Thursday, December 11, 2014

It's All You Can Eat Stone Crabs at Kitchen 305

I don't get up to the north east part of the county nearly enough so I was pretty excited about going to Kitchen 305, located at the Newport Beachside Hotel And Resort at 16701 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. It wasn't the trek up the coast line that was making me giddy with anticipation. It was what I was about to indulge in: Unlimited Stone Crabs and King Crabs.

Chef Julius Brown

If you live in Florida, you know we take our Stone Crab Season pretty seriously. So if you place the word "unlimited" in front of any kind of crab, I'm there. Now I had never been to Kitchen 305 and I didn't know what to expect, but I was Friday night and I had on my crab-eating clothes. It turns out, Kitchen 305 is very trendy yet comfortable and relaxed. The place was pretty full yet the service was friendly and on-point.

Way to start our Friday night...
The minute we sat down I ordered a refreshing cocktail and got ready for my Crab Feast. I decided to go for the combination of both unlimited Stone Crabs and King Crabs and spice things up a bit. The meal started with our choice of Clam Chowder or Caesar Salad (I went for the chowder) and then the parade of crustaceans began.

Tomato Based Clam Chowder
The succulent crabs were amazing and the minute our plates were running low of either Stone Crabs or King Crabs, our server was bringing us more of each. It's pretty amazing that Stone Crab Fridays is only $59 per person (King Crabs are $49.95 per person.) While I was there, I learned they love theme nights at Kitchen 305, and every night has a different special. You can eat unlimited Maine Lobsters during "Lobster Madness Wednesdays" or for those that like the land and sea, you can always visit on the weekend for "Surf & Turf Saturdays".

Unlimited Stone Crab, King Crab and a side of slaw
Oh these were good!

When we were done and were getting ready to take off our bibs, they brought out the dessert menu. What can I tell you? I'm weak and I just couldn't say no. We shared the creamy and rich refreshing Creme Brulee . It was the perfect ending to a perfect meal.

Creme Brulee

If your office or business is in the area of Kitchen 305 and you want to be part of a big celebration, they're hosting a Small Office Holiday Ball on Thursday, December 18th 2014, starting with a Welcome Cocktail Reception from 7:00-8:00 p.m. and followed by a three-course Dinner Reception from 8:30-10:00 pm. There will also be a guest DJ till 1 am so you can get your merry groove on.

For more information on Kitchen 305 or their Holiday Ball, visit their website or call them at 305-949-1300.

Kitchen 305 (Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort) on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 5, 2014

Kick Off Your Holiday Deliciousness At Macy's With Chef Ming Tsai

I don't know about you, but the holidays bring out this excitement in me that includes the desire to cook up some pretty awesome things for my family and friends. Nothing impresses them more than when I whip up some holiday favorites that make their taste buds tingle.

Chef Ming Tsai

One way I'll be adding some pizzazz to my table this season is by learning some new recipes and tips from award winning restaurateur, author, television personality and celebrity chef Ming Tsai at Macy's Culinary Council demonstration taking place on Friday, December 12th at 6:30 p.m., at the Macy's Dadeland Mall Culinary Kitchen (2nd floor). I love attending these events because not only do you get to chat and interact with talented chefs you already admire, but you also get to sample some of their scrumptious food while you're doing it.

Another plus? Macy's offers some great incentives during these events. Purchase $35 or more in the Home Department and receive a $10 Macy's gift card and a copy of Chef Ming Tsai's book Simply Ming In Your Kitchen, which he will sign for you.**  I know where I'll be buying my new kitchen gadgets this weekend.

Seating is limited and on a first come, first served basis so you should definitely RSVP. This is going to be a very popular event and you don't want to miss it. Your guests will be talking about you all year when you're done cooking... and in a good way. Hope to see you there...

** Purchase must be made 12/12/14 at Macy's Dadeland. One per customer while supplies last and time permits. Gift card is valid between 12/12/14 and 12/19/14.

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bobby's Burger Palace in Dadeland Mall

So now that the holiday shopping is officially underway, I wanted to share a great spot to grab a pretty amazing bite while spending your hard earned bucks buying Christmas gifts. Have you been to Bobby's Burger Palace?  It's over at Dadeland Mall, located at 7535 North Kendall Drive.

Bobby's Burger Palace Dadeland Mall

Owned by celebrity award-winning chef Bobby Flay, the counter service burger hot spot brings its first location to Miami and is definitely a must-eat stop. Featuring his signature "Crunchburgers", shakes, fries and a nice selection of salads (but why would you do that?) it's a nice place to sit back, enjoy some food and recharge those shopping batteries.

Photo courtesy of Bobby Flay Website

Sweet Potato Fries
Eeny Meeny Miny Mo
I recently stopped by and downed their Brunch Burger, an eye-rolling foodgasmic experience that came with a Fried Egg, Smoked Bacon and American Cheese. Of course, I like everything larger than life, so I made it a "Crunchburger", adding double cheese and crunchy potato chips on top.  Seriously, I have no words. I enjoyed it with a side of Sweet Potato Fries and a Black and White Milkshake. The tanginess of the Honey Mustard Horseradish Sauce served with the sweet potato fries was a treat and I couldn't stop dipping. I may have even double dipped a couple of times but I hope no one noticed.

Brunch Burger
Black and White Milkshake
L.A. Burger
The Black and White Milkshake was rich and decadent, featuring a sweet explosion of black and white chocolate. I can have one of these everyday, even it means I have to live on an elliptical machine. It's that good. I couldn't say no when asked if I wanted a bite (or three) of another burger on the menu that sounded insane. So I bit into the L.A. Burger, featuring Avocado Relish, Watercress, Cheddar Cheese and Tomato. I don't have to tell you we made that one a Crunchburger too. It was another hit and the taste was totally different. I can't wait to try more of the meat patty delights on the menu.

Don't forget to make a stop at the new wing in Dadeland Mall this holiday season and give Bobby's Burger Palace a taste. For more information, visit their website at

Bobby's Burger Palace on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Grab the Mumu - It's Thanksgiving at Red, The Steakhouse

Most of us look forward to Thanksgiving because it's that one day of the year where you can eat dish after dish, clean your plate and repeat, and nobody will look at you in disgust. As a matter of fact, they'll be doing it along with you. After being the hostess of my family's Thanksgiving for more than 20 years, and enjoying their gluttonous smiles around the table, I thought I had most of the recipes down to perfection. I did anyway, until I was invited for an early Thanksgiving feast at Red, The Steakhouse, located at 119 Washington Avenue in Miami Beach.

Secret Thanksgiving Recipes

Being that I have been wearing the apron the fourth Thursday of November for so many years, the thought of spending a holiday such as this at a restaurant brought images of divorced father Scott Calvin, played by Tim Allen in The Santa Clause, taking his son to Dennys for Christmas Eve dinner. However, after spending a couple of hours at Red, The Steakhouse with friends, and getting the opportunity to savor Chef Peter Vauthy's turkey and fixings, I think I am going to officially retire my apron and come here this year instead.

Hey there big fellow
Chef Peter Vauthy with the star of the show
Organic Turkey Breast with Housemade Gravy

The feast began with a cocktail (don't they all?) which kicked off the occasion to a happy start. As we munched on the warm Parker House Rolls that tasted like decadent croissants, the parade of dishes began to arrive. One signature plate after the other of Thanksgiving goodness were laid before us on the table and all conversation ceased temporarily. The sign of a good meal is when chatter is replaced by chewing, and that is exactly what happened here. In anticipation of the most calorie-ridden holiday of the year, check out some of what you will be indulging in, if you let Chef Peter Vauthy prepare your Thanksgiving dinner:

Loved the pecans. berries and dressing on this sweet and refreshing Fall salad

Juicy dry aged Certified Angus Beef Prime Tomahawk Ribeye
had us salivating at first glance

Apple Sausage Stuffing
I  can never get enough stuffing at Thanksgiving and this
one took things to a whole new level. Want to try it at home?
Check out my Recipes section for Chef Vauthy's very own recipe.

Cranberry Sauce
Can't set a Thanksgiving table without it

Mac and Cheese
With dishes like these, are you still seriously considering
slaving away in the kitchen?

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Be sure to grab a big spoon for this one because it's addicting

Sweet Potato Fondue with Honey Marshmallow
Creamy and finger-licking good, this was one
of my favorites of the night

Pumpkin Tiramisu
I can never resist anything with pumpkin in it.
'Nuff said

This sampler of desserts included Chocolate Pecan Pie
Apple Pie

Get ready for an exploding finale!
Specially prepared ice-cream with favorite flavors such as
Fruit Loops and Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter

Don't miss out! Call 305-534-3688 for reservations, and don't forget to check out my Recipes section to learn how to make the kind of Apple Sausage Stuffing that will have everyone talking about you until next year's feast. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

15th & Vine Kitchen & Bar at the Viceroy Miami Hotel

Photo Credit: 15th and Vine
Sometimes you just want to feel like you're on top of the world. What better way to accomplish this than to find a place up in the sky where you could look down at it all? I had one of those days recently and I decided to visit 15th and Vine Kitchen and Bar, located on the 15th floor of the Viceroy Miami Hotel, at 485 Brickell Avenue.

The date night started off just right...

The decor at 15th and Vine is elegant yet comfortable, with an open ambiance that exudes a Miami vibe. You can either sit inside at one of their communal tables or catch the breeze outside overlooking the largest infinity pool in South Florida. The menu offers fresh and interesting small plates, all with a unique twist, that are meant to be shared. It's young and innovative Chef Frank Rog, brings flavor and excitement to the menu offerings, with visible passion and risk, that ultimately create an unforgettable dining experience.

With Chef Frank Rog
On our visit, we tasted a plethora of original dishes from Chef Rog's Autumn menu and we were very impressed with both their flavor and their presentation. In addition to their regular menu, 15th and Vine currently offers a seasonal prix fixe menu, very similar to Miami Spice, which also includes a glass of house wine. The menu is priced at $39 with the option of adding additional plates for just $5 a plate. It's a must go for that intimate night out with the guy/girl you met on Match, or with the group of friends giving you advice on him. Check out some of the incredible plates we sampled that night.

Braised Bacon & Candied Pumpkin Flatbread
Autumn Salad
Prepared with Baby Beets, Roasted Pumpkin, Autumn Brown Butter
and Pistachio Puree

Key West Tacos
Gulf Pink Shrimp, Key Lime Relish and Avocado

Moroccan Lamb & Pork Albondigas
Served over Dahl Lentils

PB&CJ especially prepared with Foie Gras
Pine Nut Butter, Cabernet Jelly and Connamon Brioche

Roasted Ribeye
Served over Ropa Vieja and Red Wine Jus

Prosciutto Wrapped Snapper
Served with Braised Savoy Cabbage and Citrus Soy Reduction

Sampling of Boozy Desserts
Their desserts are named after popular cocktails such as
Mojito, Cuba Libre and Manhattan
 For more information on 15th and Vine, or to make reservations visit their website.

15th & Vine Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 17, 2014

Downtown Bistro

One of the things that always worries me when I'm going to go eat somewhere in the Downtown area is parking.  You know how rough that can get - circling around aimlessly  - whether you're on a quick lunch fix or an evening date.  So when I find a spot that has accessible parking nearby, and most importantly, at an affordable price, it automatically gets a star in my book. Let me tell you about Downtown Bistro, located at 114 S.E. 1st Street. Downtown Bistro is a relatively new place serving a modern twist on French fusion cuisine. Think of it as a"joyau caché" or  "hidden gem" with a cozy decor that has the potential to become the newest neighborhood hot spot. They offer lunch, dinner, Saturday brunch, take-out and catering, so there's pretty much a menu for just about any craving (and I say that with my very sexy, albeit probably not accurate, French accent).

We went to Downtown Bistro for a media dine with a bunch of other local foodies and got the opportunity to check out their dinner menu, sampling a hefty number of their dishes. I have to say I was quite impressed. We started off with some hors d'oeuvres and one of their Sake Cocktails. While they don't offer a full bar yet, they do have a nice selection of wine and beer, and kudos to their bartender for doing wonders with that.

Once we sat down and the debauchery began, I felt like I was Belle in Beauty and the Beast. They weren't spoon, forks, or suave candlesticks, but these waiters placed dish after dish of delicious French fare in front of us and I am sure I could hear them singing "Be Our Guest" in my mind. (They probably weren't but I've always wanted to be in that musical.) Tie your napkin 'round your neck cherie and take a look at what you can savor at Downtown Bistro:

Carpaccio de Poulpe
Octopus carpaccio with sauteed cherry tomatoes & passion fruit vinaigrette

Crudo de Thon
Yellowfin tuna crudo on a bed of garden radish and cucumbers

Escargots a la creme
Snails in a heavenly cream sauce

Le Steak Tartare au Couteau
Raw filet mignon cut by hand, capers, onions, anchovies, dijon mustard and a quail egg. One of my faves by far.

Petit Veloute de Potiron
Butternut squash shooter

Medallion de Chevre frit sur Potiron et roquette avec senteurs de truffes
Fried goat cheese medallion on pumpkin puree, arugula and truffle oil

Caprese de pasteque tiede avec mozzarella de buffalo, huile de truffe, miette de prosciutto croquant
Watermelon and buffalo mozarella caprese, truffle oil, and crispy prosciutto crumbs

Les Moules au Bleu
Steamed musssels in red wine, blue cheese and spinach

Ravioli de Short Rib, Sauce, Quatre Fromage, gambas pochees, asperges
Short rib ravioli with a cheese sauce, poached shrimp and asparagus

Carre d'agneau avec Risotto maison
Lamb rack with portobello risotto infused with truffle oil
Variation de Desserts
Chocolate Mousse, Raspberry Tartelette, Creme Brulee and Fried Oreo

Hungry yet? Let me finish by saying... pardon my french. But now you know how to ask for these dishes in two languages. For more information on Downtown Bistro, visit their website at

Downtown Bistro on Urbanspoon