Bringing Fun Back to Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove’s genuine artsy charm – its bayside location, lush foliage and eclectic architecture – somehow manages to keep shining through, despite the best efforts of developers to strip this historic village of its character. Homegrown restaurateurs of note Michael Schwartz and Giorgio Rapicavoli and coffee roasters Panther Coffee have staked out space. Renowned photographer Clyde Butcher now has a gallery on McFarlane. Independent businesses like The Bookstore in the Grove and the fun pop-ups like The Typsy Mermaid add quirkiness amid the new accoutrements of urban living today – Citibike and Car2Go, to name a few.

Then there are the events. Classics include the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the Mango Strut plus more neighborly festivals like the Gifford Lane Stroll and the monthly F-A-M (Fashion + Art + Music) gallery nights on Saturdays. More recently, it’s the annual craft beer festivals Grovetoberfest (October) and Sprung! (March) that are bringing fun back to the Grove, combining its friendly village-y vibe with craft beers.

“As a venue, Coconut Grove is the perfect mix of everything you want: waterfront, tree-lined streets … it’s a great place to live and entertain,” says Tony Albelo, whose beerfests draw thousands to tents … Read More

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Wynwood gets a greenmarket







The very best markets both reflect the character of the community around them and serve its residents, too – which makes the debut of the Wynwood Green & Art Market at the Bakehouse Art Complex such a natural fit. Beginning Sun., Mar. 1, the historic Art Deco bakery art center will host a regular farmers market on the site. As a community space for working artists for nearly 30 years – long before Wynwood’s emergence as a thriving arts neighborhood –  Bakehouse has been home to a culturally diverse group of over 60 contemporary artists, and the site of exhibitions, cultural programming and other resources. With the addition of a green market, the 2.3-acre space can expand its offerings to the community by being a source for fresh, healthy local food.

Marte Siebenhar

“I see this as a major initiative to welcome the public to this space,” says executive director Marte Siebenhar. “We are in a food desert. [The market] can truly serve the neighborhood in ways we hadn’t imagined.”

Sarah Vargas, who runs the Miami Springs farmers market, was tapped to organize this green market, which made possible by the Our Miami Public Read More

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Steve Santana / Taquiza

Taquiza has become the go-to spot for authentic tacos and late night eats on Miami Beach. Started by Eating House and Freehand Miami alum Steve Santana, it serves up tacos on house-made masa that has everyone buzzing. Chat Chow TV sat down with Santana to find out more about them and the concept behind them.

The fast casual restaurant, located on the first floor of the Eva Hotel, is a no-frills taqueria serving up seven different types of tacos to a standing-room only crowd. Santana emphasizes that everything in Taquiza is homemade right down to its masa corn tortillas, which uses corn grown in small heirloom farms sourced by Masienda. Other popular menu items include the guacamole with hand torn chips, dry rubbed beef jerky, and its take on the popular ice cream treat the choco taco.

But Santana hasn’t always been a chef — he actually began his career doing digital work, but always had a passion for food. After helping coordinate one of the first-ever Cobaya dinners, he met chef Jeremiah Bullfrog and began assisting him on his food truck. His passion grew from there and before long he left the digital world and became a chef … Read More

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Meet Your Fishermen

Wayne and Ben Disdier

Wayne and Ben Disdier, father and son, are third- and fourth-generation fishermen in Key West. They’re now bringing their haul of spiny lobster and stone crabs for Dock to Dish, the community-supported seafood market that launched this past weekend (Read the full story in our winter issue). At the event, they were joined by other Keys fishermen who will work with Dock to Dish, providing fresh seafood to consumers in Key West and soon to restaurants in the Keys.

“We’ve been looking for something like this for a long time,” said two seasonal Key West residents who signed up for the service, adding that it doesn’t make sense that it’s so difficult to find local seafood because much of it is shipped overseas. In addition to lobster and stone crabs, commercial fishermen harvest shrimp, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, red grouper, and mangrove, yellowtail and mutton snappers.

Launched by partners Chris Holland, Paul Menta and Tony Osborn, Dock to Dish is the first expansion of the program co-founded in Montauk, New York, by Sean Barrett. “It is the first step in what we intend to develop into a statewide enterprise involving commercial fisherman, consumers and restaurateurs, … Read More

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Market-to-Table Dinners

Diners in South Florida can now get even closer to farm-to-table meals where chefs harvest their produce just footsteps away from the table. Here are some upcoming events where you can try market-to-table meals:

Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District

Every Monday night at the Arsht Center in downtown Miami, the weekly farmers market (from 4 to 8) is one of the sources for local produce for their weekly farm-to-table dinner prepared under the direction of chef Allen Susser. The cafe is also growing its own microgreens at the Arsht Center, under chef Chandler Rothbar (above, center). It’s especially handy for downtown commuters, who can shop at the market after work and treat themselves to a healthy, tasty dinner.

Picnic on the Patio at Miami Beach Botanical Garden

Wednesday is farmers market day at this tropical oasis in Miami Beach. On special Wednesday nights, the lush garden also hosts its Picnic on the Patio series, offering three-course candlelight dinners on the terrace inspired by produce. The next event, from chef Magali Joseph-Alexandre of Red South Beach Hotel, is Wed., Feb. 25, starting with a champagne punch at 6:30 followed by a family-style meal that includes Mediterranean vegetable tart, pan-seared catch of … Read More

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Isn’t It Romantic?

Love comes in all kinds of flavors. Fine artisan truffles, a home-cooked meal, a romantic dinner under the stars, a special collection of craft beers, an exquisite home-grown tomato each mean “I love you” to someone special. Here are some ideas for this Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate: This choice does not lose its luster for many people. Artisan chocolatiers in South Florida include Cao Chocolates, whose You Drive Me Nuts sweets combine salty nuts with rich chocolate covering; Romanicos Pink Champagne Truffles, combining champagne ganache with raspberry; and Cacao Art‘s award-winning Tupelo honey cardamom and kochere coffee chocolates.

Or share chocolate in liquid form – that is, craft beers. At Tap 42, they’re offering Southern Tier Choklat, Rogue Double Chocolate Stout, Boulder Chocolate Shake Nitro, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, among other brews to inspire true love.

Al fresco dining: How about a Valentine’s Day picnic in an avocado grove, vintage blanket – and picnic and drinks – provided? Estancia Culinaria (featured on our winter issue story, Edible Guide to Homestead and The Redland) is hosting a Valentine’s Sunset Picnic from 3-6pm.

Three Sisters Farm, across the street from Fruit and Spice Park, is hosting a … Read More

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Celebrate Tomatoes!

Sanna and Claire of The Market Company

Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District – the emerging neighborhood north of downtown Miami that includes the Arsht

Teena of Teena’s Pride

Performing Arts Center – is debuting its new monthly Green Market with a Tomato Festival Sun., Feb. 8. Run by The Market Company, the premiere event features local heirloom tomatoes at the height of our season from Teena’s Pride and fresh produce from Urban Oasis Project, LNB Groves and Victor’s, bread from Zak the Baker, local honey from Keez Beez, plus specialty vendors, culinary demos, free yoga, live music and a Pop-up Beer Garden hosted by Rhythm & Vine.

The new market, located at N. Miami Ave. and 14th St., is open from noon to 5pm.… Read More

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Getting Back to Grassroots

Recipe for a fun four days: Start with live music – more than 50 bands playing everything from Irish dance music and psychedelic hip-hop to zydeco and rockabilly. Add a Sustainability Pavilion with solar demos, urban farming workshops, herbal medicine, and bicycle maintenance and repair. For sustenance, throw in a World Cafe and a beer garden. Toss in a South Florida beachside setting at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, and mild February temperatures, you have the 2015 Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music, Dance and Art Feb 19-22.

This is not your typical concert festival. This year’s event is preceded by a new Culture Camp starting Feb. 15 that includes a Community Project Workshop co-hosted by Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream fame, music and dance workshops for all ages, and cooking workshops too, among others. An oceanside Evening Dance, led by Donna the Buffalo, caps off the culture camp. Afterward, it’s four days of music, including Suenalo, Spam Allstars, School of Rock, the Osceola Brothers, Locos Por Juana, Electric Piquete, founding band Donna the Buffalo, WMC co-founder DJ Bill Kelly, The Baboons and Afrobeta.

Guests can camp out for the festival, or choose day passes. Bike riders … Read More

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Craft Cool

There’s no question that artisanal beers and spirits are taking center stage – just look at the new names in craft breweries and distilleries in South Florida in recent months, including J. Wakefield Brewing and Concrete Beach Brewery in Wynwood and Alchemist Distillery, to name a few. And the revival in handcrafted whiskies, rye, vodka, rum, even bitters – all the components of fine cocktails – reaches across the globe. CRAFT: Spirits and Beer returns Jan. 30-31 at the Fillmore, Miami Beach, offering opportunities for both the trade (Fri.) and the public (Sat.) to taste, network and learn about the latest.

“Industry predictions show an upswing for new-on-the-scene producers of vermouth from Spain and the United States as well as an increase in agave-based spirits,” says CRAFT founder Jennifer Massolo, one of South Florida’s cocktail program gurus. The trade part of the event also tackles practical matters for those in the biz, like finding the right distributor and understanding state beverage laws.

Consumers and the trade alike can get a taste of the challenges of aging and barrel management with noted 37-year Master Scotch Whisky Distiller Mike Nicholson Friday night at J. Wakefield Brewing 120 NW 24th St in … Read More

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Corsair / Scott Conant

Chopped judge, TV personality and the man behind plenty of the country’s top restaurants, Scott Conant, is back in South Florida with his newest concept, Corsair, inside Aventura’s Turnberry Isle Hotel. Chat Chow TV sat down with the charming chef to learn more about Corsair, its inspiration and what rituals he has for his restaurants.

The welcoming restaurant located close to the property’s massive golf course plays off its maritime-inspired name with a warm palate and interior tones designed by popular designer Meyer Davis.

“It’s a celebration of sorts of this area,” Conant adds about the design.

The restaurant serves a blend of Mediterranean and local flavors to create its unique spins on dishes like a deconstructed lasagna, polenta waffles and porcini braised veal. For the beverage program he enlisted California’s Rob Floyd who has set up bar programs for the SLS in Hollywood, CA and several of Conant’s restaurants.

As for his other popular restaurant on Miami Beach, Scarpetta, that has produced some of Miami’s top chefs including Macchialina’s Mike Pirolo and Top Chef’s Nina Compton, he says they are all good friends still and enjoy getting in the kitchen together.

“It’s nice to know we can … Read More

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