and a pesto dressing, or baby arugula  with sliced seared filet mignon and shaved Parmigiano.

dsc01309Pastas are served al dente like the perfectly balanced Farfalle al limoncello, bow tie pasta sautéed in an addictive creamy lemon sauce with sweet  baby shrimp; paglia & fieno, silky strands of homemade fettuccine with light tomato sauce, basil, Parmigiano and a touch of cream; Ravioli ai Porcini filled and sautéed with fresh porcini mushrooms or the gluten free and whole wheat options.

I would come back any day for the fresh fish dishes ($22 - $29), namely the fillet of bass al pinot grigio wrapped in potatoes and served on an earthy bed of zucchini and leeks or the fillet of branzino al forno baked with lemon and rosemary and served with a ratatouille-like pepperonata.  Meat and poultry dishes ($18-$30) run the gamut from Chicken Milanese and grilled organic chicken breast paillard to grilled steak and fries and filet mignon burger with Gorgonzola cheese, caramelized onions and French fries.

Desserts are all homemade, from the luscious strawberry and mascarpone tiramisù to the fresh fruit and spirit lollipops — a fitting digestivo for South Beach.

Being a in a hotel, Serafina also serves  breakfast with favorites such as egg white frittata and pancakes and fresh fruit juices.

Sommelier Alessandra Rotondi’s accessible wine list showcases an extensive selection of wines from Italy, France, New Zealand and the U.S., many bearing Serafina’s own label; while the resident mixologist shakes up exciting cocktails  ranging from $10 - $15. 

Serafina Dream South Beach is open seven days for  breakfast, lunch, dinner and takeout with the added feature of kitchen-to-car delivery and short-term free parking.  1111 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139 ( with street entrance on 11th Street and nearby garage parking).  305.534.8455





After extensive renovations on The Front Porch Café —a South Beach favorite breakfast destination for 23 years — Executive Chef Todd Webster has now revamped the dinner menu.

The new dinner concept called The Front Porch at Night is offered  nightly from 5pm to close and features musical guests, special themed movie nights, monthly “Caja China” events — an all you can eat and drink Pig and Patron event for $30 per person, and  more.  According to Chef Todd: “The Front Porch at Night translates everything people love about breakfast to an evening setting. The dinner menu is about uptown food with a downtown feel.”

The Front Porch Cafe serves all day breakfast, and happy hour specials, affordable lunch menu and dinner nightly from 5 p.m. till close.   1458 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305-531-8300 Facebook

Sundy House in Delray Beach, Florida has appointed Chef Lindsay Autry as the Executive Chef.  A “Top Chef Texas” finalist, Autry most recently served as the Executive Chef of Michelle Bernstein’s at The Omphoy Ocean Resort in Palm Beach. Chef Lindsay describes her cuisine as soulful, embracing Mediterranean flavors while blending in her southern roots.

Chef Lindsay has held various chef positions at award-winning restaurants on the East Coast as well as in Mexico.  She honed her skills under the James Beard Award-winning Michelle Bernstein, starting at Azul at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami, then on to open the MB as Sous Chef in Cancun, Mexico.  Chef Lindsay served as the Chef de Cuisine of Las Brisas at the Fairmont Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, and was named a ‘Restaurant Hospitality Rising Star’ in 2008 while she was the Executive Chef of the Lazy Goat in Greenville, SC.

A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, where she received her B.S. in Culinary Arts, Chef Lindsay is a native of North Carolina but currently resides in South Florida.   She received the Restaurant Hospitality Magazine Rising Star Award in 2008.

Located in the heart of historic downtown Delray Beach, the award-winning Sundy House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sundy House, 106 South Swinton, Delray Beach, FL 33444. 561-272.5678.


Renowned for its Miami River location, the popular seafood restaurant and market Casablanca Seafood Bar & Grill, has opened a second restaurant. The fancier Casablanca on the Bay in the Doubletree Hotel -- as its name indicates -- overlooks the bay. The kitchen is in the capable hands of chef Joaquin Perea, formerly of the Fontainebleau and the Doral Spa Resort and chef de cuisine Wilbert Sauceda, formerly of Sra. Martinez and before that Brosia. 

Casablanca on the Bay, 1717 N. Bayshore Drive, Miami, 305-371-4930


Chef/restaurateur David Bracha has opened Oak Tavern in the heart of the Miami Design District at 35 NE 40th Street (between North Miami and NE First Avenues).   The 5,500 square feet Oak Tavern, named after the giant oak tree in the outdoor patio,  has a laid-back setting with indoor/outdoor seating for 140 and offers an affordable menu and beverage list..  A bar with a vast selection of microbrew beers on tap and by the bottle, wines by the glass and cocktails overlooks large glass doors that open unto to the lushly landscaped courtyard.

Chef Bracha, who worked at Jake’s Bar & Grill in South Miami, River Seafood & Oyster Bar and Norman’s is a resident of Buena Vista who wants to put forward the best for his neighborhood concept.  He  has rounded up a team of professionals he had formerly worked with like chef de cuisine Curtis Rhodes - River Seafood & Oyster Bar, general manager Gary Sanon-Jules who ran Tap Tap and worked with Bracha at Jake’s Bar & Grill in South Miami and director of operations and beverage director Michael Hidalgo, who also fills that role at River Seafood & Oyster Bar

The modern American menu offers a selection of small plates, snacks, wood oven pizzas, charcuterie and large plates as well as daily specials and oysters of the day.   The charcuterie & cheese menu includes a robust Tuscan fennel salami, spicy soppressata and bresaola; country rabbit pâté, housemade foie gras mousse and American cheeses including Rogue Creamery’s Caveman Blue and Gouda from the Sweet Grass Dairy, in Georgia.   “I’ll be making most of our charcuterie in house, we have been making our own salami, soppressata, testa and breseaola, along with sausages. I’ll also be using the wood oven for some interesting things,” said Bracha.

From the oven come a selection of pizzas ($12-$18) including duck with poached pear, mustard, wild mushrooms and fontina; gnocchi with house made rabbit-truffle sausage, Taleggio and Parmesan and baked mussels served with salsa verde and crusty bread.  Small plates ($6-$18) list charred lamb ribs with arugula pesto, yogurt and mint; Thai style crispy skin duck salad; gazpacho verde made with yogurt, cucumber, and Marcona almonds; and bison carpaccio with mustard, shiitakes, truffle and chive.

Fresh seafood selections ($10-$22) include a number of crudos, sashimi, ceviches and a daily oyster selection that will always include East and West coast oysters.   For snacks ($4-$12) the menu lists stone crab crostini, bahn mi, and grilled house cured maple bacon. Large plates ($9-$32) include wood grilled whole yellowtail snapper with roasted cauliflower and lemon-caper vinaigrette;  grass fed steak with shishito peppers, sweet 100s tomatoes, scallion and chimichurri and spit roasted suckling pig with fiery black beans, sour orange mojo and grilled scallions round out the menu.  Vegetables and sides ($4-$10) are seasonal and so are desserts.

Oak Tavern is open nightly for Happy Hour  with drink and snacks specials from   4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and for dinner. Lunch is slated to begin Monday December 3, just in time for Art Basel.  35 NE 40th Street,  Miami’s Design District;   786-391-1818;

Andy Choi is now the Executive Chef of BONDST Miami at South Beach’s Townhouse Hotel.  Thanks to Chef Choi, BONDST will expand its selection beyond sushi to include larger plates featuring poultry, beef and seafood, as well as seasonal ingredients. “We partnered with Chef Choi because of his diverse background and ability to elevate dishes with inventive flavors and ingredients not typically found in Asian cuisine,” said Jonathan Morr, BONDST Owner and CEO.

Coming from a family of successful restaurateurs and with over 15 years’ experience at restaurants in the USA including a position as Chef de Cuisine at New York City’s Le Cirque,  Choi has created a menu that combines classic techniques  with creative ingredients.

BONDST will soon launch BONDST Spice, fashioned after Miami Spice:   From 6 to 8 p.m. a prix fixe menu features selections such as tuna and avocado tacos made with crispy wontons and carrot ginger; blistered shishito peppers with soy and mirin; goat cheese crabcakes with lemon carrot coulis; the chef’s selection of sashimi and sushi; and lychee panna cotta with strawberry rhubarb compote and vanilla syrup.

BONDST in Townhouse Hotel, 150 20th St. in Miami Beach,   is open nightly for dinner from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. 305.398.1806

Viceroy Miami appointed Roberto Neri as Executive Chef. He will oversee all food and beverage operations for the hotel, including Eos, its Mediterranean-inspired signature restaurant.

A native of Pordenone, northeast Italy in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region,  Neri brings a global experience to Viceroy Miami, having spent extensive time in Europe and the Middle East. Most recently, he was executive chef at Bella Vista  at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. Prior to that, he was executive chef at Grano, which won the Carlton Award for Best Italian Restaurant in London.

In 2001, Neri joined Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts at the Canary Wharf Resort in the United Kingdom as Sous Chef of its Northern Italian restaurant, Quadrato — named one of the best restaurants in the U.K. by Zagat. He relocated to Jordan in 2002 for the opening of the Four Seasons Amman Resort and its Italian restaurant Vivace. Under Neri’s direction, Vivace was recognized as the best Italian restaurant in the Middle East. He also helped launch West Bank Grill at the Four Seasons Jackson Hole.

“Chef Neri — who has worked for the Michelin Star-awarded La Primula in Italy and as Chef de Partie at Carvaggio in London — brings extraordinary knowledge and worldly expertise to Viceroy Miami,” said hotel General Manager Laurence Dubey. “He has an incredible track record of success in building award-winning restaurants. We’re excited that he has joined our team.”

Viceroy Miami, 485 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131. or call 305-503-4400.


Cay has opened in Atrium ‘B’ of the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) in Dania Beach, FL. DCOTA owner, Charles S. Cohen assembled an all-star dream team including the iconic Miami-based designer Sam Robin and the California-based Area Architects to execute his unique vision: an 1,100 sq. ft.84- seat restaurant space that reflects the cool and relaxed ambiance of old Key West. The venue can be converted into a 10,000 sq. ft. private event space. An adjoining lounge space for holding a meeting, checking email, surfing the internet, or just taking a break and relaxing offers complimentary Wi-Fi.

Overseeing the restaurant’s kitchen and catering services is Thierry Isambert of Miami’s Thierry’s Catering and Event Design. For this venture, Thierry has created a diverse menu that embraces the staples of classic Florida cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh seafood. Dishes include Corvina Ceviche with crisp tostones; Plantain Crusted Mahi-Mahi with roasted squash and a habanero-grilled pineapple salsa; and an Island Pasta with shrimp, mussels and squid, served over fettuccini and tossed with a lemon-wine Alfredo sauce.

Cay is open for lunch Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. At night and on weekends it is available for private parties and events.  Atrium B’ of the DCOTA building at 1855 Griffin Road, just east of I-95, in Dania Beach. (954) 920-7997

The Cheese Course, a European-style artisanal cheese shop and quick service bistro, is bringing its more than 150 imported cheeses and a 40-item bistro menu featuring cheese courses, sandwiches and salads to the 2,200 square foot space where PAUL’s bakery used to be, on the first level of  Aventura Mall.

The Cheese Course, Aventura Mall. 19575 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 383, Aventura, FL 33180. 305.466.2223

The indoor/outdoor location features signature cheese courses, sandwiches, salads and craft beer and wine pairings.  Monthly classes and bi-weekly tastings are also available for guests to sample and learn about the store’s featured cheeses.

After 10 years in the market, The Cheese Course offers  a cheese and wine market, educational courses, tastings and bistro in each of its seven locations – Weston, Midtown Miami, Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Plantation and Pinecrest and Aventura.

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