The Local House is a new restaurant located inside the Sense Hotel on Ocean Drive. Upon entering the restaurant, patrons are greeted with warm, welcoming colors and a modern décor, reminiscent of local Miami culture and design. When we visited, we opted for outside seating to enjoy the gorgeous South Beach weather and ambiance. This delightful restaurant was abuzz with lively patrons enjoying brunch with unlimited mimosas and culinary treats prepared by their exceptional chef, Guily Booth. The menu offers a variety of delicious, affordable tapas-style plates, making it very difficult to decide. We sampled a variety of small plates that included the Local Ceviche, Melon Citrus Salad, Bacon-wrapped Dates, Goat Cheese Croquettes, and Octopus Carpaccio. The Local Ceviche is made with grouper, red onion, cilantro, and choclo, a starchy variety of corn from South America. The grouper offered a meaty bite and was perfectly flavored with fresh ingredients, making it a great take on traditional ceviche. The Melon Citrus Salad offered more mellow flavors and was composed of assorted melon balls with feta, limejuice, and mint. The Bacon-wrapped dates were a sweet and salty treat, although a delectable spicy guava sauce and a topping ofpea shoots that accompanied the Goat Cheese Croquettes made a bold statement. These little bites of heaven proved to us that goat cheese and guava should always go together. The Octopus Carpaccio was topped with a creamy sauce, crunchy capers, diced tomatoes, a chorizo “dust”, arugula, and orange slices. The chorizo dust gave this dish a salty flavor without the overpowring heaviness that is usually associated with eating sliced chorizo. The orange slices brought a welcome bit of freshness.
South Beach will never cease to attract South Florida’s artistas, fashionistas, and film buffs, however, there is another reason why the trendy mecca is gaining more hype. A much needed surge has resulted in Miami highlighting a variety of neighborhoods for those who seek out culture...and great food. Wynwood Arts District has already been drawing in locals and tourists, alike, for years with its rows of contemporary art galleries amid a grid of warehouses that manages to retain a somewhat edgy, young, and pre-gentrified vibe. Wynwood now offers two independent coffee bars, several watering holes, and a handful of snazzy eateries like Wynwood Kitchen & Bar.
Murray Hill’s newest eatery, Meli, honey in Greek, serves Manhattan diners authentic cuisines using the cultivated Greek flavors, traditions, and ingredients that have made the Greek-Mediterranean diet so popular among health nuts and foodies alike. The Konstantinos family, who has run multiple restaurants across the Aegean for decades, partnered with Greek Chef John Pilouras (formerly of Nisi and Molivos) to bring diners an authentic Greek dining experience by using the finest Greek imports available. An example of Meli’s penchant for authenticity is the Goges ($12). This traditional Greek pasta dish is made of hand-made pasta shells in a creamy sauce made of vlahotiri cheese and imported goat and lamb’s butter. If we know anything about Greek cuisine, we know this dish has got to be delish. According to my source of all things Greek, the best combination to make anything dairy-related of the Greek variety uses both goat and lamb’s milk.
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!
Open since December of 2007, Chef Gary Sikka serves authentic, regionally inspired Indian fare at Mint featuring an eclectic selection of classic dishes that have been updated with a refined, modern twist. Chef Gary showcases a variety of seafood and vegetarian options, which allows Mint to easily accommodate the dietary needs of any diner. Enjoy Chicken Seekh Kebabs and a plate of Jhinga Balchao, a Goan specialty made with shrimp and a spicy pickled sauce, in the stylish and sophisticated dining room. The dining room’s ambiance is enhanced by Mint’s chic furniture and design. Mint-colored leather and fabric upholstered banquettes and chairs accentuate the dark hardwood floors and furniture all of which are illuminated in romantic dim lighting produced by the custom made silk hanging red, fuchsia, and orange silk drum lamps.
Thai Angel is a tasty lunch and dinner spot located on Grand Street in Soho. Far away from the sultry surroundings of tropical Thailand, the minimal restaurant settings of Thai Angel have been accented by paper replicas of flowers and mock hut rooftops. Other than that, the appearance of this eatery’s indoor dimension is very standard, with wooden tables and medium-dimmed lights.
The menu at Thai Angel offers all of the regular Thai selections. There are vegetarian choices, along with fish, duck, chicken, beef and pork. These protein options are cooked into meals like curry, noodles, salad and Thai Traditional Rice Plates. Some lunch specials are offered during the day, so businesses in the area order from here for take-out. The restaurant lunch crowd in Thai Angel starts getting busy after 1:00 P.M.
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.
320 East 6th Street
Reopening just a few doors up from its previous location, Zerza has emerged with a few new treats for its visitors. Owner Radouane Eljaouhari decided during construction to keep the oven left by the Indian restaurant that previously occupied the space. Although Eljaouhari’s restaurant serves Moroccan cuisine, the oven (a clay tandoori) gets 2 times hotter than the Moroccan grill used in the old location. This will allow the meat to cook without burning or drying it out. The menu has added a few seafood dishes and beer and wine are being served.
If you have ever dined at Benjamin Steakhouse's Manhattan location, you’ve had the privilege of enjoying wonderfully tasteful food surrounded by a beautiful décor and complimented by highly regarded service. Juicy steaks and tender lobster seem to taste even better when dining in a beautifully constructed building with brass chandeliers and a 10 ft. functional, roaring fireplace. But even with all of this, the Manhattan location may not be the summertime spot you choose to attend. Benjamin Steakhouse White Plains location offers all the Manhattan location does with a little extra.