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TIKL Raw Bar & Grill opens on Brickell, Downtown Miami PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Monday, 24 September 2012 20:37

The team behind Miami Beach’s Altamare -  the Italian restaurateur Claudio Giordano, the Australian-born  executive chef Simon Stojanovic and general manager Frank Scottolini have expanded  to Brickell’s bustling restaurant and nightlife district with a chef-driven, shared-plates restaurant concept, TIKL Raw Bar & Grill.

The new 2-storey indoor/outdoor eatery with a chic, contemporary,  unpretentious setting and a stunning temperature-controlled wine tower holding 1,200 bottles on the second floor, has a moderately priced menu of internationally-inspired  meant-to-be-shared dishes and small plates created by Chef Stojanovic.

The menu spans The Raw with dishes like Lobster salad with gazpacho, endive and creme fraiche ($12); Hamachi crudo with yuzu, wasabi and olive oil powder ($12) and spicy tuna bomb with sushi rice, spicy tuna and togorashy (also $12).

Small dishes ($10 to $14) range from short rib soft taco and Rillette de Veau to Thai curried mussels, beef cheek and local shrimp. Robata ($5 to $14) follows with grilled octopus, pork belly, Korean hanger steak, day boat scallops and more... then come the Skewers ($6- $10) and the Large dishes  ($45 ) like the 24 ox Porterhouse and Whole fish of the day.

Desserts by Pastry chef Michelle Cabrera seem to round up the meal in an original way with chocolate lavender ice cream sandwiches ($10); a tangerine and creme panna cotta with herb granita and lime sugar tuile ($9) and hand-rolled assorted chocolate truffles. ($6)

TIKL’s  Miami Spice discounted three-course lunch and dinner menus are served Monday through Friday during lunch and dinner service and on Saturday’s for dinner only.                                

TIKL Raw Bar & Grill,1450 Brickell Ave, Miami, 305-372-0620 /

Lee & Marie’s Cakery opens in South Pointe, Miami Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 17:00

Lee & Marie’s Cakery, a new indoor/outdoor 50 seat bakery/café hybrid or “cakery ” is the brainchild of social entrepreneur and philanthropist, Andrea “Andy” Travaglia, and Belgian pastry chef Yannis Janssens. The Cakery offers a selection of baked goods, cakes, pies and confections, sandwiches, salads and other freshly made daily specials based on the availability of local ingredients ranging in price from $10 to $12.

The South Pointe location will be the flagship retail destination of Janssens’ creations, with plans to open a retail window at the Wynwood commissary in time for Art Basel 2012.

In tandem with the University of Miami/Nova Southeastern University’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, Lee & Marie’s will fulfill Andy Travaglia’s mission to provide employment opportunities for autistic adults, helping to guide them on a path to greater independence and an enhanced quality of life.

Lee & Marie’s Cakery is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Lee & Marie’s is located on the bottom floor of the Continuum Building – 40 South Pointe Drive on South Beach   (305) 672-5167;

8 OZ. opens new location in North Miami Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG Staff   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 16:49

8 oz., the burger joint with a menu dreamed up by  Chef Govind Armstrong has opened a second location in North Miami Beach at 14815 Biscayne Blvd., with monthly pig roasts, butchery classes and Invasive Species Dinners. The à la carte menu ranges from salads and veggie burgers with arugula, tomato confit, white onion, pickle, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, bacon tofu and sweet potato aioli to the famous 8 oz., steaks and seafood.

8 oz. is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight.   Daily, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Blue Plate Special($8.50);  Happy Hour , Monday through Friday from 4pm – 7pm and includes: 2 for 1 regular draft beer and wine by the glass;   and 50% off for deviled eggs, chicken drumettes, black garlic hummus and fried olives. 14815 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami Beach, FL 33181 in the same shopping center as Lime Mexican Grill and Oishi Tai.

Thasos Greek Restaurant opens in Fort Lauderdale PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Tuesday, 11 September 2012 21:27

After over a year in the making, the duo of co-owners Gus Leontarakis and Sophia Mylona have opened Thasos, an indoor/outdoor contemporary Greek Restaurant reminiscent of the hospitality and spirit of the Greek islands with the service and style of a modern restaurant & lounge, in Fort Lauderdale. Architect Art Bengochea and designer Angelos Angelopoulos have created a Mediterranean fishing village-like space with 75 seats and features banquettes, white-washed tables and suspended cube lighting.

Consulting chef Giorgio Bakatsias of Giorgio’s Hospitality Group and executive chef William D’Auvray, have created a creative yet approachable menu of Mediterranean seafood and wood-burning rotisserie meats and poultry prepared with fresh ingredients imported from the Island of Thasos, including the spices, herbs and olive oil.   

For starters there’s an array of Pikilia (Greek spreads), Mezedes (shared plates) and salads ($6-$20)like green chick peas - a lighter take on traditional hummus, Spanakopita and grape leaves stuffed with seasoned Arborio rice, lemon and mint,    fire grilled baby sepia (cuttlefish),  charred octopus; flame-broiled shrimp Saganaki with roasted tomato and feta, and briam – iron baked eggplant with basil, tomato and cippolini onions.  Specialties “from the garden” include fennel tossed with frisée, orange segments, Manouri cheese and pine nuts and charred Brussels sprouts  with Thasos honey and house-cured pork belly.

Main Courses ($17-$33) list pumpkin swordfish with caramelized root vegetables, capers and grilled lemon; Lavraki – grilled whole Mediterranean Sea bass, and organic salmon, served with a lentil cake, charred tomato, giaourti and dill.  There is spit-roasted crown rack of pork, served with zucchini fritters and natural jus and lamb chops with crunchy fingerling potatoes, Thasos oregano and lemon.  Desserts ($8-$10) include a baklava, yogurt & honey panna cotta with preserved blueberries, and galaktoboureko – creamy milk custard wrapped in phyllo.

Among the large list of Hand-crafted Signature Cocktails ($14 ) there’s Karpouzo, ouzo and Ketel One vodka, lemon, watermelon, and rosemary, Skinos Sour with Skinos, honey, grapefruit, lemon and egg white. A temperature controlled wine room houses more than 100 different labels, with a large selection of Greek wines and beers.

Thasos is open for dinner seven days beginning at 5 p.m.,  3330 East Oakland Park Boulevard, just off A1A.   (954) 200-6006.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 16:46
The Federalists Launch Acme Bakery & Coffee in Midtown Miami PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Monday, 03 September 2012 21:54

With the addition of the 50-seat Acme Bakery & Coffee to their holdings, the Federalists, Alejandro Ortiz, Aniece Meinhold & Cesar Zapata have created The Pious Pig Restaurant Group which at this point includes The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions, and the pop-up Phuc Yea!

Acme Bakery & Coffee — an artisanal bakery and café concept reminiscent of an ‘old time general store’ with a selection of viennoiseries (pastries), cakes, tarts, home-made candies, and artisanal breads combined with a limited-menuis owned and operated on a day-to-day basis by husband and wife team Alejandro and Alysia Ortiz.  Alejandro Ortiz, a CIA graduate, is formally trained in pastry and will be spearheading the creative culinary direction of Acme Bakery & Coffee. Alysia Ortiz, is at the front of the house and in sales while developing a proprietary gourmet line of jams, jellies and pickles that will be available at Acme for retail sale.

The savory kitchen, beverage and marketing side of the equation is in the hands of husband and wife team from the Fed, Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata. ACME teams-up with local Wynwood specialty coffee roaster, Panther Coffee, for an intensive and varied coffee program.

Acme Bakery & Coffee is open for  breakfast and lunch and ‘early evening’ or high-tea for eat-in and take-aways. 3451 NE 1st Ave. Ste 103, Miami, FL 33137 305.494.0609

Last Updated on Friday, 14 September 2012 20:56
Farmer’s Pick Buffet opens at Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Monday, 03 September 2012 21:31


On Fri., Sept. 14 at 4 p.m., Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park will open to the public its new Farmer’s Pick Buffet, a new regionalized  “farm-to-table” concept with freshly prepared foods by Head Chef de Cuisine Aaron Andryka and his team with local ingredients such as a seafood, bread, eggs, cheeses, hot sauces, orange blossom honey, and fresh Florida citrus purchased from Florida purveyors; as well as with a variety of fresh-picked fruits, herbs and vegetables grown right on the Isle’s own two acre farm and hydroponic garden at Powerline Road. “It’s great to be able to stand behind Florida purveyors you’ve personally selected and know that your ingredients are the best,” said chef Andryka.

The first 500 guests will receive a complimentary gift with new buffet purchase on Sept. 14 and 15.

The Farmer’s Pick Buffet is open for Lunch ($12.99): Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Dinner ($20.99): Sunday – Thursday, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.,  Seafood Dinner ($25.99): Friday & Saturday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday Brunch ($19.99) 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park • 777 Isle of Capri Circle, Pompano Beach, FL 33069 • 1-877-ISLE-2-WIN

Chef Michelle Bernstein opens Crumb at The Webster in Miami Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 21:12
Chef Michelle Bernstein has opened the indoor/outdoor Crumb at The Webster, a sister- café to her popular Crumb on Parchment in the Miami Design District, in The Webster, a three-level, 20,000 square foot luxury multi-brand boutique devoted to fashion, photography and entertainment located in a 1939 historical Art Deco building at 1200 Collins in Miami Beach.

Crumb at The Webster offers an array of fresh soups, salads, hot plates and baked goods that Crumb in the Design District is known for.  Initially, Crumb will serve lunch 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and coffee, pastries and cocktail ‘til 8:00 p.m.

Bernstein and her husband and business partner David Martinez will continue to own/operate the original Crumb on Parchment in the Miami Design District as well as their Biscayne Boulevard flagship, Michy’s.  Additional restaurant concepts are also in the works.

Crumb at The Webster at 1200 Collins Avenue. South Beach. (305) 674-7899.

Argentine Steak House Doma Polo Bistro opens in Downtown Miami PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 23:38

Argentine beef and Argentina fare — including pastas, salads and pies — is the focus at the indoor/outdoor Doma Polo Bistro, The décor is rustic with cattle-branded tables set in horse-stall  booths,  riding crops, helmets and mallets on the walls and a mesa de campo or chef’s table in the middle.
Doma Polo Bistro, 900 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132.  305-400-0588
Swine Southern Table and Bar slated to open this Fall in Coral Gables PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 23:30
This Fall, John Kunkel, the founder of Lime Fresh Mexican Grill and Yardbird Southern Table and Bar is planning to open a pork-focused restaurant, the Swine Southern Table and Bar,  where Les Halles once stood on Ponce de Leon  in Coral Gables.  
Kunkel  sold the homegrown Lime Fresh to Ruby Tuesday’s for $24 million and announced the acquisition of Southern Brand, which will operate under the umbrella of his existing multidisciplinary 50 Eggs Restaurant Group —  a commercial  agency specializing in brand conception and strategy, interior design, construction, social media, public relations, marketing, operations and financial planning.
TIKL opens on Brickell, Downtown Miami PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Tuesday, 21 August 2012 00:00

The team behind Miami Beach’s Altamare - veteran restaurateur Claudio Giordano, executive chef Simon Stojanovic and general manager Frank Scottolini are expanding over the bridge to Brickell’s bustling restaurant and nightlife district to introduce a chef-driven, shared-plates restaurant concept, TIKL Raw Bar & Grill.

The new 2-storey indoor/outdoor eatery has a moderately priced menu of internationally-inspired  meant-to-be-shared dishes and small plates created by Chef Stojanovic, served in a chic, contemporary, and unpretentious setting with wine towers holding 1,200 bottles and a sexy atmosphere.

TIKL’s  Miami Spice discounted three-course lunch and dinner menus are served Monday through Friday during lunch and dinner service and on Saturday’s for dinner only.                                

TIKL Raw Bar & Grill,1450 Brickell Ave, Miami, 305-372-0620 /


Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 00:03
Casa Fiorentina opens at Astor Hotel, South Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Monday, 20 August 2012 23:48


Casa Fiorentina, an indoor/outdoor steakhouse managed by the Culinary Team Cucina Toscana has opened at the Astor Hotel with a menu of Italian specialties including fried calamari and  Florentine steak…

Casa Fiorentina at the Astor Hotel is open for  dinner from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. ,  956 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139,  (305) 674

AIJÓ, a Nuevo-Japanese contemporary restaurant opens in the Brickell area, downtown Miami PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Monday, 13 August 2012 00:39

AIJÓ, a stylish 70-seat indoor/outdoor restaurant with a Japanese-style VIP room for 8 and a terrace off the lobby of the luxurious JADE building, one of the newest towers in the Brickell area, is the brainchild of owner René Buroz.

A lawyer in his native Caracas, Venezuela, René is also a restaurateur whose passion for Japanese food led him to create AIJÓ’s sophisticated contemporary Japanese fusion menu in his three Aijó restaurants, in Caracas, now in Miami, and a project in Palm Beach.   AIJÓ in Japanese means love. And this is, he says, what fueled his several trips to Japan to study from the masters, and has led him to serve as a culinary judge in his native Venezuela’s fine dining and cooking competitions.

The all-white minimalistic yet chic interior is the setting for a burst of flavors and an unbridled culinary creativity which pushes the boundaries of traditional, high-end Japanese gastronomy into the realm of Nuevo-Latino and Middle Eastern ingredients.

At the bar, Venezuelan mixologist Narayana Dervasi — a champion in bartending competitions in Venezuela and also the bartender at Aijó Caracas — creates innovative cocktails that pair with many of the foods, such as the vodka-based Apple martini with apple liqueur and a splash of yuzu, the tropical Special Tamarind Aijo, or the Shiso Mojito, and manages an extensive list of champagnes, sakes and an international wine list.

 In the hands of capable chefs Cristian Bonilla — until recently sous chef at Zuma — and  his staff (all formerly from Zuma’s kitchen) and Jorge Olmos — Aijó’s sous-chef in Caracas who says he finds Miami a paradise for ingredients — the menu offers new tastes with an element of surprise in each; from the umami depth and mystery of Japanese ingredients and sauces to the fireworks of crunchy textures and the fire of Latin chiles.

Starting with the cold appetizers — ceviches, tatakis and oysters ($15 - $22) — all the dishes can be shared, like the Reneboy ($12), one of the signature rolls, with crispy  rice, smoked salmon, crunchy sweet walnut eel topping, which delivered an amazing depth of taste with cleanliness in the palate and an addictive crunch. So does the Crocante Aijo ($14), a rice crisp roll stuffed with crab, salmon, masago and topped with “dynamite topping.” Pork belly Aijo, slowly cooked for 32 hours is served with a sweet and sour sauce and fresh citrus, but Aijo Kani (MP) takes the kudos with King crab legs over a bed of shaved almonds, truffled almond butter and citrus foam.

Hot appetizers include Fried chicken lollipops ($12) covered in sesame seeds that pop in the mouth and spiked with in a sweet spicy soy and hot mustard sauce; and gyoza pork dumplings with a surprising wasabi goat cheese filling ($14). Then comes a long list of rolls ($14 - $18) — to share or as entrée, all named after members of the family of the creator of the roll— and the entrees.

The list goes from wakame-based unusual salads ($10-$12) and tiraditos ($12) to sushi, rolls, temaki and sashimi served on slabs of stone; followed by  robatas (grilled meat or fish) such as a delicious 8 oz tenderloin on spicy sauce with micro-greens salad ($34), a 24 oz Masako bone-in rib eye with a side of truffle explosion and a buttery ponzu (MP) as well as other cuts of beef.

Desserts follow, if one still wants to indulge after this feast of tastes, and the list is in a work in progress.

It would take many visits to Aijó to get a taste of each item on the menu. So the restaurant offers tasting menus: a 6-course ($75) or an 8-course plus two desserts ($145); and a VIP 12-course meal in the VIP room with your own server and butler ($225)

AIJÓ or love — strict but all-encompassing — is the philosophy behind each dish, including the highest quality ingredients and the exceptional service. While there is plenty of parking spots in the street, valet parking is available. The restaurant hosts a daily happy hour Monday-Friday 3:00-6:00pm with 2 for 1 cocktail specials as well as aThursdays Ladies night.

Aijo is open daily for lunch: Monday-Friday 12:00-3:00pm and Dinner: Sunday-Wednesday 6:00-12:00am & Thursday-Saturday 6:00-2:00am.  1331 Brickell Bay Drive Miami, FL 33131


Last Updated on Monday, 13 August 2012 02:28
Georgia’s Union, an organic soul food kitchen, opens in Miami Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Monday, 13 August 2012 00:33

 Georgia’s Union opened an organic soul food kitchen in the space once occupied by Joe Allen’s in Miami Beach.

Founded by Barclay Graebner, the founder of  Miami Beach hot spot Morgan’s,  the menu offers tried-and-true classics like Country Fried Steak and Johnny Cakes cheddar grits, candied yams, sweet corn hush puppies and more – all made fresh,  locally sourced and calorie-conscious  in a warm and comforting atmosphere.  Georgia’s Union is open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.,  until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays and it is open for brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 1787 Purdy Ave (At Dade Blvd),  Miami Beach 33139. (305) 397-8753 /

M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom opens in Islamorada PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Monday, 13 August 2012 00:30

M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom in Islamorada,  a fast casual gourmet concept by The Tasters Grille’s owners chef Georges Patti and sommelierThomas Smith, two guys who grind and case their own sausages, smoke their pork, make they own bacon, ice cream, pâtés, hummus, tapenades, among other delicacies.

The menu  features pâtés, specialty burgers like Kobe, turkey, angus and veggie, craft sausages and hotdogs and artisan grilled cheeses as well as lobster mac-n-cheese, duck fat fried French fries and salads is finally open full-on.  Beverages highlight natural sodas, boutique wines and a dozen draft craft and microbrewed beers as well as a bottle selection. Desserts are homemade ice creams,  gourmet cupcakes and "adult" milkshakes like Guinness & Nutella, banana bread ale & vanilla bean and raspberry & framboise lambic.

 M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom in Islamorada, 88005 Overseas Highway Islamorada, At Plaza 88 on US 1 MM 88, Islamorada, Florida Keys.  33036. (305) 852 - 3833

 Tasters Grille is the only gastropub-style restaurant in the Upper Keys and has been established for over 3 years

Charles Mereday Executive Chef at South Seas Island Resort in Captiva PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG Staff   
Monday, 13 August 2012 00:28


South Seas Island Resort, off Florida's Gulf Coast on Captiva Island, announced the appointment of Charles Mereday as the resort village’s new Executive Chef. In his current role, Mereday will supervise the food and beverage team and oversee the resort’s menu planning and food cost management efforts. Mereday will work with the resort’s team of culinary experts to transition the menu offerings to include more healthy and sustainable alternatives.

 With over 20 years in the industry, Chef Charles Mereday, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, has gained experience from all over the world, from Philadelphia and France to the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has owned and operated 10 restaurants of various concepts from fine dining to pizzerias and has worked as a Chef Instructor at Culinard – the Culinary Institute of Virginia College in Birmingham, Alabama and ran the New York Times four-star Ryland Inn and France’s Michelin three-star restaurant, La Maison Troisgros, in addition to many other notable restaurants.

For more information 866-565-5089 or
Last Updated on Monday, 13 August 2012 01:27
Fix opens at The Blue Moon Hotel with chef David Welch, South Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Thursday, 02 August 2012 18:37

It is literally once in a blue moon that The Blue Moon Hotel opens a restaurant.

Fix, in the newly renovated boutique hotel, is an indoor/outdoor 2,700 square-feet space with a 30-seat dining room with gleaming wood floors, a 46-seat terrace, a 20-seat lounge and a 22-seat bar for  late night fare and an ever-changing selection of craft beers on draft and freshly-muddled cocktails.

The executive chef is David Welch, formerly executive chef a Verdea in Palm Beach. While the menu is contemporary American, no item on it is predictable.

Starting with breakfast — an all-day affair if you choose it to be so — from breakfast Colombian-style arepas and French toast to stacks of apple-cardamom or chocolate-chip pancakes and omelettes like plain or rock shrimp and stone crab with garlic spinach you can have all day long.  But the menu expands to late night sliders ($12 - $13)such as short ribs, seared tuna, portobello and goat cheese and kobe beef. Small plates ($9 - $14) -- empanadas, fried calamari and shrimp cocktail -- side with soups ($9) (Caribbean-style seafood and Thai-watermelon with scallop ceviche) and salads ($12 - $14) such as fried oysters, heirloom tomatoes and The Fix Greens.

You can opt for sandwiches ($13 - $17) like fried oyster Po-boy, Roasted Portobello wrap, Lobster and jumbo lump crab cake, and burgers ($16 - $18) including Kobe and Greek-style lamb burgers.

There are four entrees ($18 - $23) on the menu such as beef churrasco, oven-roasted Peruvian-style chicken, grilled tenderloin and pan-seared grouper. With all the breakfast items available, who needs dessert? But here the list ($8 - $10)  is short but exciting with items like The Bomb, Dulce de leche cake and Red velvet cake, The Fix cheesecake and deep dish apple pie in addition to The Fix sorbet.

Fix at Blue Moon Hotel is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  944 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, 305.673.2262

Fabien's Bistro opens on Brickell Key, downtown Miami PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG staff   
Friday, 20 July 2012 14:52


Fabien's Bistro on Brickell Key is Amyr Restaurants’ newest venture. The company owns 20 restaurants around the world.    The restaurant offers classic French cuisine in a warm atmosphere and includes a main dining room, a bar area with four flat-screen TVs and a private dining room that can seat up to 20 guests. The menu by Executive Chef: Fabien Micard who hails from Champagne, France, features classic French cuisine with regional dishes from Bourgogne, Champagne, Lyon, Paris and Périgord, among others. Appetizers range from $9 to $22, entrées from $19 to $38 and all desserts for $9. Fabien’s also features a children’s menu for $9.50, with a choice of entrée, beverage and dessert.
The restaurant officially opened in June, serving both lunch and dinner and featuring daily happy hour specials from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., daily dinner specials and a three-course executive lunch option - The Twenty-Minute Menu for $20.  
Fabien’s features over 80 international wine labels, with 35 percent hailing from France and 35 percent   from the United States as well as a good by the glass program.

Fabien's Bistro is open Monday through Saturday, 11:00 am - 11:00 pm, for lunch, dinner and bar. 2 hours of complimentary parking. Sunday brunch will be available in the near future, as well as delivery, take-out and a pick-up/drop-off service for Key residents.  605 Brickell Key Drive, Brickell Key 305-364-5512

Turnberry Isle Miami Appoints John Sexton as Executive Chef PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG   
Thursday, 19 July 2012 16:30

Turnberry Isle Miami  has appointed Chef John Sexton as Executive Chef effective immediately announced  Douglas Hustad, Managing Director at Turnberry Isle Miami.  Sexton is responsible for the oversight and development of the property’s culinary program, including all four dining venues and their menus.

Prior to assuming his position at Turnberry Isle Miami, Sexton served as Executive Chef at Reunion Resort and Club in Reunion, FL where he  evamped the property’s food and beverage department. As the Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Sexton led his team through an extensive remodeling of the resort, including the opening of new dining outlets.

Chef Sexton’s diverse background includes experience at properties such as The Registry Resort & Club in Naples, FL and The Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, FL. He also previously owned his own catering company named Sexton Caterers LLC in Hartford, CT after working at The Bee and Thistle Inn located in Old Lyme, CT. Chef Sexton began his culinary career at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. 1-866-612-7739

Shake Shack offers Shack-cago dogs in new Coral Gables location PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 14:53

At any time, on any given day in New York City you can see lines winding up around the block where a Shake Shack operates.  “We took the Miami weather into consideration and opened our largest store yet, so people can wait inside” said New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer - and the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) - of the new Coral Gables Shake Shack just a burger’s throw from the University of Miami at 1450 South Dixie Highway on US1. “We’ve also added large TV screens for the sports fans,” he added.

The new location is constructed with recycled and sustainable materials, wherever possible with LED lights all over.  But it is all really about the moderate to low prices, the quality of the beef on the burgers — $4.00 to $8.85— (hormone and antibiotic-free Angus  beef ground daily in each store) , the Shake Shack sauce too, and the options for gluten-free and vegetarians like the Portobello “shroom burger,” and of course the cheese fries and the frozen custards…

Then there are Flat top dogs, from design your own dog to plain hot dogs split and griddled crisp ($3 to $4.50)  However, it is surprising considering Danny Meyer’s excellent record for sensitivity and care for the customer, that his team ignored the fact that over 60% of Dade County’s population is Spanish-speaking. They named the top hot dog on the list “Shack-cago Dog” followed by the unfortunate description: “Dragged through the garden with Rick’s Picks Shack relish, etc…” What were they thinking?

Since the original Shake Shack opened in 2004 in NYC’s Madison Square Park, it now has multiple locations in New York, as well as Miami, FL, Washington, DC, Westport, CT, Philadelphia, PA, and two international locations in Dubai and Kuwait City.

University of Miami at 1450 South Dixie Highway on US1.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 July 2012 19:04
Whiskey Joe’s Bar & Grill comes to Key Biscayne PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG   
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 20:49

Cold beers, hot guys and gals, and an option-packed menu is built upon the legend of Whiskey Joe,  a fictitious – and MIA alligator wrestler. Whiskey Joe’s, a rollicking, casual bar & grill that was born in Tampa in 2009 is opening in Miami’s Key Biscayne at 3301 Rickenbacker Causeway with dockside dining and drinking, reminiscent of the Florida Keys or Caribbean, complete with live entertainment, extra-large specialty cocktails and a nonstop party atmosphere,.

The wallet-friendly menu  ($2.00 - $21.00) offers plenty of seafood, including Whiskey Joe’s fish tacos, crab cakes, fried shrimp, a sustainable catch of the day, and a seafood bar featuring oysters on the half shell and peel & eat shrimp. There are sliders and po’boys, entrée-size salads, flatbread pizzas and half pound burgers, as well as a slew of appetizers & snacks including nachos, wings (breaded or grilled), and quesadillas.

Specialty drinks are available by the glass or pitcher include the Key Lime pie martini, Jack Daniel’s lemonade, acai margaritas and other concoctions.  Ten beers are on tap with over twenty available; and every day there’s a Happy Hour from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with ½ off all appetizers and daily drink specials.

According to Martin Duffany who oversees all of the fun at  Whiskey Joe’s Bar & Grill in Tampa, “Whiskey Joe’s is a perfect fit for Miami, with its beautiful women, fast boats and party mood.

Whiskey Joe’s Miami will be overseen by industry veteran Dana Wilson, whose last stint was at North Beach Plantation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina after working at  Ocean Reef in Key Largo and Ocean Key House in Key West, and at the Useppa Island Club on Florida’s west coast and as Corporate Wine & Spirits Director for Culinary Concepts Inc., overseeing award-winning wine programs for the group’s portfolio of five restaurants.  In addition to indoor/outdoor dining, Whiskey Joe’s will also house an onsite store with all kinds of merchandise for sale and will include banquet facilities for special events.

Whiskey Joe, 3301 Rickenbacker Causeway.  Parking onsite or $6 valet.


Stephane's opens in Boca Raton with chef John Belleme and sommelier Virginia Phillips PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG Staff   
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 20:36

Stéphane’s, a new chic restaurant and lounge opening in Boca Raton on Sunday, July 15, is the brainchild of French restaurateur Stéphane Lang-Willar. The affordably-priced American and French cuisine conceived by Lang-Willar and executive chef John Belleme is geared towards fresh sustainable seafood and antibiotic-free meat from animals raised on a 100% vegetarian diet. Renowned Master Sommelier, Virginia Philip, one of 21 women in the world to hold that title, has implemented an innovative iPad pairing menu displaying both the full menu and large wine list and the restaurant’s bar manager and mixologist, Melvin Negron is in charge of beverage with signature bubbly cocktails and molecular martinis.

The lunch and dinner menus offer a  raw bar selection of chilled oysters from the East and West coast (MP),  snow crab clusters ($10 per ½ lb.), fresh sea urchins (MP) and clams ($1.50/ea.). The mussels are served in a cast iron pot in eight different ways ($12-15), from the classic American Way (bourbon, Virginia ham, corn, mustard, crème fraîche) to the exotic Bangkok (coconut curry, garlic, coriander, lemongrass, lime, white wine).

Appetizers include a diversity of tartare & toasts such as the filet mignon tartare with chives, onions, capers, parmesan reggiano and green peppercorn sauce ($12) and sushi grade tuna tartare with avocado, masiago caviar, wasabi and cracked black pepper ($11). Main course offerings include a juicy roasted aged prime rib “au jus” served with a loaded baked potato ($29); tuna steak “au poivre” – simply grilled and peppercorn-crusted served with cauliflower puree ($29); and a 14 oz. double-cut pork chop with potato puree, apple compote and mustard pan sauce ($24). Desserts list  floating island on a mirror of crème anglaise ($7); and Valrhona chocolate molten lava cake with vanilla ice cream ($8).

A special prix-fixe lunch priced at $19.90 per person will be served Monday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Every Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m., Stéphane’s will offer a special à-la-carte champagne brunch. Every day during brunch and lunch a fashion show will feature models garbed in beautiful clothing and jewelry from neighboring shops and boutiques in Boca Raton, for which customers will receive a flyer with special discounts from participating stores. Stéphane’s will have a small bites menu during cocktail hour every afternoon, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and again during late-night cocktail hour, beginning at 10 p.m. until close.

Stéphane’s will take “to go” dining to a new level with gourmet curbside service for  whole rotisserie chicken, St. Tropez style, with roasted seasonal vegetables and potato purée ($18); juicy artisanal cheeseburger served with Dijonnaise and American cheese ($6); French fries ($4); classic Caesar salad or mixed greens salad ($6); vanilla crème brulée ($5); orange Grand Marnier crème brulée ($6); and a side of whole French baguette ($2). Beer and wine by the bottle can also be purchased for curbside pickup with a 25% discount.

Stéphane’s is open Monday through Thursday, from 11:30 a.m. to midnight; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to midnight.   2006 NW Executive Center Circle, off Glades Road, in Boca Raton,   (561) 893-8838;

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 20:41
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