Cantina La Veinte Revamps Menu in Brickell

Cantina La Veinte Miami Icon

Cantina La Veinte, at the Icon Brickell, is a transportive experience both in flavor and
The two story space incorporates retro black and white tiling with geometric patterns reminiscent of the 1920’s Gatsby era and pays homage to days gone past, similar to Chef Santiago Gomez' culinary style. His dishes balance Mexico’s classic flavors with contemporary applications.

There a row of lovely tables with views of Biscayne Bay and Brickell Key, perfect to view the sunset over the water with a couple margaritas.

Cantina La Veinte Miami Margarita

I sampled the jalapeño and coconut margaritas, and they are yin and yang embodied in tequila form. If you’re a fan of both sweet and spicy libations, enjoy one of each and thank me later.

Cantina La Veinte Miami Waygu Tostones

The meal began with Sopes de Wagyu, Clear Creek Wagyu served on handmade corn masa topped with bone marrow, queso fresco, and lettuce. This dish perfectly reflects Chef Santiago’s culinary style, blending classic American Wagyu beef with expertly made Mexican
corn masa.

Cantina La Veinte Aquachile Ceviche

Next, I sampled the Aguachile de King Crab de Alaska with fresh lime juice, cilantro, serrano chile, cucumber, avocado, and white truffle oil. Balancing the earthy truffle, bright citrus, and fresh crab, this dish is an exercise in balancing flavors and textures. And beautiful to behold as well.

Cantina La Veinte Miami Al Pastor

My final savory sample was the Chuleton Al Pastor, pork chop in adobo sauce with pineapple, cilantro, and onions. Revel in the quintessential Mexican experience and make your own taco al pastor, piled high with succulent, smoky pork and tangy, sweet pineapple.

Cantina La Viente deseert

For the sweet samplings, the Miami girl in me saw mango and guava, and it was a true Sophie’s Choice for me. Naturally, I tried both. The guava creme brûlée pays homage to Chef Santiago’s Mexican roots, with subtle French influences. Mango panna cotta plays with inherently family flavors, with out of the box preparations.

Considering the sheer number of Mexican restaurants available to us in Miami, Cantina La Veinte excels at providing an elevated dining experience by balancing familiar flavors with out-of-the-box interpretations in a stunning environment. Chef Santiago Gomez, who also helms Brickell City Centre's hot spot, Tacology, has perfected the art of exploring the vast variety of cuisines indigenous to various regions of Mexico. 

Fight Night at Cantina la Veinte

AND for the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight this Saturday August 26th, beginning at 6 pm, Cantina guests are invited to watch the action on either of the two big screen projection TVs. The screening is reservation-only and bottle service is required. For tables of four, a minimum purchase of one spirit bottle is required; for tables of 6 or more, a minimum purchase of two spirit bottles is required. General restaurant reservations will also be accepted but will be directed downstairs.

Cantina La Veinte

495 Brickell Avenue at the Icon Brickell

Miami, FL 

786 623 6135

Saturday Sweets: Five Desserts for Miami Chocoholics

I love chocolate in all of its forms and varieties.  When I am browsing any dessert menu I instinctively look for the chocolatiest option possible.  As basic and predictable as it seems a good molten lava cake gets me every time. This week's Saturday Sweets is bringing you the top five desserts found in Brickell for anyone who is as obsessed with chocolate as I am.

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Wellness Wednesday: Plnthouse offers plant-based dining at 1 Hotel

The 1 Hotel prides itself on being a “green” hotel, LEED certified and embracing the use of sustainable materials, preserving natural resources, being eco-friendly and offering an environment of wellness.

Last year’s pop-up on the 1 rooftop featured Prey, James Beard nominated Chef Bun Lai of Miya’s Sushi, sustainable sushi and dishes featuring invasive species like jellyfish and lionfish.

But with the opening of Plnthouse, on the mid level deck of the hotel, the 1 Hotel has taken a giant step towards plant-based food and snacks.  Plant–based is the politically correct way to refer to vegan.  But this is not the “crunchy granola” type of bland vegan that many of us associate with that word.

A concept conceived by Chef Matthew Kenney through his Plant Lab projects, Plant Food & Wine, in both the original Venice, CA location and here in Miami, have gotten rave reviews. His newest venture, Plnthouse offers light, fast casual breakfast and lunch items in a bright, whitewashed wood indoor and outdoor café.

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National Rum Day in Miami

August 16th is National Rum Day. It seems like almost every day is another “national holiday”, while some seem more important than others - we at MIAbites think National Rum Day is definitely one worth celebrating.

Here are some fun facts about the delicious spirit:

  • Rum was manufactured, distilled, and made long before any other spirit.

  • More than 80 percent of the world’s rum sources originate in Puerto Rico. This is because of the sugar cane that is used in the product that comes from the area as well.

  • The first North American rum distillery was established in 1664 in what is now Staten Island.

  • George Washington was quite the mixologist — he was well known for his Mount Vernon eggnog, which he fortified with dark Jamaican rum.

  • In the 1800s, rum was highly revered as a go-to beauty product for its ability to clean hair and strengthen its roots.

  • Bacardi houses the world's largest rum distillery in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

  • Jamaica's Wray & Nephew currently owns the most expensive rum in the world — there are four remaining bottles from the 1940s going for $40,000 a pop.

Now that you’re ready to get your rum on, here are some spots in Miami that are ready to celebrate with you:

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Miami Spice 2017: Brunch Life is the Best Life

Welcome to our new MIAbites feature, Monday Spice! Each week we will highlight a menu, a neighborhood or a special Miami Spice "discovery". 

Miami Spice is jumping on the brunch bandwagon. This year for the first time, several Miami Spice participating restaurants will be featuring $23 3-course brunch menus. Brunch seems to be everyone’s favorite meal and how can you blame us - food and day drinking? Sounds like a winning combination!

The Miami Spice brunch menus at first glance seem to be quite the deal and we’re excited to check out as many as we possibly can before it’s too late. Click the links to check out the menus for each spot!

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Saturday Sweets: No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

As the end of summer draws nearer and kids are almost back in school, it seems like the perfect time for a special homemade treat. Not all baking involves turning on an oven and heating things up. This No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake (don’t worry, there are no eggs involved) is a great answer to the whats for dessert question without too much of a mess in the kitchen. There’s something about a deliciously creamy cheesecake that makes even the smallest sweet tooth smile a bit brighter. With just about a handful of ingredients you can be on your way to making this cool cake, and the hardest part will be waiting the 3-4 hours for it to set and be ready to eat!

Here’s how to make it:

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Wellness Wednesday: GLAM Vegan in Midtown

I first met Chef Todd Erickson while writing a feature for MIAbites at Fit To Fight, the 12 week Chef fitness challenge that benefited Live To Fight, a nonprofit organization that brings together people in the martial arts and mixed martial arts community to raise money and offer additional support for people with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and boasted a Miami chef team that included Dena Marino, Jamie DeRosa, Sean Brasel, Timon Balloo and Todd Erickson.

After grunting, sweating and punching at SobeKick with them a few times, I left impressed with the commitment and hard work this group demonstrated in and out of their respective kitchens.

Fast forward to today, and Chef Todd Erickson, slimmer and healthier has opened GLAM (Green Living Animals Matter), a fast-casual vegan spot in Midtown.  What started as a consulting project with Designer Janette Miller, turned into a partnership and a friendship in creating this new niche concept.

“Once I hit 30, I’ve taken my health more seriously. Veganism isn’t 100% way of life for me yet, but I eat substantially less meat and have two gym memberships. Cutting out dairy is even harder for me to cut out than meat, but I notice almost immediately my pants loosen fast”, quipped Todd.

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Miami Spice 2017:  Day One at Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis

Miami Spice is the highly anticipated two-month dining program organized by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.  So, it was disappointing to have the FIRST day of Spice be the day the skies let loose with the remnants of Tropical Storm Emily, a torrential tropical downpour of over 7 inches causing major flooding and havoc on Miami Beach, Downtown Miami and elsewhere.  

At rush hour, many roads were virtually impassable, the 395 entrance ramp was literally underwater, and cars were abandoned up and down both local and main roads. Our plans to kick off Miami Spice at Estiatorio Milos in Sofi quickly began to evaporate (no pun intended) as we saw the news coverage showing South of Fifth looking more like Venice, Italy.  We reluctantly called and canceled our reservation.

But by 7 pm, it looked like much of the water had receded and at the last minute, we decided to venture out and see if we could get an Uber that would take us onto Miami Beach.

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Saturday Sweets: A Trip to New York for Max Santiago’s Donuts

Since day one I’ve been a sucker for Max Santiago and his donut making abilities. I’ve even been dubbed his #1 fan and in an effort to forever live up to the name - I made my way all the way to New York with his new donuts on my mind.

It’s safe to say Max played a huge part in the artisan donut craze in Miami when he co-founded The Salty Donut just about two years ago. Earlier this year, Max left The Salty Donut and is now the Corporate Pastry Chef for Sugar Factory and is still the Donut King in my eyes. While he won’t be making donuts in Miami for another year and a half (there’s a salty non-compete stopping him for now), he will be cranking out some delicious donuts in New York and soon to be other Sugar Factory locations in the meantime.

Sugar Factory is an over the top restaurant that makes candy coated dreams come true and now with the addition of donuts (especially Mad Max’s donuts) there’s no stopping them when it comes to inducing sugar comas on a daily basis.

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Miami Spice 2017:  Our Contributors 20 BEST SPICE BITES

Every August and September, the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau organizes Miami Spice…two months of specially priced 3 course prix fixe menus designed to encourage locals and visitors to try new places or visit favorites for both lunch and dinner.  Priced at $23 for lunch/brunch and $39 for dinner, many of these menus are not only a good value, but for many chefs a chance to create unique and enticing menus and attract new customers and reward the loyal ones. 

Miami Spice 2017 includes over 265 restaurants from Miami Beach, Miami, Coral Gables, Wynwood, Edgewater, MiMo and beyond.  Over 40 are new to 2017!.

There are so many options, that we at MIAbites put our "forks" together to compile a list of 20 of our favorite Miami Spice options.  

But, first some Spice Advice:  Questions to ask yourself...
1. Is this really a deal? Could I eat at the same restaurant any time of year ordering whatever I wanted from the regular menu for the same price or maybe less?
2. Is the Miami Spice menu interesting?  Does it include unique dishes that are not on the regular menu?  Or is it the cop-out cheapo salmon, chicken and short rib offering? 
3.  Is this a new restaurant I've been meaning to try?

As always, check menus and restrictions at ILoveMiamiSpice as some restaurants only participate for lunch or not on weekends. Some are even offering a Miami Spice brunch. Reservations are definitely suggested, as everyone wants in on the action. 

Our MIAbites Contributors Best Spice Bites and links to their Miami Spice pages are as follows (in alphabetical order) with special mention to Byblos, La Mar, Mignonette, Hakkasan and Zuma which showed up on multiple contributors lists:  

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