Former Versace Mansion Pours 24 Karat Gold Margaritas in Its Onyx Bar

Former Versace Mansion Pours 24 Karat Gold Margaritas in Its Onyx Bar
  • Miami Beach's Versace Mansion has a storied past but its present is just as luxurious.

  • 24 karat gold tile line the pool at the Villa Casa Casuarina, matching the opulence of the double king beds found in the hotels many boutique suites.

The opulence of the Villa Casa Casuarina was established during its former existence as the Versace Mansion. But not even a fraction of the lavishness has been lost since it was purchased and transitioned into a boutique hotel by the Victor Hotels Group in 2013. The pool is embedded with thousands of gold tiles, the breezeways are dotted with intricate fountains, and in Gianni Versace's former kitchen there now lives a cozy bar, exclusive to guests of Gianni's, the hotel's private restaurant. 

Watch the episode above for some awe-inspiring views and mouth-watering cocktails that live up to the mansion's luxurious past. 

Cocktail No. 1: 24 Karat Golden Margarita

Recipe:

  • Allaire Aged Crystal Tequila
  • Grand Marnier
  • Lime juice
  • Simple syrup
  • Orange juice

Cocktail No. 2: Passion in the Mansion

Recipe:

  • Passion fruit infused vodka
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Citrusy infused syrup
  • Top with champagne
  • Garnish: Passion fruit seeds, dragon fruit

Cocktail No. 3: Julep Spoon of Cilantro

Recipe:

  • Cilantro
  • Organic agave nectar 
  • Angostura bitters 
  • Homemade spicy bitter  
  • Woodford Reserve Rye
  • Garnish: Hand full of cilantro
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Miami Chefs Create Their Own Culinary Scene

Miami Chefs Create Their Own Culinary Scene
  • Miami Star chefs come together to discuss the culture of South Beach culinary scene

  • Foodies love these Miami Beach restaurants for their unique cuisine

The greatest minds in culinary, all at one table: What would you ask? On this episode of Foodable’s At The Chef’s Table, Miami’s chef community unites in their desire not to follow in the footsteps of New York or Los Angeles but to grow their own culinary culture. Along with focusing on their own passions, these Miami chefs also emphasize the importance of evolving with their community.

Grown, Shannon Allen’s healthy fast food concept is just one of those striving to solve the problems today’s health-conscious consumer is facing. “I think if you’re not going towards farm to table, if you’re not sourcing local ingredients, you're going to answer to a customer that’s very smart, has dealt with health problems, has food allergies, is very aware of what they are putting in their mouth and that it affects not only how they feel but also their lifespan,” she explains.

Grab a seat at the table with host Paul Barron and Miami star chefs Giorgio Rapicavoli, Diego Oka, Paula DaSilva, Cesar Zapata, and Shannon Allen.

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Miami's American Harvest Cuts Food Costs with Seasonal Sourcing

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On this episode of Fast Casual Nation, we talk to the founders of a concept that has quickly established itself as a loved brand in Miami.

Consumers today are demanding much more from restaurants. They expect clean, locally sourced ingredients, quick service, and affordable prices. While many restaurants try to offer all of these things, few can successfully execute without sacrificing their margins.

American Harvest Co., a concept started by Grove Bay Hospitality Group in the Brickell City Center, seems to have found the right balance.

With a menu focused on clean eating, American Harvest serves up minimally processed foods. They use words like ‘GMO-free’, ‘grass-fed’, and ‘organic,’ to support their commitment to sustainable practices and sourcing local.

With decades of experience combined between the top three minds of the leadership team, the Grove Bay Group has perfected every aspect of American Harvest Co. and now they market it as their growth brand.

Watch the episode above for more expert insights into fast casual!

 
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Support Local at Brickell's American Harvest

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Consumers today expect much more from restaurants. They demand clean ingredients that are locally sourced. They demand quick service at affordable prices. Many restaurants have tried to offer all of these things but not without sacrificing their margins. However, American Harvest Co. seems to have found the right balance in order to scale their healthy concept. American Harvest Co. is a concept started by Grove Bay Hospitality Group in Brickell with a focus on “Delicious. Clean. Eating.”

With a menu focused around clean eating, American Harvest serves up “minimally processed foods.” GMO-free, grass-fed, and organic are all words used to describe the dishes served up at the Brickell City Center restaurant. The concept also prides itself on its commitment to sustainable practices and sourcing local. Take for example their craft sodas and beer selection.

“We also developed our own soda recipes with a local vendor and they’re all organic cane sugar sodas. We also brought in some wine and some beer, locally-- some craft Florida beers,” says Co-Founder and CEO Francesco Balli.

The restaurant has a farmhouse kitchen feel, using pictures of old Florida and old Brickell to relay the fact that they are a Miami brand. Grove Bay owns a number of restaurants like the Big Easy WIne Bar right next door, but identify American Harvest as their “growth brand. The team plans to open their second location in South Miami where they will give it its own local flavor.

“Miami over all is having a little bit of a culinary renaissance in and of itself and Brickell is definitely a reflection of that,” says Balli.

With a menu including grass-fed burgers, cage-free rotisserie chicken, and and sustainable tuna, American Harvest Co. is a place you can feel good about eating at.

Clove Fills Mediterranean Gap in Fast Casual

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Video Produced by Denise Toledo

Clove Mediterranean Kitchen was inspired by two partners with different experiences in the foodservice industry. Alex Revynthis has an extensive background in the food and beverage industry, most recently at Costa Coffee as their chief financial officer. Spiro Naos opened a number of Miami Subs sandwich shops before getting involved in other ventures. After meeting in New York, the duo decided to partner up on a Mediterranean fast casual concept.

While fast casual is the fastest-growing segment of the industry, the Clove team noticed the lack of Mediterranean options in the space — especially Mediterranean cuisine that focused on the simple, clean ingredients important to traditional cuisine. After being introduced to Greek Celebrity Chef Andreas Lagos, the pair knew he was the right guy to develop their menu.

Lagos studied cooking and pastry in Athens, Greece. He won a gold medal for Mediterranean cooking in Crete and was the head chef of Tomato in Santorini. With five books, Lagos is an authority on Mediterranean cuisine. That’s why it was important to him to import ingredients like honey and olive oil from Greece while also getting fresh produce from local vendors.

“The most important thing is ingredient, ingredient, ingredient. Fresh ingredient. We use a lot of olive oil, greek yogurt, greek honey, greek feta cheese,” said Lagos.

The consumer base in the business sector of Miami Beach is mostly executives with little time to spare for lunch. Executive chef and general manager at Clove, Daniel Becker, says that knowing their customers is critical in getting them through the door.

“Their dining or lunch choices are predicated on how fast can they have it, how healthy is it and what the quality and taste is,” he said.

In addition to clean ingredients, craft beer and sodas have been a major trend in fast casuals. While Clove offers local craft brews and cane sugar sodas, they also produce their own line of natural juices like Cardamom Apple Basil and Pomegranate Apple Mint.

Learn more about how Clove is going the extra mile on this episode of "Fast Casual Nation."