Quality Meats Opens Friday: House-Made Charcuterie and Negronis on Tap

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Photo by Laine Doss
Quality Meats' charcuterie is made in-house.
The Miami outpost of New York City-based Quality Meats will open this Friday, February 27, at 1501 Collins Ave. in South Beach.

The decor is inspired by the original art deco design of the former Bancroft Hotel. Terrazzo flooring and the original reception desk -- now turned into a butcher counter -- have been incorporated into the new space, which seats 120 indoors and 70 on the patio.

The eatery/butcher shop, owned by Fourth Wall Restaurants, is led by executive chef/partner Craig Koketsu and Quality Meats Miami Beach executive chef Patrick Rebholz.

See also: Quality Meats' Craig Koketsu on Miami Beach Opening: "You Let The Locality Form What You Do"

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El Cielo in Brickell: 16-Course Feast for the Senses (Photos)

Categories: First Bites

Photo by Giovanny Gutierrez
An experience for the senses.
Walk into El Cielo and you'll be immediately awed by the stunning decor at this waterfront eatery in Brickell on the River. At its helm is 31-year-old Juan Manuel Barrientos, who at the age of 29 snagged a spot on the coveted list "Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants" for his original location in Medellín, which opened eight years ago. He repeated the feat in 2014, ranking 47th.

Barrientos' sensory experience is made up of 16 courses, all of which have been created and tested to elicit an emotional response in the brain. "It's a gastronomic roller coaster," Barrientos says. Miami New Times was invited for a ride.

See also: Hotly Anticipated El Cielo Is Now Open in Brickell

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Ms. Cheezious Grand Opening: S'mores, Mackin' Melt, and Frito Pie Grilled Cheese (Photos)

Photo by Carla Torres
Mac daddy of grilled cheese.
Few things have the power to take you back to your childhood the way s'mores, mac 'n' cheese, Frito pie, and grilled cheese do. And there's really no reason, as adults, we should give up any of them, especially when we can have them together -- thanks to the fine folks behind the roving food truck turned brick-and-mortar Ms. Cheezious. "We've been wanting to do these items for a while," says grilled-cheese whiz Brian Mullins. "It was just a matter of waiting for the right time."

To celebrate its permanent location, Ms. Cheezious threw a grand-opening bash Friday night that invited fans and avid followers to nosh on never-before-served items such as the s'mores melt, along with specials from the past five years, which are now a permanent fixture at the MiMo restaurant. In other words, no more hunting down the sexiest sandwich lady in the Magic City for a Southern chicken 'n' waffle melt or short rib melt.

See also: Ms. Cheezious Is Open: Check Out the Sexy Neon Artwork (Video)

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Ivan's: A Biscayne Boulevard Newcomer With Multiethnic Appeal

Categories: First Bites

Photo by Chuck Strouse
Shrimp mofongo is the best deal at $7.
When Ivan Dorvil's Nuvo Cafe on West Dixie Highway burned down in 2012, his admirers mourned. The place was a neighborhood favorite, and Dorvil was a ministar, having cooked for the likes of P. Diddy, Gloria Estefan, and Lil Wayne. He's also worked in high-end restaurant's in South Beach's Delano and National hotels.

Now Dorvil is back.

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Fresh American Bistro: Philippe Ruiz Brings Elegance to Comfort Food

Categories: First Bites

Photos by Laine Doss
Short-rib mac 'n' cheese at Fresh American Bistro.
Fresh American Bistro (FAB) quietly opened a few weeks ago in the former Alba Seaside Italian spot at Sole on the Ocean in Sunny Isles Beach.

Alba's quotes from The Godfather have been replaced by a casual seaside aesthetic. Also new and notable is the chef. Philippe Ruiz, the former top toque at the Biltmore Hotel's Palme d'Or for a dozen years, has returned to restaurant dining -- this time to bring his Michelin-starred background to American and Italian comfort food.

Assisted by chef de cuisine Diego Martinez, Chef Ruiz shows his formal French training in the details. Short rib is added to macaroni and cheese; edible flowers adorn a piece of fresh fish; and a simple fruit soup is turned into a complicated marriage of sweet and tart flavors.

New Times was invited to check out what Chef Ruiz and his team are up to. Here's what we ate.

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Tokyo Blue Brings Asian Fusion and Midnight Sushi to Downtown

Photos by Carla Torres
There's a new kid on the downtown block, and he's Nobu veteran Mai Ponrathorn. Fort Lauderdale hot spot Tokyo Blue has decided to take its blue-hued lounge, signature ice glass bar, and larger-than-life menu to the Magic City.

The easy-to-find, 3-week-old restaurant sits between Ten Fruits and Juan Hoyos' growing Peruvian empire (Pollos y Jarras and CVI.CHE 105). Simply look for a color-changing façade with signage that looks straight out of the streets of Tokyo.

See also: Former Makoto Cook Brings Thai Street Food to MiMo

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La Fonda Pops Up at the Marlin Hotel (Photos)

Photo by Carla Torres
End your night on a sweet note.
Nightlife veteran Tatanka Guerrero is no stranger to the pop-up concept. In 2013, he gave the South of Fifth neighborhood a much-needed place to imbibe with Radio (before it was sold to Menin Hospitality). He followed up with the members-only Sweetwater Beer Garden perched on a courtyard between the Ansonia and Plymouth hotels.

Now, the Chilean-born, Miami-bred entrepreneur is popping up once again, this time with a gastronomic concept at the historic Marlin Hotel by the name of La Fonda. "In every South American slang, fonda means a gathering under a hut or same roof," he says. "The idea is to create a social space and fill it with food and drink."

See also: Can Zak, Panther, Proper Sausages Grow Without Losing Their Souls?

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Market at Miami Beach Edition: The Best Carrot Cake of Your Life (Photos)

Categories: First Bites

Photo by Carla Torres
Take two steps inside the Miami Beach Edition and you can't help but feel Miami all around you. The white-marble-covered lobby is brought to life by perfectly lit palm trees. A matching marble pool table and an elegant glass bar amid the interior foliage is a nice and oh-so-Miami touch.

Ian Schrager, who pioneered Miami's luxury and boutique hotel wave with the Delano, had been lying low until this project. Edition marks the nightlife veteran and hotelier's return to the Magic City. And while Schrager knows lodging and nightlife well, food is not his forte.

For that, Edition has brought in acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten to conceptualize all the food and beverages for the property, which spans a spherical and ultra-chic dining room dubbed the Matador Room; an alfresco poolside eatery, Tropicale; and Market, a radical interpretation of the Old World markets found all over Spain.

See also: A Lesson in the Art of Martini Making by London Bartender Jack Hubbard

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La Terrase in South of Fifth Charms With Its Lush Setting

Categories: First Bites

Photos by Jose de las Casas
Winner winner, chicken dinner.
French technique is at the heart of many cuisines, yet it's difficult to find a restaurant that executes it properly. Enter La Terrase, an anything-but-nondescript eatery in Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood. Located directly across from Joe's Stone Crab, La Terrase hides in plain sight. The scent of coq au vin wafts from its charming terrace, graced with green shrubs and white linens.

Chef Lisandro Sanabria is at the helm. His experience includes five years in the kitchen of Casa Tua and a year and half at the longstanding Coconut Grove French bistro Le Bouchon, as well as Café Bastille. Though Sanabria is Argentine, he admits, "I love to eat and cook French food."

See also: Brasserie Central in the Gables: Literal Garlic Bread, French Onion Soup, and Steak Tartare

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Momi Gyoza Bar: Dim Sum and Hot Pot Rice Galore (Photos)

Photos by Carla Torres
Pretty little thangs.
Jeffrey Chen is a passionate craftsman. He's not much of a talker, but the few words he says hold substance. "American people have no patience." It is true -- patience is indeed a virtue, one that the Japanese have certainly mastered and is evident in Momi Gyoza Bar's signature dish: kamameshi hot pot rice. It takes 25 minutes to prepare, but its fixings -- which include pig ear, chicken heart, eel, or oxtail -- make it worth the wait.

In the meantime, chow down on one of the 12 dumpling, gyoza, and dim sum varieties that Chen kneads by hand, as he does with noodles at his neighboring ramen shop.

See also: Ramen Mania Sweeps Miami Restaurants

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