Valentino Cucina Italiana
“One step inside the doors of Valentino Cucina Italiana in East Fort Lauderdale and you feel the energy,” said Erika
Buchholz of South Florida Opulence. “We were greeted warmly by Stephan and shown to a cozy table by the window. The restaurant has a hip, California feel to it, with mission-style arches, open beams and iron scroll work. There is a warm, comfortable, energetic vibe – lots of people for a Monday night! The meal started with the popular Calamari Artichoke Tart. The calamari is baked in a black skillet with artichokes and breadcrumbs, giving it a delicious healthy crunch, and served over bitter greens. Then came delicious Plins, ravioli-like pillows stuffed with beet puree and goat cheese and finished off with a poppy seed puree.
“We were pleasantly surprised by the intermezzo that was presented. Arugula sorbet with pickled cucumbers and watermelon radishes – delicious and oh so refreshing!”
Entrees included two specials: homemade spaghetti with sea urchin butter, oven roasted tomatoes, zucchini, toasted breadcrumbs, and Alaskan king crab out of the shell. “My favorite!” said Buchholz. Next was roasted, pan-seared cobia with roasted local corn, cherry tomatoes and salsa verde. Chef also brought the Casoncelli – pasta stuffed with veal, guinea hen and golden raisins, with a brown butter sauce and topped with prosciutto. “It was phenomenal.” Dessert included bombolini, an Italian donut with a dulce de leche center and mascarpone crème fraiche; and a flourless chocolate silk cake with banana sorbet and peanut butter dirts. “Both were delicious – I was so full by then!” After the meal, Stephan took
Buchholz next door to see the new space. It is going to be more casual tapas and wine bar, open for lunch, called One Door East. It’s opening in the spring sometime – stay tuned. 620 S. Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, 954-523-5767,www.valentinocucinaitaliana.com
La Ferme promises – and delivers–delicious food with a touch of Mediterranean flavor. Its owners and executive chef bring a solid heritage of culinary prowess. Bobby, Laura and Alexandra Shapiro own the dining spot, as well as two Flex Mussel restaurants in Manhattan. Chef John Belleme, who worked at the former Stephane’s, and with renowned restaurateur Burt Rapoport, has joined them.
Dale King and wife, Julia Hebert, contributing writers of South Florida Opulence, found the menu fulfilling, with dishes like Narragansett Dayboat scallops and herbed risotto hinting at New England roots. The menu adjusts seasonally, but currently offers kale Caesar, escargots in the shell, a variety of seafood, forever braised short rib Bourguignon, authentic Moroccan tagines for two with potato pie and accoutrements. Diners can also feast their eyes on the more than $100,000 worth of exquisite artwork. Wines from boutique vineyards, beers from micro-breweries and a list of uniquely crafted cocktails round out the menu.
9101 Lakeridge Boulevard, Boca Raton, (561) 654-6600, laferme.kitchen
“We loved the distressed eclectic interior and spunky yet industrial-casual ambience. The dishes were definitely authentic to the Spanish Capital, starting from the hand-carving of the scrumptious aged
prosciutto ham,” said Robin Jay, Editor of South Florida Opulence.
Perfecto features dishes such as Canelon de Aguacate Y Cangrejo,Tataki de Atun, Patatas Bravas and Croquetas de Pollo. Chef Manresa’s goal is to provide an environment based on a fusion of both food and music. The quaint Brickell restaurant offers traditional Spanish fare with an emphasis on quality ingredients, creating a Europe-meets-Miami dining concept unparalleled by other Miami restaurants. “The service was superb. Our server, Pedro, was well-versed on the dishes and made our culinary journey a fantastic part of the experience. Sensational location, too!” 1450 Brickell Avenue, Miami, 305-372-0620, www.perfectomiami.com
Brother Jimmy’s BBQ
Step outside of present-day Miami and into the Old South at rustic eatery Brother Jimmy’s BBQ. After 20 years in business, Brother Jimmy’s prides itself on specializing in authentic North Carolina slow smoked barbeque. Test your rodeo skills on their mechanical bull or try one of their 22 variations of bourbon – a Southern favorite.
“Brother Jimmy’s expertly seasoned meats and generous portions are a carnivore’s delight,” said Melissa Bryant, Editorial Assistant of South Florida Opulence. “The rib platter featured a tasty country sausage-flavored dry rub paired with a Memphis-style rub. I couldn’t get enough of the humongous bbq nachos with bbq beans, chili, cheese and brisket which seamlessly blended sweet with savory.”
Brother Jimmy’s BBQ Doral location is open for lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 11p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
11401 NW 12th St. (Dolphin Mall) • Doral • (305) 517-5124• www.brotherjimmys.com
Nick’s New Haven-Style Pizzeria & Bar
For a taste of Italy in the suburbs of Coral Springs, look no further than Nick’s New Haven-Style Pizzeria & Bar. There you’ll find thinly-crusted New Haven-style apizza (pronounced ah-BEETZ) and a team dedicated to producing the finest interpretation of this classic Italian dish.
“It’s definitely worth a drive to the ‘burbs’ to try this unique New-Haven style pizza — I’ve never tried anything quite like it. They take their pizza very seriously; only chefs from New Haven are allowed to make the dough because it requires perfectly adapting the flour to our humidity, it uses live yeast and it is allowed to rise three times before it’s baked.
The signature white clam pizza is very similar to how the original pizzas were first made centuries ago for fishermen in Naples, Italy.”
Nick’s New Haven-Style Pizzeria & Bar is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from noon to 10:00 p.m.
2444 N University Drive • Coral Springs • 954-800-7603 • www.nickspizzeriabar.com
The Restaurant at The Setai Miami Beach
Mathias Gervais, Executive Chef at The Restaurant at The Setai Miami Beach, believes in true farm-to-table cuisine. As a child, Mathias and his grandmother combed village markets in Provence, France, for fresh produce like cantaloupe, zucchini flower and eggplant to use in homemade ratatouille. This inspired his culinary career. Chef Mathias went on to work as the Chef de Partie and Sous Chef for famed Michelin-star-rated establishments in Florence, Italy, and Monte Carlo, Monaco. Now, his traditional style of simplistic cooking is on display at The Restaurant.
“Chef Mathias‘ tasting menu was exquisite — my favorite dishes were the zucchini blossom stuffed with goat cheese, and the spicy strawberry gazpacho,” said Robin Jay, Editor of South Florida Opulence. “Also divine was the lobster citrus salad.”
“I like to be an individual with my cooking and in my kitchen; I work to be original with my recipes and flavors – and not like other chefs nearby or beyond,” said Chef Mathias. “It’s important for me to stay true to my Mediterranean and French roots – and not compromise my passion for this cuisine due to ever-changing trends or what’s the “in” ingredient or method. Oftentimes, chefs want to follow trends; I prefer to create trends.”
The Restaurant at The Setai Miami Beach is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. for breakfast and noon to 3 p.m. for lunch. Dinner is served from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Sunday Jazz Brunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday.
La Gazzetta Miami
Modern Italian café, La Gazzetta’s delicately combines Italian Riviera cuisine with international influences for a break from the traditional. Enjoy a glass of environmentally friendly Keg Wine while people watching on their stunning sidewalk café in Mary Brickell Village. With clever concepts, fresh ingredients and a serene ambiance, La Gazzetta has everything necessary for what is sure to be a Miami hot spot.
“I’m a news junkie, so I was fascinated by the use of “La Gazette” newspapers as menus,” said Robin Jay, Editor of South Florida Opulence. “The sushi pizzetta with the wasabi mayo and candied ginger and the pulled pork with sour cream and pickled shallots were delicious. Chef Stephen said they got the crispiness from running the dough through the pasta press. The blend of crunchy, sweet, spicy, salty and creamy was absolutely fabulous. And butterscotch salmon? I don’t normally like salmon…but this dish was sensational.”
La Gazzetta is open from 11:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays, 12:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturdays and 12:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays. 1010 S Miami Ave. • Miami • 305) 523-2393• www.lagazzettamiami.com
Le Tub Saloon
What was once a Sunoco gas is now Hollywood’s best kept restaurant secret. After this former station closed in the early 1970s, Russell Kohuth purchased it, then spent a year hand-building what is now Le Tub out of flotsam, jetsam and gems he collected from Hollywood Beach. With no forms of advertising, this open-air saloon located on A1A is so secret that some people who have resided in Hollywood for years don’t know of its existence. Of course, this was all before Le Tub was named ‘The Best Burger in America’ by GQ Magazine and appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
“Le Tub’s 13 oz., 100 percent sirloin burgers are seasoned, then charbroiled to perfection,” said Michael Perry. “The laid-back atmosphere offers a serene vibe on Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway with quirky objects d’art like decorative toilets, worn wooden picnic
tables and old painted bathtubs. It’s no coincidence why Le Tub continues to garner accolades from television shows, magazines, and average ‘Joes’; they simply make the best hamburger!”
Le Tub is open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. weekdays and noon to 2 a.m. on weekends 365 days a year.
1100 N Ocean Dr. • Hollywood• (954) 921-9425• www.theletub.com
Although it’s 2014, and the period of Prohibition from the 1920s and early 1930s has ended, Americans fascination with the swanky saloons and undercover clubs of this bygone era has endured. Prohibition Restaurant and Speakeasy elicits all of the allure and excitement of these undercover taverns by serving classic cocktails reminiscent of the Roaring ’20s in the energetic environment of Midtown, Miami.
Whether you prefer your drink the “old fashioned” way, with Crown XO, superfine sugar and dashes of bitters poured over an orange slice or more “cosmopolitan,” with Ketel One citrus vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice and lime juice, Prohibition has its fair share of quality spirits to quench any thirst. Elegant small plates like truffle lobster mac & cheese and grilled octopus feature top-notch ingredients. While savory large plates like shrimp chorizo and wagju skirt steak feature the best from land and sea.
Prohibition Restaurant and Speakeasy is open from 5:00 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Turn to page 6 of our Fall issue to read Deirdre Capone’s intimate portrayal of her great-uncle “Al” — Chicago’s most notorious mobster, who became infamous during the Prohibition era.
3404 N Miami Ave. • Miami (305) 438-9199 • www.prohibitionmiami.com
Wynwood Kitchen & Bar (WKB), Miami’s Global-Latino dining destination with cutting-edge art, innovative cocktails and live music, will launch ‘Taste of the Americas’ – a three-month series celebrating the signature cuisine of Latin American countries. The series kicks off in May, when Executive Chef Miguel Aguilar will showcase specialty dishes from Mexico, available each Thursday throughout the month.
“Our menu is all about exploring Latin American cuisine from around the globe. Taste of the Americas allows me an opportunity to spotlight some of my favorite cuisines and share those with our diners,” says Aguilar. “I’m excited to start with Mexico because the food is simple yet fun and packs a lot of flavor.”
Taste of the Americas: Mexico will be available for lunch and dinner Thursdays throughout May (2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th ) at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, 2550 N.W. 2nd Avenue. Ample street parking and valet are available. Telephone: 305-722-8959; www.wynwoodkitchenandbar.com and www.facebook.com/wynwoodkitchenandbar.
Cevíche Tapas Bar & Restaurant Delray Beach Unveils Spring/Summer SpecialsTapas Tuesdays, Wine Wednesdays and Happy Hour
Cevíche Tapas Bar & Restaurant in Delray Beach has unveiled spring/summer promotions, including Tapas Tuesday, Wine Wednesday and weekday happy hour. Ceviche, located at 116 NE 6th Avenue in the historic home formerly occupied by Falcon House, opened in December; it is a popular Spanish tapas restaurant with five other locations statewide. Happy hour takes place Tuesday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and features a $4 tapas menu, including homemade garbanzos hummus, Esparragos, Gambas y Guacamole, Albondigas (veal, chorizo and pork meatballs in piquant tomato sauce), Chorizo al Brandy (grilled sausage flambéed with Spanish brandy over roasted potatoes and onions), Gambas al Ajillo (tender shrimp served sizzling in garlic and extra virgin olive oil with red pepper flakes), Mejillones Catalana (fresh mussels sautéed with anisette, garlic, a touch of cream and parsley), and other specialties. Happy hour drink specials are $3 well drinks, select beers and house wines and $4 sangrias and calls.
Tapas Tuesday features $4 tapas and sangria all night, along with $6 Mount Gay Rum Mojitos. The $4 tapas include the items mentioned above as well as Higados de Pollo (crispy chicken livers, mushrooms and smoked bacon in a Spanish sherry sauce), Champiñones al Ajillo (sautéed wild mushrooms with extra virgin olive oil and garlic, flambéed with Spanish sherry), and Gambas Bravas (tender shrimp lightly dusted and fried and tossed with spicy homemade aioli). In addition, Ceviche offers Solomillo a la Parilla for $8 (beef tenderloin grilled and sliced with wild mushrooms and brandy cream sauce) and Salmon a la Gaditana for $6 (grilled Norwegian salmon served with saffron sauces and leeks).
Each Wednesday all bottles of wine from Ceviche’s award-winning list, priced at less than $100, are half off throughout the night.
About Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant
Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant is a unique restaurant concept where atmosphere, culture and food blend perfectly into one. The flare and flavors of Spain are carefully fused together to create a unique dining and entertainment experience. The menu consists of over 75 tapas to share with recipes influenced by traditional dishes from old Spain. House specialties include an incredible selection of Ceviche’s, Paellas, Piquillos Rellenos, Gambas al Ajillo and their famous Patatas Bravas. Traditional Spanish desserts including Flan and Tres Leches are homemade in the restaurant. The award-winning wine list includes an extensive selection of wines from the Iberian peninsula. Red, white and sparkling Cava pitchers of Sangria are prepared tableside. The unique dining ambiance provides for an intimate dinner, casual night with friends or dancing the night away in the Flamenco lounge. For more information, visit www.Ceviche.com or www.facebook.com/CevicheDelray.
BRUNCH WITH BRAVADO Since opening in October 2012, Toro Toro has drawn raves for its ultra-modern setting and innovative Pan-Latin steakhouse cuisine by acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval. Located on the lobby level of the eclectic InterContinental Miami, the restaurant recently introduced a not-to-be-missed “Brunch with Bravado,” offering endless eats and unlimited cocktails.
“The menu features dishes that are a fusion of Latin and Asian ingredients – and they’re served in small-plate tapas style for sharing so that everyone can enjoy a little of everything,” said New-York-based Chef Joseluis Flores, who is in Miami overseeing the new venue. “Come in on Sunday and have a party – relax and enjoy as many of the brunch tapas and cocktails as you like!” Lobby level of the InterContinental Miami • 100 Chopin Plaza in downtown Miami • (305) 372-4710 • www.torotoromiami.com
Images left to right: Heirloom Tomatoes; Pan Latin Small Plates; Arepas
Things are hotter than ever at 1500°, the acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant with a steakhouse sensibility. Entering its 3rd year at the historic resort, executive chef Paula DaSilva, sous chefs Tony Velazquez and Adrienne Grenier, along with mixologist Rafa Dulanto, have unveiled a host of new temptations sure to set taste buds tingling this winter. “Since we’re very dedicated to seasonality, our menu is ever-changing,” says DaSilva, whose work helped make 1500° one of Esquire’s “Best New Restaurants in America” in 2011. New entrees include grilled black grouper with Beluga lentils, Benton’s smoked bacon, roasted root vegetables and pea tendrils, as well as a killer paella for two inspired by DaSilva’s recent trip to Spain. Eden Roc Renaissance • 4525 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach • (305) 674-5594 • www.1500degreesmiami.com
Left to right: Grilled Octopus with Charred Artichoke; Florida Wahoo Ceviche;Pork Belly Taco with Kimchee
At Serafina Dream South Beach,restaurateurs Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato offer a memorable Northern Italian dining experience. Serving more than 24 pizza varieties and a wide selection of salads, pastas and grilled fish and meat, diners enjoy recipes that use the highest quality ingredients. Sommelier Alessandra Rotondi has curated a wine list featuring highly rated wines from Italy, France, New Zealand and the U.S. “Serafina’s homemade pastas areto-die-for, as are the truffle pizza and truffle risotto,” said Robin Jay, Editor in Chief. “Ask for Enio to serve you – he’s a one-man show!”1111 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach • (305) 534-8455 www.serafinarestaurant.com/serafina/miami
Images Left to right: Homemade Fettuccini; Grilled Salmon on a bed of spinach and capers; Pizza (24 varieties);
As you travel over the quaint bridge to Brickell Key, you’ll see the stunning curved architecture of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel – shaped like the signature fan in the five-star hotelier’s logo. It’s no wonder that Luciano Pavarotti was the very first guest when the hotel opened in 2000. You, too, will feel like singing opera when you visit the hotel’s signature fine dining venue – Azul. “Chef Jacob Anaya is as delightful as his menu,” said Robin Jay, Editor in Chief of South Florida Opulence. “I recommend starting with the Grand Azul Platter.
On a mound of crushed ice comes the finest oysters, stone crab claws, jumbo shrimp and other delicacies of the sea. If you love caviar, don’t miss the “Elit” Vodka caviar service. You’ll also adore the grilled Spanish octopus, the heirloom beet salad, the handmade tortellini and, my favorite of all, the acquerello risotto made with roasted chestnut, prosciutto di parma and a delicious port wine reduction. 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami • (305) 913-8358
South Florida’s culinary maestro Angelo Elia, who has received numerous awards and accolades for his flagship fine dining restaurant Casa D’Angelo, recently opened the second outpost of his hip, affordable Tuscan dining concept, D’Angelo Pizza • Wine Bar • Tapas in Weston.
The menu – under the auspices of Elia and Executive Chef Tony Sassi, who hails from Barletta, on the southeast coast of Italy and previously worked for the Mezzanotte company – focuses on fresh, seasonable ingredients imported from Italy.
“Chef Elia has truly outdone himself with this new venue! Just a week after opening, the place is packed,” said Robin Jay, Editor in Chief of South Florida Opulence. “The creamy burrata with roasted figs is the most amazing flavor and texture combination ever. The veal meatballs melt in your mouth and the stuffed zucchini flowers are delicate and delicious!” 1370 Weston Road, Weston • (954) 306-0037 • www.dangelopizza.com
NEW BRUNCH HEATING THINGS UP
Saturday & Sunday Brunch Launches June 1
Located south of Fifth in the heart of South Beach, Tongue & Cheek is the whimsical new restaurant owned and operated by Chef Jaime DeRosa and restaurateur Michael Reignbogin. Opened since April, t has been wowing diners with its creative menu and locals-friendly service and setting. In fact, most nights, the bar bustles with locals grabbing a drink and a few tasty bites from the restaurant’s “snack bar” or family meal – a complete meal with beverage available from 5 p.m. Served every Saturday and Sunday beginning Saturday, June 1, the à la carte weekend brunch menu will feature classic brunch staples as well as unique offerings profiling DeRosa’s unique culinary style. Eggs come in a number of varieties, from a King Crab Benedict with Tobasco® hollandaise and baby arugula ($15) to an omelet with heirloom tomatoes, burrata and sweet basil ($9). Additional savory selections range from lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry jam ($10) and Cuban sandwich with pork cheeks and pickled cucumbers ($11) to a fried clam roll with pickled peppers, smoked aioli ($10) and a well-selected Raw Bar consisting of east and west oysters, Key West peel n’ eat shrimp and Taylor Bay scallops, among other. House-made Pastries include a basket of donut holes in three varieties ($2 per person) and sticky buns with brown butter pecans ($4). Rounding out the menu are Cereals, Fresh Squeezed Juices and, of course, brunch cocktails, including Bloody
Mary’s in a variety of fashions ($8). To sweeten the deal, DeRosa and Reginbogin are offering $10 valet during brunch and are happy to let diners looking to hit the beach post-brunch leave their cars at the restaurant. Brunch is served 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.pm.; cars must be picked up by 3:00 p.m. and valet must be validated prior to leaving the restaurant. Miami Beach residents looking to get a jump on things can enjoy complimentary coffee/periodicals on the T&C patio from 10 a.m. to noon. Dinner is served nightly, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; ’til midnight on Friday and Saturday. The snack bar opens at 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Brunch is served Saturday and Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tongue & Cheek located • 431 Washington Avenue • (305) 704-2900 • www.tandcmiami.com