Saturday, September 24, 2016

Culinary Community for Camillus House 10.2.16 -11.23.16


Now this is a discounted dining experience to get excited about and more importantly support.  Let's Do This Miami!!

Culinary Community for Camillus House, a new restaurant discount program runs every Sunday-Thursday from October 2 - November 23, 2016.

Participating Restaurants will offer a fixed price two-course lunch for $15 and/or a two-course dinner for $25, excluding gratuities, at a 20-30% discount from usual menu prices. Five percent generated from those meals will go directly to Camillus House to feed and house individuals and families in need.

The program’s creators, a team of pro bono public relations specialists (Brustman Carrino) in tandem with Camillus House, believe the timing of the program, in the shoulder season between Miami Spice and Thanksgiving, will fuel its growth and make it a much-anticipated annual culinary event. Beyond that, they are hoping to strengthen the charity’s bond with the culinary community, creating stronger training and work programs for Camillus House clients, among other benefits. In light of recent funding cuts to regional non-profit organizations, including Camillus House, the timing of this program is very relevant. In addition, a program of promotional benefits is expected to bring new customers to participating restaurants.

Participating restaurants includes Barceloneta, River Seafood Oyster Bar, Timo, Café at Books and Books, Soyka Restaurant, Mina’s Mediterraneo, Brasserie Central, Swine Table & Bar, Via Verdi Cucina Italiana, Izzy’s Fish & Oyster Bar, Gusto Fino Italian Café, Los Ranchos Steakhouse (all four locations), and Mare Mio Restaurant.

About Camillus House: Since 1960, Camillus House has provided humanitarian services to persons who are poor and homeless in Miami-Dade County, Florida. As a ministry of the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God, Camillus House originally was established to serve Cuban exiles. From its humble beginning as a small soup kitchen, Camillus has grown into a full service organization offering a comprehensive “system of care” including food, clothing, emergency, transitional and permanent housing, physical and mental health care, and substance abuse treatment. On an annual basis, among a host of other services, Camillus provides 545,000 free meals; food boxes, showers and clothing for 2,700, as well as housing for 1,100 individuals and families each night. Beyond all that, Camillus provides the intangible gift of hope by treating every individual with love, respect, and dignity. For further info:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

P.I.G. 7 (Wynwood) 11.12.16

PIG 7 will feature craft beer, mix master mixologist cocktails from craft spirits, and all you can eat pork creations from 15 chefs. This event sells out every year so be sure you don't miss out!
Aaron Brooks (Four Seasons Miami)
Steve Santana (Taquiza)
Jeremiah Bullfrog (gastroPod)
Will Crandall (Izzy's)
Craig Deihl (Artisan Meat Share & Cypress, Charleston SC)
Brian Mullins (Ms Cheezious)
Kyle Foster (Julep, Denver CO)
Mike Pirolo (Macchialina)
Patrick Rebholz (50 Eggs)
Joe Sparatta & Lee Gregory (Southbound & Heritage Richmond VA)
Niven Patel (Ghee)
Gabriel Ask (Faena)
Cake (Cake Thai)
Babe Froman (Fine Sausages)
Josh Gripper (The Dutch)
Giselle Pinto (Sugar Yummy Mama)

Tickets are $50.00 and you can purchase them HERE

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Best Restaurants Miami

I've had a lot of great meals in Miami over the past few months so it was time to update my Best Restaurants in Miami list.  As I did a couple of months ago, instead of doing my usual Top 20 or Top 15, I've decided to shine the light on the Five Best Restaurants in town now.  As many of you know, I use an algorithm I co-created with an M.I.T. professor.  It's not perfect but it helps me identify the best of the best.

By now you should know the drill.  This list is chef and food driven. But beverage/wine programs, service, management, ambiance, value and overall experience all play significant roles.

I take this very seriously because I know how hard chefs and restaurants work to serve us great food and provide us with the perfect dining experiences.  But it's only done as a guide to assist you with dining choices and to pay tribute to the chefs and restaurants that are doing outstanding jobs.

Don't waste your hard earned money on subpar spots around town.  Go enjoy the best of the best.

These are the CURRENT TOP FIVE

5. KYU



3. LOS FUEGOS by Francis Mallmann 

2. PAO by Paul Qui

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Kaiseki Dinner at Pao with Paul Qui & Yoshi Okai (Otoko) 9.20.16

It's on!!! September 20, 2016 chef Yoshi Okai, executive chef of Otoko in Austin, Texas is taking his talents to Miami Beach.  Yoshi along with Paul Qui will create a kaiseki experience inspired by Yoshi’s home of Kyoto, Japan’s former capital city, at Pao by Paul Qui located at the Faena Hotel.

Otoko is a 12-seat Japanese restaurant by Paul, James Beard Foundation Award and Top Chef winner. The multi-course omakase experience at Otoko blends Tokyo-style sushi and Kyoto-style kaiseki into a unique tasting menu.   

A traditional kaiseki experience progresses from appetizers (sakizuke, zensai) to steamed (mushimono), fried (agemono) and grilled (yakimono) courses and ends with a hot pot soup (shirumono), fresh fruit (mizumono), and dessert (kanmi).

Yoshi was born and raised in Kyoto, Japan, where he was introduced to the culinary world at a young age through his family’s catering company. Because of his parents’ hectic work schedules, Okai and his three siblings were often responsible for cooking meals.

Okai was introduced to future collaborator and friend Paul at Uchi and Uchiko, where Okai served as head sushi chef for six years. After a stint as head chef at East Side King, Okai joined Qui at his namesake restaurant, Qui, in 2014.

In 2015, Yoshi was named head chef of Otoko.

The last three dinners I attended at Pao with Paul have been excellent.  He followed up his crowd pleasing Cobaya dinner with an outstanding Omakase dinner three nights later.  On August 24 he brought chef Changthong, executive chef at his Thai restaurant in Austin Thai-Kun to town.  That was another awesome meal. I have not done a recap of that one yet but you can see my photos on my Instagram.

The Kaiseki Collaboration looks like another winner and must do event. I will be there for sure.

Tickets are available for $95 with an optional beverage option for $30, exclusive of tax and service charge.

September 20th, 2016, 7:00pm, Pao by Paul Qui

Click here to book your tickets

Potential/representative dishes from Otoko that should get you hungry pictured below.

Zensai - Lotus root, salmon roe, chervil, Japanese parsley + ponzu

ayu (aka sweet fish) with compressed watermelon, yuzu & burnet

Binnaga albacore tuna, cherry plum, jalapeño, ponzu, cilantro

Eryngii mushroom, dinosaur kale, kurogoma sauce, Turk's cap

Hirame from Misaki, Japan with unripe satsuma tangerine and lambs quarters

Aoyagi, skimmer clam, green mango, yuzu juice,  Mexican marigold,  nasu

3201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140

Hours of Operation
Dinner Only
6:00pm – 11:00pm (Sunday – Thursday)
6:00pm – 12:00am (Friday & Saturday)

For Information
Phone +1 786 655 5600 / + 1 844 798 9712