I love this DIY craze that’s been hitting the American food scene! With all the attention that consumers are placing on where things come from and how they’re made, it seems as if many individuals have resorted to the notion that the best way to know the exact what, where, and how of a product is to make it yourself. In addition to controlling such things as the quality and sustainability of the food, making it yourself gives you full reign over the flavor and appearance of a finished product, as well as enabling you to add your own unique flourishes. The DIY revolution doesn’t seem to be merely confined to the home, however, as many chefs are finding more and more items that they can make from scratch, attempting everything from jams, pickles, condiments, and even cured meats...and they don’t seem to be turning back. I am so glad to see that, along with sourcing local products, the trend of making things in house is on the rise in South Florida and can be found a lot closer than I had previously thought. Big City Tavern, on the bustling Las Olas Boulevard, has always been a popular spot for good, informal meals and a convivial vibe, but I have often overlooked this restaurant as a mere purveyor of standard pub fare until a recent meal led me to discover otherwise. Local meat and produce coupled with excellently cured house-made charcuterie, along with a delicious array of homey desserts make Big City Tavern perhaps one of Fort Lauderdale’s best “right-under-our-noses” culinary secrets.
A recent stroll down the streets of Miami’s Design District - especially when one hasn’t strolled down those streets in quite a few months - can reveal some surprising changes. While design still rules in this area of Miami, the kind of design that is on display is changing. It is still a mecca for interior designers and industrial design aficionados, and favorites like Luminaire, Fendi Casa, and Ligne Roset are still present. However, the district is now becoming home to far more many creative venues than just furniture, kitchens, and baths. Christian Louboutin, Hermès, Chloé, and Cartier are among a few of the names making one of Miami’s most fashionable areas even more fashionable, and along with the the designer sofas, shoes, handbags, and baubles, is a treasure chest of fabulous eats from local favorite, Michael’s Genuine, to upscale Greek eatery, Egg & Dart. Among the most exciting eateries to make an appearance in the Design District is Oak Tavern, which plans to open its doors to Miami’s eager foodies this November.
Locavore. That seems to be the word on the proverbial gastronomic street these days, and chefs seem to be going to great pains to bring diners produce, meats, cheeses, honeys, and libations that are as local as possible. However, it seems as if Sundy House in Delray Beach has every farm-to-table restaurant in South Florida beat when it comes to shrinking the space between where a restaurant sources its produce and its final destination on a diner's plate. Anyone who hasn't been to Sundy House (read review here) is in for a an unforgettable and almost enchanted experience. The property, which features a boutique hotel and exquisite restaurant, is a tropical oasis just off the main drag of downtown Delray Beach, which is perhaps one of the most culturally and culinarily vibrant areas north of MiMo. Perhaps the most unforgettable part of Sundy House are its tropical gardens featuring dozens of edible flora, some of which are even new to the most seasoned horticulturist.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten finally jumped on the organic bandwagon when he opened his organic, locally-sourced themed restaurant ABC Kitchen, inside the ABC Carpet & Home store. ABC Kitchen is a "farm-to-table" restaurant, using only sustainable and organic seasonal produce and pasture-fed animals to produce only the finest quality dishes, not to mention incredibly flavored.