Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Crumb on Parchment Art Basel Garden Cafe (Botanical Gardens)

Crumb on Parchment  fans can stay on South Beach during Art Basel and grab lunch at the Crumb Garden Cafe Pop Up located at the Botanical Gardens.  The Garden Café will offer comfort food favorites with salads, freshly made sandwiches, hot plates, soups and exquisite baked goods.

Michy's Art Basel Pop Up @ Botanical Gardens (South Beach)

Great news art and Michelle Bernstein fans.  Michy's is bringing their talents to South Beach for five nights during Art Basel.  The Michy's pop will feature a four course tasting menu along with a welcome cocktail and passed hors D'oeuvres. Seatings are at 6:30 and 9:00 p.m.  Tickets are required and can be purchased HERE.

Grower Champagne Dinner @ Cafe Boulud 12/19/13

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Charity Chicken Philly- "The Zaslow" @ Miami Subs (November)

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Food, sports, charity and Zaslow fans rejoice!! Zaslow has been busy in the Miami Subs kitchen creating a limited edition Buffalo Chicken Philly. You can purchase Zaz’s Chicken Philly for $5.29 for a six-inch or $7.29 for a 12-inch. It's available on white or multigrain bread and features chicken grilled with onions, tossed with Miami Subs’ famous buffalo wing sauce and then topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato and creamy blue-cheese dressing.

Proceeds will benefit the James Jones Legacy Foundation, founded by Miami HEAT player James Jones to provide underprivileged children with positive role models.

“I was so excited that Miami Subs provided me the opportunity to create my own sandwich while supporting a great cause, too,” Zaslow says. “I chose James Jones’ foundation because he is a local guy, doing good things for local kids. In addition, I went to school with him when we were kids, so I like the idea of helping his foundation.”

About the James Jones Legacy Foundation:

The James Jones Legacy Foundation, (JJLF) is a nonprofit (501 c3) organization serving the South Florida community since 2009. Our mission is to make a difference in the lives of children who do not have access to positive role models. Our programs provide the tools to help children discover their gifts and build a foundation to explore and pursue their dreams. Believing that every child deserves a chance to blossom, we are dedicated to serving foster/adoptive, special needs, homeless and at risk youth.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Best Restaurants Miami - "Tiers" of Excellence


Since it is the holiday season I decided to extend my list from the Top 20 to the Top 30 Best Restaurants in Miami.  As always, they are broken down into Tiers in order to provide a more accurate ranking and to provide further guidance when you are making those tough dinner bell decisions.

Food is obviously the primary factor in the rankings but service, ambiance, wine/beverage programs and value all play a significant role.  They can bump a restaurant up or down the rankings and potentially a tier.

The following are THE 30 BEST restaurants in Miami right now.  Again, EVERY restaurant ranked is recommended by me.  I went with a straight list this time without any editorial content in order to have a quick and clean reference.  If you have any questions on any restaurants or recommended dishes, please do not hesitate to email me @

Thank you for reading.


Naoe- (Miami)

TIER 1.5

The Bazaar (South Beach)
Makoto(Bal Harbour)
Bourbon Steak- (Aventura) 
The Cypress Room - (Design District)
db Bistro Moderne(Miami) 


The Dutch(South Beach)
Michy's(Upper Eastside)
J&G Grill - (Bal Harbour)
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink(Design District)
Edge Steak & Bar- (Miami)
Macchialina (South Beach)
Joe's Stone Crab - (South Beach)


Pubbelly - (South Beach)
neMesis Urban Bistro(Miami) 
Blue Collar(Upper Eastside)
Restaurant Michael Schwartz(South Beach) 
PB Steak - (South Beach)
Tongue and Cheek- (South Beach) 


MC Kitchen - (Design District)
Salumeria 104 - (Midtown)
Toscano Divino (Miami)
The River Oyster Bar-  (Miami)
Sushi Deli(North Bay Village)
Yakko-San (North Miami Beach)
Meat Market - (South Beach)
Wolfgang's Steakhouse (Miami)


Macaluso's - (South Beach)
Oak Tavern - (Design District)
Milos - (South Beach)
Timo - (Sunny Isles)
The Federal - (Upper Eastside)


South Beach     11
Downtown         7
Design District   4
Upper Eastside   3
Bal Harbour       2
Aventura/NMB  2
Sunny Isles         1
NBV                   1
Midtown             1

CASUAL TIER but non fast food - Momi, Sakaya, My Ceviche, Lucali, Kings County Pizza, Harry's Pizza, Lutong Pinoy and Josh's Deli.

TO DO TIER - Haven, Zuma, Lipi, Palm d 'or, Sumi, OTC, Catch, Red The Steakhouse & Lorenzo.

RETURN TO TIER - Khong (minus Bee), Scarpetta, Hakkasan, Mandolin, Eating House, Petit Rouge, Sardinia and Yardbird.

Coming Soon- Blackbrick Chinese, Michael Mina 74, L'Echon, Lure Fishbar, Morimoto, La Mar & A new venture by Timo.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Notorious P.I.G IV 11.24.13

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P.I.G. IV Organized by Chef Jeremiah Bullfrog is setting up as the deal and meal of the year.  P.I.G I, II & III were great but this year J invited some of his talented friends to share in the pork fun. Cobaya alumni: Antonio Bachour (St. Regis), Aaron Brooks (Edge), Conor Hanlon (The Dutch), and Brad Kilgore (J&G Grill) along with Giorgio Rapicavoli (Eating House) will be serving dishes as well.

Sunday November 24, early admission for P.I.G. V.I.P. at 3pm. VIP spots are $50 per person and will get you early entry and a featured mixologist cocktail too.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

CobayaBelly with Chef Jose Mendin 11.11.13


It was a bloody Monday for 60 Guinea pigs who were slaughtered as part of Cobaya Experiment 37. Chef Jose Mendin had a gothic vision for the evening and he killed it.

The candle lit dining room may have been over run by a group of rabid gourmet guinea pigs but there was no doubt that Chef Medin was in compete control. It was a lively crowd that became more energized with each creative and impressive dish.

It was an aggressive menu that delivered a ton of great flavors from start to finish.

In a nutshell, it was a great time, a great group in a great setting, paired with great food and drinks which resulted in an all around fantastic Cobaya.

Thank you Chef Mendin, Andreas Schreiner, Sergio Navarro and your entire team. It was an impressive display in every way.

The quote of the night goes to the guy who roared "thanks to the brains" as Chef Mendin was introducing and thanking his kitchen crew.

And I neglected to congratulate the couple who were recently married and celebrating their honeymoon Cobaya Style. Congratulations. That's an awesome way to roll.

I'm sure by now you are familiar with Chef Mendin and his success as Chef/Partner at Pubbelly, PB Steak, Pubbelly Sushi as well as his fairly new lunch pop up Taco Belly. He has a new venture in the works that should be open called L’Echon Brasserie. It will be located at the Hilton Cabana Hotel on Miami Beach. I'm sure it will be another hit and well worth visiting. For those unfamiliar with Jose and the Belly's, I wrote about him and PB Steak back in March and you can read that recap here.

The night featured several knockout dishes. My favorites were the veal brains thanks to the soft and creamy texture of the brains along with the fantastic flavor of the squid ink and soy. The szechuan style tripe dish was one of the best tripe preparations I've had. The execution and flavors were flawless. It's three days later and I still can't pinpoint exactly what it was that had me wanting more and more of the smoked tongue papperdelle. The three passed appetizers to start the night were outstanding as well. Oxtail, bone marrow and sweetbreads were all prepared in unique and extremely tasty ways.

Below is a photo recap of the night. I was dark so pardon the quality.

Thank you to all the guinea pigs for coming out and for all those who requested seats. You support keeps the Cobaya Bus rolling. Stay tuned.

    The packed, candle lit room was the perfect setting for this fun and energetic evening.

   A special wine pairing option was offered along with four cocktails. Yes, the Burlesque Old        
   Fashioned was included for me. Thank you.

The aforementioned Burlesque Old Fashioned comprised of Four Roses Bourbon, Benedictine, Hibiscus Syrup and Burlesque Syrup.

Passed Appetizers
                              Crispy Sweetbreads with fermented black bean sauce and carrot ginger slaw

                            Oxtail Croquettes with caramelized onion purée and valdeon aioli

    Not pictured was a fantastic Bone Marrow pumpernickel toast, short rib, raisins, pickles

Stabbed in the Beef Heart Tartare
(Niman Ranch Cattle, California)
                  Peruvian aji panca rustic dressing, pickled baby onions, blood sausage filone toast

                                                              The blood sausage filone toast

Close up of the blood sausage filone toast

Szechuan Style Tripe
braised in juniper berries, allspice, cinnamon, orange, then fried and glazed with a reduction of chilies and sugar. raw slaw of shaved brussels sprouts, Florida green onions, ginger and garlic

Veal Brains Meuniere
(Strauss Family Farms, Wisconsin)
black butter made with squid ink and soy, roasted huitlacoche, oregon chanterelles, fava beans, end of the season sweet corn, parmigiano reggiano

Red Oak Smoked Tongue Papardelle
(Jackman Ranch Wagyu Cattle, Florida)
tuscan kale from Robert Borek Farms in Homestead, dry shiitake, nicoise olives, umami jus

30 Day Dry Aged Prime Rib
(Cox Familiy Farms, Alabama)
beef blood jus, fall mushrooms, baby pumpkin souffle, vidalia onions with sauce bordelaise

The baby pumpkin souffle, vidalia onions with sauce bordelaise

Ice Cream Sundaes
with fudge, nut brittle and toasted coconut

Jose and manager Monique Hernandez who did a great job with the front of the house and bar.

    Chef Mendin introducing his team at the end of the meal to a boisterous crowd.

    "Thanks to the Brains"
PB Steak
1787 Purdy Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 695-9550

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Winemaker Jim Shumate - Pomar Junction @ The Federal 11.14.13

      Winemaker Jim Shumate from Pomar Junction Hosts Wine Dinner Nov. 14



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What better way to spend an evening than drinking amazing wines and eating some fabulous food? All Aboard! Time to get on the wine train straight to Paso Robles!


Food & Wine Pairing - Pomar Junction

The Federal
Address: 5132 Biscayne Blvd. / Miami, Fl, 33137 (map)| Telephone: 305.758.9559

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Big Night in the 305 11.20.13


Bad News/Good news Truffle fans. The Bad- The Cobaya version of Trufflepalooza at  The Dutch sold out quickly.  The Good- Chef Carmellini is offering a three course version in the main dining room featuring (a choice among 2 appetizers, 3 mains & 2 desserts) for $75, excluding tax and tip. There will be a wine pairing option as well.  Both events are sponsored by 5 Diamond Delicacies.

Additionally, Chef Jamie Derosa and Paula DaSilva are teaming up on the last installment of Tongue & Cheek's Kitchen Collaboration series this year.  Stay tuned for more to come in 2014.


Priced at $75 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) diners will be welcomed by complimentary cocktails and an array of hors d'oeuvres and five course dinner. A beverage pairing is also available for an additional $25 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). Start time: 7 p.m. Seating is limited and must be purchased in advance. For reservations, please call: (305) 704-2900.


And one more for you...

CELEBRATE 5 YEARS WITH SCOTT CONANT. Scott Conant arrives to host a special 5th anniversary dinner at Fontainebleau on Wednesday, November 20, 2013. Conant will feature a prix fixe menu of dishes featured in The Scarpetta Cookbook, newly out in stores October 25. $95 per person includes dinner, meet & greet with Scott Conant and an autographed book. Option wine pairing $45 per person. Reservations for the event may be made by calling 305-695-4828.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Common Threads Wine Tasting @ Micha's Market 11.14.13



In order for us to grow, we need you to
eat, drink, and be merry!

Support our tiny chefs by heading to Misha's Market on Thursday, November 14 at 5:30PM for a Wine Tasting to benefit Common Threads.

Mix up your traditional wine and cheese night by enjoying a variety of wines and yummy treats, including Misha's cupcakes.

100% of proceeds raised will benefit Common Threads, so no need to feel guilty about indulging in wine, specialty cheeses, prosciutto, truffle honeys, and cupcakes.

Buy your $40 ticket here before the price goes up at the door!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Chef Jason Wang 11.21.13

People of Miami. Here is your chance to dine on the popular Flushing NY cuisine of Jason Wang. His dinner with Andrew Zimmern during the Wine and Food Fest is already sold out. Don't miss out again.

Craft Spirits & Beer Events 11.8-11.10.13

Pink Collar Cobaya for the Cure 10.30.13



Chef Danny Serfer + Blue Collar + National Breast Cancer Awareness Month + Susan Komen + Cobaya =  Pink Collar Cobaya for a Cause. AND a fantastic meal for forty charitable and generous diners. 

The paragraph that Danny wrote and placed on the bottom of each menu says it all. 

This was a very special evening for chef Serfer and it was for a great cause.  Danny's generosity was impressive.  He not only donated 100% of the proceeds to Susan Komen , he sourced some of the most luxurious ingredients around in order to make sure the generous donors had a special meal. He also closed the restaurant for the night.

Additional props to his staff who generously donated their time for the cause. Guests were also treated to a special cameo appearance from Allegra Angelo who is one of the best sommeliers in town. She's no stranger to the Cobaya Kitchen as this was her third time pairing and pouring for the guinea pigs.

Following the dinner I had an opportunity to put Danny on the hot seat and grill him on things we all wanted to know.

Thirty One Questions with Chef Serfer.


1. Talk about the importance of doing the Pink Collar Cobaya Dinner

I wanted to do something to give back to the community that has been so generous to me. This makes sense because it is something that has affected me personally. I lost my mom at a young age to this so if I could do anything to prevent that from happening to another young person. Also its not uber so it means something.

2. How did you feel cooking that night?

Grateful that I had the opportunity.

3. Your Mom looks down during the Pink Collar Dinner, what does she say to you?

Only beer and wine, No vodka?

4. Her dish of the night would have been?

Prime Rib, though she would have preferred it rare.

5. Where were you born and raised?

Jacaranda til 10 then Aventura.

6. Favorite restaurant growing up?

Newport Pub, Twice baked potatoes, wedge salad, and prime rib all day, brandy sticks for dessert.

7. Something about cooking that you appreciate now that you didn't when you started?

What it take to be an owner. Cooking is the smallest part of it. Its all about leadership, patience, and mentoring.

8. Something you do that annoys your staff?


9. Culinary hero?

Thomas Keller

10. Favorite cook book?

Marcella Hazans Fundamentals of Italian.

11. Chef Allen walks into the collar what are you sending out to impress him?

Latke Pizza with Sausage.

12. Burger or Pizza?


13. Favorite Movie?

On the record Fast Times at Ridgemenot High, Off record, Gone With The Wind.

14. You're at the movies, what are you eating?

Popcorn doused with Buncha Crunch, Frozen Coke.

15. Red Vines or Twizzlers?

If drinking a soda, twizzlers so I may use as a straw too, if not the vines.

16. My script is done and Blue Collar the Movie is casting who plays you?

Jonah Hill.

17. Who plays Josh (his good friend from Josh's Deli)?

Bill Hader.

18. Favorite TV show?

The League.

19. Favorite strip club during your bachelor days and why?

Secrets, They Never tell.

20. Favorite beverage?

Cherry Coke with crushed ice.

21. Favorite fast food spot?

Chic Fil A

22. Favorite dish at Waffle House?

Egg sausage cheese sandwich exrtra pickles.

23. Tweezers in the kitchen, yay or nay?

Not for me, I like to cook real food that hits the table piping hot.

24. Collab dinner with a chef not named Josh, who?

Joe Dobias of Joe and Missed Doe in NYC.

25. Dish you wish you didn't put on the menu and why?

Shit on a shingle, the name would scare people.

26. A table of four you'd love to see walk into the Collar?

Dan Marino, Mark Clayton and Duper, Don Shula. Childhood heroes.

27. What are you serving them?

Deboned chicken wings stuffed with Serrano and provolone, doused in pomegranate blue cheese sauce, CAST IRON cooked dry age porterhouses with onion rings, chocolate cake.

28. Last meal, what are you eating?

Mazesoba from Yakko San

29. Favorite dish to cook at home?

Spaghetti n Meatballs.

30. True or False, Speak and Spell was your favorite toy?

Wahsts, thst?

31. What happened to the picture of you holding the cock on the website and why were you holding one?

That was a picture where I was thin to impress the ladies, now that i'm married no more need.

 Kumamoto Oysters

Porcini Mushroom Croquettes

Both starters were paired with a nice Santa Julia Brut Rosé NV

Caviar x2
Scrambled Eggs 'n' Toast and Yukon Gold Blinis. Both featuring dynamite Kaluga Caviar. Paired nicely with a Paul Blanck Rosenberg Riesling Alsace 2009

Close up of the Kaluga.

Stone Crab Roll
Mini P-Muff, Pink Pepper, Shallot, Drawn Butter, Old Bay Fried Potato Chips.  Great dish and paired with 
Terrapin Rye Ale.

Game of Truffles!!!

White Alba Truffle
Acquarello Risotto, Saffron, Aged Pecorino
Paired with Allan Scott New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Shave your own truffles was a great idea and elevated this dish to another level.

Chilled Maine Lobster
Jicama, Mango, Watercress, French Lemon Vinegar.  Loved every bite of this dish.  Paired with
Evesham Wood Pinot Noir 2012

Roasted Prime Rib of Beef
Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Potato Rosti, Jus
Terrebrune Bandol Rouge 2008
Perfect prime rib and fantastic foie.

Fried Cookies and Soda
Oreos, Newman Ginger-O's
Dr. Better Soda

Hidden Rose Apples

Thanks again to everyone for your continued support and generosity.