bianca chef vikram katoshVikramjit Katoch has been appointed Executive Chef at The Delano’s Italian-inspired restaurant, Bianca.  Born and raised in India, Executive Chef Vikramjit Katoch brings over 26 years of culinary experience and an innovative yet traditional cooking style to Bianca where he will introduce new dishes and concepts with techniques, ingredients, and recipes from his culinary journeys to be included in the all-new summer menu.

Bianca’s menu includes Grilled Octopus with aged balsamic and handmade pasta along with seasonal truffles, shaved tableside.  Entrées include a salt-roasted Branzino, a Tomahawk Ribeye Bistecca and the crowd pleasing Roast Chicken. Bianca also features selections from  Umi Sushi & Sake Bar, such as Big Eye Tuna Pizza and rolls like the aptly named FDR and Delano. Guests also have the opportunity to pair their meal with Bianca’s carefully selected wines and specialty cocktails.

“We’re thrilled to introduce Chef Katoch to the Delano South Beach where he will elevate the guest experience at Bianca.” said J.P. Oliver, Regional Vice President, Morgans Hotel Group.

 

Bianca at Delano is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week, and serves brunch on Sundays. 1685 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139 | 305.674.5752 | www.delano-hotel.com

 

modern gardenCarlos and Maryam Miranda have opened their new venture Modern Garden, a hot stone and crudo lounge adjacent to the restaurant Seaspice, with newly appointed Chef Benjamin Goldman, formerly the sous-chef at SHIKANY and voted one of Miami’s Zagat 30 under 30.

Chef Goldman’s menu at Modern Garden features a selection of crudos -- a contemporary interpretation of exquisite raw fish and seafood dressed with infused oils, citrus and fresh herbs -- including Uni Canapé with squid ink chip/ citrus crème / lemon zest; Salmon Rosettes with Faroe island salmon/candied shallot/salmon roe; Hokkaido Scallop Tartare crispy bamboo rice/ golden osetra/ coriander aioli; Fish and Meadow seared yellow fin tuna/ foie gras panna cotta/aji amarillo/ pickled zucchini/ candied hazelnuts.

Guests who prefer their selections cooked can order from Modern Garden’s signature hot stone selections, searing both seafood and premium meats on the 850- degree volcanic stone slabs, conveniently at their table. Items include A5 Wagyu Beef with alderwood salt/ maldon seasonal salt/ lavender flower; Elysian Fields Lamb with red miso/ fleur de sel/ zaalouk/ fresh rosemary; Moscovy Duck Breast with purple onion/ umeboshi / maple tamari/ basil buds; Spinelis (a.k.a ribeye cap) with rojo chimichurri/ lava salt and Diver Scallop with bagna cauda sauce.

A permanent art installation composed of two large trees made and shaped from nominal lumber that spread their canopy through space, with teardrop light fixtures hanging from the branches, softly illuminates table seating and bar areas. The permanent art installation by designer Santiago Pelaez was unveiled during Art Basel 2014.

Modern Garden is located at 422 NW North River Drive in Miami, Florida, and is open for dining Tuesday through Saturday noon to 12:00AM; 305.440.4200. For reservations: reservations@moderngardenmiami.com .

About Seaspice

Seaspice is a waterfront seafood restaurant and lounge with 500 feet of dock space, a large indoor dining room, outdoor bar and lounge, and the newly opened Modern Garden -- a hot stone and crudo concept. Located on the banks of the Miami River, the restaurant captures the essence of a waterfront experience. The restaurant seats 300 in a post-industrial warehouse outfitted in sleek, reinterpreted nautical details with views of the Miami River and downtown skyline.

bagatelleOn the heels of their extremely successful locations in New York, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, St. Barths and St. Tropez; owners Aymeric Clemente & Remi Laba have opened the 144-seats outdoor/indoor Bagatelle Miami Beach.

Designed by Celano Design, with decorative moldings, plush banquets, numerous crystal chandeliers, bright fresh flowers and eye catching pop art provided by Opera Gallery, Bagatelle Miami Beach highlight is  a  stone top bar with a display of the finest selection of wines and Champagne, cocktails and spirits.

The French contemporary cuisine by Executive Chef Matthieu Godard includes Tartare de Thon Bagatelle- Ahi Tuna Tartar, Avocado Chutney, Cripsy Shallot, Key Lime Soy Dressing, Papdum Tuile;  Gnocchi Truffes a la Parisienne - Homemade Gnocchi, Black Truffle Sauce, Aged Parmesan Cheese;  Gambas au Pastis - Jumbo prawn, flambé with Pernod Ricard, green vegetable risotto; and Poulet Entier Rôti à laTruffe -  Whole Truffled Roasted Chicken, Country Style Potatoes, Caramelized Cipollini, Button Mushrooms, Thyme Chicken Jus.

Bagatelle Miami is located at 2000 Collins Avenue and is open Sunday-Wednesday 6:00PM – 12:00AM;  Thursday-Friday 6:00PM – 1:00AM and Saturday 6:00PM-1:00AM. 

www.bistrotbagatelle.com

 

chef najat kanaache of piripiPiripi, by Moroccan-Basque chef, Najat Kaanache, is the collaborative brainchild of AKA Hospitality (named for its partners Teo Arranz, Najat Kaanache and Gus Abalo). At the 200-seat indoor/outdoor concept with garden, lounge, blown glass chandeliers and private room, Chef Najat and her team are serving up authentic Spanish and Basque dishes, melding her culinary experience with the rustic flavors and fragrant spices she grew up with in the Spanish countryside.

Chef Najat honed her skills at Michelin 3 stars Noma, French Laundry, Per Se and Alinea after spending the final two years of El Bulli working directly with Ferran Adria until the restaurant closed. The culmination of Najat’s journey through the world of gastronomy and the fragrant flavors of her upbringing inspired the creation of Piripi which is Spanish slang for “happy”, “tipsy” or “feeling a little bit buzzed.” The restaurant echoes this sentiment throughout – from the witty and whimsical menu to the moving glass floor to ceiling doors that blur the lines between inside and out. The restaurant was created to bring a distinct dining experience with an emphasis on sharing to South Florida diners, inviting them to celebrate and explore the essence of legendary Spanish cuisine.

The menu at Piripi is divided into several sections, allowing diners the opportunity to create their own one-of-a-piripi_ 6136 1kind culinary adventure. Specifically, guests can look forward to Piripikoteos – Piripi’s take on small bites, derived from the Basque word Picoteo which means to snack. Each section of the menu is headed as follows:

·        Piripikoteos

·        Pure Blood – house-cured cuts of Spanish meats

·        Oh Que So – cheeses

·        Appetite’s Hers – appetizers

·        Solid and Liquid Salads – gazpacho and greens

·        Coca de Vidrio – Catalan flatbreads

·        Sea Bocaditos – sharable bites from the sea

·        Salteados y Plancha – delicious grilled and sautéed dishes.

Whether it be Patatas Soufflé, light-as-air potatoes and a spicy brava sauce; “Navajas con Horchata, razor clams, cilantro and tiger nut milk or Crema Mejillon Cronuts, “croquettes” of shrimp and mussels, there’s a perfect Piripikoteo to delight any taste bud.

For those seeking more sustenance, guests can select main dishes, which vary in both proteins and preparation styles. “Del Norte” features main plates from the
 sea  such as “Pulpo Paul,” slow-cooked octopus and peasant potatoes, or Gambas del Paraiso, gigantic head-on prawns cooked traditionally a la plancha with sliced garlic.  “Tierra! Tierra! Tierra!” meaning from the earth, showcase selections such as Chuletón de Buey con Piperrada, a 28 oz. ribeye with onions, peppers and tomatoes symbolizing the colors of the Basque flag or El Cordero Paciente, a 36-hour roasted saddle of lamb accented with rosemary.

There’s a plentiful selection of rice dishes, or Arroces,  o ranging from Conejo y Pollo, with wild rabbit and chicken to Negre De Txipiron, with calamari and squid ink. Not to be missed are the Cataplanas a riceless, Portuguese seafood dish cooked in a copper “clam-shell-like” pressure cooker such as Cataplana de Marisco, with steamed langoustine, crawfish, monkfish and cockles, unlatched and served table-side for a steamy, dramatic presentation. To end the meal on a sweet note, irresistible desserts, or PiripiPostres, range from Crema Catafrita, melt in the mouth fried crema Catalana to Torrijas Vasco Frances, a Basque take on torrejos, in addition to Chuches, homemade Spanish candies, and house-churned helados.

With the belief that you are only as good as the team behind you, Chef Najat called upon her vast network of colleagues from the world’s finest restaurants to assist in her mission to make culinary magic. Piripi’s beverage director Matt Reiser, former wine director at Boston’s Upstairs on the Square, and renowned Spanish sommelier Ferran Centelles, who spent thirteen years at El Bulli,  put together a wine list of boutique Spanish wineries and selected American vineyards. Fifty of the bottles on the wine list are priced under $50.   With seven signature cocktails and five signature Spanish “gin tonics” , the central bar offers herbaceous craft cocktails as well as wines by the glass and craft and Spanish beers.

Piripi is located in the Village of Merrick Park, 320 San Lorenzo in Coral Gables, Florida.  Dinner is served nightly Monday –Sunday from 5PM – 11PM.  For more information and reservations visit www.piripimiami.com or call 305-448-2423.

 

In advance of the opening of The Centurion Lounge at Miami International Airport later this season, American Express has announced its partnership with James Beard award-wining Chef Michelle Bernstein, Owner/Chef of Crumb on Parchment, Michy's and Chef of Seagrape in the Thompson Miami Beach, to curate the menu of the new lounge.

The Centurion Lounge at MIA will offer locally inspired, seasonal menus designed by Chef Bernstein, as well as Miami-inspired cocktails by celebrated mixologist Jim Meehan.

American Express works closely with its award-winning culinary partners on the menus at each of the existing lounges, including Scott Conant in Las Vegas, Dean Fearing in DFW and Cedric Vongerichten in New York’s LaGuardia, and is excited to kick off its partnership with Chef Bernstein.

KLIMA Restaurant and Bar – a newly renovated 5,200square feet, 70-seat indoor restaurant with an outdoor patio dining area is the creation of Spanish/Catalan founders Pablo Fernández-Valdés and Yago Giner.  

Based on a culinary concept inspired by contemporarygastronomy from Barcelona, with a comfortable lounge area, a sleek bar with a tailored menu of small plates for sharing and to accompany the extensive list of wines, beers and cocktails, and plenty of original art-work, "KLIMA's concept reflects the perfect marriage between our own Spanish heritage andSouth Florida's rich cultural diversity. Our menu complements our casual yet elegant interior design to make our guests feel at home," said Mr. Fernandez-Valdés.

Executive Chef David "Rusti" Rustarazo, who hails fromSpain, has developed together with consultant Albert Ventura – Ventura currently owns Restaurant COURE, Wall 47 andthe recently opened El Cercle restaurant in Barcelona – a contemporary and international fare of seasonal seafood, meats and pasta dishes prepared withlocal ingredients and inspired by the flavorful cuisine of Barcelona and the Mediterranean coast.

klima white fish cevicheklima fennel carpaccioFor appetizers you will find Tuna toast with chipotle,leek and lime ($20); 5 Jotas Pata Negra Iberian ham with bread and fresh tomatoes($38); Oysters with Ponzu sauce and salmon roe ($3.50 each) and Salmorejo with quail egg ($18).

Salads include Fennel with burrata, Kalamata and dried tomato ($19); Tuna belly, tomato and spring onion ($20) and Bressaola with artichokes and aged parmesan ($18). From the Raw Bar  there's White fish ceviche with avocado, Chilean green onion, salmon roe and Togarashi ($26); Beef Carpaccio, Foie and truffle ($30) and Roast Beef with tubers, mustard tofu and Japanese sauce ($26).

The menu lists pasta entrées such as Rigatoni stuffed with lobster and stew ($30) and Veal-stuffed Cannelloni Oporto with parmesan ($34). For Fresh fish entrées there's Black cod with spinach pesto and haricots verts – string beans, ($34); Red snapper with a side of vegetables, Peruvian causa and orange roasted chicken glacé ($32) and Fish of the day ($34).

For meat-lovers the menu lists Ribeye with smoked eggplant and mustard ($42); Spring chicken on a bed of  "escalivada" ($26); Pork ribs with fingerling potatoes, garlic and shallots ($32); Lamb shoulder and potato parmentier ($42) and Chicken terrine with foie and slow-roasted chicken reduction ($24).

Desserts (all $12) include Passion fruit cream with coconut and mint, Borracho de almendra or almond trifle, creamychocolate and vanilla ice cream, homemade sorbets and ice creams and the restaurant's own "KLIMA Key LimePie."

KLIMA Restaurant and Bar, 210 23rd Street, Miami Beach, is open dailyfor dinner from 6:00 p.m.. To make reservations call: 786.453.2779 or via e-mail to Reservations@klimamiami.com. www.klimamiami.com

  

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 At Made in Italy, Pietro Morelli - the former Director of Marketing at Zonin USA - and partner Francesco Belcaro’s newest hip location in Wynwood, wine, food and hospitality smartly come together with the business of importing and distributing food and wine from Italy.

A play on Eataly –the New York success story, Made in Italy is much smaller in scope than its northern big brother, yet goes way beyond that concept, as a user-friendly market for the best Italian products (sold to customers as well as restaurants, caterers and cafés), a restaurant (no cooking there!), an expresso bar, a wine bar and a party place with DJ and live music at night such as the one recently hosted by IEEM to cap off the annual Simply Italian event.

In short a new place that feels like it’s always been there and that you will want to adopt as your own and meet friends for lunch, coffee, aperitivo, late night bites and shopping.

The décor of the warehouse is rustic and funky, with high ceilings, potted olive trees, three stunning Murano glass chandeliers, solid tamarind-wood tables and an eclectic assortment of benches, chairs and armchairs in the front. In the back an old wine press and souvenirs from the owners’ hometown and family are interspersed with shelves of the best Italian products (pastas, rices, truffled oils, cans of tuna and tomatoes, olive oils, vinegars, jams, etc…)  and a 2,000-bottle "Italian wine library" with two enomatic machines, one for white and one for red that you can sample in Riedel glassware.

The counter in the front offers a menu of “Tagliere”, a selection of cured meats and cheeses sold in the market, sliced to order, four salads ($12) such as the Aida with fresh ricotta, shavel fennel, arugula, orange segments and lemon dressing, or the Traviata with Italian tuna, romaine, cannellini, celery, tomatoes; I Nostri Piatti ($10 - $15) cold cuts with cheeses and salads;  hearty sandwiches ($9 - $13) on focaccia, ciabatta, baguette and gluten-free bread, and sweet and savory Piadine ($7 - $9), or crêpes.

Pietro and Francesco are planning weekly activities: wine tastings on Mondays, a cooking class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Italian wine nights on Thursdays, aperitivo night on Fridays and the ongoing buzz of the Wynwood funk on weekends and are offering the space for private events.

Made in Italy is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for lunch, coffee, aperitivo, late night bites and shopping.

Made in Italy  
  10 NE 27th St. Miami, FL 33137, Wynwood/Design District, corner of North Miami Ave. ,
786-360-5671
 http://madeinitalygourmet.com

 Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for lunch, coffee, aperitivo, late night bites and shopping.

  

 

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chef

At last we now know where to find Chef Philippe Ruiz, now Executive Chef at Fresh American Bistro (F.A.B.), a casually refined American Bistro – first opened by Chef Ralph Pagano – at Sole on the Ocean and Spa, in Sunny Isles Beach, right across the strip mall that houses Timo, Basil Park and other known restaurants.

The jazzy 90-seats indoor/outdoor bistro, recently renovated by Stéphane Dupoux (credited with developing Buddha Bar, Nikki Beach and Seasalt and Pepper) with a prominent bar and a 40-seats wrap-around patio with a fire pit to cuddle around, overlooks  the hotel pool, the beach and the surf. Enough to remind you why you're in South Florida and to make you forget the world around you.

The venue is as far from the formal settings where we are accustomed to see chef Ruiz work, as is the eclectic menu of American classics prepared with, as its name indicates, seasonal and fresh products from local farms, fisheries, and artisan producers.  

There is something for every taste but there are no surprises.  The staff is enthusiastic about everything on the menu, from the homemade bread which comes to the table still warm next to a tapenade spread, and the ceviche amuse in bamboo cups, to the rest of the offering.

For starters there’s a Fresh Bar listing oysters (6 for $18) accompanied by delicious mignonette and cocktail sauces, and  jumbo and colossal stone crab claws (M/P). The seafood appetizers – a nod to chef Ruiz’s French training – are large enough for sharing, like the marinated smoked scallops ($15) with endive salad tossed with toasted seeds and shallot vinaigrette; the Ahi tuna ‘cannelloni’ ($16), an Asian-Italian 'fusion' creation consisting of a thick strip of toro encased in a thin fried wrapping of sliced zucchini and eggplant over a spicy tomato and basil coulis and a trinity of tartars ($16): ahi tuna with hearts of palm, beef tartare with crispy potatoes and scallop and crab with mango relish and tomato coulis.

Given the fact that this is bikini town, there are few carbs on the menu other than the flatbreads ($12 - $15) – not as flat as they ought to be – with toppings like roasted tomatoes and Pecorino cheese; caramelized onions, bacon and sour cream; short ribs with tomato and mozzarella and Fontina cheese with truffle.

The salads ($11 - $12) cover the rainbow of seasonal veggies: classic Caesar; the quintessentially American Sliced Wedge with hard-boiled egg, bacon and Maytag blue dressing; organic spinach with roasted pear, goat cheese and shallot vinaigrette, and organic beet salad with green lentils and prosciutto.

The fish is fresh and well prepared ($26 - $31) like our fork tender grilled Florida Coast Hog Snapper set over a delicious vegetable stew and basil beurre blanc. There’s jumbo shrimp ‘a la plancha’ with locally farmed roasted tomatoes and fingerling potatoes and a saffron seafood risotto with plenty of mussels, rock shrimp, calamari, the fish of the day and lobster bisque.

For meat lovers:  braised short ribs ($29), almost melting in an intensely flavored red wine sauce are accompanied with light pumpkin potato gnocchi; even if the seared duck breast ($27) is drizzled with Southern Comfort sauce, it is French, with a side of Brussels sprouts and crispy polenta.

It wouldn’t be an American bistro if it didn't list the grilled 14-oz bone-in NY Steak ($38) and the seared 6-oz grass-fed  beef tenderloin with  mushroom ragoût and truffled demi-glace.

Desserts provide sweet endings but no surprises, unless I stand to be contradicted at the time  of this writing.

As said chef Ruiz, F.A.B. is a destination for locals and diners from all over the world, and doubles up as a lavish brunch destination on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and as a beach party on Sundays when he rolls up his sleeves and the cuffs of his pants to cook giant paellas and roast suckling pigs on the beach.

 

 

F.A.B. Fresh American Bistro at  Sole on the Ocean, Sunny Isles Beach
786-923-9300 www.soleontheocean.com

fabHours: Open seven days a week, F.A.B. begins breakfast service at 7:30am daily, lunch from 11:00am to 4:30pm, dinner 6:00pm to 10pm, and brunch on Sundays from 11am to 3pm.
Wines and Spirits: reasonably-priced wine list and a long and lavish cocktail menu.
Service: Enthusiastic
Parking: in the building
Access: Stairs and elevator
Credit Cards: all

 

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Cast your vote for South Florida Gourmet, your favorite food reporting since 1997! Thank you for your support!!!

Nominees have been announced for the fourth annual Johnson & Wales University's Zest Awards which celebrate excellence in South Florida's culinary arts scene.

On March 18, from 7 to 9 p.m., JWU's Wildcat Center, North Miami campus will host the awards ceremony showcasing leaders in the Miami food scene in the categories: best restaurant, best boutique restaurant, best bar/lounge, best wine program, culinary innovator, newcomer of the year, baking and pastry chef of the year, best food blogger, and best food reporting..

Cast your vote for www.southfloridagourmet.com your favorite food coverage since 1997 at http://www.jwu.edu/zest/ Thanks for your support!

Following his recent acquisition of the former NeMesis Urban Bistro, David Foulquier has appointed Chef Nicole Votano, former right-hand to Chef Michelle Bernstein, as Executive Chef  at Fooq’s, in Downtown Miami’s up-and-coming Arts & Entertainment District.

Votano will add her signature, home-cooked style to the innovative and flavorful dishes at Fooq’s, a farm-to-kitchen concept which is the culmination of both Foulquier’s and Votano’s travels around the world.  “Our shared passion for food has allowed us to feed off of each other’s culinary inspirations, offering a canvas to lay out our ever-evolving ideas,” said David Foulquier.

Best known for her home-style cooking at Michelle Bernstein’s Design District restaurant staple Crumb on Parchment, Chef Votano, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York City, has held positions at Kimpton Group’s French brasserie Grand Café, Bradley Ogden’s restaurant One Market, The Four Seasons Hotel and the Biltmore Hotel’s Fontana Restaurant. As Michelle Bernstein’s Executive Catering Chef, Votano also played a key role in her infamous pop-up dinners.

Fooq’s will be open to the public in early 2015, with a full lunch and dinner menu . 1035 N. Miami Ave. (Downtown Miami) next door to The Corner Bar. www.fooqsmiami.com

 

Campania, the newest regional Italian restaurant from restaurateurs Tony Gallo and Chef Pietro Vardeu, has open its doors at 4029 North Miami Avenue in Miami’s Design District.

Offering savory Southern Italian cuisine, Campania joins Gallo and Vardeu’s popular Miami dining staples Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante on Miami Beach and Moye – which recently opened in Brickell and features classic Italian fare from Puglia. Named after the region in southern Italy of the same name, Campania is a brand new restaurant concept that focuses on the sun-kissed cuisine of Naples and the Amalfi Coast with artisanal, made-to-order pizzas, calzones and pastas.

The restaurant features a custom pizza oven, which was created to the team’s specifications in Italy and shipped to Miami, as well as an onsite marketplace where guests can purchase fresh buffalo mozzarella and burrata that will be made in-house daily.

After the success of Sardinia and Moye, Gallo and Vardeu were motivated to bring another distinct dining experience to Miami. “Campania allows us to introduce locals to another type of beloved Italian cuisine, filled with the savory flavors of Southern Italy. We feel that Campania will allow diners to indulge in traditional dishes that they may already be familiar with, while also expanding their palate with new regional offerings,” says Gallo.

Chef Vardeu’s menu includes pizzas made fresh to order in the restaurant’s wood-burning pizza oven, with choices like the Marinara, tomato, garlic, oregano ($10); traditional pies such as the Capricciosa, tomato, mozzarella, artichokes, ham, black olives, mushrooms ($14); Ortolana, tomato, mozzarella, grilled zucchini, eggplant and cherry tomatoes ($14); and the restaurant’s signature pie, the Campania – white pizza, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, arugula and prosciutto ($15).

On the list, there’s the Marechiaro – a calzone filled with mozzarella, tomato, ricotta cheese, salami, pepper and basil ($13) or the Fritto Sanitá stuffed with fried pizza, mozzarella, tomato, ricotta cheese, salami, pepper and basil ($14). Other appetizer options include Gamberi in pasta Kataifi – shrimp wrapped in Kataifi pasta ($16); Frittura alla Napoletana – arancini, mozzarella in carrozza, potato croquettes and zeppoline, frittatine ($16); and Cozze – steamed mussels with oregano and white wine ($12).

Larger plates include staples like the Cotoletta alla Sorrentina – breaded veal with mozzarella and basil ($24); Frittura di Mare – wood-fired shrimps, calamari and rock fish ($24); and Branzino alla Procidana – baked Mediterranean sea bass, tomato, parsley and garlic ($24). Also available are traditional pasta dishes including Gnocchi Sorrentina – baked potato gnocchi with meat sauce, mozzarella and basil ($16) and Scialatielli – homemade flat noodles served with 1lb. fresh Maine lobster ($22).

Desserts round out the menu and include the Babá, Delizia al Limone, Cannoli con Ricotta di Bufala and Torta Ricotta e Cioccolato, all priced at $9 each. Campania also offers guests a full bar with a great selection of moderately-priced regional wines, ranging from $9 to $16 a glass, to complement their meal, while beer and other cocktails will also be available. Locals will also be able to order takeout from the restaurant, so that they can enjoy Campania’s Southern Italian cuisine at home or at the office.

Campania’s décor reflects the rustic and casual feel of its menu, with distressed off-white chairs and tables filling the spacious dining room, as well as an intricate wine wall showcasing the extensive wine collection.

Campania, 4029 North Miami Avenue in Miami’s Design District, is open daily for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and dinner from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday-Thursday and from 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.   (786) 615-3301; www.campania-ristorante.com

bagatelleOn the heels of their extremely successful locations in New York, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, St. Barths and St. Tropez; owners Aymeric Clemente & Remi Laba have opened the 144-seats outdoor/indoor Bagatelle Miami Beach.

Designed by Celano Design, with decorative moldings, plush banquets, numerous crystal chandeliers, bright fresh flowers and eye catching pop art provided by Opera Gallery, Bagatelle Miami Beach highlight is  a  stone top bar with a display of the finest selection of wines and Champagne, cocktails and spirits.

The French contemporary cuisine by Executive Chef Matthieu Godard includes Tartare de Thon Bagatelle- Ahi Tuna Tartar, Avocado Chutney, Cripsy Shallot, Key Lime Soy Dressing, Papdum Tuile;  Gnocchi Truffes a la Parisienne - Homemade Gnocchi, Black Truffle Sauce, Aged Parmesan Cheese;  Gambas au Pastis - Jumbo prawn, flambé with Pernod Ricard, green vegetable risotto; and Poulet Entier Rôti à laTruffe -  Whole Truffled Roasted Chicken, Country Style Potatoes, Caramelized Cipollini, Button Mushrooms, Thyme Chicken Jus.

Bagatelle Miami is located at 2000 Collins Avenue and is open Sunday-Wednesday 6:00PM – 12:00AM;  Thursday-Friday 6:00PM – 1:00AM and Saturday 6:00PM-1:00AM. 

www.bistrotbagatelle.com

Vagabond Restaurant & Bar, the vision of global restaurateur and art curator Alvaro Perez Miranda, is the newest addition to the Vagabond Hotel, the stylish renovation project by famed developer Avra Jain at 7301 Biscayne Blvd. This casual fine dining experience creates an experience fit for the modern-day vagabond, according to Mr.  Perez Miranda who tapped exciting young chef Alex Chang as Executive Chef and 27-year-old Chris Wang as General Manager.

Perez Miranda brings 30 years of experience spanning the globe from Venezuela to Italy to Tokyo to Los Angeles to New York City.  He has opened nearly 80 restaurants, most of which are still in operation today. With a knack for discovering talent, Perez Miranda is confident that he has assembled a dream team for the Vagabond Restaurant & Bar, his first venture in Miami.  “Chris Wang brings with him natural leadership skills, business savvy and financial innovation from his days in private equity in New York City,” he said. “To have a partner of his caliber is a true luxury for a restaurateur like me.  As for Chef Alex, I believe I have found one of the most promising rising stars of the culinary world that I have seen in my 30 years of industry experience.  This is a true dream team.”

Executive Chef Alex Chang is an accomplished self-taught talent, with previous positions at world-renowned restaurants including Animal in Los Angeles, Michelin-starred Pujol in Mexico City, Les Creations de Narisawa in Tokyo and In De Wulf in Belgium. The 25-year-old¹s cooking reflects the tastes of the contemporary vagabond.    The menu includes distinct flavor and new tastes with dishes like Chapulines (Grasshoppers sourced from Oaxaca, Mexico and sautéed with marcona almonds and Szechuan peppercorn), Ibérico skirt steak (marbled pork from Spain served with a decadent xato sauce, charred scallion and mojo canario) and classics like the Vagabond Burger (a no-frills dry-aged beef burger served on a potato bun with American cheese, pickles, remoulade and fries).

High-energy and understated elegance pervade the entire space, while hospitality and service are priority at The Vagabond Restaurant & Bar.  The modern interior designed by Perez Miranda is reminiscent of an art gallery with young, edgy and unique art.

The bars, a centerpiece of the space, features classic cocktails with modern twists, and the wine cellar features carefully selected, small production wines. The cocktail menu and wine lists were carefully curated by Beverage Director Jack Colombo and Chef Alex to complement the food menu.

The Vagabond Restaurant & Bar, 7301 Biscayne Blvd. in the Miami Modern Historical District, is open for dinner 6PM-11PM Sunday - Thursday and 6PM-12AM Friday & Saturday. www.vagabondrestaurant.com

 
According to Miami.com  -- Read Story  --   Chef Dewey LoSasso is no longer  executive chef at AQ at the Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles. He has joined Schnebly Winery and Miami Brewing Co., Homestead as culinary director. 
Together with Peter Schnebly, Chef LoSasso will create, first, a pop-up, weekends-only restaurant on the farm, with plans for a restaurant; a retail market selling Schnebly-grown salsas, jams and hot sauces; a catering facility; and — eventually —- a boutique bed-and-breakfast.
Schnebly Winery and Miami Brewing Co.,30205 SW 217th Ave., Homestead, 305-242-1224; www.schneblywinery.com

cucurucho - coneAlready a staple in six South American countries and the United Kingdom, the Argentinean helado-maker Freddo openedvasito - cup its first store in the USA on 610 Lincoln Road, South Beach,  with 30 of their most popular flavors. The flavors, categorized under Dulce de Leche, Creams, Chocolate, Sorbets and Light run the gamut from the most decadent of desserts to guilt-free low calorie selections.

Flavors range from the Dulce de Leche options, featuring Dulce de Leche Temptation – an irresistible combination of dulce de leche with dulce de leche swirls; or Grand Dulce de Leche – made with whole almonds, pecans, golden raisins and caramel to  Soft Nougat – almond soft nougat semifreddo;  Zabaione – Italian light custard and six different varieties of chocolate helado including Dark Chocolate – 70% cocoa chocolate helado; White Chocolate – white chocolate helado; and Chocolate Freddo – chocolate semifreddo with roasted almonds and hazelnuts, to sorberts under 200 calories per serving – all served in a Freddo cup or cucurucho (waffle cone).

All Freddo’s helados are made in Argentina with fresh hormone-free milk, pure cane sugar, fruits and the natural and raw ingredients and shipped under strict protocols.. Freddo’s helados are 0 grams trans fat per serving (3.5 oz.), and devoid of artificial flavorings, colorants, preservatives or added vegetable fats.

The helado menu extends to desserts and to-go packs. Prices for cups and cones range from $4.75 to $7.50; Freddinos are $8; TriFreddos are $8.50; Smoothies are $7.50; and Sundaes are $7. To-go containers range from $7.50 to $24.

Freddo,  610 Lincoln Road.  Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. to midnight; and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m..   (305) 604-0065; www.freddo.com

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1826 Restaurant & Lounge, Miami Beach has recently appointed a new Executive Chef, Luke Bergman. He replaces Michelin-starred chef Danny Grant.

The Florida native received many prestigious accolades including his international acclaim in 2010, when he became the first American to win gold at the International Trophée Passion culinary competition at the Académie Culinaire de France – the culinary version of the Olympics.   Chef Bergman was the executive sous chef at The Modern, Danny Meyer’s French-American restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art. During his time at The Modern, Chef Bergman competed in the Bocuse d'Or USA finals in 2010 and placed second in the culinary Olympics. .He was Chef De Cuisine at Colicchio & Sons from 2011 to 2013, before making his South Florida homecoming to join Valentino Cucina Italiana as Executive Chef.

The four story 1826 Restaurant & Lounge offers a seasonally driven contemporary American menu with a focus on elegant dishes in a stylishly modern setting.

1826 Restaurant & Lounge is located at Eighteen Hundred Twenty Six Collins Ave, Miami Beach, Florida 33139. 305.763.8860.  www.1826Collins.com

moderngarden lo resDuring Art Basel this December, Carlos and Maryam Miranda will expand the restaurantmoderngarden lo res2Seasalt and Pepper and open their newest venture Modern Garden- a hot stone and crudo lounge – designed by architect Santiago Jose Palaez to coincide with the celebration of the one-year anniversary of Seasalt and Pepper.

Newly appointed Executive Chef Angel León. Chef León will oversee both Seasalt and Pepper and Modern Garden.

The cuisine at Modern Garden features select crudos; a contemporary take on raw fish and seafood dressed with infused oils, citrus and fresh herbs. Modern Garden’s menu features hot stone seafood selections as well as seared premium meats on the 850-degree volcanic stone slabs brought to each table.

Seasalt and Pepper, located at 422 NW North River Drive in Miami, is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 12:00 am and until 10:30pm on Sundays. 305.440.4200. www.seasaltandpepper.com.

 

Steven Dapuzzo and Society 8 Hospitality Group  (Society 8), have launched their newest restaurant, Mastino, Wood-Fired Italian Kitchen & Bar, in Delray Beach, Florida.

Located in Pineapple Grove at 25 NE 2nd Avenue, the new casual Italian eatery will offer a flavorful array of craft beverages and classic “Italian Soul Foods”.  On the menu a variety of small plates, Neapolitan pizzas cooked in an 800 degree imported Italian brick oven, porchetta-style panini sandwiches, spit-roasted free range chickens, house made meatballs & risotto balls, salads, and a selection of unique Italian desserts.

A fresh mozzarella bar will serve hand pulled mozzarellas – burrata, straciatella, and buffalo milk mozzarella – imported twice a week from Italy.

The company currently operates SoLita and Mastino in Delray Beach, Florida, and oversees all food and beverage operations at The Atlantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale including the two new oceanfront restaurants -- Beauty & the Feast Bar|Kitchen, and Ocean Market Grille. www.Society8.com

  

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img_2190Tunu and Yona Puri have teamed up with restaurateur Arjun Waney, co-founder of world-renowned hotspots Zuma, Coya, La Petite Maison and The Arts Club in London, to open Tamarina, a new restaurant and bar, in the space where they first opened Lippi at 600 Brickell Avenue in Miami.

The imposing bar is still there, less cathedral-like, and the dining room has lost the somber, more formal look of its predecessor, Lippi. The affluent contemporary look sports new furniture and lighting and a private room swathed in flowing white curtains which separate it from the main dining room. The Crudo Bar is still there but it has lost its Asian slant to a more Mediterranean style.  Outside, part of the wraparound terrace has been rebuilt into an al fresco Champagne Bar where millennials can flock in after work and feast on oysters and bubbly.

 Our meal began with Oysters ($3 to $3.50 ea) of which a daily selection is offered on a card describing each oyster and indicating their provenance.  

We had them all. Big and buttery, iodine-bright, briny and seaweed-flavored, clean and crisp, velvety and sexy, the different types of oysters from the two coasts of the US accompanied by two mignonette sauces, both very good are a seductive opener for a menu dubbed “coastal Italian cuisine.” Tamarina’s fare is no cutting edge dining but it is a first rate ingredient-driven menu animated by the seasons.

img_2198The Crudos ($12-$16), presented in naked simplicity, rely on the quality and freshness of the fish.  They are delicate-tasting and barely seasoned: the seabass with thyme and lemon; yellow tail snapper with a drizzle of Sicilian olive oil and balsamic; scallops with citrus juice, capers and olive oil; the gorgeous puzzle-like King Crab meat with salsa cruda, and jolted with parsimonious sprinklings of Jade, black lava or Himalayan rock salt which bring the natural taste of the fish into focus.

The service is  well-mannered and knowledgeable about the ingredients served and the wines on the well-curated list, a tribute to general manager Paul Radu, formerly of Lippi.

On the menu, trays of  frutti di mare ($29 to $87 depending on your appetite and party size) piled up with the freshest oysters, clams, shrimp, crudo and lobster, followed by carpaccio, ($14 - $17)  sweet tiger prawns with tomato, olive oil and black lava salt, or Tartares of Ahi tuna with cucumber, capers and lemon and steak tartare.

 Being Italian, the menu offers antipasti ($9 - $18) like  grilled octopus with nutty fingerling potatoes, a creamy burrata sitting on slices of heirloom tomatoes and drizzled with a spicy Sicilian olive oil, or a board of prosciutto di Parma with Parmesan cheese shavings

The menu lives up to its Italian roots with a section on Risotto and Pasta like lobster linguine, tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce, spaghetti with vongole, asparagus risotto and the freshly homemade delicate ricotta and spinach ravioli ($18) in a simple but sublime sage butter sauce.

Next come the Pesce, or fish, prepared with the same simplicity as the appetizers. From roasted lobster ($44) and Branzino from the Mediterranean for two ($34) with kale salad and braised cabbage, the big eye  tuna with shaved fennel and orange ($32) to salmon al cartoccio ($25) and my dish of Chilean seabass ($32), a firm yet tender slice of fish with a garnish of roasted vegetables, the kitchen succeeds in serving a harmony of tastes while preserving the freshness and natural taste of each ingredient.

Tamarina is located in the Brickell banking and business district and a clientele of bankers, brokers, lawyers is bound to want meat.

Prepared with the same simplicity there is Cornish hen ($25) with grilled shiitake mushrooms and roasted cipollini onions; lightly breaded Veal Milanese ($29) with arugula and cherry tomatoes; Agnello ($29) or marinated lamb chops with black quinoa; all sizes of beef: filet mignon and New York strip for two with a slew of sides ($7 - $9) including roasted potatoes with rosemary, brussels sprouts with garlic and pancetta; spinach and other steakhouse classics.

Desserts ($ 9) are a sophisticated version of homemade favorites  which consulting pastry chef Sarah Thompson, formerly of Lippi, has had a hand in creating, like the tiramisù which here is a sponge cake sphere enclosing all the moist gooeyness of mascarpone cream, chocolate, coffee and amaretto set over a bittersweet chocolate crunch;  an Italian version of Key lime torta with ricotta cheese and key lime cream;  an elevated version of the Snickers bar with peanut caramel and peanut butter mouse with chocolate brownie; the Latte Dolce, a wink to Latin American with dulce de leche gelato, passion fruit sorbetto and alfajores and large three-scoop servings of homemade gelato and sorbetti.

Tamarina, 600 Brickell Avenue, Miami  - 305-579-1888 ww.tamarinarestaurants.com is open : for Lunch: Monday through Friday 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.;  Dinner: Monday  through Saturday 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.  Lounge: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Bar : Monday through Saturday till 1 a.m.

 

 

 Chef/Restaurateur Pascal Oudin of Coral Gables’ long-standing Pascal’s on Ponce, has opened  3,000 square-foot, 147-seat indoor/outdoor Brasserie Central in The Village of Merrick Park.  The Parisian style bistro with exposed butcher block tables, bistro chairs, a 14-person communal table, and private room,  large indoor/outdoor bar (seating 18) and le comptoir – the oyster and raw bar will serve lunch and dinner, with eventual plans to add grab-and-go options, as well as a weekend breakfast and Sunday brunch, later down the road.

“Brasserie Central is a concept I’ve wanted to execute for quite some time,” explains Oudin. “Here, we are true to the authentic Parisian brasserie, making everything from scratch daily, using classic French recipes and methods.”

Oudin and Executive Chef Fabien Micard’s (formerly of Pascal’s on Ponce) have concocted a menu including housemade sausages, pâtés and charcuterie; artisanal cheeses; a full raw bar; traditional hors d’oeuvres, salads, sandwiches, and main plates; classic stove-to-table cocotte stews; and Patisserie, or dessert.

Nos Cochonnailles and Les Fromages – ($6-$32) include the Dégustation de Charcuterie, a small or large tasting board of charcuterie specialties, a hors d`oeuvre, condiment and mustard; Terrine de foie gras de Canard, duck foie gras terrine and sweet onion compote on toasted baguette; Pâté Campagnard – country style pâté, chicken liver, pork and cognac cornichons and mustard; Rillette du Mans – pulled pork rillette, condiment and Dijon mustard; Mousse de foie de Volaille – chicken liver mousse and condiment, served with a toasted baguette; Jambon crus d´Auvergne with butter and radish; Jambon blanc de Paris –cooked ham, with  butter, cornichon and radish.

Hors d’oeuvres ($8-$26) list soups – Soupe à l´oignon gratinée, classic vichysoisse – and other appetizers like Saumon fumé Ecossais – smoked salmon, tomato, lettuce, red onions, crème fraîche and capers; Gnocchi gratinés à la Parisienne with béchamel and Gruyére cheese; Brandade de morue;  Burgundy escargots or snails with garlic and parsley; Tartare Parisien – hand cut steak tartare, egg yolk, onions, cornichons and anchovy, pommes frites; Le tartare BC – the Parisien poêlé aller retour.

Seafood lovers will delight in the raw bar platters featuring small and large platters of fresh oysters, mussels, shrimp, clams and lobster. Salads and Sandwiches ($8-$15) run the gamut with classic choices such as Pain bagnat – a Riviera style Niçoise salad; Salade lyonnaise – frisée, soft poached egg, bacon lardo and croutons; Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame, as well as a daily Quiche Maison.

Next come French traditional stews or Plats Mijotés ($15-$26):   Coq au Vin Lyonnais,; Moules Marinières with French fries; and Blanquette de Veau, a white veal stew with lemon velouté; then Plats Principaux, or main plates, ($21-$36)  such as Boudin Blanc Truffé – truffled white sausage, served with apple and mashed potatoes; Truite Amandine; Poulet Rotî au jus – half-rotisserie chicken, dripping jus and French fries; Entrecôte Frites – grilled rib eye steak with French fries and béarnaise sauce; La Cuisse de Canard Confit Salardaise – duck confit with crispy potato; and Plat de Côtes Braisées – braised beef short ribs, mash potatoes.

Dessert or Pâtisserie,($8) include Crèpes Suzette, Île Flottante – floating island vanilla anglaise; Petit Pot de Crème Gourmande – three infused custard – vanilla, coffee and chocolate; Pain Perdu (bread pudding); Tarte Fine aux Pommes à la Mode; Belgium waffle drizzled with Chantilly and chocolate or caramel; and Le Baba au Rhum Géant with Chantilly and rum.

Hand-crafted Old World cocktails, an oyster Happy Hour, plat du jour, and special afternoon Glacerie menu with ice creams, crêpes, waffles and coffees, round out the offerings.

Located under the bridge, across from Yard House,  Brasserie Central  is located in the Level 1 courtyard at The Village of Merrick Park at 320 San Lorenzo Avenue in Coral Gables. Open daily from 11a.m. – 11p.m for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon glacerie (2p.m.-6p.m.)   786-536-9386 www.BrasserieCentralMiami.com

 The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County has opened BRAVA!, a new fine dining on-site restaurant in partnership with Ovations Food Services, at the Ziff Ballet Opera House

The Chef is Hector Torres of Ovations Food Services. The menu: a farm-to-fork, prix fixe menu consisting almost entirely of locally sourced ingredients.  For starters there is Empanada Pescada made with white fish, shrimp and scallop and an Avocado Tomato Salad prepared with fresh Florida avocados.  Entrée options include Short Ribs BRAVA!, a brown sugar and rum cured short rib with a Bacardi Oakheart demi-glace, and a Pan-seared Yellowtail Snapper with a Key Lime Butter Sauce.  For dessert, a selection of shooters will be served including Key Lime Crème Brûlee, Chocolate Toffee Brownie and Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Crémeux. Price is $49 inclusive of tax and gratuity.

The restaurant will have two pre-show seatings for 8 p.m. performances at 5:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and one seating 90 minutes before the advertised curtain time for matinee performances.  Patrons can make reservations by calling the Arsht Center Box Office at (305) 949-6722 or email tickets@arshtcenter.org .

 

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