I had once written an article for my college newspaper about how dim sum would replace sushi as the new trendy Asian thing to eat, and how sushi had become so played out that it has become pedestrian and unexciting. While dim sum has become increasingly popular and better known than it was nearly a decade ago, it has yet to catch up with sushi in the trendy department, which is why we have yet to see “dim sum bars” dotting every block of South Beach. Dim sum is delicious and sophisticated in its own right, but whereas sushi seems to be in a constant state of innovative reinvention, dim sum selections manage to remain pretty consistent to what they have been for decades...if not centuries. Furthermore, some of the best places to enjoy this Cantonese breakfast/brunch tradition can offer very little in terms of ambiance, and even the nicer ones are not what one would consider to be “design forward”. Such factors have never been deterrents for serious foodies, but a recent dim sum brunch at BLOOM in Wynwood is showing that dim sum is starting to break the mold in Miami, becoming sleek, modern, and quite cosmopolitan.
Midtown Miami, besides offering nearby residents much needed retail venues like Target, Home Goods, and Petsmart, has come to be one of the most exciting dining districts in Miami right now. It seems as if almost every restaurant that has opened its doors in Midtown has offered locals and visitors, alike, nothing short of delicious food whether it’s at Sugarcane, Sakaya Kitchen, Mercadito, 100 Montaditos, or several ofthe other newer restaurants that seem to be sprouting like mushrooms after a rainstorm. It goes without saying, then, that any restaurateur who’s really serious about food would be looking to have a spot among Midtown Miami’s roster of great eateries, which is exactly what George-Eric Farge has done. The gregarious French owner of George’s in South Miami and Coconut Grove is opening the doors to his newest venture, George’s Kitchen, today in Midtown, and he promises to make it not only an unparalleled dining destination, but also a mecca of nightlife for the area.
Outside of Mexico, there are probably fewer people in the world who are as in love with Mexican cuisine (or an interpretation of it) as Americans. One never quite realizes just how good we have it in the States when it comes to finding tasty Mexican or Tex-Mex food until one travels to Europe where the difference between a wrap and a burrito isn’t quite as understood as it is here. Our approach to Mexican cuisine has also changed considerably as our culture has begun to embrace bolder flavors, and today’s foodies demand authenticity. While we still love our cheesy, sour cream-laden, Tex-Mex #3 combo specials, a lot of restaurants - even those owned and operated by gringos - are incorporating more and more authentic Mexican flavors and techniques into their menus, and even more restaurants are elevating Mexican cuisine to a level of sophistication previously unseen. Dennis Max’s new Boca Raton restaurant, The Mexican Cocina & Tequila Bar, has managed to bring diners a unique combination of bold, authentic flavors paired with creative innovation and the familiar flavors that we, as Americans, know and love from Mexican cuisine. The result is a restaurant that offers a fun, uninhibited ambiance with great food that teases and plays with your palate in very exciting ways.
For some reason, it seems as if time really flew between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, which means that most of us have been scrambling to get our greeting cards and presents in order, as well as trying to keep track of the various holiday functions we feel obliged to attend. When your main preoccupation is trying to find just one good gift for your mom and realizing that you haven’t sent anything to your in-laws while they sent you a box of presents, the last thing on your mind is planning a Christmas (or Noche Buena) feast. Sure, you can do what I do and round up a selection of charcuterie and cheeses from Graziano’s and Epicure to nibble at throughout the holiday - or visit a Blue Sky for your lechón - but with so many fabulous restaurants offering such wonderful Christmas and Christmas Eve dinners, it’s hard not to take the easy way out and leave the preparations to the gourmet chefs. If you’re finding yourself in Miami without dinner plans this Christmas, let Joonbug outline a few suggestions for you:
Anyone who lives in Miami knows that we are no strangers to the night owl lifestyle. In a city where one meets for dinner with friends at 9:00 PM (which really means 10:00 PM) and people don’t arrive at the club until well after midnight, it should come as no surprise that Miami has its fair share of late night eats. Nothing works up an appetite quite like a night of drinking and dancing, and with Miami’s unmistakable Latin flavor, post-party dining options include a wide array of not only typical pizza and burger joints, but favorites from throughout Latin America.
Few restaurant empires have as unique a story as that of Serafina. Two best friends, Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato, were stranded in Hampton Bay one day during a horrific storm and made a pact to each other if they came out of it alive: to open a restaurant serving the best pizza and pasta in the world. Nine restaurants later, including one in São Paulo, the have finally reached the Sunshine State and have continued to make South Beach one of the most delicious concentrations of authentic Italian cuisine. Occupying the space attached to the Dream South Beach Hotel that formerly housed Tudor House, Serafina’s Miami Beach location is in the heart of all the action, making it the perfect stop to savor exquisitely prepared northern Italian cuisine before enjoying an evening of SoBe’s legendary nightlife. A recent dinner at Serafina demonstrated that besides an unwavering dedication to quality, the driving force behind Serafina’s success throughout the world is a love and passion for food that can be felt and tasted everywhere at this restaurant
- Hawaiian Spiked Tuna Pok
- Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail
- Local Fish Ceviche
- “The Big Easy” Seafood Gumbo
- Prosciutto Wrapped Brie
- Super Lump Crab & Crawfish Cake
- Hearts of Romaine Ceasar
- Fresh “Burrata” Mozzarella
- Iceberg Wedge
- Lump Crab & Corn Roasted Grouper
- Pan Roasted Mahi-Mahi
- Herb Roasted Salmon
- Grilled Filet Mignon
- Lancaster, PA Hormone Free Chicken Breastfig & Olive Rubbed Grilled Local Swordfish Sautéed Jumbo Shrimp & Garganelli Pasta
- Lump crab & Corn Roasted Grouperpan Roasted Mahi-Mahi
Miami has become a culinary force to be reckoned with. Not only do we have an ever expanding roster of fantastic chefs, unforgettable restaurants, and unique dives, but now we are starting to take food, as a whole, a lot more seriously. You know when attitudes towards food begin to change towards the better when major food-related organizations like Slow Food International take root in a city, like they did in Miami. This Monday, December 10th, you can see firsthand just how serious the 305 is becoming about food when the new Slow Food Miami Fountain is unveiled at the Miami Culinary Institute Gardens. In addition to the unveiling, Miamians (and our seasonal visitors, too) can enjoy a multicourse meal by James Beard award-winning chef, Susan Spicer, who is one of the authorities on New Orleans cuisine. All of this coincides with Terra Madre Day, an annual celebration of sustainable, good, clean, and fair food that is celebrated by 150 Slow Food Countries throughout the world.
This week is all about Art Basel, and Joonbug Miami is making sure that all you foodie “Baselers” are well fed and well hydrated. Between a long day of day of gazing at modern art and hitting up the countless parties and events that the evening has to offer, be sure to stop by Meat Market on Lincoln Road for some specially crafted Art Basel cocktails made with Dom Ruinart, the official champagne of Art Basel. Only short walk from the main exhibit at the Miami Beach Convention center, the ever-chic and bustling steakhouse is the perfect place to refresh yourself and possibly meet some the art world’s hottest names.