Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Miami Cocktail Week: Win VIP Tickets

Photo by Laine Doss
Free VIP tickets right here. Write the folks back home!
Hold on to your liver, mateys.

The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival returns to the Doubletree Hotel Miami Airport Convention Center April 25 to 27. (Friday, April 25, is open to trade only.)

Over the past years, the festival has grown from a poolside fete to a multi-day event that features mixology competitions, formal rum judging by a panel of experts, seminars, a lifestyle marketplace (because you need Tiki glasses or puffy pirate shirt), and a mega rum tasting experience.

And by mega, we're talking more than 80 rum producers from as near as Miami and as far as the Philippines.

With all this growth, however, the festival is still a family affair, which is probably why the event still feels like an intimate gathering with friends to drink some good rum -- ya know, if your friends happened to have 200 rums on hand for you to try out.

See also: Miami Rum Renaissance Festival Returns: VIP BOGO Offer

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Miami's Best Eats and Drinks This Weekend: Easter, Passover, 4/20

Categories: Weekend Guide

Courtesy of Solo
Easter treats at Solo!
This weekend packs a lot of punch in the holiday department. First off, Good Friday is today, and if you're planning on having a fish dish, we've got you covered.

Of course, Passover continues through the weekend, so be sure to stop at the market and take home some kosher Coca-Cola (it's made without corn syrup) while on your wat to Blue Collar for a special holiday version of the Corben.

Sunday, however, is the big one. Easter and 4/20 are both celebrated on the same day this year. Which s kind of awesome, considering all the chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks you'll have left over from brunch to enjoy in the evening!

Weekend starts now! Hop to it!

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Yard House Is the Perfect Bar for Vegans

Hannah Sentenac
Just because you don't eat animal products anymore doesn't necessarily mean you want to forego the bar scene. After all, where else are you going to meet the Jay-Z to your Beyoncé? But hanging at bars is tough should you get the shakes and need to grub on something other than cocktail olives.

Luckily there's Yard House, an amazing option for booze hounds and herbivores. They've got an entire menu section devoted to Gardein (the best in faux meats) -- and it's full of yummy stuff.

See also: Miami's Ten Best Vegan Desserts

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Wine By the Bay in Downtown Miami: Taste Wines From Around the World

Photo by Cassie Glenn
It's hard to capture Stefano Campanini's attention for more than a couple minutes. As owner of Downtown Miami's Wine By the Bay, he has a passion for the product and a charming Italian demeanor that have earned him many fans who continually wave as they walk by or stop in to say hello and grab a bottle on the way to a dinner party. They trust his opinion, fine-tuned during years of travel and study, and have come to rely on what he believes is one of the few mom-and-pop stores in the area.

The small staff of four jokingly refers to the job title as P.D., Professional Drinker. With just a brief conversation, you realize that each of them truly knows their stuff. Tasting upwards of 150 wines a week, they have a grasp on every bottle in the store and can help you make the best choice.

While Wine by the Bay boasts an impressive selection ranging in price from $11.95 to $2000+, it also offers weekly tastings to educate the public on wines from around the world. These events include plenty of vino, good company and a few tasty bites.

See also: Best New Wine Store Miami 2013 - Wine By the Bay

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Make Eating House's Cap'n Crunch Pancakes at Home (Recipe)

Categories: Recipes

Courtesy Eating House
Have breakfast with the Cap'n.
This Sunday, while a good portion of the world celebrates Easter, a growing number of people will embrace a different holiday: 4/20.

On this auspicious holiday, people who embrace pot (or at least think the legalization of it is the only sane thing to do), will commemorate the day by baking (brownies, perhaps) and reveling in treats, lovingly referred to as "munchies."

If you want to have an all-out celebration, Eating House is hosting a 4/20 prix-fixe dinner on Sunday evening from 6:30 -to11 p.m., complete with a special munchies menu, served family style, live music, drink specials, and stoner movies.

See also: Eating House to Host 4/20 Dinner for Stoners

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Chill-N Keeps Things Cool in Pinecrest with Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

Categories: Just Desserts

All photos by Carla Torres
Periodic ice cream table.
Chuck Woodward is still a student at UM finishing up his master's in finance. He also happens to be the cool co-owner of Chill-N, a unique ice cream concept off-the-beaten path in Pinecrest. He and partner Daniel Golick will open their second outpost in Aventura come early May.

At Chill-N, ice cream is made using the flash-freeze liquid nitrogen method and on the spot. The drawback? You can't sample the ice cream flavor you want. The payoff? It's possibly the creamiest ice cream you'll have in Miami. Even kids of Azucar owner Suzy Battle come here to get their fix.

See also: Eating House to Host 4/20 Dinner for Stoners

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Dewey LoSasso on AQ by Acqualina: "Right Now, I'm Doing Some Research"

Courtesy of AQ by Acqualina
Dewey LoSasso launches AQ.
When Dewey LoSasso was named Acqualina's executive chef in December 2013, he was taking time to get the feel of the resort before making major changes to the menus. He told Short Order: "Right now, I'm doing some research, and then we'll start testing some menu items after Christmas and New Year's. I'm thinking, maybe, Hamptons-meets-Miami."

Now the talented chef is ready to introduce new dishes and an entirely new restaurant with the opening of AQ by Acqualina, located inside the resort that has earned both the
2013 Forbes' Travel Guide Five Star and the 2013 AAA Five Diamond.

See also: Dewey LoSasso Named Acqualina Resort & Spa's Executive Chef

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Vegan Drinks Night This Friday at Choices Cafe UES

Despite popular misconception, not all vegans are teetotalers. The meatless masses like to cut loose and get a little social lubrication just like everyone else -- we just don't like fish bladders in our beer. Hence the inspiration behind Vegan Drinks, a nationwide meetup group for like-minded herbivores.

The second South Florida installment of the monthly affair takes place this Friday at Choices Café UES. Show up at 7 p.m., take advantage of the spot's new beer and wine license, and get the digits of an ethical eater or two.

See also: Choices Vegan Kitchen Now Open Near the Airport

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Blackbrick Launches Brunch: Peking Duck and Waffles, Breakfast Fried Rice

Categories: Brunch Report

Courtesy of Richard Hales
Steamed fun gor cures all of last night's sins.
What do you get when your favorite Chinese dishes and American classic brunch items have a love child?

We're picturing Peking duck and waffles; fried rice with scrambled eggs and sausage; and an omelet stuffed with Szechuan beef.

Blackbrick's Richard Hales must be reading minds, because that's exactly what he's serving at his new weekend brunch, offered in addition to his dim sum menu.

Hales tells Short Order that the idea came from the success of his Sunday midmorning offerings. "The dim sum menu has been very popular, with the restaurant packed every Sunday. We decided it was a good idea to offer dim sum Saturday as well, and to offer some brunch items to complement it."

See also: Blackbrick Offers $10 Lunch Special Featuring Local Produce

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Uvaggio: New Wine Bar Opens in Coral Gables, Introduces "Backwards Tasting"

Categories: First Bites

Carolina del Busto
Coral Gables has a bevy of options when it comes to food and drink, so it's an ideal area to open a European-style wine bar.

Hidden among the shops along Miracle Mile is the intimately sized Uvaggio. Past a small entry that can easily be overlooked, there it sits, dimly lit yet welcoming.

This new restaurant has styled itself as wine-driven because the menu was created with the elixir of the gods in mind. The team selects small-production wines using its understanding of the aromas, flavors, and textures. The menu items come next. They call this process "tasting backwards."

See also: China Grill to Open in Brickell: Innovative Space With Individual Bird's Nests

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