Wow, is it hot outside or is it just us? Summer has arrived in full force and you know what that means…backyard BBQs, poolside fetes, boat bashes, or lots and lots of indoor eating and drinking with the A/C on blast. However you decide to escape the heat, the Miami food scene’s got you covered from new restaurants and pop-ups to refreshing cocktails and National Ice Cream Month specials. Check out our round-up below to see what whets your appetite. Enjoy!
New Restaurant Openings & Menu Additions
Havana 1957 is opening their 5th South Florida location. Starting today, guests will be able to relive the glory and glamour of old Cuba right on Ocean Drive! Visitors will go back in time with flavors from authentic Cuban cuisine, traditional music, and vintage décor bringing Cuban nostalgia during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Staying true to its heritage inspired concept, the menu will offer timeless dishes that have existed in Cuba for centuries. To accompany dinner, the restaurant will also feature more than 120 varieties of rum from around the world. Libation lovers can spend their day in Havana sipping a Cuba Libre or a signature Mojito cocktail. Cuba Libres are listed from light to dark and there are seven Mojito versions highlighting flavors like passionfruit, fresh kiwi and mango, with an option for pitchers.
HalfMoon Empanadas, the local Miami, artisan empanada creators, have recently opened up their newest location, a walkup window/outdoor bar at their commissary in the MiMo business district. The signature baked (not fried) empanadas with the flavor brand has been served in Miami since 2008, and is currently sold in over seven locations in the South Florida area. These empanadas are made fresh everyday, and honor the classic Argentine pastry here in the Magic City.
Miami’s local staple, Café Bastille, has taken a transition to greatness and is now better than ever. This quaint French cafe, located in the heart of Downtown Miami, offers nothing but the freshest French cuisine with a twist of Mediterranean, Moroccan, and Thai spices that make it unlike any other French Bistro here in Miami. Café Bastille has been in business for nine years and has recently upgraded with a complete remodel with decor that makes you feel as if you are sitting on a street corner in Paris, surrounded by warm lights and French wine, sipping away the stress of your day. This renovation has given the café an intimate, French cottage feel and welcomes all Miami foodies to immerse themselves into a truly authentic French meal!
The new Dragonfly in Doral is adding Sunday Brunch to their already popular menu, available on Sunday (obvi) from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Menu highlights include Smoked Salmon Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake) with pickled fennel, crème fraiche, ikura, meyer lemon, and bonito flakes; Japanese Fried Chicken & Waffles with free range chicken, moffle, Okinawa sugar bourbon syrup, and house made pickles; Omurice with French omelet, ketchup rice, chicken, onions, mushrooms, and arimasansho demi, and Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder for 6-8 people with kurobuta pork, a dozen bluepoint oysters, white rice, bibb lettuce, kimchi, steamed buns, and ginger scallion sauce (limited quantity please order by Friday prior to reservation).
Special Menus & Offerings
For the fifth consecutive year, The Dutch at W South Beach will host its annual July Summer BBQ Series. The series will take place every Wednesday evening in July from 7PM to close in the restaurant’s casual backyard patio, known as the Grove. Each week, Chef de Cuisine Adonay Tafur will team up with a rotating roster of guest chefs to craft a specially-themed BBQ feast served family-style, featuring creative desserts and sweet summer treats by The Dutch’s critically-acclaimed Pastry Chef Josh Gripper. Tickets are $40 per person, excluding tax and service charges. In addition to refreshing bourbon libations, The Dutch will also partner with local breweries to highlight several limited small batch brews perfect for the summer BBQ season. The line-up and themes for The Dutch’s Summer BBQ Series are as follows: Brazilian Rodizio Churascarria with guest chef Mike Pirolo of Macchialina (July 6th); Thai/Korean BBQ with guest chefs Xavier Torres of Drunken Dragon and Chef Phuket Thong of Cake Thai Restaurant (July 13th); Mediterranean Grill with guest chef John Latrellis of Lure Fish Bar (July 20th); and Pig Roast Extravaganza with guest chefs John Gallo & Rene Reyes of Pinch Kitchen and Steve Santana of Taquiza (July 27th).
Beginning July 5th and lasting through August 2016, acclaimed chef Ben Vaughn will be overhauling the menu at Swine Southern Table and Bar as part of a unique chef-in-residency program. The best-selling author and Food Network host will be introducing menu items that pay homage to his passion for Southern cuisine, while still delivering delectable dishes that have made the restaurant a South Florida staple. The revamped menu, which will feature rotating dishes daily, will be inclusive of staples such as Line Caught Wood Grilled Grouper Cheeks; Celery Root Gnocchi with Vanilla Bean Buerre Blanc; Wood Fired Lamb T-bone with Carolina Gold Hoppin’ John, Heirloom Carrots and Melted Leeks; and Smoked Pork Belly with Braised Mustard Greens, Delta Farms Rice Grits, and Romesco Butter. Swine’s beverage program, boasting a wide selection of beers and an extensive whiskey and bourbon collection, will also feature a brand new cocktail program, curated by Juan Coronado of the famed Bar Mini in DC. The program will be rolling out in conjunction with the summer menu and include refreshing cocktails like Zona Rosa with Bacardi Superior, pineapple juice, lime juice, cinnamon syrup, muddled strawberry, angostura bitters, and fresh mint; and Kentucky Mule, made with Buffalo Trace, lime juice, angostura bitters, whiskey barrel bitters, Indi ginger beer, and candied ginger.
In recent years, technology has become unavoidable in restaurants. Diners have turned into food paparazzi, hustling to get the perfect snapshot of a well-plated dish. But the spirit of Baby Jane, like its namesake “Baby Jane” Holzer, is one of stylish rebellion, and in tribute to that iconoclasm, Baby Jane launches their “Unplugged Lunch,” encouraging all diners to check their phones at the door in exchange for a “Bucket o’ Fun” stocked with adult coloring books, magic markers, slinkies, table-top basketball games, mini-Jenga sets, and play dough. Guests are invited to hang out and take a “recess” from the office over lunch items the double-patty McChug Burger made with a homemade bun and in-house cured pickles, Local Fish Ceviche with avocado, radish, grapefruit, lime, and orange juice, and the Beet and Peach Salad with whipped ricotta and pistachios. In addition, all lunch goers will receive a complimentary craft beer with their entree and can opt for the daily lunch special of Soy Caramel Glazed Wings and a choice of Caesar Salad or Beet & Peach salad for $10. Unplugged Lunch will occur every Friday kicking from 12-3pm.
SUGARCANE raw bar grill, one of Midtown Miami’s favorite eateries, is the place to cool off, kick back and soak up summer with creative new cocktail offerings and music on the weekends, spun live onsite by several of Miami’s most in-demand DJs – DJ Sweetswirl, DJ Anthony and DJ DAN.K. At $13 each, guests can enjoy any of 8 refreshing new summer cocktails including the restaurant’s first-ever craft slushy cocktail: the Guayaba Dream, a concoction of Ketel One Orange Vodka, Boiron guava purée, and a Disaronno floater. Guayaba Dream also includes ginger-flavored organic slush mix from Kelvin Slush or in a regular cocktail form, substituting the slush mix for ginger beer.
July is National Ice Cream Month and Smooshies, Miami’s neighborhood novel toy, candy and nitrogen ice cream store, is celebrating with an offer of $1 off all nitrogen ice cream purchases throughout the entire month of July. Delicious flavors abound, such as tropical guava, fresh coconut and mango, decadent dulce de leche, peanut butter, banana, Nutella, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. To top things off (quite literally), Smooshies also invites customers to enjoy FREE sundae toppings from July 14-17 to celebrate National Ice Cream Day on July 17th. Smooshies currently has two locations in Miami on Key Biscayne (260 Crandon Blvd., Unit 27) and across from The Shops at Sunset Place (5738 Sunset Dr., South Miami). A flagship store will be opening soon in Coconut Grove (3413 Main Highway) as well.
The Confidante Hotel (formerly known as Thompson Miami Beach) is throwing a July 4th party to top all July 4th parties with Uncle Sam’s Summer Jam, hosted Sunday, July 3rd from noon ’til sunset. The playful red, white, and blue-themed fete will take place in the hotel’s backyard area, which includes two heated pools, colorful poolside cabanas, and bungalows for day hire and bottle service, and a lush, tropical garden. Expect summer sounds by DZA, a giant (made-for-adults-too) slip ’n slide, frosty snow cones (spiked with booze, because you’re an independent adult), gratis cotton candy, and a savory BBQ by The Confidante chefs, starting at $10 for burgers, all-beef wieners, TALDE Miami Beach’s kung pao chicken wings and more. And, they’ll also be toasting to America with domestic beer bucket specials (5 for $25), Patriotic Punch for $10, and $2 Jell-O shots.
Join Edukos on July 10th for a Pop Up w/ Purpose at the beautiful Miami Beach Botanical Gardens for an afternoon of BBQ & Brews. For $55 per person, guests can enjoy a stroll through the garden with an introductory social hour where they will sample sparkling cocktails, and BBQ-themed hors d’oeurves. They will also experience a craft beer and tapas pairing menu that includes four Venezuela-inspired BBQ items by Chef Jose Marmol paired with four spirited craft beer samples. A portion of each ticket sold will go to benefit the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens.
Pinch Kitchen will host its quarterly beer and food pairing series, Craft Collab, on July 11th. For the third installment Pinch Kitchen will once again be teaming up with M.I.A. Brewing Co and the evening will be hosted by Evan Benn, editor of Indulge Miami magazine. Guests attending Craft Collab 3.0 will be welcomed with an amuse-bouche and beer from M.I.A., followed by a 5-course beer and food pairing. Tickets for Craft Collab are $75 inclusive of tax, gratuity, and fees. To commemorate the recent and sudden loss of M.I.A.’s own Piero Rodrique, Pinch Kitchen will be donating 50% of proceeds from Craft Collab 3.0 to the Piero Rodriguez m]Memorial Fund.
Slow Food Miami presents its “Snail Social” roaming Happy Hour event on Tuesday, July 12th from 6-8PM hosted by DIRT. Helmed by Chef Nicole Votano, DIRT offers satisfying and wholesome meals that embrace seasonality with a vegan menu in addition to the regular full menu. During this special happy hour, a custom, farm-to-table Snail of Approval small bites menu for the evening will be served, featuring: Tortilla Española made with Florida potatoes, melted leeks, and velvety Sun Fresh Farm & Ranch eggs with a smoky aioli; a refreshing summertime Local Roots Melon Salad with sugar cube muskmelon, crimson watermelon, nuoc mam, and toasted peanuts topped with freshly-picked cilantro and mint; and sweet offerings including Jojo Tea Matcha Mango Cakes and Mini Blueberry and Peach Crostata. Guests are also invited to enjoy 20% off dinner at DIRT after the Snail Social event concludes. Future “Snail Social” happy hour events will be hosted by different Snail of Approval chefs and restaurants throughout Miami on the second Tuesday of every month.