Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Meatball Madness!!! Best Meatballs South Florida





An updated ranking of one of my all time favorite comfort foods, the meatball was long overdue.

For those keeping score at home, I like my balls to be pillow-y soft on the inside with great meat flavor and they MUST be paired with outstanding sauce. Keep those dense balls away!!

This is a short list. The places listed are head and shoulders above the rest in town.

TIER ONE

Cafe Martorano- (Ft. Lauderdale) As good as a meatball gets.

Macaluso's- (South Beach) Chef D'Andrea serves an outstanding meatball. Tip, you can get them for lunch or to go at their market next door.

Macchialina- (South Beach) A dynamite new addition to the list.  Chef Pirolo's balls are made with delicious veal cheek and pork and paired with amazing sauce.  The best sauce of the bunch.

I would love to do a side by side tasting to determine a winner.

TIER TWO

Noodles Panini- (Ft. Lauderdale) Aunt Marion's meatballs are no joke.

Frankie and Johnnys- (Ft. Lauderdale)  Fluffy, meaty and with nice sauce.

Fulvio's- (Hollywood) An underrated meatball in the area that always hits the spot.


HONORABLE MENTION

Sonnys Famous Steak Hogies (Hollywood) Sonny serves a great meatball hogie BUT it is impossible to pass on their cheesesteaks. (TIP- get one to go or go hungry and get a cheesesteak with a meatball hogie on the side)


TO EAT LIST

Randazzo's (Coral Gables) I still have not been to Randazzo's.
Cafe La Buca (Pompano) I'm a big fan but still haven't tried their meatballs.  I suspect that they are tier one or two worthy. We shall see.
Prime Italian (South Beach) I've heard very good things about their meatball.
Anthony's Runway 84 (Ft. Lauderdale) I have not had their meatball in years but recall it being good.


I need some good meatballs for the next rankings.  Toss me some recs...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Swank Table St. Patrick's Day Lunch @ Swank Farms 3/17/13

   
                                          








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Swank Specialty Produce has been supplying restaurants in South Florida with outstanding produce for the past ten years.  This season they introduced SWANK TABLE and invited people to join them on the farm for a series of luncheons. Guests tour their hydroponic growing houses, then plant themselves at their “TABLE.”

Each SWANK TABLE event will give back to the community by donating a portion of the proceeds to local charities.

This should be a great day on the farm with this lineup of talented chefs.


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Wearin’ o’ the Green Salad


Benefiting: The Red Cross March 17, 2013 • 12 –4


$150.00 per person - Adults only

Lindsay Autry
Lindsay K. Autry
Resident Chef for Swank Table
Loxahatchee Groves
 
 

Arnaud Chavigny
Executive Pastry Chef
Cafe Boulud
Palm Beach




Jim Leiken
Chef de Cuisine
Cafe Boulud
Palm Beach





Clay Conley
Chef / Owner
Buccan & Imoto
Palm Beach



\

Michael Wurster
Executive Chef
Malcolm's The art of Food @ The Omphoy Resort & Spa
Palm Beach




Stephanie Miskew
Sommelier
Wine Educator & Writer
Delray Beach



14311 North Road Loxahatchee, FL 33470 
 tel 561-202-5648  
orders@swankspecialtyproduce.com

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Dinner @ Malcolm's: the art of food 2/28/13










                                Malcolm's

Malcolm's the art of food, is the newest restaurant in Palm Beach at The Omphoy Ocean Resort & Spa.

The kitchen is led by Executive Chef Michael Wurster who comes to Palm Beach from some of the country's best restaurants. Chef Wurster has worked in the kitchens of Le Cirque 2000, The French Laundry, Alain Ducasse and as Chef de Cuisine at both Lutece and 11 Madison Park. Michael was also the Executive Chef of ICON at the W Hotel in Midtown Manhattan and was selected to become the Chef behind the stoves for the remake of the iconic Tavern on the Green in Central Park.








Malcolm's: the art of food
The Omphoy Ocean Resort & Spa
2842 South Ocean Blvd
Palm Beach, FL 33480

561.540.6444

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

VooDoo BBQ & Grill (Pembroke Pines)




Okay, this is the review people like South Florida Daily Blog have been clamoring for from me and other serious food bloggers.  No, not you second rate bloggers who love to write about schlocky chains or sub par establishments located in strip malls in the middle of suburban hell.

As I've said before, any schmuck with a car, some cash and a camera phone can pull into one of the vast strip malls across South Florida, plop down into some low tiered chain restaurant or an independently owned freezer to fryer spot and write a negative review.  But what is the point? I can walk down the block right now and enter ten establishments and have ten negative posts to write about.  But it's a waste of my money and my time and then you get to waste your time reading about it.   

I want my money back! And I think South Florida Daily Blog should reimburse me if this is the sort of review his followers desire. (Relax SFDB I'm kidding) 

 

So what possessed me to lose my food common sense and walk into VooDoo Doo Doo BBQ & Grill? It was primarily the positive three star review that both local dish rags carried.  When did newspapers stop requiring resumes and writing samples prior to hiring?  The individual who recommended VooDoo poo poo to the masses should write a follow up piece explaining how many BBQ shrimp he has had in New Orleans or how many slow cooked pieces of real BBQ have landed on his plate. I bet he can tweet those answers with room to spare for a hash tag.

If you really want some comic relief, go read this glowing review from some hack Food blogger Booger.   

In all seriousness, I was passing through the area when I saw the sign and recalled the palate clowns' review. Listen, I knew the place sucked as soon as I read his review.  I knew it sucked even more as soon as I walked inside the door.  But, I am fair and I never prejudge unless she is obese, has bad acne and a mustache.

The New Orleans lover in me wanted to give this place a fair shake and ordered way too much food.  But hey, how can resist chicken and sausage gumbo, BBQ Shrimp, Cajun smoked sausage and slow smoked brisket along with three house made BBQ sauces all in Pembroke Freakin Pines!!











Easily the worst gumbo I have ever had. Zero spice and twice the salt with no traces of chicken or sausage.










BBQ Shrimp "a New Orleans Classic", at least they got that part right.  They allegedly cook it in worcestershire and herb spiked butter sauce.  There was ZERO trace of worcestershire sauce in my bowl. These tasted more like an overly buttered box of popcorn.






House made BBQ sauces probably sounded like a good idea in the boardroom but they forgot that someone needed to create them.  Stick with Crystal.





I still can't believe I'm wasting my time writing this post while some moron is making even more money selling these franchises across the country. Anyway, there was nothing Cajun or spiced about their sausage and the brisket was overcooked and dry.  The three sauces were sad.

The douche bags that are trying to make a profit on New Orleans food by serving this garbage should be stopped in their footsteps.  People of Miami, do not accept this as representative of New Orleans food and more importantly do not waste your hard earned money on this sham.

Go support the chefs and restaurants doing things right and serving great food.


Voodoo BBQ & Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 18, 2013

Midnight Chef's Table with Ryan Smith @ Yardbird 2/22/13

Ryan Smith & Hugh Acheson
                                    
You guys do not want to miss out on chef Ryan Smith's midnight dinner at Yardbird.  Ryan is Hugh's executive chef at  Empire State South in Atlanta.  They delivered my eighth best meal of the year via their pop-up dinner at Harry's Pizzeria.  Ryan also just won the Atlanta round of Cochon 555 last weekend.






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El Ñosh Latin-Jewish Fusion Pop-Up 2/21-2/24




Photo: What do you guys think of our logo? 



El Ñosh is set to coincide with SoBe Wine & Food Festival. Chef Eric Greenspan of The Foundry on Melrose (named by Conde Nast Traveler as the ‘Best New Restaurant in America’ in 2007) will join fellow restaurateur Chef Roberto Treviño, whose four Condado, P.R. eateries (Budatai, Bar Gitano, Casa Lola and El Barril) have been recently featured in The New York Times, Gourmet and Bon Appétit, in a blissful celebration of food, music, fashion and luxurious libations.

The duo will unveil a menu that breaks new ground, blending two distinct culinary traditions.

Thursday’s opening night launch celebration will commence at 7pm and will feature specialty cocktail and wine tastings, hors d’oeuvres, a live Klezmer Band, and Latin Lounge tunes by El Shaman.

The menu will include appetizers such as Gefilte Fish Tacos with an “escabeche” of vegetables, Pastrami and Dill Pickle Croquetas with mustard sauce, entrees such as Mole Braised Brisket with sweet plantain kugel and cilantro salad, New York Steak “Chimichurri” with roasted peppers and golden beets, as well as desserts such as Matzah Brei Tres Leches with papaya syrup and Guava and Cream Cheese Blintzes.

Dinner will be served nightly, 6pm to 11pm, from Friday to Sunday.

Leading mixologists have been enlisted to develop signature cocktails exclusively for El Ñosh, featuring variations on Cel-Ray Soda, Mojitos, Egg Creams and Caipirinhas to pair with the fusion menu.

El Ñosh | South Beach Marriott
161 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach
Opening Feb. 21st @ 7PM

RESERVATIONS
Call or Text: 305 967 2465
Email: elnoshsobe@gmail.com
Dining Hours, Friday thru Sunday: 6PM – 11PM






Makoto (Bal Harbour)




Makoto



After enjoying yet another fantastic omakase sushi experience at Makoto I realized that I've never actually written a dedicated post about it.  Yes, I wrote about a wonderful one on one sushi feast with chef Makoto Okuwa which ended up being my thirteenth best meal  of 2011.  And yes, I recently  ranked them the second best sushi spots in South Florida.  Additionally, they have always been ranked very high in my "tiers of excellence" but this is the first post.

Makoto is part of restaurateurs, Stephen Starr's successful empire.  You may be familiar with Morimoto, Buddakan, Alma de Cuba, Barclay Prime, or even Steak 954 in Ft. Lauderdale.

Chef Makoto Okuwa is part of the Starr stable having trained under the legendary "Iron Chef" Morimoto in Philadelphia.  Makoto was behind the sushi bar on most of my prior visits but the baton chopsticks were recently passed to another Morimoto  protégé, Yoshi Migita.   It should be noted that Yoshi knows a thing or two about pasta since his first job out of culinary school was with Marc Vetri and Jeffrey Michaud at Osteria.  I'm going to start lobbying for some uni and ikura filled raviolis.

Have no fear if Makoto or Yoshi aren't there.  The sushi bar is stocked with several talented sushi chefs.



                                              Makoto

I enjoy going to Makoto and sitting at the sushi bar and allowing them to select the progression.  However, Makoto's non sushi items are fantastic as well.  There are numerous items I'd recommend including Fire and Ice Oysters, Kobe Beef Carpaccio, Toro Tartare, Tuna Air Bread, Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice, Frosty Kobe Fried Rice, and the Robata Grill offerings.

Back to the sushi.  They not only source the finest quality sushi from Japan and other spots around the globe but they also serve unique fish. Plus, Makoto, Yoshi and team each provide subtle tweaks to the pristine fish that elevates it to another level.  Some sea salt here, a touch of garlic there or maybe some sweet kombu too.



Makoto



Makoto is easily one of the best restaurants in Miami.  Hardcore sushi lovers will be happy sitting at the sushi bar while maki (roll) fans will also be very happy too.  The non raw fish lovers in the group will also be pleased by their other offerings.

My latest omakase was fantastic from start to finish and featured some new items I haven't had there before. 




OMAKASE WITH YOSHI (February 15, 2013)




Yoshi came out strong right out of the gates with one of my favorite bites, Chu-Toro, which is a fatty part of the tuna near the belly area.  Yoshi topped it with with a touch of sea salt to enhance this melt in your mouth fatty treat.




Round two was a very nice piece of Kanpachi (amberjack).




Shime Saba, cured mackerel, is a favorite of mine and Yoshi served a dynamite piece.




Another favorite is Kinme Dai, Golden Big Eye Snapper.




A new item for me and one I hope to see again, Engawa, which is apparently a cut near the fluke's fin.  This was a treat for sure.





Yoshi followed up with another rare and delicious treat, Hay-Smoked Ono. (Wahoo)




The hits kept coming. Next was a perfect piece of Kohada (Japanese Shad) topped with sweet kombu.



Tasty Tako (Octopus)




This dynamite piece of  Hamachi Belly blew me away.




Yoshi's Ika (squid) was as good as I've had.




Awesome preparation of Anago (sea eel).



A+ uni from Japan.




An interesting and good pound cake with shrimp.




If you are a Tamago fan, you must order theirs.





The Sweet Shrimp!



The Sweet Shrimps head.


My last bite is always a real treat, Ikura and Uni hand roll.


Makoto on Urbanspoon

Bal Harbour Shops : 9700 Collins Avenue
Bal Harbour, FL 33154 | phone: 305.864.860

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

MIXOLOGIST JOB ALERT!

 
                  



Award-winning chef opening new restaurant in Miami, looking for a meticulous, passionate, creative, and professional Mixologist. 

Extensive knowledge of cocktail culture is imperative, person will be responsible for designing the restaurant's seasonal cocktail selections.





                            





thechowfather@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cold Pressed Raw (Juice Cleanse)


Cold Pressed Raw


Work Hard! Play Hard! Eat Hard! Juice hard??  Yes, I'm crazy but fairly disciplined when I want to be.  I did a three day cleanse a few months ago and had no issues completing it.  Nevertheless, a juice fast is quite a challenge for a food-aholic like me.  I've done my fair share of eating and drinking over the past few months so I figured it was time to do another three day cleanse.  My goal is energize and detoxify my body and more importantly kick start a healthier lifestyle. 

I was introduced to Cold Pressed Raw at my CrossFit gym where their juices are available.  I believe you can also find them at the Green Monkey yoga studio in Midtown Miami.  They are a local based company that is just getting started. Online ordering is coming soon along with free delivery to certain areas.





Cold Pressed Raw's juice is prepared using a hydraulic cold press machine which allows the juices to retain a significantly higher nutritional content.  Cold Pressed juices have more antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.  Cold Pressed Raw's juice is exposed to minimal amounts of oxidation allowing them to retain taste and nutritional value for up to three days.



My three day supply of juice arrived around 9 p.m. the night before the juice cleanse was to begin.





DAY ONE



Although weight loss is not the primary or motivating goal I was curious to see if I lost any pounds along the journey.




6:00 a.m. Ready to start day one. But first a pre workout bottle of water.  Drinking water is encouraged throughout the day as part of the cleanse. They also recommend starting the day with a hot glass of water and lemon to wake up your metabolism.



7:00 a.m. CrossFit

Warm up:                                                           

3 rounds

10 strict pull ups

10 ring dips

10 ghd sit ups                                                              

10 back extensions

10 push press @45#

Lift:

Power Clean + 2 Push Press to Jerk

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1@AHAP

:60 rest between sets

Workout of the Day (WOD)

3 rounds of:

800m run

-or-

1000m row

rest 1:1

Post

3 x 10 seated DB press as heavy as possible.

:45 second rest between sets


8:15 a.m.  Hot water minus the lemon.





9:30 a.m.  Time for the first juice, "The Green."  The Green is a pleasant mixture of kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, parsley, apple, romaine and lemon.  I'm a fan of greens and green juice doesn't scare me at all.  This salad in a bottle was a good way to start the day.    

11:30 a.m. Feeling good and going strong despite going caffeine free. Thus, I decided to push back juice number two for as long as I could.




1:00 p.m. I was starting to feel a tad hungry and wanted to drink number two before I reached a point of no return on the hunger front.

Juice number two, "a-phro-fruit" was a delicious, light and refreshing  combination of pineapple, mint and alkaline water.  




3:23 p.m.  It was time for another round of "The Green."  The liquid salad provided a nice mid-day punch.  




5:30 p.m.  Juice number four, "mexi-cayenne" was an interesting and tasty combination of lemon, alkaline water, cayenne and raw agave.



                 


7:26 p.m.  As a carrot and ginger fan, I was looking forward to juice number five, "Bugz Bunny" all day.  Bugz did not disappoint.  This is a juice I would easily drink on a regular basis.  Juice of the day!




9:30 p.m.  You are advised to drink the last juice two hours before bedtime in order to give your digestive system, a break.  I starting to fall asleep on the couch so I knew I needed to take down juice number 6.  "Almond milk" was a delicious way to end the day.  Raw almond, alkaline water, vanilla extract, cinnamon and raw agave combined to form a vert tasty and satisfying juice.





Dessert! No, no this will be my reward if I make it through the three full days without cheating.

Day one is done and I survived easily.  No coffee, no cheating and no eating.  Nothing but the juice!

Hopefully I will have enough energy and strength for CrossFit tomorrow morning.

I will not bore you with a Day Two post unless I go blind or become delirious at some point.

If you are interested in trying a juice cleanse or simply buying some juice, I would highly recommend Cold Pressed Raw.  The six juices I had to do were fresh, top quality and very tasty.  Hopefully healthy too!


****UPDATE****

The three days are done! I'm happy to report that I had no issues along the way.  I refrained from having my beloved coffee all three days without a problem.  I never reached a point of real hunger and was never inclined to cheat and eat.  Moreover, the juices were great.  I highly recommend Cold Pressed Raw to anyone in the Miami area looking to detox and revive yourself.  On a side note, I went to CrossFit all three days and did not have any issues from being on the juice.  I lost eight pounds along the way.  But more importantly I feel great. 

It should be noted that it cost $65 a day for all 6 juices.


305.209.4277
info@coldpressedraw.com