Foodie Friday – Local Edition

Hi, foodies! In the immortal words of Justin Timberlake:

That’s right, we’re almost halfway into 2017 and inching closer and closer towards the quiet (and oppressively hot) Miami summer months. But, that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of action taking place in our local food scene. Don’t believe it? Well, just check out our monthly news round-up below and see for yourself. Enjoy!

New Restaurant Openings & Menu Additions
After spending the past few years of delighting Miami diners with purposeful pop-ups and special events, Edukos is finally opening its own brick-and-mortar establishment in Little Havana. Opening next week, on May 9th, the restaurant will offer a unique blend of Venezuelan-inspired comfort food with craft beers and wine cocktails in an exuberant tavern-style setting.

Ella’s Oyster Bar, an exclusive Miami-style take on a New England seafood tradition, is set to open on Calle Ocho this month in the center of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. Ella’s Oyster Bar will not be your typical oyster bar, and beyond the familiar cast of characters such as lobster rolls and a variety of West and East Coast raw oysters and clams, customers will discover a refreshing Miami flair in its many menu creations, such as the Oyster Po Boy, served on Cuban bread with spicy mayo and traditional toppings. For Miami, Ella’s Oyster bar marks the first venue to pay homage to the Magic City’s mélange of culinary influences while venturing into the realm of seafood sophistication. Other not-to-miss dishes will include the Local Fish Tostada, and the Little Havana Clam Bake for Two. Ella’s Oyster Bar will open Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30AM–1AM and Sundays thru Thursdays from 11:30AM–11PM.

Copyright Paul McDermott Photography

Zuuk Mediterranean Kitchen will be opening its second location at the ever-growing Downtown Dadeland this fall. The brainchild of My Ceviche founders Roger Duarte and, James Beard Nominee, Sam Gorenstein, Zuuk is an all-natural, healthy alternative to on-the-go Mediterranean cuisine. Customers can select from their choice of pita, rice bowl, or salad, all of which can be topped with traditional Mediterranean spreads such as roasted red pepper hummus or baba ghanoush, a protein or vegetable, a selection of toppings, and a variety of homemade sauces, including sumac-citrus dressing, cilantro-lemon tahini, zhoug, and spicy harissa.

Special Menus & Offerings
The Avenue British Diner and J. Wakefield Brewing are teaming up for a Pub Grub Residency. Starting this month, Chef Andy Bates and team will be serving up their famous menu of Fish ‘n Chips and Scotch Eggs (, bro) with some special surprises along the way, perfectly paired with J. Wakefield’s delicious beers, of course. The residency will take place on the third Friday of every month from 6PM-midnight. The dates for the next few months are May 19th, June 16th, and July 21st.

Beginning May 11th, Verde at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is offering a special three-course prix-fixe menu to honor the new Toba Khedoori exhibit created by the Australian artist. Executive Chef Kaytlin Dangaran translates the artist’s unique use of negative space, dull colors, and precise draftsmanship in each dish. In her translation, Chef Kaytlin creates a menu featuring deep flavors, complimenting Khedoori’s use of charcoal and dark, minimalistic colors in her work. To start, guests can enjoy the Snapper Ceviche with squid ink aioli and calabrian chilis. As the main entrée, guests will have the Blackened Quail with smoked eggplant and blistered heirloom tomatoes, which represent Khedoori’s frequent depiction of rendering commonplace objects familiar yet decontextualized. The meal ends with Mascarpone Cheesecake with black sesame brittle, paying further homage to Khedoori’s use of desaturated colors, as well as her commitment to the process of working by hand. The $27 menu will be available for lunch Thursday – Tuesday and dinner on Thursday.

The return of Luke’s Lobster’s summer seasonal Wild Blue Salad arrived earlier this week. This seasonal favorite features a full chilled lobster tail, halved and nestled beside house-pickled wild Maine blueberries, served on a bed of crisp arugula, shredded red cabbage and white beans and topped with a sprinkling of roasted sunflower seeds and Tessemae’s honey balsamic vinaigrette. Blueberries are Maine’s second largest food export–after lobster, of course–and are packed with twice the antioxidants and half the sugar of planted blueberries. Their tasty tartness is a perfect match for the sweet, juicy meat of Luke’s Lobster’s sustainable, traceable lobster and their high nutritional value–coupled with lobster’s lean protein–makes the Wild Blue Salad an ideal option for anyone in the mood for something lighter than Luke’s famous seafood rolls (or anyone who would simply like a taste of summertime in Maine). The Wild Blue Salad is available for a limited time through the summer season, so try it while you can!

Foodie Events & Happenings
Häagen-Dazs® Shops is hosting its annual Free Cone Day on Tuesday, May 9th. Visit participating Häagen-Dazs Shops in Miami from 4-8PM to receive one free scoop of ice cream or sorbet in a cup, sugar cone, or cake cone. This year, it’s about more than free ice cream— Häagen-Dazs is showing its ongoing commitment to helping the bees by asking guests to pay it forward by planting wildflowers native to their region to help keep bees buzzing. Find out which local plants support pollinators and help create more bee-friendly habitats throughout the country by visiting the brand’s website. And don’t forget to join the conversation by using #hdfreeconeday or the special Snapchat geo-filter.

South Florida foodies can unite to help fight childhood hunger on Friday, May 12th when South Florida’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry returns to Soho Studios in Wynwood. The annual tasting event will feature the area’s top chefs, sommeliers and mixologists united for a cause: making sure all children in this country get the healthy food they need, every day. Proceeds from the event benefit No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger in America. The 29th annual tasting event will take place from 7PM to 10PM, followed by an exclusive after party for VIP ticket holders and chefs at Wynwood’s own R House from 10PM to midnight. Led by new Chef Chairman Timon Balloo, South Florida’s food and beverage tastemakers will provide guests with savory samplings, craft cocktails and delectable desserts. The event will be emceed by CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo and Y-100’s Nick Pena. New to this year’s festivities will be the first ever Taste of the Nation Speakeasy featuring six of the hottest mixologists in South Florida paired with a select spirit, serving a specialty cocktail of their creation. General admission tickets are priced at $125 per person, VIP tickets at $175 per person, and VIP Plus tickets at $200 per person for those who want access to the event one hour before the doors open.

Get ready for a boozy Miami brunch Saturday, May 20th at Soho Studios. New Times’ Out To Brunch brings together some of South Florida’s favorite brunch restaurants, along with an array of brunch cocktails – a bloody mary bar, mimosas, beermosas, and more! Confirmed restaurants include Amour de Miami, Gables Delight, the Brick, Agave Taco Bar, White Star Café, South Beach Lean, and Sushi Sake. Portions of ticket proceeds will benefit charity partner, Special Olympics Florida, and any leftover food will be donated to Camillus House of Miami to feed the homeless in Miami-Dade County.

On Wednesday, May 24th, adventurous diners can experience Pao by Paul Qui in a whole new way. Trust the hands of the restaurant’s James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Qui, and chef de cuisine Benjamin Murray, as they prepare a daring 12-course tasting menu that “out of the box” only begins to describe. Served in the style of omakase (meaning ‘trust me’ in Japanese), this unique culinary experience fuses Qui’s expertise with a menu prepared using ingredients sourced from the finest local Miami purveyors. Tickets are available for $95 per person.

Are you ready for a Hamburger Party? Burger Beast Feasts presents the Hamburger House Party, happening on Friday, May 26th (yes, during National Hamburger Month) at Magic City Casino from 7-10PM. 20 of the best burger restaurants around will be competing for your vote to be crowned the best in the land. Tickets cost $30 per person and include unlimited sampling of the burgers, desserts, water and soft Drinks.

More Takes
There’s still time to Support Local Florida during Small Business Week, running through May 6th. This new website and collective community platform connects natives and curious travelers to the small businesses that call Miami and its surrounding areas home. In an effort to inform consumers on the impact of their dollar, Support Local Florida offers a curated business directory which offers perks to those who simply mention the Support Local Florida name. Dozens of top local businesses have signed up, including favorite outposts like The Wynwood Yard and The Anderson Bar; beloved eateries like Ariete, Lulu’s Nitrogen Ice Cream, and The Morgan’s Restaurant; inspiring local publication The New Tropic; and other cultural destinations such as LAB Ventures, Tower Theater, Sweat Records, and barbershop, Junior & Hatter, to name a few. Visit the website to see all participating businesses and their respective perks.

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Cheers to local foodie adventures this month!

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