La Santa Taqueria: Pop up in Midtown Garden Center

La Santa Taqueria Miami Pop up Chef Omar Montero

Found hidden in the Wynwood/Midtown district is a pop-up bringing authentic Mexican fair to hungry Miami locals. La Santa Taqueria is the creation of chef Omar Montero, a Mexico City native who spent years traveling and working with some of Latin America’s and North America’s finest restaurants and hotels, including most recently The Setai, and Cantina La Veinte.  Chef Omar's childhood revolved around the family kitchen while watching his family’s catering business evolve. That early introduction to authentic Mexican cuisine led him to received professional culinary training in Mexico City at University Anahuac.

La Santa, Chef Omar’s first personal project, opened in July of 2017 as a small pop-up in the Midtown Garden Center where people can BYOB and enjoy the open-air atmosphere as they taste simple, traditional tacos and drinks. A more permananent location is in the works. 

A few of the dishes we were invited to sample included both classics and Chef Omar’s street food interpretations:

Elote

La Santa Taqueria Miami Elote

Elote is a favorite street-food of Mexican locals. Sweet corn is grilled and then smothered in toppings like mayo, cayenne pepper and cheese. Add a squeeze of lime and you have a perfect bite. The sweet corn with the kick from the cayenne and the bite from the cheese makes this a messy, delicious appetizer. Wash it down with a beer and you’re ready for some tacos.

Suadero

La Santa Taqueria Miami Suadero Taco

The Suadero taco is a perfect example of the simple but delicious street-food that you can find all over Mexico. A warm corn tortilla topped with tender beef, cilantro and onions. That’s it, and that’s all you need.

The beef is soft and juicy from being cooked low-and-slow, the cilantro and onions add a freshness that cuts the fat from the beef, and the corn tortilla soaks up all the juices as you take that first wonderful bite. This taco proves that you don’t have to go to Mexico to eat real tacos.

Al Pastor

La Santa Taqueria Miami Al Pastor Taco

This taco is a classic that you’ll find in any taco shop. But here at La Santa, they do it with extra attention to detail.  The pork is marinated overnight in an achiote marinate, giving it some heat and that gorgeous red color.

The taco is then topped with a guajillo sauce, cilantro, onions and a slice of pineapple. The marinated pork gives the taco a gentle heat that creeps up on you only to be extinguished by the fresh pineapple. Wash down with some Mexican soda and go for another bite.

Quinoa & Sweet Potato/Cauliflower Al Pastor (vegan)

La Santa Taqueria Miami Vegan Quinoa Taco

Chef Omar made sure not to forget about the vegan crowd here in Miami. For those still trying to get a taste of real Mexico, they can opt for one of his vegan-friendly items. The very colorful Quinoa & Sweet Potato tacos give you roasted sweet potatoes and a mix of quinoa and herbs.

For those wanting to try the Al Pastor without the pork, Omar created the Cauliflower Al Pastor. Cauliflower chopped and marinated in the same achiote sauce as the original. Both just as delicious and just as satisfying.

Head over to the Midtown Gardens for a relaxing atmosphere and real Mexican cuisine.

La Santa Taqueria

2600 NE 2nd Ave

 Miami, FL 33137

Museum of Ice Cream: Tickets NOW on Sale

Museum of Ice Cream Miami Faena

Last week, tickets went on sale for the much-hyped Museum of Ice Cream ( San Fran and LA locations sold out timed tickets in one hour), set to open in the Faena retail complex December 13th. The first two days for American Express cardholders saw a flurry of activity with many early days and times sold out at the GA price of $38.  Special Art Basel preview tickets are priced at $98 and are still available.

BUT…in checking the website and calendar, it looks like a number of dates still have tickets available including opening week, and even Christmas Eve day, so, grab your selfie stick and Instagram every sweet, colorful and creative moment of the museum.  To date, over 100,000 posts are on Instagram with #MOIC hashtag.

https://www.showclix.com/event/museum-of-ice-cream-miami

AND, if you are looking for a fun job…FT, PT or temporary to earn some extra money to feed that sweet tooth or pay for holiday shopping, #MOIC is hiring!  Retail Managers, Guides/Ambassadors, and Security.  To view Job Descriptions and to apply: https://www.museumoficecream.com/jobs/

Museum of Ice Cream

3400 Collins Ave.

Miami Beach, FL

855 258 0719

 

Saturday Sweets: Nocciolata Saves Thanksgiving

It’s hard to believe it, but Thanksgiving is less than a week away. If it snuck up on you, like it did me, then there’s a chance you’re on the hunt for something to bring to the dinner table next Thursday. Enter: Nocciolata to save the day! Nocciolata is a chocolate hazelnut spread (basically Nutella), but it’s completely free of GMO's, preservatives, colors, additives, or artificial sweeteners. It combines hazelnuts, fair trade cocoa and cocoa butter, natural vanilla extract, skimmed milk, and raw cane sugar for a chocolate-hazelnut spread with undeniably superior flavor. It’s made with environmentally-responsible cold-pressed sunflower oil. It also contains far less sugar than other brands and is free from hydrogenated fats. So it’s almost healthy, right?

I got myself a jar and did some experimenting this week and I’ve got to admit - it was hard to not eat the entire thing with a spoon! If you’ve read Saturday Sweets before then you probably know a thing or two about my chocolate hazelnut spread obsession. I whipped up come Nocciolata swirl cupcakes topped with hazelnut buttercream, chocolate cake crumbs, and Nocciolata drizzle and they were a hit!

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La Mar at Mandarin Oriental Debuts New Menu

La Mar by Gaston Acurio Executive Chef, Diego Oka is giving his menu a major makeover and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s the biggest menu change to date in the three years the famed Gaston Acurio restaurant has been open on Brickell Key at the Mandarin Oriental. For those of you with favorite dishes, don’t worry - Diego has your back and he’s keeping them on the menu (think: chaufa, classic cebiche, etc). The new menu allows for colorful additions inspired by Diego’s travels to Mexico, Italy, and parts of Asia as well as nods to his Peruvian homeland. Seriously, if you don’t already follow him on Instagram - then you need to!

One of the biggest changes in the new menu is the plating. While every dish to ever come out of La Mar’s kitchen is beautiful, there’s something about these new ones that really up-the-ante.

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Pasta Making with Chef Scott Conant & New Fall Menu at Scarpetta

One of the most popular dishes on the menu at Scarpetta by Scott Conant at The Fontainebleau is the Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce.  A seemingly simple dish, it is perfectly cooked spaghetti, gutsy tomato sauce and fresh basil.

Scarpetta Miami serves over 1000 portions of this dish a week and so when I was invited to join a small group for an intimate pasta making class with Celebrity Chef Scott Conant and Chef de Cuisine Neil O’Connell and pasta maker, Roberto Fernandez, I jumped at the opportunity to see firsthand what goes into this dish and the many other freshly made pasta dishes.

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Eating House x Bar Alter x GREY GOOSE Interpreted by Ducasse Collab Dinner

If you follow food then you know all about Miami’s food revolution that’s taken place over the past 6 or so years. Suddenly we seem to have no shortage of incredibly talented chefs and bartenders in our gorgeous city. This came in very handy when StarChefs launched their first-ever Atelier of Taste program, presented by GREY GOOSE. The culinary and cocktail mentorship program recently welcomed 10 rising star chefs and bartenders to the home of GREY GOOSE, Le Logis, an elegant 17th century manor located in the heart of France. And guess what - Miami made the cut!

Giorgio Rapicavoli of Eating House and Gustavo Martinez of Bar Alter were picked for this once in a lifetime trip to Le Logis in France. They were among the first to work with the newest iteration of the vodka, GREY GOOSE Interpreted by Ducasse. The new expression of vodka was just launched in the US last month. It’s a toasted wheat vodka born out of a collaborative process between Chef Ducasse and M. Thibault, GREY GOOSE Interpreted by Ducasse pioneers a new vodka category aptly named “Vodka Gastronomique”, celebrating the notion that vodka can be enjoyed with food.

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PIG 8: Pork Is Good November 18th

"Say Hello to my little curly tailed friend". P.I.G Pork is Good...Very good!

If you follow @PigPorkIsGood on Instagram, you have seen the images of the many participating PIG 8 chefs looking real tough....in black and white, reminiscent of the promo poster for the 1983 Al Pacino movie,  Scarface.

P.I.G. (Pork Is Good), now in its 8th year, is the brainchild of celebrity chef and organizer Chef Jeremiah of gastroPod. Originally just a gathering of friends over a Caja China, this boutique food festival has over the years become one of Miami's most popular and creative food events. This is your chance to mingle and munch amongst your local culinary community and with all of your favorite South Florida chefs.

The event is a daylong celebration of all things Pork, craft beer, cocktails, artisanal products and other mouth-watering dishes created by South Florida’s most exciting culinary talent. Expect over 20 local chefs and restaurants from all your favorites in town, a handful of National chefs invited from around the country, and heritage breed pork. 

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Saturday Sweets: Hedy Goldsmith Returns to Miami for One Night To Collab with Devin Braddock & Mignonette Uptown

Just over two years ago, Miami lost of one of its most talented pastry chefs to the West Coast. Hedy Goldsmith left her executive pastry chef position with Michael Schwartz after two decades to pursue a new life in Los Angeles. The James Beard Award nominated published author, left our hearts heavy and our stomachs craving her Junk In Da Trunk cookies.

A few weeks ago we got lucky when Hedy came back to Miami and was in the kitchen at Mignonette Uptown for one hell of a delicious dessert focused dinner. The night was made extra special because Mignonette’s pastry chef, Devin Braddock is one of Hedy’s prodigies and they were reunited for the night.

The five course dinner wasn’t the typical dinner you’d imagine -- when Hedy is in charge, dessert is served first.

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Where to Eat in Miami: Best Bites from MIAbites

UPDATED for 2017: Welcome to Miami!  Everyone is always asking us, "Where should I eat in Miami?"  Here are some of MIAbites Contributors Best Bites for "am to pm" dining in and around Miami and Miami Beach.   Dinner reservations are strongly recommended and should be made in advance if possible.

All of the Miami Beach hotels have top restaurants and prices to match.  Jose Andres The Bazaar and Katsuya at the SLS South Beach, Scarpetta, Michael Mina and Hakkasan at The Fontainebleau , The Dutch and Mr. Chow at The W South Beach, Pao by Paul Qui and Los Fuegos at Faena and Jean Georges, The Matador Room at the EDITION are all popular and top picks where chances are you will have a delicious albeit expensive meal. 

So by request, the MIAbites contributors put our heads together to flesh out the restaurant scene and to compile our suggestions for dining while in Miami.  

 

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Chef Adrianne: March of Dimes Chef Ambassador

Ten years.  You read that right. Ten years.  That’s how long Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar has been open in the corner of a strip center in West Kendall.  Quite a feat in a volatile restaurant economy and a statement to what good food, consistent service and a committed chef who knows what they are doing can accomplish.

Chef Adrianne Calvo is a personable and passionate chef (and hard to miss with her red hair), whose formula for success has included her love of cooking, her support of local farms like Gabriele Marewski’s Paradise Farm, and the mutual respect between herself and her staff and servers, many who have been with her for years.  On a busy Wednesday night, I sat down with Chef Adrianne to talk about her successes, her passions and her support and involvement with many charitable organizations.

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