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AZUL OPENS FOR DINNER ON SUNDAYS
The Five-Diamond award restaurant, Azul at The Mandarin Oriental Miami, is now open for dinner on Sundays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Executive chef Tom Parlo is overseeing the hotel's Food and Beverage operations until the forthcoming designation of a new chef de cuisine for Azul. Azul is open for lunch Monday through Friday , noon to 3 p.m., and offers a three-course prix-fixe menu for $25, including dessert. Azul is located at Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Reservations: 305-913-8254. www.mandarinoriental.com
THÉINE IS NOW OPEN FOR LUNCH. Theine, the charming Tea room and salon is now extending its service to include lunch, Tuesday through Thursday, 10:00 am-6:00 pm. "Everyday we offer a different Menu to complement the seasonal produce,"said owner Kyra White. Ms White is a graduate of the Cordon Bleu School in Paris and is the president of the Slow Food Movement convivium in Miami. The menu will offer a light fare and fresh pastries baked daily on the premises. Afternoon Tea is served Thursdays and Saturdays with previous reservations. For the holiday season, Théine offers gift baskets, books, gift certificates and tea ware as well as what Ms. White calls "gifts that nurtures the soul and replenishes the spirit," such as specialty teas, pastries, scones and jellies, cookies and other confections. 119 Madeira Ave., Coral Gables. 305-774-0228. http://www.theineteasalon.com
OLA MIAMI OPENS THE "OCHO LOUNGE"
To celebrate OLA Miami's one year anniversary, , owner Chef Douglas Rodriguez has converted the first floor of the two-story restaurant to "Ocho Lounge." "Ocho Lounge" will offer smaller portions of OLA's favorites as the ceviche chifa, bacalaito fritters and oysters Rodriguez. All items on the specially priced "Ocho" menu (including drinks) will be $8, eight dollars. OLA will be open through the holidays on December 24, 25th and 31st. 5061 Biscayne Blvd, Miami.
TASTING MENU AT CHEF ALLEN'S CHANGES DAILY
Seven days a week the five-course "Tasting Menu" dinner will give diners a chance to sample Chef Allen Susser's ample menu, and to pair each course with a suitable wine. The "Tasting Menu" is priced at $75 and the "Wine Flight" at an additional $45 per person. Chef Allen's à la carte menu is also available seven days from 6 to 10:30 p.m., and the restaurant offers complimentary valet parking. Reservations: 305.935.2900 extension 12. 19088 N.E. 29th Avenue, Aventura.
CHISPA RESTAURANT OFFERS FREE VALET PARKING FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Chispa restaurant will celebrate the holidays by offering free valet service throughout the holiday season. Chispa is open daily, Lunch from 11:30a.m.-2:30 p.m., Dinner from 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. (Bar until 12:30 a.m.) Sunday through Thursday, and until 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (Bar until 1:30a.m.) Chispa, 225 Altara Avenue in the Collection Building, Coral Gables. (305) 648-2600.
CHEF DEAN MAX TEACHES HOLIDAY IDEAS FOR THE KITCHEN
Chef Dean Max of 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale has teamed with Celebrity Chef Jean Pierre Brehier to teach cooking classes. Chef Dean will prepare bite size Hors D'oeuvres such as Grilled Shrimp with Maui Pineapple, Cold Poached Salmon with Avocado and Radishes , Blue Crab Fritters and Grilled Steak with Asian Pear and Ginger Salad. ($58 per person). 3030 Ocean at the Marriott Hotel, Fort Lauderdale. 954-765-3030
SUSHISAMBA DROMO PASTRY CHEF VERA TONG SWEETENS HOLIDAYS
The Japanese and Latin fusion SushiSamba Dromo's talented pastry chef, Vera Tong, is adding holiday desserts to the menu. Valrhona Chocolate Fondue for two with Asian coconut marshmallows, caramelized Japanese rice-crisps, green tea ice cream balls, passion fruit cakes, chewy chocolate brownies peppered with rocotto chili, mangos, strawberries and slices of Asia pear. Matcha (Green tea) Ice Cream Sandwiches with bitter almond dipping sauce, and Bolo de Miso y Piña, the Asian version of a pineapple upside-down cake, miso-soaked cake topped with golden pineapples, dusted in brown butter and vanilla beans topped thinly with sliced caramelized crepes filled with puréed cherries. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from noon to midnight, Monday through Wednesday, to 1 a.m. on Sunday and Thursday, and to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Sunday brunch is noon to 5 p.m. 600 Lincoln Road, South Beach, 305-673-5337.
TINELLO RESTAURANT, CUISINE FROM CAPRI, ITALY
Massimo Celentano, , Chef/owner of Tinello Restaurant, has added new items to its Winter menu such as Gemelli Asparagi e Fontina -- twirls of pasta with asparagus and fontina cheese; Galletto al Mattone -- Pan Roasted Cornish Game Hen on a bed of mesclun and a house specialty, Lasagna Napoletana -- a traditional recipe with ground pork, beef, eggs and cheese. The cuisine of Capri is a blend of the many ruling influences over the ages, naming Roman, Greek, French and Spanish, and Tinello is one of its most authentic expression. Open daily for lunch and dinner from 11:00 a.m. Tinello also offers take-out and delivery service. Tinello Restaurant, 976 41st Street, Miami Beach, (305) 674-7676.