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Chinese New Year Celebration at the Mandarin Oriental Miami


From an all out celebration for Chinese New Year and advance look at Chef Adrianne Calvo’s Red Fish to the scoop on Chateau Miami, serious specials at popular spot Cafe Prima Pasta, and a verdict on new Brad Kilgore restaurant Ember, it’s all here in Miami Food Scene in January, Part 2. For Part 1, click here.


Now this is what I call a celebration! The Mandarin Oriental, Miami, is pulling out all the stops In honor of the hotel’s Asian heritage,  to celebrate Chinese New Year with food specials and Year of the Metal Rat programming from January 25 to February 3, 2020. Along with lively programming, the hotel’s lobby will be adorned with over 100 red lanterns and a giant lucky kumquat tree. Guests will receive a Chinese New Year welcome amenity of traditional red envelopes to hang from the branches of the kumquat tree. Festivities range from dining experiences including a new exquisite Dim Sum experience to a colorful Chinese Lion Dance performance on January 25 and unique Spa treatments.

Signature cocktails in glasses with Japanese moldings of fruit juice ice
Cocktails at the MO Bar

The details: MO Bar + Lounge will serve a traditional Dim Sum buffet nightly from 5 to 8 p.m. featuring delicacies such as spring rolls and Shu Mei paired with sweet chili sauce and lemongrass. Dim Sum is USD25 per person and is available January 25 to February 2. Famous for its sophisticated hand-crafted cocktails, guests can toast to the Lunar New Year with a “Good Fortune” cocktail made with mandarin vodka as oranges are said to bring good luck. La Mar by Gastón Acurio, the hotel’s Peruvian restaurant will serve Asian-inspired specials in honor of Chinese New Year. Dishes include pork and shrimp wonton with tamarind sauce for $15 and steamed branzino with fermented soy beans sauce, Chinese mushrooms, vegetables and fried rice for $ 59.

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Red snapper by Red Fish

Advance look at “new” iconic Red Fish with a targeted reopening mid-February. Coral Gables’ only waterfront restaurant, is, for all purposes new and boasts a new chef, Adrianne Calvo. This is number three for her. She also helms the kitchen at Cracked and Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar. The remake fits in well with its Matheson Hammock park environment, made of coral rock, and offering indoor and outdoor seating (153 seats) complete with a rooftop and cabanas designed for happy hour and enjoying the stunning sunsets. Not surprisingly, the menu focuses on seafood, here from cold northern waters, and a highlight will be a ten seat oyster bar. Chef Adrianne describes the cuisine as a “maximum flavor makeover” on seafood classics. There will also be a craft cocktail program with herbs from a new onsite garden. The plan is for Red Fish to be open for lunch, dinner and brunch seven days a week. Red Fish,  9610 Old Cutler Road, (T.305-668-8788.


Chateau Miami by Urbanologie


For years I’ve been wondering what would become of the vacant French style chateau  opposite PM Fish and Steak House on 15th and Brickell Avenue. At one point it was going to be an Italian restaurant, but now the deed is done. Clay Conley, ex Azul at the Mandarin Oriental Miami and more recently Buccan and others in Palm Beach County is opening Chateau Miami in late February or early March. Conley’s trademark is open fire cooking and his cuisine dubbed “progressive global cuisine”, inspired by his extensive travels. …Another high profile opening is Joia Beach, Jungle Island’s private beach and beach club. The chef hails from Mandolin Aegean Bistro and Skorpios, the latter which I was sorry to see close.  Think party scene like Nikki Beach Club with live music, activities, and a dock to accommodate diners arriving by boat.

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Meatballs, a signature dish at Cafe Prima Pasta, at 1933 prices!

Iconic Italian neighborhood favorite Café Prima Pasta is celebrating its 27th anniversary this year by offering their signature dishes as bar bites, rolling prices back to 1993. This includes Fiocchi Rapera, Eggplant Parmigiana, Meatballs and Fried Calamari, each for $12.95 . And better yet, they’ll have a really late night happy hour. Weekdays it will be between 10:30 and 11:30 and weekends between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m. Signature wine special, too — Merry Malbec for $10.26 a bottle. A serious deal.


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EMBER by Brad Kilgore

Finally made it to Ember, Brad Kilgore’s hip version of comfort food centered around wood fired dishes. The décor is unusual and very handsome, and the menu is well priced for the quality. I had a dish that had me craving an encore visit, fish on a bed of couscous en papillotte. My friend had a chopped salad with bacon, peppers, blackeyed peaas, feta, egg to which she added  fried oysters, her choice of protein  No more dishes to report on – it’s watch my weight time! But stay tuned, I’ll be back. Ember, 151 NE 41st St. Unit 117. T.786-334-6494.




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