Vegan Happy Hour Series Begins at Whole Foods Downtown Miami

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Courtesy of Whole Foods Market Downtown Miami
Green Mission Specialist Genesis Defilippi whips up happy hour bites.
For tired, browbeaten cube-dwellers, happy hour is a savior. It's honored by omnivores and vegans alike, despite the fact that bar bites aren't generally heavy on the plants.

Luckily, Whole Foods downtown Miami has launched a Vegan Happy Hour series designed to school people on how to make plant-based versions of their favorite snacks. Every Monday in March (except the 23rd), Healthy Eating specialist Genesis Defilippi will serve mocktails and bites inspired by happy hour menus.

See also: Vegan Eating at Whole Foods Downtown Miami (Photos)

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Best New Restaurant Watch Party at Buns & Buns Tonight

Categories: Film and TV

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Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Bravo
Tom Colicchio gives Buns & Buns' Alex Zibi and Reuven Sugarman some kitchen tips.
Buns & Buns is the only fast-casual restaurant to compete on Bravo's culinary competition, Best New Restaurant, but don't call it that. "Gastro fast. That's what we call it," says owner Alex Zibi, adding he's not aware of any other restaurant that follows the same concept -- or uses that name. "I invented that term, and it's already in the process of being trademarked."

Indeed, a search confirms that a trademark request was been filed for the term "gastro fast" by Buns & Buns in February 2015 -- just in case you were planning to open a restaurant.

See also: Bravo's Best New Restaurant Features Five Miami Eateries

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Talde at Thompson Miami Beach: "You Build on Locals"

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Photo courtesy of Talde
Dale Talde and partners David Massoni and John Bush bring Talde to Miami Beach
Dale Talde is bringing his Brooklyn born-and-bred Talde to the Thompson Miami Beach Hotel this summer.

Talde, along with partners David Massoni and John Bush, has already begun work on the space, located in the southeast corner of the hotel. Although Talde is situated in what can be described as a plush resort hotel (and sharing real estate with veteran toque Michelle Bernstein), the two-time Top Chef contestant has visions of his Talde being anything but an eatery for the 1 percent.

On the contrary, Talde envisions his Miami Beach eatery as a place to grab dumplings and noodles in a casual yet elegant setting. But the chef does recognize the contrast between Park Slope and Miami Beach. "At the beach, you want fresh, bright, and light, and my food can totally translate."

See also: Michelle Bernstein Reappears With Panache at Seagrape

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Cafe Babbo in Wynwood: Taco Pizza Tuesday and Neapolitan Pies

Categories: First Bites

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Photo by Carla Torres
What a taco pizza looks like.
"There are too many Neapolitan-style pizza places in Miami," say some idiotas. They are wrong! Pizza is always a welcome addition to the neighborhood, especially when you're in Wynwood and there's such a thing as Taco Pizza Tuesday.

Yep. Taco Pizza Tuesday is officially happening.

The man behind the idea is Antonio Chia, owner of Café Babbo, which has been hiding in plain sight just a few blocks from all the arts district action. Café Babbo quietly opened during Art Basel but hasn't done a formal grand opening yet. "We are waiting till we have everything perfect," Chia says.

See also: Cafe Babbo: Italian Wood-Fired Pizza Coming to the Heart of Wynwood

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Boxelder Craft Beer Market Opening Today in Wynwood

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Photo by Carla Torres
Take your pick of local brews at Boxelder.
Walk into Boxelder and the first thing you notice is a hexagonal mirror configuration on the wall. Besides being pretty to look at, it has a shape that's representative of the molecular structure of fermentation. That's an indicator of how serious the folks behind Wynwood's first craft beer market are about suds.

Soft-opening today, Boxelder, which is part bottle shop and part taproom, is a venture of love between husband and wife Adam and Nicole Darnell, who left their careers in the art world to pursue a different type of craft: beer.

See also: Boxelder Craft Beer Market to Open in Wynwood

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Ryan Martin on 180 Degrees at DRB: "This Is an Actual Gastropub"

Categories: Chef Interviews

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Photo by Lucia Pizano-Urbina
Ryan Martin: Molecular gastronomy comes to a Miami gastropub.
Chef Ryan Martin quietly took over the Democratic Republic of Beer's location at 501 NE First Ave. about six months ago, changing nearly everything about the beer hall. That could explain the new name: 180 Degrees at DRB.

Martin explains that the beer-bar-turned-gastropub has retained its DRB label because of a standing partnership. However, the name and a good selection of beer are the only two things that the chef has kept around. "I bought the DRB in June, closed it, and reopened it as 180 in September. Instead of a dive beer bar, we're a gastropub with about a hundred craft beers."

Ask Martin about calling 180 Degrees a gastropub and you'll get a straightforward answer. "This is an actual gastropub instead of a restaurant that calls itself a gastropub in Miami.

"The term is used so loosely it makes me mad. If you break down the term, you end up with 'gastro' and 'pub.' That's food and bar. Basically, in my opinion, I wanted to open a gastropub about 20 years ago, before the term existed. I wanted to open a pool hall with incredible food because I was so sick of putting on a collared shirt to get good food. When it comes down to it, to me, a gastropub should really feel more like a bar than a restaurant."

See also: Bistro Cassis: Quaint Parisian Bistro Cools Down Midtown

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Tío Colo in Hialeah: Cuban Ice-Cream Sandwiches Coming to Supermarkets

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Photo by Zachary Fagenson
Mamey and matecado ice-cream sandwiches at Tío Colo's.
Where and how Cuban ice-cream sandwiches began is a mystery even at Tío Colo Bocaditos de Helado, the Hialeah shop that pumps out hundreds a day.

"It's an older thing, I think, from before the revolution," says Rosali Verdecia, age 23, who along with her husband, Jose Hernandez, opened the place in 2008. Legions of gray-haired customers have been shocked to find the $2 treats with mamey or Malta ice cream between two soft, sugary cookies crusted with sugar, she adds.

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Miami Film Festival 2015 Culinary Films: Finding Gaston, City of Gold, and More

Categories: Film and TV

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Courtesy of Miami International Film Festival
East Side Sushi
Back for its 32nd edition, the Miami International Film Festival kicks off this Thursday, March 4. In addition to films that pay homage to Cuba and French style, this year's festival will feature five culinary movies, each with a very different look at the international food and wine industry. From a Peruvian celebrity chef who's using his fame to ensure a better life for young chefs and farmers to a quirky murder mystery that's fueled by some of the rarest bottles of wine, this year's collection showcases the ever-expanding world of gastronomy and how deeply it affects nearly every aspect of our lives.

If you're hankering for dinner and a movie, four of this year's five culinary showings will offer special dinner pairings. Whether you're mad for documentaries or prefer dinner in a fictional setting, this year's selection of culinary films is sure to please.

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Scott Conant's Corsair: Scarpetta's Solemn Sibling

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Photo by billwisserphoto.com
Corsair's Scott Conant with the restaurant's clams and chorizo.
The trendy Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a onetime Frank Sinatra haunt, is the raucous pinnacle of Miami nightlife. Eight miles north, at the tip of Miami-Dade County, is Turnberry Isle, a more family-oriented yet no less extravagant resort.

They share several things. Both are owned by the Soffer family, Dade County nobility once mired in financial problems that trace to the iconic Fontainebleau's $1 billion revamp. Most obvious to visitors, though, is that both boast restaurants by Michael Mina and Scott Conant, two of the nation's best-known chefs. They have brought an unmatched air of culinary panache to the ritzy properties.

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Michael Schwartz and Daughter to Open Ella Pop-Up in Design District

Categories: Openings

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Photo courtesy of the Genuine Hospitality Group
Ella Schwartz enters the family business.
Michael Schwartz's Genuine Hospitality Group has announced the opening of Ella, a casual Design District pop-up café.

The intimate restaurant, named for Schwartz's daughter Ella, will open April 1 at the Design District's Palm Court, located at 140 NE 39th St. It will remain open through spring and summer. This isn't the first time Schwartz has taken a personal turn with the name of one of his restaurants. Harry's Pizzeria -- with a location in the Design District and another set to open in Coconut Grove -- is named for the chef's son.

See also: Michael Schwartz Opening Harry's Pizzeria in Coconut Grove

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