Archive for the ‘Palate’ Category

Chef-lebrities and Foodies Flock to Food Network’s SOBEWFF

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On March - 4 - 2012

Emeril Lagasse at The Q

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

The annual Bacchanal/gorge-fest otherwise known as the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) blew into town last weekend for a four day eating/drinking marathon, leaving our scale shaking its head and asking, “What have you done?” come Monday morning. SOBEWFF kicked off with Moët Hennessy’s barbecue bash named The Q on Thursday night hosted by larger-than-life personalities:  Emeril Lagasse and Guy Fieri.  Other festival highlights included Party Impossible, the Chefs’ After-party at the Dream Hotel, Diamond Dishes at the yet-to-be opened Marlins Park, Best Thing I Ever Ate Late Night Bites & Sweets and the festival’s closing party, Trucks on the Beach.  So now we fast and purge, after acting like Ms. Pac-Man with a tape worm for four straight days; and apologize to the liver, if we can find it- we are guessing it may have left the building. 

The Q

Hosted by Guy Fieri and Emeril Lagasse, The Q started the weekend revelry on Thursday night, a fitting replacement to the beloved, marquee event Bubble Q which was retired last year.  Just as much fun as Bubble Q, this party was our first SOBEWFF experience of 2012 and served as a reunion of local and national foodies and chefs, who imbibed in champagne and cocktails and filled up on enough barbecued meats to stumble out of the enormous tent with Gout. Read the rest of this entry »

Bianca’s Grand Opening at the Delano Hotel

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 3 - 2012

by: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Seeing the Light:  Bianca the Delano

On Thursday night, the highly anticipated Italian restaurant, Bianca opened at the Delano Hotel to the delight of over a thousand guests who made their way across the eternal lobby into the restaurant and braved the limestone along the pool for the indoor/outdoor celebration.

While celebrities and VIPs dined inside the restaurant and on the terrace, partygoers enjoyed bites, libations and musical performances by Chris Botti and Little Louie Vega, (strange bedfellows indeed) out by the pool.  Vega’s dance tunes were abruptly halted by Botti’s intoxicating trumpet, which was accompanied by a gorgeous violinist who played in the pool, yes, IN the pool.  The music was captivating, especially when Botti played the theme from Cinema Paradiso, one of our favorite movies of all time.  The performance brought on a melancholy mood which was quickly interrupted by the site of a group of drunken models traipsing through the pool- there are just certain elements of this iconic hotel that will never change.  After which, Little Louie Vega took over again and was joined by Michelle Rodriguez for his second live set. Read the rest of this entry »

Pearl- the return of a Gem

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On January - 12 - 2012

The late 90s den for champagne and scene, Pearl Restaurant & Champagne Lounge, is back, in all of its stark white and orange glory. The original, a favorite of celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Matt Damon, Paris Hilton, Janet Jackson and Sting returns thanks to owners, Jack and Lucia Penrod, who have hired renowned Chef Sylvain Noel to create a new exquisite menu of world cuisine served with an aesthetic flair, which is complimented by an extensive cocktail, wine and champagne menu.

Frequenters of the old Pearl will feel right at home in the 8,000 square foot space which still boasts the familiar yet chic all white décor with orange accents; Read the rest of this entry »

Napoleon Complex

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On October - 14 - 2011

Viviane and Marc de Kuyper, owners of Mandarine Napoléon

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore 

Internationally renowned citrus liqueur Mandarine Napoléon hosted a private, spirited bash for its official U.S. launch at our favorite place on the planet, Soho Beach House on Tuesday, September 20.   The first spirit to combine mandarins and aged cognac, Mandarine Napoleon was created especially for Napoléon Bonaparte, and was his drink of choice, which is the reason for the party’s theme:   “The Hat is Back” in honor of the petit French ruler’s iconic, black bicorne chapeau.  This also explains the themed event’s costume de rigueur.  You guessed it- a hat!  The stylish guests complied, donning a wide variety of head attire- from feather headdresses, to Viking hats, to fedoras to co-host,  Susanne Birbragher’s mink headpiece, a throwback to the “Grand Puba” hat worn by Fred Flintstone, whom she calls “Pica Piedra (love that!).”  During the elegant dinner for 50 of Miami’s social elite, which was served amid twinkling trees on a perfect fall evening at Cecconi’s, we felt as though we were in a fairy-tale version of Iron Chef’s kitchen stadium, as each of the four courses served featured Mandarine Napoléon as a key ingredient, which was incorporated in a unique manner throughout the dishes and accompanying specialty cocktails.  Our favorite courses included the exquisite risotto with grilled shrimp and the succulent duck.  Of the seven signature cocktails, our top pick was the creamy Coco Napoleon, which was more like a delicious dessert, made with coconut milk, Martinique spiced sugar cane syrup, fresh squeezed lemon juice, mint leaves, a dash of orange bitters, and Mandarine Napoleon- of course. Hats off to Soho Beach House’s executive chef, Sergio Sigala and head bartender, Chris Hudnall!  Read the rest of this entry »

Eyes Wide Shut- Appetites Open

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On September - 7 - 2011
Lights Out! City Hall  (7)

Miami Socialholics

Veteran restaurateur, Steve Haas along with acclaimed chef, Tom Azar invited guests to City Hall, Haas’ new bustling eatery on Biscayne Boulevard for Lights Out Miami– a night of dining in the dark last Wednesday, to benefit Ability Explosion, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and bettering the lives of individuals with disabilities. Risk-taking diners at City Hall got the chance for a sneak “peek” of the large scale benefit to take place on October 20 with over 100 participating venues. 

Dark dining guests had only the cocktail hour to take in the beauty of the 6, 000 square foot eatery, which reminds us so much of WPA, back in the halcyon days of South Beach and “Glory Days” of our youth.  Perhaps it’s the 80 foot-long art deco mural, created by artist Andrew Reid– who also created the floor-to-ceiling mural depicting FDR’s Works Progress Administration for WPA, (the restaurant), which we spent many a night admiring; or the dark walnut and black varnished wood tables and chairs, comfortable leather banquets, original art and Art Deco accents that create the chic ambience at City Hall and make us feel right at home.  Read the rest of this entry »

The 10th Annual Miami Spice Restaurant Program Spicier Than Ever

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On September - 5 - 2011







Culinary Event Features 42 New Participating Restaurants & Enticing Upgrades

Miami Spice – organized by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) and presented by American Express, Stella Artois, Acqua Panna, S. Pellegrino and Moet Hennessy USA – is spicier than ever with a record-breaking number of participating restaurants, 142 including 42 new restaurants; all of which are offering specially priced three-course lunches at an affordable $22 and three course dinners for $35 (tax & gratuity not included). 

 To complement this amazing summer promotion and keep Spice consumers coming back for more, a slew of participating restaurants have recently introduced enticing upgrades to their Miami Spice menu offerings, ranging from allowing patrons to substitute menu items, discounted wine pairings, and complimentary valet parking, among other not-to-be-missed offers. 

 Below is a sample list of Miami Spice themed restaurant promotions, available now through September 30, 2011:

BLT Steak at The Betsy:  Miami Spice diner patrons are greeted at their table with the restaurant’s legendary BLT gruyere cheese popovers, complimentary pâté, and petit fours for dessert.

Blue Door Fish at Delano: Specially-priced red, white, and sparkling wine offerings.   City Hall – The Restaurant: Patrons have the option to substitute their appetizer or dessert for a specialty martini, house beer, or wine by the glass.

Essensia Restaurant & Lounge: Specially-priced red, white, and sparkling wine offerings.

Kane Steakhouse: Offers diners a complimentary side dish with each Miami Spice menu order.   Peacock Garden Café: Instead of the traditional three-course Miami Spice menu, the restaurant offers diners a four-course menu, including a complimentary cocktail.

Red, The Steakhouse:  The restaurant offers weekly Miami Spice themed menus and allows diners to upgrade their appetizer and/or entrée selection.

Scalina: Weekdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., the restaurant’s bar offers half-priced cocktails and 20% off wine lists on the days that the Miami Spice menus are offered.

STK: Offers specially priced bottles of wine and sparkling wine as well as the option to upgrade their meal with a 16 oz. sirloin and signature STK side.

Shula’s Steakhouse at The Alexander Hotel: Discounted sparkling, red or white wine by the glass.   Shula’s 347 Grill: Discounted specialty cocktail and select bottles of wine on offer.

Talavera Cocina Mexicana: Instead of the traditional three-course Miami Spice meal, the restaurant offers diners a four-course menu, including a complimentary cocktail.

Tantra Restaurant and Lounge: Discounted valet parking and wine bottles, nightly. On Saturday nights, Miami Spice dinner patrons can enjoy discounted bottle service.

The Restaurant at The National Hotel: Complimentary valet parking for Miami Spice patrons and discounted bottle selections.

Trio on the Bay:  The restaurant allows diners to choose one entrée, one entrée, and one dessert from the regular dinner menu for $35 per person.

Vita Restaurant & Lounge: Every Monday, wine and Champagne bottles are offered at a 50% discount.

For details and updates on participating Miami Spice restaurants, menus and events, check out the website  Follow Miami Spice on Twitter:  @MiamiandBeaches

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