Archive for the ‘Palate’ Category

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:



LT Steak & Seafood at The Betsy- South Beach Hotel

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On August - 30 - 2016

LTWe have loved the Betsy- South Beach Hotel for years and for so many reasons:  its elegant Old Florida ambiance, cozy and welcoming interiors,  “hidden gem” appeal…but most of all, for the elevated dining experience provided by Executive Chef Laurent Tourondel, who has recently opened LT Steak & Seafood, (where one of our favorites, BLT, used to be).  LT Steak and Seafood, much like its predecessor is dedicated to serving the best, most refined American steak and seafood on Miami Beach.  LT is a fitting dining room within the historic hotel, the Greater Miami area’s only Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond rated boutique hotel.  LT Steak & Seafood offers diverse dishes that draw inspiration from the distinct energy of Miami. Chef Tourondel, one of the region’s strongest culinary voices, has created seasonally-inspired American menu that showcases a deep appreciation for the local LT2landscape, combining beloved aspects of steak and seafood houses together under one very elegant roof. LT Steak & Seafood offers innovative takes on familiar dishes, with menu highlights featuring expansive sushi and raw bar offerings such as Crunchy Curried Peekytoe Crab and Freshwater Prawn Coconut; large seasonal salads including Lemon Poached Lobster Salad with grapefruit oil and Watermelon & Heirloom Tomatoes with feta, hot peppers and pomegranate vinaigrette; seafood entrees like Grilled Red Snapper with smashed fresh peas and lime-shiitake ginger vinaigrette; followed by a vast selection of U.S.D.A. Prime steaks from the grill, offered with rotating market sides. LT Steak & Seafood serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.  Our favorites included the Alaskan King Crab claws and the New York strip- a perfect steak, prepared to perfection.

lt3To complement the menu, an extensive beverage program created by LT Steak & Seafood F&B Director David Weiss, consists of a range of literary-inspired original cocktails, along with some signature classics inspired by Tourondel. The restaurant’s wine program includes a diverse, international list to match the bold menu items.  We would be remiss if we failed to mention the outstanding service, from start to finish!

The new look at LT Steak & Seafood has been brought to life by the award-winning design team at The Betsy-South Beach, led by Diamante Pedersoli and Carmelina Santoro. Clean lines, rich textures and an understated elegance define the space, exuding true warmth and comfort. The restaurant’s signature large picture windows from the original L. Murray Dixon Art Deco Design further enhance the airy, open space.

During the months of August and September, diners can take advantage of LT Steak & Seafood’s Miami Spice offerings. To view the featured lunch and dinner menus, available for only $23 and $39 dollars, respectively, visit:

The  three course pre fixe lunch ($23) and dinner ($39) menus include Kampachi Ceviche with citrus juice, red onion, sweet potato, avocado, hauncaina sauce, and cancha and Pan Roasted Bronzino with brown butter mushroom mojo, crispy garlic, and ultra-watercress.

The opening of LT Steak & Seafood has coincided with the larger expansion of The Betsy-South Beach, which will be adding impressive new facilities to elevate the guest experience, while preserving the commitment to a high level of personalized service. Along with LT Steak & Seafood, the property’s expansion will include two additional culinary concepts overseen by Tourondel, scheduled to open in fall of 2016. LT Steak & Seafood is located at 1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily from 7:00am – 10:00pm Sunday through Thursday, and 7:00am – 11:00pm Friday through Saturday. For reservations,  call 305-673-0044. All major credit cards accepted. For additional information, visit  

Eat Here Now!

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On May - 4 - 2016

burgerqBy: Mary Jo Almeida Shore

Miami’s got no shortage of great restaurants. Here are a few places we’ve recently discovered. Whether you crave good a flame grilled burger, an authentic lobster roll or an Argentine parrillada, our picks are sure to delight your palate.

BurgerQ’s Flame Grilled Burgers 

There’s no need to track BurgerQ on your GPS, as the aroma of the perfectly flame grilled burgers will guide you to this trendy, quality burger restaurant in Downtown Dadeland.

Burger lovers will rejoice in the unique flavor that can only come from an open-flame grill. The restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients, and boasts a one-of-a kind “beer wall” where you can select from as many or as few of the 16 craft beers on tap as you’d like to sample.

Friendly owner-operators, husband and wife team Gabriel and Maria Teresa Argüello have created an extensive menu of signature burgers and sandwiches. Our favorites were the mushroom, dripping with house-made truffle mayo and the onion jam. You can also build your own burger and be sure to try the fantastic onion rings. Also save room for a shake or dessert.

The menu at BurgerQ was designed to re-create the spirit of a traditional burger and barbecue spot: casual, welcoming, and ideal for the entire family, serving southern barbecue inspired dishes such as grilled-to-order burgers, fresh salads, and handmade signature shakes. The sides and accompanying home-made sauces are worth a mention.

“We are so appreciative for the welcome we have received by the city and local community. We designed our space to be inviting, with “earthy” textures, open layout and kitchen, and retro-upscale décor. As owners, we are elated to share our “backyard BBQ” concept. We look forward to serving our local community and hope they appreciate what we have created,” stated Maria Teresa. From our perspective, the Arguellos have far exceeded their goal!

BurgerQ is located at 8970 SW 72nd Place, Miami, FL 33156 in Downtown Dadeland. Visit the restaurant online via on Social via @BQBurgers.


izzyIzzy’s Fish & Oyster 

For an authentic New England experience, head to Izzy’s Fish & Oyster, acclaimed chef and restaurateur Jamie DeRosa’s highly anticipated second venture in Miami Beach’s vibrant South of Fifth neighborhood. Izzy’s serves the freshest, genuine New England fare combined with expert service, quality ingredients, and the best lobster roll this side of Kennebunkport.

“It was important for me to create a space that gives diners a chance to casually meet and connect with one another through the verve, tradition and excitement that lives within New England and its cuisine,” said DeRosa. “With trips to this region representing a large part of my childhood’s food culture, the menu will introduce dishes and ways of cooking that are familiar to this landscape. Beyond the kitchen, everything from the design to the hospitality will be committed to transcending the guest. For some, it will be reminiscent of similar memories along the coast and, for others, a first sense of quintessential New England right here in Miami Beach.”

The restaurant’s décor, just like the food and drink, celebrates the spirit and nostalgia of the seaside shacks that dot the coast, juxtaposed with the casual sophistication of Miami Beach. The petit, airy 40-seat interior space welcomes with grey stone-tiled floors, antique tin and reclaimed wood ceilings, ornate details of metal mesh suggestive of lobster traps and plush leather banquettes. The gleaming raw bar harboring the fresh catches of the day also resonates with the sounds of oysters being shucked and prepared in that moment, with a full vantage point of the action from the sleek, 15-seat white marble bar. There’s also a 20-seat outdoor café.

Alongside executive chef/partner DeRosa is chef de cuisine William Crandall, who maintains the fresh, simple and focused menu direction while enhancing the natural sweet, salty, grassy and briny flavors of the seafood. This approach is especially applied to the Raw Bar selection, which presents six ever-changing varietals of east coast oysters exclusively from Island Creek Oysters in support of its Farm & Foundation. Don’t miss Clams with lemon salsa, Ceviche with chili, cilantro and citrus and PEI Mussels bruschetta-style with white balsamic. The Bay Hopper, a shareable shellfish platter provides (four each) oysters, clams, mussels and shrimp with blue crab salad and ½ lobster.

The menu offerings are defined by way of Starters, From The Basket, Maines and Port & Starboard Sides. Signatures, both traditional and creative, include an indulgent Maine Lobster Roll- {our favorite) available in a hot preparation with lobster butter or cold with lobster mayo, New England Clam Chowder and Yukon Potato Gnocchi with oysters, American caviar and fresh herbs. Additional highlights include the Sugar Snap Salad, Fried Clam Bellies, and the Painted Hill Farms Sirloin Burger. For dessert, we recommend Classic Whoopies, made with a marshmallow fluff filling; a slice of Boston Cream Pie and Grandma Celia’s Lemon Meringue Pie. Go ahead- try all three! Izzy’s Fish & Oyster is located at 423 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach. For more information visit:



Founded in New York by Hector Rolotti in 1991, Novecento is an Argentinian bistro-style restaurant boasting 12 locations in 10 cities, spanning across four countries. South Florida, their most penetrated market, includes four locations – Brickell (2004), Key Biscayne (2010), Aventura (2013) and the brands latest expansion into the trending Midtown Miami district (2014).

Corporate Chef and COO of Novecento, Gabriel Medici, has shaped the brands fare to showcase a refined take on a blend of Pan-Latin and Argentine flavors. This culinary cross section, where South America influence meets French techniques, comes to life with approachable and robust entrée-sized salads, pasta dishes ranging from spaghetti to gnocchi, hearty fish and chicken dishes, and more than five cuts of beef. Novecento is not only a celebration of culture, but a celebration of family.

The menu immediately draws you in, with a wide offering of familiar favorites. While each menu is location specific, signatures include a selection of sandwiches like the Lomito Novcento beef tenderloin, mozzarella, ham, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise on a baguette; meat entrees like a Ojo de Bife 16 oz. grilled rib-eye steak, sautéed spinach and roasted sweet potatoes to a Milanga Novecento a choice of lightly breaded beef with the option to add “A Caballo” two fried eggs on top, “Napolitana” with ham, cheese and tomato sauce or “Suiza” with Swiss cheese; as well as handcrafted beef, spinach & cheese, chicken & ham, and cheese Empanadas. Signature Picadas, sharing platters, are also available at each location and range from authentic Argentinean fare of grilled meats and empanadas to more traditional meat and cheese platters with offerings of nuts, olives and toast. Novecento’s signature dessert includes Panqueques con Dulce de Leche y Helado warm crepes, Dulce de leche, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

The beverage program includes a wide selection of international boutique wines, together with the addition of a full service bar. Signature cocktails range from $7 to $15 and include the Mojito Novecento made with Bacardi Superior Rum and Bacardi Limon; Classic Dewar’s 12 on the Rocks 12 year’s aged Scotch Whiskey on the rocks. All locations offer a daily Happy Hour from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., which includes 2-for-1 drink specials and bar bites; Wine Tuesdays with 50 percent off wine bottles; and Thirsty Thursdays with 50 percent off bottles of champagne and sparkling wine. Other weekly offerings include a Cigar Wednesdays and Pasta and Burger specials. For more information, visit:

The Palate: Juniper On the Water

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On April - 20 - 2016

juniperJuniper on the Water, a hidden gem located off of the Intracoastal Waterway, offers diners an unforgettable view and a unique ambience. Whether looking to hear great live music, catch a glimpse of the romantic Intracoastal waterfront, or enjoying the elegant dining room inside, Juniper on the Water will surpass all expectations.

About a year ago, owners Scott, Sho and Chris put their heads together and transformed an industry passion into reality. Juniper, meaning strength and “to bloom or flourish”, symbolizes the vision, heart and culinary passion combined by the owners. Read the rest of this entry »

BurgerQ Brings Flame Grilled Burgers and Craft Beers to Downtown Dadeland

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On April - 20 - 2016

burgerQBy: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

There’s no need to track BurgerQ on your GPS, as the aroma of the perfectly flame grilled burgers will guide you to this trendy, quality burger restaurant in Downtown Dadeland.

Burger lovers will rejoice in the unique flavor that can only come from an open-flame grill. The restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients, and boasts a one-of-a kind “beer wall” where you can select from as many or as few of the 16 craft beers on tap as you’d like to sample.

Friendly owner-operators, husband and wife team Gabriel and Maria Teresa Argüello have created an extensive menu of signature burgers and sandwiches. Our favorites were the mushroom, dripping with house-made truffle mayo and the onion jam. You can also build your own burger and be sure to try the fantastic onion rings. Also save room for a shake or dessert.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Palate: New York Bites

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On April - 6 - 2016
Bedford & Co

Bedford & Co

While no strangers to surviving on Pop Chips and power bars in years past, this year we took time to actually enjoy some savory bites in the Big Apple. We were treated to absolute delicious joy at the newly opened Bedford & Co., Delicatessen and Black Tap.  Bedford & Co. offers modern comfort food in a warm, speakeasy style atmosphere. Delicatessen serves cocktails and creative dishes to please every palate in a bustling restaurant. Black Tap indulges those burger and shake cravings from lunchtime until the wee hours of the morning. All three of these restaurants provided much- needed  Fashion Week refueling.


Bedford & Co

With its dark leather paneled walls and beautiful wood flooring John DeLucie’s newest restaurant, Bedford & Co., features contemporary wood-fired American cuisine with a vintage New York feel. Known for his vast array of small-plated comfort food, DeLucie offers a variety of seasonal dishes that are meant to be shared. The dinner menu offers grass fed meats and free-range poultry and sustainable seafood, as well as his famous truffle mac and cheese, all prepared with care over the natural wood-burning grill that sits within the open kitchen. Bedford and Co.’s long bar sets the tone for a remarkable evening, as you enter tthe cozy restaurant. With a speak-easy feel, the antique mirrored and warm veined marble transports guests to the prohibition era, serving libations such as the Proibito, Negroni, and Capri. Bartenders serve cocktails along with coasters that state, “Write drunk, edit sober.”



Delicatessen brings international comfort food to the crossroads of SoHo and Nolita, serving familiar favorites with a twist for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night, creating a friendly neighborhood vibe. The menu focuses on quality and creativity, reflecting Executive Chef/Partner Michael Ferraro’s Italian heritage and classical French training. Dishes like New England Lobster Sliders, (we ordered a second round) atop house-made buns with crisp, cured bacon, complement Italian-inspired hearty recipes like Giorgio’s Meatballs, with pecorino and burrata cheeses, along with delectable basket of truffle fries. Chef Ferraro’s macbar, located adjacent to Delicatessen, brought nine varieties of macaroni & cheese to the menu. Guests can choose anything from The Classic, a blend of American, Cheddar, and Swiss cheeses, to spicy surprises like the Mayan Chipotle, with chicken diablo and chihuahua cheese and indulgent treats Mac Lobsta’ and Mac Quack.