miami gail and alexis

miam extMiam (French for “yum”) Cafe & Boutique has opened its doors in an intriguing zebra-patterned building in the heart of Wynwood.    For owner/ operator Alexis Jacot, a graduate from the École Hotelière of Lausanne in Switzerland who trained at the prestigious French catering company Lenôtre in Paris, this is a second career. The call for fine cuisine and gourmet products came when still employed by Procter and Gamble in his native Switzerland.

He followed the loves of his life – his wife and food – to Miami and was instantly seduced by Wynwood where he opened a neighborhood café “to serve great breakfasts, lunch, specialty coffees, late bites and everything in-between,” he said, “using only fresh ingredients, supporting local farms, local artisans and the best he can lay his hands on.”

One of his best moves what to hire Chef Gail Goetsch, formerly of Yard Bird and Essensia.

The chef and pastry chef uses fresh, organic and creative ingredients for a menu that offers a daily variety of sandwiches prepared, quiches, salads, soups, cheese plates, and a smattering of scrumptious desserts.

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Miam’s motto: the food is uncompromised, simple, and natural; the bread: Zak the Baker’s; the produce: from produce from Paradise Farms and Kennesaw juice; the coffee: Eternity Coffee, for which Mr. Jacot hired skilled baristas to provide a little art to America’s new favorite pastime: grabbing a coffee with friends, staring at the custom wall mural by neighbor business M+V Art or painter Jorge Miguel Rodriguez and people watching.

The clean and Wi-Fi wired space at Miam Cafe is developing into a retail boutique with artisan gourmet items such as local honeys, gourmet cooking oils, beer, wine and plates from Art that Feeds- a collaborative organization that uses proceeds to provide at-risk youth with sit-down, nutritious meals.

sansdwichinteriorkale saladquiche

Miam Café is open Monday through Friday from 9am-10pm, Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and later for special events in the neighborhood such as Art Walk. Closed on Sunday.   2750 North West 3rd Ave. #21 Miami, FL, 33127 in the iconic Wynwood zebra building. www.miamcafe.com

 

The AAA Four Diamond JW Marriott Miami hotel has appointed Alex Paz as their new Executive Chef. Paz , who was promoted from Executive sous-chef, will lead the hotel’s culinary program, including the Mediterranean cuisine restaurant The Trapiche Room; the casual La Terrazza Café and Bar which serves American cuisine and Isabela’s, an American cuisine restaurant for breakfast and private events. Paz will also be responsible for elevating the hotel’s banquet offerings, creating personalized experiences and gourmet menus for groups of any size.

A graduate of the Florida Culinary Institute, before working at the JW Marriott Marquis in Brickell  Paz honed his skills at the Four Seasons Resort and the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach, and the Four Seasons in Miami.

“We are thrilled Alex will be joining the JW family, and invite guests to experience his unique style of cuisine, a careful blend of local and global cuisine, much like the city of Miami, which will perfectly complement the various dining outlets at the hotel,” said Alfredo Sarnataro, director of Food & Beverage at JW Marriott Miami.

JW Marriott Miami, 1109 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131 (305) 329-3500

pilarNamed after Ernest Hemingway’s famed fishing boat, Pilar Local Restaurant & Bar focuses of seafood and the Texas-born executive chef Erica Nicholl – former Chef de Cuisine at the GW Bush  Presidential Library and Museum  and at the Crescent Hotel by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts – fits in like a fish in the water.

The new Fall menu at Pilar is a showcase of Erica’s talent. Her contemporary American cuisine melds modern and comforting with Texan pizzazz, Florida’s fresh bounty and local produce.  

After bar bites as good as crispy Fish Tacos with the fish of the day, arugula, pico de gallo and a drizzle of chipotle, the menu begins with “Start Here” items like a  plate of Say Cheese, Please ($15) with homemade ricotta, aged Spanish Manchego, and Humboldt Fog

served with candied pecans, tomato jam, olive tapenade and crostini; Mama’s Latkas ($9) with housemade cinnamon applesauce and sour cream fraiche;  Lobster Mac & Cheese ($23) with fusilli pasta and a four-cheese blend.

pilar photoMust-have “Entrees” include Pan-Seared Scottish Salmon ($25) with citrus herb quinoa, oven roasted tomato, chive beurre blanc; a 14oz. Churrasco Skirt Steak ($28) with housemade chimichurri and French fries; Fish of the Day (MP) a seasonal, chef-inspired creation; Chicken Parm ($21) with linguine marinara; and Sautéed Shrimp ($25) with smoked mozzarella polenta, heirloom tomatoes and romesco. “Sides” ( $4)  and include Lyonnaise Potatoes, Potato Au Gratin, Sweet Fries, Quinoa Salad, Grilled Asparagus or Seasonal Vegetables.

Desserts  ($10) are all make in house such as Petite Key Lime Pie or  fluffy Fried Oreos  with Dutch chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream.

A “Business Lunch” special is available Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. offering a three course meal for $13.95.

Pilar Local Restaurant & Bar is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., Private events with custom-catered menus are also available upon request. 20475 Biscayne Boulevard in the Promenade Shops, steps away from Aventura Mall.   305.937.2777 www.pilarrestaurantandbar.com

Tmariott marquhe AAA Four Diamond JW Marriott Miami hotel has appointed Alex Paz as their new Executive Chef. Paz , who was promoted from Executive sous-chef, will lead the hotel’s culinary program, including the Mediterranean cuisine restaurant The Trapiche Room; the casual La Terrazza Café and Bar which serves American cuisine and Isabela’s, an American cuisine restaurant for breakfast and private events. Paz will also be responsible for elevating the hotel’s banquet offerings, creating personalized experiences and gourmet menus for groups of any size.

A graduate of the Florida Culinary Institute, before working at the JW Marriott Marquis in Brickell  Paz honed his skills at the Four Seasons Resort and the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach, and the Four Seasons in Miami.

“We are thrilled Alex will be joining the JW family, and invite guests to experience his unique style of cuisine, a careful blend of local and global cuisine, much like the city of Miami, which will perfectly complement the various dining outlets at the hotel,” said Alfredo Sarnataro, director of Food & Beverage at JW Marriott Miami.

JW Marriott Miami, 1109 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131 (305) 329-3500

The cranes, the billowing dust, the high-rise skeletons towering over the new Downtown Miami were a harbinger of the fate of Miami’s “oldest bar”, the iconic Tobacco Road.  The quirky two-story 99-year-old building outlasted Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War I and II, major hurricanes and other upheavals, is going to be demolished.  It did not survive Brickell’s $1.05 billion development project, or the opportunity to be sold for $12.5 million when it needed major repairs and was slowing down in revenue.

It hosted its last party, served its last cocktail, and showcased its last local gig before it was permanently closed for business on October 26. Thousands gathered from Saturday night to the early hours of Sunday for its “Last Call” party, but for some, it was best described as a lively wake. The cause of the bar’s death: gentrification.

The Road has gone through a series of changes in its lifetime. It was constructed near the Miami River in 1915, a year after Dade County voted for its own local prohibition, and five years before the nation would do the same. Yet it oddly came with a 1912 liquor license, which rumor has it was lost by a mayor in a bet.

A bakery soon opened, and its second floor became a well-known speakeasy since the building was a place to obtain illegal alcohol at the time. In 1925, it was a place housewives sent Thanksgiving turkeys to be cooked for a dollar and a real estate office on the side. In 1926, a hurricane hit Miami and brought the Depression three years before the rest of the nation would feel it, and in the late 20s to early 30s, it was a gambling den and the rumored hideout of Al Capone.

Nineteen-thirty-eight was the first time it became a bar, known as “Southside”, the previous name of the Brickell area.  But the bar was bombed and placed under new ownership in 1942, and rechristened “Charlie’s Tobacco Road”, after a novel and popular 1930s Broadway play. The live music venue and gay bar was targeted by Miami Police and shut down.

In 1977, it was re-opened as “Tobacco Road”. In 1981 it became both a play house and jazz club. But business wasn’t good, and in 1982, it was given to a real-estate broker, current partner Michael Latterner, who, unable to sell the property, ended up buying it.  With the help of Patrick Gleber and Kevin Rusk, the trio made history.  Gleber never expected the bar to last as long as it did. “This place took my youth. I was 22 years old when I got this bar. Kevin and I. Kevin was 23.”

At the wake party, patrons were saying their final goodbyes to what had become a hub of music and casual food and fun. Like Danielle Mora, who said the Road was a fun spot filled with meaningful memories.  For Dona and Andrew McLachlan, who have been coming to the Road for 11 years, it wasn’t just about the decent priced drinks, the current band playing or the openness of the crowd, it was the magic of Tobacco Road. “It’s going to take a long time before you can bring 100 years of history into the new building,” said Andrew McLachlan. His wife, Dona, would have preferred for the building to be preserved: “They’re not going to leave anything behind, just concrete,” she lamented.  But Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, another faithful patron, said it was too late because the property was already sold.

A teary eyed Gleber, was in the parking lot area listening to the comments and drinking a beer.  “Miami is Miami, and this is part of Miami. Be it good or be it bad, it’s who we are. We knock down stuff. Grow new stuff. Make new stuff. It’s okay,” he said as he leaned harder on a table, looking up and around him. “That’s the city I love.”

Tobacco Road, 626 S Miami Ave, Downtown Miami, 305-374-1198

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