Bodega Brunch Sundays in Miami Beach

I love brunch and Mexican food so you can imagine how excited I was when I learned that one of my fave Mexican spots was now offering Sunday brunch. Bodega South Beach runs brunch on Sundays in their fun back room with a DJ and live music.

For my main dish I chose the Breakfast nachos which come topped with bacon, scrambled eggs, queso, tomato, cilantro and guacamole. These were sooooooo good, the queso makes them extra special and of course guacamole is always a huge plus. I accompanied the nachos with a Mexican twist to a mimosa they’ve called hermanamosa, made with tequila, grapefruit juice, and prosecco.

The hubs ordered the Primo’s Burrito stuffed with short rib, scrambled eggs, oaxaca cheese, cispy hash browns and truffle maple ::drool::. I took one bite and found it hard to not take a few more. He asked for a side of queso and well that was a very good idea because there can never be too much queso.

To finish we shared their churros french toast. These sugar dusted yummy stacks of dough come with strawberries, powdered sugar and a slightly spicy truffle maple.

Needless to say, we’ll be back for more soon.

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila1220 16th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Eating Local at Essensia

Essensia restaurant at the Palms Hotel in Miami Beach has a new chef with over 20 years experience under his belt. Chef de cuisine, Ilde Ferrer, has brought with him his farm to table philosophy. The menu is seasonal with an emphasis on local and sustainable ingredients. Dishes feature ingredients from his on-site organic Chef’s Garden.

We chose to start our meal with the day boat ceviche. Made with fresh caught fish, leche de tigre, aji amarillo, celery, red onion, canchita corn, mango, papaya , yucca chips and cilantro from their garden. You could taste the freshness in every bite and I loved the addition of the yucca chips.

For main entree my husband chose the spaghetti all’amatriciana made with La Quercia Guanciale (domestic pork cheek bacon) , San Marzano tomatoes, red chili flakes and pickled shishito peppers sprinkled with parmesan cheese. The sauce wasn’t overly spicy, it had just the right amount of kick and the pasta was cooked al dente.

 

I chose the pan seared Florida snapper for my main dish. It came with pineapple fried rice made with sweet Chinese sausage, grilled gulf shrimp , Thai basil and other freshly picked herbs from their garden. The fish skin was crispy while the flesh was deliciously flaky. I loved the fried rice, I would eat that by itself were it an entree.

The evening ended on a sweet note with their passion fruit key lime pie. I love key lime pie, it’s one of my favorite desserts. Their passion fruit version did not disappoint. They added just the right amount of passion fruit so that the lime flavor was the one shining through.

If you’re looking for a nice date night spot with a beautiful outdoor setting, I recommend you visit Essensia.

 

FYI: The Palms Hotel & Spa was just ranked #3 in Travel & Leisure’s “ Top 10 Greater Miami Beach Resort Hotels” 2018 World’s Best Awards.

Date night in Miami Beach at Lobster Bar Sea Grille

I had the most amazing dinner the other night at Lobster Bar Sea Grille in Miami Beach. They are offering Lobster Date Night, a summer promotion available through August 31st. With this offer you can enjoy a three course lobster dinner for two for less than $150! It includes two appetizer salads, an entree for two, one family side & one shared dessert.

We chose their Chops Chopped Salad to start.  Made with fresh hearts of palm, chickpeas, boiled egg and triple cream blue cheese in a lemon-basil-lime dressing. The server chopped it table-side for us before plating it. It was delicious, the amount of dressing was just right and all the ingredients went together perfectly.

For our entree we enjoyed the Jumbo Lobster For Two (around 4 lbs.)  It was served from its steamer and de-shelled for us tableside. It comes with drawn butter and their famous chili sauce for dipping. Every bite of the tender lobster was absolutely blissful. I need a bottle of their chili sauce, I would dip almost anything in it! For a side we had their pure creamless corn mash, I couldn’t believe it had no cream because of how creamy it was.

We chose the Chocolate Globe for dessert. A callebaut belgian chocolate mousse with banana cremeux and banana compote. It was creamy, chocolatey goodness and the perfect end to an incredible meal.

LOCATION:

404 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 .

(305) 377-2675

 

Brunching Miami Beach Style at The Strand

Located in the beautiful Carillon Miami Wellness Resort is The Strand Bar and Grill. The restaurant has an outdoor terrace with a beautiful oceanfront view and also an indoor space with open windows offering the same view with contemporary earthy decor in its tones and gold hues.

Their menu is sourced from local farms and is seasonally inspired. I visited early on a Sunday afternoon for brunch. As with any brunch, I always start with a mimosa. This time was something extra special though, being oceanfront, enjoying a mimosa while the ocean breeze came towards me was absolute perfection.

I shared the shrimp avocado toast starter with my husband. The toast was perfectly balanced, there was not too much of any ingredient, the shrimp was lightly tossed in a yellow slightly tangy sauce and set atop mashed avocado with cilantro and radish. We both really enjoyed it.

For my main I chose the chilaquiles. These are made with fried tortillas that are topped by a sunny side up egg, braised chicken, guajillo salsa, red onion, jalapeños, queso fresco and sour cream. I love nachos so this was a brunch item I was very excited about and I was not disappointed, all the ingredients went so well together! There was so much flavor in it. It’s definitely a dish I’ll be going back for.

Who doesn’t enjoy the sweets that come with brunch? I know I do, so we chose the cinnamon rolls with candied pecans and cream cheese icing. These came two to the order and were served warm. They were delicious, soft and fluffy with warm cinnamon sugar, topped with gooey cream cheese icing and the crunch from the candied pecans, SO GOOD!

If you’re looking for a new place to try out for Sunday brunch, I recommend The Strand. Beautiful location with delicious food, you just can’t beat that.

Location:

The Strand – 6801 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141 – (305) 514-7474

A Meal to Remember at Barton G Miami Beach

I had heard of Barton G and it’s amazingly presented dishes. I finally got to see these for myself and I can now say that the dishes are indeed amazingly presented but also amazingly delicious. The restaurant is located in Miami Beach, a few blocks away from Lincoln Road. It has a beautifully lit inside bar and a lush outdoor courtyard for dining when the weather allows.

On my visit I chose to start with a Miami Retro Vice cocktail made with Silver Rum and fresh strawberry purée, with a piña colada nitro pop. It came to the table atop a small screen showing retro beach clips, a beach chair to its right and the nitro pop which provided the great smoky visual. Then came our first appetizer, I could hear the sounds of a chicken coop coming towards the table, our waiter sat a nesting box on our table and inside were The Devil’s Egg which were white truffle whipped deviled eggs with a togarashi bacon crumble, crisp garlic, fresh black truffles & garden herbs. These were some delicious deviled eggs, slightly spicy with a great crunch from the bacon and garlic, the fresh black truffle was the perfect addition.

Our second appetizer was the Can’t Sea Scallops which came with a cedar wrapped scallop crudo on toasted brioche, concealing a deep dish of pan roasted Maine diver scallops with parsnip, smoked mushroom, sweet spinach and bacon butter broth. The crudo toast was excellent but the scallops stole the show, bacon and butter, need I say more? The scallops were cooked perfectly tender, every bite with the mushroom and spinach was a delight to the senses.

My favorite presentation of the night was Honey Bee My Surf N Turf, it came atop a honeycomb glass dish with a beehive and wearable beekeeper hat which you know I just had to put on for a picture. As for the delicious dish, it had porcini honey lacquered Florida grouper and slow braised veal breast, a cannellini bean puree, wilted escarole, and local honeycomb. We could hear our next dish from the kitchen, sounds of a mower coming towards us, our table had already been prepared with scattered wheatgrass and a large square grass turf. Our server came and sat down a small mower with our next entrée, the The Lawn Moo-er 200, a 48oz. Grass Fed Porterhouse, charbroiled and carved with roasted mushrooms, battered onion rings and natural jus. Sides were buttermilk Yukon potatoes and a cheesy ‘greens, grass & weeds’ gratin. The meat was juicy, flavorful, and tender. The sides were cheesy and creamy as they should be.

The night had to end with a bang, and that it did. Dessert was quite the attraction. We had the Dolla Dolla Bills Y’All which comes to the table with an extra-large hundred dollar bill which is the desserts focal point, below it are “gold” nuggets in a variety of sizes. The large one concealed a mega rich chocolate ganache and dulce de leche tart which our server torched while wearing a welders helmet.  It had a graham cracker crust, soft meringue, and chocolate –feuilletine golden nuggets. Like I first mentioned, presentation is amazing but that chocolate tart was so deliciously rich, eating spoonful’s of it           with the melted meringue just made me so very happy!

Barton G is a restaurant you definitely want to go to for a special occasion as the prices are a little high, but if you want to wow your special someone this is the place to go. Service is excellent, the food is delicious and you will definitely get a wow of an experience.

Location:

1427 West Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 | (305) 672-8881

Peruvian Japanese Nikkei from London to Miami Beach

One of my favorite cuisines is Peruvian Japanese Nikkei. It has made its way to Miami Beach with Chotto Matte opening its first location outside of London near Lincoln Road. I had the pleasure of attending one of its pre-opening nights and I am excited for whats to come. The restaurant decor is urban contemporary with an amazing retractable roof bar featuring a boulder and trees that give it a jungle kind of vibe.

We started our evening with a pisco sour, it tends to be my go-to cocktail when eating Peruvian and theirs didn’t disappoint. Then came the nine courses, each dish was beautifully plated with colorful ingredients that were full of flavor. The ceviche and sashimi were fresh and tangy but not overpowering. The pork gyoza with prawns and yuca on a colorful aji amarillo sauce over sweet potato puree was delicious. Another favorite was the 96 hour marinated, smoked lamb chop with peruvian chili miso, it was bursting with flavor. The sushi was also excellent, I really enjoyed the spicy tuna roll.

We got a yummy trio of chocolate mousse, mochi and a banana crunch for dessert. My favorite was the chocolate mousse, I had a hard time sharing, ate most of it myself.

Service was top notch, I don’t think we ever had to look around for our server.  Chotto Matte is a great addition to Miami Beach, I see it becoming a local hot spot for those who enjoy great food and feeling like a celebrity.

 

LOCATION:

Chotto Matte: 1664 Lenox Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 – (305) 690-0743