Dewey LoSasso on AQ by Acqualina

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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

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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

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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

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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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Ten Best Plantain Dishes in Miami

Categories: Top List

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Carina Ost
The real banana boat.
It sounds crazy, but in the rest of the country, people don't go bananas for plantains. They occasionally eat a banana from their fruit basket or pop one for potassium, but that's it. They have no clue about the banana's more angular, greener, thick-skinned, less sweet, and consumed-when-cooked cousin: the plantain.

Miamians understand the complexity of this glorious fruit. Unripe green plantains are savory, like potatoes. They can be turned into chips or pounded flat and twice fried for tostones. Mashed and mixed with garlic and pork, they make mofongo. Riper, sweeter ones can be caramelized for plátanos maduros.

We also like them in concoctions far more creative than those dishes. Miamians enjoy the Kama Sutra of plantains: stuffed in sushi, arepas, and hot dogs or as vessels for burgers, sandwiches, and shrimp. Here are the top ten plantain dishes to peel into.

See also: Ten Best Comfort Food Dishes in Miami

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Redbar Relaunch: Sexy Cocktails, Vintage Vibe

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Redbar via Facebook
Sexy cocktails in a vintage atmosphere.
Redbar, the mixed-use cocktail lounge, gallery space in Brickell, is celebrating a relaunch.

The bar, henceforth known as Redbar Drink Company, has gotten a retro facelift. Decked out in a New-Orleans-meets-Chicago-speakeasy style, the space features vintage furnishings with rich sepia and burgundy hues.

What's also notable about the new-and-improved Redbar Drink Company is their crafted cocktail program. Antar Sosa and Dobomir Dimitrov, who have successfully worked on Barezzito and the Shore Club, have curated some of Miami's best cocktail experts to create a collection of specialty drinks.

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Try the Vegan Lunch Special at Green Gables Cafe

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Hannah Sentenac
They say vegans are lousy hunters, but sometimes it takes a predatory instinct to seek out a meatless meal in the 305. Luckily, Coral Gables' Green Gables Café offers a vegan lunch special that differs daily, so you don't have to choke down a PB&J every single day.

See also: Miami's Ten Best Vegan Desserts

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Seed Food & Wine Festival: First Large-Scale Vegan Event in Miami and Only One in Florida

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Bunnie Cakes and its vegan cupcakes will be at SFWF.
Vegans don't get much love in this pork belly town, but that's about to change with the introduction of an annual event that celebrates plant-based cuisine.

The Seed Food & Wine Festival (SFWF) will do for vegans, vegetarians, and the "veggie-curious" what the South Beach Wine & Food Festival does for omnivores: provide a plethora of events featuring celebrity chefs, fine wines, craft beers, gourmet cuisine, and more celebrities.

SFWF consists of five days of events, including upscale dinners, garden parties, a Southern-style brunch, a film screening, and a large-scale outdoor festival. Expect vegan celebrities, celebrity chefs, professional athletes, and health experts, plus food, wine, beer, and spirits samples.

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Five Must-Try Rabbit Dishes in Miami

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Carina Ost
Braised Florida rabbit
Beneath the floppy ears and cotton-ball tail of a rabbit is some seriously delicious meat. It truly does taste like chicken -- only leaner and slightly sweeter. Or perhaps it's like a more healthful duck.

Other bonuses: Because rabbit is still a "boutique meat," most local restaurants use Florida rabbits from family-run farms where the animals are raised on a clean herbivore diet without the use of hormones or steroids. Plus, there appears to be no shortage, as we all know how well rabbits procreate.

If this season's offering of chocolate bunnies -- Easter is this Sunday, April 20 -- has you jonesing for the real savory deal or you simply want to taste the meat for the first time, we have five must-try rabbit dishes.

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Four Seasons' 1,700-Pound Chocolate Easter Wonderland

Categories: Holidays

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Courtesy of Four Seasons Miami
Four Seasons' pastry chef Keith Wallace makes a town out of chocolate.
Ever wonder what nearly 2,000 pounds of chocolate looks like?

Well, it's pretty much like you would imagine: a land of giant colorful eggs and sweet toadstools.

At least that's how Four Seasons Hotel Miami's pastry chef Keith Wallace envisions it.

See also: Easter Brunch in Miami

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