Archive for the ‘Palate’ Category

Head to Graziano’s for Wine Day

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On February - 16 - 2024

February 18th is National Drink Wine Day and Graziano’s is the place to be on this extremely important holiday. With wines spanning from several different countries coming from Italy to Spain to France to Argentina, Graziano’s vast wine selection has something that will be to accommodate to everyone’s liking. At Graziano’s good wine is always accompanied by extraordinary food: authentic Argentinian dishes expertly crafted and served with care.

Graziano’s extends its presence with 11 locations across Miami, inviting customers to explore both restaurants and markets situated in Bird Road, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Aventura, Doral, and Weston. Visit:

Pisco y Nazca Opens New Location in Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On January - 25 - 2024

By: Maryanne Salvat

Last night we had the pleasure of dining at the beloved Peruvian gastrobar, Pisco y Nazca, Centurion Restaurant Group’s (CRG) newest addition on Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile.    The authentic dining experience brings locals and visitors a taste of Peru. From the creators and owners of Bulla Gastrobar, Beehive Kitchen, and Havana Harry’s, Centurion Restaurant Group opened the company’s first Pisco y Nazca in 2015 in Kendall, Florida. Since then, Pisco y Nazca has expanded, with locations in Florida (Doral and Coral Gables) Virginia (Reston), and Washington DC. The restaurant’s name stems from the Peruvian saying, “Entre Pisco y Nazca,” meaning having fun and enjoying the company of loved ones – which is the atmosphere they aim to provide all the communities they serve.

The menu boasts a selection of Peruvian classic dishes with a twist, prepared with the finest ingredients. From traditional ceviches (we enjoyed the Cremoso) bursting with fresh flavors to mouthwatering sushi rolls, yes I said sushi, the Lomo Saltado Roll to be precise; probably one of the most original rolls we have experienced. The main dish of Lomo Saltado was exceptional, served with a plentiful side of white rice and fries large enough to share. Every dish tells a story of Peru’s rich culinary heritage.

For those seeking a true taste of Peru’s national spirit, the bar offers an extensive list of Pisco-based cocktails, expertly crafted by mixologists, as well as a daily Happy Hour from 4-7 p.m. appropriately named Hora Loca.

Located at 101 Miracle Mile, Pisco y Nazca Coral Gables is open Sunday (11am – 10pm), Monday – Tuesday (11:30am – 10pm), Wednesday – Thursday (11:30am – 11pm), Friday (11:30am – 12am) and Saturday (11am – 12am). To view the restaurant’s menus and make a reservation, guests can visit www. For updates on the restaurant and its sister locations, follow them on Instagram at @piscoynazca.

Platea: Miami’s First Prime Peruvian Steakhouse

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 17 - 2023

By: Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Wunderkind chef/owner Fernando Salazar and lifelong friend-turned-business-partner, Andres Marmolejos recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of wildly successful Prime Peruvian Steakhouse, Platea Miami, the first of its kind in Miami. The talented pair parlayed a background in butchery into a unique take on the traditional steakhouse by sourcing only the highest quality USDA Prime beef, and incorporating distinctive Peruvian flavors, ingredients, and techniques into every dish on the menu.

The restaurant is sleek and welcoming, elegant yet family-friendly. The interior is dimly lit and features jewel tones, velvet and leather seating, and a living wall inspired by Chef Salazar’s home, alongside an open kitchen.

The menu boasts classic offerings with a Peruvian spin such as Fried Ceviche with hake, jalea crust, aji amarillo, creamy leche de tigre; Seared Scallops, aji amarillo, chalaquita; and fried choclo. Starters on the menu feature flavor-packed openers like Aji De Gallina Bites with dehydrated botija olives – a delicious take on classic croquetas; Tostones with Wagyu picanha saltado, aji amarillo topped with salsa criolla.

But the beef steals the show! Meat lovers can relish in the exceptional Prime graded selections including USDA Prime Filet Mignon, USDA Prime Porterhouse, and USDA Prime Dino-Rib (which would give Fred Flintstone pause). Each is prepared with an intricate technique incorporating Peruvian Ají Panca, the foundation for the marinade which in turn seasons the salt that becomes the rub for the meat.

Seafood offerings such as Stuffed Galapagos Lobster, King Crab, and Sea Bass are flown in daily. Vegetarians have a full selection of menu items from which to choose, as well.

We had the opportunity to chat with Chef Salazar who shared that after attending MIT, he worked as a profiler for Homeland Security, then went on to study at Le Cordon Bleu. Salazar lead and managed various restaurants at the corporate level including Darwin’s on 4th, Pisco Y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar, Dr. Limon, Bulla Gastrobar, and Ceviche 105, before opening Platea (all by the age of 29). We were so impressed with Platea and with Salazar’s talent and dynamic personality that we were urged to find out more about his upbringing, techniques, vision, and future plans.
Read the rest of this entry »

Paperfish Sushi- a “Must” on Española Way

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On January - 17 - 2023

Paperfish Sushi brings its popular Japanese-meets-Peruvian flavors to historic Española Way on South Beach after achieving great success with its award-winning Brickell location. Neatly tucked away amid pastel Mediterranean-style buildings, Paperfish South Beach presents its signature, creative flavors to visitors of the vibrant pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare. Rooted firmly in Japanese culture, while offering a bright, buzzy appeal, Paperfish invites diners to enjoy seasonal sushi, small plates, and specialty cocktails. 

Attention to detail, a tenet of Japanese tradition, is prevalent from Paperfish’s clean, contemporary style to its artfully crafted dishes. A soft glow emanates from the bar and sushi counter, embracing the dining room, which flaunts a palette of natural materials and handcrafted ceramics, offset by towering pink cherry blossom trees. Outdoors, a terrace adorned with Japanese street signs and string-lit trees offers an idyllic backdrop for a program of delicate and specialized cuisine, artfully combining old and new world appeal. The decor, dishes and cocktails beckon a multitude of Instagram posts!

Unique to the South Beach Paperfish location is Executive Chef Michael Asalie’s Ichiban Sando which won the 2022 South Beach Seafood Festival’s “Battle Sushi.” The Ichiban Sando (#1 sandwich) is comprised of  “bread” made of crispy rice- filled with spicy tuna, avocado, crab salad, and clarified garlic butter- crafted with Chef Michael’s wizardry, which makes its sum so much more than its parts. This dish is an absolute must- as is the Miso Black Cod, which is freshly caught and marinated for  48 hours in a house-made miso sauce.

Read the rest of this entry »

Like Mike Italian Taste- Authentic Cuisine in Coconut Grove

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On January - 4 - 2023

By: Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

For almost 25 years, just about everyone has wanted to “Be Like Mike.” Ever since the iconic commercial graced our television screens, it became widely known that to be “Like Mike” meant you could soar through the air and that your taste was, well, impeccable. Like Mike Italian Taste in Coconut Grove, may be named after a different “Mike” but the restaurant’s namesake, also knew a thing or two about living large and exceptional dining.

Like Mike’s menu features flavors from the Amalfi Coast, including select recipes curated by Italian Michelin-starred chef, Luigi Salomone, such as: Parmigiana Vesuvio, Pasta alla Nerano and Cacio e Pepe al Tonno. Other standouts include the Fiori di Zucca and the Tagliata di Manzo.

Salomone adds a modern flair to his traditional Italian recipes. The trattoria is the newest addition to the Lucio Giordano Group, which boasts several restaurants on the Amalfi Coast, including the Michelin-starred, Re Santi e Leoni in Nola, Naples.

Similar to its sister restaurants, Like Mike invokes the spirit of the Amalfi Coast, where guests can indulge in a unique, authentic, and relaxing atmosphere- enjoying long, languid meals and conversations in a relaxed setting. The menu is complemented by a curated wine selection centered around Campanian wines, with the intention of enhancing the immersive Italian dining experience.

Named in loving memory of a friend of owner, Lucio Giordano, Like Mike aims to combine tradition and food quality by using locally-sourced ingredients like trattorias found in Italy, but embellished with a contemporary and innovative twist. The setting is is bright and airy, trendy and sophisticated- all at the same time. Don’t be surprised if the manager sits down with you at your table to share some of his favorite wines and tales of the Old Country.

Giordano shares: “Our customers can expect a modern, trendy vibe paired with the enveloping, traditional hospitality that recalls the spirit of the Amalfi Coast. For this reason, Like Mike imports a unique dining experience that complements the sparkling Miami charm. What fascinates me about this new American project is to import the picturesque, exotic Italian essence and culinary wonders to an American audience. With Like Mike, we can construct a bridge that connects dream and reality.”

Like Mike is the first restaurant outside of Italy to be part of the Lucio Giordano Group, which owns a string of successful restaurants in destinations like Pompei, Positano, Sorrento, and the aforementioned Michelin-starred, Re Santi e Leoni, in Naples.

Like Mike is located at 3433 Main Highway in Coconut Grove. It is open Tuesday through Thursday from 12pm to 10pm; Friday and Saturday from 10am to 11pm and Sunday from 10am to 10pm.

To learn more about Like Mike, visit
Tel. (305) 392-0679

Your Culinary Adventure Awaits at Neya

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On September - 15 - 2022


Set in a dark, sexy space with beautiful furnishings and sultry decor, Neya provides simple elegance in both its ambience and its unique and abundantly flavorful menu offerings

Neya’s modern Israeli menu, influenced by Spain, North Africa and Levant is filled with dishes that are as authentic and absolutely delicious, as they are fun to pronounce. Your best bet is to ask the dynamic hostess and attentive server to recommend favorite dishes, or better yet, to surprise you.

Read the rest of this entry »