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CULINARY OCCASIONS
Rusty Pelican's Spanish Wine Dinner

The Rusty Pelican is sure doing quite a bit to change it's old image. As if their recent multimillion dollar renovation wasn't enough to show South Florida that the iconic Key Biscayne eatery is now a serious contender among Miami's finest of fine dining restaurants, Chef Michael Gilligan is looking into starting a regular montly wine dinner that kicks off tomorrow, July 10th, with 5 courses carefully crafted to compliment a selection of Spanish wines from Torrespania. The owner of the prestigious wine importer, Antonio Gomez-Orodea, will be present to discuss the evening's selections, and Chef Gilligan is offering diners some very bold flavors and unique pairings as can be evidenced in the menu below:

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Rusty Pelican's All-American Barbecue Buffet

Rusty Pelican has always been known to me as Miami's best spot for brunch: Easter brunch, Mother's Day brunch, post-graduation brunch, etc. However, it never occurred to me that with it's unparalleled waterfront views from almost anywhere in the restaurantwould be the best place to watch July 4th fireworks displays. This Independence Day, enjoy an All-American buffet that includes all the classics, such as potato salad, macaroni and cheese, Jack Daniels barbecue chicken, and even Miami-inspired delicacies like guava barbecue ribs. After ending your meal with some Georgia peach cobbler, sit back and enjoy the several fireworks displays occurring litterally all around you. In honor of our troops, Rusty Pelican is offering this July 4th buffet at half off to all active service members, which includes free beer and wine!

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Free July 4th Pig Roast

Summer time is considered barbecue time, but even if you're not a huge grill enthusiast, it's almost a patriotic requirement to have some sort of grilled or barbecued food on the Fourth of July to celebrate our country's independence. Brother Jimmy's Barbecue based in New York City, is planning on moving down to the sunshine state soon, and to celebrate its upcoming opening and Independence day, the barbecue eatery is teaming up with Sailor Jerry Rum to bring Miamians a free southern-style barbecue fest. Revelers can enjoy a complimentary pig roast along with rum cocktails like the Backyard Tea and Rockabilly Lemonade in front of Brother Jimmy's future Brickell home, which promises to open later in July.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Bourbon, Beer & Q At The Dutch

Even if it were never named "Best New Restaurant" by the Miami New Times this year, there is no doubt in any foodie's mind that there is no hotter restaurant in Miami Beach right now than Andrew Carmellini's outpost of his famed NYC restaurant, The Dutch. To celebrate its success, and maybe even to thank the people of Miami for making his restaurant venture in the 305 so successful, Chef Carmellini and his chef de cuisine, Conor Hanlon will be offering a weekly barbecue series featuring different styles of barbecue each week for only $30 per person. The series kicks off tomorrow with a Texas-style barbecue that includes smoked brisket, spare ribs, Texas hot links, and delectable side dishes like grilled corn on the cob, baked beans, and corn bread. Drink specials will include $3 PBR tall boys, and $22 pitchers of Pimm's Punch and Boozy Arnold Palmers, as well as barman Rob Ferrara's Smokey Bacon Old Fashioned.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Cocktail Dinner at Meat Market with Mixologist John Lermayer

Monday, June 25th, enjoy a Culinary & Cocktail dinner at Lincoln Road's renowned steak house, Meat Market. Already known for its superb wine selection curated by Sommelier Nicole Candusso, Meat Market will now be showcasing the cocktails of master mixologist John Lermayer and demonstrating how a well-mixed cocktail can pair beautifully with elegant haute cuisine preparations by Chef Sean Brasel. Lermayer has been at the helm of Miami's cocktail revolution and has, since then, created beverage programs at eateries and bars throughout the country. Dinner is served promptly at 7:30 PM and is $65 per person. Make reservations soon, as this is one culinary deal that I'm sure most of South Florida's foodies are already jumping on. Below is a sample menu for that evening, which is sure to get both gastronomes and cocktail aficionados' mouths watering:

DAILY BITES
Endless Fried Chicken

A Miami summer tradition since 2009, Michelle Bernstein's signature restaurant, Michy's, has launched its yearly endless fried chicken dinners on Wednesday nights. For $38, diners get a veritable cornucopia of what has come to be known as some of South Florida's finest deep fried foul served up with as many helpings of Chef Bernstein's impeccably crafted sides that you care to eat, such as salads, cole slaw, and homemade biscuits. Of course, no dinner at Michy's would be complete without one of Chef Bernstein's addictive desserts, and her fried chicken smorgasbord is no exception as it includes one of her tasty, innovative, and comforting sweet endings.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
This Monday: France vs. Italy

Long before our eyes and palates turned away from our ethnocentric ideals and began to embrace the cultures and cuisines of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere, it was all about Europe. France has had the stronghold on cuisine for over a century, being one of the first to formally establish a school of thought on the matter, as well as rules, formal techniques, and regulations. However, as many food historians would point out, if it were not for the Italian nobility (Catherine de' Medici comes to mind) that brought its dishes and techiques to france, as well as Italian explorers who brought exotic seasonings ands foods to Europe, French cuisine would not be what it is today. Both cuisines are rich, diverse, expansive, and quite different from each other, and the argument over which is better is one that has inflamed the passions of even the most casual eaters.

DAILY BITES
Bring Me Food!

Hump day can now be start of your weekend gastro-fest with Cecconi's launching their BMF Wednesday dinners tomorrow, June 6th. Located in the über chic Soho Beach House on South Beach, the garden-style Italian restaurant will be serving a weekly family-style prix fixe dinner reminiscent of the elaborate Italian suppers of a bygone era, when spending hours at the dinner table with friends and family was the norm. BMF stands for "Bring Me Food", and Executive Chef Sergio Sigala and Pastry Chef Oscar Bonelli are sure to bring plenty of food to the table with the ever-changing 4 course menu that will begin with a glass of prosecco with an assortment of cicchetti, the Italian answer to tapas. To follow will be a selection of two hearty pasta dishes served family-style, three entrées that will include a selection of signature pizzas, meats, and seafood, and a selection of three dolci (desserts) to share. The offerings will be different every week and will reflect the seasons, as well as local produce and seafood. If you're waiting for Miami Spice to kick off in August to get your dining deals, then Cecconi's BMF Wednesdays will be your foodie refuge until then. At $35 per person (everyone at the table must participate), these family dinners are a real steal!

DAILY BITES
For The Graduate With The Discerning Palate

Graduation time is here, and to commemorate those of us who have worked long and hard to acheive that diploma, celebrations are in order! However, it seems awfully unfitting to congratulate a recent law or med school graduate with an arficial-tasting sheet cake entombed within a dense layer of Crisco and powdered sugar frosting acting as "buttercream". Our graduates deserve much better than that, and Solo, The Fontainebleau Resort's decadent bakery and patisserie, is here to help with some of the most elegant graduation confections in South Florida. Celebrate your loved one's recent accomplishment with a Graduation Hat Cake ($16.50) consisting of an unctuous chocolate mousse dome topped with an edible chocolate mortarboard and tassle. Or, surprise your grad with an assortment of meticulously decorated cupcakes ($5.50 each) in such flavors as vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet, among others. Knowing The Fontainebleau, no expense is spared in bringing customers the best ingredients prepared with the utmost attention to flavor and presentation.

DAILY BITES
Bianca Does Brunch

There is perhaps no other instituion on Collins avenue more symbolic of the South Beach renaissance that occurred in the 90's than The Delano. Ahead of the game back then, the iconic Philippe Starck-designed hotel continues to be ahead of the curve by periodically reinventing itself, which usually includes changing up some of the restaurants. One of the newer additions to the hotel's dining options is Bianca, an Italian restaurant that opened with a typical SoBe bang this past January and seems to continue to do well.

The fare at Bianca consists of that brand of Italian cuisine that become to be a trademark of Miami Beach dining - closer to the Italian cuisine eaten in Italy than to the red sauce, spaghetti and meatballs Italian-American cuisine that the rest of the country is probably more familiar with - which translates into homemade pastas, fresh seafood, and light antipasti. Starting on Mother's Day, Bianca will be "putting the B in brunch" with a spread that includes Italian delicacies alongside much-loved brunch staples. Menu offerings will include a selection of sushi and rolls from Umi Sushi & Sake Bar, which took the place of Blue Sea, as well as a selection of chilled shellfish, Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters, and caviar. The buffet will also include an array of charcuterie, prosciutto, and artisan salumi alongside signature homemade Bianca pastas. Of course, no brunch buffet is complete without the requisite omelet and Belgian waffle stations, and in true brunch buffet form, Bianca will also be offering a carving station featuring rosemary prime rib. The restaurant's head pastry chef will also be offering his dessert and pastry creations.