Tuesday, August 8, 2017

La LeGGenda Pizzeria Napoletana (South Beach)



As my longtime readers know, I am a huge pizza fan. Unfortunately, South Florida is loaded with awful pizza and I've tried my fair share of it while searching for great pies. And make no mistake, there are some very impressive pizzerias in town now.  Well, you can add another one to that list.  To the top of the list!  

La Leggenda opened recently on the eastern side of Espanola way on South Beach.  Behind the pizza oven, which was imported from Naples where he owns another pizzeria, is Giovanni "La LeGGenda" Gagliardi.  Yes, he is a pizza legend and world champion of Neapolitan pies.  Believe the hype.  


When I posted my updated Best Pizza Rankings a couple of months ago I indicated that La LeGgenda had just opened and I suspected that they would be ranked very high on my next list. That was because Giovanni was previously at Ironside Pizza and I ranked them second in South Florida while he was there.  His pizza is that good.  The sauce, cheese, dough, crust and overall flavors all excel.  The non pizza items I've tried have been very good too.

If you are a pizza fan like me you need to run to La LeGGenda.  Their menus is not posted online so I posted the pizza menu below.   




Margherita STG - Best Traditional Pizza in the world Award -  Pizza World Championship, Parma 2012.  Mozzarella di bufala campaign DOP, San Marzano tomato sauce and basil.






Pasta E Palate - pasta mist with potatoes and smoked provoke di buffalo campana DOP












224 Española Way, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Monday, August 7, 2017

Shimuja Ramen Bar - Miami & Davie




Ramen fans of Miami I have a must do spot for you.  I've been several times over the past few months and everything has been good to great with no exception.  I posted some shots on my Instagram feed but did not write a post about it because it was only operating as a pop up inside the popular Brickell bar Baby Jane.  However, word on the street is that it will have a permanent home at Baby Jane moving forward.  Additionally, they are in the process of opening a second location in Davie, Fl.  

I'm not a ramen expert but I enjoy it and have had my share over the years. Shimuja is up there with the best in town.  Flavors are strong and well balanced.  Yes, it's super hot in Miami right now but you will not regret taking down chef Keiichi Maemura ramen along with his other dishes that are equally as good.  Plus, you can cool down with one of Baby Jane's cocktails.  

Shimuja opened as a ten seat ramen shop in Kagoshima, Japan in 2011.  They'e expanded to three locations in Kagoshima and won Best Ramen in 2015.  Award winning ramen in Miami, sold!

 If you haven't been, go.  If you have been, you know.  





Pork dumplings in shiro shoyu soup with scallions, sesame seeds, and spicy sesame oil are a must get dish every visit.  The dumplings are great and the broth is full of flavor.




Pictured above is the Kagoshima Special Ramen which is $5.00 more than the other ramen on the menu but it was worth the price. The Kagoshima Special is made with wavy thin noodles with a thick pork broth, topped with scallions, sprouts, extra kikurage mushrooms, seared half-boiled egg, burdock, cabbage, carrots, seaweed, and extra chasu pork.  

Also available are Tonkotsu and Shiro Shoyu Ramen at $15.00





Cucumber in sesame salt sauce is a great way to get your palate ready while you wait for that ramen.




Another winner is their Chasu Bowl and a great value at $7.00.  Rice topped with Chashu pork, “kinshi” egg, lettuce, scallions, seaweed, “Kabayaki” sauce, and Sichuan pepper.  

I was so excited to try  the Mentai Bowl that I forgot to take a shot.  Same with the Chasu Pork buns which may be the best in town.  

The Mentai Bowl features rice topped with spicy cod raw, “kinshi” egg, scallions, seaweed, and spicy mayo.

Unfortunately, I have not tried the Japanese-style Fried Chicken which is marinated in special sauce.  I hear it is excellent too.





Saturday, July 22, 2017

Chef Collective - Paul Qui & Daniel Burns 7.25.17 at Pao

Chef Daniel Burns via Faena

















As you are aware by now, I am a big fan of Chef Paul Qui and his restaurant Pao at the Faena Hotel.  Paul is a passionate and creative chef and when he is in town (Miami) he is always looking to create special experiences for his guests.  Thus, he started a Chef Collective series where he brings in his talented chef-friends from out of town as well as locally to collaborate on a one night tasting menu.  I've been to several of these and they are fantastic and interesting meals.  Trust me, you will not leave disappointed.

Up next is Chef Daniel Burns on July 25th at 7pm.   If you're not familiar with Daniel all you need to know is that he spent three years as pastry chef at Noma after spending time at The Fat Duck and St. John.  He subsequently opened the Momofuku Test Kitchen.  In 2013 he opened a seasonal tasting menu restaurant in Brooklyn called Luksus which became the first restaurant to earn a Michelin star without serving wine.  His dishes were only paired with beer.  Unfortunately, Luksus recently closed but his popular craft beer bar Tørst remains open.  

This Chef Collective should be a good one too.

Tickets are $95.00 and can be purchased via Tock HERE.

If you missed my recaps of Paul's killer Cobaya dinner followed by his omakase dinner two days later or his fantastic kaiseki dinner with Yoshi Okai from they are linked below.

Cobaya Experiment

Omakase Chowdown

Kaiseki Dinner with Yochi Okai

OG Thai with Chanthong (photos)


Pao by Paul Qui
3201 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33140

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dogfish Beer Dinner at Market 17 (7.25.17)


Dog Days Of Summer
A Craft Beer Dinner at Market 17 with Dogfish Head

Tuesday 7:00pm, July 25, 2017 at Market 17

4 course dinner with Dogfish Head Brewing, one of America's most respected craft beer brands. A representative from Dogfish Head will be in house to elevate the food & beer pairing as well as answer any questions you may have about their beer making process.

Advance Tickets
65.00 PER PERSON
All Inclusive
Ticket price goes to 75.00 on July 24.

Purchase Here



MENU

Namaste
Welcome Drink

Saison Du Buff

Herb Roasted Farm Chicken Breast Herb Tip Salad, Fresh Chevre Cheese, Shaved Carrots, Pickled Pearl Onion, Toasted Pecans, Green Goddess Dressing

Romantic Chemistry IPA

Togorashi Seared Rare Yellowfin Tuna Sesame Sticky Rice, Crispy Beluga Lentils, Pickled Diakon, Red Cabbage, Cucumber, Fresh Peaches, Ginger Soy Glaze

Indian Brown

Slow Smoked Grassfed Beef Brisket Chermoula Roasted Sweet Potatoes, House Smoked Bacon, Grilled Okra, Sautéed Zucchini & Yellow Squash, Charred Eggplant Pudding, Chimichurri

Lupu-Luau IPA

Key Lime Parfait Coconut Cake, Key Lime Mousse, Graham Cracker Bits


Market 17
1850 SE 17th St.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tour de France Wine Tasting at Brava by Brad Kilgore 7.17.17




This Monday only, sample unique wines in the spirit of the "Tour de France" paired with lite bites from the BRAVA by Brad Kilgore team. 

Our partners at Vineyards to Table, SommSelections and Wine by the Bay will pour wines from different stages in the race and even do some side by side competition.

Stage 1: Loire Valley 
Sancerre Sauvignon vs Chenin Blanc

Stage 2: Burgundy
The best appellations in the world for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Stage 3: Provence
Bandol the best village in France producing: THE BEST ROSE

Stage 4: Cahors
Where Malbec was originally produced and this one is certified organic

Stage 5: Bordeaux 
What is the difference between left and right bank 
Merlot or Cabernet?

Stage 6: Paris
Let's finish on the Champs Elysee with some unique Cabernet Francs bubbles not yet in the US 
The race is on, space is limited! 
6pm | $25pp

For reservations:

Brava by Brad Kilgore |
1300 Biscayne Blvd, Second Floor, 
Miami, FL 33132

Byblos & Fooq's Dinner 7.24.17




On Monday, July 24th, Byblos Miami’s Executive Chef Stuart Cameron will collaborate with Fooq's Executive Chef Saul Ramos to create a special Mediterranean inspired 4-course menu at Byblos.
For $65++pp guests can partake in this family style meal with an optional wine pairing for $25++pp. See menu below.
Tickets available on Tablelist.



FIRST COURSE
 

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EGGPLANT MEATBALL

Smokey eggplant + manchego cheese
+ date & pomegranate molasses


CHANTERELLE MUSHROOM PIDE

Garlic + goat cheese + urfa pepper


SECOND COURSE
 

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GRILLED OCTOPUS

White hummus puree + farro salad + mint
yogurt drizzle


RUMP TARTAR

Burnt eggplant + black garlic + labneh
+ za’atar


THIRD COURSE
 

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LAMB SHOULDER KORESH

Crispy jeweled rice + fresh herbs


HUMMUS

Oxtail + fresh chickpeas + aussie truff les


FOURTH COURSE
 

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PERSIAN SUNDAE

House made saffron + pistachio rosewater
gelato + dates + pomegranate molasses
+ crème


TAHINI PARFAIT

Sesame wafer + date molasses + pashmak







BYBLOS
1545 COLLINS AVE
MIAMI BEACH, FL 33139

Friday, June 30, 2017

Chowfather Dim Sum Chowdown!! at Gold Marquess 7.8.17




Dim Sum Fans of South Florida it's on!   





Unlimited dim sum and bottomless lychee mimosas at the best dim sum/Chinese restaurant in town, Gold Marquess located on Pines Blvd in Pembroke Pines.  $45.00 from 11am-1pm next Saturday July 8, 2017.  Don't miss this dim sum fans.


xiao long bao




Seating is limited.  Please email me at thechowfather@gmail.com to reserve your seats. *No cap on seat requests so bring your friends too.









See you there!!








8525 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, Florida, FL 33024

(954) 367-7730

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Drink Miami Hostel 2017 at Freehand 6.24.17




Details

Over 30 of the world's most recognized spirits and Miami's thriving cocktail community will unite on June 24th, 2017 when Drink Miami HOSTEL -- a one-day event from 1 to 5 p.m. featuring libations from the city's top bartenders, one-on-one interactions with regional and global brand ambassadors, and unique activations – inhabits the historic Freehand Miami.

Guests will be able to cocktail hop from room to room and experience to experience, as Drink Miami HOSTEL and participating brands will occupy and transform the Freehand's guest rooms into their very own house party room.

Serious imbibers can wet their whistle with Aberlour, Ancho Reyes, Aperol, Avíon, Absolut Elyx, Bacardi, Banks Rum, Brugal, Campari, Casa Noble, Cazadores, Coopers' Craft, Cutty Sark, Dewar’s, Disaronno, Fords Gin, FOS Mastiha, Giffard Liqueurs, Havana Club, Herradura Tequila, Highland Park, Ilegal Mezcal, Jägermeister, Laphroaig, Leblon, Lot No. 40, Mezcal Nuestra Soledad, Milagros, Montelobos, Old Forester, Partida Tequila, Peroni, Perrier-Jouët Champagne, Rum Diplomático, Santa Teresa, St-Germain, Tequila Cabeza, The Glenlivet, The Macallan, Widow Jane, Woodford Reserve Zucca, and more to be announced. Brands will be using Drink Miami HOSTEL as an opportunity to shake things up, launch new products & gage never before done recipes.

Upon check-in at Drink Miami HOSTEL, guests will get receive an official passport to keep track of their journey & featuring recipes from each respective brand.

Tickets are $50.00 and available HERE


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Chowfather Chowdown at Paulie Gee's 5.31.17



Pizza Fans of Miami - don't miss Paulie Gee's Pizza Party this Wednesday 5.31.17.  $55.00 including tax and tip gets you unlimited pizza, beer and wine from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.  This is great way to try all of his great pies.  Email me to reserve a seat thechowfather@gmail.com or call the restaurant at (786) 558-8315.




8001 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33138

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Best Pizza South Florida 2017




Wow! It's been well over a year since I've updated my Best Pizza in South Florida list.  That's primarily because I didn't find any new spots that were worthy of making the list until a couple of months ago thanks to the arrival of two out of state spots.   Plus, I cut way back on my pizza intake. Same for burgers which is why that list has not been updated as well.

The time has come so let's get to it.

First time readers, I love pizza.  I love sauce, I love cheese and I love a great dough. Put all three together in the proper ratio and we have a winner.

My rankings are primarily based on standard cheese pies. Quality and flavor of the dough, cheese, sauce & crust are more important than toppings for me. But they can certainly enhance a pie.

I've only included places that specialize in pizza for this list.  Thus, Proof Pizza who recently eliminated the pizza from its name is not in contention despite their great pies.  It's a great restaurant so go enjoy the rest of the menu and order a pie on the side.  Also eliminated is a great little Italian spot in Pompano Beach, Cafe la Buca.  Great spot with great pies.

I've also removed the #2 ranked spot on my last list, Ironside Pizza because the chef left as did the original pizza maker (he's opening a new spot on Espanola Way).  And I haven't been back to see if they have maintained their status so I can't in good faith include them as well.

As most of you know by now, one of my favorite spots in town for a NY style pie including fantastic Sicilian and Grandma pies along with a legit chicken parm hero has closed.  RIP Kings County Pizza.    You have been missed.

Also dropping from the list is Spadinis in Boca which closed and re-opened in a new location and I had a bad slice on my only visit.  Need to get back up there to see what they are up to.

To Eat - Hearing good things from a couple new spots that I need to check out.  Pizza Tropical (Wynwood) and 'O Munaciello (MiMo).  There is also a new place out of Brooklyn in North Miami Beach (iPic/Yakko-San shopping center) Campania.

 *** update  La LeGGenda from  Giovanni Gagliard (Formerly at the aforementioned Ironside Pizza and ranked #2 on my last list is now open on Espanola Way) and I suspect they will fly up the rankings.

ONWARD 


ONE



LUCALI (South Beach)    

There is Lucali and then there is the rest.  I could eat their pizza all day and all night.  Owner/Pizza Maker Mark Iacono nails every aspect of the pie for me and delivers the perfect pie.  As I've been telling you form day one, don't skip the calzone and the sauce.  The pizza, calzone and overall vibe make this one of the best pizza spots restaurants in town.



TWO




Coffee Paolo - san marzano sauce, mozzarella, gorgonzola, honey, coffee & spicy salami

MISTER 01 (Formerly Visa 01 recent name change thanks to Visa hope they only take Amex and MasterCard) (South beach & Brickell) 

Mister is the biggest riser on the list.  I love this place more and more with each visit and pie.  Mister  and Lucali have separated from the pack.  Full disclosure, I laughed when I saw the Star Shaped pizza on the menu (pictured above, duh) But I saw one come out of the oven and it looked great so I pulled the trigger.  That is a fantastic pie.  The San Marzano sauce, mozzarella and spicy salami are excellent and the stars stuffed with ricotta cheese are the perfect pairing.


THREE




Red Smoke - guanciale, homemade mozzarella, red onion & basil

STANZIONE 87 (brickell)

A true Neapoliton spot in the heart of Miami.  Franco Stanzione is Verace Pizza Napoletana certified. A designation given by the Naples based Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. To be VPN-certified, a pizzeria has to make its pies with only certain types of ingredients, use only approved equipment and adhere to traditional pizza-making methods.  These methods include oven temperature, cooking time and size and shape of the pie.  Oh and he makes really great pies... New pies are frequently added so go hungry and often.


THREE 


SCUOLA VECCHIA (delray beach)

This is another authentic Neapolitan spot that is certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.  I've unfortunately only been here a couple of times because of the location.  But I've attempted to go on several occasions when in the area but they've been closed for various reasons.  I'm looking forward to paying a visit soon


FIVE


MAURO'S (Downtown Hollywood)

The best NY style slice around.


SIX


PAULIE GEE'S (upper eastside miami)

This pizza lover couldn't wait for the arrival of Brooklyn Legend, Paulie Gee's and his Dellboy (pictured above) did not disappoint.  Fresh mozzarella, italian tomatoes, berkshire hot soppressata, parmigiano reggiano.  Add Mike's hot honey and you have the Hellboy which is calling my name.  I need to get back in crush that menu.  Arrow is pointing up on this newcomer.


SEVEN


ANTICO PIZZA NAPOLETANA (south beach)

Four pies in one visit, no lie. I couldn't stop eating Giovanni Di Palma's flavorful pies. Antico has a huge following and great reputation in Atlanta. They opened recently in the old David's spot on Collins Avenue in South Beach. Pictured above is the must get San Gennaro with salsiccia, dolce picante peppers, bufala and cipolline. Do it.



EIGHT
BACCANO (wynwood)

I never hear much about this spot but they are serving solid pies in Wynwood.



HONORABLE MENTIONS

NICK'S NEW HAVEN (multiple locations)   

You want the white clam pie with bacon. You're welcome.



There are a lot of copy cats out there but none are as consistently as good as Anthony's pies.  Their wings are the best in town.


HARRY'S PIZZERIA (multiple)

Two words. Michael Schwartz....


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Duck Duck Goose Deux! by Cher Jeremiah 5.28.17 @ The Anderson



Duck Duck Goose is a culinary festival by Chef Jeremiah featuring Miami's top chefs each of which will be tasked with preparing locally raised and pastured fowl. 
DDG is an all-inclusive food and cocktail celebration of everything winged and delicious, with lots of live fire cooking over embers.



Sun, May 28, 2017
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT

Tickets $52-$75 and available HERE

LOCATION

709 Northeast 79th Street 
Miami, FL 33138
Line - up 2017
Brad Kilgore, Alter 
Scott Anderson, Elements Princeton NJ
Nina Compton & Levi Raines Compere Lapin New Orleans
Aaron Brooks, Four Seasons Miami
Jeremiah Bullfrog, P.I.G
Rickie Nakano, IDK concepts San Fransisco
James Strine, Grato
Steve Santana, Taquiza
Brian Mullins, Ms Cheezious
Josh Gripper, The Dutch
Roel Alcudia, Mandolin
Cake, Cake Thai
Melissa Sosa, Zak the Baker Deli
Niven Patel, Ghee
Will Crandall, Flying Solo
Scott Linquist, Olla
Babe Froman, Fine Sausages
Jimmy Lebron, 27 restaurant and bar


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Pappy Van Winkle Dinner at Council Oak (Hard Rock) 5.25.17




Hors d’ oeuvres

Fried Green Tomato
Braised Morel Mushroom, Melted Leeks



Smoked Trout Rillette
White Corn Griddle Cake



Tropcial Mule
Wheatley Vodka, Pineapple Juice, Fever Tree Ginger Beer



Dinner

Lobster Boil
Butter Poached Maine Lobster, Littleneck Clams, Andouille Sausage,
Roasted Corn Puree, Corn & Bacon Hushpuppies


Boudin Sausage Stuffed Rabbit Roulade
Sunchoke Puree, Bacon, Ramps, Vanilla & Sherry Jus


Choice of

Bourbon Aged Lamb Rack
Stinging Nettles, Fava Beans, Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin

Or

Smoked Wagyu Ribeye
Foie Gras Torchon, Fiddleheads, Red Mustard Greens, Charred Red Onion Demi



Pappy Van Winkle Flight

Van Winkle Special Reserve “Lot B” 12 Years Old

Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye “Z1747” 13 Years Old

Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 Years Old

Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 20 Years Old


Dessert

Smoked S’mores Pie
Marcona Almond Brittle, Smoked Honey Ganache, Graham Cracker, Marshmallow Meringue

Dessert Kentucky Coffee
Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Coffee, Buffalo Trace Bourbon Crème


Council Oak is located at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at One Seminole Way in Hollywood, Florida. Dinner is served Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. with live entertainment in the bar nightly. Brunch is available on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Telephone: 800-937-0010; www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Kentucky Derby Party at Bourbon Steak 5.6.17


Watch the the Run for The Roses - 143rd Kentucky Derby
presented by G.H. Mumm and Miami Magazine
Raise your glass to break the Guinness World Record for "World's Largest Champage Toast

TICKETS INCLUDE:
$14.30
  • Event Admission featuring Live Derby Broadcast, Sounds by Bad Apples Brass Band, Southern-Inspired Canapés, Awards for Best Hat and more!
  • G.H. Mumm Champagne Toast
  • Discounted Drinks 
  • 20% savings for dinner at Bourbon Steak including wine
$45 ( $75 value! )
  • Event Admission featuring Live Derby Broadcast, Sounds by Bad Apples Brass Band, Southern-Inspired Canapés, Awards for Best Hat and more!
  • G.H. Mumm Champagne Toast
  • Two (2) Mint Juleps 
  • Discounted Drinks 
  • Complimentary Valet Parking
  • 20% savings for dinner at Bourbon Steak including wine


Event runs from 4-7. Purchase tickets HERE

Friday, April 28, 2017

Kentucky Derby Party at Yardbird & Swine 5.6.17




Yardbird Southern Table & Bar Miami Beach
  • 5x7 feet live mint wall, for juleps & smashes
  • 2 gift baskets for giveaways, bowties and suspenders for giveaways
    • One Giveaway for Best Hat
    • One Giveaway for winning horse
  • Raffle for an expenses covered brunch for a party of 6 (value of up to $1,000)
  • Wax dipped julep cups
  • Mint juleps with makers mark at $6.34 (same number as the post time

Swine Southern Table & Bar
  • 2 gift baskets for giveaways, bowties and suspenders for giveaways
    • One Giveaway for Best Hat
    • One Giveaway for winning horse
  • Raffle for an expenses covered brunch for a party of 6 (value of up to $1,000)
  • Wax dipped julep cups
  • Mint juleps with makers mark at $6.34 (same number as the post time