Friday, September 19, 2014

Miami Spice Mash-Up Grand Finale at Lure Fishbar

What is better than going to a restaurant and pigging out on a Miami Spice meal? How about going to a restaurant and pigging out on 3 Miami Spice meals at the same time? That is what the Miami Spice Mash-Up Series was all about this year. Presented by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), the popular series brought together some of the most well known chefs in Miami to one location, where together they would cook up dishes from their own restaurants' Miami Spice menus.

Chefs John Iatrellis of Lure Fishbar, Wolfgang Birk of Area 31
and David Bracha of Oak Tavern describing their Miami Spice Menus

The last installment of the series took place on September 4th at Lure Fishbar in the Lowes Miami Beach Hotel, and my taste buds had the pleasure of being a part of it. Chefs Jon Iatrellis of Lure, Wolgang Birk of Area 31 and David Bracha of Oak Tavern, teamed up to deliver a memorable evening to the happy foodies in attendance. Guests enjoyed a parade of seafood dishes prepared by each chef, along with desserts crafted by the trio for only $75 per person. The night included a cocktail reception that featured one complimentary Botran Rum Deluxe Mojito (which was insane), a Stella Artois and a glass of wine from Wines of Chile.

Botran Rum Deluxe Mojito

While this was the Inaugural year of the Miami Spice Mash-Up, it became quite the talk of the town, giving Miami Spice fans the opportunity to preview the menus of the Magic City's most talented chefs in just one sitting, while also interacting with them on a more personal basis. Below is a photographic recap of the event, along with descriptions of the amazing dishes. Miami Spice season is coming to a close on September 30th, but you still have time to check out some of these menus. Bon Appetit!

Deviled Egg Compliments of the Chef
Raw Bar Platter - East Coast Oysters, Middle Neck Clams
and Shrimp Cocktail from Lure Fishbar

Ruby Red Shrimp - Tiradito, Ginger, Togarashi from Area 31

Tuna Poke - Tamari, Ogo Seaweed, and Avocado from Oak Tavern

Shrimp Risotto - Plancha Seared Shrimp, Confit of Tomato, Scallions,
Chorizo, Micro Cilantro, and Brandy Cream from Lure Fishbar

Fried Hogfish - Garlicky Black Bean Sauce, and Seabean Salad
from Area 31

Wood Grilled Cobia - Sumac, Eggplant, and Pea Salad
from Oak Tavern

Chef David Bracha of Oak Taven Interacting
With The Guests

Trio of  Desserts - Pistachio Ice Cream with Spice
Bread Crumble from Lure Fishbar, Cuatro Leches Made
With Dulce de Leche and Zacapa Rum from Area 31, and
Pot de Creme, with Creme Fraiche and Maldon Sea Salt
from Oak Tavern

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Miami Dolphins Score A Foodie Touchdown At Sun Life Stadium

Tom Garfinkel
It looks like there is going to be a lot more stirring up my appetite at the Miami Dolphins games this season than Ryan Tannehill. The Fins have introduced a slew of new food options at Sun Life Stadium for the 2014 season that are going to keep the Dolfans happy. Miami Dolphins & Sun Life Stadium President & DEO Tom Garfinkel asked fans this summer through social media which food options they would like to see on game day. Season Ticket Holders and the public in general responded with their foodie favorites and their voices (and tummies) were heard.

Now we can watch the Dolphins score their touchdowns while munching on favorites like Bokampers, Sushi Maki, Burger Fi and Cuban Guys. Even Michelle Bernstein is bringing her culinary talent to Sun Life Stadium, with delicious fare from her famous restaurant, Crumb on Parchment. Other additions include Bru's Room Sports Grill and since there's always room for dessert: Cold Stone Creamery..

Of course, we will still be able to buy that traditional hot dog (and depending on who we're playing, the fixings are going to vary), and their regular concession stands will be available, as well as some finger licking good nachos and wings from Everglades BBQ Company right outside the stadium.  If you're in the mood for Mexican, the Chicken and Steak Nachos are amazing, and there's nothing like a good ol' Lobster Roll to get you in the mood for some action.


It's going to be Cool & Easy moving forward this season, and there will be a whole lot more reasons to make it a game day at Sun Life Stadium. Scroll down for more photographs of the first bite we had of these winning new options, but watch the drooling. Oh.. and don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oceanaire - Miami Spice

I think its great that we can catch a Miami Spice deal for either lunch or dinner. Last week I had a seafood craving in the afternoon that just wouldn't budge. I headed over to Brickell for lunch and found my mouth watering in front of The Oceanaire Seafood Room, located at 900 South Miami Avenue in the Mary Brickell Village. I've indulged with dinner and brunch here before, but it was time to see what they put together for Miami's food lovers' time of the year.

A sneak peak into their goodies...

It turns out that just as their regular menu changes daily based on availability (it's always fresh here), so does their Miami Spice menu. On this particular day, they offered an appetizer of Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels that was intriguing. The dish was prepared with white wine, butter and shallots.. (Now that's what I'm talking about). Paired with a refreshing tea, (yeah right) it was a great beginning to temporarily erase the office blues.

Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels

Black and Bleu Churrasco
Who loves their carbs?
The entrees included more than just the expected seafood options. I noticed there was a meaty delight added to the mix. To enjoy the best of both worlds, we decided to go for one of each and shared the Simply Grilled Wild Alaskan King Salmon and the Black and Bleu Churrasco. The salmon's texture was unbelievably firm with a light, delicate flavor. It practically melted in my mouth and I loved it. It was served with grilled asparagus and creamy mashed potatoes. The Churrasco was juicy and tender, and served with caramelized onions and a blue cheese butter that elevated the taste to memorable heights. I was ready for a nap after my last bite. Unfortunately, duty called.

Simply Grilled Wild Alaskan King Salmon

Tres Leches
Ice Cream Brownie Sundae
Except, I wasn't answering till I had my fill of dessert. We indulged in their signature Tres Leches and an Ice Cream Brownie Sundae.. All of this for $23 per person? Not bad at all if I do say so myself.

For more information on Oceanaire and their Miami Spice menu, call them at 305-372-8862.

A Miami Spice Threesome at Edge Steak & Bar

In honor of Miami Spice, a few of Miami’s ravenous and rambunctious bloggers visited EDGE Steak and Bar.  Upon arriving inside The Four Seasons, located at 1435 Brickell Avenue, they immediately slipped into its serene yet sophisticated spell, until they hopped on the elevator and were ready to spice up their lives. The three-course menu from Chef Aaron Brooks is simple and rustic, yet elevated with the perfect balance of flavors and textures.

J greeted us by our names and provided insightful, amiable, and meticulous service. When Caviar and the Foodaholic dream about food J is there. When the Hedonist dreams about food, however, he is strangely always served by the entire Hooters calendar team. Just as Alex and Maria could not get enough of J, he brought more cocktails. Caviar started with her standard Old Fashioned, and those garnished cherries were getting popped like it was going out of style. All the Foodaholic would say when anyone looked in her direction was Don't Ask Don't Tell, and that's exactly what J brought her. An off-the-menu cocktail that takes muddled berries to new heights.

Crispy Beef Belly
To kick-off the EDGE experience, the ravenous bloggers started the best way they know how – with a belly. The Crispy Beef Belly has an alluring smoke that seduces both your nostrils and taste buds. The sweet Carolina BBQ sauce compliments it marvelously, while the outside has a beautiful charred crisp that envelops a soft and flavorful belly meat. The pickled plums were creative and provided an enticing contrast to the belly. It was the proper way to open up the spice meal.

Mahi Mahi

As a second course, the options included Mahi Mahi, Rib Eye Steak, Duck and Gnocchi.  The Mahi Mahi was sensational and perfectly executed. The flaky fish was fresh, smooth, and served with a crispy skin and succulent middle. A dish like this only proved how well Chefs Aaron Brooks and Jose Gamez master their skills.  Between the acidity from the sweet baby tomatoes, to the silky avocado puree and the crunchy notes from the hearts of palm, it was more flawless than Beyonce.

Black Pepper Gnocchi
The Black Pepper Gnocchi was just as spectacular; cooked to a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture, that blended in perfect unison with the country, fresh tomatoes, basil and house-made ricotta. The result produced a moment of silence among the happy bloggers, as images of Italian evenings under a Tuscan sun ravished their thoughts with each satisfying bite.

Chocolate Dessert
Then we had to hold the partition please because, it was about to get better, and by better we mean foodgasmic. The Chocolate Dessert was an eclectic mix of riveting sweet flavors. It was made with a Valrhona carmelia mousse bar which was superb, and a coconut passion fruit gel that was equally potent and tasty. It was served with a captivating banana dulce ice cream that included Valrhona smoked white chocolate We could have eaten a wine barrel full of the banana dulce. The Hedonist was caught licking the plate in a very Four Seasons like fashion. (Please don't try this at home.)

The Hedonist being The Hedonist
Caviar went fruity and ordered the Lychee Panna Cotta which she wishes she ate every day. Refreshing splashes from the Mango Lime Sorbet burst superbly with the smooth Italian delicacy. To make a sweeter ending it was topped with necessary notes of citrus crumble.  Overall, the theme of Miami Spice at EDGE had a sophisticated yet simplistic style.  

Lychee Panna Cotta

If you want to learn culinary skills even Yoda can’t match, Chef Aaron Brooks is hosting a Healthy u Cooking Class this Saturday, September 13th from 2 – 4 PM. You can benefit not only your kitchen game but, also Fit To Fight Miami.  Chef Aaron will demonstrate how he incorporates fresh ingredients from the chef garden, as well as healthy alternatives at EDGE – known for its steakhouse "light" concept that pairs prime cuts of meat with seasonal and lighter side options.  Buy them before they sell out; only 25 people will make the cut! Tickets available here.