Bernie's LA Cafe

Being of Cuban descent and having eaten varieties of Latin American food throughout my entire life, there isn’t much that can surprise me within this genre of cuisine. My understanding of most Latin American food is greasy, usually fried, comfortable, and predictable. When I was asked to visit Bernie’s LA Café, my expectations were not very high. Boy, was I mistaken! Named after proprietor Bernie Matz, also known for Lincoln Road’s Café at Books & Books, Bernie’s LA Café has been considered the Best Organic Latin American Cuisine and the owner of the Best Cuban Sandwich by the Miami New Times. Bernie’s is the kind of restaurant that offers something for everyone with its array of vegan, vegetarian, and straight up meat-loving options.

Easter Brunch in South Florida

One of the interesting things about the holidays is that the traditions surrounding them can be so enjoyable, and oftentimes so delicious, that even the most staunch atheist can feel hesitant to completely abandon them. Even those who still identify with a particular religion can often forgo the rituals, services, and prayers associated with certain holidays but will definitely embrace the gift exchanges, parties, and most definitely the food. I’m certain that not everyone has been making sacrifices for Lent. Many Catholics have probably forgotten that Palm Sunday was this past weekend, many more will be observing Holy Week as just another week, and there are probably quite a few who don’t plan on going to church this coming Sunday. Nevertheless, many self-identifying Christians will probably be making plans to enjoy an Easter meal this weekend. Along with the warmer weather our northern compatriots hope to experience, our recent “spring forward” to which many of us are still adjusting also marks an unofficial start to “the brunch season.” Sure, we enjoy leisurely al fresco brunches all the time in South Florida, but brunch never seems as mandatory as it does during one of the Spring’s most brunch-friendly holidays, Easter. In case you have yet to make plans for this weekend, here are a few of Joonbug’s suggestions for restaurants serving up Easter brunch in South Florida:

The Local House

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.

Remarkably Romantic Restaurants

Still haven’t decided where to take your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day? Don’t sweat it; we’ve put together a list of some remarkably romantic restaurants to visit for a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner in South Florida. These picks are known for their fantastic fare, delightful décor, and amazingly romantic ambiance; but most importantly, all ideal for a dinner date. Just be sure to call ahead for reservations since they’re sure to be full of other loveable couples celebrating that night.

Hakkasan in Miami Beach- The Fontainbleau has really made a comeback, especially in the restaurant scene. Hakkasan at the Fontainbleau is no exception. Voted Best Ambiance by Open Table and recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award, Hakkasan is the quintessential romantic Asian restaurant to check out. Its chic modern décor is sure to impress you. Why not share a Dim Sum Platter with your sweetie as a starter? Don’t forget to end the night with one of their delectable desserts, such as the White Chocolate Mousse with Passionfruit Sorbet. 801 Arthur Godfrey Rd, Miami Beach. 877-326-7412

Super Bowling for Bars

Still undecided where to spend this country’s most religious Sunday in sports? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of some cool places you can watch the Big Game this Sunday. Each location has its own special going on, from free food to a full on Super Bowl party. They’re guaranteed to help you kick-off your Super Bowl Sunday on the right foot!

THE CLEVELANDER: The Clevelander South Beach is throwing a special Super Bowl bash. Starting at 3 p.m. on Sunday, you can join Miami Beach’s biggest party. They have 30+ HD TVs, plus a model showcase, body painting, and jumbo screens that will be playing the game. 1020 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, 877-532-4006.

Wine and Dine for the March of Dimes

Top chefs and wine conosciours! Come one come all! Join us for the 12th year at one of the premiere charity food and wine events in South Florida, March of Dimes Signature Chefs and Wine Extravaganza at Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom on October 14, at 6:30 p.m. Foodies will be delighted to feast on creations from over 30 of the areas best chefs and restaurants, including Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill’s Timon Balloo, Meat Market’s Sean Brasel, Edda’s Cake Designs’ Edda Martinez, AltaMare’s Simon Stojanovic, Allen Susser of Chef Allen’s and Kris Wessel of Red Light. To add to the wonderful culinary dishes, guests will be served wines and champagnes from the world’s most exquisit vineyards and distilleries, courtesy of Southern Wine and Spirits. Tickets are $150 per person in advance and $175 at the door. Celebrity guest, and Food Network star Sunny Anderson, host of Cooking for Real, will host the event. There will be a live and silent auction where all proceeds will be benefiting the March of Dimes.

Brian Aubert Speaks Up About Silversun Pickups

Even the palpable heat and caked humidity could not stop Silversun Pickups from rocking out the nascent Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton, FL. What promises to be a prodigious epicenter for music in South Florida with upcoming acts like Cypress Hill, Slightly Stoopid and the reemerging Sublime with Rome, decided to invite Silversun early on to sample Boca’s new musical Coliseum.

Silversun frontman Brian Aubert took a few minutes out only hours before his June 16 show to call Mike Rothman to discuss this new venue, Latin food in South Florida, the meaning behind the esoteric name Silversun and the influence touring with bands like Foo Fighters and Muse had on the Pickups. Aubert also made one lucky fan’s day, maybe even year, as David DiCristina was invited to drop in with a few questions of his own.

Of Italian Sophistication

Tonino Lamborghini Caffe Corsa
600 Silks Run Road
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009

Lamborghini is not just about cars anymore. The name synonymous with luxury sport automobiles has moved into the realm of luggage, watches, perfumes, and now food, thanks to Tonino Lamborghini. As of February 11, the South Florida area has received a taste of what the Tonino Lamborghini Caffe Corsa has to offer by way of head chef Paolo del Papa's creative and inventive menu.

The Resolvers

Meshing different genres into their feel-good reggae vibes, The Resolvers have been satisfying South Florida’s live music lovers for the past three years. Keeping spectators on their dancing feet for hours on end, the quintet delivers a handful of original tunes, some familiar covers, and a spirit of harmony at every show.

The Resolvers mostly perform original material at their gigs. They are currently focused on a self-produced CD of songs they’ve written themselves entitled H’amsa. All of the work is done in-house at a studio/warehouse in Deerfield Beach. "We want to keep grass roots and build it one person at a time with a quality e-mail list. We plan on acquiring a strong fan base and get people to join our family,” explained electric guitarist and harmony vocalist Ron Eisner. "We like to spread ourselves out all around South Florida to different venues."