Thursday, November 24, 2016

Night Market at Pao by Paul Qui 11.29.16 - 12.3.16

Night Market at Pao by Paul Qui – an illuminated indoor and outdoor night experience popping up in the Faena Hotel during Aet Basel 2016. Inspired by electrifying nights in Southeast Asia, Night Market is open from November 29 through December 3 and features exclusive nightly menus paired with music and inventive cocktail collaborations by Bombay Sapphire’s North American Brand Ambassador Gary Hayward and Faena’s mixologist Marko Tomovic.

Guests can choose from two dining options over the course of 5 nights, including Night Market Chef Collective dinners at Pao, which begin at 8 PM and offer a 4-course menu each evening designed by a different chef in collaboration with James Beard Award-winning Chef Paul Qui. Chef collaborators include Edward Lee of 610 MagnoliaMilkweed & Mind of a Chef (PBS), Chef Christopher Haatuft of Lysverket in Norway, Erik Bruner-Yang Toki of Maketto D.C. and John Fraser of DovetailNarcissi & Nix in NYC.

Night Market Carts on Pao Terrace create a lively marketplace inspired by the side alleys in Southeast Asia and will feature hand-held street market-inspired bites by all Chef Collaborators themed after their specially crafted menus inside. Each Night Market cart will be paired with a specialty Bombay Sapphire Gin craft cocktail and live music all night long.

Night Market Chef Collective Dinners at Pao by Paul Qui
Seats 8pm nightly; Tickets are $175 per person, plus service and tax.

Tuesday, November 29: Chef Paul Qui
Wednesday, November 30: Chef Edward Lee
Thursday, December 1: Christopher Haatuft
Friday, December 2: Erik Bruner-Yang
Saturday, December 3: John Fraser

For tickets please visit or call 786-655-5600.

Night Market Carts at Pao Terrace -

Tuesday, November 29 – Saturday, December 3: 5pm – 12 midnight


Monday, November 21, 2016

Cobaya Bourbon Steak 2: Electric Boogaloo staring Chef Gabe Fenton 10.20.16

Wow, writer's block.

I've attempted to write start this post several times over the past month but couldn't get past Bourbon Steak and Cobaya Miami Experiment #65.  Why? Perhaps after all these years and great meals, I've finally run out of superlatives for Chef Gabe Fenton and Bourbon Steak. Or maybe I knew my barely literate words would not do justice for such a special spot.

Regardless, Bourbon Steak has been one of my favorite restaurants since chef Gabe Fenton took over the kitchen approximately 7 years ago.  It has also easily been one of the best restaurants in town since that time as properly reflected in my Best Restaurants Miami list.

When people hear the name Bourbon Steak they rightfully think of Michael Mina and Rajat Parr. And they have put an impressive stamp on the Mina franchise.  Mina and team run a first class operation from top to bottom.  Food, wine, cocktails and service are all consistently top notch no matter the spot.

But make no mistake, Bourbon Steak Miami excels on its own too.  Gabe and his kitchen crew deliver properly executed and great tasting fare on a nightly basis.  They also routinely offer wonderful specials that allow them to break free from their steakhouse menu and show off their creative side.  Any foie gras special is a must get dish as Gabe is the King of Foie.

Gabe's cooking and food alone makes this one of the best spots in town.  The wine list, beverage program and service seal the deal.

As some may recall, they were the first spot in Miami to embrace and re-introduce classic cocktails to guests and they have continued to pour first class drinks thanks to Peter, Michelle and Jennifer.  The wine program is one of the best in town and their two sommeliers, Craig Teriaca and Kareem Zarwi do a great job with by the glass options and pairing assistance.

Service has been professional, helpful, friendly and respectful form day one.  Current GM Anibal Macias has continued the tradition and it trickles down to the hostess, bartenders, servers and bussers too.

So much for writer's block....

Gabe was one of the first chefs we targeted when we started organizing the underground and experimental Cobaya Dinners. He delivered an excellent meal for Cobaya VI which was amazingly more than six years and 59 dinners ago.

Obviously, I was super excited to get Gabe back into the Cobaya Kitchen for another Cobaya dinner. It's something Gabe and I have discussed several times over the years and I'm glad that Part II came to fruition.

And he nailed it again.  This time treating 30 lucky guinea pig lottery winners to a fantastic meal from start to finish. Gabe stayed fairly true to form while elevating several of my favorite things - oysters, sweetbreads, steak, foie and risotto.  Flavors and execution were solid.

The "King of Foie" decided to refrain from doing a dedicated foie course this go round. Instead, he used an incredible torchon as a topping on an equally great Prime NY Strip and my favorite cut, the Ribeye Cap.  He took that to another level by shaving Burgundy Truffles on top.  Yeah, that didn't stink.

The kitchen did a great job with proper pacing and service was Bourbon Steak good all night.

The wine pairing curated by Craig and Kareem was another highlight of the night.

Patty and her pastry team ended the night on a perfect sugar high with her seasonal riff on an affogatto.

As expected, this was a wonderful all-around night. Big thanks to Chef Gabe and his entire kitchen crew for creating and delivering a delicious tasting menu.  Additional thanks to Anibal and the front of the house for first class service and hospitality from the moment guests arrived.  Steven Mills for his continued support and blessing to move forward with another experiment on the Turnberry Property. And huge thanks to the Guinea Pig Nation for your continued support, interest and loyalty.  This is a hobby for us and we will continue to organize them as long as their is interest and a demand.

On a side note, I'd like to encourage all of my readers on this site as well as the Guinea Pig Nation to send letters and emails to James Beard and the Nominating Committee expressing your support for Chef Gabe. He is way overdue and very deserving of a Best Chef in the South nomination.

Hopefully 2017 is his year.

Venison Chili with Fingerling Potato Chips

Housemade Jerky

Florida Grass-Fed Beef Satay

Pairing on display

Wianno Oysters three ways

First Up - Ponzu and Green Apple 

Peter Jakob-Huhn Sekt Rheingau Germany 2012


Buffalo Sweetbreads, celery, PT Reyes blue cheese

Knoll Libenberg Gruner Veltliner Smaragd Wachau Austria 2012

Curry Scented Skatewing, Alaskan king crab and leek risotto

Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Chardonnay Bourgogne France 2013

Prime NY Strip and Ribeye Cap with an incredible foie gras torchon OH and shaved burgundy truffles on top

Vallin Syrah Santa Ynez Valley California 2013

Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream Sandwich! Coffee creme anglaise, milk foam, almond cranberry biscotti

Heinz Eifel Sylvanner Eiswein Rheinhessen Germany 2012

Turnberry Isle
19999 West Country Club Drive
Miami, FL 33180
Tel: 786.279.6600

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Charity Wire - easter seals Festival of Chefs 11.9.16 at Nikki Beach

Wednesday, November 9, 2016, Nikki Beach will host the "28th Annual Festival of Chefs" presented by easter seals of South Florida. With over twenty-six South Florida restaurants participating, guests will sample local cuisine prepared by Miami's finest chefs. The event features a silent auction that includes fine art, jewelry, fabulous wines, and getaways.

All proceeds from the Festival of Chefs will benefit Easter Seals South Florida's Culinary Arts High School, a vocational training program for students ages 14 through 22 with autism and other disabilities.

General Admission: $125 per person
Online with PROMO Code: $100
At the door: $150 per person

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Rowan Jacobsen Shucks Things Up at Mignonette 11.22.16

Rowan is the author of A Geography of Oysters, Fruitless Fall, The Living Shore, American Terroir, Shadows on the Gulf, and Apples of Uncommon Character. He has written for the New York Times, Harper’s, Outside, Mother Jones, Orion, Vice, and others, and his work has been anthologized in The Best American Science & Nature Writing and Best Food Writing collections. He has won a couple of James Beard Awards, an IACP award, and some others. His Outside Magazine piece “Heart of Dark Chocolate” received the Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers for best adventure story of the year, and his Harper’s piece “The Homeless Herd” was named the best magazine piece of the year by the Overseas Press Club. He was an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow, writing about endangered diversity on the borderlands between India, Myanmar, and China, and a McGraw Center for Business Journalism Fellow, writing about the disruptive potential of plant-based proteins. Apples of Uncommon Character was named a Best Book of 2014 by the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, NPR, and others.

210 NE 18th Street
Miami, FL 33132

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Fooq's & Friends Olla Preview with Scott Linquist 11.9.16

On Wednesday, November 9th Fooq’s & Friends presents “OLLA,” by guest chef, Scott Linquist of COYO Taco. Guests are invited to experience Chef Scott’s newest project OLLA before debuting on Miami Beach in late November. Chef Scott will prepare a selection of classic moles derived from the Oaxaca region. During the dinner, guests will be guided through four distinctly different preparations of mole in addition to an amuse of island creek oysters paired with sangrita verde and a shot of Illegal Mezcal Joven. To end the evening, dessert will include Pistachio Crepes, roasted bananas, goats milk dulce de leche, vanilla bean ice cream and CafĂ© de Olla, classic spiced mexican coffee, canela, piloncillo and topped with mezcal crema.

Reservations can be made from 6 PM – 9 PM. Each seating costs $60 per person (plus tax & gratuity), and includes a welcome drink. A tequila cocktail and wine pairing is also available for an additional $35. Space is limited - to make a reservation, email, or call 786.536.2749