Chef "Uri Buri" brings Israeli food to Miami

Chef Uri Buri in Miami for SOBEWFF

It was another of those lovely Miami nights….no humidity, a warm soft breeze and walking into the barely 2-month-old Café Roval just off Biscayne and 54th felt like I had traveled many days to this green oasis of coral, wood, lush vegetation and small pools and ponds.  But, the feature on Café Roval is a whole other story saved for a later date, as last night, Café Roval and it’s chef, Peter Fred, played host to internationally acclaimed, Israeli Chef and Hotelier, Uri Jeremias of Uri Buri in Acre.

Uri Jeremias, most recognizable for his long flowing white beard, is a bit of an old soul, who not only shared with us his menu of 8 courses of authentic Israeli cuisine, but his wise thoughts on relationships, the current state of the world and offered hope for a future of living together peacefully in these complicated times.

It was an evening of food and friends with a dash of philosophy, and I am not sure which I enjoyed most.

Joining Chef Peter Fred was Chef Daniel Ganem, newly named chef at Quality Meats and co-creator of the Zuuk Mediterranean fast casual menu.  Sara Liss put together the evening using her Saffron Supper Club “know how” and guests ranged from local media to members of the Israeli Consulate, The Ministry of Israeli Tourism,  representatives from El Al and Turkish Airlines to a CNN documentarian.  Intimate conversations at my table included everything from lack of good falafel and hummus in Miami to the Israeli family who has lived here for four years and their plan to return to Israel.

The many courses were fresh and flavorful, simply prepared with each course featuring fresh fish.  The starter was a local striped bass crudo in orange sauce, Main dishes included Local Hog Snapper over brown rice with watermelon slices and a yogurt sauce, Grouper in a garlic and lemony sauce, and Israeli cous cous with Fruits de Mer including shrimp, squid, and mussels.  My favorite side of Brussels sprouts was topped with goat cheese and dried cherries.

But it was the conversations that were among the most satisfying. As we were served a dessert of Rosewater Malabi, a sort of not–too sweet liquid tapioca-like pudding, Chef Uri invited us into the outside garden to hear about his life, his new cookbook and his travels in the US to help raise money to build a cooking school in his hometown of Acre to teach children with disabilities like ADHD and dyslexia the art of cooking.  

But, his most profound story was on his decision to choose Acre as his home and to open Uri Buri and his hotel, in a primarily Muslim area.

He talked about honor and respect as being the keys to living peacefully in Acre.  And encouraged us all to not give up regardless of political situations and to work towards a future that is more respectful and understanding of differences. It was an inspiring evening with new friends and a new perspective on food and the world around us.

Lucky for Miami, Chef Uri will be in Miami a few more days, hosting an intimate dinner at Cecconi's at The SoHo House on Thursday 2/23 as part of SOBEWFF.  Use the Saffron Supper Club discount code SSC17 for 20% off. Tickets available at www.sobefest.com

And on Saturday 2/25, at 27 Restaurant/ Broken Shaker Chef Buri will be in the kitchen cooking up some of his favorite seafood dishes from 6:30 pm until close. Reservations are required.

 

 

The 2017 “Unofficial” SOBEWFF event guide

SOBEWFF 2017 Miami Guide to Unofficial events

Welcome the 65,000 attendees of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival February 23-26!  Don’t despair if you got closed out of a coveted event, or found the prices a bit rich for your tastes. In celebration of Miami’s own amazing food scene, local chefs and restaurants have come up with some creative and unique events of their own. 

Hence, the “Unofficial” SOBEWFF guide is here:

Wednesday February 22nd-

PAO8 pm- The Faena Miami Beach and Chef Paul Qui host James Beard nominated Chef/Owner, Michael Pirolo of Macchialina for this month’s installment of Chef Collective. PAO  3201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach 786-655-5600. Tickets are $115 pp and can be purchased by calling or visiting https://paofaenamiami.tocktix.com/ 

Thursday February 23rd- 

SOBEWFF Mendin & Friends

Pubbelly- 8 PM- In collaboration with Miami Ink’s clothing line, Ruthless & Toothless, Chef Jose Mendin will be serving up a collection of original dishes inspired by his childhood memories, alongside great friends Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette of Toro. To top the night off, making an exclusive appearance will be Darren Brass, of the celebrated reality show, Miami Ink. It will be a night you won’t want to miss.  Tickets are $85 and can be purchased through this link: http://thepubbellygroup.com/product/sobewff-kick-off-dinner-childhood-memories/. Pubbelly 1418 20th St. Miami Beach, FL.

Pawn Broker- 11 PM- 2 AM- Grab an Uber and head over to Pawn Broker Rooftop and Lounge at the Langford Hotel for an After Party sponsored by Avion Tequila with Pawn Broker’s Will Rivas and Yael Ventgroff, Bar Director at the Sparc Room LA.  Pawn Broker at the Langford 121 SE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131

SOBEWFF Phuc Yea

Phuc Yea- 8 PM-Midtown Miami Magazine and Phuc Yea present the 1ST ANNUAL MADE IN DADE CHEF'S COOKOUT with local Miami Chefs: Michael Beltran from Ariete, Rene Reyes & John Gallo from Pinch Kitchen, Niven Patel from Ghee Indian Kitchen, Cesar Zapata from Phuc Yea. Featuring a selection of the crispest east and west coast oysters by Blue Island Oysters & Estrella Damm Beer and a chef inspired menu of Viet Cajun Seafood Boil / crawfish, shrimp, clams, potatoes, andouille sausage, corn, Vietnamese aromatics, beer, Glazed Caramel Pork Spare Ribs / fish sauce caramel, scallions, sesame, apple wood smoked, Pig-nics / caja china roasted hams, lemon grass, chillies, garlic, ginger, pho spice and Sides, Fixins & Sauces prepared by guest chefs. Tickets are $34-50 and available on Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/made-in-dade-chefs-cookout-tickets-32155719623?aff=es2#tickets. Phuc Yea 7100 Biscayne Blvd. Miami FL.

Friday February 24th-

Alter- Join James Beard nominated Chef, Bradley Kilgore at James Beard nominated restaurant, Alter for the Eats, Rhymes, and Life event hosted at Alter and sponsored by Breakthru Beverage and the new East Hotel.  Beginning at 7 pm with an Interactive 5 Course Dinner with Beverage and Music Pairings from Chefs Brad Kilgore and Brandon Brumback and Co-Hosted by Jarobi White of Tribe Called Quest followed by After Party Access on the 40th Floor of East Hotel, DJ set by Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Cocktails and Wines Offered from Breakthru Beverage. Full Event Access is $250 per person. Call Alter at 305 573 5996 or email at info@altermiami.com.(NOTE: Dinner reported as SOLD OUT).  Alter 223 NW 23rd St.

Pubbelly Sushi- 12 AM-3 AM- Head on over to Pubbelly Sushi at midnight for Late Night Ramen hosted by Richie Nakano formerly of Hapa Ramen. Pubbelly Sushi 1424 20th St. Miami Beach, FL.

Saturday February 25th-

SOBEWFF Izzy's Fish & Oyster

Izzy’s Fish & Oyster- 10 PM. Come throw down with Jamie DeRosa on Saturday, February 25 at Izzy’s Fish & Oyster’s raw bar for their second edition of “Oh Baby I Like It Raw” guest chef series. The fun starts at 10 pm and the two guest chefs on deck will be Boston favorites, Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer of The Little Donkey. The Bostonians, Jamie B. and Ken, will be putting their spin on Scallop Crudo and Tuna Tataki. Jamie plans to keep it tropical with his Florida Citrus and White Soy Ponzu inspired dressed oyster.  Izzy’s Fish and Oyster 423 Washington Ave. Miami Beach, FL. 

uri buri freehand miami beach

27 Restaurant- The internationally-acclaimed Chef Uri Buri is coming all the way from Israel to take over 27 Restaurant & Bar for one night only! Known as Israel’s best seafood chef, you won’t want to miss your chance to taste some of his most delicious dishes. He’ll be serving up some incredible eats like Grilled Octopus with Zucchini, Vegetable Salad, Shrimps with Artichoke & Mediterranean Spicy Fish. Reservations are strongly suggested — email 27@thefreehand.com or reserve your table online: http://bit.ly/2kGNvZO 2727. Indian Creek Rd. Miami Beach FL

The Art of Brunch- 12 PM. Hosted by the Hungry Post is the first pop-up brunch in collaboration with the Young Artist Initiative (YAI), a local movement empowering Miami’s emerging artists through conceptually rooted exhibitions designed to foster community engagement and cultural development and is taking place on the iconic rooftop of 1111 Lincoln Road starting at 12PM. Tacos by Tacology, the newest venture from the owners of Cantina la Veinte, the best Venezuelan Arepas from Doggi's Arepa Bar, your favorite bowls by Poke 305, sweets by Bachour Bakery + Bistro, and more. 1111 Lincoln Rd Rooftop. Miami Beach, FL.

Sunday February 26th-

SOBEWFF Taquiza

Taquiza- 1 PM- Join Steve Santana and local friends on  Sunday, February 26 at 1 PM for La Resaca, a special brunch collaboration with local Chefs William Crandall, Niven Patel, Michael Beltran and Roland Baker of Vice City Bean. Taquiza 1506 Collins Ave. Miami Beach, FL.

Eat. Drink. Repeat.

 

 

WIN tickets to SOBEWFF Grand Tasting and The David Grutman Experience on MIAbites Instagram Contest

SOBEWFF David Grutman Experience Miami Beach

BEATS ON THE BEACH take center stage at the 16th Annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival #SOBEWFF , one of America’s favorite epicurean celebrations which returns to Miami and Miami Beach February 22 – 26, 2017. Designed to keep both taste buds and toes dancing at every turn, this year’s gourmet gathering will feature a wide array of music experiences integrated into many of its signature Miami Beach events.

The Festival has partnered with nightlife visionary David Grutman to present a brand new featured experience at the Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village on Sunday, February 26.

And MIAbites has two pairs of tickets to give away to lucky foodies!  

Just go to MIAbites on Instagram and LIKE the SOBEWFF David Grutman Experience Image, and TAG a friend in Comments…AND, help MIAbites get to 15,000 followers by FOLLOWING us as well!

Grutman will transform the courtyard into a custom all-day experience by the energetic impresario himself, featuring live beats by the dynamic, internationally-renowned INGROSSO in the afternoon. The Festival’s special reduced price ticket – 3-5 on Ocean Drive – is on sale now, providing access to the Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village, including the David Grutman Experience featuring sounds by INGROSSO, on Sunday, February 26 from 3 – 5 PM (EST) for $100 per person.

EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. Proceeds from the Festival benefit the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University. Tickets for all events at the 2017 Festival are available online at http://sobefest.com/tickets/

Saturday Sweets: Mina's Mediterraneo on 79th St.

Mina's Mediterreaneo Miami Florida

Tucked away just off of 79th and Biscayne, right before the Causeway, you stumble upon Mina’s Mediterraneo.  This cute, much larger than expected, Mediterranean spot is owned and operated by Yasmine Kotb.

Born in Cairo, Egypt, Yasmine moved to Houston, Texas at the age of four. Having spent many summers as a child with her grandparents in Cairo, Yasmine had the chance to experience exotic Mediterranean dishes and ingredients, giving her a passion for the culture at an early age that she always carried with her. Everything at Mina’s is made using family recipes, including the delicious desserts. 

After hearing so much about Mina’s, I decided to check them out and see for myself. Of course when I got there they insisted that I skip dinner, and only have appetizers so that I had room to try them all.

Baklava – This classic dessert was as traditional as it can get. There was the perfect amount of flakiness and gooey goodness.

Tiramisu – Different from what I expected, in a very good way. It was more "cakey" than most tiramisu I’ve had in the past and had a LAYER of chocolate on top, yes please!

Brioche Bread Pudding – I’m not a bread pudding person at all but when served with raisins, apricots, and almonds topped with homemade amaretto creme anglais, suddenly I am a bread pudding person.

Rice Pudding – This is another dish that I don’t usually order, but definitely turned into one of my favorites of the night. The rice was puffy and it almost had the consistency of oatmeal. It was sweet without being overbearing. The cinnamon and toast almond slices made it taste like Christmas.

Dark Chocolate Tart – The only gluten free dessert on the menu and hands down my favorite one.  Smooth dark chocolate filling inside of a crushed almond crust with homemade whipped cream and a plate dusted with extra cocoa powder. It was a chocolate lover’s (aka me) dream.

Crème Brulee – Not something I usually associate with Mediterranean foods, but totally worth ordering! Torched to perfection, creamy and delicious.

You can definitely taste the love in Yasmine’s desserts, which is always one of the most important parts about homemade desserts.  It’s all about the love and memories evoked when eating them. I’ll definitely be back for more, and next time I’m staying for dinner as well!

Mina’s Mediterraneo   

749 NE 79th St.

Miami, FL

786 391 0300

Up the Miami River for Brunch at Seaspice

The Miami River, which runs for over 5 miles from Biscayne Bay, thru the middle of Downtown and basically up to Miami International Airport is one of Miami’s least respected waterways but “going up the river” makes for a wonderful boating excursion.

With this past week’s Miami International Boat Show in town, it seemed appropriate to mention the classic Miami River seafood restaurants, Garcia’s and Casablanca and to feature the weekend brunch at one of the hippest destinations on the Miami River, Seaspice. Seaspice’s riverside weekend brunch, which includes a new Saturday "family-approved" brunch featuring live music from “around the world”, in addition to it’s already popular Sunday brunch, gives guests a win-win weekend experience all around.

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South Beach Wine + Food Festival : MIAbites picks for #SOBEWFF

Countdown to #SOBEWFF! February is our favorite month in Miami as the South Beach Wine and Food Festival and it’s over 65, 000 guests take over Miami Beach and surrounding Miami venues from February 22-26 for 4+ days of Food, Wine, Fun and maybe even a little sun in between all of the over 85 different events and seminars.

Now in its 16th year and hosted by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and Florida International University (FIU), the Festival benefits FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. To date, the Festival has raised more than $24 million for the school.

So, where to begin?  Here are MIAbites picks for best 12 SOBEWFF events with a focus on some of the amazing local chef talent and local venues featured this year in collaboration with many of your favorite Food Network stars. Many events sell out quickly, so check availability and buy your tickets online at www.sobefest.com.  ( Pro Tip- Many of the below events have limited discount tickets available on both Gilt City and Groupon.

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Beats and Eats at Alter with Brad Kilgore and Jarobi White of A Tribe Called Quest

Alter and Tribe Called Quest Music and Dinner

Looking for something unique to do during SOBEWFF week?  On Friday February 24th, join James Beard nominated Chef, Bradley Kilgore at James Beard nominated restaurant, Alter for the Eats, Rhymes, and Life event hosted at Alter and sponsored by Breakthru Beverage and the new East Hotel.

Friday February 24th starting at 7PM.  Schedule below:

7-9:30 PM

-Interactive 5 Course Dinner with Beverage and Music Pairings from Chefs Brad Kilgore and Brandon Brumback and Co-Hosted by Jarobi White of Tribe Called Quest at Alter (223 NW 23rd ST.) NOTE: Check availability as was reported as dinner is SOLD OUT. 

10-11:30 PM

-Musical Performance by Jarobi White from A Tribe Called Quest and Prodigy from Mobb Deep and Passed Bites during the performance and Cocktails, Drinks, and Wine available from Breakthru Beverage.

12:30-Late

-After Party Access on the 40th Floor of East Hotel, DJ set by Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Cocktails and Wines Offered from Breakthru Beverage.

Full Event Access is $250 per person. Tickets have been moving fast and expect to be sold out in the next 24 hrs.  Call Alter at 305 573 5996 or email at info@altermiami.com

A full Credit Card purchase is required. All major credit cards are accepted.

Alter

223 NW 23rd St.

Miami, FL

305 573 5996

 

 

 

 

 

Geoffrey Zakarian returns to Florida with Point Royal at The Diplomat

Geoffrey Zakarian wears many hats.  Chef, restaurateur, TV host, Chopped Judge, City Harvest supporter and cookbook author, but hospitality is his favorite role.  He enjoys being in the kitchen training and working with the chefs, but it is the front of the house where everything happens.

“ Any good thing in the kitchen can be ruined by the house not being right ”, he shared with me when we met last at the opening at his stylish Greenwich CT restaurant, The National. 

That passion for making sure the “house is right” was very apparent at Saturday night’s media preview of Zakarian’s Coastal American restaurant, Point Royal at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood.  Dressed fashionably in his signature blazer and tie, Zakarian worked the room, greeting old friends, chatting with the local bloggers and press and hanging out at the bar sipping a Plymouth gin cocktail and posing for pictures and obviously enjoying the opportunity to talk about food, his concept for Point Royal and being part of a huge hotel format.

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Cocktails for your Loved one this Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Cocktails in Miami

The most romantic day of the year is approaching and a lot of love birds in Miami are going to be scrambling to find last minute plans or reservations.  This year, maybe check out these local Miami restaurants to experience these unique cocktails, perfect for the special occasion. 

Or try your hand making them at home for a special Valentine's Day... or for any day.

Ricky’s -1222 16th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Peculiar Athenian

1 oz Hendricks Gin
.5 oz FOS Greek Mastiha liqueur
.5 oz Pineapple Juice
.25 oz Lemon Juice
Topped off with Prosecco

Topped off with some Prosecco, there’s nothing like a few bubbles to really get in the flirtatious spirit of valentines day. The Peculiar Athenian cocktail made with FOS Greek Mastiha liqueur will definitely get the Greek gods of love and romance on your side.

Tamarina -600 Brickell Ave, Miami, FL 33131

Rose Paloma

2.0 oz Allaire Crystal aged tequila
1/4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
0.25 oz fresh lime juice
0.25 oz agave nectar
0.25 oz club soda
Rose gold dust on the rim

Made with Allaire Crystal aged tequila, this pink grapefruit and lime cocktail rimmed with rose gold salt flakes is sure to impress any lover. Whether it’s a new fling or an old romance, a few sips of this luxury cocktail and you’ll find yourself wanting to move the V-day festivities back home. 

Son Cubano Miami -2530 Ponce De Leon Blvd Coral Gables, FL 33134

Raspberry Mojito

2 lime slices, cut into wheel shape
1 sprig fresh mint
2 ounces or 1/4 cup white rum
1/2 ounce raspberry liqueur
Ice cubes, as needed
Raspberry, for garnish

This rosy raspberry mojito, featured in the new Son Cubano restaurant in Coral Gables, is the perfect love potion to take your average dinner for two and turn it into a romantic evening you’ll both want to keep replaying. 

( Thank you to 24-Group for providing these special romance worthy Valentine’s Day cocktail pictures and recipes ) 

Saturday Sweets: Special Desserts for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is sneaking up on us – how is it already mid-February?! Whether you’re single or attached, there’s lots of sweet deals out there making this coming Tuesday something to look forward to. While I’m a firm believer in having chocolate every day, there’s something a little extra special about Valentine’s Day.

Here’s where I think you should get your fix on this sweet day full of love:

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