Every season entails changes; and with June a harbinger of sultry heat and tourist empty summer in South Florida, restaurants are closing. Some, like Siena Tavern, only seven months in the huge space formerly occupied by China Grill (on the corner of Washington Ave. and Fifth), announce it’s just temporary.  Others have already closed or are about to close for good.

After three years of serving up of modern American fare and rare craft micro brews, the popular gastropub OTC (1250 South Miami Avenue, Downtown, 305-374-4612 www.otc-restaurants.com ) will close its doors on June 21, with the final week marked by celebrations including Farewell Friday on June 19 and Special Father’s Day Brunch Sunday, June 21. Owner/Operator Michael Sullivan is keeping tight-lipped about his new restaurant concept in Brickell slated to open late summer.

De Rodriguez, Chef Doug Rodriguez’s restaurant on 101 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach.

Campania, (4029 N. Miami Ave., Design District)

Escopazzo, (1311 Washington Ave., South Beach). We are still lamenting chef-owner Giancarla Bodoni's landmark Italian restaurant which closed in December after 21 years.

Fish Fish Restaurant & Bar, 13488 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami.

Barceloneta, 5850 Sunset Dr., South Miami.   Barceloneta South Beach (1400 20th St) remains open.

Anthony’s Coal-Fired Pizza, 520 West Ave., Miami Beach.

Khong River House, 1661 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach.

La Gloutonnerie, 81 Washington Ave., Miami Beach.

Porfirio’s, 850 Commerce St., Miami Beach.

Siena Tavern, 404 Washington Ave., Miami Beach.

Serendipity 3, 1102 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach.

Oak Tavern, 35 NE 40th St., Miami. http://www.southfloridagourmet.com/site/whats-cooking/whats-new/2296-closing-oak-tavern-in-the-design-district-with-plans-to-relocate.html )



conrad ftlauderdaleAlfredo Alvarez, former executive chef of Miami’s Sea Salt & Pepper (now Seaspice) restaurant, has been appointed as consulting chef at The Ocean Resort Residences at Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, the first Conrad resort property in the United States.

Ranked the 17th top chef in the country by the National Chefs Association in Washington D.C., Chef Alvarez who trained at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, has managed some of the top restaurants in Miami and New York City, served as consultant for Celebrity Cruise Lines & Renaissance Cruise Line. Considered a prominent expert in the culinary field, Alvarez recently co-authored a novel about Julia Child with fellow chefs Frank Crispo and Michael Schwartz.

In his new consulting role, Alvarez will develop custom recipes, plate presentation, full menu design, beverage menu programming, restaurant construction and layout, kitchen plans, naming and branding, and more. “Chef Alvarez joins our team with more than 35 years of experience in the culinary industry serving revered clientele including Sofia Vergara, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and former president Bill Clinton,” said Andreas Ioannou, CEO of Orchestra Hotels & Resorts.

For additional information on Conrad Hotels & Resorts log on to www.conradhotels.com or http://news.conradhotels.com .

Mellow Mushrooms continue to sprout up, this time in South Miami. Their mission: to serve stone-baked, classic Southern pizzas with cool beers in a funky atmosphere.

In South Miami they’ve added  54 brews available from local breweries like Cigar City Brewery, Miami Brewing Co., Funky Buddha, SweetWater, Dogfish Head and  the Alien self-serve tap bar features 4 rotating craft beer brands you can pour for yourself all night long.

Another addition:  Mellow’s specialty drinks  and “munchies” like Spinach Artichoke Dip, Bruschetta and Oven Roasted Wings. Fun hoagies such as the Spiked Sausage and the Righteous Portobello Reuben, salads and desserts.

From 4 to 7 p.m., craft beers and cocktails from $5 wells to $8 premiums.  

Mellow Mushrooms is open Sun-Tue, 11 a.m.- 12 a.m., Wed- Sat, 11 a.m.- 2 a.m., 5701 Sunset Drive, Miami, FL 33143.  305.667.3274 http://mellowmushroom.com/


fornaro2Fornaro Restaurant & Gourmet Pizza on the corner of 27th Avenue South of U.S.1 is the first U.S. venture for restaurateur, Lorenzo Ramon, who over 20 years opened five critically acclaimed restaurants in Sao Paolo and Bahia, Brazil.

The lush herb garden outside Fornaro’s front door touts the use of fresh ingredients in Italian traditional dishes such as Polpettone (ground filet mignon meat loaf with tomato sauce and parmesan) and in Fornaro’s selection of brick oven pizzas made with homemade dough and tomato sauces.  Entrees are priced from $11-$15 and the menu ends with homemade desserts and gourmet coffee. Take out is available and there’s free parking in the Grove Plaza lot..

Fornaro Restaurant & Gourmet Pizza, corner of 27th Avenue South of U.S.1, is open for lunch   Tuesday – Friday from 12:00 – 2:30 pm and dinner Tuesday – Thursday and Sunday from 6:00 until 10:00 pm and Friday and Saturday from 6:00 until 11:00 pm.   305.668.8888 www.fornaromiami.com .

Following the success of its popular South Beach café, Crema Gourmet Espresso Bar has opened a second Miami location at the BAC Colonnade Office Tower, a 12-story Class A office building on the corner of Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Miracle Mile in downtown Coral Gables. Crema joins other popular restaurants in the building, including Morton’s Steakhouse and SUSHISAMBA.

The 1,375 square foot Crema Gourmet Espresso Bar offers a variety of freshly pressed juices, smoothies, power drinks, coffees, teas and hot chocolate.

Food & Wine Talk Radio

Achile Sassoli, Director of Gelato World Tour
and Gelato Artisans:
James Coleridge, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Abdelrahman Al Teneji, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Matthew Lee, Austin, Texas
Ahmed Abdullatif, Kingdom of Bahrain
Stefano Versace, Miami, Florida
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The House of Mandela Wines from South Africa


Chef Scott Conant: Scarpetta


Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect, The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor


Elizabeth Minchilli, author of  Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City.  


James Beard Award-winning wine journalist Lyn Farmer on: Garnacha from Carinena; the next great wine


Cindy Hutson,chef/owner, Ortanique and Zest, author of From the Tip of My Tongue


Lidia Batianich, celebrity chef, TV host, author and restaurateur 






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