CASA DRAGONES LAUNCHES ITS FIRST BLANCO TEQUILA

Casa Dragones Debuts Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco, A Small Batch, Handcrafted, 100 Percent Blue Agave Silver Tequila, Ideal for Cocktails

Tequila Casa Dragones, the celebrated independent tequila producer, introduces The First Edition of Casa Dragones Blanco, a special release of the first batches produced in 2014, presented at $75 a bottle.

Made with 100% pure blue agave, Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco addresses the market’s need for an ultra-premium smooth silver tequila suitable for cocktails and maintains Casa Dragones’ unrivaled focus on elevating the tequila category through handcrafted, exceptionally pure, small batch distilling.

Casa Dragones Blanco builds on the success of Casa Dragones Joven, the critically acclaimed pure sipping tequila launched in 2009. Like the Joven, Casa Dragones Blanco is exceptionally smooth and perfect to drink on its own, and is suitable for cocktails as well. At $75 a bottle, Casa Dragones Blanco will expand Casa Dragones’ reach to a broader audience.

“Our mission is to push the boundaries of what has been done before, and to be one of the primary tequila producers dedicated to shaping the future of our industry,” said Bertha Gonzales Nieves, co-founder and CEO of Tequila Casa Dragones and the world’s first female Maestra Tequilera. “With Casa Dragones Blanco we are creating a handcrafted Blanco tequila for a much broader audience that delivers the highest possible quality through meticulous attention to detail and unparalleled focus on purity.”

“Casa Dragones Joven has been so successful that we’re ready to introduce our next tequila – a Blanco,” said Bob Pittman, co-founder of Tequila Casa Dragones. “Casa Dragones Blanco is our response to connoisseurs who have been asking for a silver tequila that is as smooth as our Joven but which can be used in high-end cocktails and as a mixer.”

To celebrate and launch Casa Dragones Blanco, Tequila Casa Dragones has collaborated with James Beard Award recipient and acclaimed mixologist Jim Meehan (New York City’s P.D.T.) to create a flight of signature Blanco cocktails.

“It’s an honor to help introduce a product as refined and modern as Casa Dragones Blanco, and I’ve created cocktails inspired by the subtlety of the tequila that reinforce the brand’s elegance,” said Meehan. “Tequila Casa Dragones’ unique position in the market – and its unparalleled style – has elevated the entire tequila category and I’m truly excited by the opportunity to work with an ultra-premium silver tequila that professionals will admire and that cocktail fans will love.”

An independent small batch tequila company, Tequila Casa Dragones produces no more than 500 cases at a time to maintain the quality and attention to detail for which it is known.  Each bottle of Casa Dragones Blanco will be hand-signed and labeled with the batch number written on every label. Casa Dragones Blanco will retail for $75.

First and Second Edition bottles are now available to purchase by emailing concierge@casadragones.com.

Distinctions:

The agaves for Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco are harvested 1,200 meters above sea level within the Eje Volcanico Transversal (Trans-Mexican Volcanic belt) in Tequila, Jalisco, one of the richest agricultural lands on earth. The dark, fertile volcanic soil, abundant with minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and silicium, produces the ideal agaves for the signature taste of Casa Dragones.

The water used to produce Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco is exceptionally pure spring water that originates from the Volcano of Tequila, in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. As it travels from atop the volcano into the 70-meter deep natural aquifers or underground wells, the water gathers essential minerals from the volcano’s rich soil. Casa Dragones goes one step further, extracting fresh water for each new batch and taking it through a proprietary process to deliver the perfect mineral balance for a refined, crisp tasting Blanco.

Custom Tequila Casa Dragones Cocktail Recipe by Jim Meehan:

White Dragon

A modern twist on a classic Margarita with Cointreau and lemon 

1.75 oz. Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco

.75 oz. Cointreau

.75 oz.  Fresh Lemon Juice

Egg white

Shake without ice. Add ice, shake and fine strain. Twist an orange peel over the glass and discard.

Casa Dragones 100% Blue Agave Blanco Tequila www.casadragones.com

Bj’s Brewery & Restaurant

BJ interior2 copy

On a Tuesday afternoon, Mr. H and I got together for an informal lunch at BJ’s Brewhouse, a new restaurant at The Falls Shopping Mall in South Miami. This was a good-looking restaurant; vast and decorated with dark wood furniture and huge windows that allowed us to observe the passersby as we nibbled on the food.

chicken quesadillas

Chicken Quesadillas ($5.95 lunch special)

We started out with the Chicken Quesadillas which were stuffed with grilled marinated chicken, green chilies and jack and cheddar cheese; all of this drizzled with an avocado cream sauce and sprinkled with cilantro. The quesadillas were very flavorsome and the fire-roasted tomato salsa, sour cream and black beans that came with the order were quite tasty.

tortilla soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup ($5.75)

Next Mr. H. tried the chicken tortilla soup. It was topped with crisp tortilla strips, diced avocado, jack and cheddar cheese and drizzled with lime. The soup was really not pretty to look at and even though the toppings were fantastic, the soup itself was rather lackluster and nothing special.

wedge salad copy

Wedge Salad ($5.50)

We had a wedge salad on the side that had a quite interesting presentation: a massive wedge of lettuce showered with salad dressing and garnished with bacon, red onions, tomatoes and cheese. It was refreshing and cooling. I am going to try this at home for sure.

fish tacos2 copy

Mahi-Mahi tacos ($10.50)

Finally came the Mahi-Mahi tacos. Mahi-Mahi is a tropical, warm water and full flavored fish. The meat is firm, which makes it quite versatile for grilling, deep-frying or stir-frying. In this case, the fish was chargrilled and served with chipotle mayonnaise, Santa Fe dressing, Napa cabbage, carrots, red onion and cilantro. The dish was served with multi-colored tortilla chips, avocado cream sauce and fire-roasted tomato salsa. The tacos were good, but not spectacular. The dish was nicely presented though and the portions were generous.

BJ’s is a chain of restaurants that first started in California as a deep-dish pizza joint. It is now expanded and eventually introduced fine hand-crafted beer and new items to the menu and now the BJ’s brand has expanded across the US. Today the menu is huge and includes small dishes like the ones we tried and culinary creations that include pastas, burgers, Grilled Pork Chops, Baby Back Pork Ribs and Miso Salmon among other entrees. You’ll find several regular beers on tap at every BJ’s, plus several seasonal or specialty beers.

The BJ’s we visited was located in The Falls in Miami. It was quite full for a Tuesday and definitely kid-friendly. The service was wonderful, the ambience casual and cheery, the prices reasonable. Would I go back? Not really sure. Even though the menu is enormous, the items are typical of chain restaurants and there was nothing on it that could lure me back there anytime soon.

BJ’s Brewery and Restaurant

The Falls

8888 SW 136th St.

Miami, FL 33176

305.251.7550

www.bjsbrewhouse.com

By Contributor Writer and Photographer Brenda Benoit

Helena Chocotejas “the Food Of The Gods”

A chocoteja is that moment where everything stops around you, you can’t hear, you can’t talk, you can’t see – but you certainly can taste.

In South America, Chocolate was always considered the food of the gods. The Mayan indians served coco only to royalty – and the first candy factory came from the Incas.

If you never had a chocoteja, I feel sorry for you. This is one of those food moments that when you taste this candy, the world around stops (at least for me). I discovered the chocotejas at a place called El Sabor De Peru in downtown Miami. I just finished an amazing seafood soup and was looking around on the decor when I spotted them. Immediately I went to counter and asked for one, when I took the first bite I knew I had to have these chocolates at the food tours. People need to know about this, it is my mission (and job) to expose people to the best bites this city has to offer.

HELENA CHOCOTEJAS de peru

So I started offering them at the food tours, in fact, every time we stand looking at one of the most beautiful Art Deco property, I take out the chocolate box (BTY a beautiful box), and I tell them why I choose the chocoteja to be featured in front of that particual property (which there is a link between one of the most famous properties in Ocean Drive and the chocotejas). And I  suggest you take my South Beach Food Tour to find all about it =)

If you want to get the chocotejas, which I suggest if you are a chocolate fanatic, find them online Helena Chocotejas

Cheers – Grace

The First Harvest Feasts Of The Pilgrims (circa 1621) Consisted Of Whatever Was Available

The first harvest feasts of the Pilgrims (circa 1621) consisted of whatever was available, not what tradition prescribed. Historians are confident saying that the Pilgrims weren’t eating pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce or mashed potatoes. According to Edward Winslow’s A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, the harvest feast probably consisted of clams, venison, and duck as well as peas, beans, onions, lettuce, radishes, carrots, plums, grapes, and chestnuts.

So, for a new spin on Thanksgiving, what about planning a feast based on foods that actually were available to the pilgrims?

The culinary team at Kendall-Jackson Winery, can make that easier with three gourmet culinary options based on foods that may have been on the original table: clams, venison and duck. (Their wine pairing suggestions, however, are wholly modern).

Pan Seared Venison with Cumberland Sauce

Serve with Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon

Servings: 8

Cumberland sauce is a traditional English accompaniment to wild game and duck. The black currants in the sauce bring out the dark fruit flavors in the Cabernet Sauvignon. This full flavored sweet and sour sauce is served cold and is especially good with venison and sautéed duck livers.

  • 1 sprig of rosemary, picked
  • 1 Tbsp. juniper berries
  • ¼ C. vegetable oil, plus 3 Tbsp. for cooking
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 8 venison Denver leg steaks (6 to 7 oz.)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz. Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Port
  • 1 oz. Kendall-Jackson red verjus
  • ¼ C. shallots, minced
  • 1 C. black currant jelly
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 1½ tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

In a bowl, mix the rosemary, juniper, ¼ C. vegetable oil and garlic. Toss the venison steaks with the marinade and place in a casserole dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 425°. Set aside a baking sheet large enough to accommodate the steaks.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Remove the steaks from the marinade and discard. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Add oil to the hot pan and sauté the steaks until they are nicely caramelized, approximately 2 minutes per side. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan, it will reduce the heat and cause the steaks to poach.

Once all the steaks have been sautéed, arrange them on the baking sheet. Again, make sure to leave space between the steaks to allow even cooking. Place the steaks in the oven for 8 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 125°. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Place steaks on a plate and serve with the chilled Cumberland Sauce.

For the Cumberland Sauce:

In a sauce pot, slowly bring the port to a simmer. Add verjus and shallots and stir. Add the currant jelly and melt over low heat. Add the zests, ginger, mustard, lemon juice and ½ tsp. salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill and cover. This sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Capellini with Clams

Serve with Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay

Servings: 6

  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 11/2 lb. clams, scrubbed
  • 1/2 C. dry white wine
  • 12 oz. capellini or angel hair pasta
  • 1/2 C. loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch chives, cut into 1/2” pieces
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and cook until the butter is brown and has released a nutty aroma, 3-4 minutes. Add the clams, increase the heat to high, and stir in the wine. Cover and cook until the clams open, 4-6 minutes. Transfer the clams with tongs or a slotted spoon to a plate. Discard any clams that don’t open.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente, about 6-8 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the butter mixture. Add the parsley and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat evenly. Divide the pasta among 6 small plates, top each serving with an equal number of clams, and serve.

Seared Duck Breast with Raspberry Gastrique

Serve with Kendall-Jackson Zinfandel

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ C. red verjus
  • ½ C. red wine, such as Zinfandel
  • ½ pint raspberries
  • 2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 duck breasts

Raspberry Gastrique Preparation:

In a small sauce pan, caramelize the sugar over low heat. Once the sugar turns golden brown, carefully add the verjus, wine, raspberries, pomegranate molasses, peppercorns and cloves. Increase the heat to high and reduce for 5 to 7 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce begins to thicken to syrup consistency. Remove from the heat and whisk in butter. Season with salt. Keep warm.

Duck Preparation:

In a 12-inch non-stick sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high for 2 minutes. Score the duck breast on the fat-side, being careful not to cut into the meat. Season the duck with salt and carefully place in the pan skin-side down. Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly render as much of the fat in the skin as possible. Drain the fat that collects in the pan every 2 to 5 minutes. Continue to cook until the skin turns brown and crisps slightly, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Flip the breasts, increase the heat back to medium-high and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes (for medium-rare to medium). If using an instant-read thermometer, the temperature should register between 136-140° F.

Final Preparation:

Remove the duck from the pan and rest on a cutting board for 4 to 5 minutes before cutting. Drizzle the Raspberry Gastrique on the duck and serve.

What Was Not on the Menu for the Pilgrims?

Ham: There is no evidence that the colonists had butchered a pig by this time, though they had brought pigs with them from England.

Sweet Potatoes/Potatoes: These were not common.

Corn on the Cob: Corn was kept dried out at this time of year.

Cranberry Sauce: The colonists had cranberries but no sugar at this time.

Pumpkin Pie: It’s not a recipe that existed then, though the Pilgrims had recipes for stewed pumpkin.

Chicken/Eggs: We know that the colonists brought hens with them from England, but it’s unlikely that many were left at this point, much less still laying eggs.

Milk: No cows had been aboard the Mayflower, though it’s possible that the colonists used goat milk to make cheese

Euro Grill, A Hole In The Wall Delicious

One of my favorite pass times is to grab my camera and hit the road in the quest of hole in the wall type of eateries. When I find a place in which the owner/s are doing the cooking and serving the food, to me, that has so much value, not sure why, perhaps because I want a world not invaded by big food corporations, as this leads to everyone eating the same food and the loss of traditional dishes.

This was a good find for me because I am not familiar with Borek (the dish he points out on the video where he says is “Yugoslavian style). The owner came from Serbia and prepares the dishes from his homeland. When I ask who his most frequent clients are he responded Eastern European as they are familiar with the food.

He was lively, friendly and eager to show me all of this specialties. I tried a yogurt that is a lot less condensed, I would say a mixture of milk and what we know here in the US as yogurt, it was delicious! It reminded me of the yogurt my grandma used to do at the farm with fresh milk.

So if you are looking for authentic borek, I recommend you give Euro Grill a try

Euro Grill

1533 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (305) 763-8264


Cuatro Leches, It Can Not Get Better Than This

Tres leches

It is rare to find a a great dessert but more difficult it is to find people who are seriously passionate about making desserts, when the art of making things sweet meets great quality ingredients and family traditions, then is when Cuatro Leches deserves a mention because they are a family run local business that put out rich, creamy and oh so very unique desserts. So The whole story about how I got to taste these desserts was completely accidental. I was actually looking for this bakery in the neighborhood of Coral Gables when at one point I was getting tired of searching for it because google map did not have it right and my patience is always running low. As I decided to turn back home I asked a man standing right outside of a cafeteria (Miami Cuban style coffee house) if he knew where Cuatro Leches bakery was located, and (I swear) he told me with a big smile “I am the owner”

cuatro leches desserts

Not only I got lucky to find the owner of Cuatro Leches, which by the way, he invited me a cafesito at the cafeteria, we had a cafesito standing outside the window and we talked for about 10 minutes, I mentioned to him I was searching for the best desserts in Miami, and that I have heard about this famous Tres Leches. We finished the cafesito and he invited me to come to the place where they handcraft all of these delicious desserts – and I accepted right away.

On my way out he hands me a bag full of desserts (yep, this ended up being my lucky day) and when I got home I pretty much finished them all in about 15 minutes (ok, yes, with the help of my husband prior to the madness he is going through at the moment of wanting to stay slim and going to the gym daily)

flan

I shot this video so that you can get a sense of the texture of each flan/custard. The spongy one is the famous Tres Leches. My favorite? By far all of them.

Cuatro Leches®

The Bakery, located near the Bird Road warehouse district, sells to the general public and offers wholesale accounts to restaurants and hotels. All desserts are made-to-order, so be sure to reserve your desserts in advance.  Retail customers can also purchase the bakery’s sweets at any of the bakery’s restaurant partners throughout Miami-Dade. Visit www.CuatroLeches.com for a full menu of their delectable offerings and locations.

I Love To Hear What Visitors To Miami Have To Say About Our Culinary Scene

And I love to hear what locals say about their favorite places, I know, I am weird like that but when I get questions about were to eat and what to try, I go all out because, honestly, I always think that when I go to other cities, I would like to hear where to go from a local that talks or writes directly to me, I like to receive personalized emails, it makes me feel better. And yes, you can read top 10 restaurants in Miami on Google until you are a 110, but really, wouldn’t you rather have a personal food concierge?

That’s it! I will call myself  “your personal Miami food concierge” – because you can ask me anything you want.

Warning: I do not hold a degree in culinary arts, I cannot even boil corn, you should not have me guess the name of ingredients on a dish, but what I can do is eat, dining out makes me happy. What I think I developed through the years is a good sense of what good food taste like, partly because I was raised by a woman who can seriously cook (my mom), partly because I worked in the publishing industry and spend 4 years going to eat at the best restaurants in Miami, partly because half of my corporate job salaries have always gone into food (I know, it’s sad).

And how do I know that I have a good sense of what good food is? Because when I recommend a place to people, I hear often “oh wow, that place and that dish you recommended was to give up your life for” – and so comments like that year after year help you build-up some thick skin (yeah, like the one pigs get when roasted the Cuban way). I know what good food taste like, it could be a $60 entree or a $5 one (well, maybe $10). In fact, the idea of starting with Miami Culinary Tours was partly because when friends and family come to visit us, they always ask me to take them to the “best Cuban restaurant” “best seafood” “best of whatever you know…” And so I craft food tours that showcase the best of the best (ok, that was a little bit of advertisement, I know, unnecessary)

So Tracy wanted to attend one of my food tours but I was not able to accommodate her and so she asked me what to do, where to go – and I send her a very detail email. Tracy was special to me because I asked her if she would want to share her food experiences with me after she returned home, and she did! and she was so nice to write the details.

Here it goes… (please note I have asked Tracy if I can publish her email which she said it was okay – you legal weirdos)

“Miami was great, besides the hot and humid weather. I very much prefer the dry heat we have here in Las Vegas.

However, Miami did not disappoint. Unfortunately we weren’t able to go to all the places we wanted to go…eating wise. For some reason the plates we were ordering were huge, so we only found ourselves eating once, maybe twice a day.We were that full!

Being that we got there late, we went to La Moon in Miami and decided to try their La Moon Perro. Or at least I think that is what it was called. Have you been there yet? You should try it if you haven’t. Hot dog was different, sweet yet savory…big too!

We did go to the Palacio de Los Jugos. Boy is that market busy!!!! We could barely get by. Being that I wasn’t familiar with the cuisine, it was hard to order. One of the girls there did help me which was great. We got the lechon (which was delish), and some type of beef with potatoes, arroz con pollo, the other rice with black beans, yucca, and some other dish that was made with bananas and meat? Anyhow, it was all delicious. We got so much food for $20, that we ate off of what we took back to the hotel for 3 days. Definitely got our moneys worth.

We ate a ton of empanadas, jugos, you name it. How I wish we would have been hungrier to try more the places you suggested. We did end up going to Michael’s Genuine. That was very nice! Don’t know if you have been, but the roasted egg yolk with Gruyere cheese was to die for!! Also had some ceviche, roasted bone marrow, and some type of pasta. I really wanted to try their desserts. I had seen 3 different Food Network Chefs say their favorite desserts (out of all the places in the world) where from Michaels.

I unfortunately didn’t have any more space to try any of them.

We didn’t end up going to the steak house for dinner Saturday night. Instead of spending a few hundred dollars on dinner, we decided to go to Key West for 2 days. If you ever go, try Colombian Grace. I had their Trio Eggs Benedict, which included a crab cake, lobster, and sweet Key West shrimp. To die for!!! So is their Sangria.

We also tried Jimmyz Kitchen, somewhere off Alton and 15th I think. Their fajita salad is huge and so good! I got it with steak, Peter with Chicken, sodas, and a slice of their pina colada cheesecake all for $30!!! The salad had cilantro ranch dressing, grilled veggies, cheese, corn, black beans, etc. I also tried their Mofongo there. I had heard a lot about Mofongo, and honestly it’s something I probably wont order again. Not that it wasn’t good, I just know there’s better food out there.

How I wish I had gone to D. Rodriguez Cuba, and Sabor De Peru. We simply had just ran out of $ at the end of our stay. I really wanted to try the tiradito and green sauce you suggested. Peter wanted to go to D. Rodriguez Cuba as much as I did, but knew it would be costly to go. So perhaps next time around we will make it a point to go. I will definitely keep your email for future reference, and if we do ever go again I will STILL book both tours with you 🙂 Once again, thank you for everything.”

Sincerely,

Tracy Zamudio

The Palms Hotel & Spa Continues Its Quest For Excellence In Dining & Event Quality And Hired Patrick Kemmache As The Director Of Food And Beverage

The Palms Hotel & Spa appoints Mr. Patrick Kemmache as the new Director of Food & Beverage. Kemmache joins the executive team at a vital point, as the property prepares for its first fall and holiday travel season since completion of a $20 million renovation project and garnering of the AAA 4-Diamond status earlier this year.

“The addition of Mr. Kemmache is essential to The Palms’ goal of providing an unforgettable culinary experience to our guests,” said Katja Janzon, Vice President at The Palms Hotel & Spa. “His experience and success in the industry will assist us in continuing to develop our team, enabling us to provide exceptional service and unique food & beverage experiences in a sophisticated yet natural environment.”

Kemmache oversees dining and bar operations, culinary and purchasing functions, staffing, quality control, and profitability of the property’s food & beverage venues including the signature “natural gourmet” restaurant, Essensia, and all other dining outlets, as well as corporate meetings execution and social catering/banquets. He is responsible for maintaining the highest possible standards of products and service, embracing the hotel’s philosophy of proving tasteful and wholesome fare with a focus on utilizing local, organic, healthful, seasonal and sustainable ingredients, while operating in The Palms “green” environment and adhering to Florida Green Lodging Association’s guidelines for excellence.

With more than 17 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Kemmache most recently served as the Director of Food & Beverage for The Delano Hotel/Morgans Hotels and Resorts, operated by China Grill Management. Prior to this position, he served as Director of Food & Beverage of The Umstead Hotel & Spa in North Carolina, the only 5-Star/5-Diamond property in the Raleigh-Durham area.

Kemmache has achieved many prestigious accolades such as 5-Star and 5-Diamond ratings, induction into the James Beard Foundation, and numerous Food & Beverage “Executive of the Year” awards. He holds a Culinary Degree from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Paris and a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management from the University of Paris

About Essensia Restaurant & Lounge

Essensia awakens the senses with natural gourmet cuisine and indulgent cocktails in a sensuous and relaxing ambiance. The menu offers patrons a tasteful and wholesome variety of fresh and light worldly fare with a genuine focus on utilizing local, organic, and seasonal ingredients, and a wide selection of low calorie Spa selections. Essensia’s exclusive wine list is committed to being highly sustainable, organic or biodynamic and has been selected for sharing Essensia’s mission to be good for you and the environment. Essensia is open 7 days per week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. The Palms offers complimentary valet parking with dinner, up to 3 hours. For restaurant reservations, please call 305.908.5458

About The Palms Hotel & Spa

Just minutes from the heart of South Beach, The Palms Hotel & Spa combines genuine service, laid-back sophistication and oceanfront serenity into a destination where complete wellness and environmental awareness are at the center of each experience. Privately owned and managed by The Krause family, who also own the boutique-style Circa 39 in Miami Beach, The Palms sits on its own stretch of beach just 12 miles from Miami International Airport. The Palms Hotel & Spa is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts as well as Epoque Hotels. For reservations or further information, please call 800.550.0505 or visit www.thepalmshotel.com.

“walk This Way” The South Beach Food Tour Featured On Miami Living Magazine

The Magic City is home to the most fabulous restaurants around, however, with a selection as large as the one we boast, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and just stick with a place you know and dine there. BUT if you’re a foodie, like me, you find joy in learning, exploring and sampling what the culinary world has to offer —which means venturing out from your comfort zone.

Where do you start?

When you’re ready for a food-infused adventure, you call upon the knowledgeable and genial Grace Della, founder of Miami Culinary Tours. Recently, Grace added the South Beach Food Tour to her alluringly appetizing tours (she also conducts the Little Havana Food Tour). This amazing walking-tour allows Miamians and tourists the opportunity to get more acquainted with Miami’s fine fare and really understand the appeal and diverseness of our beautiful city.

“Our tour is a reflection of South Beach’s melting pot. I would like people to learn about other cultures through the food,” said Grace Della.

While you’re sampling a variety of delectable bites from the 6-8 stops, at renowned five-star hotels and quaint little restaurants, Grace compellingly educates you on Miami’s history, culture and the food you taste (there are about 10-15 tastings).

Plated beautifully, these savory bites look as good as they taste. From ceviche to sweet treats, it’s gourmet all the way. In addition to the fantastic food aspect of it, the South Beach Food Tour is a wonderful way to learn more about South Beach’s Art Deco District. You’ve passed these buildings time and again, but do you really know what characterizes Art Deco? You’ll find out interesting facts, sight-see, and tantalize your taste buds.

For just $59 per person, come see the places you may have overlooked and experience Miami in a fresh and tasty new way. Tours take placeFridays, Saturdays and Sundaysat 6:00 pm. Check out

www.miamiculinarytours.com


Schnebly Redland’s Winery – An Outstanding Winery In Homestead Florida

Schnebly Redland’s Winery. A wine tasting in South Florida of the some of the most exotic tropical fruits that grow right here in our backyard.

I finally got to try the lychee, avocado, mango, passion fruit, and guava wines that I have heard for such a long time. We did the two wine tastings they offer; a regular and a sparkling one – for about $ 15 per person. The wines and the whole experience was exceptional, a lot more than what I was expecting. It is very interesting to see and taste what this winery has been doing, it is worth the money and time (and drive) to Homestead to enjoy an afternoon in such calm and beautiful place – and of course I loved the buzz at the end.

Cheers