Archive for the ‘Palate’ Category

Seasons 52- Where a Great Meal is Always in Season

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On February - 9 - 2017

By:  Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

IMG_9522Elegant yet cozy, Seasons 52, fresh grill and wine bar, is a restaurant that caters to a romantic dinner, an outing with friends or a convivial experience with family. Because of the restaurant’s ever-changing creations, you are guaranteed the freshest ingredients and can be sure that you will have a unique experience with each visit.  The servers are attentive and knowledgeable and the best part? Each exceptional dish is prepared in a health-conscious manner, with its calorie-count printed right on the menu, so guests can choose the dishes that are right for them.

The restaurant’s core menu changes four times a year with every season, and certain items on the “features” (on the right-hand panel of the menu) change every week: 52 times a year. That’s where the restaurant gets its name.  In addition, the menu showcases over 100 different bottles of wine, 52 of which are available by the glass.  With winter well underway, Seasons 52 has recently introduced its offerings for the season. The restaurant’s newest menu is replete with all the goodness you crave in winter:  from Bosc pears and cranberries to golden beets and root vegetables. Guests can look forward to favorites, such as new chef creations like warm Portuguese Kale & Chorizo Soup and rich Seafood Paella that are perfect for the cool winter months.  Other favorites include the Braised Short Rib and Cheddar Flatbread and the Triple Lobster Ravioli. Don’t miss the sea bass (one of the best in town) the shrimp scampi skillet, the warm harvest mushrooms and arugula salad with truffle dressing, duck lollipops, wood-grilled New York Strip or the lamb shank.

“As the temperatures continue to drop, it’s IMG_9530time to bring out the heartier, warmer dishes and richer aromas people look for during the cooler months,” says Chef Jim Messinger. “We’re ready to help our guests embrace what is left of the winter with exciting new dishes – and some recurring favorites – inspired by our favorite flavor combinations of the season.”

In addition to the broad selection of wines, guests can complement each dish with a handcrafted artisanal cocktail, such as the crisp Cranberry and Sage cocktail complete with Prairie organic gin, cranberries and candied sage leaf. There’s also a wonderful selection of Champagne and Prosecco from Chartogne-Taillet, Gruet and Riondo.  But those “in the know” will want to order the “secret menu” cocktail, the Botanical Buzz, which is made with organic vodka, honey and lemon and then garnished with the “Buzz Button,” a tiny, edible flower that creates an infusion that will make your taste-buds buzz (think pop-rocks but cooler)! Ask your server for it by name, as it is NOT on the menu.  Finish off your meal with one of Seasons 52’s delightful dessert shots, which are just the perfect size to satisfy your sweet tooth.

From the ambiance, to the service to the fresh, seasonal dishes, Seasons 52 offers one of the finest, most varied, dining experiences in Coral Gables.

For more information about Seasons 52, or to make your reservation, visit Season52.com.  Seasons 52, located on Miracle Mile at 321 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, offers lunch, dinner and bar service, daily. The restaurant opens Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday – Thursday from 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. – midnight.

Your Grecian Odyssey Awaits at Atlantikós

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On January - 31 - 2017

atlanticosBy: Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Awash in Greece’s signature brilliant blue and glistening white, Atlantikós, the St. Regis Bal Harbour’s latest culinary debut exudes a truly authentic dining experience, unparalleled in food quality, creativity and service. Chef Anastasios “Tasos” Chasekioglou offers a curated selection of traditional Greek dishes, presented elegantly and with an emphasis on the ingredients. The Atlantikós experience is meant to be shared and enjoyed over time as the immersive menu takes you on a journey of exceptional flavors from the Greek mainland to the islands.

Chef Tasos expertly prepares dishes like grilled octopus with fava from Santorini, a roasted manouri cheese from Greneva with honey and bee pollen, black ink orzo with langoustines, crispy calamari and grey mullet bottarga from Messologgi, marinated sardines with crushed olives from Thassos Island, beef corfu sofrito, and semolina halva- we were not exaggerating when comparing the Atlantikós dining experience with an odyssey. More traditional dishes include the keftedes (lamb and beef meatballs in a savory tomato gravy), the lamb chops (among the best in town) and the prawns. Branzino-2These are musts as well.

Not to be missed is the “palate-altering” Karavides: langoustines fricasé with Avgolemono (which can only mean “from the Gods”). This is among the most remarkable dishes we have ever tasted, replete with tender- poached lobster tail floating in the most extraordinary, decadent sauce- words do not do it justice- nor does just one serving. Pair each dish with one of the various Greek wines from the menu or with a specialty cocktail. A number of traditional Greek desserts are also available.

Revel in the St. Regis’ hallmark elevated guest experience and impeccable service – wherein you are treated like a VIP from the moment you arrive until your departure. To add to Atlantikós authenticity, there is traditional Greek custom plate smashing on a regular basis and we heard that it is not uncommon for guests to dance on the tables from time to time.

Dining-tableThe addition of this extraordinary Greek-inspired restaurant, along with three expansive four-bedroom suites and a reimagined and expanded lobby lounge follow the recent openings of the gourmet BH Burger Bar, the new St. Regis Bar & Sushi Lounge, and the debut of the Caroline Room, a 1,800-square-foot private events space.

“Miami continues to be an international epicenter for discerning travelers from around the globe, and we are responding to the needs of our guests by once again raising the bar on luxury in Bal Harbour,” said Oliver Key, General Manager, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort. “These stunning enhancements to the resort and tremendous reinvestment from our ownership are a testament to the importance we place in providing the highest level of service to our guests.”

Atlantikós serves breakfast (buffet and a la carte), lunch, and dinner seven days a week. Atlantikós is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

 

Elle Taco at Dadeland Mall

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On October - 27 - 2016

elle-tacoIt’s not every day you get to have dishes inspired by a Michelin starred chef- especially in a mall! Well now, thanks to Elle Taco, you can do just that. The Mexican taqueria concept that boasts a diverse menu of organic, authentic and homemade ingredients, has opened in the Dining Pavilion Dadeland Mall, under the direction of Culinary Director and Michelin-starred Chef Derrick Styczek, who’s brought  inventive yet traditional dishes to the menu. “Opening the first Elle Taco in Florida and the second location in the country at Dadeland Mall felt like a natural next step for our family-focused company,” said Mike Baccaro, Founder of Elle Taco. “Our winning combination of honest, fresh Mexican food, budget-friendly pricing andhigh-quality service is unmatched, and we are thrilled to introduce this concept to Miami and become part of the fabric of this vibrant community.” Named for the daughter of one of the founders, Elle Taco was born from a love of family and tradition. Based in Miami by way of New York, this first-to-market eatery offers Floridians an unparalleled dining experience in a casual and inviting atmosphere that captures the spirit of a family-run, roadside Mexican taqueria.

The Elle Taco experience includes innovative talent behind the scenes. Under the guidance of Styczec, Executive Chef Andres Torres and Chef de Cuisine Eloy Balbuena add the heart and soul of authentic, time-honored recipes learned while growing up in Mexico. Their combined experiences conceived alengthy menu of organic options that includes tacos,starters, sides, dips, salads, Mexican classics, kid’s meals and more. Additionally, the menu offers a robust tequila list, mezcal, cervezas, cocktails and coffee from South Florida’s Panther Coffee. Ask for Ariel- she makes the best colada in the mall.

All Elle Taco products are organic, sustainable, hormone and antibiotic-free and created from locally-sourced ingredients when available. Fresh, never frozen ingredients include farm fresh vegetables and eggs, hormone-free chicken and pork, line-caught fish and ocean-caught shrimp that come together with handmade corn and flour tortillas to create an elevated dining experience.

“With their inventive menu and warm environment, Elle Taco is a perfect addition to the sleek new dining pavilion at Dadeland Mall,” said Dailen Rodriguez, director of Marketing and Business Development. “Our center continues to set itself apart in the Miami market as a first-rate dining and shopping destination with distinctive concepts like Elle Taco, and we are confident that this restaurant will appeal to locals and visitors alike.”

For more information about Elle Taco, please visit www.elletaco.com or follow us on Instagram @elletaco, Twitter @mb_taco, or Facebook @tacosporvida.

GKB

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On October - 11 - 2016

gbkGKB is a contemporary bistro and bar located in the heart of Miami’s Wynwood area that features a globally influenced Peruvian menu created by Chef Rafael Perez. Perez, a native of Peru, draws on his background as well as incorporating local flavors and ingredients to deliver stellar ceviches, tiraditos and modern twists on traditional Latin dishes. Fans of boozy brunches and incredible food in an upscale, modern and relaxed atmosphere are welcome to enjoy the new brunch menu featuring traditional brunch staples, modern twists on classics as well as fresh summer dishes and specialty cocktails.

For those who fancy a free-flowing beverage option can opt for the $24 “All Day Rose” Billette Rose from Provence special. The brunch cocktail menu also features the new GKBloody Mary for two piled high with shrimp and bacon for $26. For Champagne lovers, the bubbly options include $15 ‘POP’ by Pommery Champagne Splits as well as full bottles of Heidsiek Monopole Champagne options for $60.

In addition, GKB’s Sunday brunch menu includes a “Bottomless Brunch” for just $24. For those who fancy gbk1a free flowing “Bottomless Brunch” cocktail options include Pisco Punch, Sangria, Mimosa’s, Bloody Mary’s and Rosé. The a la carte brunch menu features sweet brunchy treats including Guava and Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast, in-house Baked Granola, Florida Honey & Yogurt and 3 different types of Pancakes – Buttermilk, Quinoa or Blue Corn. For the savory, the menu will offer dishes like: Lomo Saltado Quesadillia, Pulled Pork & Quinoa Pancakes with Sunny Side Egg, Shrimp Sofrito, Soft Shell Crab Benedict as well as classics like Steak-n-Eggs with a Peruvian twist, classic ceviches, tiraditos, and a selection of their main dishes throughout the day. Don’t miss the churrasco- it’s one of the best!

This October 2016 will mark the restaurant’s one year anniversary. To celebrate, GKB Wynwood is excited to announce the new additions which will include a unique indoor/outdoor ceviche & raw bar offering ceviches, oysters and sushi. In addition, Chef Rafael Perez will be hosting weekly interactive master classes where guests will learn the fine art of ceviche and sushi making. For reservations: call 1 786-477-5151 or www.gkbistronomie.com or email info@gkbistronomie.com.

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Cantina La Veinte- Authentic Mexican Cuisine in a Lively and Gorgeous Space

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On October - 4 - 2016

cantinaCantina La Veinte in downtown Miami’s Icon Brickell, offers an elevated, authentic dining experience in a strikingly elegant setting. What Zuma is to Izakaya-inspired Japanese dining and Milos is to Greek cuisine, Cantina is to the “Mexican gastronomic adventure.”

Brought to Miami by Cinbersol Group just over two years ago, Cantina delivers the high-end culinary tradition and exceptional service for which the leading Mexico City-based hospitality firm is well known. Upon entering, we were impressed by the opulent, luxurious setting. Immediately, the ambiance signaled that we were in for a night of exceptional dining and a lot of fun. The Friday evening crowd gathered around the striking, contemporary, floor-to-ceiling black onyx bar, complete with a pyramid-shaped black and gold chandelier overhead, to drink and chat and experience the vibe.

But the din of excited guests did not stop at the bar. The restaurant’s adjacent dining room, was filled withcantina-la-veinte-miami-food-06 diners who enjoyed and sang along to music while taking in the action in the open exhibition kitchen, where the talented culinary team showcased their skills at preparing authentic creations. We enjoyed watching the chefs create Mexican tortillas by hand, right before our eyes as we sipped a cocktail at the lively bar. Downstairs, at the outdoor waterfront patio, we listened to Mariachis playing before being seated beside one of the restaurant’s expansive windows back in the upstairs main dining room. Designed by Mexican architectural firm Niz + Chauvet, Cantina’s decor pays homage to the Mexican Art Deco style, while maintaining the distinct décor of a traditional Mexican Cantina.

Cantina boasts an eclectic menu of traditional Mexican cuisine, as well as expertly crafted cocktails and a massive selection of over 260 tequilas and mezcals, considered one of the largest in the U.S. At the helm of Cantina’s kitchen is Mexico-native, Executive Chef Santiago Gomez, an alumnus of NOBU, both in Miami and Mexico City, Erawan, Piso 51 and Corporate Chef of Cantina La Numero 20’s multiple locations in Polanco, El Angel and Santa Fe, MX. Gomez most recently worked at critically-acclaimed restaurant, DANIEL by renowned chef, Daniel Boulud. At Cantina La Veinte in Miami, Cinbersol’s first U.S. restaurant, Gomez delivers a deliciously diverse menu of authentic Mexican food incorporating whimsical touches.

slide3Staying true to his Mexican roots, Gomez has created a menu filled with authentic dishes from south of the border. Diners can choose from seafood dishes including, ceviches and aguachiles to masterful entrees. Our favorites included the Tostadas de Atun and the Tostadas de King Crab, Vuelve a la Vida Ceviche, Sopa de Camaron and the guacamole with home-made chips for starters. The Callos de Hacha (perfectly seared scallops) and the Langostinos (giant prawns) were outstanding as mains. The numerous stuffed chiles at varying levels of heat, fresh oyster selections and numerous cuts of beef are also recommended. Save room for dessert, as the dessert menu is varied and delightful.

Unique to its concept, Cantina La Veinte has its own upscale Mercado adjacent to the outdoor dining area, offering prepared foods, imported Mexican ingredients, charcuterie, fresh baked bread, caviar, wines, and horchatas – traditional rice-based Mexican beverages.

Cantina La Veinte is located at 495 Brickell Avenue at the Icon Brickell. For more information on hours of operation, visit: http://www.cantinala20.com/.

Don’t Miss: St. Regis Bar & Sushi Lounge Bal Harbour

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On September - 15 - 2016

stregisBy: Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Elegant, romantic and tres chic, the St. Regis Bar & Sushi Lounge features an exclusive selection of the world’s finest champagnes, rare vintage wines, and hand crafted cocktails, complemented by an innovative menu of sushi and various fine dishes. Perfect for a romantic evening or an intimate night out with friends, this beautiful space offers impeccable food and service, and serves cocktails and wines along with live music nightly. One close friend, for whom the St. Regis is “first date central,” begrudgingly shared why she loves this place so much, “It exudes old-world glamour, is intimate enough to plan a second date, and serves a crazy-good martini.”

From the moment you arrive at the resort, you are treated like a VIP. From being greeted by name, personally escorted to the restaurant, and seated at a perfect table, you know you’re in for something special. Inside the St. Regis Bar, surrounded by beveled mirrors and chandeliers, you’d swear you were inside a jewelry box.

Yet aside from the unparalleled atmosphere, the real star is the food. Jillian Jacobson, creator of the Asian cuisine concept takes great pride in showcasing the carefully selected menu which incorporates only the best ingredients, and showcases great attention to details. Each dish is exquisitely prepared. While difficult to pick a favorite, we highly recommend the Big Eye Tuna tacos, Maine Lobster roll, Rainbow roll and Jules roll (Alaskan King Crab, Cucumber, Spicy Mayo, Soy Paper). But for a truly life changing experience, order the Land and Sea Roll, (Wagyu Beef, Alaskan King Crab, White Truffle Oil, Avocado, Cucumber). You really can’t go wrong with any of the menu selections.

Throughout the month of September, take advantage of the Miami Spice menu: a decadent three course dinner for only $39. Chef selections include: Big Eye Tuna tacos or Tuna Tataki Salad; Lamb Chops or Soba Noodles and dessert. A wine pairing is available for an additional $25. From start to finish, the St. Regis Bar & Sushi Lounge Bal Harbour delivers an extraordinary dining experience.

For more information, visit: www.stregisbalharbour.com.

 

 

Sponsors
Miami Socialholic
Mary Jo Almeida-Shore,Jose Almeida,Maryanne Salvat
(from left to right)

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