Island Eats

St. Tropez, Ibiza, and St. Barths it is not, but within the vast Miami landscape Brickell Key is an island world unto itself. Although they share common traits of wealth and exclusivity, Brickell Key is much less party playground and much more quaint, quiet neighborhood than the aforementioned islands. That said, there is one place on the Key that harkens back to the lifestyles of the rich and famous, and not just because of the blue and red neon lights that brighten up the outdoor patio area on a dark night. No, for me, it’s all about the food, and The Island Bistro delivers all the classic, magical flavors of Europe in a casual yet sophisticated setting.

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Strength in Sabor

They say that only the strong survive. Not the flashy, not the trendy, not the loud. After a visit to Sabores by Chef James, I just couldn’t seem to get that phrase out of my head, mainly because on paper Sabores has a lot going against it, namely the location (in the heart of “la sawesera” on the corner of Flagler St. and LeJeune Rd.) and the space (squeezed into the back of the lobby of a Best Western Premier). That said, the restaurant finds its strength in its chef, James Tahhan: personable, handsome, talented, hard working, and arguably one of the most loved Hispanic television chefs on the air right now. Chef James’ mission? To provide his guests with a unique dining experience by bringing the best of Latin American flavor to Miami through the incorporation of contemporary twists on tried and true dishes in a relaxed and comfortable setting. It may sound basic, but in my opinion it’s a pretty good recipe for success.

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Slow Supper with Dinner Lab

It was All Hallows’ Eve in Miami and on a quiet street in Wynwood amongst dark warehouses and closed art galleries, people were gathering for a social dining experience known as Dinner Lab. With a menu created and prepared by Chef Andrew Gerson, Brooklyn Brewery’s mad culinary scientist, the party guests were in for a scary meal… Scary good that is!

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SHIKANY: The New Miami Chic

Any Miami native – or anyone who has lived here for an extended period of time – has undoubtedly heard the phrase “South Beach Chic.” The definition is usually confusing and often means different things to different people, but it has generally been meant to describe a style of atmosphere or dress for Miami events and happenings. And, more often than not, the physical interpretation has been anything but chic. Well, I’m pleased to announce that I recently discovered the new chic in Miami and it has made it’s way off of South Beach and onto the mainland – Wynwood, to be exact, home of SHIKANY.

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MMTM’s Spooktacular Halloween Picks 2014

Halloween is one of Miami’s most eclectic and eccentric nights on the event calendar, and with this year’s festivities falling on a Friday it’s sure to be an extremely frightful (and hopefully fruitful) affair. With just under 10 nights to go until witching hour, we’ve put together a quick round-up of some of the Magic City’s spookiest spots for you to wine and dine the night away. Read on for a variety of specials, set-menus and other special treats for the occasion.

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Baby Got Buns

I would admittedly write an 8-page love letter to carbohydrates. My guiltiest of indulgences is food, but my vice is bread. So when Buns & Buns in South Miami opened with rave reviews, I knew going would mean having to be religious about the gym in the days before.

I decided to venture to Buns & Buns for brunch, a meal that I can unapologetically indulge in for a few hours and not feel hurried or rushed.  As any proper brunch would, this meal was kick-started by Sangria. We ordered a pitcher of red Sangria and one of White Sangria which was the perfect ying to our yang. Made with seasonal fruit, we snacked on the red and white wine while our delectable dishes arrived at the table.

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Downtown Decadence

Miami is more of a collection of neighborhoods than a true city. I’m not saying the city is disjointed; we residents know how to navigate our way from area to area and tourists generally stick to one zone at a time. My point is that there’s no real city center, and while Downtown Miami may be considered by some to be the cultural, financial, and commercial center of South Florida, there’s really not an established urban life there. That, however, all seems to be changing as Downtown is currently the fastest-growing area in Miami in terms of both construction and population, but the real litmus test – for me anyway – is when good restaurants and bars start popping up. If people are expected to live Downtown, they need to have nice places to eat and drink Downtown. Mel and I were recently invited to try such a spot, Downtown Bistro, which seems to have realized the same thing, evolving from being a strict “lunch rush” establishment to a full-blown decadent dining experience.

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P.F. Chang’s: 2 Green Thumbs Up

Right now you’re probably thinking: “Is he really writing a review of P.F. Chang’s???” No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Yes, I know that P.F. Chang’s is a chain. Yes, I know that it’s menu is “Asian-inspired,” whatever that means. And, yes, I know that amongst all of the trendy restaurants opening up across Miami every day, it doesn’t exactly evoke thoughts of excitement and anticipation. But, I also know that P.F. Chang’s offers classic, Asian-American comfort food in a nice, laid back setting. So, just hear me out…

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Gulfstream Horse Racing – A Total Win

Every now and then I make it a point to go far beyond my comfort zone and discover something new about our city. Believe it or not, even after living in Miami most of my life, I find that there’s always something I haven’t yet done and jump at the chance to go out and explore. On a shiny warm Sunday, Mitch and I decided to venture to Gulfstream Park and check out the all-you-can-eat brunch. Other than the fact that brunch is my favorite part of Sunday, we were told that we could enjoy horse races, which I’ve never seen before. Intrigued and truth be told, slightly hesitant, I’m always sold on brunch so off we went in hopes of also catching some entertainment.

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