Mandarin Oriental Chefs Cook at James Beard House and Bring Menu Back to Miami

Carina Ost
The Mandarin Oriental can shine a little brighter in Brickell Key. Azul Chef William Crandall and La Mar by Gastón Acurio Executive Chef Diego Oka hosted a dinner at the James Beard House in New York this past Saturday.

We got a peek into the kitchen of this home turned foundation and exclusive dining venue during prep for this exciting meal. We witnessed the antithesis of chaos as the 6 foot 7 chef Crandall and Oka expertly navigated their way through tight quarters and aimed to bring a taste of Miami along with their own perspective.

For Miamians who always wanted to get a taste of James Beard House level cuisine, you can sample some of the same dishes served until October 20th at the two restaurants in the Mandarin Oriental during dinner service.

See also: La Mar: Peruvian Classics Elevated to Haute Cuisine

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Skydiver Jumps Off Plane With First Batch of Stone Crabs Wearing GoPro (Video)

Categories: Musings, News

Courtesy of Coconut Grove Seafood Festival
Yesterday marked the beginning of stone crab season and the start of the business year for Joe's Stone Crab, which opened its doors at 5 p.m ., serving the first batch of claws to Miamians eager to get their hands on them (or with reservations we presume).

If you happened to be by Peacock Park yesterday morning, you may have seen something in the sky. It wasn't a bird, or a plane (although there was a plane involved). It was a skydiver with a cooler keeping the first batch of the crustaceans straight from the morning boats fresh and ready for landing. Don't believe us? Watch the video for yourself.

See also: Coconut Grove Seafood Festival Back for Second Year; Skydiver to Drop Stone Crab Tomorrow Morning

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Proof Pizza & Pasta Brings Neapolitan Style to Midtown

All photos by Carla Torres
Proof Pizza & Pasta, now open in Midtown.
If you happen to drive by the former Copperbox space, you'll notice it has windows. And it's no longer copper, but rather white. That's because Proof Pizza & Pasta opened quietly last Friday.

The Neapolitan-style pizza joint comes to Midtown from Justin Flit, whose prior experience includes Daniel Boulud's DBGB in New York City and, most recently, Bourbon Steak, where he was executive sous chef.

See also: Panther's Joel and Leticia Pollock on Changing Local Coffee Culture: "There Aren't Baristas Falling Off Trees in Miami"

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Miami Smokers: Miami's First All-Natural Smokehouse Opens Monday

All photos by Carla Torres
A new kind of smokehouse opens October 13.
Happier pigs lead to better bacon, at least that's what the duo behind Miami Smokers believes and practices. Miami natives Andres Barrientos and James Bowers cure and smoke Heritage Breed pasture-raised pigs that are allowed to walk and eat as they please. Chances are you've had a taste of their no antibiotic and hormone-free candied bacon or high-quality charcuterie in a burger at Kush, in the chicken and waffles at Eating House, or in some ice cream at Azucar.

Bowers and Barrientos are now expanding their bread and butter, or pork business, to include all types of charcuterie. On Monday, October 13, they'll soft-open the doors to their hand-built but state-of-the-art smoking, aging and curing facility in the heart of Little Havana.

See also: Miami Smokers' Kickstarter Campaign: Funds for Makin' Bacon

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Lemoni Cafe Crash: After Ten Injured, Time to Outlaw Street Seating Until the Street Is Fixed

Categories: News

Ten people were injured Saturday in Buena Vista when a Toyota Camry careened onto the sidewalk and plowed through a sidewalk café.

It happened around 4 p.m. at Lemoni Café. None of the injuries were serious, police said. One elderly woman broke her foot.

For months, that stretch of NE Second Avenue has been an accident waiting to happen. The road is bumpy, and the tables are too close to the street. It is time for the city to finish the street repairs -- and outlaw seating that is so clearly dangerous.

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Midtown Oyster Bar to Open This Month

Photo by Carla Torres
Oysters headed to midtown soon.
Good things supposedly happen in threes, so we can only hope that a third oyster bar will open in Wynwood/midtown. Midtown Oyster Bar will start operation sometime in October, making it the area's second oyster bar this year, after Mignonette.

Midtown Oyster Bar is the brainchild of the Graspa Group. You might be familiar with its other restaurant concepts, which include Salumeria 104, Spris, Tiramesu (making a comeback later this year), and Segafredo. What does that mean? Expect New England favorites with a touch of Italian.

See also: Danny Serfer's Mignonette Is Edgewater's Pearl

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The Seven Dials American Gastropub Opens in Coral Gables

Photo by Carla Torres
There's a new gastropub in town, and its chef and owner was the former toque at the Local Craft Food and Drink.

Andrew Gilbert, who also worked the kitchens of Michy's and Sra. Martinez, quietly opened the Seven Dials last week on a quiet street in Coral Gables.

"My wife and I have been looking for a restaurant space for four years, and we found it on the same street we live," Gilbert says. "We didn't even realize the street went down this far."

See also: Pub-Shaker Miami Spice Pop-Up: Pubbelly and Broken Shaker Collaborate

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Giorgio Rapicavoli to Appear on Chopped Champions Tonight

Chef Giorgio Rapacavoli graffiti wall.jpg
Remember two years ago when chef Giorgio Rapicavoli competed on Chopped and became the first Miami chef to win? The $10,000 gave Rapicavoli the chance to pop up Eating House, which has become a staple of Miami's dining and brunch scene.

Well, tonight the chef is making his way back to the show that kicked things off -- sort of. Tune in to the Food Network at 10 p.m. for the first Chopped Ultimate Champions tournament.

See also: Taperia Raca Offers Easy-to-Enjoy Tapas in MiMo

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Lilt Lounge to Open at the Epic

Courtesy of Lilt Lounge
Morning Tear
Lilt Lounge, a sophisticated cocktail lounge inside the Epic, is set to open tomorrow. An alternative to the club scene of South Beach, Lilt intends to create a new social experience in downtown Miami by blending libations with art and music.

See also: Three Boozy Lemonade Recipes For Your Weekend Picnic

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Blackbrick Named One of Bon Appetit's Top 50 New Restaurants

Blackbrick is one of the Top 50 New Restaurants of 2014.
Bon Appetit has just released its list of the Top 50 New Restaurants of 2014 and one Miami establishment made the list of 50 nominees.

Blackbrick, Richard Hales Midtown Chinese restaurant was the only South Florida restaurant to make the list, compiled by Andrew Knowlton. According to Bon Appetit's website, although the restaurants range in cuisine, style, and size they all have one thing in common -- "flat-out ambitious deliciousness."

The restaurant was named New Times' Best Chinese Restaurant for 2014.

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

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