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Guide To Miami Beach

Miami Beach has so many restaurants and tons of attractions. It is hard to figure out which things to do and places to dine at are good. On our South Beach Guide we have selected some of the best places you can’t leave Miami Beach without trying. Guide to Miami Beach

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Guide To Little Havana

Little Havana in Miami is a unique neighborhood rich in culture. Here is where you find some of the most authentic Cuban cuisine, get to know the neighborhood behind the scenes, Read A Guide To Little Havana

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Guide To The Midtown/Design District

Strolling down Coconut Grove is something everyone should experience when visiting Miami. There is a lot of history and has a feeling of an old and friendly neighborhood. Learn what to do in Coconut grove by visiting our Coconut Grove Guide

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Guide To Wynwood Art District

What are the top things to do in Wynwood are all listed here. We know the neighborhood very well and have specific recommendation on galleries, restaurants, and we cover a little bit about graffiti and art. Guide to Wynwood

 

The Dutch BBQ series

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the dutch restaurant

The Dutch at W South Beach Hotel & Residences will wrap up the wildly-successful summer BBQ series, Bourbon, Beer and ‘Cue, with a very special celebration. Chef/Co-owner Andrew Carmellini will join the grand finale “Battle of La Caja Chinas” featuring whole animal roasts from The Dutch’s Chef de Cuisine Conor Hanlon, Aaron Brooks of EDGE Steak & Bar and Jeremiah Bullfrog of gastroPod. The festivities will take place on Wednesday, July 30th beginning at 7:00 p.m. in W South Beach’s glamorous backyard, Grove. Menu follows:

Conor Hanlon Whole Moroccan Lamb with Harissa BBQ Rub Chilled Couscous Salad with Turkish Apricots Cucumber-Mint Raita Jeremiah Bullfrog Whole Roasted Pig Parts Porkfat Biscuits Sweet Potatoes Slow-Cooked Cabbage Aaron Brooks Hip of Creekstone Farms Beef, Smoked & Slow Roasted with Carolina Style BBQ Sauce, Bread & Butter Pickled Green Mango Creamy Kale Slaw Fried Okra

Additional offerings include desserts by pastry chef Josh Gripper. Specials from the bar include $2 PBR Tall Boys; $3 Tecates fully dressed with BBQ rub and citrus; $9 Specialty Bourbon Cocktails; and $40 Summer Punch Bowls.

Tickets to the feast are $55 per person (includes taxes and gratuity, beverages charged separately upon consumption) and on sale now at The Dutch’s Eventbrite.com page: http://www.eventbrite.com/o/the-dutch-2913104985 Space is limited, advanced purchase is recommended. Walk-in guests are welcome.

The Dutch is located inside W South Beach Hotel & Residences, 2201 Collins Avenue, in Miami Beach, Florida, 33139. Please call (305) 938-3111 or visit www.thedutchmiami.com

Khong River House Launches Weekend Brunch

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Khong River House, the innovative 50 Eggs concept recognized for its authentic yet approachable menu rich with bold Southeast Asian flavors, has launched a weekend brunch with a selection of Asian takes on classic brunch favorites.

Guests can enjoy hearty Plates & Bowls such as the Coconut Sesame Pancakes ($14) topped with brûléed banana and pineapple, finished with a coconut rum glaze; the Moo Shu Breakfast Wrap ($15), scrambled eggs with ground pork and shrimp served with a Chinese cucumber salad; or the Beef Short Rib Omelet ($16), wok-fried short rib with potato, bell pepper and cilantro served with a Thai Boran salad. House favorites, such as the Khong Fried Chicken ($22), coated with a honey-lime marinade and served with mango slaw; or traditional Noodles & Curry entrees such as the Laotian Drunken Rice Noodles ($16-$20) tossed with chili and Thai holy basil, make for great family-style brunch options.

Savory side dishes ($4 – $10) balance the bold flavors of the main plates and include Fresh Pineapple tossed with spiced syrup; a Golden Waffle served with whipped cream and Mekong rum syrup; and Curried Breakfast Potatoes with Chinese sausage. For a sweet ending, diners will delight in Thai Doughnuts ($8) with assorted dipping sauces or Sweet Thai Sticky Rice and Mango ($7), with Florida mango, toasted coconut and fresh basil.

Complementing the flavorful brunch fare, guests can cleanse their palates with an assortment of fresh juices, awaken their senses with made-to-order Panther Coffee, or enjoy bottomless cocktails priced at $19.99 in spirit of the Thai lucky number 9 with choice of spicy Thai Bloody Mary, Classic Bloody Mary, Mango Bellini or Classic Mimosa.

Khong River House is located on Miami Beach at 1661 Meridian Avenue. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily, with Saturday and Sunday brunch from noon to 4 p.m.

Telephone: (305) 763-8147; www.khongriver.com

About 50 Eggs, Inc.

Founded by John Kunkel, 50 Eggs Inc. is a multi-faceted, full-service culinary and hospitality firm focused on developing cutting-edge brands with unparalleled dining experiences. As CEO of one of Restaurant Hospitality Magazine’s “Coolest Multi-concept Companies in the Land,” John owns and operates the James Beard nominated and award winning Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Khong River House, Swine Southern Table & Bar and Patpong Road, and is also known for creating and developing the fast casual chain Lime Fresh Mexican Grill.

Jefe’s Original Soul Shack

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jefes burger

It finally happened. After over a year of adversity coming from the city of North Miami Beach, Jack was able to surpass all tribulations to open up his beloved Jefe’s Original Soul Shack. Jack is considered a pioneer in the Miami food truck scene, as he battled long and hard with city guidelines in order to pave the way for the facilitation of restaurants on wheels. His battles seemed to not have gone in vain, as it has become easier now more than ever to operate in the city. For this alone, we should thank Jack, but he means so much more than that to our culinary scene. In a sense, we need to consider him for what he is and what he offers. His food is non-pretentious, straightforward, and downright delicious.

Just like many other food truck operations, Jefe’s began as a need to collect funds in order to open up a brick in mortar. As mentioned previously, since Jefe’s was one of the originals, there were many hurdles to overcome, but this did not stop Jack. After a few years working on his extremely successful Jefe’s food truck concept, he decided it was time to finally open up his restaurant. He had already established his clientele and was known for making legitimate comfort food. So why not? Sadly, it worked better on paper than in reality, as the city of North Miami made it extremely difficult for an emerging businessman to thrive. At the end, Jack’s determination to not be defeated by the city pushed him forward to finally open his doors.

jefes tacos

 

Jefe’s food is real, not over-inflated, and simple. Jack finds inspiration from past experiences with food that pulls his heartstrings. Every single item on the menu is something that is beloved to the owner, which makes dining here a personal experience instead of one coming straight from need for sustenance. The menu is an extension of what everyone has come to know and love from the truck, including the ever-famous tacos, all American burgers, and a few new items as well. The tacos are just like an authentic Mexican taco should be: simple, fresh, and harmonious. Although you won’t find more than four items topping each tortilla, they all combine to create a blending of flavors that is greater than the sum of its parts.

The All-American burgers are just what they sound like. The inspiration coming from the West Coast favorite In-N-Out is obvious, making for a burger eating experience that is the epitome of what a burger should be. The cheese is melted perfectly, the beef is fresh and succulent, the produce is fresh, and the bun is squishy slightly steamed to an almost pillow-like state.

If you want to try some of Jefe’s new menu items, I highly recommend the Pinche Cholo, an Angus Beef patty topped with carnitas, pastrami, pepperjack and American cheese, grilled onions, pickles, spicy ketchup, and mustard. The carnitas (slow roasted braised chunks of pork) and pastrami merge with the beef patty to create a ménage a trois of flavors that almost seems like cheating. How could topping a burger with pastrami and braised pork not be delicious? That in itself would make a delectable burger, but the cheese, grilled onions, pickles, and sauces makes for one of the messiest burgers around. Contrary to popular belief, I’ve always felt like this is exactly what a burger should be: an opportunity to become fully immersed in an indulgent sandwich that just brings satisfaction. By the way, did I mention that the sauces are homemade? The spicy ketchup, made with tamarind and chipotle, shows exactly what separates Jefe’s from the rest. Attention to detail and inspiring items are executed to the point of not having a weak spot on the menu.

From talking to Jack, you can tell that he is proud of his new restaurant. This is his baby, and talking about it brings a smile to his face. His love for the concept is contagious, making anyone who s sets foot into the location a fan. He plans to expand on his concept to different areas around South Florida, with places like Oakland Park, Davie, and Kendall in mind. I, for one, cannot wait for this to happen, but until then, you can find me at the Soul Shack devouring my Fish Tacos and Pinche Cholo.

Jefe’s Original Soul Shack

12581 Biscayne Blvd,
North Miami, FL 33181
3059895811
jefesoriginal.com
facebook.com/pages/Jefes-Original-Fish-Taco-and-Burger/10150103271555192

By food blogger, Santiago Cardona

Tongue & Cheek’s July 4th Brunch and World Cup Specials

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Tongue & Cheek 4th of July Brunch

Regular A la Carte Brunch Menu that features classic brunch staples, as well as unique offerings

Open 11am- 4pm
Bottomless Mimosas, Bellinis, Bloody Marys, Selected Craft Beer $25
$5 Valet Parking

Specials: 

Apple Brined Smoked BBQ Chicken
Smoked BBQ Fish Sandwich with Bread & Butter Pickles
House-made Pecan and Apple Pies
$2 PBR’s

 

World Cup Game Day Specials

World Cup Quarterfinalist games are 12pm and 4pm *(they will run special World cup offerings for this)

$2 Beef Cheek Sliders
$5 Selected Appetizers
$4 Craft Beers
$8 Signature Cocktails
$20 Bottomless Beverages

Tongue & Cheek is located at 431 Washington Avenue. Dinner is served nightly from 6pm to 10pm Sunday andMonday; ‘til 11pm Tuesday through ThursdayFriday and Saturday ‘til midnight.  Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 4pm.  The snack bar opens at 5pm, with Happy Hour specials on handcrafted cocktails, beer and wines by the glass nightly from 5pm to 8pm.  For more information, please call (305704-2900 or visit tandcmiami.com

 

Lola the Baker- The Kitchen Hop

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lola the baker

It was a given that with the advent of the craft beer scene, bakers and cooks would eventually begin to work with the beverage to produce unique food. Enter Lola the Baker. This custom bakery in Miami is quickly gaining recognition for its cupcakes made using craft beers. Flavors like Flan, using Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout, and Chocolate Peanut Butter, using Left Hand Milk Stout, evoke the flavors of these recognized beers in order to create flavors catering to adults. You can special order your beer cupcakes from Lola the Baker, or you can find her at various food events throughout the city. At the most recent Kitchen Hop, I was able to sample Lola the Baker’s Vanilla Macchiato and Banana Flambé.

The Vanilla Macchiato is a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter cupcake topped with espresso frosting and topped with an espresso bean. Not only is this cupcake inspired by adults’ love for beer, but also our love for coffee. The cake itself has an added roasted maltiness with an unexpected hint of chocolate that comes from the beer. The espresso frosting is a nice change of pace from other coffee frostings at other cupcake stores, since I have found that this flavor is hard to execute. Instead of being espresso flavored, these frostings are usually devoid of any coffee notes and just stay extremely sweet. Luckily, Lola the Baker manages to make her frosting deliver on the coffee flavor, rounding out the final cupcake nicely as a whole.

The Banana Flambé is Lola the Baker’s most recent addition to the craft beer cupcake list. This cupcake, made with Wells Banana Bread beer and topped with a flambéed marshmallow meringue, is inspired by a classic combination of bananas and marshmallows. The beer is not meant to overpower the essence of the cupcakes, and this base is a perfect example of that. The beer here just adds natural sweetness and nuttiness reminiscent of Banana nut bread, letting you appreciate the dessert for what it is. The meringue is sweet enough and the flambéing gives a charred effect that evokes childhood around a campfire. Overall, both of these cupcakes were successfully executed.

Although Lola The Baker is becoming known for her beer cupcakes, she also offers non-alcoholic cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, and even treats for canines. They cater to parties, events, and local festivals, so if you’re planning something, now you have a new option to your next party a success.

Lola the Baker

Miami, FL
(305) 781-4926
lolathebaker.com/Home_Page.php
facebook.com/LolaTheBaker

By food blogger, Santiago Cardona

5 RESTAURANTS WE RECOMMEND FOR THIS WEEKEND JULY 4, 2014

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For the best eats this weekend has to offer, these are the restaurants we recommend.

L’Echon Brasserie

At this point, everything the PubBelly boys touch turns to gold and with good reason. When a restaurant group brings you restaurants like Pubbelly, Pubbelly Steak, and Macchialina, you basically start to trust them blindly. That is why this week you need to make your way to their newest concept, L’echon Brasserie. This French-inspired restaurant housed at the Hilton Cabana Miami Beach Hotel is offering French bistro elements and upscale cuisine in a rustic Pubbelly look. Step into this warm and comforting restaurant luring you with a divine smell of burning cedar, oak, and hickory woods and prepare to embark on a culinary adventure unlike what Miami has seen in the past. L’echon is bigger than all of the other Pubbelly concepts, as this 150-seat brasserie boasts an oceanfront outdoor patio and 2,500 square feet of indoor, outdoor and courtyard space. Menu standouts include Cochon de Lait ($24), a suckling pig served with celiac remoulade and mustard-sherry jus, and the 21 oz Cote de L’echon ($39), served with pickled slaw and mustard jus. For those staying at the hotel, L’echon also offers the opportunity to order food to be served pool side.

L’echon Brasserie
6261 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL
(786) 483-1611
pubbellyboys.com/lechon/
facebook.com/pages/Lechon-Brasserie/528750757212087

Threefold Café

Here at Miami Culinary Tours, we love it when restaurants and local establishments work together in order to run successfully. Abundant places in the city have begun embracing this concept, and Threefold Café is one of the newest restaurants running like this. At Threefold Café, you can find high quality local products such as Panther Coffee and Zak the Baker bread along with locally produced and sourced seasonal food. The thoughtful and inspiring fare at this simple café is extremely brunch-friendly and whimsical. You’d be remiss in not getting breakfast dishes such as the Not So French Toast or the Pope Benedict. The French Toast is stuffed with prosciutto, sage and ricotta and adds a savory element to the staple usually filled with sweet and fruit ingredients. The Pope Benedict includes house-made hollandaise and beachwood ham atop a hand crafted hash brown to produce a distinct take on the classic. If breakfast is not your thing, their lunch selection changes daily, as does their cold-pressed juice selection. The coffee is made to order by well-trained baristas, making for an out-of-this-world cup of coffee made from fragrant beans roasted in our own backyard.

Threefold Café
141 Giralda Ave Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 704-8007
threefoldcafe.com
facebook.com/pages/Threefold-Cafe/231262110414860

Divino Ceviche

The end of June marks the end of Coral Gables Restaurant week, but don’t fret, as July brings us the 3rd annual A Taste of Doral. Similar to Coral Gables Restaurant Week, A Taste of Doral is a month long program in which restaurants in the area offer fixed priced three-course menus that allow you to sample what they have to offer at discounted prices. For the first week, we recommend Divino Ceviche for a modern and inspired take on Peruvian cuisine. This established restaurant, with various locations throughout the city, has made a name for itself by taking a rustic cuisine and presenting it in sophisticated ways in order to appeal to the gourmands in Miami. With the Lavish Dinner ($25), you can choose from Pulpo en salsa anticuchero, skewers of octopus, or Mini tacu tacu, a rice and bean patty, as your appetizer. For entrée, you have an option from half a dozen choices found in the restaurants Peru Fusion menu, including Tacu Tacu con Lomo Saltado, Saltado de Mariscos, and Fettucine a la Huancaina con Lomo Saltado. Dessert options vary daily, but take it from us that they are delicious and satisfying.

Divino Ceviche
2629 NW 79th Ave, Doral, FL 33122
(305) 406-2345
divinoceviche.com
facebook.com/divinoceviche
atasteofdoral.com/participating-restaurants-in-doral/

Drunken Dragon

Sure, Miami is abundant in different cultures and cuisines, but most of these cater to the Latin palate. Don’t get us wrong, we love Cuban, Colombian, and Peruvian food as much as everyone else in the city, but sometimes you just look for something different. That is where Drunken Dragon comes in. This recently opened Korean BBQ joint allows you to grill your own meat late into the hours of the night. Oh yea, there’s a great selection of booze too. Co-owner Jared Grant wanted to open a place with a local bar type of feel, and he definitely succeeded. There’s Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean and it’s a family-style menu made for sharing, with modern Asian tapas. Start with the Peking Bad ($12) to share, a roasted duck dish served with chicken skin, hoisin, cucumber, and scallion to provide familiar flavors of authentic asian cuisine. For something a bit more whimsical, so for the Bahn Mi Cuban Presse ($12), a Vietnamese sandwich of pork, pate, pickles, and sriracha given the Cuban treatment. After, move onto the star of the show, the grilled meats. The high-quality rib-eye ($15) and short-rib ($12) are must gets, but for the more adventurous, Drunken Dragon also offers beef tongue ($9). Either way, the marinated meat is cooked by you at the table, giving a hands-on experience that most restaurants don’t offer.

Drunken Dragon
1424 Alton Rd., Miami Beach
(305) 397-8556
drunkendragon.com
facebook.com/pages/Drunken-Dragon/473237522741678

Swine

It seems like Swine is one of the most talked about restaurants in Miami at the moment, but they have definitely deserved their place in the spotlight. Brought to you by 50 Eggs, this BBQ concept is the perfect place to celebrate our country’s independence. Although most of our favorite cuisines come from different countries (hamburgers come from Germany and Pizza comes from Italy), it is safe to say that the native American cuisine is BBQ. That is why Swine is such a good option. When looking for succulent pulled pork or perfectly smoked ribs, this is the restaurant that you want to be dining at. The smell of smoked meat and burning hickory is the first thing you’ll notice walking in, making you wonder why on earth this fragrance isn’t more widely available. The menu may be overwhelming, but you can’t go wrong with any choice. On Fourth of July, Swine will be serving up a half rack of ribs ($26) with their signature competition rub, cider vinegar mop and homemade pickles for the holiday. Their beverage program is out of this world, offering cocktails centered around the ever-popular bourbon. Their house coktail, the Swine Old-Fashioned is made with bacon washed old overholt rye, maple syrup, and housemade ‘Swine’ bitters.

Swine
2415 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134
(786) 360-6433
runpigrun.com
facebook.com/SwineSouthernTable
twitter.com/SwineSouthern

EVENTS IN MIAMI THIS WEEKEND JULY 4, 2014

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There is always something going on in the culinary scene in Miami, and we recommend these events in Miami this weekend July 4, 2014.

Bourbon Beer and Cue’

The Dutch, Andrew Carmellini’s popular American restaurant at The W, has updated its popular BBQ series with a new venue. Every Wednesday during the month of July, the Dutch will team up with guest chefs in an effort to provide guests with down-to-earth cookout style food in an outdoor setting. This week, Chef Jamie DeRosa from highly acclaimed Tongue and Cheek will be cooking alongside The Dutch’s Chef de Cuisine Conor Hanlon to bring you dishes such as apple brined smoked BBQ chicken, Texas-style smoked beef brisket, and a smoked and barbecued mackerel sandwich. By bringing you cocktails music, great food, and classic outdoor games, The Dutch hopes to combine all that they love about summer cookouts in an updated setting. Basically, you get to enjoy all the perks of a backyard BBQ without having to worry about taking care of the grill in 100-degree Miami summers. There will be specials at the bar ranging from $2 Tall Boys, to $9 cocktails and a sweet finish by The Dutch’s well-regarded pastry chef. Josh Gripper will be offering seasonal pies and desserts that he has quickly become known for, ending the night in a classic cookout fashion.

The Dutch
2201 Collins Ave 
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
$40.00
eventbrite.com/e/bourbon-beer-cue-tickets-12022366221?aff=eorg

The Emperor’s Social Bar

By now, most of the city recognizes The Broken Shaker at the Freehand Hostel as possibly the best bar program in South Florida. Being nominated by the James Beard Foundation brought lots of hype to the hipster-friendly poolside bar, and the fact that they are constantly involved in events and gatherings has gotten them recognition from everyone. This week, Mandarine Napolean launches the Emperor’s Social Bar at The Broken Shaker. Inspired by the emperor Napolean Bonaparte, this citrus liqueur will be served in exchange for social media coverage. Let us explain. For each new and unique Instagram post or Tweet, guests will get a branded token towards a Mandarine Napoléon cocktail. All you have to do is (1) take a photo, (2) post and tag #EmperorsBar @FollowNapoleon @FreehandMiami, (3) Show post to someone from Mandarine Napoleon, and (4) enjoy your drink. The Broken Shaker will still be offering its classic cocktails and punches, so this will be a night to remember. There is no better way to start the 4th of July weekend.

The Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami
2727 Indian Creek, Miami Beach
Thursday, July 3, 2014
8pm-11pm
Free
mandarinenapoleon.com/events/emperors-social-bar-presented-mandarine-napoleon/

Claws for Celebration

There is no better way to celebrate 4th of July than with a traditional clambake. So get ready to get your hands dirty as you suck your way through Ralph Pagano’s ode to the New England tradition. This celebrity chef will be serving an all-American menu for this year’s celebration, including lobster, clams, shrimp, hot dogs and burger. Ralph Pagano was a contestant on the first edition of Hell’s Kitchen and recently opened his first Miami restaurant, The Naked Taco, in South Beach’s Dream hotel. Gather the family and head to ALBA Seaside and relax during this beachside event while listening to live music around the fire pit. ALBA is the only restaurant within 25 miles with panoramic ocean views and is ranked the #1 restaurant in the area on Trip Advisor and Miami New Times. This event is B.Y.O.B (bring your own blanket) and will give you an incredible view from which to enjoy the beautiful Sunny Isles fireworks celebrating our independence.

Sole on the Ocean
17315 Collins Ave Sunny Isles, FL
Friday, Jul 4
6:00p to 11:00p
soleontheocean.com/alba.html

4th of July at Due South Brewing Co.

Located in Boynton Beach, Due South is one of South Florida’s premiere distributing craft beer breweries. The brewery is housed in a large 15,000 sq ft location, complete with a taproom allowing guests to sample their namesake creations such as the Caramel Cream Ale and Category 5 IPA or beer from other local breweries. Just like every other major brewery with a taproom, you can spend any day at the bar and have some of the freshest beer available, but this Friday makes for the perfect occasion to due so. Celebrate Independence Day at this local brewery with beer specials from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m (including growlers and fills jus in case you want to take some home), special tappings at 6 p.m, and raffles. The special release taps include selections such as the interesting Strawberry Honey Wheat, Mango Cilantro IPA, and Peanut Butter Bacon Ale. For the raffles, you will have the opportunity to win Due South goodies such as Insulated Cooler Bags Stuffed with Beer. To be included in the raffle, all you have to do is purchase a beer. You will get a raffle ticket for every ticket purchase. If you get hungry, Woody’s Burgers food truck will be at the brewery between 3:30 to 10pm.

Due South Brewery
2900 High Ridge Rd. #3 Boynton Beach, FL 33426
(561) 463-2337
Friday, Jul 4
3:00p to 11:00p
duesouthbrewing.com/events/action~month/exact_date~1404220067/

July 4TH Independence Day 2014 Dinner Fireworks Cruise in Miami

We suggest you purchase your tickets now for this popular annual event. Sold out every year, the Dinner Fireworks Cruise aboard the South Beach Lady Yacht gives you the opportunity to watch fireworks spectaculars while drifting in the ocean. This year, the yacht features a live DJ providing live music all night long, a cash bar allowing you to drink your night away, and the ability to purchase a full BBQ dinner with vegetable crudités 2 sides, salad, dinner rolls, and access to the dessert station for the entire family to enjoy. For $49 per person ($35 for children), you get guaranteed access on the boat that will give you views of the best firework show in Miami. So come on out and enjoy independence day a whole new way, and we guarantee you that it’ll be something that you will want to do time and time again.

South Beach Lady Yacht
301 N. Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33132
Friday, Jul 4
7:00p to 10:00p
$49.00 adults; $35 children
july4thmiami.com

OTC

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otc

OTC is a restaurant in the Brickell area dedicated to serving modern American cuisine combined with Asian and Pacific influences. By offering inventive and whimsical fare and an extensive craft beer and wine program, OTC has managed to create a fun and social atmosphere that sets it apart from other restaurants in the area. The interior is quite simple and inviting, alluding to the non-pretentious vibe that they are trying to achieve. This is somewhat different from the other restaurants in Brickell that focus more on the décor than on the actual food. On the other hand, what I have been able to sample from OTC stands up well to some of the better American-cuisine driven restaurants in Miami.

Executive Chef Jacob Anaya’s take on America’s favorite bar food is elevated and can even be considered sophisticated. The Thai chicken wings, doused in thai chili sauce and served with a cabbage-papaya slaw is a blending of cultures that appeals to gastronomes in many aspects. The chicken wing is meaty and adequately sized, standing up to the sweetness and mild heat from the chili sauce. Instead of being a heat that punches you in the mouth, consider the spiciness from these wings to be more akin to a love tap that just hints to you that it is there but doesn’t overpower the other flavors. The dominant flavor here is that of the actual chicken, which is of high quality and remains juicy and satisfying. What caught me completely off-guard was the slaw. Compared to your usual mayo-heavy slaw, this slaw is vinegar based and packs quite a punch. Inspired by the thai papaya salad “Som Tam,” this slaw is refreshing while still relying on the sweetness of the somewhat unripe papaya and a bit of chili to round out the fusion of flavors. Along with the chicken wings, the rest of the menu is locally sourced and has something to appeal to everyone. Standouts include the Piggy 3 Ways, a combination of pork belly, pork meatballs, sausage, braised beans, and swiss chard; Koran Style Chicken and Waffles; and the OTC Burger, made with tampeura beef cheeks, fontina, tomato jam, and dijonnaise.

OTC’s menu pairs perfectly with its well thought out beverage program, which is based around a varied selection of draft craft beers. With at least a dozen rotating taps, OTC has what I consider the best beer selection in Brickell. Not only that, but OTC consistently hosts events such as tap takeovers to please their beer and food loving clientele.

OTC

1250 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33130
(305) 374-4612
otc-restaurants.com
facebook.com/OtcRestaurant
twitter.com/OTCRestaurant

By food blogger, Santiago Cardona

La Tagliatella

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tagliatella

La Tagliatella is a group of restaurants scattered worldwide dedicated to serving authentic and delectable Italian cuisine in a sophisticated atmosphere. The Coral Gables location is one of the more breathtaking restaurants in the area, with wood floors, ochre-stained walls, hanging chandeliers, and brown leather cushioned chairs. Walking in leaves you with an impression of entering an Italian palace, as feelings of grandeur emanate right from the doorstep.

Although the décor itself is reason enough to visit La Tagliatella, the food is on par with the ambiance created by the furniture. You can start with a simple bowl of nuts when sitting at the bar. The bowl of nuts at La Tagliatella is completely different than what you may be accustomed to at your neighborhood bar. I counted more than five varieties of nuts in this flavorful bowl, from cashews, to walnuts, to peanuts, to brazilian tree nuts. It was a perfect way to commence my meal. Handcrafted meatballs served with your choice of sauce are portioned reasonably enough to be considered an appetizer but not enough to fill you up for the other courses. The meatballs are made with a blend of sausage and beef and are seasoned with garlic, oregano, and Grana Padano, an earthy parmesan-like cheese that adds to the heartiness of the beefy balls. Out of the two sauces that are offered, I would recommend the Pesto Rosso Pana. Although the Spicy Napoletano sauce is fresh-tasting with a bite of red chili flakes, the pesto is herby, cheesy, and amplified with a touch of cream that leaves a lingering richness on your tongue.

The Tagliatella Pizza is deserving of the Tagliatella name. Made with tomato, mozzarella, fried eggplant, Parmigiano- Reggiano, honey, and balsamic glaze, this pizza is the epitome of contrasting flavors. You get funkiness and earthiness from the parm, richness from the mozzarella, freshness from the tomato, beefiness from the eggplant, and sweetness from the honey and balsamic glaze. Placed atop a cracker-like crust, this pizza is destined to be devoured in one sitting from how deceptively light and delectable it is. If The Tagliatella Pizza has too much going on for you, the Margherita is a great way to go. Just like all Margerita pizzas, this choice is composed of mozzarella, fresh tomato and basil, but it is executed well enough to be considered a textbook example of the Neapolitan style. The dough is made with a blend of two different flours and is baked in traditional Italian ovens, resulting in a crisp and flavorful crust that holds up to the toppings but does not dominate the overall package.

Whether you’re looking for satisfying Italian food or a comforting atmosphere, La Tagliatella is the place for you. They cater to all a guests needs and through their serviceable staff, guarantee an experience that will make you wonder when you’ll come back right after stepping foot out the door.

La Tagliatella

301 Miracle Mile,
Coral Gables, FL 33134

(786) 464-0516
latagliatella.us/restaurants/la-tagliatella-miami-florida/
facebook.com/latagliatellacoralgablesmia

By food blogger, Santiago Cardona

Angelique Euro Cafe

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If you’re looking for an atypical eating experience in Coral Gables, you must definitely keep Angelique Euro Cafe open as an option. Despite the word “café” in the name, this is a full-blown restaurant. Not only is it offering a full menu with made-to-order food, but also their extensive beer and wine selection gives competition to most restaurants in the city. I was able to sample quite of few of their dishes through Coral Gables Restaurant Week and left more impressed than I had anticipated.

When it comes to appetizers, there is no going wrong with Chorizo en Vino, a Spanish peppered sausage, served in a hearty sauce of sautéed shallots, butter & red wine with toasted French bread. Easily the best item on the menu, this comforting dish is inspired by Spanish tapas dishes that can now be found everywhere throughout Miami. Fortunately for Angelique, this is the best iteration I have found. The pancetta and clams is another standout dish, served in a broth made with shallots, scallions, basil, and white wine. As you would expect from the ingredients, the broth is rich in a delicate onion flavor that pairs perfectly with the natural brininess of the clams. The white wine applies flavors akin to lemon and tart orange, giving you the citrus aspect that a person craves when eating seafood. To end, I sampled warm white chocolate raspberry bread pudding in a custard-like sauce. White the bread pudding was delectable, the sauce it was served with was good enough to order by itself if that were an option. The velvet-like sauce was thick and heavy in rich flavors of cream and butter, only made better by the fact that it was warm. This sauce paired perfectly with the raspberry and white chocolate from the bread pudding.

Although the food impressed me quite a bit, the service is where Angelique stood out from the other places in the Gables. I don’t mean to say that the service at other restaurants are on the Mile is not good, but Angelique delivers a genuine sense of hospitality that I wish other restaurants would employ. The owners were present and seemed happy just to have costumers willing to dine at their restaurant. That would definitely explain the line crowding by the door when I was leaving, since people were willing to wait for a table on a weekday night. Places like these make dining out in Miami a pleasure.

Angelique Euro Cafe

117 Miracle Mile,
Miami, FL 33134

(305) 529-9922
angeliqueeurocafe.com/ordereze/Default.aspx
facebook.com/angeliqueeurocafe?ref=hl
twitter.com/angeliquecafe

By food blogger, Santiago Cardona