Thursday, August 31, 2017

Get a Taste of BRIO's New Fall Flavors


Fall doesn't just have to  be about sitting in traffic as the little guys go back to school. BRIO is making sure of that by taking Tuscan dining to new heights. The transition from summer to fall will be a delicious one at BRIO Tuscan Grille locations at The Falls in Miami, Dolphin Mall in Miami, The Village at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, The Shops at Pembroke Gardens in Pembroke Pines, and Westfield Broward Mall in Plantation. Not only are the restaurants offering watermelon-inspired seasonal sips but they are also presenting special fall seasonal dishes, as well as two-course early dinner combo packages.
 
Melon-Rita, Melon-Kick Martini, Melon-Berry Mojito (my favorite)
 
Fall seasonal favorites will be available from August 8th - October 1st and will include my personal favorite, the Chicken & Mozzarella Stuffed Ravioli featuring pancetta, sweet potatoes, asparagus, light champagne cream, Gorgonzola cheese, and pine nuts sprinkled in a balsamic glaze.
 

My personal favorite: Chicken & Mozzarella Stuffed Ravioli

 
They will also offer a Grilled Balsamic Glazed Pork Chop, served with sweet potatoes, mushrooms, pancetta, Brussel sprouts, and caramelized onions all bathed in a balsamic vinaigrette.
 
 
Grilled Balsamic Glazed Pork Chop
 
Steak Lovers will be enamored with their Steak Saltimpocca, a flavorful bite stuffed with prosciutto and provolone then topped with Marsala Sauce, and served with crispy fingerlings, chile flake, fried sage, and broccolini.
 
 
Steak Saltimpocca
 
For dessert, you will love the Snickerdoodle Peach Cobbler, served warm with vanilla bean gelato and powdered sugar. Now that's a bit of homestyle food that will welcome Fall with comfort.
 
Snickerdoodle Peach Cobbler
 
“Going from summer into fall, we are happy to offer incredible drinks, seasonal favorites, and the two-course early dinner combo,” said BRIO Culinary Director & Chef Alison Peters. “Just as the seasons change, we enjoy changing up our special offerings to cater to our guests’ tastes.”
 
 
Cheers.. Loved their watermelon drinks
 
For more information, visit their website here.



 

Last Chance To Take Advantage of Miami Spice Deals

MIAMI SPICE DISHES OUT DEALS THROUGHOUT SEPTEMBER

Last Chance To Take Advantage Of Summer Dining Deals Throughout Miami And The Beaches
 
 
 
 
Now in its 16th year, the Miami Spice Restaurant Program produced by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) offers visitors and locals an accessible way to experience more than 250 of the finest restaurants in the region, including 55 new participants in 2017.  Miami Spice kicked-off August 1st and will run through September 30th with dining deals that include lunch and brunch priced at $23 per person and dinner priced at $39 per person. Prices include an appetizer, entrée and dessert; alcohol, tax, tip and service charges are excluded. This year’s sponsors include Citibank®, Lyft, Chandon California, Fiji Water, Stella Artois, Terrazas de los Andes, Ketel One Vodka, Don Julio Tequila, Bulleit Bourbon and Zacapa Rum.
 
To spice up the second half of the program, participating restaurants are offering new takes on their Miami Spice menus. Among the restaurants launching new Miami Spice menus in September are Atlantikós, BLT Prime, BLT Steak, Blue Collar, Bulla Gastrobar, Candela Gastrobar, EDGE Steak & Bar, Fooq’s, Hakkasan, Komodo, Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann, Lure Fishbar, Matador Room, Meat Market Miami Beach, Mignonette Uptown, Monty’s Coconut Grove, Novecento, Ortanique on the Mile, Pao by Paul Qui, Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar, Son Cubano, StripSteak by Michael Mina, The Forge, TUYO and Toro Toro. For a full list of participating restaurants, Miami Spice menus and special events, please visit www.iLoveMiamiSpice.com.
 
 
Summer of Temptations
 
The GMCVB launched its Summer of Temptations campaign aimed at attracting Floridians to explore many options to Vacation in Your Own Backyard. With more than 65 participating hotels in Greater Miami and the Beaches, there are enticing special offers and discounts. The campaign runs through September 30, 2017, and will include not just discounts on hotel stays but complimentary breakfasts, valet parking, activities and internet. For more information on the special offers visit MiamiSummerTemptations.com. The Summer of Temptations campaign is part of the GMCVB’s increasingly popular Miami Temptations Program, sponsored by Citibank® and Lyft, and takes a thematic focus on the best that Miami has to offer with monthly deals and special events.
 
As the Official Rideshare Partner of Miami SpiceLyft is offering new users 20% off two rides with code MIAMISPICE17. For the full terms and conditions, please visit https://www.lyft.com/invite/MIAMISPICE17.
 
Lyft is the Official Rideshare Partner for the Summer of Temptations. Get 20% off 2 rides with code MIAMITEMPTATIONS. Offer valid for current users. Subject to Lyft's Terms of Service. Terms Apply.


 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

B Ocean Resort Brings the Mermaids Back to Fort Lauderdale

If you are familiar with the Fort Lauderdale area (or love vacationing there) then you know all about the iconic Yankee Clipper hotel from back in the 1950s. (You may have seen it in Billy Crystal's and Robert De Niro's 1999 hit comedy Analyze This.) This splendid historic spot later became part of the Sheraton brand and most recently in 2014, South Florida's B Hotels and Resorts acquired the property and have given it an amazing transformation.
 
Courtesy of B Ocean Resort


 



The B Ocean Resort, Fort Lauderdale, located at 1140 Seabreeze Blvd, just had its Big Reveal as it showcased its multi-million dollar renovation, which included the expansion of its lobby, 484 guest rooms, suites, penthouses and the addition of some pretty fabulous restaurants and bars.


 
 
 
Bringing back the one-and-only Wreck Bar from its glory days, complete with its majestic mermaid shows, the B Ocean transports its guests to a more relaxing time and place.  Live underwater performances and marine-themed décor, giving the destination a warm, beach feel and providing a unique, beautiful experience for everyone.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Restaurants include celebrity Chef Ralph Pagano's Naked Crab, featuring a variety of seafood and steaks, as well as a nice selection of luscious cocktails. The Salty Siren is the perfect place to chill and enjoy some scrumptious seafood, salads and burgers while enjoying the laid-back beach vibe and music.

 
 
There are plenty of special offers and deals to experience the B Ocean this summer. For more information, visit their website, or call the property at 954-564-1000.










mojitobar & plates by Douglas Rodriguez Brings Latin Flavors to Sawgrass

Celebrity Chef Douglas Rodriguez has brought his Latin flavors to South Florida yet again, with the newest mojitobar location to hit our city. mojito bar & plates by Douglas Rodriguez, located in the Sawgrass Mall, pairs the brand's signature high energy ambiance with Chef Rodriguez' innovative cuisine, in an array of bar snacks, sharing plates, and large dishes. Of course, the name says it all so not only do you want to come hungry, but thirsty as well. Get ready to sip on some of the best mojitos you will ever lose your inhibitions to, and while you're at it, grab the big ones. Those lighted souvenir glasses will look great on your bar at home.
 
 
Cuban Sandwich on a Stick
 
We headed on over to mojitobar & plates after a stressful day crunching numbers, ready to relax and unwind. Mission accomplished. Between the awesome drinks, the tasty food, and the great music, I was as good as new by the end of the night.  True to Rodriguez's unique style, mojitobar & plates features American cuisine with a Latin twist and I just couldn't get enough. Take for example the Cuban Sandwich on a Stick. Who thinks of that? Just imagine smoked ham, roasted pork and swiss cheese laying cozily together with some dill pickles and malted mustard, inside the most tender melt-in-your-mouth bread that fits snuggly in your mouth in a perfect bite. Are you salivating yet?
 

 
 
Wondering what this mouthwatering tower of deliciousness might be? Well it's the Crispy Shrimp Chicharrones. I never thought I'd hear those two words together but tell you what. They work. I was hooked. They had a fiery, buttermilk glaze that made me both sip more mojitos and then go back into the plate and repeat. Definitely a must-have.
 


Smoked Pineapple Guacamole
 
Now I have to tell you this next plate was our favorite one. We couldn't get enough and we literally started getting nervous that the other would scoop up more than we were willing to share. It's the Smoked Pineapple Guacamole. You know I'm a fan of the green cream but this one took the experience to a whole new level. It was served with jalapenos and a side of crispy tostones. After asking the chef how they elevated the taste of this normally simple dish, he gave us a tip. The pineapple is smoked for a while before they prepare the guacamole, allowing us to taste the smoky flavor seconds after it hits our mouth. Wait for it....

 


Mixto Leche de Tigre Ceviche
 
How about this? A Mixto Leche de Tigre Ceviche featuring shrimp, calamari and corvina mixed with lime, ginger and lemongrass, and then sprinkled with a hint of passion fruit and fresh basil. Yes, yes, yes. But the best part is that if you're into ceviches as much as I am, there are a variety of other ones you can try so regardless of how often you come, it can always feel like your first time.
 

Chocolate Natilla Parfait
 
Last but certainly not least, we satisfied our sweet tooth before we danced the night away (and ordered another mojito) with their Chocolate Natilla Parfait. I really enjoyed the refreshing dulce de leche ice-cream topped chocolate cookie crumbles and cinammon espuma. I loved the hint of expresso foam that gave the dessert both a nice taste and an interesting presentation.
 
I have to say the staff at mojitobar & plates was completely amazing; making the whole experience complete. Not only were they on point with the service, but also made sure everyone was having a good time. Personally, I had an awesome salsa spin around the dance floor with one of the waiters and my date got to play some bongos with the DJ. Seriously, I am looking forward to going back real soon.... maybe tonight.
 
For more information, you can visit their website or call them at 954-851-9837.
 





Saturday, March 25, 2017

COCHON555 Is Back at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach

COCHON555 RETURNS TO MIAMI ON MARCH 26
THE RITZ-CARLTON, SOUTH BEACH TO HOST GLOBAL BARBECUE COMPETITION

FIVE CHEFS, FIVE PIGS, FIVE WINEMAKERS, FIVE SOMMS, FIVE BARKEEPS...FOR ONE CHARITY

 Cochon555, the hyper-local festival with a flair for innovation, is back on the road with its 2017 tour and whole-hog competition for a cause. The Heritage BBQ edition returns to Miami on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. The promotion of global food cultures and heritage breed pig farming will be the central themes of the day. Winemakers, distillers, chefs, farmers, brewers, and bartenders – some of the city’s biggest hospitality talents will take guests on a journey that is both delicious and inspiring. From Malaysia and Korea to Argentina and the Caribbean, Old World barbecue recipes from myriad cultures will be cooked over live fires. To further champion the good food movement, a portion of all proceeds will go to Cochon555’s sister charity, Piggy Bank.
  
At the heart of all Cochon555 barbecue events lies a culinary competition to promote local family farming and global traditions. Five local chefs are each given one whole, heritage breed pig of 200 pounds and one week to prepare the whole animal. Each chef must present a “Judge’s Plate” of six dishes scored on utilization; global influences; cooking techniques; and overall flavor. A panel of 20 notable judges selects a winner, who will then be crowned the “BBQ Prince/Princess” of Miami. Expanding the circle of talent, this year will also feature two satellite competitions to complement the original whole-animal tilt. Somm Smackdown pits five of the city’s top sommeliers against one another in a quest to find the best wine/pig match. Punch Kings does the same for five bartenders, challenging them to each make their own twist on the original, historic large-group drinking format: cocktail punch.

Communal feasting is an integral part of the Cochon555 culinary fabric. Beyond the 30 chef-competitor dishes – all told, some 1,500-plus pounds of heritage pork – guests can sample beef tartare with the wines of Antica Napa Valley; farmhouse cheeses; a pop-up bakery from La Brea; a Salami Snack Bar from Creminelli and Divina; a ramen noodle soup bar paired with the racy white Wines of Germany; organic pâté offerings from Les Trois Petit Cochons; a Luxury Butter Bar featuring Sabatino truffle butter, foie gras, and more; and an innovative take on classic pastry presented by Perfect Puree of Napa Valley.

Cochon555 events are theaters for innovative spirit, wine, and cocktail experiences. Libations include Smoked Old Fashioneds with Breckenridge Bourbon; The Manhattan Project presented by Poached Jobs; the Tiki Bar featuring Angostura Rum; a Courvoisier Cognac ‘neat’ tasting with handcrafted caramels; and a Heritage Rum Cart. New pours incorporating the historic bitters and luscious rums of Angostura will also be unveiled at the Swizzle Bar. An array of wines grouped under the “Five Winemakers” banner will feature Scholium Project; Pax Wine Cellars; and more. Further tables include Wines of the World, Azzurro Wine Company, and a host of artisanal cider and beer offerings.
Looking back on the 2016 event in Miami, Chef Diego Oka of La Mar by Gastón Acurio won the event with a Large Black breed of pig raised by Maverick Meats/FKS Farms. This breed is thought to have originated from Chinese breeds brought over to England. The Large Black is a critically rare breed known for its taste, pasture foraging skills and overall hardiness. Large blacks have short black hair, large shoulders and a long body. When harvested, even at 200 pounds, the micro-marbling, short muscle fibers and excellent bellies produce exceptional bacon and moist meat with old world flavor. The Large Black worked in tandem with Chef Diego’s winning menu of five uniquely delicious bites. Dishes included Tamal de Quinoa, Pan Con Chicharron, Lamay Ceviche Salad, Morcilla Adobo, and Chaufa Tacu Tacu.

The ultimate aim of Cochon555 is to give chefs and consumers something they can sink their teeth into: honest food from real farmers with the goal of a sustainable and profitable relationship for all. Placing the spotlight on heritage breed pigs themselves,each event features a Pop-Up Butcher Demo and Auction, with gifts from Williams-Sonoma and John Boos & Co., which will all benefit Piggy Bank.
Cochon555 is a culinary competition like no other. It allows Chefs to connect directly with the best purveyors of heritage pork products in the area while showcasing our talents in new and exciting ways. Lastly, we are able to experiment and expose attendees to new and exciting dishes using techniques, products, and visuals that we may not be able to produce for our regular menus (and maybe take home the gold too!),” says Anthony Le Pape, Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach.

“We’re incredibly excited to return to Miami during our 2017 tour,” says Cochon555 Founder Brady Lowe. “This event combines education and innovation in support of heritage breed and family farming. Heritage BBQ puts the focus on global food cultures that represent a centuries-old history of cooking over live fires with native spices and animal breeds. While our focus is local in the agricultural sense, the real concern is about the future – we want our children to be able to enjoy safer, more honest, and delicious food for years to come. We want diners to be able to enjoy better food choices when cooking or eating dinner. And we are standing right there with them, championing transparent food ways and a commitment to what’s sustainable and responsible.”

Tickets for general admission start at $125; VIP tickets (early admission + exclusive sommelier and cocktail competition tastings) are $200; and BESPOKE tickets $400 (the weekend includes a one-of-a-kind five-course dining experience at one of the city’s top tables, a collaboration between three of the city’s most celebrated chefs; super early admission + exclusive private tasting and tour of Somm-Selected wines and the Barkeep competition by a Cochon555 director on Sunday; and a donation to Piggy Bank charity). To purchase tickets, visit the website: http://www.cochon555.com/2017-tour/miami.

Where:                 The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, 1 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139
When:                  Sunday, March 26, 2017
Time:                    4 p.m. for VIP entry, 5 p.m. for General Admission

About the Cochon555 US Tour

The Cochon555 US Tour executes a yearly host of authentic, hyper-local food events focused on raising awareness for heritage breed pigs through a nose-to-tail pig cooking competition. This epic pork feast visits 14 major cities in North America. The tour is comprised of an array of live expressions including Heritage Fire (live-fire cooking in mountainside and vineyard settings) and Heritage BBQ (global grilling traditions). All Cochon555 events cultivate a long-term impact for heritage species raised by family farms. Both educational and inspirational messages are circulated among 16,000 guests; 2,200+ chefs; 150+ family farms; and 16 culinary schools. For more details and videos of events, visit www.cochon555.com or follow @cochon555 on Twitter and Instagram.

About Piggy Bank

Launched in 2015 by Brady Lowe - founder of the Cochon555 US Tour and Taste Network - Piggy Bank is a pig farming sanctuary. Harboring a Noah’s Ark-worthy selection of heritage breeds, it provides free genetics and business plans to emerging family farms. Piggy Bank aims to change the future of food by creating a community in which small farmers can learn about safer, more responsible practices and benefit from the sharing of genetics, livestock, and the very information needed to not just survive, but to thrive as small businesses. The Piggy Bank farm, located in Missouri, raises pigs to be gifted to communities dedicated to elevating the cause and expanding through a model of social and agricultural transparency. Piggy Bank is a nonprofit corporation with federal tax exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3). Follow the Piggy Bank conversation on Twitter @PiggyBankOrg. For more information, watch the video http://j.mp/PIGGY_BANK or visit www.piggy-bank.org.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The South Beach Wine & Food Festival Is Back And It's Better Than Ever

FOOD NETWORK & COOKING CHANNEL SOUTH BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
FAN-FAVORITE GOYA FOODS’ GRAND TASTING VILLAGE
FEATURING MASTERCARD GRAND TASTING TENTS & KITCHENAID CULINARY DEMONSTRATIONS RETURNS FEBRUARY 25 & 26, 2017

- The NEW David Grutman Experience Featuring Sounds by INGROSSO Debuts on Sunday, February 26 -

It's that time again... Widely recognized as one of America’s favorite epicurean celebrations, the 16th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF®)  returns to EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. February 22 – 26, 2017.  Its signature event that started it all in 2002, the Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village featuring Mastercard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid Culinary Demonstrations, is back with all of the fan-favorite, gourmet flair that it is known for on Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26.  Benefiting the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University, the Festival has raised more than $24 million to date to support the future leaders of the food, beverage and hospitality industry.

Once again, the Festival is making it easier than ever to enjoy its signature Miami Beach event with a free park-n-ride option.  Exclusive for Goya Foods' Grand Tasting Village ticketholders, the Festival is providing FREE shuttle transportation to the event from dedicated Festival parking lots located at N.E. 8th Street between N.E. 1st Avenue and N.E. 2nd Avenue in Downtown Miami.  Shuttles, which are ADA compliant, will run continuously from 11 AM to 7 PM (EST) on Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26.  Shuttles will drop-off and pick-up on the beachside at 13thStreet & Collins Avenue. For guests using Metromover, the closest station is Freedom Tower Station.

In addition to the Festival’s featured line-up of Culinary Captains, who together have rounded up more than 55 restaurants each day to satiate attendees’ taste buds as they sip on samplings from 100 wine and spirits suppliers from the Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits portfolio, an array of new and returning favorite Food Network and Cooking Channel talent and more culinary personalities will take to the KitchenAid Culinary Demonstration stages each day, including:



Saturday, February 25
Valerie Bertinelli
Ayesha Curry
Giada De Laurentiis
Bobby Flay
Snoop Dogg & Guy Fieri
Amanda Freitag & Scott Conant
Emeril Lagasse
Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos
Masaharu Morimoto
Marc Murphy
Michael Symon
Ming Tsai
Geoffrey Zakarian


Sunday, February 26
José Andrés
Anne Burrell
Giada De Laurentiis
Duff Goldman
Alex Guarnaschelli
Carla Hall
Robert Irvine
Eddie Jackson
Roger Mooking
Tia Mowry
Marcus Samuelsson
Aarón Sánchez
Ndamukong Suh
Andrew Zimmern


The just announced KitchenAid Culinary Demonstration with Tanqueray brand ambassador Snoop Dogg and Guy Fieri onSaturday, February 25 is just the beginning, as Snoop Dogg will also take to the tables immediately following the demonstration for a short spin on the ones and twos as guests sip on fresh pressed Gin & Juice cocktails from the custom Tanqueray Gin & Juice Bar.  You won’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind jam session to close-out your day at our signature event. 

New this year, SOBEWFF® is also pleased to partner with hospitality and nightlife visionary David Grutman to present a one-of-a-kind experience at the Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village on Sunday, February 26.  Grutman will transform the courtyard into a custom experience ideated by the energetic impresario himself, featuring live beats by the dynamic, internationally-renowned DJ INGROSSO

The Festival’s special reduced price ticket – 3-5 on Ocean Drive – is on sale now, providing access to the Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village, including the David Grutman Experience, on Sunday, February 26 from 3 – 5 PM (EST) for $100 per person.  Tickets for all events at the 2017 Festival are available online at sobewff.org or by calling 877.762.3933 (Phone sales are open Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST). 

Between SOBEWFF® and its sister NYCWFF, which takes place each October in New York City, more than $33 million has been raised to benefit the respective charities for each Festival.  Beyond the funds raised, both Festivals draw attention to the vibrant dining culture in their respective cities, provide economic stimulus in their communities, and serve as an invaluable platform to drive awareness, engaging and inspiring people to get involved in philanthropic activities.