Foodies Rejoice! SOBEWFF Returns to South Florida

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 15 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

sobeThe 16th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF®) takes place next week from February 22 – 26. As locals and tourists descend upon the sands of Miami Beach, the culinary adventure kicks off with Barilla’s Italian Bites on the Beach hosted by Valerie Bertinelli & Alex Guarnaschelli. The eleventh edition of one of the Festival’s most coveted tickets gets an update, evolving into the Heineken Light Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons hosted by Rachael Ray this year. After its successful launch at last year’s Festival, the weekend will again close out with Lucky Chopsticks: An Asian Night Market hosted by Andrew Zimmern. More Miami Beach staple events will return with a classic mix of both fan-favorites and new talent including Tacos After Dark, Oyster Bash hosted by Josh Capon, Fontainebleau Miami Beach presents Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best sponsored by Bank of America, Fun and Fit as a Family featuring Goya Kids Kitchen, Chicken Coupe hosted by Andrew Carmellini, Southern Kitchen Brunch part of The NYT Cooking Series, and the Wine Spectator Wine Seminars presented by Bank of America.

Additionally, the Festival’s beloved white tents nestled in the sand between 10th and 13th Streets and Ocean Drive will continue to host the Sobe2Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village featuring Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations during the weekend. Plus, SOBEWFF® honors some of the world’s most recognized leaders in the culinary and beverage industries at its annual Tribute Dinner presented by Bank of America part of The NYT Cooking Dinner Series, and the sweet 16 is no exception. This year, the Festival honors the deeply passionate and talented ThinkFoodGroup chef/owner José Andrés alongside Maisons Marques & Domaines (MMD) owners Jean-Claude Rouzaud and Frédéric Rouzaud, during an evening guided by Master of Ceremonies Anthony Bourdain at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.

SOBEWFF® continues its expansion into Broward County with the return of the Taste Fort Lauderdale Series and a star-studded line-up of talent. The fun begins with Seaside Eats hosted by Anne Burrell at the historic Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, and continues with the Festival’s first late-night party in the area, DRINK Fort Lauderdale, taking over the popular FATVillage for one night.  Closing out the series will be the return of the Bloody Mary Brunch, with new hosts David Burtka & Neil Patrick Harris.

burgerbash_01-870x486Fans will also have a plethora of new events to choose from in 2017, including a Craft-y Happy Hour, Burnt Ends: A Kosher BBQ Dinner hosted by Alon Shaya, Salty, Sweet & Savory Treats: A Late-Night Party featuring Bar Lab, The Salty Donut & Sarsaparilla Club, Noodling Around: A Late-Night Party hosted by Dale Talde, Food Fight hosted by Guy Fieri, and more.

A variety of additional dinners, brunches, lunches, and parties will take place throughout the weekend, featuring renowned chefs, culinary personalities, winemakers, and spirits producers. Events like Buddhas and Bellinis, Decadent Dessert Party hosted by Duff Goldman, Croquetas & Champagne hosted by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Goya Foods Swine & Wine hosted by Cindy Hutson, and, for all ages, Fun and Fit as a Family featuring Goya Kidz Kitchen, will continue to satiate the taste buds of passionate fans from around the world.

Tickets for the 2017 Festival are on sale online at sobefest.com; Phone sales are open Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST by calling 877.762.3933.

Widely recognized as one of America’s most prestigious gourmet gatherings, the Festival has raised more than $24 million to date for the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University.

MISO in the Park

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 15 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

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By: Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

On Sunday, February 12, MISO held its highly anticipated outdoor concert, MISO in the Park on the front lawn of the Bass Museum in Miami Beach. Nearly one thousand music lovers of all ages (and breeds) gathered for the free open-air concert on a picture-perfect afternoon. To add to the revelry and romance, guests went all out with picnic spreads, many themed, replete with delicacies and libations from all parts of the world. During the enchanting event, world-famous photographer and luminary, Iran Issa-Khan, celebrated her birthday at the incredible affair. Iran’s friends-who-are family prepared an international feast for the woman who is a mother and friend to all who are blessed to be in her ever-growing circle. A staunch supporter of the MISO, who has worked tirelessly to promote the amazing orchestra, Iran has yet to miss one concert. In fact, one of the many joys of attending a MISO performance is seeing Iran, perched in her box, with the look of sheer delight across her face that can truly only grace someone who experiences Heaven in the music. Maestro Marturet, close friend of Iran’s conducted an original rendering of “Happy Birthday” complete with a Reggaeton serenade- much to her delight.

The program featured music by Zaquiñha de Abreu, Johann Strauss, Johannes Brahms, Dmitri Shostakovich, Karen LeFrak, Luis Prima, and Moises Simons. “Three Ways, One Feeling” by Giancarlo Castro D’Addona gave a special touch with the spontaneous and mischievous participation of the three conductors Marco Real-d’Arbelles, Daniel Andai, and Eduardo Marturet. Ensemble 7/4, added a touch of local rhythm and little Valeria once again confidently conducted “her” orchestra. Lena Burke sang Frenesí by Alberto Dominguez, Amapola by José María Lacalle, El Día que me quieras by Carlos Gardel and Quizás Quizás Quizás by Oswaldo Farrés (arranged by Rudy Pérez and Gary Lindsay). Music lovers lingered at the gorgeous affair long after day-turned-to-night. Often overheard: “Now this is why we live in Miami.”

*Photo credit: Sam Robin

SUGARCANE Raw Bar Grill Hits the Strip

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 15 - 2017ADD COMMENTS
Jeremy Yoza, General Manager presents The Duck and Waffle

Jeremy Yoza, General Manager presents The Duck and Waffle

Miami favorite, SUGARCANE Raw Bar Grill’s award-winning Executive Chef & Partner Timon Balloo has brought his culinary genius to the Las Vegas Strip. Diners are transported to a tropical paradise with an open fire grill, a raw bar, and a traditional kitchen where the creations are anything but traditional. The menu is an assortment of small plates and larger platters that you may not want to share. Some of our favorites included the Pig Ear Pad Thai, Goat Cheese Croquettes, and the Bacon Wrapped Dates, and those were just the appetizers. The main dish that really left an impression was the Duck and Waffle. Not only was it beautifully presented, but delicately fileted for us to enjoy the perfect bite of egg, duck and waffle along with a mustard seed maple syrup. Absolutely decadent. SUGARCANE is a welcome addition to the Venetian’s Restaurant Row and will be opening a third location in Brooklyn. For more information visit: https://sugarcanerawbargrill.com/

Seasons 52- Where a Great Meal is Always in Season

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

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.

MISO’s Ocean Drive in Vienna

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 7 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

mISO1By: Maria Jose Acosta-Almeida

The Miami Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 debut concert, Ocean Drive in Vienna, sponsored by Mercantil Commercebank, moved the audience with overtures, waltzes, polkas, and dances in the Viennese tradition. The amazing concert directed by Maestro Eduardo Marturet was a night full of surprises. The evening was filled with romantic waltzes that kept the audience engaged and dancing in their seats. Guests sang along to intoxicating rhythms to the accords of polkas that erupted into a diverse mix of Latin arrangements that may have inspired Strauss or Brahms to direct a conga line.

Virtuoso group Ensemble 7/4, in their Miami debut, enhanced the concert and the YES Movement Chorus delighted the audience with Shostakovich’s Waltz No 2 which resulted in an impromptu sing-along.  Dashing, internationally acclaimed violinist, Daniel Andai, dubbed the “next Isaac Pearlman” added an element of elegance and sophistication to the group of talented musicians. Even the intermission was lively, thanks to the group of Venezuelan trumpeters who added so much spice it made it tough to leave the theater during the break.

The icing on the cake was child prodigy, Valeria Diaz, “rival” and student of Maestro Marturet, who conducted The Blue Danube by Johann MISO2Strauss Jr. The young talent expressed her love for the animals she introduced onto the stage during the performance, including a macaw and curious kinkajou that gracefully leapt onto the shoulders of the conductor. Ensemble 7/4 joined the orchestra to play the Pizzi-Cuban Polka by Josef Strauss & Johann Strauss Jr. with a singular arrangement by Carlos Rivera to close the evening with an unexpected twist.

Much in the style of visionary André Rieu, (with the bonus of Latin flair) Maestro Marturet is a true showman: enchanting and graceful, right down to his Cambridge accent. Ocean Drive in Vienna was truly another triumph for Maestro Eduardo Marturet, his muse, Athina and the entire Miami Symphony Orchestra.

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Florida Valentine Specials:

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 3 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

candyThe St. Regis Valentine Specials

Dinner at Atlantikós – Savor the sensory pleasures of Santorini with an exquisite four-course romantic dinner at Atlantikós.  Executive Chef Anastasios ‘Tasos’ Chasekioglou curated menu includes Butter Poached Lobster, Braised Short Ribs, Grilled Mediterranean Seabass, and decadent desserts by Antonio Bachour and our talented pastry team.

Heart to Heart Package at Remède Spa – The St. Regis Bal Harbour is a peerless haven of oceanfront elegance, quiet unwavering taste, anticipatory service and seductive amenities. On Valentine’s Day, couples are invited to enjoy a 90-minute couples body exfoliation and massage. The experience ends with a sparkling glass of champagne and strawberries, while couples relax side-by-side at the Spa coed relaxation room.

[$620 + 20% service charge per couple. Package available throughout the month of February]

Love Birds High Tea at La Gourmandise – Love Birds can indulge on Valentine’s Day with a signature tea for two experience at La Gourmandise. Spoil your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day with a romantic Tea-for-Two by our talented pastry team and Antonio Bachour’s marvelous sugary confections. Start the high tea experience with a glass of Champagne or a tea-infused mocktail, followed by a delightful assortment of sweet and savory delicacies paired with a tea selection from our extensive tea list.

Oceanfront Day Villa Private Dining Experience – Go beyond expectation and celebrate Valentine’s Day with a five-course private butler-served dinner overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The experience begins with a bottle of vintage Champagne, followed by an exquisite five-course dinner led by Executive Chef Franck Steigerwald.  The romance continues with a custom heart-shaped dessert cake just for two.  The luxurious Oceanfront Day Villa is yours to enjoy throughout the evening, and includes a private indoor lounge and outdoor dining terrace.

 

SuViche Valentine’s Day

SuViche is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a Single & Saucy party stating at 7 p.m. on February 14th at the restaurant’s Las Olas and Wynwood locations. The Single & Saucy festivities will include food and drink specials such as Free Sake and Champagne splits (with the purchase of an entrée), extended Happy Hour and Buy One, Get One Half Off Sushi Rolls. There will also be a DJ at both locations to keep the party going.

Romance at the Fontainbleau Miami Beach

This year, in addition to indulging on Valentine’s Day, Fontainebleau Miami Beach is honoring love throughout the entire month of February for National Romance Month. Aside from Valentine’s Day offerings at the hotel’s award-winning signature restaurants, the iconic hotel will also offer a variety of romantic activities visitors can enjoy all month long. From an intimate dinner for two in your own private cabana to chocolate and champagne tastings, Fontainebleau is sure to keep you feeling loved. On February 14, diners can enjoy prix-fixe menus at Scarpetta by Scott Conant and StripSteak by Michael Mina. Guests can always end on a sweet note with a stop at Chez Bon Bon for a romance themed treat.

Month Long & Valentine’s Day

Every Saturday in the month starting at 7 p.m. and on Valentine’s day, Tuesday, February 14, StripSteak by Michael Mina will offer a romantic candle-lit, flower adorned private cabana dinner for two under the stars for $500 per couple, excluding tax and gratuity, with an optional sommelier chosen wine pairing. The menu includes an amuse bouche of Kabocha Pumpkin Soup with chestnuts, pepitas and onion foam; followed by a Shellfish Platter with oysters, shrimp and King crab; Baby Beet Salad, Chateaubriand and Milk Chocolate Mousse Bar for dessert.

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Mary Jo Almeida-Shore,Jose Almeida,Maryanne Salvat
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