Tag Archives: Miami

The Setai Miami Launches Theme Nights

There’s a new reason to head to the super chic Setai on South Beach.  As part of the summer-long celebration of the hotel’s fifth anniversary, The Restaurant at The Setai is introducing a series of theme nights to transport diners to exotic parts of the world.

On Wednesdays beginning August 4th is Flavors of India.  From 7pm to 11pm The Restaurant will feature an authentic four-course Indian tasting menu, with a choice of three dishes per course.  The meal will conclude with a glass of homemade chai tea and petit fours.  Every other month an internationally renowned Indian chef will host the evening and create special dishes.  On August 11th the host chef will be Suvir Saran from Devi in New York City.
The Flavors of India menu is priced at $60 per person, excluding tax and gratuity.

On Thursdays beginning August 5th is Thursday Night Jazz.  Local and national jazz musicians and vocalists will perform under the stars at The Bar & Courtyard.  The live music will be paired with Taittinger Champagne by the glass and bottle, as well as a signature summer cocktail menu.  Kicking off the jazz series on August 5th is chanteuse Stephanie Jordan.  Live music begins at 7pm.

On Fridays beginning August 13th is Dim Sum and Champagne Fridays.  From 7pm to midnight The Restaurant will offer eight plates of signature Dim Sum and new refined additions.  Just as with Flavors of India, every other month a Dim Sum master will host and create specialty dishes.
The menu is $75 per person excluding tax and gratuity, with the option to choose an extended Chef’s Tasting Menu and wine pairings.

Already going on now on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays is Balinese Hour.  From 6:30pm to 8:30pm guests can enjoy the relaxed elegance of The Bar & Courtyard while listening to the enchanting sound of Balinese Gamelan performers.  A special summer cocktail menu featuring Asian-inspired creations is available, and chefs grill complimentary satay.

The Setai is also offering special anniversary rates on suites along with complimentary signature breakfast for hotel guests.

Click here for more information on The Setai’s fifth anniversary theme nights and special rates.

The Setai is located at 2001 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.  Dinner is served nightly, from 7pm to 11pm Sunday through Thursday and 7pm to midnight Friday and Saturday.  Reduced valet parking is available for diners.  Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling (305) 520-6400 or emailing setaidining@ghmamericas.com.

photo from The Setai’s website

A Musical Safari at Ultra

“Ultra is like going on safari.”

An interesting and accurate observation from will.i.am, who I got to chat with after his Friday night performance at the two day music festival in downtown Miami.

As will.i.am explained to me, on a safari you’re not sure where you’re going or what kind of animals you’re going to see.  It’s similar to Ultra Music Festival, where you’re not exactly sure what you’re going to hear or where the music is going to take you.  The DJs are in charge, controlling and channeling the emotions and energy of the crowd.

It’s something unique to electronic music.  As will.i.am put it, this doesn’t happen in pop music or in rap music because people go to those concerts to hear songs they know.  But with electronic music people come with an open mind and let the DJs be their tour guides.

will.i.am’s thoughtful analogy got me thinking.  While the DJs may be the tour guides on the safari, it’s the crowds of people that can be fun to watch.  Electronic music brings together people from all over the world, with different cultures, incomes, ages and styles of dress.  At Ultra I saw clothes ranging from polo shirts and baseball hats to goth garb and rave gear.  It’s an eclectic group that’s welcoming to everyone.  No one is there to judge — they’re just there to listen to DJs, dance and have a great time.

Certainly it’s this electricity of the crowds that made will.i.am want to return to Ultra after last year’s performance with the Black Eyed Peas.  And this year’s crowd was bigger than ever.  For the first time ever both Friday and Saturday were sold out, with about 100,000 people attending over the two days.

From the pumping bass that leaves your ears ringing, to the bright lights that flash and change colors, Ultra is sensory overload.  This year there were more than 200 DJs performing on 16 stages, which made for some tough decisions.  Too often I wanted to see two or more different artists who happened to be scheduled at the same time on different stages.

I knew I couldn’t miss Kaskade, whose song “I Remember” I love for its light and bouncy, almost ethereal sound (he included it in his high energy set).  From there I ran to the Main Stage to catch David Guetta, then The Crystal Method at the Bayfront Live Stage, then Carl Cox at the Carl Cox & Friends Arena, finally capping off the aural smorgasbord back at the Main Stage with Tiësto, who demonstrated why he’s one of the top DJs in the world.

On Saturday I really enjoyed longtime favorites Sasha & John Digweed, as well as Armin van Buuren who seemed to have a big smile on his face the entire set.  I also spent a lot of time in the UMF Brazil Arena which took over the space of last year’s Drum and Bass tent.  Their Saturday night lineup was hard to beat: Above & Beyond, then ATB, then Paul Oakenfold.

Because I was dancing all day and night I didn’t feel so bad about indulging on several not so healthy foods at the international food pavilion.  From fish and chips to burgers, pizza to arepas, gyros to shish kabobs, there was an impressive selection.  I went for the turkey legs, which were the biggest ones I’ve ever seen (and quite tasty too).

Of course I was most excited for Saturday night’s headliner, deadmau5.  It’s been neat to watch the Canadian DJ and producer’s popularity grow over the last few years.  I remember watching him at Ultra 2008 and wondering how his name was pronounced (it’s dead mouse).  Back then he performed on a small side stage, with a much more simple mouse head.  Last year his set was one of my favorite performances from Ultra 2009.  Since then it seems like all the songs he’s produced have been huge hits.  They’ve certainly been in heavy rotation on my iPod, especially “Ghosts n Stuff.”

deadmau5 got the audience revved up right away, with many fans waving their own mouse heads.  He premiered a few new songs during his set.  For one as of yet unnamed song he was joined by Tommy Lee.  I had suspected the Mötley Crüe drummer might make a surprise appearance when I saw the two hanging out a day earlier at the Belvedere Vodka Music Lounge.

The crowd went crazy when deadmau5 played the first few notes of “Ghosts N Stuff.”  It was a definite fan favorite, and I joined the tens of thousands in cheering.  deadmau5 worked the energy of the crowd all the way until the end of his set, when he (appropriately enough) played the death sound effect from “Super Mario Brothers.”

Game on for Ultra 2011.

Click here to see more photos from Ultra Music Festival 2010

Inside WMC: Belvedere Music Lounge

During the 2010 Winter Music Conference I hopped between parties on South Beach, danced in the sand at Nikki Beach and listened to some of the best DJs in the electronic music scene at Ultra.  Out of all these my favorite experience was hanging out at the Belvedere Vodka Music Lounge.

Belvedere Music LoungeHosted by SIRIUS XM Radio and held outside at the posh W Hotel, the music lounge featured an impressive array of DJs whose performances and interviews were broadcast live on Area (SIRIUS channel 38 and XM channel 80).

It wasn’t just hanging out at a swanky spot near the Belvedere Music Loungeocean and sipping Belvedere cocktails that made the experience.  It was getting to be just steps away from some of the biggest DJs in the world.

I couldn’t help but feel starstruck — there I was, watching DJs whom I’ve listened to for years perform right in front of me.  Even with the music blasting from the speakers the lounge felt so intimate.  It was like a secret club for VIPs that I had been allowed to enter.

When I walked into the Belvedere Music Lounge I saw on stage a man with dirty blond hair and a red shirt.  I got a little bit closer and realized it was Ferry Corsten!  The Dutch DJ is currently ranked number 7 in DJ Magazine‘s list of the Top 100 DJs.

Ferry CorstenAs I walked even closer to the stage Ferry looked up at me.  I smiled and gave him a small wave; he flashed a smile right back at me.  I looked around at the dozen or so other guests in amazement, feeling absolutely thrilled that I was part of this special experience.  Here was a guy who plays for tens of thousands of people on a regular basis — and right then it felt like he was playing just for me.

As Ferry was winding down, a man with black hair and sunglasses got on stage to start setting up for his own set.  He was soon joined by another guy wearing a white t-shirt that said “Fix News” in a style similar to Fox News’ logo.

The Crystal MethodWere my eyes playing tricks on me?  I looked again.  Yes, I was seeing things correctly.  There, less than 10 feet in front of me were Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland of The Crystal Method.

On the tiny stage without any flashing lights or smoke machines, the two looked like normal guys rocking out to the music and having lots of fun.  It was so neat to see them in this small and casual setting; and such a different feeling than their performance later that evening for thousands of fans at Ultra.  Click here for a photo of The Crystal Method at Ultra

deadmau5 & Tommy LeeAll of a sudden I saw a flash of tattoos breeze by me, headed for the stage.  I recognized Tommy Lee (of Mötley Crüe and Pamela Anderson fame) right away, and then checked out who he came in with.  It turned out to be none other than Joel Zimmerman aka deadmau5, my current favorite DJ.  Surrounded by a small entourage they said hi to the guys from The Crystal Method, posed for some pictures, then headed off to an interview for SIRIUS XM Radio.

Had I been able to spend more time at the Belvedere Music Lounge I would have seen deadmau5 perform, as well as numerous other DJs who played for massive crowds at Ultra and other events throughout the WMC.  As I was leaving the lounge I felt like kicking myself for committing to too many other events.

Note to self for WMC 2011: make sure to clear plenty of time to hang out at the Belvedere Music Lounge.  The experience of listening to world famous DJs up close is not to be missed.

Snapshots from Ultra Music Festival 2010

More than 200 DJs and a sold out crowd of about 100,000 people helped make the 2010 Ultra Music Festival the biggest and best yet.

The 12th edition of the festival rocked Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami with Tiësto headlining on Friday night and Deadmau5 on Saturday night.  Performing on 16 stages over the two days were internationally renowned DJs and artists including David Guetta, The Crystal Method, Kaskade, Paul Oakenfold and Armin van Buuren.

Here are some snapshots from Ultra 2010.  Click on photos to enlarge. 

Click here to see why will.i.am compares Ultra to going on a safari

Ultra

Ultra

Root Society Dome

Boyz Noise vs. Erol Alkan

crowds at Ultra

Ultra main stage

Carl Cox & Friends Arena

Carl Cox

Kaskade

Kaskade

UltraUltra

Armin van Buuren

The Crystal Method

The Crystal Method

ATB

Deadmau5

Deadmau5

behind the stage during Deadmau5

Snapshots from the Winter Music Conference

The Winter Music Conference is the ultimate destination for DJs and fans of electronic music.

Established in 1985, WMC is the largest music industry gathering of its kind in the world.  This year clubs throughout downtown Miami and Miami Beach will host nearly two thousand DJs and artists.  The lineup is a veritable who’s who in the electronic music scene, with superstar DJs like Paul van Dyk, David Guetta, Tiësto and Deadmau5 set to perform.

Nikki BeachThe action kicked off Wednesday night at Nikki Beach with the annual Welcome to Miami party.  It featured more than 50 DJs and performers on two stages, including Timo Maas, Audiofly, DJ Rap, Tom Novy and a special DJ set by Lil Jon.  The first DJ took the stage at noon and the music didn’t end until 5 in the morning.  Both the Nikki Beachdownstairs and upstairs of Nikki Beach were packed with people dancing and cheering on the DJs.

One of the biggest events during WMC is Ultra Music Festival, taking place Friday and Saturday at Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami.  Over the two days more than 200 DJs will perform on 16 stages for more than 100,000 people.  You can be sure the Amateur Gastronomer will be there!  Click here to read about last year’s Ultra Music Festival.

For updates from the Winter Music Conference and Ultra Music Festival follow @amgastronomer on Twitter.

Nikki Beach

Photos from the Welcome to Miami party at Nikki Beach.  Click to enlarge.

Nikki Beach

Nikki Beach

FIU Students Help Make Wine & Food Festival a Success

Miami Beach is getting ready to stage its biggest annual food and wine event: the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival.  Now in its 9th year, the four-day extravaganza will star world renowned chefs and culinary celebrities like Daniel Boulud, Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, Paula Deen, Masaharu Morimoto, Anthony Bourdain and more.

Like any successful production, it’s essential to have a strong supporting cast.  Working behind the scenes ahead of the festival and throughout the weekend will be more than 800 students from Florida International University’s School of Hospitality.

The festival gives the students invaluable hands-on experience that will help them in their careers, whether it is as a chef or a manager of a restaurant, hotel or cruise ship.  The massive student effort is coordinated by chef-instructor Michael Moran who teaches a course in quantity food production as well as a popular class where students run a restaurant that is open to the public.

The students’ work starts well before the festival kicks off on February 25th.  Early next week the students will leave FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami for the Miami Beach convention center to get ready for the Perrier-Jouët BubbleQ on Friday night.  In the convention center’s commercial kitchens the students will spend approximately 3,500 man hours preparing food for the more than 3,000 people attending the extravagant barbecue and Champagne party on the beach.

It’s quite a feat to put on the feast.  For last year’s BubbleQ the students prepared 1,800 pounds of pork, 1,500 pounds of beef, 1,000 pounds of chicken, 1,200 pounds of fish and 800 pounds of cabbage, as well as several hundred pounds of potato salad, coleslaw and other side dishes.  That’s more than 22,000 portions of food, enough to sate any cowboy’s appetite.

The students’ work isn’t finished once the food is packed onto refrigerated trucks and delivered to the Delano hotel, the site of BubbleQ.  At the event the students will assist professional chefs from around the country including Emeril Lagasse, Michelle Bernstein, Tim Love and John Besh as they cook and serve their mouthwatering dishes.

In addition to BubbleQ, the students will work throughout the festival weekend in a variety of key capacities, including ticket sales and greeting guests at seminars and events.  They’ll also be participating in the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village, serving up a taste of their hard work.

Besides the important real-world experience for students and the chance to network with chefs and people in the food and beverage industry, the festival serves as a fundraiser for the School of Hospitality.  Last year almost $2 million was raised for the teaching restaurant program, which went towards student scholarships and enhancing the faculty and teaching facilities.

As you’re enjoying the delicious food next weekend, take time out to think about who helped prepare it.  After all, you could be tasting a dish from one of the next big culinary stars!

The 2010 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival will be held February 25th through 28th.  For more information visit sobefest.comClick here to learn more about FIU’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Prelude by Barton G: Delicious Dining in Three Acts

Haven’t seen the new Barton G. restaurant on Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami?  It’s tucked away inside the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.  But don’t wait until you have tickets to a show — dining at Prelude by Barton G. is an experience that is much more than an opening act.

PreludePrelude achieves the harmony that you look for in a restaurant.  There’s delicious food, a great wine list and with three courses for $39, it’s a great value.  Combine these with the chic and soothing decor (you’ll be mesmerized by the images of large jellyfish floating across flat screen TVs), and you’ll want to dine at Prelude often.

PreludePrelude is a rarity in Miami — it’s easier to get a table after 8pm than it is to dine earlier.  As it caters to the pre and post-theater crowd, Prelude gets busy around 6pm and again after 10pm.  If you’re seeing a show book your reservation right away since the restaurant will get sold out before the theater will.  And thanks to the prepaid reservations, you won’t be stuck waiting for the check when the curtain is about to go up.  Even if you’re not dining on a deadline, attentive servers keep the meal moving along efficiently.

Downtowners will want to make Prelude their new wine bar.  From Champagne to sweet and fortified wines, there are nearly 100 wines to choose from.  Best of all, every single one is available by the glass.  You can even order a tasting size or a half glass.  If you do decide to order a bottle you’ll be glad to know Prelude’s prices are lower than most other Miami restaurants.  I enjoyed a lush and complex 2005 Bordeaux for $48 a bottle.  If the wine list is a bit intimidating, just take a look at the dinner menu.  Each dish has a suggested wine pairing.

Prelude offers a three-course prix fixe menu (two courses for brunch and lunch).  If you’re not in the mood for the standard appetizer, entree and dessert you have the option of choosing any three menu items (two menu items for brunch/lunch).  If you would rather order à la carte, be sure to arrive after 8pm.

beef carpaccioFor an appetizer I recommend the Beef Carpaccio, which is sprinkled with a shallot-infused olive oil and served with coarse salt, pepper and horseradish mustard on the side so you can season it however you’d like.  Pleasing to both the palate and the eye is the Tuna and Roasted Beet Salad.  Red and yellow beets Tuna and Roasted Beet Saladare arranged to look like a checkerboard, and the tuna is topped with a sweet and spicy mix of ginger syrup and jalapeño emulsion.

For an entree I couldn’t get enough of the Duck Confit.  It’s moist and tender and served on a savory bed of braised green lentils.  Fish fans will want to try the Seared Red Snapper, which is topped with a lemon caper butter sauce and served with eggplant, zucchini, fennel and squash.  Our server raved about the Goat Cheese Tortellini, house-made and filled with chèvre, red onion and chives, topped with a red pepper cream, roasted red pepper strips and asparagus tips.

Cookies and CreamBe sure to save room for dessert — the appetizer and entree portions are fairly big but the desserts are huge.  And they’re so rich and delicious that you won’t want to stop eating though you’ll likely have to.  I loved the PB&J, which is a big scoop of grape jelly gelato between two peanut butter mousse pyramids that are topped with macadamia praline glaze and chocolate ganache.  Just as good, if not better, was the Cookies and Cream, a chocolate chip cookie bar topped with mini marshmallows, caramel, brownie pieces and glazed pecans, served with a house-made crème fraiche ice cream pop.  Just thinking about how tasty these were makes my mouth water!  I’m looking forward to my next visit to Prelude so I can try the Crazy for Chocolate, a triple chocolate cupcake with a chocolate buttercream and truffle filling, covered in chocolate ganache and topped with a cherry.

As a downtown resident, I’m thrilled to have Prelude within walking distance of my home.  It’s my new go-to place for an enjoyable multi-course meal or a nice glass of wine.  Really the only thing I can complain about is that Prelude isn’t on Open Table, which would make it easier to check the table availability between 8pm and 10pm.

Don’t let its location fool you.  Prelude by Barton G. is definitely worth a trip even if you’re not seeing a performance.  It actually may be better if you don’t have tickets — that way you won’t be tempted to miss the first act.

Prelude by Barton G. is located on the second floor of the Ziff Ballet Opera House in downtown Miami’s Arts and Entertainment District.  Lunch and brunch are offered from 11am to 2pm on matinee performance days; the dinner and bar menu is offered from 5pm to late on Tuesday through Sunday.

Reservations can be made by visiting arshtcenter.org/prelude or calling 305-357-7900.  For more information visit preludebybartong.com.

Naoe: A Unique Dining Experience

Let’s make a deal.  I’ll tell you about one of the most unique and memorable dining experiences I’ve had in Miami but you’ll have to promise not to tell too many others.  After all, I want to still be able to get a reservation there!

The place: NAOE in Sunny Isles Beach.

My husband and I dined there two weeks ago and we’re still talking about what a great meal we had.  There is only room for 17 diners at a time so the experience is truly intimate and special.

NAOE (pronounced na-o-é), is a Japanese “omakase” restaurant, meaning the selection of the food is up to the chef.

You’re in capable hands.  Chef Kevin Cory is an experienced sushi chef and trained with Japanese chefs in Japan and the United States.  He uses only the freshest ingredients available and executes each dish to perfection.  Wendy, the friendly hostess and sole server, treats each diner like a new friend.

The meal starts with the chef’s choice bento box ($26).  When you finish you can continue with as many rounds of sushi as you would like.  Each piece of sushi costs between $2 and $8 and you get two pieces per round.

The only menu is the drinks menu, which features sake from Nakamura Brewery, Chef Cory’s family’s brewery in Ishikawa, Japan.

We ordered a bottle of the Nichiei “Glory of the Sun” Ginjyo ($68 for a 720ml bottle).  Silky smooth with green apple and floral notes, it was one of the best sakes I’ve drank in recent memory.

After watching Chef Cory assembling the bento boxes behind the bar, I couldn’t wait to see what they contained.

The bento box was divided into four sections and came with soup, which for us was a terrific pumpkin miso soup.

I can’t recall Wendy’s description of everything in the bento box but it all was delicious.  Like the decor of the restaurant, the presentation of the food was relatively simple.  No embellishment needed — the flavors speak for themselves.

On the top left there was a creamy and savory custard-like dish served in a mini pumpkin.  On the top right was delicately seasoned fish (perhaps mackerel?), and a juicy whelk, which I was thrilled to eat because I haven’t yet found a restaurant in the U.S. that serves these tasty mollusks.

There was more fish in the lower right section including monkfish liver, described by Wendy as “foie gras of the sea.”  It was delightfully thick and soft with a slightly salty and nutty flavor.  The sardine rice on the lower left side was perfect for cleansing the palate between bites.

Thrilled by the bento box, I couldn’t wait to try the sushi.  First up: salmon belly.

As Wendy placed the salmon sushi on our table I noticed what she didn’t give us — soy sauce and wasabi.  Chef Cory had already brushed soy sauce on the sushi and placed a touch of fresh wasabi on the rice.  Both were unlike what you normally get at sushi restaurants.  The soy sauce came from Chef Cory’s family’s shoyu brewery in Japan, also named Naoe.  The wasabi was real, not made from powder.  With each piece of sushi Chef Cory finely grated the root to create the familiar green stuff.

Wendy instructed us that the best way to enjoy the sushi was to pick it up with our hands, using a hot towel to clean our fingers between bites.  Though hesitant at first to give up my chopsticks, I found I enjoyed this approach as a way to get closer to the food.

But back to the salmon.  Taking a bite of it was like discovering how sushi is supposed to taste.  It was the most creamy and flavorful piece of salmon I’ve ever eaten, and pretty much ruined me for most other sushi restaurants.  Thank goodness I had a second piece to enjoy!  Though I could have easily gone for another round of salmon I was excited to see what Chef Cory would prepare for us next.

With each round of sushi we became even more enamored with NAOE.  The shira ebi (baby white shrimp) looked like it had been braided together over the rice.  It was soft and almost gelatinous in texture, with a delicate salty flavor.  The unagi (eel) was moist and tender, in a sweet sauce made by Chef Cory.

The sushi courses came to a close with one of my favorites, uni (sea urchin).  As with everything else at NAOE, the uni was exceptionally fresh and flavorful.  It was light and rich at the same time, and seemed to melt in my mouth.

The meal ended with three desserts.  First was sliced cantaloupe and Asian pear, which Chef Cory served with an unexpectedly tasty light sauce made from sweetened rice vinegar and pistachio oil.  Next came mochi, a jelly-like sweet treat made with glutinous rice, which Chef Cory prepared in front of us.  Our final dessert was a piece of bright orange-red mamey sapote which tasted like fruity and creamy pumpkin pie.  I was so intrigued by this fruit that I drove to Homestead the next day to buy a couple (more on mamey and other exotic fruits coming soon).

Time flies when you’re enjoying great food — my meal at NAOE lasted nearly three hours, though I didn’t realize this until it was time to leave.  On the way out I thanked Chef Cory and Wendy for an incredible and memorable meal, while already planning my next visit.

NAOE is located on eastbound Sunny Isles Boulevard across from the St. Tropez condominiums.  Seating times are Wednesday through Sunday at 7:30pm, 8:30pm and 11:30pm.  Reservations are required and can be made online at OpenTable.com.  As the menu is prepared specially each day, dietary restrictions or requests should be cleared seven days in advance.

For more information visit naoemiami.com.

BYOB in MIA

You don’t have to pass on wine to save money while dining out.  Skip the restaurant’s pricey list and bring your own bottle instead!

wine glassesMany restaurants offer corkage fees for diners who bring wine from their personal collection.  This fee covers the service and use of wine glasses, as well as some of the revenue lost from the restaurant not selling its own wine.

If you’ve never brought your own bottle, here is proper BYOB etiquette:

  1. The wine you bring should be rare or unique (especially if you’re going to a fine dining restaurant), and definitely not on the restaurant’s wine list
  2. After the sommelier or waiter opens and serves the wine it is polite (but not required) to offer him or her a taste
  3. Your tip at the end of the meal should include the estimated price of the bottle, minus the corkage fee

When you are seated you’ll want to place the bottle on the table as a heads-up to the waiter.

As a general rule of thumb, you don’t want to bring your own bottle of wine to a restaurant with a great wine list unless the wine is extremely special.

Some restaurants may waive the corkage fee if you purchase a bottle from their list.  Restaurants may also limit the number of bottles you are allowed to bring.

Want to plan your meal?  Here is my guide to which Miami area restaurants are BYOB friendly:

$10 and Under
The Burger and Beer Joint
no corkage fee

1766 Bay Rd, Miami Beach
(305) 672-3287

Miami’s Chophouse
first bottle free, $20 for second bottle
300 South Biscayne Blvd, Miami
(305) 938-9000

Bali Café
$5
109 NE 2nd Ave, Miami
(305) 358-5751

Fratelli La Bufala
$10
437 Washington Ave, Miami Beach
(305) 532-0700

Imlee Indian Bistro
$10
12663 South Dixie Hwy, Pinecrest
(786) 293-2223

Pilar
$10
20475 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura
(305) 937-2777

$15 Corkage Fee
94th Aero Squadron

1395 N.W. 57th Ave, Miami
(305) 261-4220

Abokado
900 S. Miami Ave Suite 133, Miami
(305) 347-3700

Barolo Ristorante
444 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach
(305) 532-5511

Barrio Latino
3585 NE 207 St, Miami
(305) 692-4455

Canyon Ranch Grill
6801 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
(305) 514-7474

CVI.CHE 105
105 NE 3rd Ave, Miami
(305) 577-3454

Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita
1000 S Miami Ave, Miami
(305) 403-3103

The Gastropub at Jake’s
6901 Red Road, Coral Gables
(305) 662-8632

Timo
waived if you also buy a bottle from their list
17624 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles
(305) 936-1008

$20 Corkage Fee
Balans
901 South Miami Ave, Miami
1022 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach
(305) 534-9191

Capital Grille
maximum 2 bottles
444 Brickell Ave, Miami
(305) 374-4500

Eos at Viceroy
485 Brickell Ave, Miami
(305) 503-0373

Mamajuana Cafe
225 Altara Ave, Coral Gables
(305) 443-0505

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
130 NE 40th St, Miami
(305) 573-5550

Ortanique on the Mile
278 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables
(305) 446-7710

Pacific Time
35 NE 40th St, Miami
(305) 722-7369

Red Fish Grill
9610 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables
(305) 668-8788

The River Oyster Bar
650 S Miami Ave, Miami
(305) 530-1915

Restaurants that offer a $25 corkage fee
Andu
Area 31 at Epic Hotel
Atrio at Conrad Miami
Au Pied de Cochon
Bourbon Steak (maximum 2 bottles)
Chef Allen’s
China Grill
DeVito South Beach
Emeril’s Miami Beach
Escopazzo
Fratelli Lyon
Kobe Club
Michy’s (maximum 2 bottles)
Nemo
Oceanaire Seafood Room (maximum 2 bottles)
Shoji Sushi
Solymar
Sra. Martinez (maximum 2 bottles)

Know a restaurant not on the list that is BYOB friendly?  Send an email to tips@amateurgastronomer.com.  If a restaurant isn’t on this list it may still allow you to bring a bottle, just be sure to call first to find out the policy.

MIA vs NYC at Rum Mixology Contest

A rum showdown will be shaking things up in Miami!

Top U.S. rum mixologists will face off next Thursday at the first-ever Ron Abuelo and Rum Jumbie Mixology Contest at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne.  The contest will take place at the resort’s RUMBAR, known for its impressive rum selection that includes more than 50 rums from 18 countries.

New York winner Paolo Votano of Bocca di Bacco will challenge mixologists from Miami’s top bars and lounges including RUMBAR, Plunge of Gansevoort South Beach, the Living Room Bar of W South Beach, 8 oz. Burger Bar, The Setai and The Florida Room at The Delano.

Each contestant has 15 minutes to create two cocktails incorporating Ron Abuelo Añejo premium Panamanian rum and Rum Jumbie Splash, a flavored rum from St. Maarten.  They will be judged by a panel of spirit and cocktail experts.  The winner will earn the title of Top Rum Mixologist and win a trip to Panama to visit the Varela Hermanos distillery.

The vintage Havana atmosphere will be complete with Cuban-inspired light fare and live music from Grupo Nostalgia, a four-piece Latin band clad in white dinner jackets and bowties.

The Ron Abuelo and Rum Jumbie Mixology Contest will be held on Thursday, October 15th from 6 to 8pm.  Entrance is free, with a cash bar.

The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne is located at 455 Grand Bay Drive.