Our Miami restaurants are great places to celebrate, including Red, the Steakhouse with 500+ wine selections (great for the upscale wine experts), or Essensia Restaurant & Lounge offering happy hour specials on organic & biodynamic wines (for the organic enthusiasts), or Lolo’s Surf Cantina also with happy hour specials and zesty seafood bites for pairing (for the white & rosé fans!).
Those who appreciate fine wines and rare reserves should head to Red, the Steakhouse in South Beach for National Wine Day, as the restaurant is known as one of the best wine restaurants in Miami with 500+ wine selections. Chef Peter Vauthy maintains an impressive collection of high-end reserves from classic Bordeauxs like Petrus and Margaux from France and the California classics, Caymus, Harlan, and Bond, to Frank Baroudi’s Puro Uno – a high-end Malbec from the Mendoza, Argentina region. Ask for Chef Peter’s wine and dish pairing recommendation of the day and you won’t be disappointed. Plus, since it is a Thursday night in South Beach after all, Red leaves you within steps from great SoFi bars & nightclubs like Story, Radio, South Pointe Tavern, etc. for those who want to keep the party going. Visit www.redthesteakhouse.com for more information.
Within the Marriott Stanton South Beach, Lolo’s Surf Cantina is a Mexican restaurant with Chef/Partner Richard Ampudia known as the “Godfather of Mexican Street Food.” Lolo’s is a relaxed, authentic spot with a Baja California inspired menu and awesome Happy Hour specials from 3-7pm available on the wine “holiday” such as Côtes de Provence Rosé by the glass for $6. This crisp wine pairs perfectly with signature seafood dishes like the Pescado Frito (Whole Snapper Platter) or Tostadas de Pulpo (Spanish Octopus). Grab a seat on the outdoor deck for sun and sea breezes to top off the experience. For more information visithttp://loloscantina.com andhttp://stantonsobe.com.
For a more mindful way to imbibe this National Wine Day, head to Miami Beach’s local and farm-to-table mainstay, Essensia Restaurant & Lounge at The Palms Hotel & Spa. An oceanfront, inspired-by-nature oasis, everything at The Palms is good for you and good for the environment, including Essensia’s extensive list of 100% sustainable, organic, and biodynamic wines. Not only do biodynamic wines leave a smaller carbon footprint — the missing chemical additives are the ultimate hangover helper, so you’ll spare yourself the morning headache, too. Essensia offers happy hour everyday from 6:00pm-7:00pm, when you can score 50% off all wines. Pro tip: score yourself a spot on the outdoor lounge terrace, which is surrounded by exotic tropical gardens, for an only-in-Miami ambiance while you sip your vino.
We visited Aromas Del Perú again to have a quick lunch, but this time it was not only about the food – I needed a safe place to play. The staff at this restaurant knows me and are aware that I am always taking pictures of their food. This time though, I was dabbling in video.
I was never a big YouTube fan until recently. After watching food videos for a while, I think that adding more home made videos to the blog will make it more interesting, even if they are very short.
There is a lot to learn, my chicken is still the one doing the editing. I am challenging myself to get better and to teach myself as much as possible.
For lunch that day, we had a colorful salad, some churrasco and grilled octopus, all of which was delicious. Below is the final result of this first experiment.
Miss N. was back in town, and this time we met her in Hollywood, at Istanbul Restaurant. It was recommended by Miss E. as she had been there before. Turkish food had been a fascination, and this was a chance to try it while people-watching on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk.
The restaurant was right on the promenade, and it was tiny, a couple of tables right on the sidewalk, some more inside. After we had parked, we got lost and started to walk in the opposite direction – this made us late, and Miss N. was growing increasingly impatient at our tardiness. I was becoming hotter and hotter as the sun was blazing, thank goodness for the ocean breeze coming from the beach. When we finally arrived, it was like coming to an oasis; I was grateful not only to sit but also for the delicious aromas emanating from the kitchen, only increasing our anticipation.
For appetizers, we had a Soguk Mezeler, a combination platter of different cold dishes. Everything on the plate was vegetarian. All of it was delicious – simple, straightforward flavors that managed to penetrate the very soul of the taste buds.
The Turkish Salad ( Coban Salatasi) came next. Diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green peppers, parsley and Turkish spices dressed with Turkish olive oil and vinegar. Garnished with grated feta cheese and a black olive. This very refreshing salad hit the spot.
There is nothing more delightful than Chicken Pie, and this Turkish version was outstanding. This is the second dish that I have tried this year that gave culinary goosebumps to my tongue. They looked like fat phyllo cigars and were filled with sautéed chicken with onions, red and green bell peppers, fresh spinach and special spices and olive oil. I could eat these all day, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, regular snack and midnight snack. The crunchy exterior combined with the magical chicken filling was nothing short of miraculous.
My sister ordered the Sigara Boregi – Extra feta cheese, fresh parsley, rolled with Turkish fillo, cooked very lightly with vegetable oil. These were also delicious.
What to say about the Lamb Chops ( Kuzu Pirzola) ? These meaty lollipops were popping with flavor, bringing my carnivorous instincts to the fore. Grilled baby lamb chops were served with slivered onions and rice, grilled green bell peppers, and roasted tomatoes. The chops were so soft, succulent and flavorful. The rice and the rest of the veggies, all eaten in one bite, was certainly a flavor explosion worth savoring.
I am not a dessert person, but the Rice Pudding ( Sutlac) was spectacular. This baked rice pudding served with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon was the epitome of comfort desserts. This will make even a sorrowful person smile with pleasure.
The Baklava I did not try, but my sister loved it. Sweet pastry made of ultra thin fillo dough sheets, layered with chopped nuts, special homemade syrup, and butter, garnished with pistachio nuts.
Istanbul Restaurant has been around since 1991 and all the meat served is Halal. The menu is extensive and offers a variety of authentic Turkish and Mediterranean dishes. The service is efficient and friendly, and the food we had delivered a flavor-bomb with each bite.
We left Miami to go looking for a restaurant in Hollywood that happened to be on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk. I must confess that I was not expecting it to be so pretty. It was also a beautiful day, the sunshine enhancing the intense colors of the ocean and sky.
The beach was packed with sunbathers, and people on the broadwalk were jogging, walking, strolling, riding their bicycles and rollerblading.
Hollywood Beach Broadwalk is an oceanfront promenade that is almost two and a half miles along the Atlantic Ocean. It has over 50 restaurants and 30 shops, so there is plenty to eat and do. There is even a stage where you can listen to free live music.
Hollywood Beach is lovely, but I did notice something worth mentioning – there were very few brown and black people around, which I thought was strange on a beach.
It took over an hour to get there from where I live, so there is some driving involved. It was worth the drive though – picture perfect, entertaining, and uniquely Floridian.