Upon entering the dining area of Oya, the first thing you'll notice is its strikingly luxurious interior design. Ornamented with chandeliers, feather covered columns, and a few of those cool fire pits with the glass in the bottom, you can’t help but anticipate an equally opulent meal. Oya delivers.
The menu features an array of carefully engineered sushi, small and large plates, and a prix fixe menu for lunch ($22) and dinner ($36). I was very hungry so I decided against sushi and instead ordered two of Oya's Land Small Plates: BBQ Sticky Ribs and the Beef Short Rib Wellington. The sticky ribs had a delicious caramel sweetness that was like eating those Werther’s Originals my grandmother would give me, except the ribs weren’t old and melted together. Cooked to the perfect tenderness, slathered with a soy-lemongrass glaze, and complimented with citrusy coleslaw, the BBQ Sticky Ribs were an interesting and delightful spin on a southern comfort staple.
If you’re a gin drinker and love tennis, then there is little reason for you not to attend tomorrow’s Bombay Sapphire Happy Hour at perhaps Miami’s best and most elegant restaurant, db Bistro Moderne. Celebrating the start of this year’s Sony Open Tennis Tournament, Chef Daniel Boulud’s outpost of his famed NYC restaurant will be offering half priced cocktails and exquisite bar bites. Gin lovers will also sample and learn how to make perfect gin cocktails from Bombay Sapphire’s mixologists, and DJ Michael Sarysz will be present to add a little rhythm to the ambience. Tennis fans will also get the chance to win a pair of tickets to the Sony Open as they are raffled out every half hour.
For just having opened a little more than a month ago, Dolce has been getting quite a lot of attention as one of the tastiest Italian restaurants in Miami Beach (read review here). Of course, it comes as no surprise knowing that the restaurant is the brainchild of LDV Hospitality, the people who brought us Scarpetta. Offering a sexy ambiance within the newly remodeled 1940’s Gale South Beach hotel, Dolce has become one of the best places for classic Italian cocktails and classic Italian fare by Chef Paolo Dorigato. For those who have yet to try it out, Dolce is giving the perfect incentive as it launches its Apertivo Happy Hour and Sunset Prix Fixe dinner menu today.
Envision yourself driving along the Pan-American Highway while the Beat Era is in full swing. As you drive down the highway, stretching from Mexico all the way to Brazil, the balmy Latin air entwined in your hair, you pull off to the side of the road to grab a bite to eat. Then you realize you’re in front of Oficina Latina on Prince Street in Nolita. With vintage décor such as antique tin plate above the bar from a 1920s bank, “trouble” lights from a mechanics garage, reclaimed hardwood floors, and recreated furnishings the atmosphere generated at Oficina Latina resembles the countless roadside eateries that scattered the highway during the 1950s.
Once upon a time, I lived in a faraway land called Kendall. For those who are unfamiliar with that unincorporated part of Miami-Dade County, Kendall can seem like a faraway land with it’s own culture, expressions, and rules of traffic. For those who know Kendall but have been away for a while, a recent visit will make it seem like it has been “once upon a time” since you’ve last been there. It seems as if every time I return to Kendall, something old has been replaced with something new that is a dramatic improvement from what used to be there. Take Town & Country Mall, for instance. It was a fun hangout in the early nineties, but by the time Y2K came around, it was dead. After the AMC movie theater closed, there seemed to be little hope for reviving what had once promised to be a thriving commercial and nightlife center...that is until the mall rebranded itself as The Palms at Town & Country Mall, polished its image, and invited more upscale retailers like Loehman’s and Nordstrom Rack to move in (trust me, that’s light years ahead of what used to be there). Dining in Kendall is also improving, especially at the new and improved mall, with Devon Seafood + Steak set to open its doors tomorrow.
Art Basel week is officially here, and Miami is once again vibrating with immense creative energy as the the world’s most cutting edge artists gather in the 305 for perhaps the most important cultural event of the season. Officially, the Art Basel art fair is confined to the Miami Beach Convention Center and takes place from December 6th through the 9th. However, since its inception eleven years ago, Art Basel has come to mean not only the official art fair but also an ever increasing roster of satellite shows, parties, and other events that have all of Miami saturated in art during an entire week. While the official Art Basel show in Miami Beach is definitely worth checking out, many would agree that perhaps the most interesting fairs are occurring just over the bridge in Midtown, the Design District, and Wynwood, just to name a few. I know from experience that taking in so much art all at once can definitely work up an appetite...especially if you love to eat. Fortunately, there is no shortage of great restaurants only minutes away from all the best fairs, and some of them, like the newly opened Bloom in Wynwood, are offering a variety of specials and special guest DJs just for all the hungry art aficionados
High Altitude Oktoberfest: 230 Fifth is bringing Oktoberfest to a whole new level. From Sept. 22 until Oct. 7th, five German beers and two Germanic gastronomic classics will be added to the menu at the well-known rooftop lounge. Brews will sell for $6/bottle, $8/half liter, and $16/liter and German eats such as giant pretzels and bratwurst will go for $9. On Sept. 29th, from 12-6pm, make sure to drop by to start dancing up a storm along with Bavarian oompah music, play Teutonic inspired games and prizes, and gaze upon plenty of Fall decor.
Extended Sambahour: Both Sushisamba locations in the city are extending their immensely popular 'happy hour' from Sunday through Friday. Fan favorites such as the Classic Mojito and Yellowtail Tiradito will now be available for just $6 from 4-7pm and 11pm-close. If this isn't a deal to die for, I don't know what is!
Latin cuisine is all the rage these days and there's no better place to enjoy it than at Pampano Botaneria. The small downstairs brother to Richard Sandoval's Pampano, this smaller, more casual half of the restaurant is the way to go. This dimly lit, romantic setting makes anyone want to hunker down for a feast. The best part of this place is that all menu items are served tapas-style...which means you don't have to pick and choose what you want, you can try everything!
West Village restaurant Barrio 47 is not just your run-of-the-mill eatery. Enter into the dimly lit, exposed brick restaurant and choose from a seat at the bar, a private table, or a communal table and get ready to feast like a king. The Mediterranean cuisine has a Spanish, French, and Italian influence served up by Chef Miguel A. Rosado from the outstanding red wood fire brick oven for all to see. Brothers Alex and Roman Volland head up this eight month old Village staple, who have had plenty of experience in the food world. Growing up in Paris, the brothers come from a family of foodies (their mother owned a restaurant), and have embarked on numerous projects at bars and restaurants around NYC. It is clear that they brought their old hat experience to Barrio 47, where the atmosphere it top notch, with food and drinks to match.
South Florida natives know that Miami is the true Sin City. How could a place known for having the sexiest people, wildest nightlife, coolest cocktails, and unmatched dining lead to anything but temptation? And as anyone who has been out in Miami knows, things don't really start to get sinful until the sun goes down, which is when Dream South Beach hotel's lounge, Highbar, transforms from a restful rooftop oasis overlooking the Atlantic ocean to one of the Beach's hottest nightlife destinations. If you seem to be having a little difficulty tapping into your sinful side, let Highbar's nightly happy hour come to your aid with their 7 Deadly Sins. The mixologists at Highbar have managed to embody the essence of each sin with some delicious and refreshing cocktails that are a sure fire way to get your night started on a naughty note: