Food

Meal Planner: “Oysters and Champagne”, O Cinema Food Docs And More This Week In Miami

This piece was originally published by our partner MIAbites.com and is produced by them. 

Each week, MIAbites presents the Weekly Nibble, featuring curated foodie events in and around Miami.  All listings are subject to change, so always call ahead to confirm details, prices and times.

March 21st-April 3rd In honor of “Nowruz”, also known as the Persian New Year, Byblos Miami has created a celebratory four-course prix fixe menu to welcome in the New Year. Celebrated by Iranian people worldwide as the start of the year and the first day of spring.  Byblos has created a menu with traditional Persian New Year dishes. The special menu will be available from March 21st – April 3rd and guests will enjoy an array of Eastern Mediterranean delicacies. The menu is $70 per person. Byblos Miami 1545 Collins Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139

Friday April 1st– CITY OF GOLD, documentary about quirky LA food critic, Jonathan Gold, opens at O Cinema Wynwood for a weeklong screening beginning at 7 pm on Friday April 1st.  Full schedule on O Cinema website  http://www.o-cinema.org/event/city-of-gold/  O Cinema 90 NW 29th St. Miami FL 305 571 9970

Friday April 1st- Stop by the new cocktail bar at Alter for a very special private event. Bar Alter is thrilled to welcome Casamigos Tequila and to celebrate it they will be showcasing a selection of Casamigos Tequila Cocktails. Casamigos is small batch, ultra premium tequila made from the finest, hand-selected 100% Blue Weber agaves, grown in the rich red clay and cool climate of the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. Bar Alter is open 5pm-Midnight, but complimentary cocktails will be served during Happy Hour 5-7 pm subject to availability. Alter  223 NW 23rd St. Miami FL.

Saturday April 2nd- from 7-9 pmThe Traymore Gin Bar at Metropolitan by COMO presents its newly created evening for the ladies and their guests. “Oysters and Champagne” presented by Pommery offers all oysters for $2 each, while ladies drink Pommery Brut Royal Champagne for FREE for the entire two-hour duration.  This special evening is anticipated to be massively popular with local residents who are known to crave the local selection of oysters while taking advantage of unlimited champagne – compliments of the house. The Traymore Restaurant and Bar at Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach 2445 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140.  For more information, visit www.comohotels.com/metropolitanmiamibeach

Do you like this? Read more awesome restaurant reviews, tips and event listings at MIAbites.com.

Sunday April 3rd–  Cochon 555 returns to Miami featuring 5 Chefs, 5 Pigs and 5 Winemakers competing for the Miami title in the 8th Annual Cochon 555 Tour.  Held this year at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach the event features nose-to-tail creations from Chefs Xavier Torres/ Drunken Dragon, Alex Chang/ Vagabond, Anthony LePape/Ritz-Carlton, Michael Fiorello/Beachcraft and Diego Oka/La Mar by Gaston Acurio.  Tickets are $125 or $200 VIP and available on website http://cochon555.com/2016-tour/miami/ Ritz Carlton 1 Lincoln Rd. Miami Beach FL. 

Sunday April 3rd- Miami kicks off BBQ season for the whole family with Grillin N Chillin, the Miami BBQ Festival held in Wynwood.Everyone will enjoy the best BBQ in every style from Memphis, Texas or Kansas City barbecue to the well-known Brazilian Churrasco and Argentine Parrillada. Kids will have a blast in the family fun zone, while adults enjoy drinks and sports in The Pit, a pop-up sports bar. Get smoked in the Kitchen Lab by the best in the biz, who will share tips and tricks for the BBQ master in all of us. Advance tickets http://www.wynwoodbbqfest.com/tickets/RC Cola Plantin Wynwood. 550 NW 24 ST Miami, FL  33127.

Monday April 4th –  It’s #MolluskMadness as Mignonette hosts the FINAL Oyster slurping contest that pits MIAbites contributor and Check, Please Associate Producer, Paula Echevarria against Steven Scharf, aka The Chowfather.  Stop by for oysters, lobster rolls,seafood and watch as Paula tries to beat her record of 36 oysters in 2 minutes and take home the winning trophy. Mignonette 210 NE 18th St, Miami, FL 33132 (305) 374-4635

Wednesday, April 6, at 7PM- James Beard winning chef, Michelle Bernstein will welcome a cavalcade of local food & beverage luminaries for a dinner celebrating all-things-Michy at her newest spot CENA by Michy. To help celebrate her delicious decade, guest chefs Lindsay Autry, Timon Balloo, Jason Schaan, Berenice de Araujo and Sarah Sipe – all alums – will join Bernstein and CENA by Michy chef de cuisine Mikey Mayta for a not-to-be-missed five- course dinner paired with wines by former Michy’s sommelier Allegra Angelo.  Master mixologist Julio Cabrera, who helped make Bernstein’s Sra. Martinez one of the hottest cocktail spots in the country, will return and serve two special cocktails so attendees can toast in style.  The paired wine dinner is priced at $150 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Tickets for the alumni dinner must be purchased in advance through Resy. https://resy.com/?venue_id=201&date=2016-04-06 CENA by Michy  6927 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami.  (305) 759-2001.

Thursday March 31st- Saturday April 9th– To continue the celebration of Chef Michelle Bernstein’s ten years, CENA by Michy will feature a different menu special pulled from the restaurant’s history books.  Infamous dishes – one a night for ten nights – will vary and will not be repeated, though social media followers might get advance word of what to expect.  It’s a rare chance to enjoy a Bernstein classic that has long been benched, from conch escargot style and Michy’s bouillabaisse to her killer carbonara.  “Some of these dishes have been enjoying retirement,” Bernstein quips, “though people ask for them regularly.  It’ll be nice to bring them out for the night.” CENA by Michy 6927 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami.  (305) 759-2001.

( Information provided by various sources and subject to change. Please check ahead to confirm all details )

The above was produced by MIAbites, one of the leading sources for food news in South Florida. Be sure to visit their website for more great information. 

Vagabond Restaurant To Host Monthly BBQ Cookout And More Miami Food Events This Week

This piece was originally published by our partner MIAbites.com and is produced by them. 

Each week, MIAbites presents the Weekly Nibble, a listing of food events and happenings for the upcoming week.  All are subject to change and we encourage you to check ahead to confirm details and availability.

Sunday 2/21-  The coolest pool hosts the hottest chefs as Vagabond Restaurant & Bar and Executive Chef Alex Chang are thrilled to announce the launch of “Alex Chang’s Backyard Cookout,” a monthly BBQ that will feature a rotation of some of Miami’s most notable chefs. The series kicks off on Sunday, February 21st with a Mexican inspired BBQ by Chef Steve Santana of Taquiza. Bites start at $6 and cocktails will feature Montelobos Mezcal and Ancho Reyes. FREE admission with RSVP thru Eventbrite link here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/alex-changs-backyard-cookout-feat-steve-santana-of-taquiza-tickets-21436375777?aff=ehomefriend   The Vagabond 7301 Biscayne Blvd. Miami FL.

Tuesday 2/23-  MCKitchen is the venue for a special 5-course dinner and beer pairing hosted by Chef Dena Marino, Miami Heat star Chris Bosh, and Dogfish Beer founder, Sam Caligione.  If you were lucky enough to attend last year’s SOLD OUT event you know how much fun it was and this year’s promises to be even more “over the tap” ( get it! ).  Tickets are $225 pp and available by calling the restaurant at 305 456 9948.  MCKitchen 4141 NE 2nd Ave. Miami FL .

Wednesday 2/24-Sunday 2/28–  Make way for the 60, 000 attendees expected for this years South Beach Wine+Food Festival Tickets still available for a slew of events including Italian Bites on The Beach, Grilled Cheese Happy Hour with Ms. Cheezious, Amstel Light Burger Bash, Meatopia and a special dinner with Chefs Alex Chang and Tom Collichio.  Check availability on www.sobefest.com

Thursday 2/25-   dbBistro Moderne presents an evening of Alsatian cuisine and wine as we welcome host Jean Trimbach from Alsace’s acclaimed Trimbach Estate. The Trimbach portfolio pairs beautifully with classic dishes from the region, such as Chicken Oyster and Snail Fricassee and Milk Fed Suckling Pig. The four courses dinner and reception begins at 6:30PM: Reception / 7:00PM: Dinner.  $125 per person, plus tax and service charge. Tickets available on Eventbrite link https://www.eventbrite.com/e/alsatian-wine-dinner-with-trimbach-estate-tickets-21141422564?aff=ebrowse   db Bistro Moderne, 2nd Floor, Verdure 255 Biscayne Boulevard Way Miami, FL 33131  305 421 8800

Do you like this? Read more awesome restaurant reviews, tips and event listings at MIAbites.com.

Sunday 2/28– Ayurvedic practitioner, Ann Harrison and Chef Sabrina Lopez are hosting a Ayurvedic Cooking Class at ALNO Kitchens on Sunday, February 28, 2016 from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The class will go in-depth and cover concepts and recipes that are most suitable for YOUR personal constitution. Understand what truly feeds, nourishes and heals you: by stepping into the kitchen and learning the concepts, nutrition and practical hands-on skills behind Ayurvedic cooking. You will learn which spices help you balance your own individual dosha and we will touch upon the concepts of how to create and maintain a sacred kitchen. Tickets on Eventbrite link https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cook-for-your-personal-dosha-and-create-a-sacred-kitchen-tickets-21420614635 ALNO Kitchens 3650 North Miami Ave. Miami FL

The above was produced by MIAbites, one of the leading sources for food news in South Florida. Be sure to visit their website for more great information. 
(Information provided by various sources and subject to change. Please check ahead to           confirm details and availability)

Here Are 10 Miami Restaurants That Offer Special Valentine’s Day Menus

This piece was originally published by our partner MIAbites.com and is produced by them. 

Sunday February 14th is Valentine’s Day and many Miami restaurants have special menus to help you dine with the one you love.  Please call ahead to confirm details and to make reservations.  In many cases, a la carte options are also available.

Here is MIAbites Weekly Nibble of food and dining events over the next week. 

Valentine’s Day and Weekend:

Metropolitan by COMO is offering a special Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu at The Traymore Restaurant and Bar on Sunday, February 14th.Chef Juan Loaisiga invites locals, visitors and hotel guests to experience the sumptuous menu, created especially for couples who wish to end their special day gazing into each others eyes over a candlelit dinner within one of South Florida’s most romantic restaurants.  The four-course Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu at The Traymore Restaurant and Bar is priced at $75 per person (excluding tax, gratuity and alcohol) or $120 per person with a wine pairing with each course. Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach 2445 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140.  305-695-3555

Izzy’s Fish & Oyster– is featuring a 4 course prix fixe Valentine’s brunch menu all weekend for $75 pp that includes plenty of oysters, caviar, champagne and other New England seafood delights, including red velvet whoopie pies.  Full A la carte menu also available. Izzy’s Fish & Oyster 423 Washington Ave. Miami BeachFL. (305) 397-8843

Byblos sets the mood for love and romance with a special four-course Valentine’s Weekend menu. On Saturday, February 13th and Sunday, February 14th, guests can indulge in a choice of appetizer, including Organic Artichoke & Lemon Labneh, Uri Buri Shrimp, or Charred Beets before divulging in their second course with a choice of Octopus Kataif, Roasted Cauliflower, or Creamed Spinach Pide. For their third course, patrons can choose between delicious Day Boat Black Cod, Yufka Rolls, and Hand Roll Couscous. For dessert, guests have a choice between Krembo, Yogurt Mousse, Walnut Fudge, Revani, Hibiscus Chocolate Truffle, and Meyer Lemon Sorbet. The menu is $85 per person and a wine pairing option is available for $150. The a la carte menu is also available. Byblos Miami 1545 Collins Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139305 508 5041.

Do you like this? Read more awesome restaurant reviews, tips and event listings at MIAbites.com.

JW Marriott Miami’s Executive Chef, Alex Paz, invites couples to share a romantic dining experience at the Trapiche Room. Menu highlights include Black Truffle and Taleggio Potato and Chocolate Dusted Prime Filet with Stone Crab Risotto. The delectable experience finishes with a decadent Red Velvet Rum Cake. The romantic dinner on February 14th is priced at $80 per person with the option of wine pairings for an additional $25. JW Marriott 1109 Brickell Ave. Miami FL

Bazi– Featuring Chef Michael Pirolo’s bold flavors and exciting Asian-inspired dishes, Bazi is offering a five course prix fixe tasting menu for $75 per person. The Valentine’s Day feast kicks off with Dressed Oysters served with white ponzu, blood orange, and cucumber, followed by Sweet Potato Dumplings, a popular dish with chicken, fermented black beans, and Thai basil. The dinner continues with Shrimp & Crab Udon topped with pea tendrils, ginger, and soy; while the fourth course offers a choice of Miso Marinated Grouper with bok choy & sake burre blanc or Grass Fed New York Strip Steak with miso butter & miatake mushrooms. Cap off the evening with a sumptuous Molten Chocolate Bowl prepared with passion fruit and Thai basil anglaise. Bazi The Marlin Hotel, 1200 Collins Avenue on Miami Beach. (305) 695-0101.

Quattro Gastronomia Italiana– Lincoln Road’s upscale Northern Italian eatery will offer several dinner specials this Valentine’s Day, including Carpaccio di Tonno – tuna carpaccio with avocado sauce, lemon dressing, baby water cress, and radish salad ($26). Entrée selections feature Polenta ai Funghi con Tartufo – creamy truffle polenta with mix mushrooms, truffle sauce, and 2 grams of fresh black truffle shavings ($37); Gnocchi Pesto E Gamberi – white gnocchi with pesto, pine nuts, and shrimp ($27); Turbot con Vongole e Caviale– pan fried turbot with manila clams, water cress fumet broth, and 3 grams of Calvisius caviar ($47); and Costate Di Agnello con Salsa ai Funghi – rack of lamb with beech mushroom sauce ($49). Quattro 1014 Lincoln Road. (305) 531-4833

Meat Market– Lincoln Road’s hot steakhouse, is getting into the spirit of Valentine’s Day with some special touches, including a rose giveaway for the ladies as they walk through the door and delectable MM chocolates for couples at their end of their meal. The restaurant will be offering their regular lunch and dinner menu save for a few romantic additions, such as “His & Hers” specialty cocktails ($14) and Lanson Pink Rose Champagne ($75) to mark the occasion. Lunch ends at 3:30 PM and dinner begins at 6 PM. Valentine’s Day specials will also be available at Meat Market Palm Beach. Meat Market 915 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. (305) 532-0088 Meat Market Palm Beach is located at 191 Bradley Place. For reservations, please call (561) 354-9800

The Dutch– award-winning Chef Andrew Carmellini’s roots-inspired American restaurant, is pulling out all the stops this Valentine’s Day with a three course prix fixe menu designed with couples in mind.Priced at $85 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), the dinner comes with a complimentary glass of champagne and features a variety of creative dishes and desserts. The Dutch at The W Hotel 2201 Collins Ave. Miami Beach FL (305) 938-3112

Macchialina– Miami Beach’s rustic Italian eatery, will offer a delectable five course prix fixe tasting menu for $75 per person. Chef Michael Pirolo created custom dishes including Dressed Oysters with burrata and caviar and a first course featuring Yellowfin Tuna Crudo topped with avocado, preserved lemon, and truffle. The evening continues with Truffled Risoto with salsify & porcini, Veal Cheek Crepinette with prosciutto, sage, and braised cabbage, and for dessert Molten Chocolate Cake topped with pistachio and cherry. Macchialina 820 Alton Road on Miami Beach. (305) 534-2124.

Michael Mina 74– This Valentine’s Day, treat your sweetheart to an unforgettable night at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Delight your date on Sunday, February 14, 2016 at the hotel’s contemporary American Bistro, Michael Mina 74, where there will be options that include a special prix-fixe menu, wine pairings Lovebirds can enjoy a lavish four course prix-fixe menu for $250 per couple. Add wine pairings (as listed below) for an additional $100 (*$350 per couple). For guests that want to swoon with their beloved under the stars, this menu can be served in a romantic private cabana for $500 per couple. Michael Mina at The Fontainebleau. 4441 Collins Ave. Miami Beach FL.

As the Boat Show sails out of town, the 10,000+ foodies arrive for the beginning of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival on Wednesday 2/24- Sunday 2/28.

Wednesday February 24th-Sunday February 28th  The South Beach Wine+Food Festival kicks off the weekend with newly added Taste of Fort Lauderdale featuring Robert Irvine hosting Seaside Eats at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens in Fort Lauderdale. And continuing throughout the weekend with dinners, a DJ party and Bloody Mary Brunch with the cast of Chopped.  For full Taste Fort Lauderdale series info go to Taste Fort Lauderdale link here  http://www.sobefest.com/events.php?cat_id=33.  You can read more about SOBEWFF which continues thru Sunday 2/28 on MIAbites link here http://www.miabites.com/home/2016/1/30/sobewff-2016-wine-food-miami-miami-beach/

Wednesday February 24th–  Crawdaddy Wednesdays at The Federal is kicking off early this year. The fourth annual throwdown will launch this Wednesday, February 10 and will be held weekly through the end of spring. The traditional boil, priced at $15 per pound or $50 for five pounds, is served with taters, corn and andouille sausage.  Bottomless beer and bubbly will be offered at an additional $20 per person. The Federal 5132 Biscayne Blvd. Miami FL305 758 9559

Thursday February 25th–  Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne Miamibegins its 2016 Winner Dinner Series with a special event not to be missed: an evening of Alsatian cuisine and wine hosted by owner Jean Trimbach from Alsace’s acclaimed Trimbach Estate. For almost four centuries the Trimbach family has been promoting the exceptional history, terroir and wines of the Alsace region. The Trimbach portfolio pairs beautifully with classic dishes from the region, such as Chicken Oyster and Snail Fricassee and Milk Fed Suckling Pig. Thursday, February 25 7pm reception | 7:30 pm dinner$125 per person + tax & gratuity.  db Bistro Moderne255 Biscayne Boulevard Way Miami, FL 33131 305 421 8800.

New and Ongoing:

Izzy’s Fish & Oyster A welcome addition to the lunch scene, Izzy’s is now open for lunch and the casual, New England seafood eatery is offering such lunchtime favorites as fresh oysters, lobster rolls, blue crab salad rolls, grouper and many more options to transport you to a seaside beach shack in Cape Cod.  Izzy’s 423 Washington Ave. Miami Beach FL. (305) 397-8843.

( Information provided by various sources and subject to change. Please check ahead to confirm details and prices. )

( Information provided by various sources and subject to change.  Please confirm all details ahead of time )

The above was produced by MIAbites, one of the leading sources for food news in South Florida. Be sure to visit their website for more great information. 

Cover Photo Credit: Ines Hegedus-Garcia/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

10 Million Children In Africa Are Now Obese Or Overweight

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Obesity is on the rise in a rapidly urbanizing Africa. A new report from the World Health Organization shows the alarming extent of the problem: The prevalence of overweight and obese children living on the African continent has surged from 4.8 percent to 6.1 percent in the last 25 years. The number… Read More

As The Mercury Drops In South Florida, The Local Food World Heats Up

This piece was originally published by our partner MIAbites.com and is produced by them. 

Monday January 18th– Beginning January 18th, Red Ginger in SoFi will be offering a new lunch menu from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily.  The new menu will feature both ongoing favorites and new additions including entrée salads, rice bowls and bento boxes perfect for a quick sit down lunch, delivery or pick up.  Menu highlights will include the Salmon & Crab Buns, Lobster Banh Mi, Wagyu Beef Burger, and Japanese IPA Tempura Seabass.  Also offered will be four rice bowl options with a choice of Vegetables, Grilled Chicken, Duck Confit or Tiger Prawns plus four bento box options (Sashimi, Nigiri, Maki, and truffle salmon maki).  In addition, Red Ginger has expanded the dinner menu to include a robata steak selection and seafood dishes like the Lobster Pad Thai.  Red Ginger 736 First Street Miami Beach FL. (305) 433-6876

Thursday January 21st – BLT Prime Miami will partner with local home-grown beer makers  M.I.A. Brewing for a five course dinner featuring seasonal beers from the Doral-based brewery and tap room. Miami Herald Food Editor Evan Benn, a national beer writer for Esquire, Beer Advocate and other publications, will serve as host for the event; The evening will get underway at 7 PM on Thursday, January 21. Priced at $75 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity, reservations are required at 305-591-6066BLT Prime Trump National Doral
4400 NW 87th Ave Miami, FL 33178.

Friday January 22nd and Saturday January 23rd–  In preparation for the upcoming 2016 Miami Marathon on Sunday, January 24 , Scarpetta, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, will offer marathon runners ( or anyone for that matter ) a special $45  “Carb-Up” 3 course prix-fixe menu. The menu is only available from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Friday, January 22 and Saturday, January 23. The three-course menu is a delicious way to power up before the big run; specially crafted to ensure runners’ muscles are fueled and energy levels are up for optimal performance. Among the menu items starter choices included are their popular creamy polenta with fricassee of truffled mushroom and main courses choices include their Spaghetti with tomato and basil and Duck & Foie Gras Ravioli. Scarpetta 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL  877 326 7412.

Do you like this? Read more awesome restaurant reviews, tips and event listings at MIAbites.com.

Saturday January 23rd– StripSteak by Michael Mina at The Fontainebleau kickoffs off their 2016 Cellar 1954 Wine & Dinner series with a decadent five-course menu prepared by StripSteak chef de cuisine Derrick Roberts, complemented by seven different wines from Darioush. Darioush Khaledi and his wife Shahpar founded Darioush in 1997. The Darioush Estate has flourished over time and is now comprised of 120 acres in Southern Napa Valley spanning the Mount Veeder and Oak Knoll American viticultural areas.  Each of the five courses will be paired with a different varietal from the label. Priced at $225 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity, the luxurious evening will begin at 8 p.m.  Strip Steak by Michael Mina 4441 Collins Ave. Miami Beach FL 877 326 7412.

New and Ongoing:

GK Bistronomie in Wynwood just launched their new happy hour. Specials include craft cocktails for $5 and all beers and select wines are 1/2 price – offered every day from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. GK Bistronomie serves Peruvian dishes offering a selection of tiraditos, ceviches, appetizers and main courses. The outdoor “kitchen bar” serves classic Peruvian sours including Pisco, Chicha and Passionfruit. GK Bistronomie 218 NW 25th St, Miami, FL 33127 786 477 5151

Le Zoo, Stephen Starr’s newest South Florida restaurant, is excited to announce the debut of its new brunch menu Saturday and Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm.  Located in the Bal Harbour Shops, Le Zoo transports diners to the French bistros of days gone by and offers a relaxed atmosphere amongst the hustle and bustle of the nearby shops. The menu offers a wide selection, including delicious egg dishes like eggs benedict and poached egg basquaise with creamy polenta and prosciutto. In addition to traditional brunch fare like French toast topped with pineapple and freshly baked pastries, Le Zoo will be serving up French classics like French onion soup gratinée, escargots, and steak frites. An extensive raw bar and inspired cocktail list round out the menu to offer the ideal weekend brunch experience.  Le Zoo 9700 Collins Ave Bal Harbour, FL 33154 (305) 602-9663

( Information provided by various sources and subject to change.  Please confirm all details ahead of time )

The above was produced by MIAbites, one of the leading sources for food news in South Florida. Be sure to visit their website for more great information. 

Cover Photo Credit: Phillip Pessar/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

For $99 a Month, MealPass Gets You Gourmet Lunch Everyday Of The Week

Adulting is hard, and having to feed yourself everyday is arguably the hardest part about it.

If you’ve got the cooking thing down, you probably spend hundreds of dollars each month on groceries and hours each week preparing your meals.

If you opt for buying your meals everyday, you’re probably spending hundreds of dollars on delivery orders, expensive salads and pizza cravings.

A potential solution?

MealPass. For $99 a month – breaking down to about $5 a day – you get lunch every weekday from one of the best restaurants in Downtown Miami & Brickell.

Launching this week, the platform seeks to provide locals with affordable lunch options while helping restaurants put their name and menu on the map.

Here’s how it works: Starting at 7 p.m. the night before, users can log in to see the menu for the following day, make their pick and head out to pick up at lunchtime. Participating restaurants offer one prix fixe meal a day.

On Thursday, Jan. 14, MealPass hosted their official launch party with more than 300 eager foodies in attendance for a sneak peek at the restaurants on board.

Tasting were available for Miami staples including Suviche, Brother Jimmy’s, Novecento and Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita.

According to conversations I had with participating restaurants, they take a portion of the subscription dollars and are mostly eager for the added revenue on the backend through exposure of their restaurant.

“This will help people tell others about our location, come for other meals throughout the day, and we anticipate to start seeing more traffic,” said a team member from Spaghettino. “We are very excited to be a part of this program.”

Pic2

The gathered crowd at the MealPass kick off event Thursday Jan 14 in Miami.

MealPass founders Mary Biggins and Katie Ghelli were inspired to launch the program from their own dining experiences in college. They enjoyed finding new places to eat and wanted to consolidate the options in Miami to help locals expand their dining routine.

“We’re excited to help consumers easily discover all the best lunch options in Brickell,” Ghelli told RISE NEWS.

Mary Biggins is also co-founder of a similar and widely successful program, ClassPass.

With ClassPass, subscribers pay $99 a month to take classes at dozens of different fitness studios in a given city.

The company receives a bulk discount on classes from their providers in exchange for helping them reach new customers. According to the company, more than 10.8 million reservations were made in 2015 – a 700% leap from the year before.

Unlike ClassPass, which has a three-time per month limit per studio, MealPass does not have restrictions as menus will rotate daily and the company doesn’t anticipate users will want to eat the same thing every day.

The menu has a wide selection.

Gourmet salads and acai bowls from Cold Pressed Raw, hearty pasta dishes from Garzon on your “cheat day,” even decadent dessert and crepes from YUZU.

Friday’s menu included Chicken Teriyaki from Sushi Maki, Chicken Mac & Cheese from American Social, Sausage, Egg & Cheese from Toasted, Cheese Quesadillas from Batch, Couscous Fish Salad from Fit2Go, and more than 50 other decadent options to choose from.

If you’re looking to indulge in lunch from some of the best restaurants in our city for only $99 a month, you can sign up at www.mealpass.com.

You can also follow MealPass on social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mealpass
Instagram: @mealpassapp
Twitter: @mealpassapp

Do you run a start-up or small business? We might be interested in writing about you! Send us a story pitch to editor@risenews.net.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for you us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place. 

Photo Credits: Lissette Calveiro/RISE NEWS.

Where’s The Best Places To Get Great Food In Miami This Upcoming Week?

This piece was originally published by our partner MIAbites.com and is produced by them. 

Each week, MIAbites will feature The Weekly Nibble, highlighting “foodie” events and special promotions in Miami for the upcoming weeks.  Please note that specific details, dates and prices are subject to change, so please call ahead to confirm event details. 

Wednesday January 13th –  The Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce “Let’s Eat Dinner” Series is pleased to return in 2016 with the announcement that Bulla Gastrobar will host a special dinner and cooking demonstration on Wednesday, January 13 at 6 p.m.  Guests are invited to learn how to make authentic Spanish paella learned at one of Spain’s most famous restaurants, El Bulli.  Led by Bulla Doral’s new chef Miguel Rebolledo, who will take the helm at Bulla Gastrobar’s new Doral location in early 2016, refined his technique and culinary skills working under two of the most renowned Spanish chefs, Jose Andres and Ferran Andria, and Bulla Coral Gables’ chef Diego Solano, participants will enjoy CAVA wine and a cooking demonstration of the beloved national dish of Spain, paella.  Tickets are $65 and reservations are required. Bulla 2500 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134 (305) 441-0107

Saturday January 16th – Burger Beast hosts his 7th Annual “Burgie Awards” honoring South Florida’s best food vendors, restaurants and food trucks. Miami Lakes Auto Mall is bringing the 2016 Burger Beast Burgie Awards back to Magic City Casino on Saturday January 16th from 5-10 pm. After a 2 month long voting period on the Burger Beast Blog which ends on Wednesday January 13th, the 14 Burgie Award Winners will be decided. Those winners will be announced & receive their Awards LIVE at the Burgie Awards. Over 25 different food vendors will be on hand selling to the public a variety of great eats in addition to live music and admission is FREE. Voting is still open and for more info visit http://theburgies.com.

Thursday January 21st – BLT Prime Miami will partner with local home-grown beer makers  M.I.A. Brewing for a five course dinner featuring seasonal beers from the Doral-based brewery and tap room. Miami Herald Food Editor Evan Benn, a national beer writer for Esquire, Beer Advocate and other publications, will serve as host for the event; The evening will get underway at 7 PM on Thursday, January 21. Priced at $75 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity, reservations are required at 305-591-6066. BLT Prime Trump National Doral
4400 NW 87th Ave Miami, FL 33178

Do you like this? Read more awesome restaurant reviews, tips and event listings at MIAbites.com.

Saturday January 23rd– StripSteak by Michael Mina at The Fontainebleau kickoffs off their 2016 Cellar 1954 Wine & Dinner serieswith a decadent five-course menu prepared by StripSteak chef de cuisine Derrick Roberts, complemented by seven different wines from Darioush. Darioush Khaledi and his wife Shahpar founded Darioush in 1997. The Darioush Estate has flourished over time and is now comprised of 120 acres in Southern Napa Valley spanning the Mount Veeder and Oak Knoll American viticultural areas.  Each of the five courses will be paired with a different varietal from the label. Priced at $225 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity, the luxurious evening will begin at 8 p.m.  Strip Steak by Michael Mina 4441 Collins Ave. Miami Beach FL (877) 326 7412

New and Ongoing:

Mignonette– It’s time to go “Big Easy” at Chef Daniel Serfer’s neighborhood oyster bar and seafood haven in Edgewater. Rolling out this week, Mignonette’s menu features six new brunch items; two new sandwiches for lunch; three appetizers; three ‘fancy’ preparations for dinner and four new veggies for the proverbial chalkboard. Southern- influences abound with a Big Easy brunch items like Conch Fritter Benedict with Bahamian conch, poached eggs and sherry-cayenne aioli. NOLA lunch offerings include the addition of the P-Muffuletta. New dinner items include Steak Diane, a classic dish prepared with beautiful cuts of filet mignon served with herbed spaetzle and cognac;  Swordfish is seared to perfection perched atop melty duck confit, wild mushroom fricassee and finished with a marsala pan sauce; Fancy Red Fish takes a cue from Cajun iterations with an Andouille crust, rock shrimp, bomba rice and lobster broth.  Mignonette 210 NE 18th Street, Miami, FL 33132 (305) 374-4635

Quality Meats– Coming up on the one year anniversary of the popular Quality Meats Miami, chef de cuisine Patrick Rebholz has added to the menu a Signature Chicken Parm Pizza, a buzzworthy import from NYC sister restaurant, Quality Italian, and is the star of the new line-up. Intended for two diners at $32 per person, the 14-inch chicken parmesan topped with mozzarella, Parmesan and Pecorino is delivered to diners on a pizza rack, and is sliced tableside. So popular in New York that the restaurant often runs out midway through dinner service, the dish is accompanied with all the requisite pizza toppings including shakers of parmesan, pepper, dried black olives and Calabrian chili honey.  Other new menu items make their way onto the charcuterie board and as new appetizers including two seasonally fresh selections – a snapper ceviche with local strawberries and heirloom tomatoes and yellowfin tuna carpaccio with roasted beets and lemon olive oil.  Among the newest main courses, two new selections are sure to please non-carnivores — juicy lemon-charred chicken, and the Quality Lobster Bake. Quality Meats Miami Beach 1501 Collins Avenue (305) 340 3333

The Filling Station (previously located in Downtown Miami) in Oakland Park is giving guests a reason to celebrate the new year with a lunch deal that’s a savory steal! Through the end of January, locals and visitors can enjoy The Ultimate Great American Bacon Cheeseburger served with a side of their signature tater tots and a draft beer for $11. To cure any hunger pain, the hunk of a meat is dressed with American cheese, candied bacon, buttermilk ranch and homemade chipotle ketchup.  This offer is available daily from 11:30 AM – 4 PM.Additionally, the irresistible bar food paradise will be offering new specials weekly like Trivia Night, or their $1 tacos during happy hour.  The Filling Station 3200 NE 12th Oakland Park. FL (954) 908-5225

Beaker & Gray in Wynwood announces the launch of $5 Happy Hour. Certain to become a go-to destination to wind down after work, Happy Hour at Beaker & Gray features lineup of libations and bites, available Monday through Friday from 5PM-7PM. For night owls, Happy Hour returns with a second round on Monday through Thursday from Midnight-2AM. Drink special include $5 craft cocktails, $5 beer and $ glasses of wine.  $5 bites include: Oaxaca – wax pepper, oregano and tomatillo; Sandwichitos – plantain brioche, pork belly and watermelon rind; Onion Rings – cipollini, pearl and dill; Ricotta – Black Mission fig, Thai basil and Citterio chorizo; and Glass Noodles – green papaya, chayote and Valencia peanut. Beaker & Gray  2637 North Miami Avenue in Wynwood. (305) 699-2637

(Information provided from various sources and subject to change. Please call ahead to confirm details )

The above was produced by MIAbites, one of the leading sources for food news in South Florida. Be sure to visit their website for more great information. 

How Obama (Yes Him) Forever Changed The Way Kids Eat At School

School lunch programs feed more than 31 million public school students each day, giving them the opportunity to impact nutrition on a grand scale. In 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), a bill designated to fund child nutrition programs and free lunch programs for five years. As Americans enter into 2016,… Read More

The Ultimate Guide For Where To Eat And Drink For Christmas And New Year’s in Miami

This piece was originally published by our partner MIAbites.com and is produced by them. 

Miami has always done the holidays right.  Visitors and residents alike have numerous options for dining and entertainment. New Year’s Eve free concerts and fireworks on South Beach, Pitbull hosting fireworks and parties at Bayfront Park, and The Weeknd performing poolside at The Fontainebleau.

So here are our picks for celebrating Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  And we will continue to add updates as necessary to keep you “up to date…up to the last minute of 2015″.

MIAMI BEACH & MIAMI:

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila is excited to celebrate 2016 in style with their New Year’s Eve & One Year Anniversary party starting at 9:30 p.m. As always there will be no cover at the door! Partygoers looking for something a bit more intimate, Bodega is hosting a private VIP reception earlier in the evening from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. with passed her d’oeuvres curated by Chef Bernie Matz. Bodega Taqueria y Tequila 1220 16th Street Miami Beach, FL

Radio Bar is hosting New Year’s Eve where $75 will get you in for an Open Bar from 9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. featuring sounds by Action Jackson. Table reservations are also available: radioevents@meninhospitality.com. Radio Bar 814 First Street Miami Beach, FL 

Red Ginger is celebrating the New Year in style with a 5-course menu and two seatings at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.  Dinner is priced at $180 for the 6:30 p.m. seating and $220 for the 8:30 p.m. seating. As an added bonus, those booking dinner at Red Ginger will also have VIP access to Radio Bar’s New Years Eve celebration that features an open bar from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. Please call 786-433-6876 for reservations. Red Ginger 736 First Street Miami Beach, FL 

Gianni’s at The Villa is excited to announce two over-the-top events to ring in 2016! Visit The Villa, Casa Casuarina- formerly the Versace Mansion- to celebrate in luxury and style. Gianni’s will be serving mouthwatering five-course meals prepared by Executive Chef Thomas Stewart. Guests can choose between two seatings; at 7pm and 10 pm. The second seating raises the bar as the New Year approaches with New Years count down to midnight surrounded by the glittering gold tiles of the Million Mosaic Pool. The New Year’s Eve Party includes a premium open bar from 11 p.m. – 3 a.m. Dinner is priced at $195 per person for the first seating, and $295 per person for the second seating, not including beverages. Dinner guests can access the party for an additional $99. Admission to the party without dinner reservations is $199 per person. Reservations required, please call 786-485-2200. The Villa, Casa Casuarina 1116 Ocean DriveMiami Beach, FL

Prime Fish– Restaurateur, Myles Chefetz is celebrating 2016 at his popular seafood eatery, Prime Fish with a New Year’s Day edition of his famed Nemo brunch. On January 1st guest can enjoy brunch highlights including both an omelet and carving station in addition to legendary classics like Curried Fish Cakes and Duck Confit Hash and lobster omelet, homemade whitefish salad, brioche French toast, and Eggs Benedict. Brunch includes bottomless mimosas, Bellini, Prosecco and Bloody Marys. Brunch Price $49.00 including an entree and select bottomless drinks: Prime Fish 100 Collins Ave Miami Beach, FL 

Do you like this? Read more awesome restaurant reviews, tips and event listings at MIAbites.com.

SLS South Beach– The SoBe hotspot is hosting New Year’s Eve dinners at both Katsuya and The Bazaar by Jose Andres and a performance by world-renowned artist DJ Cedric at HYDE Beach. Celebrity DJ Cedric Gervais helps ring in the New Year  where Hyde Beach will transform into CHATEAU HYDE, reminiscent of the Palace of Versailles for an evening of opulence, dancing, and, of course, champagne!  Tickets start at $150 for General Admission and, if purchased in advance, include Open Bar from 9PM – 12AM in addition to passed dishes from Katsuya, SLS South Beach’s famed Japanese restaurant “with a provocative twist” by Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi from 9PM – 11PM . The SLS South Beach 1701 Collins Ave. Miami Beach, FL

The Bazaar by José Andrés  -The world-renowned restaurant from culinary icon José Andrés, The Bazaar, will afford diners with two exquisite and unforgettable dining options on New Year’s Eve: 13-Course Menu at The Bazaar (Available for 6pm seating) – $125pp (not including gratuity/tax) 16-Course Menu at The Bazaar (Available for 9:30pm seating) – $300pp (not including gratuity/tax). The Bazaar by Jose Andres at the SLS  1701 Collins Ave. Miami Beach FL.

Driftwood Room at Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel, in South Beach invites guests to cheer in the New Year with a special five-course meal. Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and Chef de Cuisine Lucas Marino have created a five-course dinner. For those looking to enjoy dinner before the party, the early seating is from 7pm – 9pm. The late seating will start at 9:30pm and allows guests to sit through the evening. Those wishing to continue the celebration poolside can purchase tickets for an additional $100 per person. Driftwood Room 1825 Collins Ave. Miami Beach FL

Bazi: Miami Beach’s newest dining destination featuring the unforgettably bold cuisine of Chef Michael Pirolo, will be offering a one-night-only New Year’s Eve prix fixe dinner menu along with bubbly specials from 9:30-11PM, following regular dinner service. Guests will be able to enjoy live music while toasting to the New Year with champagne specials by the bottle including Perrier Jouet NV Brut ($90), Henri Giraud Esprit De Giraud Rose ($125), Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois 1999 ($200) and Perrier Jouet Belle Epouque 2012 ($250). Priced at $120 per person and including a champagne toast at midnight. Bazi 1200 Collins Ave. Miami Beach FL.

Macchialina:  the rustic Italian eatery owned by Chef Michael Pirolo and partner/hospitality veteran Jen Chaefsky, will be offering several luxurious additions to their regular dinner menu to ring in the New Year. Known as a must-try for locals, visitors in the know and critics near and far, holiday menu highlights will include whole fish, osso bucco and a complimentary prosecco toast at midnight. Macchialina 820 Alton Rd. Miami Beach, FL. 

Meat Market: Invites locals and visitors alike to come celebrate the New Year in style with special holiday offerings. Diners can enjoy the sounds of live DJ entertainment and choose between three decadent packages featuring four-course dinner menus expertly crafted by Executive Chef Sean Brasel. New Year’s Eve packages include the Early Package – reservation time options between 6PM – 8PM, four-course dinner menu ($150 per person); Second Package – reservations available from 9PM – close, four-course dinner menu with a champagne toast and party favors at midnight to ring in the New Year ($250 per person); and Champagne Bar Package – bottomless champagne by the glass at the bar from 10PM – 1AM ($50 per person). Any additional food and beverage is not included, and a 20% gratuity will be added to all checks. Meat Market 915 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach FL

The Dutch: Located in the W Hotel, The Dutch will offer special menus for guests to enjoy as they celebrate both Christmas and New Year’s. For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, guests are invited to a festive dinner, priced at $45, starting with roasted Muscovy duck and served with a side of pastilla, butternut squash, quinoa, turnips, and spiced jus. There is also a special New Year’s Eve prix fixedinner menu with two seating options, Early Seating from 7PM – 7:45PM ($165 per person) and Late Seating from 8:30PM – 10:30PM ($250 per person); prices do not include tax and gratuity. The Dutch in the W Hotel 2201 Collins Ave. Miami Beach FL

Quattro Gastronomia Italiana: will offer its signature white truffle menu to guests looking to dine this Christmas and New Year’s holiday, in addition to the regular lunch and dinner menus. Diners can enjoy seasonal flavors of Quattro’s truffle-infused dishes. Quattro 1014 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. 

Thompson Miami Beach: Just in time for the holidays, guests can celebrate Christmas at TALDE Miami Beach, Chef/Restaurateur Dale Talde’s newest culinary venture located within the glamorous Thompson Miami Beach Hotel. Known for its inventive yet approachable Asian-American fare, diners are invited to treat themselves to a delicious $75 (excluding tax and service charge) holiday special on Christmas Eve and Christmas DayThe Thompson 4041 Collins Ave. Miami Beach, FL 

Also found within The Thompson is Chef Michelle Bernstein’s  Seagrape,featuring unique Florida-inspired fare in a chic, retro dining room space. The restaurant will be offering a special prix-fixe, family style Christmas dinner for $75 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) on December 25th, to celebrate Christmas.

Quality Meats Miami Beach: One of 2015’s hottest new restaurants, Quality Meats will be open from 4PM to midnight on Christmas Day. In addition to its regular a la carte dinner menu, special holiday items will be available. Quality Meats 1501 Collins Avenue Miami Beach FL. 

The Traymore Restaurant and Bar at Metropolitan by COMOpresents especially developed menus for the festive period, as part of this year’s Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve celebration. The Traymore Restaurant and Bar will offer the Christmas Eve menu priced at $75 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). The Traymore Restaurant and Bar will ring-in the New Year on Thursday, December 31st with two special menus for two seatings – the first at 6:00pm priced at $110 and the second at 9:00pm for $190.  Both seating include a Glass of Pommery Apanage Champagne.  The Traymore 2445 Collins Ave. Miami Beach FL

KLIMA The New Year’s Eve Menu at KLIMA Restaurant and Bar will be available on Thursday, December 31st, between 6:00 pm and 12:30 am at a price of $375 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) for a five-course pre-fixe dinner menu that includes a bottle of Roederer Cristal Champagne per couple.  A special selection of wines by the bottle or by the glass will also be available at the regular menu price. KLIMA 210 23rd St ( @Collins Ave) Miami Beach FL.

SUSHISAMBA MIAMI BEACH– Holiday Hog- Priced at $169 per group (5 person max) the menu includes:Whole Roasted Suckling Pig carved and served tableside. Following your meal, enjoy your choice of two of our signature desserts served family style!  Add a Magnum bottle of Dewatsuru Kimoto Junmai Sake and unlimited Cusqueña beer at $150 per group (tax and gratuity additional). SUSHISAMBA 600 Lincoln Rd Miami Beach FL

The Miami Beach EDITION announces its delicious New Year’s Eveofferings available at Jean Georges’ Market and Matador Room. Hotel guests and visitors alike are invited to ring in the new year in style, with customized menus in two distinct venues. The Matador Room will feature a customized menu presented by Executive Chef Jeremy Ford, guests can savor the New Year with two seatings at a prix-fixe of $295 per person. Market At EDITION will feature its own take on a New Year’s Eve pre-fixe menu, priced at $100 per person. EDITION 2901 Collins Ave. Miami Beach FL

Fontainebleau Miami Beach has many delicious options for holiday dining on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. Exclusive seasonal menus are available at award-winning restaurants including Michael Mina 74, StripSteak by Michael Mina, Scarpetta, and  Hakkasan. And specific prix fix menus ranging from $150 to $295 pp are available for each restaurant at Fontainebleau For more information, visit fontainebleau.com/holidays. For Christmas and Christmas Eve reservations, call 877.326.7412. For New Year’s Eve reservations, email NYEdining@fontainebleau.com or call 305.695.2414. The Fontainebleau 4441 Collins Ave. Miami Beach FL

Izzy’s Fish & Oyster celebrates Christmas Eve Dinner, “The Feast of the Seven Fishes ”  It seems the only time “fishes” is an acceptable word is on Christmas Eve, when Italians honor the tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, or as they say in the old country, “Esta dei Sette Pesci.” . $85 pp and $150 per couple. And on New Year’s Eve
Izzy’s celebrates it’s  First Annual New Year’s Eve with Pierre-Jouet “Caviar & Dreams”
Oysters & Caviar $125 per person Izzy’s 423 Washington Ave.  Miami Beach FL.

LA MAR by Gaston Acurio at Mandarin Oriental– Christmas Eve-Parties of four or more can enjoy a family sharing Peruvian meal at La Mar, featuring treasured holiday recipes from our chefs’ families. Dishes include: $70 per person $35 per child ages 6-12,  complimentary under Christmas Day-Enjoy a spectacular Peruvian brunch at La Mar by Gastón Acurio with gourmet brunch items as well as choices of specialty dishes.$85 per adult includes champagne and unlimited brunch cocktails; $120 per adult Includes premium entrées, including unlimited Charles Heidsieck champagne. Mandarin Oriental 500 Brickell Key Drive Miami FL.

WYNWOOD/MIDTOWN/DESIGN DISTRICT/MIMO:

Alter- Miami’s hot new restaurant celebrate it’s first New Year’s Eve with two seatings. A special 5 Course Prix-Fixe Menu Early Seating $125 7:00pm Includes a Billecart Salmon Brut Rose NV Champagne flute per person and a 7 Course Prix- Fixe Menu Late Seating $250 per person 9:30pm Includes a bottle of Billecart Salmon Brut Rose NV Champagne per couple. Alter 223 NW 23rd St. in Wynwood. Miami FL

Beaker & Gray: Wynwood’s newly opened hotspot will be offering a one-night-only New Year’s Eve prix fixe dinner menu along with a bubbly toast featuring the guest’s choice of champagne or cocktail. Priced at $85 per person, diners are invited to celebrate the holiday with a five-course feast. Dinner is served nightly and is open late for cocktails. Beaker & Gray 2637 North Miami Avenue in Wynwood. Miami FL

SUGARCANE raw bar grill -SUGARCANE in Midtown will celebrate the holidays with festive a la carte specials (priced between $10-$34) in addition to their signature all day menu.  Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill 3252 NE 1st Ave, Miami, FL 

Vagabond Restaurant & Bar– Open both for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, in addition to the regular menu, special a la options including whole roasted duck and dry aged Rib-Eye will be featured at the hip mid Century restaurant on Biscayne.  The Vagabond 7301 Biscayne Blvd. Miami FL 

CORAL GABLES

Uvaggio Wine Bar & Restaurant – The wine themed landmark, will toast New Year’s Eve with an oasis of timeless culinary essences combined with the finest wines. Beginning at 7 PM, guests and gourmands will enjoy a unique and innovative 5-course dinner prepared by head Chef Tanner Gil. Throughout the evening, wines from the small produced vineyard Foxen Winery will be poured by founder Dick Doré and his wife Jenny.  Head Wine-O of Uvaggio, Heath Porter will be developing pairings enhancing each dish to elevate the evening.Tickets cost $150 per person and can be purchased directly here.  For more information visit www.UvaggioWine.com or call 305-448-2400. Uvaggio 70 Miracle Mile. Coral Gables, FL

SUSHISAMBA CORAL GABLES-On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,SUSHISAMBA Coral Gables will feature fusion delights (priced between $13-$32). New Year’s details TBD. SUSHISAMBA 180 Aragon Ave. Coral Gables FL

BULLA Gastrobar– On Christmas Eve, Bulla will be open for lunch and dinner offering their regular menu. New Year’s details TBD. Bulla 2500 Ponce De Leon Blvd. Coral Gables FL 

( Information provided by numerous sources and subject to change. Please call ahead to confirm prices and details and make sure you make reservations. )

Wishing you a very Happy Holiday and all the best in the New Year! 

The above was produced by MIAbites, one of the leading sources for food news in South Florida. Be sure to visit their website for more great information. 

Cover Photo Credit: b k/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Here’s Some Of The Best Holiday Gift Ideas For Miamians This Year

This piece was originally published by our partner MIAbites.com and is produced by them. 

Thanksgiving was late this year, Hanukkah started this past Sunday, and Christmas is just a couple more weeks away. 

No matter who is on your shopping list…which seems to grow longer and longer with each passing year, these items suggested by ourMIAbites contributors are sure to please.  We have compiled a list of favorite items both from local purveyors and if you prefer avoiding the crowds and shopping online.

Brandon Chase- @thebowtiebarrister

I think with all the hoopla of barrel-aged cocktails, gifting a 1L (or larger) Custom Oak Barrel would be awesome.  That way people can tinker with their own barrel-aged recipes at home.

The New York Times has a Personalized Oak Whiskey Barrel that ranges from $89.95 for 2 liters to $119.95 for 5 liters. Order at www.nytstore.com

Also, with the craft beer explosion in Florida, most breweries permit you to go to their brewery and fill up your own growler.  Wynwood Brewing Company offers a Growler Hour daily from 12-1pm, and Funky Buddhacurrently has no less than ten growlers for Tuesday fills in both 32 and 64 oz sizes.  A lot of online stores are now creating the 32 oz. containers for the beer advocate and they are pretty neat (and green!).

Melissa Ginsberg- @TheFoodieTeach

I like gifts for the holidays like magazine subscriptions or monthly gift box deliveries because the recipient continues to receive something even after the holidays are over! Also they’re easy to purchase and you don’t need to brave the holiday rush at the stores.  Here are a few that are great:

•   For men who like to cook: Mantry–monthly artisanal gift box specifically curated for the male cook/gourmand. www.mantry.com

•   For cocktail lovers: Imbibe Magazine subscription. www.imbibemagazine.com

•   For the coffee aficionadoDrift Away coffee subscriptionwww.driftaway.coffee

•   Other Magazines include:  Gastronomica, Lucky Peach, Sugar & Rice

Mandy Baca – @mandybaca

Do you like this? Read more awesome restaurant reviews, tips and event listings at MIAbites.com.

Shop LOCAL

Bypass the big box stores and shop all your foodie gifts at Flavorish Market. Haven’t been? Well, you’re missing out. It’s a delightful little store in the burgeoning MiMo District loaded with wine, craft beer, tea, cured meats, cheeses, and the like.  www. flavorishmarket.com

Also make a stop to Aragon 101 in Coral Gables for lots of food related gift items and cooking classes.

Wok Star ( aka Eleanor Hoh ) is also offering her popular hands on Asian cooking classes at cool venues like ALNO kitchen showroom in Design District and ZONIN 1821 penthouse. Use XMAS as code for MIAbites 30% off discount just thru 12/20 thru this link  http://eleanorhoh.com/class-gift-certificates/

A little whimsical

Add some whimsy to your everyday wear, even if you’re the only one that knows you’re wearing it. From Macaroon printed ankle socks to ice cream cone and donut stud earrings, NYLON Shop is your go-to for all the kitschy, yet irresistible stocking stuffers. http://shop.nylon.com/products/macaroon-socks.

Etsy can be a time warp. 3 hours later, and you don’t know what the heck happened. We’ll save you some time. Check out The Vintage Cookbook Maven. The online store has a fantastic collection of vintage cookbooks for everybody on your list. https://www.etsy.com/shop/cookbookmaven

Sweets are always sweet

If you don’t have the creative bug or just pressed for time, opt for The Mason Cookie Jar Company. Choose from either a glass jar or plastic pouch, ingredients will come artfully layered so the recipient can make their own cookies. The best part of this is that your gift won’t be stale by the time it arrives. Choose from their menu of cookie mixes or create your own.  http://masonjarcookiecompany.com/

Care for some tea?

Lemon City Teas is a local tea company making their way about town.  You can currently find their teas at Oak Tavern, Andiamo, and Uvaggio. Varieties include Oolong Old Fashioned (90% oxidized competition grade oolong tea), Granada Green (organic green tea, pomegranate essence, organic raspberries and rosenips), and San-Té-Ria (premium whole leaf nilgiri tea blended with yunnan golden buds).  http://www.lemoncitytea.com/

Craving artisan chocolates or need a hostess gift?

Cacao Art Miami offers locally made artisanal chocolates made on site from the finest Venezuelan cocoa. You can order online wonderfully packaged gift boxes or visit their shop at 7165 SW 47th st. 

Deanna Dominguez- MIAbites Contributor

Sometimes shopping online for the foodie in your life is easier that braving the traffic and crowds. Racked.com just posted  a link to www.mouth.com Tasty Gifts for Everyone on Your List.  Pre-packaged kits are designed to be the favorite gift.  Top choices include Bacon Me Crazy, Marc Murphy Chef Kit, The Holiday Chef and The Spiked Tailgate.

Jen Massolo- @liquidprojects 

Gift basket items:  Put together your own gift basket by visiting a local Williams Sonoma, or ordering items online at   www.williamssonoma.com

Always good smoked paprika, sauces, oils, rubs and kitchen tools like olive wooden spoons, fish spatulas small and large, flat cheese slicers and spreading knives.

Some artisan spirits to look for this season are: St. George Spiced Pear liqueur and Palm Ridge Whiskey from Florida or Miami Club Rum.

Allison Riley- @YallTasteThis

The best gift for a foodie is ALWAYS a donation to a local food bank.  Local non-profits to support include, Feeding South FloridaFood PantriesNo Kid Hungry and  Common Threads Most people who can afford to be “foodies” are more than capable of buying their own gadgets and gizmos, but if you must include a small gift for someone to unwrap with that donation card, I recommend local South Florida gifts, such as preserves and hot sauces from Robert is Herea growler from The Funky Buddha, or a key lime rum cake from The Rum Cake Factory.

Ellen Bowen- Managing Director MIAbites

Hot Stuff

Turn heads while working off those holiday pounds or just show how HOT you like your coffee with Sriracha Hot sauce items from Amazon.com.  Choose from water bottles, t-shirts, leggings, socks and coffee cups.

Other items on Amazon include Mimi Sheraton’s “1000 Foods to Eat before you Die” , and many top cookbooks and other foodie items.

Stay Calm and Eat Bacon

Bacon gifts that sizzle with humor…Iphone cases, t shirts, ties, aprons, clocks, luggage tags, wrapping paper…and on and on! 169 pages online at Zazzle.com of Bacon Gifts!

I also liked the Bacon Flip Flops from CafePress.com and a must for walking on those hot beaches!. Or grab a Bacon Scented Candle from Yankee Candlefor a smelly $27.99.

Uncommongoods.com has also always been my “go to” catalog for fun but functional, good quality gift items and this year my faves include Foodie Dice, a set of wooden dice that challenge even the most creative cook by offering over 186, 000 combinations of proteins, spices, cooking methods and bonus ingredients, aBox of Chocolate Soaps AND for the kid in you (or for kids in your life ) the Mr. Food Face Plate which allows you to customize the face using your food. Reminds me of that Wooly Willy magnetic face toy invented in 1955!

DinnerLab, the New Orleans based popup dinner party now in multiple cities, is offering a Gift Card program for events or membership.  They host frequent events in Miami, but also all over the country if you want to gift a foodie in another city! Gift Link is here.

Everett Rashotsky- @ErGagit

My wife, Londa, makes beautiful beaded jewelry pieces that are inspired by food.  With names like Fresh Mint, Cinnamon Dots and Coconut Crème Bruleethey are colorful and a perfect gift for the foodie in your life.  Each is individually hand made with a variety of vintage 50 year old glass beads and are priced from $105- 120.  http://foodiebracelets.com/

And of course, gift cards to favorite restaurants are always great gifts…or stocking stuffers, especially if you get to go with the recipient!

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

The above was produced by MIAbites, one of the leading sources for food news in South Florida. Be sure to visit their website for more great information. 

Cover Photo Credit: Edgar Zuniga Jr./ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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