Friday, September 24, 2010

Brunch @ One Bal Harbour

Ever since Mark Militello left the kitchen at One Bal Harbour no one talks about the restaurant any more. And while I haven't been back there for dinner since the change I have stopped by for brunch. And there's lots to love at the midday feast. The spread is sized just right. There’s a modest buffest set atop a marble high top table in the oceanfront dining room. You'll find large white bowls filled with chilled jumbo shrimp, square plates of petite tomato caprese with basil and baby arugula, gazpacho soup shooters, beef tartar and silky salmon that’s been marinating in a bath of olive oil, key lime juice and kumquats.
The chef is young Frenchman Thomas Rossi. Nobody's heard of him down here but if more folks sampled that salmon he might start making a name for himself. There’s a choice of three entrees – depending on the day it could be grilled swordfish or roasted chicken with creamy polenta. Then there’s the dessert table, with mini Key lime pies, panna cotta and chocolate mousse.
Ask for a table on the terrace, overlooking the Haulover inlet, and watch the fishing boats putter by. Or sit indoors, where there’s anything from live jazz to bossa nova, samba, Latin and Brazilian music.
Sundays, 12-3pm, $35 or $45 for unlimited champagne and Bloody Marys, 10295 Collins Ave, 305-455-5460.

Vinyl & Kai, South Beach

At first it seemed too good to be true.
A locals-friendly sports bar with four massive projection screens and reasonably-priced drinks in the middle of club land?
And yet here it is: Vinyl and Kai, a comfy New Zealand-influenced bar, with round-the-clock drink specials and belly-filling pub grub. When it opened in February the black and red bar quickly established itself as the place to watch the Olympics, the World Cup, whatever raucous sporting event happened to playing on any given day. The place feels like a sports bar crossed with a revamped record store: there is an elevated loft for a live music, and the walls are covered with new and old vinyl album covers (there’s even a Bee Gees gem in the mix). Owner Chris Barron, a native Kiwi, infuses the space with an easy-going atmosphere that makes it easy to linger over lamb ribs and sweet potato fries.
I'm a fan of the jalapeno margaritas (just spicy enough) and the mezze platter (not really New Zealand-y, but I can forgive that). Prices are reasonable: $6-$10 for apps and most sandwiches are under $14. Happy hour is M-F with half off drinks and appetizers.
1131 Washington Ave, South Beach.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Inspired by the Beat @ CIFO

Creative Children Therapy (CCT) is a local non-profit organization selected earlier this year for Ad2 Miami's 2010 Public Service Campaign. On September 30, CCT will host their 4th annual exhibition “Inspired by the Beat,” at the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) in Miami. All event proceeds will go to funding the organization’s art programs, which focus on helping special needs children in the Miami community.

This year’s event will feature local Cuban artist David ‘LEBO’ Le Batard alongside 23 artists from CCT’s Artistic Realization Technologies program, also known as CCT/A.R.T. 4 Collaborative Works between the Artists of CCT & LEBO will be auctioned off @ event, the Debut of 'LEBO LIVE' - A Multimedia Experience including Live Painting, Video Mixing & Music will take place and LEBO's new coffee table book "Inspired by the Beat" will be available for viewing/purchase.
September 30th from 6:30PM-10:30PM
$20 pre-sale here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sample Stephen Starr's Pop-Up Tonight

The swanky Bal Harbour Shops transform into a block party tonight in honor of the global shopping event known as Fashion’s Night Out. Swing by Agent Provocateur where live models will be showing off the latest in corsetry while Thomas Pink will be passing out complimentary pink champagne and woven silk cufflinks with every $200 purchase. There’ll be a Bocce court outside Tiffany’s, and you'll have a chance to sample Stephen Starr's new restaurant slated to open at the Shops in December.

The pop-up will be serving the following bites gratis:
Baby green peaches, whipped tofu, olive oil, sea salt
Spicy Tuna maki, Crisp rice Cracker, serrano chile
Chicken and ginger tsukune
Nitro Cookies - Green tea cookies, deep freeze

September 10, 7-10p, Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave, 305-866-1816

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Cape Cod Room Closed?

Sad to report the closing of Ken Lyon's Cape Cod Room. Now fresh seafood at J Eismann's new Fin in Design District!!

Avec 'appy 'our

The best thing about happy hour in France? The cheap booze, of course - a carafe of syrah for 10 Euros - and the free snacks. In addition to small cups of marinated olives we were treated to baskets of home made waffle chips constantly replenished by the ingenue waitress at Cafe Blanc, a sidewalk spot down the street from the Louvre.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Good Morning, Paris: Breakfast @ Le Meurice

We had a few elegant meals (and a few glorified happy hours) in Paris, the first of which was the breakfast at Le Meurice. First, there was the platter of bread and pastries - flaky chocolate croissants, sweet brioche, fruit-flecked financiers, mini-baguettes with pointy tips. All this flanked by jams from Fauchon (red currant, apricot, acacia honey) and soft butter. Next, impossibly fluffy omelets stuffed with chantarelle mushrooms. Strong coffee. Gracious service. Japanese businessmen feasting at tables nearby. A dining room dating nearly two centuries. A crisp International Herald Tribune. Fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. Silver coffee pots. Toast with the crusts trimmed.
It was so proper, so delicate, so French. And it was a great introduction to a city whose formality and attention to culinary detail I was just slowly beginning to understand.

European Vacation

It's been a while since I've posted here my friends. Apologies. Needed a break from writing, the internet and computers. Also needed a break from Miami. It happens. As opposed to our usual international destinations (Asia and Israel) we decided to go Western world on this holiday and headed to Switzerland, France and Germany. Lots of lush countryside, beer drinking and croissant eating ensued. I'll be sharing some highlights soon.