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








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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

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























 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. ,

 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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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..

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