Sunday, July 25, 2021

COTE Miami


I was very excited when I heard Cote was opening its first outpost in Miami's Design District.  It's not often that a Michelin-starred restaurant comes to town and it's even better when it's a unique concept to the area.  

Cote is a Korean steakhouse. I suspect a lot of people in Miami are unfamiliar with Korean food/restaurants because we just don't have many, if any.  Broward has a couple good spots but I'm not so sure that Miami does.  In a nutshell, diners usually get the opportunity to cook meat on a table top grill.  The meal includes several small side dishes called banchan. 

At Cote, they take the experience to another level with superb cuts of meat, a well trained staff, great cocktails and wine list and an overall fantastic experience.

As a bonus, you don't even have to do any of the cooking.  Your server will cook your meat to the perfect temperature.  So just sit back and enjoy the show.   

They offer a grand tour steak omakase for $165.00 which was tempting but they also offer a butcher's feast of prime and American wagyu beef for $58.  This is a set menu that includes a chef's choice of four cuts of meat, several side dishes, a fantastic egg soufflé, two Korean stews plus a perfect ending with a vanilla soft serve cup with soy soy caramel.

We wisely and correctly did the Butcher's Feast and left very satisfied.  Yes, we added on a couple of dishes because I couldn't resist the "Steak & Eggs" (see photo below) but the Feast allows you to affordably experience the concept and the quality of the meats.  I'm a big eater and again I left completely satisfied.

This is a very welcome addition to the growing Miami dining scene.  It's perfect for the hard core food fans out there as well as people looking to have a fun and lively night on the town.  

I'm glad they took their talents to South Beach the Design District.

On a side note, we opted to celebrate the 4th of July there and they were feeling festive and offered diners complimentary hot dogs. Great touch and indicative of their level of service and attention to every detail of your experience.

I highly recommend Cote to every food lover in Miami as well as diners looking for a fun and unique dining experience in town.

Ice chilled east/west coast oysters with Uni.

Steak & Eggs  - Hand-cut filet mignon tartare with Kaluga Royal Hybrid caviar, milk toast.  Tartare fans do not skip this. Obviously the caviar elevated this but the tartare on its own was one of the best I've had.

The Butcher's Feast Meat.  Our cuts were hanger, 45 day dry age ribeyes, wagyu and galbi.  My favorites were actually the hangar steak and the galbi.  Make sure you get the galbi.

Korean stews.

Fire scallion salad.

Shroooms. (we added them)

The Galbi.

Organic egg, kelp yooksoo.

4th of July dogs.

3900 NE 2nd avenue, Miami FL 33137


Sunday, July 4, 2021


I recently wrote about my first post vaccination/covid dining experience in Miami which was a fantastic Mother's day lunch at Leku.  I followed that up with my first dinner a couple of Saturday nights ago at Ariete.  The choice for my first dinner was an easy one as I told Chef Michael Beltran during the pandemic that he would be my first stop when I could get back to a restaurant and I'm a man of my word.  Why did I tell him that? Because not only do I enjoy his food but I was very impressed with his hard work, perseverance and resiliency during the rough times.  He made some quick and wise pivots early on and was able to survive. And now he's ready to thrive.   

Once seated my girlfriend correctly pointed out that we also started the lock down with a great Cobaya to Go dinner from Ariete.  I didn't post about it last March because I felt like writing about a great meal and restaurants was a bit tone deaf for the times.  However, I was happy to promote every restaurant that had pivoted to take out dinners on my Instagram feed.  I started and maintained this site to support and promote local restaurants and chefs in Miami and I wanted to keep that going via my Instagram stories to spread the word as often as I could.  

Anyway, as we entered the uncertainty of covid, Michael and his team made a lot of Cobayas (guinea pigs) happy that night. I don't want to get into a lot of detail here about it because he's doing it on a daily basis now and is worthy of its own dedicated post. Nevertheless, if you are a duck fan you definitely want to experience the press. Be forewarned, they are limited and sell out fast so you may want to request it when booking your reservation.  No clue if that is permissible but it can't hurt to ask if you're not an early bird diner. 

The Press


14 day dry aged duck breast, pistachio dukkah
duck tamale, wild mushroom gravy
pastelitos of duck fricassée, green salad.

Michael a rising star in Miami but he may take offense to that since he was a James Beard Semi-finalist last year. But I mean no offense by it and nothing but respect. I say rising because he's young and has a lot of great cooking and accolades in front of him. Not behind him. 

Hopefully, he will be a finalist next time and take home the trophy. But unfortunately Miami doesn't garner a lot of love when it comes to the Beard awards although we did have several semi-finalists last year so some progress has been made. I don't know much about the voting or the politics but it has been an issue with me for years now. We've hadsome deserving chefs get snubbed for nominations and as finalists over the years.

Circling back to my recent meal at Ariete. It was fantastic and a really enjoyable night. In addition to the Canard a la Presse experience they are offering a nightly seven course tasting menu called Versos Diarios for $125.00.  This is a great way to enjoy Michael's current menu.  However, we opted to create our own tasting menu because that Our Florida Orange dish in the photo above was not on it and I had to have it.  It's visually stunning and was a real treat. Chicken foie mousse, duck and sour orange pate, chocolate dirt, mint and served with great house made bread.  This is a three-day process and a serious dish.  

Oyster fans should start any meal there with wood grilled oysters.  He serves them with bone marrow butter or sea urchin foam. We opted for the sea urchin foam which we a fantastic taste of the sea to start the night. We stayed in the ocean for course two with the perfectly cooked and flavorful combination of scallops and morrels with shrimp mousse and buttermilk air.  I was excited for the next dish, Tamal en Cazuela with sea urchin and pork fat foam and it did not disappoint.  Dive in with your spoon and get it all in one bite.  The aforementioned Our Florida Orange was out next followed by a tasty beef heart tartare.  The last two dishes were from the entree portion of the menu and featured perfectly cooked venison which you do not see often in Miami and something I like to order when I do and a trifecta of lamb.  Both were delicious.  The entree portion of the menu also contains several other enticing options.  

Service and the pacing of the meal was spot on.  Our server was attentive, knowledgeable and friendly.  She recommended half bottles of a white and red wine to pair and both were prefect.  They take cocktails seriously here too so start with one as you peruse the menu.  

I've had many meals over the years that were creative and featured modern techniques and foams and tweezers that sounded great on paper and looked even better when plated.  But they lacked flavor and soul.  Creativity is a wonderful thing but the food has to taste good.  Michael's combination of creativity and skills translates into properly executed and flavorful plates of food. Beard or no Beard his greatest reward will be diners clamoring for more. His dedication to his craft is inspiring to see and I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes moving forward.  The real winners will be Miami food lovers.

PS - keep your eyes open for the re-opening of Chug's Diner along with two new Chef Beltran concepts opening in the Miami World Center 2022.  Laurel Brasserie, Michael's twist on a French Brasserie, a duck press en la casa perhaps and a cigar bar called El Vecino.  

Wood Grilled Oysters with sea urchin butter. 

Scallops & Morels -  
buttermilk & pea puree, shrimp mousse, stuffed morels, buttermilk air.

Tamal en Cazuela -
sea urchin, pork fat foam

Our Florida Orange -
chicken foie mousse, duck and sour orange pate,
chocolate dirt, mint, white bread

Beef Heart Tartare
smoked oyster aioli, herb salad, oyster toast.

braised lamb neck tamale, grilled lamb loin, lamb seco jus.

truffle twice-baked potatoes, foie gras sauce diane, wild mushrooms.

3540 Main Hwy
Coconut Grove FL 33133
(786) 615-3747

Dinner Service 
Sunday to Thursday: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Brunch Service
Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Happy Hour
Monday to Friday: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

LEKU Miami


Wow!  It feels amazing to once again not only enjoy a fantastic meal at a restaurant but also write about the experience here.  

Prior to my truly outstanding Mother's day lunch at Leku, I had not dined at a Miami restaurant since January of 2020.  Sad. Pero I picked the right spot to break that Covid driven drought.  

Unfortunately, my mother lives in New York and traveling to spend this special day with her was not a realistic option.  However, my beautiful and amazing girlfriend has a daughter so a Mother's day meal was in play.  Wisely, the restaurant choice was up to me.  Dinner was too late on a Sunday night and after surviving this long restaurant void in our lives, there was no way we were settling on a typical brunch meal.  Sorry Juevos rancheros no hoy!

Leku was on the top of my list of places to eat post covid/vaccinations  and it was the perfect call for la dia de la Madre.  (yeah I don't speak Spanish pero mi novia does almost siempre).  No clue what I just typed...

Leku is located at the Rubell Museum and features modern cuisine from Spain's Basque region. Executive Chef Mikel Goikolea hails from the area and he spent time cooking at the three Michelin star restaurant Azurmendi prior to opening Leku.   

Because it was a special day, we wisely opted for their eleven course tasting menu ($95) which provided us with a great overall sampling of their dishes.  Unfortunately, La Nina with us did more damage on her phone and tic tock account then the food.  Pero, more food para el gordo... 

In a nutshell, this was a really enjoyable meal in every way and one that is unique to Miami. The flavors and execution of each dish was on the money. The open air indoor/outdoor setting is perfect for these covid times and the service was great too. I'm looking forward to my next visit and working my way through more of the menu.  Iberico tartar I'm coming for you!

If you haven't been yet, I highly recommend paying them a visit.  And if you've been go back now that covid is in the rear view mirror and hopefully out of sight soon.  This is a special and unique spot and one that every food lover in Miami needs to visit.

Photo recap below: 

Amuse Bouche - gazpacho y una croqueta de Ibérico 5 Jota. 

Ensaladilla rusa con carpaccio de gamba and salicornia.

Basque potato salad, prawn carpaccio, sea urchin emulsion y tobiko.

Cracker de tomate de temporada y albahaca.

Tomato and basil cracker.

Gambas al Ajillo.  Key West pink shrimp in garlic sauce.

Tradicional pulpo a la gallega.  Octopus Galacian style.

Arroz de Setas a la Brasa. 

Wild mushroom rice.

Lubina con Emulsion de Bilbaina.

Whole branzino bilbaina emulsion.  

Carre de Cordero a baja temperatura con papas fritas y pimientos.

Slow cooked rack of lamb au jus.  

Tarta de queso vasca.  Basque cheese tart.

Souffle de chocolate a la Leku con raspberry sorbet

Address: 1100 NW 23rd St, Miami, FL 33127

Wednesday - Sunday
Lunch 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Dinner 6:30pm - 11:00pm

Health & safety: Mask required · Staff required to disinfect surfaces between visits · More details

Phone: (786) 464-0615

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Sadelle's coming to Miami


Per Eater "MFG has also just nailed down locations for two Sadelle's restaurants, one in Miami’s Coconut Grove and the other on Miami Beach. The Coconut Grove location will open this year, while the other, a bigger build-out that includes a market, will take longer. Finally (for now), MFG is also working on an “Israeli concept,” most likely for the South of Fifth neighborhood later this year."

If you are unfamiliar with them their website states the following "Sadelle’s is a New York brunch institution located in the heart of Soho. Serving the best bagels in New York City, Sadelle’s offers quintessential classics like sliced-to-order salmon and sturgeon, chopped salads, and other New York classics in an updated, fun yet refined fashion." 

Friday, April 9, 2021

La Traila & Phuc Yea BBQ 4/17/21

WHAT: $20 VIP Ticket includes: 

Noon Entry

Fastpass Bracelet – Exclusive front of line access to all food and drink tables
La Traila BBQ X Phuc Yea Collab Dish made by La Traila’s Mel Rodriguez and Phuc Yea’s Cesar Zapata: Texas Style Brisket Bao –Gochujang BBQ sauce, Asian slaw, herbage, pickles, crispy shallots
Bacardi sponsored cocktail or Sapporo beer
Complimentary Topo Chico waters and Salt & Straw ice cream

$35 VIP Ticket includes:

Noon Entry

Fastpass Bracelet – Exclusive front of line access to all food and drink tables

La Traila BBQ X Phuc Yea Collab Dish made by La Traila’s Mel Rodriguez and Phuc Yea’s Cesar Zapata: Texas Style Brisket Bao –Gochujang BBQ sauce, Asian slaw, herbage, pickles, crispy shallots
Crawfish Boil:Vietnamese style fresh crawfish, corn, sausage, potatoes, lemongrass chili butter

Bacardi sponsored cocktail or Sapporo beer

Complimentary Topo Chico waters and Salt & Straw ice cream

La Traila A La Carte Menu:

Brisket, Pork Spare Ribs, Beef Dino Ribs, Sausages & fixin's including mac n cheese, potato salad, baked beans, & cream corn

Phuc Yea A La Carte Menu:

Viet Style Crawfish Boil [by the pound]: Vietnamese-style crawfish, andouille sausage, corn, potatoes, chili oil

Beverages A La Carte:

Beers by Sapporo and cocktails by Bacardi, Grey Goose and Havana Club Rum

TICKETS: Noon Entry VIP tickets can be purchased HERE

Non-VIP guests can enter at 12:45PM

Thursday, April 8, 2021

National Empanada Day at Cafe La Trova 4/8/21



Wednesday - Thursday: 6 pm - 11 pm

Friday - Saturday: 6 pm - 12 pm

Sunday: 6 pm - 10 pm


"La Trova Style Music"

Wednesday & Thursday: 6 pm - 10 pm

Friday & Saturday: 7:30 pm - 12 am

Sunday: 6 pm - 10 pm


Wednesday - Sunday: 4 pm - 7 pm

*Available at the bar.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Passover with Chef Michelle Bernstein 3/27/21


Call: (305) 213-2512

Deliveries are made between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.
*No delivery fee within Miami-Dade County. Additional fee for all other counties.


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Regina's Grocery (South Beach)

Regina's Grocery is a Brooklyn style deli and sandwich shop that started in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  They brought their talents to South Beach in the summer of 2019 inside the lobby of the Urbanica Hotel.  They have survived the pandemic and I highly recommend any Italian sandwich loved to pay them a visit.  Easily one of the best NY style heroes in town.  

Pictured is the fantastic Uncle Jimmy - prosciutto, hot soppressata, smoked ham, fresh mozzarella, roasted reds, arugula, Regina's hot pepper spread, EVOO and balsamic on a Sullivan Street stirato bread.

They are open from 8am to 6pm. 

418 Meridian Ave.

305 321 3390