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o-R-o RESTAURANT DEBUTS IN SOUTH BEACH WITH CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN MENU

On the privileged location of what was first Nick’s and then Monty’s on the second floor of 300 Alton Road, o-R-o Restaurant has just opened a 175 – seats indoor restaurant with 60 seats on the balcony overlooking the Port of Miami with the gliding cruise ships and the Miami Skyline, a 24-seat bar and a 10 seat communal table. That is without talking about the three private dining rooms (total 90-seats) and the two ballrooms: one a 2,856 square feet facility with a full AV system, crystal chandeliers; and the other the 3,225 square feet Bay Room with a glorious view of the bay and an outdoor balcony. O-R-o is the brainchild of George Slover, previous General Manager at Barton G and Maitre d’at the Ritz Carlton South Beach.
First built by Nick’s as one of the largest existing kitchens with two mirroring lines and a futuristic salt water aquarium for fresh fish and seafood, the kitchen is now the realm of Executive chef Christopher Sepe, formerly executive chef at Petrossian Bal Harbour, Giorgio’s in Fort Lauderdale and Sous-chef at Mark’s Las Olas. Chef Sepe has created a Contemporary American menu with steaks served on butcher blocks and Lobster Thermidor served on its own perch draped with a red and white checked napkin. Salads range in price from $9 for a Caesar to $28 for the Maine Lobster Salad which features a 1-pound lobster. For starters there’s Oysters Rockefeller ($14), Chardonnay poached jumbo prawns ($18) and filet mignon carpaccio with truffled honey mustard sauce ($15). Entrees list panko & horseradish crabmeat crusted mahi mahi with french beans and a lemon beurre blanc ($26); crispy fried yellow tail snapper presented in a bamboo steaming basket with peanut dipping sauce and a yuzu ($24); filet mignon with foie gras butter (8oz. $31 and 10oz. $38); New York Strip (16oz. $37) and half a chicken fried to a crispy golden brown with country gravy ($16) among others. All Sides like foie gras mashed potatoes; Vermont cheddar truffled mashed potatoes; Oregon wild sautéed mushrooms; pasta shells and cheddar and creamed garlicky spinach are served family style and are priced at $8 each.. Desserts, ample enough for two or more, range from $8 to $18. The “O” Bar offers a menu of caviar dishes ( from $12 to $250), wines by the glass and cocktails . o-R-o, 300 Alton Road, Second floor, South Beach, is open for dinner Sunday through Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. (305) 673-3444 or visit www.opentable.com

TOUCH SOUTH BEACH EXPANDS INTO CATERING IN NEW LOCATION
Touch Catering, a division of Touch Restaurant and Lounge, a restaurant that opened in 2000 on Lincoln Road, South Beach, has moved to a 20,000 square foot building at 860 Northeast 79th Street in Miami, Florida. The new facility houses corporate and sales offices, a conference room, fully equipped kitchens and warehouse. "We are all thrilled to be operating Touch Catering from this new and spacious facility," said David Tornek, creator and owner of Touch Restaurant and Lounge WHO, together with partner, Touch's Executive Chef, Sean Brasel have assembled an experienced team of catering and special event executives to create events for businesses and organizations such as MTV Video Music Awards, Miami Film Festival, BMW, Bulgari, JP Morgan, Conde Nast and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Gala. For more information : (305) 758-7191, or www.touchcatering.com

KOR HOTEL GROUP TO OPEN NEW HOTEL/CONDO: VICEROY ICON BRICKELL
The Los Angeles-based luxury hotel operator Kor Hotel Group has joined forces with developer Jorge Perez and his Florida-based The Related Group to bring a Viceroy hotel-residence project in Miami - Viceroy Icon Brickell, with architecture firm Arquitectonica and designer Philippe Starck.. The Related Group is currently the largest developer in Florida's luxury condominium market. Kor will contribute with an array of design-savvy lifestyle amenities and luxury service luxuries for which Kor's Viceroy Resorts & Residences is known.
Located on Biscayne Bay, adjacent to Brickell Park and near downtown, the three-tower Icon Brickell will range from 50 to 60 stories with unobstructed views above the 15th floor of South Beach and Biscayne Bay. Housing 1,774 luxury units across all three towers, the Viceroy tower will be the only structure among the three to house a hotel in conjunction with residences, thus sharing a 20,000 square-foot spa and Philippe Starck-designed luxury swimming pools on the 15th-floor outdoor podium. A chic restaurant located on the 15th-floor outdoor sanctuary will overlook the recreational pool and incorporate an outdoor dining area with fireplace and waterfront views. The restaurant facility will be operated by Kor and provide service to hotel guests, banquet/conference attendees, residents and the public. Ground-up construction of Viceroy Icon Brickell is scheduled for completion in late 2008

CHEF GOVIND ARMSTRONG’S TABLE 8 TO OPEN ON SOUTH BEACH
With equal parts L.A. glam and South Beach chic, the 255-seat indoor/outdoor Table 8 South Beach is slated to open in January/February 2006, beachside, at the new Regent Hotel at 1458 Ocean Drive with entrances from both Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue. Celebrity chef Govind Armstrong (34), who launched his career with Wolfgang Puck at L.A.’s legendary Spago, will serve sophisticated yet straightforward, simple food (like salt roasted porterhouse: a carnivore’s delight for two, which Robb Report cited for excellence in their 2004 “The Best of the Best” issue) created with the freshest, natural products and local ingredients. GM Nick Fielding, formerly of Spago in Beverly Hills and Turnberry Resort in Aventura, Florida is in charge of Table 8 and its main dining room (seating 160), private dining room (seating 40) and a 15- seat wine room, in addition to a 40-seat lounge, right under the Regent’s glass-bottom pool. Open since August 2003, Table 8 Los Angeles has remained one of the country’s hottest restaurants by virtue of its acclaimed cuisine and Armstrong’s unabashed charisma. Table 8 South Beach is owned and operated by Meridian Entertainment Group, in partnership with Levy Restaurants.
Table 8 South Beach
is located at the Regent Hotel, 1458 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida. (305) 695-4114. www.table8southbeach.com

GINGER GROVE RESTAURANT OPENS IN MAYFAIR HOTEL COCONUT GROVE

Inside the Gaudi-like Mayfair Hotel, Ginger Grove recently opened under the management of Executive Chef Christian Plotczyk and General Manager Susan Buckley. Ginger Grove’s exotic two levels, designed and developed by the Puccini Group in San Francisco open in the street level lounge (seating 36) with dramatic lighting shedding sultry accents on the high backed booths surrounding the marble and natural wood bar. Upstairs, in the 170 seat second floor restaurant, Asian lanterns play against rich silk paneled walls and Buddha heads from around the world surround oversized banquettes and tables. Executive Chef Christian Plotczyk, formerly Chef de Cuisine at Pacific Time and Executive Chef for China Grill Management has created a menu which is a shared culinary adventure across Asia. From small plates to large generous portions are served family-style. At lunch the prices range from $9 to $12 for Appetizers and Salads; from $12 to $19 for entrées and sides are $6. At dinner appetizers range from $9 to $12; entrees are from $12 to $21 and sides are $6 to $12. Desserts at $8 at both lunch and dinner. A full bar features specialty cocktails ($10 and $12) such as the Humming Bird (Rum Botron from Guatemala, Moet & Chandon B rut Rosé, lime, lemon and brown sugar) or Gingerita (Herradura Silver Tequila with housemade cilantro syrup) and a the wine list includes half-bottles of Champagne and wines range from $23 to $40 as well as wines by the glass ($10 to $18). The restaurant is open daily for breakfast from 6:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.; lunch from 11:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.; and dinner: Sunday through Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. and until 12:00 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The Bar and Lounge closes at midnight Sunday through Wednesday and at 2:00 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Ginger Grove, Mayfair Hotel, 3000 Florida Ave., Coconut Grove. . For reservations and information please call (305) 779-5100 or visit the website at www.gingergroverestaurant.com


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