In Miami we don’t do anything half-assed. We go big, or we go home. For instance… We don’t have one measly restaurant week; we have Miami Spice, a two-month promotion showcasing the very best of Miami cuisine! We don’t limit ourselves to one spa month; Miami Spa Month lasts for two months, despite its name! We don’t host just any old food or art festivals; we host the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and Art Basel Miami Beach! We don’t have normal economic downturns; we launch all-out fiscal crises, especially when it comes to real estate booms and busts! (OK, so maybe that last one wasn’t the best example.) And finally, we don’t just do your run-of-the-mill pub or restaurant crawls; we do tapas journeys!
Amongst the hustle and bustle that is Brickell, with its never-ending construction, noise and South American buzz, Red Bar stands quietly and unassumingly across from Mary Brickell Village. If you’re not on the hunt for a great cocktail, you’ll miss it. It’s a very small space with dim lighting that resembles the set of a 1980s party. The whole place brings about a sense of nostalgia to the days of neighborhood bars, were locals ruled and unpretentiousness was a must.
Miami oenophiles, listen up! This Thursday Soho Beach House is hosting the first ever National Verdejo Day in conjunction with Spanish Wines of Rueda. Verdejo, which is a variety of wine grape that is grown in the indigenous Rueda region of Spain, was initially used to make Sherry-like wine but over the years evolved into a fresher style of white wine. The Verdejo wines are known for being dry and soft with great character and aroma. We’re pretty convinced Verdejo will make it to heavy rotation on our choice of refreshing summer drinks. Although the Verdejo concentration varies per wine, Rueda’s top category of wine, Rueda Superior, must contain at least 60 percent Verdejo; the very best wine is 100 percent Verdejo. Have we mentioned we like our drinks strong?
Since we’ve passed the Memorial Day mark, we feel pretty confident in saying that summer is officially in full gear. All Miami natives know that summer is almost unbearable and A/C is a definite must. So when we find refreshing treats to cool us under the summer sun, we like to spread the word. That’s the case with Robeks new smoothie menu items called Spa Inspired Creations.
Despite being one of the southernmost cities in the country, Miami is not what you’d consider a true part of the “dirty South.” Miami is much more of a blend between Latin America and the Northeast, a rare city whose identity has nothing to do with its geography. That said, the Southern food trend has been going strong here for years now, with both upscale takes and down home joints popping up all over town. The newly-opened Brother Jimmy’s BBQ in South Miami has found a place somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, offering up serious Southern-style barbeque fare in a relaxed, yet clean and classy environment.
What’s better than a delicious plate of food with an ice-cold beer? Well, Brewery Ommegang has developed a whole culinary competition based on a firm belief that great beer deserves great food. Now in its third year, the nationally acclaimed HopChef event nurtures and celebrates the beer and food-loving community, and this Monday visited our fair city for the first time ever as part of an eight city nationwide tour.
We’re huge coffee fans at MMTM and admittedly drink one too many cups of coffee a day. When we heard Nespresso was having a coffee tasting tour across the country with a stop in Miami to promote their new VertuoLine product, we got all giddy. This last Sunday, we headed over to their first stop in Miami at Aventura Mall to see what the buzz was all about.
Last week MMTM was invited to an intimate Flor de Caña rum tasting and food pairing in the cool and understated SoFi bar, Radio. What started off as a pop-up bar in early 2013 has transformed into a local favorite, beaming with craft cocktails and laid-back ambiance. With dim lighting, home décor, and a pool table to keep a friendly game going, Radio has become one of Miami’s hidden libation gems.
Let’s be honest here people. Contrary to popular belief, Calle 8 is not a hotbed of modern culture. Sure they’ve got some historical mainstays (i.e. Versailles), artistic activities (i.e. Viernes Cultural) and even some up-and-coming hotspots (i.e. Azucar Ice Cream Company), but those are few and far between compared to the joyerias, check cashing stores and peluquerías. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Calle 8 (and don’t want any hate mail), but the perceived hub of Latin society in our city could use an upgrade.
Since moving to Miami eight years ago, I’ve wanted to attend the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, but always found an excuse not to go. Too touristy, too crowded, too expensive. Maybe I was just scared of my own daunting perception of what I thought it would be. Well, regardless of all that, this year the excuses finally ran out. I’m now part of a dynamic food blogging duo and it would just be flat out wrong not to cover South Florida’s largest, and arguably one of the nation’s most important culinary celebrations, showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. The time had finally come to see what this shindig was all about.