Since my return from the long trip, I’ve been making up for lost opportunities, out on the eating trail. Here’s juicy Eating News for the month — a serious find for fruit pie lovers (perfect for July 4th), great lunch and happy hour deals, a Russian restaurant and nightclub, new restaurant and eatery openings you’ll want to know about.
Just in time for the Fourth of July, some serious fruit pies. I used to bake them, so know something about my pies and these from the Davie based The Good Pie Company, T.(954-562-4760) are super yummy. And equally good news, they’re now being sold at Milam’s in Coconut Grove. I tried the cherry that was just the slightest bit tart, a winner. The crust is made of butter (the only way), and the consistency — moist but not gummy because they only use a little flour and cornstarch. “We’re all about having the fruit flavor dominate,” said Marti Reich who, with her husband Frank, own the bakery. All the fruit is fresh except the cherries which are flash frozen and from Michigan. Most come from a farmer in Central Florida. Other flavors sold at Milam’s include apple, blueberry, cherry crumble, Pecan, peach, pecan chocolate and key lime. A 6″ pie is $12-$15; 10″ is $25-$35. If you want more flavors and savory pies, check out their Davie location. Milam’s, 2991 SW 32nd Avenue.
Serious deals….The best value in town for happy hour has to be Le Chick in Wynwood. In an earlier blogpost you read about the comfort food of this Amsterdam import earlier, but this was my first time for the happy hour – 3 to 7:00 Monday to Friday. We went with three other friends, all foodies, and they also gave it high marks for quality and value. Think burgers including one named in the top three by the Miami Herald for $10, $3 fries, $6 brussel sprouts, $5 craft beer, $10 fried chicken sandwich and $12 for cocktails. This time of year midweek it’s hardly busy so it’s easy to get a table and have a conversation. Here’s my earlier review. Le Chick, 310 NW 24th Street, (T. 786-216-7086).
I also returned to Mira Five Stars, 801 South Pointe Drive (T.305-340-1735) and tried their lunch special. Another very good deal. My French friend had the shrimp with arugula salad, a good size plate; risotto with porcini mushrooms; and mango panacotta. I had the salmon tartar, risotto and lemon meringue tart. Each was a full portion (I took home half of the risotto) and excellent. Price? $29 plus tax and tip. We went on a Monday and were the only ones in the restaurant so don’t go for people watching at lunch (at least yet).
If you’re In the Gables, take advantage of their culinary month promotion with specials in many of the leading restaurants. Checked out Mara Basque Cuisine and Lounge, a new Spanish restaurant from the Basque country which has produced some of the finest chefs in the world. Leave it up to the Spaniards to always have excellent fish, and so here. The two course lunch special for $20 or $23 (fish) can include dishes like a tasty and light fish soup with a tomato base(no cream), salad or lentil soup for starters and grilled turbot filet with vegetables, pork loin or a wonderful stew of chick peas and bacalao (cod). The mauve toned decor with crystal chandelier and velvet tufted banquettes is elegant and comfortable. The executive lunch is Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 3 pm. Mara, 112 Giralda Ave, Coral Gables, (T.305-504-9274)
Readers from Russia and the Baltic who came to my last MiamiCurated event gave me hot tips on unusual ethnic restaurants and even a nightclub that you wouldn’t believe are in South Florida. Off we went to Tatiana Restaurant and Nightclub in Hallandale to enjoy pelmeni, Russian dumplings; borscht; shish kebab, and more (a huge menu), and an hour long show with singers, dancers and acrobats. There’s dancing too. It’s a fun thing to do, especially with a group of friends. Dinner and the show and one cocktail are $129 per person or you can opt for dinner a la carte and pay $29 for the show. There are also frequent deals on groupon. I got a deal for the show for two and one bottle of wine for $48. Then we just ordered a la carte. The show was at 10 p.m. when we went (be sure to call and check on the time). It’s open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Tatiana, 1710 East Hallandale Beach Boulevard, Hallandale (T.954-454-1222).
New openings.….A new, solid choice for classic Mexican cuisine with a twist is Diez y Seis in The Shore Club.
We went to the opening and everyone agreed the food was delicious. Our favorites were the Mexican chorizo quesadilla, chicken tamal, duck confit enchiladas and braised short ribs with mole poblano and crema Mexicana. The place to sit is at the covered outdoor seating overlooking the pool. It’s open for lunch from 11:30 to 4 p.m. and dinner from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Yet another Italian restaurant is moving into the Brickell area this fall, North Italia, in the space that was formerly Oceanaire, 900 South Miami Avenue. It’s a moderate priced restaurant, part of the Fox group, and features pastas, salads, sandwiches, pizza.
Juvia has a new Michelin star French chef, Gilles Epie, who brings a French touch to Peruvian cuisine. If you go, try the yellowtail tiradito and the strawberry and raspberry dessert with vanilla ice cream. The best spot is outside, but be sure to reserve.It was totally packed on a Tuesday night.
Joe & The Juice, the chain that made a name for itself with freshly squeezed juices and healthy shakes, has opened in the Echo building at 1451 Brickell Avenue. Also offered are sandwiches, breakfast and coffees.