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Bodega Taqueria y Tequila

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margarita drink on the rocks
To kick of summer, Bodega Taqueria y Tequila is introducing a happy hour every day from 6-8pm in the back.  The food menu includes $2 tacos, $3 chips & guacamole, and $4 chips & salsa.  The drink menu includes $4 draft beers, $5 tequila shots, and $6 specialty cocktails.  Now there is no reason to not have Mexican every night.
The happy hour is also the perfect time to try Bodega’s new summer cocktail menu featuring creative concoctions such as the Midnight in Paradise, Belvedere, Foro Amaro, blackberry, lemon, orange bitters; South Sider, Aviation Gin, Martini & Rossi Rosso Vermouth infused with savory spices, Campari, citrus; Islander, Bacardi Superior, Amontillado Sherry, mango, salted honey, mint; Mexican French Kiss, Maestro Dobel, St. Germain, Yellow Chartreuse, basil, agave, lime; Overnight Sensation, Old Forester Bourbon, Lillet, Absinthe, ginger snap reduction, strawberry, thyme, lemon; and Don Diablo, Illegal Joven Mezcal, passionfruit, lime, Hellfire Bitters.  There is a drink for everyone, whether guests like vodka, gin, rum, tequila, or bourbon!

Bodega

1220 16th Street, Miami Beach, FL.
bodegasouthbeach.com

The Local Celebrates National Burger Day

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The Local Craft Food & Drink, Coral Gables poppin’ American Gastropub that just celebrated its fourth anniversary by launching an exciting menu revamp from recently appointed Executive Chef Phil Bryant, formerly of Swine Table & Bar, is celebrating National Burger Day by offering a Burger Day Happy Hour on Thursday, May 28, 2015, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Dishing out a specially priced version of the burger served at this month’s Burger Brawl, the annual burger extravaganza and contest organized by Miami blogger Burger Beast, The Local will afford guests one more chance to sink their teeth into the bacon crusted brisket blend topped with fried homemade American cheese, pickled onion relish and Mississippi comeback sauce. Priced at $16 throughout the rest of the day, those visiting The Local Craft Food & Drink between 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. for their popular Happy Hour, boasting half-off select beers,wines and spirits, can enjoy the juicy sandwich for just $12.

A cool locals’ haunt ideal for sipping rare microbrews and munching on expertly crafted, craveable pub grub, the new Local Craft Food & Drink is living up to its namesake, boasting an ever-rotating menu of incredibly fresh, locally sourced, well-executed and housemade delights.

The Local Craft Food & Drink, located at 150 Giralda Avenue in Coral Gables, serves lunch Monday through Friday from noon-3 p.m. Dinner is served Sundaysfrom 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Monday through Wednesday from 4:30 p.m.-11 p.m., andThursday through Saturday from 4:30 p.m.-1 a.m. An extended Happy Hour withhalf-off select beers, wines and spirits is offered Monday through Friday fromnoon-7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 4p.m.-7p.m. A menu of light bites between lunch and dinner service during the week is also offered. Phone: (305) 648-5687.

Pascal’s on Ponce Celebrates National Burger Day

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Pascal’s on Ponce , the landmark Coral Gables restaurant featuring award-winning contemporary French cuisine from revered chef Pascal Oudin, is celebrating National Burger Day (and month) by offering lunch goers a burger that’s all about the meat –a juicy Black Angus beef patty stuffed with rich and tender braised short rib on a warm Parmesan bun.  The decadent burger ($21) is offered during lunch service, all month long.

Pascal’s on Ponce, located at 2611 Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables, is open for lunch, Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. –2:30 p.m. and dinner,Monday through Friday, from 6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. and Saturday, from 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Brasserie Central Celebrates National Burger Day

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Brasserie Central, award-winning Chef/Restaurateur Pascal Oudin’s brand new haunt for affordable and authentic French faire located at The Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, embraces the American tradition of the burger the best way they know how with The Frenchie ($18). The mouthwatering concoction consists of Black Angus beef, tender beef short rib, crispy pork belly and St. Nectare cheese, all nestled between a toasted Parmesan bun. The burger is offered during lunch and dinnerservice on National Burger Day, Thursday, May 28, 2015, as well as throughout the month.

Brasserie Central is located in the Level 1 courtyard at The Village of Merrick Parkat 320 San Lorenzo Avenue in Coral Gables. Open daily from 11a.m. – 11p.m., they will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon glacerie (2p.m.-6p.m.) Telephone: 786-536-9386

MIMO’S VAGABOND RESTAURANT & BAR TO BEGIN LUNCH SERVICE

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Vagabond Restaurant & Bar is pleased to announce the launch of its first lunch service, which will take place next Tuesday, May 26th. The innovative MiMo eatery, which has positioned itself as a one-of-a-kind dining destination, will showcase its unique take on lunch, with the talented Executive Chef Alex Chang at the helm of the kitchen.

At Vagabond Restaurant & Bar, chef Alex Chang will offer a variety of lunch options, featuring locally sourced ingredients and unique flavors. Guests can expect the classics, such as the turkey sandwich featuring provolone, lettuce, tomato, green goddess, and country bread  ($12), as well as light bites such as the Chinese chicken salad with herbs, avocado, citrus, and almonds ($14).

For the adventurous eater, Chang offers a delicious pork tonkatsu sandwich with yuzu kosho, sauerkraut, and spicy mustard ($12), and of course the infamous Vagabond cheeseburger, featuring dry-aged beef, B&B pickle, and remoulade on a potato bun ($15).

Lunch at Vagabond Restaurant & Bar will officially launch on Tuesday, May 26th, and continue to run Tuesdays-Fridays, with hours of operation from 11:30am until 2:30pm. Vagabond Restaurant & Bar is located at 7301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132. Reservations can be made by calling (786) 409-5635; visit  www.vagabondrestaurant.com for more information.

ABOUT VAGABOND RESTAURANT & BAR

Located at the famed Vagabond Hotel in the Miami Modern (MiMo) historical district, the Vagabond Restaurant & Bar is the first collaboration between Restaurateur Alvaro Perez Miranda, Executive Chef Alex Chang and Financier Chris Wang. The restaurant features a global menu anchored in American, Latin and Asian influences. The menu is a coalescence of Executive Chef Alex Chang’s worldly experiences over the last few years, having had stints at such renowned restaurants as Animal in Los Angeles, Pujol in Polanco, Mexico, Les Creations de Narisawa in Tokyo and In De Wulf in Heuvelland, Belgium. The concept for the restaurant is “casual fine dining,” and was created to cater to the “contemporary vagabond,” a modern-day adventurer with a penchant for global food, drink and art.  The mantra of casual fine dining pervades everything in the restaurant from the understated elegance in Chef Chang’s culinary creations, to the floor service helmed by Perez Miranda and Wang, exuding a warm, high-energy vibe with the goal of treating every patron as a VIP.

THE LOCAL CRAFT FOOD & DRINK TAPS SIXPOINT BREWERY FOR THEIR MONTHLY ROAST & TOAST BOOZIN’ BRUNCH SERIES, SUNDAY, JUNE 7

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The Local Craft Food & Drink, Coral Gables’ poppin’ American Gastropub, continues its monthly Roast & Toast Boozin’ Brunch Series on Sunday, June 7, 2015 with the popular craft beer house Sixpoint Brewery, out of Brooklyn, New York. Beginning at noon, the four-course brunch is priced at $60 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity, and features a welcome cocktail along with Executive Chef Phil Bryant’s satisfyingly southern brunch classics, all perfectly paired with Sixpoint Brewery beers.  Reservations required; menu follows:

Welcome Bengali Cocktail

1st Course
Smoked Florida Sturgeon Tartare
Potato pancakes, apple, half sour pickles, malted cream cheese
Sweet Action

2nd Course
Redneck Penicillin
Pulled hen, matzo dumplin’s, roasted carrots, bourbon broth + chopped liver dirty rice
Jammer Gose

3rd Course
Beef Pastrami Benedict
Poached eggs, Zak the Baker Rye, grilled cabbage, + hollandaise
Barrel Aged SIGNAL Smoked IPA

4th Course
Cookies
Rugelach + hamantaschen with Homestead Honey Ice Cream, and peach preserves
The Crisp

Initiated as a part of the revamping of their menu/concept led by locally revered chefPhil Bryant, formerly of Swine Southern Table & Bar, The Roast & Toast Boozin’ Brunch Series welcomes a different outsider monthly, whether farmer, brewery, distillery or winery, to enhance the restaurant’s ever-changing menu of American fare with local ingredients. The Local Craft Food & Drink’s July brunch will be with Miami Smokers on Sunday, July 5, 2015.

The Local Craft Food & Drinks located at 150 Giralda Avenue in Coral Gables, serves lunch Monday- Friday from noon- 3 p.m., dinner seven days a week from4:30 p.m.- 11 p.m. and a late night menu until 2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday. Telephone: (305) 648-5687 Website: www.thelocal150.com

CULINARY VETERAN JEAN PAUL LOURDES NAMED EXECUTIVE CHEF OF TWO NEW DOWNTOWN MIAMI RESTAURANT CONCEPTS

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Two of downtown Miami’s hottest new restaurant openings, Marion, a Mediterranean restaurant and open-air market, and El Tucán, a modern-day cabaret reinvigorating the old dinner and show concepts of Havana, Cuba, have announced the appointment of culinary extraordinaire Jean Paul Lourdes as their executive chef. Lourdes brings with him an impressive culinary pedigree, having worked at three-star Michelin restaurants in Paris, Tokyo, London and Hong Kong. He will oversee all aspects of the menus for both Marion and El Tucan, from ordering the finest ingredients and products from a variety of purveyors to conceptualizing the presentation of the dishes.

“Jean Paul Lourdes is a seasoned chef who has worked at some of the most revered restaurants in the world,” said Michael Ridard, COO of MR Hospitality, the company managing both restaurants. “His unique background, extensive culinary experience and worldly travels shine through in his food and will set the tone for both establishments. He has tremendous talent and we are proud to have him on our team.”

Prior to joining Marion and El Tucán, Lourdes worked in culinary research in New York with restaurateur Stephen Starr and in various capacities for the luxury group Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts. He has also worked at several reputable restaurants around the globe, earning himself a collection of rave reviews from The New York Times, Forbes and The Star Ledger, to name a few. One of his proudest moments in his career was being invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York and also at their annual Chefs & Champagne event in the Hamptons.

Before beginning his culinary journey, Lourdes explored the world of science, completing his bachelors in biochemistry from the University of Paris XI and working five years in the fragrance industry in France. During this time he began to discover a hidden talent for cooking, and decided to pursue a career in the culinary world by receiving a dual masters degree in Food Science and Nutrition from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Lourdes gleans inspiration from various avenues including Mother Nature, the world of haute couture fashion and his travels. He is heavily influenced by fashion renegades, such as Alexander McQueen, Jeremy Scott & Issey Miyake, for ideas on colors, composition and texture of dishes, even once creating a dish entitled “Savage Beauty” paying homage to McQueen.

“It is a pleasure to join the Marion and El Tucán teams,” said Chef Jean Paul Lourdes. “It is an exciting time in Miami; it has been going through a cultural renaissance over the years and food has been at the forefront with a variety of international cuisines exploding in the city. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be able to make my own mark on Miami’s burgeoning culinary landscape and bring my own ideas and creations to life.”

Marion will be a breezy Mediterranean sit-down restaurant and market offering food and products of the highest caliber handpicked by Chef Jean Paul Lourdes. Upon entering the charming and expansive establishment, there will be beautifully arranged hanging breads, elegantly arranged pastries on an open-air counter, charcuterie station and a cafe. Once inside, patrons can either choose to sit down and dine on exquisite Mediterranean fare or grab-and-go one of its savory rotisserie chickens or its variety of pastries and other gourmet food items. Complemented with superb service, Marion combines a Mediterranean restaurant atmosphere with a traditional European market ambiance bringing a wholesome and healthy dining option that Miami foodies will enjoy, whether they are there to shop or simply dine.

El Tucán will be a place like no other, transporting revelers to the bygone era of glitz and glamour that is a new modern-day cabaret. Located in Brickell, the venue will feature a range of musical styles from Afro-Latin to Parisian pop, bringing international DJs and emerging acts to center stage and creating the ultimate nightlife experience. In addition to an eclectic musical lineup, El Tucán will house a resident 12-piece orchestra, carefully curated by Grammy award-winning pianist, composer and producer Marlow Rosado, that is reminiscent of the big bands from the jazz eras of the 40s and 50s. Food will also be a mainstay at El Tucán, featuring lux libations and Caribbean and South American fare that will include hints of Amazonian ingredients created by Chef Jean Paul Lourdes. The intimate, theater-style venue will also be open late night so partygoers can continue fêting after-hours.

7 Haitian Creole Dishes You Must Have While In Miami

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The Haitian gastronomy is known as Haitian Creole, or simply “creole,” a word referring to the French and Spanish elements adopted by the culture. In addition to European influences, authentic Haitian cuisine showcases African and Middle Eastern culinary styles. These are evident in the bold and spicy flavors. Creole also derives inspiration from neighboring Caribbean and South American countries. Seafood, beef, and poultry are always present in these hearty meals with which every Miamian should be familiarized.

Fried Conch With Creole Tartar Sauce and Pikliz

Surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, it is no surprise that the peninsula’s diet contains many Seafood dishes, of which the most delicious is undoubtedly fried conch. These crispy nuggets of sea snail are served with Pikliz, a Haitian dipping sauce of spicy pickled vegetables, including cabbage, carrots, onion, and peppers. Fried conch is a finger food that can be ordered at Chef Creole. This Little Haiti gem is Miami’s most popular restaurant for Haitian Creole.

Chef Creole 200 NW 54th St., Miami.

Shrimp in Creole Sauce and Boiled Yucca

Another seafood favorite is shrimp in creole sauce. Served in a bowl with a broth-style sauce containing onion and red bell peppers, this is a spicy dish best enjoyed with kidney bean rice and boiled yucca. Yucca is a starchy vegetable popular in Caribbean cuisine. Fried yucca is a crunchy alternative to the moist boiled version. At Tap Tap, South Beach’s top creole restaurant, the shrimp can also be ordered with a sweet coconut sauce.

Tap Tap 819 5th St., Miami Beach

Griot and Pikliz With Rice and Beans

Griot is fried pork, one of the most in demand creole dishes in Miami. In Little Haiti, Chez Le Bebe restaurant is known for their griot and pikliz. The griot is crunchy and savory, while the pikliz adds a sweet and spicy kick to the pork. Almost every Hatian dish will be accompanied by a little pikliz. For a side, enjoy this scrumptious plate with rice and beans and “banane frites”, or fried green plantains.

Chez Le Bebe 114 NE 54th St., Little Haiti

Kidney Bean Rice With Stewed Beef and Fried Sweet Plantains

This is probably the most traditional Haitian dish one can find in Miami. Creole-style stewed beef is absolutely delectable. The beef is cooked for hours and served in its own savory broth with bones and all. Kidney bean rice, an Afro-Caribbean specialty, is red beans with rice, but the rice is cooked with the beans. It sponges the bean soup and turns a reddish color, leaving the beans soft, but dry. In creole fashion, the kidney beans and rice are made spicy. This is pleasantly off set by the fried sweet plantains that are made with very ripe plantains to ensure maximum sweetness.

Naomi’s 650 NW 71st St., Miami

Poisson Frit En Sauce

Poisson frit en sauce is fried fish with creole sauce. The breading is quite different from other common styles of bread crumbs like southern, Japanese tempura, and Italian. This spicy fish fillet is thin and very soft on the inside, with a crisp exterior. At New Piman Bouk, order this creole favorite served with a banana.

New Piman Bouk 5932 NE 2nd Ave., Miami

Poulet or Lambi With Kidney Bean Rice

Poulet is stewed chicken, while lambi is stewed conch. The fried version of conch is a yummy finger food, but try the stew for a classic creole dinner that is hearty and satisfying. At Leela’s Restaurant, the poulet and lambi are both mouth watering. Order with kidney bean rice and your favorite version of plantains. Kidney bean rice is a frequent side dish, and it is often served in large portions equal to that of the meat.

Leela’s Restaurant 5650 NE 2nd Ave., Miami

Fritay

Fritay is a divine array of fried finger foods. Often, one can create his own combination. At Macillon Grio, the tassot cabrit, or fried goat is succulent and full of flavor. The sweet plantains or fried green plantains are also excellent choices. No Haitian meal is ever complete without plantains. Do not forget to dip everything in the pikliz, the spicy sauce that goes with everything in Creole cuisine.

Macillon Grio Fish and Chicken 1026 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach

Marion and El Tucán new restaurants in Downtown Miami

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The much-anticipated Marion and El Tucán appoint stellar chef Jean Paul Lourdes to lead both restaurants

Two of downtown Miami’s hottest new restaurant openings, Marion, a Mediterranean restaurant and open-air market, and El Tucán, a modern-day cabaret reinvigorating the old dinner and show concepts of Havana, Cuba, have announced the appointment of culinary extraordinaire Jean Paul Lourdes as their executive chef. Lourdes brings with him an impressive culinary pedigree, having worked at three-star Michelin restaurants in Paris, Tokyo, London and Hong Kong. He will oversee all aspects of the menus for both Marion and El Tucan, from ordering the finest ingredients and products from a variety of purveyors to conceptualizing the presentation of the dishes.

“Jean Paul Lourdes is a seasoned chef who has worked at some of the most revered restaurants in the world,” said Michael Ridard, COO of MR Hospitality, the company managing both restaurants. “His unique background,  extensive culinary experience and worldly travels shine through in his food and will set the tone for both establishments. He has tremendous talent and we are proud to have him on our team.”

Prior to joining Marion and El Tucán, Lourdes worked in culinary research in New York with restaurateur Stephen Starr and in various capacities for the luxury group Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts. He has also worked at several reputable restaurants around the globe, earning himself a collection of rave reviews from The New York Times, Forbes and The Star Ledger, to name a few. One of his proudest moments in his career was being invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York and also at their annual Chefs & Champagne event in the Hamptons.

Before beginning his culinary journey, Lourdes explored the world of science, completing his bachelors in biochemistry from the University of Paris XI and working five years in the fragrance industry in France. During this time he began to discover a hidden talent for cooking, and decided to pursue a career in the culinary world by receiving a dual masters degree in Food Science and Nutrition from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Lourdes gleans inspiration from various avenues including Mother Nature, the world of haute couture fashion and his travels. He is heavily influenced by fashion renegades, such as Alexander McQueen, Jeremy Scott & Issey Miyake, for ideas on colors, composition and texture of dishes, even once creating a dish entitled “Savage Beauty” paying homage to McQueen.

“It is a pleasure to join the Marion and El Tucán teams,” said Chef Jean Paul Lourdes. “It is an exciting time in Miami; it has been going through a cultural renaissance over the years and food has been at the forefront with a variety of international cuisines exploding in the city. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be able to make my own mark on Miami’s burgeoning culinary landscape and bring my own ideas and creations to life.”

Marion will be a breezy Mediterranean sit-down restaurant and market offering food and products of the highest caliber handpicked by Chef Jean Paul Lourdes. Upon entering the charming and expansive establishment, there will be beautifully arranged hanging breads, elegantly arranged pastries on an open-air counter, charcuterie station and a cafe. Once inside, patrons can either choose to sit down and dine on exquisite Mediterranean fare or grab-and-go one of its savory rotisserie chickens or its variety of pastries and other gourmet food items. Complemented with superb service, Marion combines a Mediterranean restaurant atmosphere with a traditional European market ambiance bringing a wholesome and healthy dining option that Miami foodies will enjoy, whether they are there to shop or simply dine.

El Tucán will be a place like no other, transporting revelers to the bygone era of glitz and glamour that is a new modern-day cabaret. Located in Brickell, the venue will feature a range of musical styles from Afro-Latin to Parisian pop, bringing international DJs and emerging acts to center stage and creating the ultimate nightlife experience. In addition to an eclectic musical lineup, El Tucán will house a resident 12-piece orchestra, carefully curated by Grammy award-winning pianist, composer and producer Marlow Rosado, that is reminiscent of the big bands from the jazz eras of the 40s and 50s. Food will also be a mainstay at El Tucán, featuring lux libations and Caribbean and South American fare that will include hints of Amazonian ingredients created by Chef Jean Paul Lourdes. The intimate, theater-style venue will also be open late night so partygoers can continue fêting after-hours.
For more information on Marion visit www.marionmiami.com. For more information on El Tucan visit www.eltucanmiami.com.

Father’s Day With Casa Dragones Joven Tequila

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THIS FATHER’S DAY, SHARE YOUR APPRECIATION WITH CASA DRAGONES JOVEN

Celebrated tequila producer offers to have personal messages handwritten on bottles of Joven for truly special gift

This Father’s Day, Casa Dragones – the acclaimed small-batch, independent tequila producer, is offering a one-of-a-kind way to show the father with discerning taste how much he’s appreciated by gifting him a bottle of Joven sipping tequila ($275) with a personal, handwritten message.

Those looking to present their father with something truly bespoke and meaningful can have their own personal message added by an expert calligrapher to the label of the striking 100% pure-crystal Casa Dragones Joven decanter. Show dad he’s appreciated with sample phrases like: For always being there, For that first loan, For teaching me to cook and For never asking why.

Since launching in 2009, Casa Dragones Joven sipping tequila has earned praise from tequila aficionados, top sommeliers, renowned chefs and influencers for its distinctive taste, aroma and body that reflect the precision that go into its production. Casa Dragones Joven received 96 points from Wine Enthusiast, the highest tequila rating. It is best served neat and sipped slowly, and pairs nicely with an array of dishes. For those looking to provide their dads a moment of pure indulgence, Casa Dragones Joven can be enjoyed with cigars as well as dark chocolate.

For a distinctive Father’s Day gift that shows your love and admiration while providing an element of surprise, a personalized bottle of Joven sipping tequila is the ideal way to make this year’s holiday a memorable one. Whatever the sentiment on the bottle, it is sure to make the statement that the world’s best dad deserves only the best.

Personalized bottles of Joven sipping tequila can be ordered in-store and over the phone at local South Florida retailers including Sunset Corners Wines & Liquors, Portofino Wine Back and Mega Liquors and Wine. Bottles can also be ordered through the Casa Dragones website at www.casadragones.com. Please Note: All orders will take three business days to be completed. Last date for Father’s Day orders is June 16th.

Like Casa Dragones on Facebook www.facebook.com/CasaDragones. Follow Casa Dragones on Twitter and Instagram @casadragones and share your Father’s Day purchase with the hashtag #DadsLoveDragones