Miami Spice Newcomers to Try Post Hurricane Irma

Photo Courtesy Of Elena Vivas

Photo Courtesy Of Elena Vivas

In the wake of Irma, where ruble dresses the streets and electricity serves as currency, Miami is gallantly finding its way back to normalcy; and we have never been hungrier.

As hurricane snacks dwindle and stale, locals are in search of a stiff drink, good meal and strong AC. Thankfully, Miami Spice offers just that.

Miami Spice is the coveted sampler platter of South Florida’s restaurant year. Every August and September, hundreds of top-ranked eateries slash their prices and foodies flock to their tables like it’s Black Friday. Prix-fixe menus crafted by world-recognized chefs— in other words, a tableau of signature dishes that will cure your Irma blues.

Being the new kid on the block is never easy, and for these Miami Spice newcomers Irma has definitely served as the proverbial bully, cutting their premiere short. Not to fret, Miami Spice has been extended till the end of October, plenty of time to welcome these newbies to your Miami Spice round-up.

Please note that some menu offerings may have changed subject to the storm.

Tacology

This place offers much more than just tacos. Chef Santiago Gomez offers a mercado or “station” dining style, which employs preciseness and expertise for every dish. To start choose the octopus ceviche, topped with pico de gallo or the mini guacamole for the less adventurous. For your entree, I highly recommend the lobster tacos, butter poached and topped with black beans and rich chipotle sauce. The special rib eye tacos are also notable. They are crested with spicy chorizo, crispy chicharron and salsa. The fattiness of the chorizo and crunch of the chicharron are a delightful union for the senses. Wrap-up your evening with the creamy, cinnamon-rich arroz con leche, this rice pudding is the perfect remedy to soothe all that self-inflicted pain from Tacology’s many hot sauces.

Photo Courtesy Of Elena Vivas

Photo Courtesy Of Elena Vivas

Photo Courtesy Of Elena Vivas

Photo Courtesy Of Elena Vivas

Phuc Yea

This place offers a unique marriage of Vietnamese and Cajun spices; gristle-rich flavors juxtaposed to Vietnamese crispness. Although Phuc Yea is a newcomer to Miami Spice, owners Cesar Zapata and Aniece Meinhold are veteran Spice purveyors with their former eatery The Federal. Phuc Yea’s premiere offering includes a thorough collection of appetizers like country-fried oysters, jelly fish crudo and crispy imperial roll. The menu continues to impress with Cola confit duck, lemongrass chicken, peppercorn churrasco and vegetable curry. The fun continues with your choice of fried rice, chilled spicy beef noodles or mangoes and cukes. Phuc Yea’s hearty selections will leave you, well… saying Phuc Yea!

Photo Courtesy Of Elena Vivas

Photo Courtesy Of Elena Vivas

Pinch Kitchen

El Portal’s hidden gem. The off-beat kitchen that houses a clean menu of locally sourced produce and sustainable proteins kicks off the season with an underground, off-spice menu. Pinch’s prix-fixe menu includes their “K-town Guac”, a creamy guacamole blended with kimchi and topped with bulgogi. Options for entrees include their signature Fideua, an aromatic pasta permeated with cockles and fish, a hearty and rustic dish perfect for sharing. Although the scallops are not included in their prix-fixe offering they are worth sharing; tender morsels blanketed with fragrant beef sauce beneath cauliflower puree. Chefs John Gallo and Rene Reyes’ food truly displays the farm-rich, free-spirit that Pinch embodies, and best of all, their natural wines won’t give you a hangover. Cheers to that!

PHOTO COURTESY OF ELENA VIVAS

PHOTO COURTESY OF ELENA VIVAS

PHOTO COURTESY OF ELENA VIVAS

PHOTO COURTESY OF ELENA VIVAS

Gili’s Beach Club

Lastly, this restaurant is for the hands-on diner who doesn’t mind doing some of the work. The restaurant offers a lava stone experience where entrees are delivered on hot stones allowing patrons to cook their dishes to their likeness. Offerings include skirt steak, organic chicken and jumbo shrimp, accompanied by paella style rice, steak fries or chorizo potato salad, along with an assortment of sauces. Conclude your unique evening with house-made key lime pie or a sinful snickers cake. This beachside eatery is the perfect escape post Irma.

Thank you to all the local restaurants offering post-Irma deals and refuge for Miamians. We will rebuild one bite at a time!

Ella’s Oyster Bar: The New Pearl of Little Havana

Ella’s Oyster Bar: The New Pearl of Little Havana

Calle Ocho is a must-see in Miami, known for its cultural flavor and it’s rich in Latin American heritage. The clanking of tiles and bongos can be heard from Domino Park, all the while nearby tourists can be found with hand-muddled mojitos in their grip. The unique neighborhood is the home to an array of family-owned food markets, local artwork and the best Cuban bread under the sun.

Read More

The Elevated Tavern: Michael Schwartz's Concept in Miami Offers an Inviting Atmosphere with an Approachable, yet Refined Menu

The Elevated Tavern: Michael Schwartz's Concept in Miami Offers an Inviting Atmosphere with an Approachable, yet Refined Menu

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Dining and drinking have been a part of America's social fabric since colonial times, and the setting of this activity was often Taverns. 

These establishments were and always have been where all different walks of life to socialize over a drink and some bites. 

But, taverns have come a long way from what they used to be.

"From colonial times to the mid-19th century you had taverns, which provided food and lodging. They had a tapster in a cage—as opposed to at a long bar—and it was open to all members of the community, including women and children. Then you start to see the dedicated saloon, which didn’t necessarily serve food, and mixed cordials and spirits at a long bar. Women were rarely allowed. Hotel bars existed on the high end, catering to business travelers. During Prohibition there were speakeasies, and after that people went back to the term tavern, though it was more like the old saloon," said Christine Sismondo, author of "America Walks into a Bar," to "Smithsonian."

The concept of a tavern is still very much alive today. But now, taverns range from being small, dimly lit, dingy bars to high-end restaurants that offer an impressive bar menu

One of the most popular restaurants in Miami (that is a Foodable top 25 veteran) is Cypress Tavern, a restaurant that channels the esthetics of a refined tavern, while serving top notch food and an array of hand-crafted cocktails.

 

Read More

Avoid the Fight, Grab the Right Bite

Avoid the Fight, Grab the Right Bite

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

With less than two weeks until Valentine's day, you may be quietly (or not so quietly) panicking about what to do to impress your favorite lady or gent. 

If procrastinating has not produced the miracle idea you have been praying for, don't feel ashamed. 46% of people start shopping for a gift in early February, so you are not alone. 

But, nothing to fear Foodable reader! We are here to guide you on how to avoid the fight and grab the best bite. 

Check out the video above where people in Miami's Wynwood share their past Valentine's Day experiences, featuring the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Nonetheless, Valentine's Day should be all about love and creating memorable experiences.

"People don’t always get what they want on Valentine’s Day, and that’s because most people shop for their significant others without the input of that person. Most often, people receive candy, chocolate and cards on this heartfelt holiday, when what they really want is an evening out or an experience," writes "Entrepreneur."

So without further ado– here are some dos and don’ts to consider when planning your dining experience. 

Read More

Little River Cooperative Farm Introduces "Chef Share" Program

Little River Cooperative  | Facebook

Little River Cooperative | Facebook

The Little River Cooperative, one of Miami's most noteworthy farms, has just introduced a 'Chef Share'  community supported agriculture program available to local Miami chefs. Hoping to encourage more chefs to work with local, sustainably grown produce, 'Chef Share' is a seasonal program that offers local chefs weekly deliveries of produce, fresh off the farm, alongside basic information about each of the ingredients. Produce includes traditional vegetables, such as leafy greens, rainbow carrots and heirloom tomatoes that chefs are familiar with, as well as some unique herbs, edible flowers, and other interesting root veggies.

Co-owner Tiffany Noe states that she began the program with partner Muriel Olivares in the hopes of educating local chefs about South Florida's unique growing seasons and showing them firsthand what ingredients grow when. In addition, the program has appealed to private chefs and catering companies who are also looking to work with more fresh, seasonal ingredients. Read More