The Dome Gets LEED Luxe Certified
The Dome earns serious green cred.
November 01, 2012
The Dome received the LEED Silver certification in August, making it Coral Gables’ first restaurant with that recognition—a testament to founder Rachel Dominguez’s personal commitment to the environment. The restaurant is designed to reduce its carbon footprint wherever possible, from its usage of recycled materials in the décor to offering iPad menus in order to go paperless. Further highlighting this sustainability is the eclectic locavore menu featuring Latin American, Cuban, and Caribbean influences. House favorites include Abuela’s Yuca Croquettas, featuring crispy yuca fingers dressed in a chive cream sauce and topped with caviar, as well as masa frito, a dish of fried pork bites in a homemade citrus garlic mojito sauce. 271 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, 305-648-4999
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDREW MEADE
Q&A: Chef Julie Frans on Miami vs. California
Arriving in the kitchen of Essensia by way of San Diego, Frans sees room to grow in Miami’s farm-to-table movement.
September 24, 2012
San Diego import Julie Frans has a passion for cooking food with integrity. She’s a pioneer in ingredient sourcing, carefully crafting each dish with über-sustainable produce and meats hailing from local and environmentally conscious purveyors. In the kitchen at Essensia at The Palms Hotel & Spa—where she holds the title of “signature chef”—Frans fuses her west coast roots with Miami’s tropical inspiration to create truly original flavors.
What culinary trends are you seeing in Miami right now?
JULIE FRANS: I think that the farm-to-table trend is really gaining momentum in Florida. Local, seasonal sourcing really makes so much sense on so many levels. As customers are becoming more knowledgeable about ingredients, chefs will have to focus on their sourcing and seasonality more than ever.
Coming from California, where farm-to-table was born, how does Miami stack up in terms of access to high quality ingredients?
JF: In San Diego I was spoiled. There are so many farms, and attaining farm-grown food is so easily accessible. I had no idea how hard it would be to source local food and organize product deliveries. I am always surprised that more farms don't deliver to the beach regularly, but I suppose they have never had enough demand. The difference in seasonality is always a learning process as well. It’s still hard for me to get used to the void of local farm products during the summer.
What do you miss most about cooking in San Diego?
SF: Something that I miss about the San Diego food scene is the camaraderie between chefs. I feel like the chefs collaborated on projects a lot more than they do here, but then again I am still pretty new to the area.
Which chefs do you see leading the farm-to-table trend in Miami?
JF: There are the more known names like Michelle Bernstein, Michael Schwartz, Daniel Boulud, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten that are making a big impact. But there are a lot of passionate chefs making a difference in their restaurants just by bringing focus to where their food comes from. I am more likely to frequent a restaurant where the chef sources locally and provides that info in their menu. It makes me confident that the food is high quality.
The farm-to-table movement is rife with buzzwords: sustainable, local, organic, ethically sourced, free range, the list goes on. How do you distill it all down?
SF: I try to avoid making too many generalizations about my food. I never claim that we are ‘all organic’ or ‘all local.’ That would be unrealistic and also limit us from some really incredible products. My overall basis of selecting products is quality. It is more important to me that something is grown with care and integrity, and is good for my guest and on the global scale, than it is to have an organic stamp on it. We source some seafood locally, but support distant farms that are making a positive global impact. I use some products from Europe that are just really high quality and need to be shared. The ingredients are the focus first and foremost at Essensia; quality and integrity is what I am after.
What are your three favorite ingredients to cook with and why?
JF: Chili peppers, especially Serrano chilies. They add a nice heat and can round out a sweet flavor to make it work as a savory food. Fennel adds a complexity to food and can create more levels to flavor. Coconut milk can be sweet or savory, depending how it's seasoned. I love combining it with miso, saffron, curry, and ginger-lemongrass.
What is the one kitchen tool you can’t live without?
JF: Vitamix blender. It’s so versatile. I use it to make creamy soups and puréed sauces, breadcrumbs, pestos, dressings, and vinaigrettes.
For your “last meal,” what would be on the table?
JF: Thai food for sure. Something super spicy like green papaya salad, Penang curry, and drunken noodles, especially if they could make it with delicious local organic ingredients and serve it with red rice or quinoa. For dessert, sweet sticky rice and local mango.
Essensia, The Palms Hotel & Spa, 3025 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-908-5458
After Work: Bourbon Tippling at Meat Market
Mixologist Gloria Pope mixes a new cocktail in honor of National Bourbon Heritage Month.
September 12, 2012
Meat Market mixologist Gloria Pope
In honor of National Bourbon Heritage Month (September), Meat Market mixologist Gloria Pope has crafted a sweet and savory cocktail for lovers of the Kentucky classic. Made with muddled strawberries, citrus, and Maker’s Mark, the whisky cocktail gets a savory singed rosemary garnish. Stop by Meat Market this month to try it out, or whip one up at home.
2 fresh strawberries
1 1/2 ounces Maker’s Mark Kentucky Bourbon Whisky
1/2 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
In a mixing glass, muddle the strawberries. Add Maker’s Mark, orange juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Add ice and shake for 10 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a stalk of rosemary that’s been slightly singed.
915 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-532-0088
Openings: Lee & Marie’s Cakery
Stop by for maple bacon muffins, cakes galore, and pork belly BLTs with a side of soul.
September 07, 2012
Hummingbird cake at Lee & Marie's Cakery
As the sun rises over South of Fifth, so too does the smell of freshly brewed Panther Coffee and warm maple bacon and corn muffins from Lee & Marie’s Cakery, which opens today in the Continuum Building. Part patisserie and part breakfast and lunch counter, Lee & Marie’s serves locally sourced baked goods, soups, sandwiches, and salads. Specialties include espresso coffee pudding, salty caramel apple pie, a variety of éclairs, a pork belly BLT with avocado and kimchi aioli, and of course, a rotating selection of artful cakes.
The quaint 50-seat café channels southern charm with textured woods, interesting antiques, and playful bric-a-brac. Diners can take their meal at a communal table, counter, or outdoor café. At the helm of it all is social entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrea “Andy” Travaglia, who partnered with pastry chef wunderkind Yannis Janssens to make her vision a reality.
The pair’s main focus is to offer delicious sweets and savories using homegrown Miami ingredients from Myakka’s Dakin Farms, Wynwood's Panther Coffee, and Paradise Farms. For a personal touch, Travaglia named the shop after her daughters’ grandmothers. The duo has also partnered with the University of Miami/Nova Southeastern University’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities to provide employment opportunities for autistic adults. 40 S. Pointe Dr., Miami Beach, 305- 672-5167
Drink This: A Skinny Mojito
Whip up a mango, coconut, and mint mojito that’s less than 100 calories.
August 09, 2012
Recently added to the Voli Light Vodkas stable of calorie-conscious flavored vodkas is the new Mango Coconut Fusion. (You may be familiar with Voli on account of its famous spokespeople: Pitbull and Fergie.) With a multi-distilled wheat base, the new flavor hits the palate with notes of coconut, mango, and pineapple. Voli has created a series of Mango Coconut Fusion recipes, but our favorite is the Miami Mojito—which packs a svelte 85 calories.
1 1/2 ounces Voli Mango Coconut Fusion Vodka
6 mint leaves
3 lime wedges
1 pack Stevia
Muddle mint leaves, lime wedges, and Stevia in a highball glass. Add ice, vodka, and top off with soda water. Garnish with mango chunks and extra mint leaves.
Dinner Plans: Estiatorio Milos
Montreal’s Estiatorio Milos brings its vibrant Greek fare to South Beach.
July 02, 2012
More than 30 years ago, Costas Spiliadis opened his first restaurant in Montreal with a mission to reintroduce Greece’s gastronomy to Canadian epicureans. Now, his fifth outpost (other locations include New York, Athens, and Las Vegas) has launched in the refined culinary environs of South Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood.
Forget the greasy moussaka platters synonymous with classic Greek diners; Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis stays true to healthy, authentic fare by using simple, fresh, and seasonal ingredients. Hook-caught fish are shipped straight from the Mediterranean or supplied by independent fishermen in the Florida Keys, and are cooked on an oak-burning grill with olive oil and lemon juice. Milos’s collection of Greek wines is carefully selected and imported by Spiliadis’s son, George, complementing signature dishes such as the charcoal-broiled octopus with wild Santorini capers.
Milos feels like a rustic-chic Aegean taverna thanks to Pentelic marble floors, giant clay urns, and chunky wood rafters. The restaurant’s focal point, however, is the 13,000-pound marble art installation: two massive slates handcut from the same quarry used to build the Parthenon, and suspended from the rafters by industrial chains. The open kitchen offsets an in-house “fish market” where guests can choose the fish they’ll eat, just as they would on a summer afternoon at a Greek marina.
Adjacent to the main dining room, the Marketa market offers a selection of Greek spoon sweets (fruit preserves), the exclusive My Sister’s Olive Oil (produced by Spiliadis’s sister, Vivi Manolakos), as well as cured meats, fishes, and fine cheeses from around the world, such as the Spanish Idiazabal and the Greek Manouri. If Milos has its way, you’ll soon be raising a glass of Metaxa and saying, “Stin ygeia sas!” (“Cheers” in Greek). 730 First St., Miami Beach, 305-604-6800.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ANDREW MEADE
Guide: Miami's Best Sandwiches
Miami’s best sandwich spots offer creations that burst with fresh, creative contents.
April 09, 2012
This is not where you go for a modest sandwich. It’s in the back of a bar (Lost Weekend), and the menu is tailor-made to satisfy uninhibited late-night munchies. Among the best is the South Philadelphia cheesesteak, a two-hander big enough to share, featuring piquant strips of grilled rib eye and onion, smothered in cheese. Just go for broke—we’ve heard they help prevent hangovers. 218 Espanola Way, Miami Beach, 305-674-3448; alibi.me
As the name of this bright, casual Upper Eastside spot implies, this fare could fuel a day in the mines. Draw sustenance from the Big Ragout sandwich, a dripping behemoth filled with tomato sauce-braised brisket, veal, pork shoulder, and fresh mozzarella. The chef is so serious about packing in as much meat as possible that the hollows of the sesame roll are scooped out to fit in more. 6730 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-756-0366; bluecollarmiami.com
Crumb on Parchment
Michelle Bernstein’s casual spot in the Design District specializes in comfort food. Come hungry and opt for the signature offering, a hot take on a messy Southern favorite gone upscale: a heap of pulled chicken that comes with caramelized onions, goat cheese, arugula, and—for an unexpected tang—apple, all served on crunchy, freshly baked ciabatta. 3930 NE Second Ave., Miami, 305-572-9444
Braving the crowds at the classic sit-down restaurant is worth it during stone crab season or on special occasions. But anytime is good for Joe’s Take-Away—especially lunch. The classic mahi-mahi and grouper sandwiches here—grilled, blackened, or fried (grouper only)—hit the spot with melt-away fish that tastes like it was just caught. As such, there’s no need for fancy sauces; just lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle suffice. 11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-673-4611
This Argentine-Italian bistro serves three meals daily, plus beer and wine, but the lunch sandwiches are the sleeper hit. These four-inchhigh creations come on warm, fresh bread, piled with either Latin-style stuffings (such as the lomito steak) or classic Italian favorites (like prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil, and roasted red peppers). If you’re feeling more peckish, go for the super-Argentine miga sandwiches, filled with ham, hard-boiled egg, roasted red peppers, and green olives. 1229 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-695-8800; panizzabistro.com
Papo Llega y Pon
Despite its location in Allapattah, beyond the usual Miami Cuban stomping grounds, this cash-only shop serves arguably some of the best pan con lechon in town. The massive sandwich feeds four and comes with juicy roast pork (with or without fried skin), adobo-spiced mojo sauce, and, if you want, hot sauce and onions. It’s all stuffed in a loaf of Cuban bread, crackling and crusty on the outside but pillowy inside. 2928 NW 17th Ave., Miami, 305-635-0137
True banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches made with various meats and pickled vegetables on a baguette) are thin on the ground in Miami. Sakaya Kitchen’s multicultifusion twist on this street-food favorite does the job. Chef/owner Richard Hales puts common banh mi fillings—pork belly, kimchi-style carrots and cucumbers, and spicy mayo—on Cantonese steamed bao buns for a soft snack with bite. 3401 N. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-576-8096; 125 SE Third Ave., Miami, 305-371-2511
Nearly any selection will do at this long-lasting locals’ late-night favorite. But the counter service offers the best wee-hour options for the meat-free. The vegetarian sandwich comes on a baguette filled with as much lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, olives, onions, cucumbers, and cornichons as you can handle. Get it all slathered with the restaurant’s signature French mustard vinaigrette, a slightly acidic sauce with addictive properties. 229 14th St., Miami Beach, 305-532-8934; 34 SW Eighth St., Miami, 305-374-9852; lasandwicherie.com
Pump Up the Volume
From well-known spots to well-kept secrets, Miami’s best live music venues.
March 12, 2012
Miami Beach nightclub Jazid, a Washington Avenue mainstay
This boho-chic club across from Midtown has musicians play on “the carpet” rather than a stage, which results in a great house-party vibe. Fans crowd face-to-face with acts straight from the hippest music blogs; expect to hear everything from old-school hip-hop to nu-disco to rock ’n’ roll, with out-of-town groups well-paired with local openers.
3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-576-5570
What this pseudo-English pub lacks in secure parking and sparkling loos, it makes up for in raw atmosphere. Situated in Little Haiti, this 32-year-old venue has resisted—even repelled—gentrification, and continues to function as the nerve center of Miami’s live punk, garage, and indie scenes, all lubricated by drinks about half the price of those in swankier spots.
5501 NE Second Ave., Miami, 305-757-1807
This sprawling, hangar-like space with room for more than 1,000 has hosted an impressive spread of mid-size touring acts, from legends of the ’80s and ’90s (OMD) to the latest white-hot hip names (Cut Copy, lcd soundsystem, The Drums, The Rapture). If things get too loud, head upstairs to The Garret, Grand Central’s club-within-a-club, or outside, where you can buffer booze with gourmet hot dogs.
697 N. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-377-2277
Hoy Como Ayer
Smack in the middle of the Calle Ocho strip, this is the requisite stop for anyone looking for a dose of live Latin music. Unsurprisingly, the tunes lean heavily Cuban, with genres like salsa and nueva trova (a kind of guitar-driven folk) playing almost nightly. For non-Miamians, this is a tourist-friendly venue where no español is required to enjoy—just a willingness to dance.
2212 SW Eighth St., Miami, 305-541-2631
Jazid deserves props for remaining a live music holdout on DJ-heavy South Beach. Sounds here tend toward the global, with rock en español, dub, reggae, ska, live hip-hop, fusion funk, and various Latin jam acts holding sway. As a bonus, the club’s small lounge space usually offers a different musical flavor—and entry for both is very often free.
1342 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-673-9372
With bragging rights as the only live music club in the Design District proper, The Stage feels fittingly boho yet upscale, with indoor-outdoor capabilities. Music offerings include New Orleans brass, old-school hip-hop, Latin fusion, blues, and occasionally indie rock. And most Sundays, the club schedules family-friendly matinee concerts with children’s activities.
170 NE 38th St., Miami, 305- 576-9577
With the city’s oldest liquor license—granted in 1912—and a nightly program of multiple live bands, this pleasantly weathered club boasts upstairs and back patios for simultaneous shows, and even sets up parking lot stages for various genre-themed festivals. You won’t find many large touring acts swinging through, but you’ll see nearly every original local act worth its salt.
626 S. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-374-1198
Upstairs at the Van Dyke Café
At street level, the Van Dyke is abuzz with Lincoln Road clientele, but the second floor is still a relatively well-kept secret—a smart, classy live music venue for fewer than 100 people that’s not only one of the last homes of jazz in Miami, but also hosts singer-songwriters, funk, soul, and even a little classic rock, as well as R&B, blues, and Latin sounds.
846 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-534-3600
The Vagabond Miami
The downtown club has a DJ-driven rep, but also books a robust roster of touring and local live acts for gettin’ down. That can mean anything from jazz and indie rock to dubstep, hip-hop, and jam bands, including the likes of Glass Candy, the Beatnuts, and Pretty Lights. A sprawling outside area houses a fire pit and barbecue station.
30 NE 14th St., Miami, 305-379- 0508.
Beats Per Minute
TW Steel CEO by day and DJ manager by night, Jordy Cobelens helps shape the Miami house music scene—starting with this month’s Ultra Music Festival.
March 05, 2012
Jordy Cobelens(with Michael Mendoza) spins on the TW Steel yacht in Monaco.
Great house music can make time stand still. As it happens, it’s also the passion of Jordy Cobelens, CEO and founder, with his father, of watchmaker TW Steel. Ten years ago, Cobelens was a 19-year-old DJ running JC Records, his Amsterdam record store catering to a sonically savvy clientele. In 2005, he turned in his turntables to work full time with his father, Ton, TW Steel’s head designer, creating and marketing sleek, masculine watches. Beginning with only four pieces in the collection, this family affair became a budding accessory empire, currently selling in more than 85 countries with offices in Holland, Sydney, Thailand, and Hong Kong.
But after a few years, something felt incomplete for the young businessman. He missed the music in his life. “If I start something, I want to finish it,” he says. Thus, Cobelens created Steel Artist Management with partner Harith El Jilale, with a focus on working with new DJs, booking events, providing management, and helping them develop as artists. “For such a small country, Holland has become really well known for its DJs,” Cobelens says of his homeland: Think Tiësto and Afrojack. Steel Artist Management works with DJ Chuckie to bring the hard-edged Dirty Dutch sound to the world. This March, the Dutch invasion continues, as they introduce their crew of beatmakers to Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, including Gregor Salto, The Flexican, and Mitchell Niemeyer. This will be Cobelens’s first time at the festival.
Former model Niemeyer is their greatest success story. “He gets onstage, the girls absolutely love him,” Cobelens notes. The company discovered him as a novice, and worked to cultivate his skills. “He had the talent, and I can get the maximum out of that,” says Cobelens. Niemeyer’s first track shot up the ranks on Beatport’s Electro House Top 10 worldwide.
Cobelens gets excited watching his DJs perform at huge festivals. “These guys have so much motivation, so much passion.... [It’s] just absolutely beautiful to see the energy of 15,000 people. They absorb that, and they try to bring it over again to the audience. It’s incredible to me.” Catch Steel Artist Management’s star DJs at Ultra Music Festival from March 23 to 25, and with Dirty Dutch at Arkadia that same week.
These eateries continue to push Miami's dining evolution forward.
February 07, 2012
1. Vesper: What better place to enjoy a romantic dinner than where All-Star and super athlete LeBron James proposed to his now fiancée this past New Year's Eve? Although you might enjoy dining al fresco, we suggest the hidden dining room for some privacy and romance. Shelborne, 1801 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, 305-341-1500
2. The Dome: A caviar bar in Coral Gables, the Dome's delicacies and Latin fusion dishes will satisfy your palate. A LEED certified restaurant, this eatery focuses on sustainability, locally sourced ingredients and green operations. 271 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, 305-648-4999
3. Bianca: Bianca arrives at the Delano boasting a flavorful Italian menu. The lovely patio and the indoor seating in minimal whites and neutrals make this the idieal spot for an impressive night out. Delano 1685 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 305-674-5752
4. The Federal Food Drink & Provisions: Tackling comfort food classics like pot pies, biscuits and gravy, this eatery will rock your world. You might want to start with their Ham ‘n Cheese or enjoy their rotating selection of cured meats, salamis and farmstead cheeses. 5132 Biscayne Blvd, Miami 786-383-2408