Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dining Deals, Coral Gables Edition

Red Koi Thai & Sushi Lounge
317 Miracle Mile / 305-446-2690
Celebrate the last days of summer with the $5 Summer Lunch Special at Red Koi Thai & Sushi Lounge, now through September 30.

Tarpon Bend Raw Bar & Grill
65 Miracle Mile / 305-444-3210
Refresh your thirst with $3.50 fresh fruit mojitos and $1 tacos during Mojito Madness every Thursday from 3 to 9 p.m.

Por Fin Restaurant & Lounge
2500 Ponce de Leon Blvd / 305-441-0107
Stop by Por Fin Restaurant & Lounge for daily specials, now through September 30.

· Monday Locals Night: Show your Florida license or Coral Gables business card to receive 20 percent off the entire bill.
· Tuesday Date Night: Bring along a date or friend to receive a complimentary bottle of wine when ordering from the special three-course menu.
· Wednesday Wine Day: Take 50 percent off any bottle of wine.
· Thursday Happy Hour: Celebrate with two-for-one cocktails, beer and wine, with $5 tapas.
· Sunday Paella Day: Have a fiesta with a free carafe of red sangria with every two paellas ordered.
· Daily Sunsetter Special: Dine 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and receive 25 percent off the entire bill.

Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe
124 Miracle Mile / 305-445-4567
Enjoy select Coral Gables restaurants and they will waive their corkage fee with wines purchased from Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe. The offer runs until September 30 in conjunction with Miami Spice. Participating restaurants include Ortanique on the Mile, Por Fin Restaurant & Lounge, Pascal’s on Ponce, Houston’s, Tarpon Bend Raw Bar & Grill, La Cofradia, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Spris.

Peterbrooke Chocolatier
227 Aragon Avenue / 305-446-3131
Escape the Miami heat on Wintry Wednesdays at Peterbrooke Chocolatier. Receive a single scoop of gelato for 99 cents every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Cold Stone Creamery
261 Miracle Mile / 305-403-7000
Monday Madness: Get a free Kid's Create Your Own (ice cream plus one mix-in) with the purchase of a medium Love It Signature Creation, shake or smoothie.
Twofer Tuesday: Buy one Kid's Create Your Own and get one free.
Waffle Wednesday: Receive a free plain waffle cone or bowl with the purchase of a medium Love It or a large Gotta Have It Signature Creation.
Thirsty Thursday:Get one half-off any size shake or smoothie from noon to 5 p.m.
Fast Lane Friday: Receive $1 off all cakes and cupcakes

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Saturday Nights @ The Setai

In case you can't read the fine print - complimentary Negroni cocktails from 9-10pm. And the restaurant is participating in Miami Spice.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Cafe Prima Pasta Pours One Out For MJ

Les you think the North Beach pasta joint is only about the meatballs and red sauce, they're here to remind you that they've got heart. A heart that mourns the loss of the King of Pop.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Lobster Corn Dogs @ Le Meridien

Soon after I wrote about the lobster corn dogs at La Marea at The Tides it was brought to my attention that another restaurant in town, The Restaurant at Le Meridien in Sunny Isles, was also doing their own version of the high-end low-brow snack. Actually, it was the chef himself who alerted me to this, in the form of an email something to the effect of "Wtf? I been doing these for years!" It was a bit more articulate than that, but that's what he meant. So I hopped over to the condo canyon on A1A and claimed a table by the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the pool and the ocean in the too-empty-for-this-good-a-restaurant dining room.

The lobster corn dogs are on the bar menu, but if you ask nicely they'll bring them to you in the dining room. They're $12 for two crispy fritters. These differ from the pups at La Marea, as the chef there forms the lobster mousse into actual sausages and then coats and fries them. These were more like lobster tails breaded with a cornmeal and pancake batter, which added welcome sweetness, and served with a mango dipping sauce. While I was there I decided to take a look at the rest of the menu and discovered some surprising gems.

The truffle mac and cheese, for one. It's actually a delicate bowl of orzo bathed in a not-too-heavy cream sauce offset with a veal demi glace mixed with a sherry gastrique to cut the richness. Chef Tom Ryhneer used to work as a saucier and the man takes his drizzles seriously. Chef's got a good team there, with sous chef Tommy Nguyen who previously worked the kitchen at the ill-fated Nikki Coconut Grove (good food, cheesy atmosphere). He describes the menu as "food for the times," meaning, he wishes he could put more lobster into things - like the petite grilled cheese sandwich that comes with the fantastic roasted tomato soup, but he's trying to keep the prices down and offer something attractive to the hordes of tourists that populate the beachy 'burb. So the few things directed at that crowd - the spinach artichoke dip, the vegetable quesadilla - aren't really the things worth trekking to the hotel for. But the mac and cheese is, as is the churrasco with a fantastic roasted corn relish and the mini steak tacos with cilantro cream. Prices are relatively low, too, with most mains under $25 and starters average $10.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Brunch @ Eos at the Viceroy

When it comes to brunch at Eos the cup is always half full. Or actually, completely full, or bottomless, as in my cup runneth over with champagne and spiked tomato juice. Mimosas and Bloody Marys are free with any brunch order and refills are kindly accommodated. Brunch items starts at $12 for a cast-iron skillet of roasted eggs, grits, bacon and gruyere to $16 for Mediterranean Eggs Benedict (creamed spinach and kefalotiri cheese). These mimosas are made with fresh-squeezed juice and the Bloodys are spicy and well-mixed. Organic eggs and coffee are another nice touch.

The "New York Power Breakfast" is generous platter of house-cured salmon with silky deviled eggs, chopped capers and whipped cream cheese. The buttermilk pancakes were recently lauded as the best in Miami by Lee Klein in The New Times and, while I can't begin to assess the city's flapjack output, I will say those were some of the best pancakes I've ever had - fluffy, comforting discs of pillowy breakfasty delight. There are 3 fritattas to choose from and the wild mushroom, ricotta and leek was fantastic. It's also served in a cast-iron skillet, keeping it warm enough to last through two rounds of mimosas.

So if you're reading this on Sunday morning and have yet to make brunch plans, you should head over to those skyscrapers on Brickell. The place was empty last weekend, which is a shame, but also means it's sort of an undiscovered deal. Also, starting this Sunday, you get free entrance to the pool party at Club 50, the Viceroy's 50th-floor club. In case you want to chase those mimosas with amazing views of the city.
Oh, and valet is free too.
The brunch menu is here.
Eos is at 485 Brickell Ave, 305-503-4400.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Caviar Kaspia Miami

Miami has yet to catch on to the one-dish restaurants popular in other food cities (like New York's mac and cheese-heavy 'Smac and Belgian fry mecca Pomme Frites) but we were recently blessed with the opening of French import Caviar Kaspia, serving the Parisian restaurant's namesake fish roe and other smoked fishies. But caviar is expensive and the owners have the shit luck of opening a pricey caviar restaurant right now, during a financial climate when all anyone wants to do is pontificate on pizza crusts and burger toppings.
So they've expanded the menu a bit and added some traditional French dishes like duck confit salad (delicious, but still pricey at $22) and a lunch time Croque Madmoiselle made with smoked salmon and salmon roe. Salmon roe is the way to go if you don't want to spend a lot but still want to experience those lovely pearls of salty oceanic goodness. The salmon roe blinis are $22 for 1 oz. of fish eggs that come with fluffy pancakes and feather-light creme fraiche. Kaspia is famous for their baked potatoe and if you're looking to splurge, this might be the fanciest spud in town. The potatoe is presented with a creamy mash made with chives and creme fraiche and topped with caviar from their list which ranges from $49 for a 1/2 ounce of Imperial Baeri to $360 for an ounce of wild Iranian golden Oscietra. We went with the modest Imperial Baerie and it was a lovely combo, the silky potato enlivened by the slightly iodized roe that pop with mineral saltiness with each bite.

Located at 1220 Collins Ave.