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.

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.











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 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.




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.

 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

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