Archive for the ‘Palate’ Category

Byblos- More is More

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On September - 19 - 2015


By: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

We suspected Byblos was going to be something extra special when we attended the opening celebration in June, which featured everything from exquisite bites and drinks to a full concert by Marina and the Diamonds; on-the-spot poets and an A-list crowd. But we had no idea just how extraordinary this jewel of a restaurant would be. Fast forward a month later and we were treated to one of the most elegant, unique and outstanding dining experiences to date. Most noteworthy is the attention to detail that is prevalent throughout the entire Byblos experience- from the attentive staff (Arturo spoiled us) to the beautiful and eclectic, traditional one-of plates and silverware to the rituals, such as the French press service- served in antique tea cups; tableside spirit infused cold tea trolley and the desserts which are served atop a silver platter. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Miss: Miami Spice Sizzles in 2015!

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On August - 31 - 2015

Now on its 14th year, the Miami Spice Restaurant Program, the popular restaurant promotion organized by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), offers diners an accessible way to experience more than 190 of the finest restaurants in the region, including 54 new 2015 participants. Miami Spice kicked off in August with dining deals that include lunch priced at $23 per person and dinner priced at $39 per person. Prices include an appetizer, entrée and dessert, and exclude alcohol, tax, tip and service charges. The celebrated restaurant program will continue to bring the heat up through September, presenting savvy diners with tempting culinary experiences at unbeatable prices. Miami Spice is proud to partner with Citibank, Stella Artois and Terrazas de los Andes on this year’s program. New participating restaurants include Tom Colocchio’s Beachcraft, CENA by Michy, Cleo, Corsair by Scott Conant, Coya, El Cielo, Fooq’s, Izzy’s Fish & Oyster, Klima Restaurant & Bar, Marion, Market at Edition, Morimoto, Piripi, Prime Fish, Quality Meats, the Redlander Restaurant at Schnebly Winery, Seagrape at Thompson Miami Beach, the Social Club, Stripsteak by Michael Mina, Tantalize Miami, Tamarina, Vagabond Restaurant and Bar, Via Verdi Cucina Rustica and Vintro Kitchen & Bar.


Additionally, the GMCVB has partnered with OpenTable, a leading online restaurant reservation site, throughout September to promote Miami Spice and the participating restaurants in Greater Miami and the Beaches. Residents and guests can visit the GMCVB’s dedicated website – – which serves as a one-stop shop for additional information on the various dining experiences by neighborhood, restaurant menus and participating days, hotel packages culinary events and more.


koneKone Spiced Up Menu

For those who want to take advantage of an even better price than that of Miami Spice- head to Downtown Miami’s Kone sushi restaurant. Throughout September, Kone Sushi will offer a special “Spiced Up Menu” for only $30 per person. The special will include five mouthwatering courses, including appetizers such as Miso Soup and/or House Salads and fan favorites: Rock Shrimp, Fish Carpaccio, Master Ohata Roll (Mo Roll- shrimp tempura, avocado, cream cheese, scallions topped with roasted salmon masago and cusabi sauce.) in addition to the MO roll- we recommend ordering our favorites- the Crunchy Monster and the Shaggy Dog. Don’t forget dessert- three sweet little kones or Nutella Pie. Yummy! Voted Miami Beach’s “Best Sushi” for two years in a row, the Brazilian inspired restaurant will have your taste buds tingling with excitement. Don’t miss this phenomenal opportunity to enjoy this great meal with family and friends until September 30. For more information, visit:



Swine Serves up Southern Hospitality and Spiceswine

Upscale southern restaurant, Swine Southern Table & Bar has debuted 3-course Miami Spice menus for both lunch and supper, featuring seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients in dishes that showcase their signature Southern cuisine. Highlights on the dinner menu include: 1855 Black Angus Burnt Ends -creamy cornbread, Swine BBQ sauce, spiced corn nuts; Low & Slow Ribs – competition rub, cider vinegar mop, homemade pickles, and the decadent Death By Chocolate – rich chocolate brownie, chocolate pudding, chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce, Coco Puffs- all for only $39 per person, Sunday through Thursday. Lunch favorites, proved at $23 Monday-Friday include: Fried Green Tomato or Crispy Pork Caesar Salad; Swine Burger – (one of the best burgers in town) short rib, brisket, and smoked pork blend, thick-cut house-smoked bacon, pickle, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, Swine special sauce, and Jack & Cookies – freshly baked cookies, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee honey milk.
Additionally, in conjunction with the Miami Spice menus, Swine is also offering their Summer of Wine specials, featuring an exclusive list of wines $30 and under, through September. These wines serve as a great complement to the Miami Spice menu and are available to guests dining with the regular menu, as well. To see the full Swine Miami Spice menus, visit:




E0EB27C1-4FFC-4D7C-A291-C27FB106306CRiver Seafood & Oyster Bar

If you haven’t been yet, now is the perfect time to plan your trip to Chef Bracha’s River Seafood & Oyster Bar as this year’s Miami Spice event is well underway! The iconic downtown Miami seafood restaurant has stood its ground since 2003 serving loyal patrons seven days a week. The River Oyster Bar uses the freshest product available to create a menu of dishes reflecting Chef Bracha’s decidedly modern twist on classic seafood cuisine. The restaurant has earned critical acclaim and has become a major downtown Miami dining destination.

The River and other Miami hotspots will be offering three-course lunch and dinner special meals until September 30th with lunch priced at $23 and dinner $39. A sneak-peak at the dinner menu includes: a Creamy Sea Urchin Polenta, Spiny Lobster Flatbread or Oyster Ceviche for appetizers; Sea Scallops a la Plancha, Fisherman’s Grouper Stew, Large Braised Shortribs for entrée, and the New York strip-priced at just $30 that rivals those served at the best steak houses in town; and for dessert, the Meyer Lemon Cheesecake, A Slice of Summer Sundae or Peanut Butter Mousse. These mouth-watering choices offer a diverse selection of some of the River’s favorite dishes.


You Can’t Beat the Food at M.E.A.T.

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On August - 11 - 2015

imageWe were most impressed by the taste, quality and variety of the dishes at award-winning, casual restaurant, M.E.A.T. Eatery And Taproom, located in Islamorada in the Florida Keys.   The cool joint is the brainchild of restaurateurs Chef George Patti and Sommelier Thomas Smith. Three years after their collaboration on the popular Caribbean/Asian Fusion restaurant, Tasters Grille & Market which opened 2009 in Key Largo, the pair decided to move forward on their fast casual concept M.E.A.T., which opened in July 2012. It is their vision of the next generation of food, incorporating fresher and more flavorful options for diners than the standard fast food establishments as the public becomes more health conscious and educated on food through media such as the Travel Channel, Food Network, various other TV food shows and the internet through videos, social networks, shows, tweets and blogs. It also provides more intimate service than most other fast casual establishments through its “taproom” service. Read the rest of this entry »

Hang Out at the Mellow Mushroom

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On June - 14 - 2015

mushroomMellow Mushroom, the Atlanta-based chain known for its stone-baked pizzas and hippie roots, plants a branch in South Miami, serving innovative craft pizza pies. Featuring pies with groovy names like Kosmic Karma, Magical Mystery Tour and Holy Shiitake, plus hoagies, calzones, “munchies” including stuffed mushrooms and pretzels, and 52 craft beers. Gluten-free and Vegan diners can have their pizza and eat it too, as all gluten-free pies are prepared separately and vegan pies using delicious “Daiya cheese” to substitute dairy cheese. The digs also veer towards the funky, with colorful banquettes, original artwork and ‘shroom murals, plus an outdoor patio.

Pazzo- Great Food in a Gorgeous Space

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On June - 14 - 2015

PAZZOPazzo Ristorante has taken traditional Italian cuisine and enhanced it with a new age culinary twist all being lead by Chef Fabrizio Romani. His venture into fine Italian dining began in 2001 with a wildly successful restaurant in Caracas, Venezuela. Pazzo is conveniently located in between the Brickell and Coral Gables area. Customers know they will be receiving only the finest and freshest local and imported Italian ingredients when they dine at Pazzo. The restaurant offers entrees such as Linguini al Boccato di Cadinale which includes linguini with shrimp topped with asparagus, arugula and mushrooms; their delicious Involtino di Pollo alle Mandorle, the Gnocchi di Spinaci su Fonduta di Brie Tartufato, a spinach gnocchi with molten brie cheese and truffle sauce to die for. Not only is Pazzo a great authentic experience of delicious Italian cuisine, but you can come and enjoy multiple special events throughout the week, like the Viva La Pasta every Tuesday where you can choose from their different homemade pastas for only $10.99 all day long or Celebrate Wine Wednesdays with your friends where select wine bottles are 50% off for ladies. Hours of operation: 12:00PM – 10:30PM Monday through Saturday.

FAB’s Brunch is Absolutely Fab!

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 7 - 2015
Chef Philipe Ruiz at FAB Brunch

Chef Philipe Ruiz at FAB Brunch

Michelin-starred executive chef Phillip Ruiz, who gained a cult-like following for his decadent brunch at the iconic Biltmore Hotel has moved on up to the east-side. All the way up to Sunny Isles Beach, where he now helms the kitchen at Fresh American Bistro, affectionately known as FAB, located at Sole on the Ocean Resort and Spa. Ruiz’s menu for the “Brunch FABulously” program, features contemporary American cuisine with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. Brunch is served every Sunday at the sleek, yet intimate dining room or on the restaurants wrap around outdoor terrace, overlooking breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

At $45 ($22 for kids 12 and under) brunch is a bargain- especially since a raw bar piled high with shrimp, oysters, stone crabs, Alaskan King Crab and ceviche is fresh and abundant. There’s also unlimited caviar- with all the trimmings.

In addition to the staples such as Belgian Waffles and Eggs Benedict, guests will find culinary classics that are both innovative and familiar such as Mediterranean Grilled Chicken with Tarragon and Capers, crepes, Spicy Lamb Sausage, and Citrus Poached Atlantic Salmon. Other menu items include Cracked Pepper Skirt Steak, Silver Dollar Pancakes, Mahi Mahi and ceviche. Save room for the dessert table- complete with a chocolate fountain. Read the rest of this entry »