Friday, August 31, 2007

Miami Spice Review: Santo

We liked Santo so much the first time, we decided to return for their Miami Spice menu and had a lovely time. The great thing about Santo is that the restaurant has plenty of indoor tables – something lacking at other Lincoln Road restaurants. I know women are stereotyped as always asking to sit outside but these days I'm all for air-conditioning. And Santo's interior is sophisticated enough to feel worlds away from Lincoln's flip-flop wearing crowds.

The restaurant presents the Spice menu right on top of their regular menu, a good sign. The waiter was friendly and did not flinch when we ordered off the Spice menu. The Spice menu is composed of selections off the regular menu and with regular entree prices ranging from $30-$40 this was quite a deal. We started with salads because we knew we needed to pace ourselves for the feasting ahead. The spinach-arugula salad was nicely composed with candied walnuts, caramelized onions and Gorgonzola for a crunchy, smoky good time. The roasted balsamic pear salad was incredibly refreshing with hunks of feta and scallion vinagrette that was addictive. Plus, I am a partial to pears so it was a treat.

The restaurant's signature dish is the snapper and though I had already tried it, I was curious to see if it was presented differently for the Spice menu. Not at all. It was the same generous portion of fish with a hearty tomato fondant sauce and fiery roasted poblano pepper stuffed with black corn. The crispy free-range chicken entree was delivered with expertly cooked crispy skin and yet was still moist and tender. The chicken came with wilted spinach and gnocchi which were deep fried such that they lost their richness, it would have been better had they been pan fried so they retained their subtle flavor.

A side of rissotto came flecked with green peas and sundried tomatoes and was so massive it would have been a respectable meal – a steal at $8. For dessert we ordered the crème brulee, excellently scorched top and custardy within, and the trio of sorbets, very necessary after the gut-busting meal.

Grimpa Steakhouse, Mary Brickell Village

For those who have never experienced a rodizio or churrascaria, I have two bits of advice: 1. Go hungry and 2. go hungry. I kid you not.

The goal of Grimpa Steakhouse is to make sure you are satiated, satisfied, and glorioisly gluttonous. It helps that the service at the upscale carnivore hotspot is fantastically accommodating, never raising an eyebrow when you agree to yet another slice of any of the 12 cuts of meat making their way through the dining room. The gauchos who circle the dining room proffering hot skewers of slow-cooked meat are impressively coordinated, deftly slicing and serving the cuts to order all in a clean and professional manner. The plastic disc by your plate signals the gaucho to approach or refrain depending on whether you've got it turned to green or red. Grimpa is definitely a meat-lover's delight but there is plenty to please diners who are less inclined towards red meat. There's roasted chicken, generous portions of broiled salmon and a hot and cold salad bar that could sustain a meal in itself.

For the set-menu price of $39.50 you can enjoy all the meat you desire and take unlimited trips to the salad bar which includes sumptuous cheese platters, roasted vegetables, leafy greens, smoked salmon, smoked fish salads, and hot sides like soup, mashed potatoes and rice (salad bar only is $19.50) . But filling up on the salad bar is a dire, dire misstep as table service includes not only the meat but also side dishes that are brought to your table including french fries, polenta (crispy fried almost like fries - a big hit) and farofa, a Brazilian dish made of roasted manioc flour (not such a fan - stick with the polenta). You absolutely must drink wine throughout this marathon meat-fest and Grimpa's got a nice selection of South American wines priced reasonably well.

The 300-seat, 2-story eatery is also a stylish newcomer to Miami's typically bare bones gaucho-themed restaurants. Plush banquets, tasteful lighting and an impressive glass wine case make this a great place for business dinners or special occasions. If you have room for dessert (I had to rally the troops for this one) you must try the warm apple strudel with vanilla ice cream. Located in Mary Brickell Village, an area which is becoming charming and walkable with the opening of several new restaurants, making an essential post-dinner walk a good idea.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Miami Wine Events

  • Wednesday August 29 is the monthly "Girls Wine Out" at Ortanique on the Mile. This week they are featuring Wines of South America. The uncorking begins at 5:30 and the wine will flow till 7:30. Cost is $15.For reservations contact Marita 305.476.5868 or
  • Premier Wine Club is hosting a Rare and Unique Wine Tasting Thursday August 30 from 6:30-8pm. Cost is $20 ($5 credited to wine purchase). Address is 145 North Miami Ave.
  • At Carbon y Fuego restaurant in Sunny Isles :Buy Any Mixed Grill Entree and Get a FREE Bottle of Wine. Buy Any Dinner/Lunch Entree and Get a FREE Glass of Wine. Address is 175 SUNNY ISLES BLVD. TEL:305-948-8450

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More NYC Restaurant Interiors

Let's take another trip to NYC restaurants, shall we? Turns out photographer Noah Kalina is attempting to photograph every restaurant in New York City. A daunting task, but one that he seems qualified to accomplish.

Ava Lounge at the Dream Hotel

Bar Americain, part of Bobby Flay's empire.

Fig and Olive where olive oil takes center stage of every dish.

Boqueria, a latin-influenced spot.

Pre:Post, a post-party spot for club-goers. Love the log-cabin booths.

Freemans, the ones who started the mounted antler-thing.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Miami Food Events

  • Jaguar offers a complimentary “Classic Peruano” Ceviche spoon during Jaguar’s “Escape the Heat” happy hour. Enjoy the Cat’s Meow and other Latin American specialty drinks for only $5.45 Monday-Friday from 4pm-7pm. (Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar & Latam Grill / 3067 Grand Avenue Coconut Grove / 305.444.0216)
  • Launched in June, the Mondays with Michael cooking class and dinner party series offers hardcore gourmets the opportunity to cook alongside Bloise in the Wish kitchen, then enjoy a special multi-course wine dinner. The next class is “Strange Fruit” on Monday, August 27. Priced at $175 per person (all-inclusive) each class, capped at 16 attendees, begins at 6:30 p.m. sharp with a cocktail reception, followed by the interactive cooking class and ending with dinner. To register for a cooking class call (305) 674-9474. Wish is located at The Hotel, 801 Collins Avenue in South Beach.
  • I recently tried Partida Tequila, a new tequila made with organic agave nectar, and I am now hooked! If you like tequila, you should not miss out on this event: Café Sambal, the Asian waterfront restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, Miami, presents a four-course tequila dinner on Tuesday, August 28. Executive Chef Tom Parlo has created the menu, to be paired with specifically chosen selections of Partida Tequila to complement the flavors of each course. The menu includes: Salmon, Hamachi and Toro Tartare with Partida Blanco Tequila Horseradish Cream, Taro Crusted Foie Gras with Pears Poached in Partida Reposado Tequila, US Kobe Sirloin, Japanese Peppercorn Sauce with Partida Anejo Tequila, King Oyster Mushroom, Key Lime Tofu Brulee, Tempura Strawberry. Throughout the dinner, Ms. Sofia Partida of Partida Tequila will be on hand to discuss the tequila pairings, and answer questions. Price is $90 per person plus tax and gratuity. Pre-dinner cocktails begin at 6:30pm followed by an intimate dinner at 7pm. Seating is limited, so RSVP early. For reservations, call (305) 913 8358.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Petite Hotel with Grand Thoughts

Design lovers are murmuring about the Hotel Particulier in Montmartre. And they should be - it's a petite guest house designed by an eclectic group of artists and designers. There are only 5 suites and each one is both cozy and whimsical. Like the "Tree with Ears" room designed by Pierre Fichefeux, an illustrator or the "Curtain of Hair" room designed by photographer Natacha Lesueur.
From the hotel:
Totally atypical and nested in a secret passage in the heart of historical Montmartre, the hotel is surrounded by an unusual and luxuriant garden. Inspired and unusual, our hotel is original and luxurious, creative and extremely comfortable. This townhouse will offer you something no other hotel will: Suites like top of the range apartments in which you will feel at home or even better.

We priviledge intimacy, calm and wellbeing.

San Francisco Ferry Building

This spot is a must-visit next time I am in San Fran. Not only is the space architecturally impressive, imagine the tasting odyssey - 6 produce markets, 6 cafes, 3 upscale restaurants, 2 olive oil shops, a bakery, an artisan cheese shop, a shop that specializes in mushrooms with the adorable name "Far West Fungi," and the real draw - Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker. Need I say more?

Friday, August 24, 2007

To Do This Weekend: Ninjas to Karaoke


Doraku's Happy Hour Madness

The Friday Happy Hour at Doraku sounds like the best deal in town. According to Pamela Robin Brandt's review in the New Times:
Doraku's days of meals for single-digit prices have disappeared — except Fridays, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., when it's easy to understand why Doraku's name translates to "joy." During this locals' insider-fave happy hour, the $9 tab for one specialty cocktail gets each diner two drinks plus unlimited trips to a tasty buffet. The selection is small (mostly California rolls and similar basic makis, plus chicken wings, mussels, and fruit salad), but the sushi is fresh-made, the sake-steamed mussels come dressed with a habit-forming miso/yuzu potion, and servings are big. It's a $9 full dinner.
I've tasted the sushi there, it's damn good. Something tells me they'll be swamped tonight...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Aftermath of JT LeRoy

If you ever had a doubt that the woman who made up JT LeRoy was a few fries short of a Happy Meal, read this NYTimes piece. From the article:
In the last two years Laura Albert has lost, in no particular order, her livelihood, her boyfriend, a piece of her identity, quite possibly her apartment and a civil fraud trial in Manhattan this spring, enacted, more or less, because she signed a movie contract with her nom de plume.
That, of course, was JT LeRoy, who served for years as her literary double and imaginary envoy to the world. As bookish folks have known for almost two years JT (a supposed addict, androgyne and son of a West Virginia prostitute) rose to stardom at the end of the millennium then fell from grace, shot down as a hoax.
Moral of the story: When writing fiction, make up the characters, not the author.

Krelwear Fall Show @ Karu & Y

The theme was "Little Red in the Hood," brilliant and playful. The setting, Karu and Y's massive event complex. Scheduled start time: 10pm. Actual start time: 11:20. Approximate number of fashionistas in the house: 400. Complimentary beverages: Moleca caipirinhas and Peroni beer. The designs: ethereal personification of a sweater-clad Red Riding Hood nymph with a dash of attitude. Designer Karelle Levy is experimenting more with shape and form - bell-shaped capes and sleeves, billowing waves of sleek knits. Colors: lots of rusty reds, shimmering grays, mossy greens. Overall, a promising show, and by the looks of the packed club, her reach is extending further into Miami's mainstream, a sign of success. We are, of course partial to Krelwear since she so kindly lent us wardrobe for the China Film. But we would love her creations anyway, they are so refreshingly space-age and futuristic. Her studio is open by appointment and racks of clothes are available for purchase there so check her out. You can also purchase them online here.
180 NW 25th Street
Miami, FL 33127

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rag Trade Events

Rag Trade Happy Clothing Co., run by cool chiquita Stephanie Spiegel has a new website (that old MySpace site never did the biz justice) and some fun events on the horizon. Look forward to:
  • A SUPER SALE this Saturday, August 25 from 8pm-11pm. Your entire purchase will be 10% OFF! There will be complimentary snacks and wine! Just remember that the gate will be closed, so just use the box and buzz on up.
  • SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 11a-5p—KRAFTWORKS 2! This KRAFTWORKS is going to be even greater than the first! With different vendors, activities, and even a low-flow water faucet exchange! More info to come...
I am a professed fan of Rag Trade so if you have not checked out the store yet, get over to the Design District. And bring over a bag of gently worn clothes you know you'll never wear.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Top Chef 3 Miami Episode Preview

...In which we learn a little bit too much about CJ...

Food Network Blogger Gorges in Miami

Food Network blogger Catherine Jheon visited Miami in early August on a press junket. Overall she was impressed with Miami's dining scene.
Having dined at some of Miami’s best restaurants, I can see why the city is becoming a culinary destination for food lovers. From authentic Cuban pastries and exotic fruit shakes to Peruvian/Brazilian/Japanese cuisine at Sushi Samba, it has been a fantastic trip.
She was at Taste of the Nation, took a cooking class with Michael Bloise from Wish and dined at the Biltmore's Palm d'Or, Sushi Samba, Table 8 and El Palacio De Los Jugos.

Plum TV Wants to Hear from You

Plum TV Miami Beach wants to hear about your favorite Miami restaurant. If they publish it, you win gift certificates for Miami Spice. So nice! From the site:

Send us a brief write-up (300 words or less) of your favorite Miami restaurant by next Thursday (Aug 23). We’ll pick a winner Friday morning, run the winning review that day, and pass along two Miami Spice dining certificates (free steak!) by Monday. Send us your review of that meal and we’ll run it as well.

Sound good? Grab a pen (or a keyboard). We’re looking for fun, honest (but fair), compelling copy. What makes the restaurant special? Who's your favorite waiter? What's the vibe like? Tell us everything – and send pictures if you’ve got them.

Email submissions and any questions by Thursday, Aug 23 to

Now get thee to a keyboard!

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Interiors of New York Restaurants

Photographer Noah Kalina has captured a plethora of New York City restaurant interiors. His website has more slides. Some of these places really evoke NYC with exposed brick walls and white chalkboards summed up nicely at The Tasting Room (right) in Nolita.
One thing they all express is romance - if any city has cornered the market on dim lighting it is Neuva York. Like Provence in Soho. Others are more experimental like Rayuela on the Lower East Side. LOVE the indoor-tree thing. And then there's the high-budget variety like Jeffrey

Chodorow's Wild Salmon (rated one star by Frank Bruni in the NYTimes) in Midtown.

Ocean Drive Fall Fashion Week

Ocean Drive Magazine Fall Fashion Week 2007
Save the date: September 24 - 29, 2007
From the Magazine:
This not-to-be-missed week of parties celebrating Fall Fashion will be several evenings of style and fun, where the fashionable elite will be invited to preview Ocean Drive magazine’s picks for the hottest looks for fall. Ocean Drive magazine creates the season’s best boutique. This fashion extravaganza will be the season opener for South Beach. The events will take place throughout the week at high-profile hotels, art galleries, restaurants and chic lounges.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Goodbye, Sheraton Bal Harbour

It's the end of an era: The Sheraton Bal Harbour is being demolished. Beloved Morris Lapidus, another iconic designer betrayed. There's a liquidation sale going on, if you have not already heard. It's like going to the biggest yard sale ever, plus it's kind of spooky.

The carpet is torn up in the Grand Ballroom, there was a crew taking down the crystal chandelier, piece by piece. Everywhere you look there is furniture stacked. Desks, chairs, ottomans, random wicker chests.

Everything is for sale - even the "No Diving" sign. Priced at $110 but you could probably get it for less, they're slashing prices now.

The lagoon-style pool is drained and nature is reclaiming its territory. The cheerful yellow and white-striped cabanas are for sale - marked down to $200 from $650. But you have to dismantle and haul it away yourself. As a result you see a lot of handyman-type guys walking around with tool chests. Even if something is nailed down, you can buy it.

Throughout the grounds there are signs of the Sheraton's past. Old photos of meeting rooms and banguet halls were strewn on the ground by the pool.

We ventured up to the penthouse floor, to check out the view that Clinton once enjoyed. The presidential suite is picked clean; there were guys taking down the doors and light fixtures.

On the balcony we found the discarded red letters of the Sheraton sign. We debated buying them. What can you spell with S-H-E-R-A-T-O-N?
"Shear Not,"Tear Nosh" "Heart Son." But in the end we decided to leave the letters on the blacony, their final resting place.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Miami Spice Review: Social Miami

We tried the Miami Spice menu at Social Miami the other night and had a great time. The food is good - it's not wildly creative but it does hopscotch around the globe with Asian, Italian and American comfort food dishes. The presentation is nice and with Michelle Bernstein as a consulting chef that's a guarantee you are in good hands. The restaurant is gorgeous - the epitome of a South Beach lounge aesthetic – white curtain, marble tables and candles everywhere. The contemporary art collection of the Sagamore owners provides a stimulating backdrop to the dining room - passing by a Massimo Vitali print on the way out is always a nice cap to a meal. The hotel lounge is a fine place to entertain out of town guests, which we did.

The restaurant earned big points from the start by offering all four of us the Spice menu right away and leaving one regular menu on the table in case we wanted to order other things. A nice perk of ordering off the spice menu at Social is that you can choose from a nice long list of options - I counted at least 15 things to choose from not including dessert. And you don't have to order dessert either, you can order 3 savory dishes if you like. That's what we ended up doing since we decided to get gelato on Lincoln Road and go for “real” food for all of our choices. So with four of us we got to choose 12 items. The way it works is that dishes are served family-style and come out staggered but in no particular order. It's fun because there was lots of action and new things were constantly coming to our table as the dinner progressed. There were a few differences from the menu I had checked online that day and what was offered but they were pleasant surprises like an offering of tuna crudo that we promptly ordered (incredibly tasty but too small a portion of fish, we wanted more) so be prepared for small surprises.

We ordered: (3) cod with bok choy, (2) lamb ribs, tandori chicken, marinated goat cheese, (2) margarita pizza, crab cakes, smoked salmon and the aforementioned tuna.

Highlights were the lamb ribs (above) that came with an especially delicious cornbread muffin, the smoked salmon that was accompanied by 3 somewhat dry blinis and crème fraiche, and the cod (below) which we all devoured with its lovely sweet soy glaze and bok choy.

The portions are not huge but big enough for everyone to have a decent taste and if you're ordering 3 things each that's a lot of tastes. I recommend going with a group so you can try many different dishes and have a tasting odyssey. And judging from the prices on the regular menu ordering with the Spice deal saves about $15 - $20 depending on what you order. Drinks are pricey but add to the fun. Service was great, no attitude, very courteous and always quick to clear plates and refill water.

Bronques Hosts Black Lisptick - August 23

Get ready to mug for the camera!

M.I.A. = Genius

Miami Nights reviews M.I.A.'s new album, Kala. I concur that she is the mastermind of ferocious music these days. I can't get enough of the album, it's so full of detail it will blow your mind. But the use of gun shots in "Paper Planes," (Track 11) is gratuitous. Maybe that's the point. Anyone else bothered by it?

Ninja Talmud

I just saw this and it looks AWESOME. I am so there.

Tiny Ninja Talmund Theater
Saturday, August 25
During their South Florida performance, the Tiny Ninja Theater Company will perform the Babylonian Talmud, one of Judaism's most dense and sacred texts, normally poured over by scholars, rather than played out by toys. Experience ancient Jewish text in a wild new way as this NYC-based company uses tiny plastic ninjas and other assorted dime store figures to embody the characters of the play. Shows are at 9:15 and 11:15 p.m., and tickets are $18 which includes a post show reception with the artists.
The Moore Building
4040 NE 2nd Avenue, Design District

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Top Chef 3 Miami Clippity-Clip

The gang looks PISSED at Howie. No amount of truffle butter can smooth this one over.
PS - Chef Daniel Boulud as guest judge!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Pelican Summer Dinner Party

Le'ela: Design Shopping in Tel Aviv

Le'ela opened as a temporary store to sell products featured in this year's Designed in Israel '07 exhibit of Israeli designers. The store was so successful it is now a permanent fixture amongst the cafes and nightclubs in the city's revamped port. Housed in the building owned by women's fashion collective Comme-Il-Faut, the store is run by Nirit Oren Sternberg and features the rising stars of Israeli's design world. The store's name is Aramaic for “the best of the best” and there are many reasons to justify the name including Talila Abraham's metal lace fruit bowls ($70) the “Og” lamp by Tal Gur and a cardboard chair by Eilon Armon. Both Gur and Armon were featured in a 2006 exhibit on Israeli designers at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum.

Bait Banamal, Hangar 26, Tel Aviv Harbor

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Arik Ben Simhon, Tel Aviv Designer

Affluent Tel Avivans look to Arik Ben Simhon to furnish their homes with a sophisticated sensibility. One of Israel's leading designers, Ben Simhon's resume includes nightclubs (he has designed the popular night spot “Velvet”), nurseries, and working with the Florentine showroom Kastiel. His sprawling showroom features both furniture and fabric designs. Prices range according to pieces but be prepared to break out the Black Amex.

Arik Ben Simhon
27 Nachalat Binyamin

Friday, August 10, 2007

Samy D Studio, Tel Aviv

From my article in InsideOut.

Samy D Studio
56 Shabazi St.
Ceramics stores as abundant as falafel shacks in Israel. Maybe it’s the idea of getting in touch with the earth, but there is wealth of great clay masters in Israel. Samy D, who studied industrial design in Rome and can usually be found working in the studio in the back of his quaint Neve Tzedek gallery, has managed to distinguish himself with ceramics that are both artful and functional. Inspired by marine elements, the heavy stoneware and majestic lines give the mugs and vases a regal quality. El Al airlines liked his work so much they commissioned him to create their dishes for first class. Samy’s “Kotzvim” line features mugs, kettles and bowls ($40-$800) with 14k gold plating.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Macy's South Beach Grand Re-Opening

Went to Macy's VIP opening event last Thursday. It was about as raucous as a party can get in the context of headless mannequins and racks of party dresses. The store looks nice, everything seems squeaky clean and refurbished. It's still a department store with fluorescent lights, but at least they now carry Chanel and Michael Kors. Govind Armstrong was there, serving small bites from his cookbook and being charming as ever.

My favorites were the mushroom-topped polenta.

DJ Irie made sure all the suits from corporate shook their booties a bit. In terms of the store's design, all vestiges of the 50's have been eradicated, with nary a seashell in site. What has been replaced in its stead is a Romero Britto-fest. Don't get me wrong, I actually do like Britto, I appreciate his entrepreneurial sensibilities and his generous charity work. He created a signature piece of artwork for the re-opening which is well and good, but was it really necessary to incorporate the Britto-ness into these collectible plastic bags?

And the shopping bags?

And the signs?

And, in case you didn't get the memo, there's Britto on the second floor too.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Dogma Grill

Best fries ever. Ever. The hot dogs are pretty good (we tried the veggie dogs). But the fries are just perfection. Crisp and salty on the outside and full of potatoey goodness. The toppings at Dogma are always fresh and generous. Here you see the Athens (top) smothered in Greek salad and the El Macho consisting of spicy salsa cream, diced tomatoes, onions and jalapeno peppers. A great and (one could argue) healthy $4 snack.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The 400 Blows at Upper East Side Garden

What better setting to enjoy French Cinema than a quiet sultry summer night? The Upper East Side Garden's weekly Thursday night movie features François Truffaut’s first feature, The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups). $7 admission gets you a seat in the quaint garden, a beverage and a bag of popcorn.

From the description of the film:
Told through the eyes of Truffaut’s life-long cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), The 400 Blows sensitively recreates the trials of Truffaut’s own difficult childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, petty crime, and a friendship that would last a lifetime. The film marks Truffaut’s passage from leading critic of the French New Wave to his emergence as one of Europe’s most brilliant auteurs.
August 9, 8pm


Restaurants play a prominent role on this blog, mostly because I like food and the restaurant scene here is constantly evolving. Usually I am a happy clam eating out, but there are those times when an experience at a restaurant has been disappointing, possibly unpleasant and lands it firmly in my "underwhelmed" category. So here's my list, if you disagree, let me know, I'm always ready to give second chances. Feel free to share your lists as well.
  • A Fish Called Avalon - here's a place that rides on the tourist wave big time. The fish dishes were competent but nothing to inspire culinary reveries. And way too expensive for a menu that has not changed in years.
  • The Palm (Coral Gables) - exists for business high-rollers with an unrefined palate. And the staff LOVES to pad the bill - we ordered cheesecake and when the waiter suggested we add fresh berries we obliged, little did we know those handful of berries would show up as an extra $5 on the check.
  • Solo on the Bay - the place has closed but when it was open its only saving grace was the spectacular view of the bay. It was always empty (a great place to have a secret meeting with your mob contact) and the food was unremarkable.
  • Bal Harbour Bistro - a place better suited to old ladies with bauble-covered fingers, the food is boring and flavorless from the generic dinner rolls to the limp fettucine. And overpriced.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Top Chef 3 Miami Clip of the Week

This clip reminds me of those episodes of The Real World when the gang would get dolled up and go out drinking together sorority-girl style. Remember that Hawaii season when that girl always got wasted and scared the house into thinking she was going to die in the funky communal bathroom? Something tells me the Top Chef gang is going to be a bit more responsible on their South Beach outing...
PS - Guest host Govind Armstrong!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Taste of the Nation Miami

Over 40 restaurants participated in this event to raise funds for childhood hunger. Celebrity chefs in attendance included Chef Allen Susser and Govind Armstrong. David Bouley was absent but his crew proffered white chocolate flan with green tea gelee as a peace offering to satiate the masses.

Grass Restaurant's table (above) was packed as event goers snacked on duck confit on whole wheat crepes, warm goat cheese crumbles (below) with hydroponic arugula, and a rich banana bread pudding.

Event host Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne put out a dessert buffet to rival no other. People could not get enough of the chocolate apple saffron mousse cake, strawberry rubarb tarts and key lime macaroons.

Perfectly seared tuna from Blue Door at the Delano.
More from the dessert table...