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(right to left) Pinsa Romana – mozzarella and basil and Valencia with mozzarella, octopus, olives, chickpeas, and lemon-mint dressing.


Mozzarella making class, “Wines and Cheeses from France” happenings at Whole Foods , Zucca Miami Spice pick for your list, and other foodie news you won’t want to miss in this month’s Eating News.


Now this would qualify as culinary one upsmanship, besides sounding like lots of fun. It’s a monthly interactive mozzarella making class with wine of course (great for inspiration). Panarea Mediterranean Sea Grill offers the class the last Wednesday of every month from 7 p.m to 9 p.m. Next up is tomorrow, and then October 25. Guest will be greeted with a complimentary glass of Prosecco. The homemade cheese will be used to make Panarea’s signature Pinsa Romana, a traditional Roman recipe for an oval-shaped, highly digestible dough that can be used for pizza at the end of the class.Executive Chef Claudio Sandri will teach patrons how to stretch and mold curds into creamy half-pound mozzarella balls. He will share his “brine brilliance” while patrons enjoy a complimentary glass of red or white wine.

The Pinsa Romana pizzas made with the fresh Mozzarella will be served to guests. Participants will receive a certificate of completion, making them official “Mozzarella Makers.” The price is $59 per person plus tax and tip. Reservations are required. For reservations,  call 305-640-5580. Want to know more about the restaurant? Click here for my review. Panarea Mediterranean Sea Grill
11052 Biscayne Blvd


Francophiles and just lovers of French wine and cheese, faites atencion! The French Ministry of Agriculture has joined forces with Whole Foods Markets for a celebration of “Wines and Cheeses from France” from now through October. Expect in store tastings and  curated pairings of delectable French cheeses and Bonne Maman preserves designed to complement the flavors of 12 very special French wines that are newly available at the stores.

The featured wines represent a range of French wine regions, from Champagne and Chablis to Côtes du Rhône and Bordeaux. There are some good deals, like a Chateau Haut Cadet St.Emilion Grand Cru for $19.99 (regularly $10 more) and a Touraine Sauvignon Blanc for$10.99 (found these at the store in South Beach).  The paired cheeses are sourced from throughout France, many new to Miami, like Hervé Mons St. Nuage, a buttery soft cheese; the salty sheeps milk Istara P’tit Basque, and Hervé Mons Terre des Volcans Bleu 1924, a richly intense blue cheese. Then there are the classics that aren’t so easy to find like Pont L’Eveque and Epoisses.



Light bites:

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The casually elegant ambiance of Zucca in Coral Gables


Went back to Italian restaurant Zucca at the Hotel St. Michel, 162 Alcazar, in Coral Gables. Good friends who dine out nightly in the best restaurants in town and know their Italian food, said I had to go back. Liked it shortly after opening, and wanted to see how it fared with time. Glad I did. It’s a neighborhood gem, a fortunate addition to an area of Miami that needs more good restaurants. The handsome bar was buzzing with diners in search of their light bites and cool cocktails like Nonna Mule. We opted for the casually elegant main restaurant that I’m adding to my list of places to eat well and hold a conversation.

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Charcuterie at Zucca

Be sure to order their charcuterie board and the fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with mozzarella.  They offer a winning Miami Spice menu which my good friend and I opted for. Both her vittello tonnato and my boston lettuce salad with shrimp, string beans and sundried tomatoes and Orata (sea bream) fish with black wild rice got a thumbs up.

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The view from VERDE at the Perez Art Museum Miami


Verde at Perez Art Museum Miami has one of the best views in Miami. Problem was, it was tough to get a seat outside. Good news. They’re opening additional bayside seats plus an updated bar area serving all matter of libations, hot and cold, and items from the dining menu. Plus, there’s an expanded international menu with dishes like butternut squash + fig pizza, bucatini pasta, and  — love this one – guava and cheesecake zeppolis (deep fried doughnut like fritters). Note they serve brunch.







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