Shuckers Waterfront Grill Reopens Tomorrow

Shuckers via Facebook
Shuckers reopens with a new deck tomorrow.
Just in time for an early start to the weekend, Shuckers Waterfront Grill will open tomorrow at noon.

The iconic waterfront bar and grill that saw so many Miamians beat the heat with a cold beer and a breeze over the water, opens its new patio Thursday, July 24, at noon.

See also: Shuckers to Reopen This Summer After Last Year's Deck Collapse

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National Ice Cream Month: Mantecado, Mamey, and Azucar's Miami Flavors

Courtesy of Azucar
Abuela Maria, AKA perfection.
You know you're in Miami when "Abuela Maria" (vanilla blended with Maria cookies, guava, and cream cheese) is the most popular flavor in an ice-cream shop. And while there's a sprinkling of shops that have been experimenting with local flavors for a while, none of them has embraced Latino/Caribbean culture as heartily as Azucar! in Little Havana.

See also: Milk Gone Nuts: Try the Chocolate Peanutbutterlicious Shake

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Broken Shaker's James Seyba Talks Black Watermelons and Buns in the Oven

Photo by Jose de las Casas
Seyba brings home the bacon.
Prior to joining the Broken Shaker last November, James Seyba got his tutelage under Michael Schwartz while working as a sous-chef at Michael's Genuine before moving to New Orleans as chef de partie at Asian bistro Lucky Rooster. Seyba has shaken up (pun intended) the menu twice since settling in at the Freehand Miami.

Seyba and his sous-chef, Anthony Ciancio (also from Michael's Genuine), are working on keeping the Shaker's garden well stocked so that by the time harvesting season peaks, their produce is ready and in full swing. We stopped in to try his summer fare and chat about the the Shaker's indoor restaurant, new kitchen, and rooftop garden.

See also: Broken Shaker's New Chef, James Seyba, Creates Menu Designed to Pair with Cocktails

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AltaMare Introduces New Interior and Oyster-Heavy Happy Hour

Courtesy AltaMare
Sea-themed touch-ups at AltaMare on Lincoln Road.
With plenty of fish in the sea, options are plentiful -- finding that special catch is no easy task. Miami isn't lacking seafood restaurants, but there are some that keep themselves well hidden. Take AltaMare, the Italian-inspired "hook-to-table" seafood joint that's décor exudes an pretentious air but the food is down-to-earth, or in this case, sea.

AltaMare isn't new -- Claudio Giordano and wife Kaituska are celebrating a 12-year run. In 2010, they moved down the block into a bigger space due to the demand for Giordano's fresh daily specials and house-made pasta. Four years later, and for the first time ever, the restaurant is offering a happy hour. It's their way of celebrating their revamped dining room and one step closer to lunch service, which we hope AltaMare will one day brave.

See also: AltaMare is bigger, busier, and better than ever

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Smooshies: Kids' Candy and Toy Store Coming to Key Biscayne

Courtesy Smooshies
Smooshies: Community and candy for kids.
When Gigi Alibhai was a child growing up in Cuba, life wasn't too sweet. Her mother, who was a political prisoner for a time, worked at a candy factory to make ends meet for her family. Alibhai says her family was so poor she didn't have shoes, let alone toys.

"My mother would stay late at the candy factory and sculpt toys for me from the leftover candy," Alibhai said. "It takes so much heat and work to sculpt that hard candy with bare hands that her fingertips were literally burnt off. l wanted to eat them, but I couldn't. They were my only toys."

Alibhai, now a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and mother of three, decided to open a shop that would combine toys and candy with a place kids could go to and socialize, taking her story full circle. Smooshies (coined from the name Alibhai's daughter calls her brothers), soft opens in Key Biscayne late August, with an official grand opening on Halloween (the official/unofficial day of candy).

See also: Eccolopops Brings Authentic Italian Gelato, Pops to Downtown Miami (and Our Dogs Too)

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Kris Wessel to Open New Bar A.I.R. (Artist in Residence)

Courtesy Kris Wessel
Chef Kris Wessel will open his latest venture A.I.R. in August.
Kris Wessel is known in Miami for his über-local cuisine made personal by his family's long relationship with Miami and its terra.

In fact, Wessel's new restaurant, Oolite, is named after the very foundation our city is built upon.

But, though born in Miami, Wessel was raised in New Orleans, a city known for its live music and art scene. Living in New Orleans during his formative years must have surely rubbed off on the Miami chef, because he just announced his latest endeavor -- and it's music-based.

See also: Kris Wessel's Oolite Opens in South Beach (Photos)

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Frenchie's Shannon Castrec: "I'm Not a Chef Who Needs to Scream"

Shannon Castrec of Frenchie's Diner
Shannon Castrec is the proverbial man behind the curtain at the Coral Gables French-themed eatery Frenchie's Diner. Opened in 2013, this local hot spot has garnered significant praise around town for its homey take on classic French fare. Together with her husband, Gabriel, Shannon performs the herculean task of running an upscale restaurant while raising a bustling family of three young children.

If you're as curious as we were about how she does it all while still serving bubbling cauldrons of French onion soup without a hair in sight, check out our Bastille Day sitdown with this no-nonsense chef de cuisine.

See also: Frenchie's Diner in Coral Gables: A Lovely, Uncontrived Affair

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Yardbird Southern Table & Bar to Open in Vegas, Baby

Yardbird is flying out west.
So all that chow chow about Yardbird flying off to Vegas for a fling is true. 50 Eggs confirmed that Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is opening a location at the Venetian Las Vegas some time early 2015.

The restaurant will share much of the same menu and Southern charm, but with a little more space -- and flash. After all, Las Vegas could be the only place on the planet to be even more glittery than South Beach.

See also: Yardbird Midnight Chef's Table Series with Michael Laukert

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Ralph Pagano's Ferris Pops-Up This Saturday: We Get a Kitchen Preview

All photos by Laine Doss
Chef Ralph Pagano displays his meat.
Chef Ralph Pagano's Ferris pop-up at the Sole on the Ocean in Sunny Isles launches this Saturday evening complete with a drum circle, fire dancers, a DJ, and a belly dancer.

Before that show, there's work to be done in the kitchen. Grape leaves must cook overnight, pita must be baked, and giant skewers of lamb and chicken must be fired on the grill. Chef Pagano, who says this is his most personal endeavor yet, has prepared a menu that explores the Lebanese half of his family tree.

See also: Ralph Pagano Opening Ferris Summer Pop-Up at Alba Seaside Italian

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T&W Barbecue: Award-Winning Ribs and Barbecue in Cutler Bay

All photos by Zachary Fagenson
Tom Wills at the barbecue helm.
After a few years of owning a small chain of local sandwich shops, Tom Wills decided he needed more. So the longtime Redlands man started traveling to Georgia and South Carolina to learn barbecue. He bought a trailer, started smoking baby back ribs, briskets and chicken wings, and winning competitions.

Those awards, mostly for their sweet-smoky ribs, hang on the walls of T&W Barbecue on South Dixie Highway in Cutler Bay. A line stretches from the service counter, where orders are placed and ribs and corn bread are dished, out into the dim, wood-covered dining room. Wills hobnobs with customers, plying construction workers to sit for a tall Styrofoam cup of sweet tea rather than return to the work site. Later, he spends a few minutes talking a family friend, coordinating carpool for the kids later that week.

See also: Renovated Uncle Tom's BBQ in Coral Gables Keeps Original Flavor (Photos)

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