MiamiCurated ,brunch chotto matte, best brunch miami beach, best brunch south beach, saturday brunch miami beach
Jungle Brunch at Chotto Matte

Something for everyone in this month’s Eating News including a jungle brunch, famous pizza import from Naples,  art to table, Rubell Museum’s coming restaurant, reopening of one of my favorite restaurants with a top view- The Deck Miami , news about the iconic Red Fish Grill at Matheson Hammock Park and more.

Here’s a different kind of brunch — How about a Jungle Brunch! It’s the newest offering at Chotto Matte off of Lincoln Road. Every Saturday the space turns into a jungle theme with even more greenery throughout the restaurant, birds, colorful plates and silverware, animal print accents, carnival style atmospheric dancers, tropical tunes Dj, and special dishes served only for brunch.

MiamiCurated ,brunch chotto matte, best brunch miami beach, best brunch south beach, saturday brunch miami beach
Jungle brunch at Chotto Matte

The three course food menu is $49 that includes starters like ceviche and sashimi; entrees including purple potato pancake stack, sushi pizza and pork belly anticucho; and dessert platter. There’s also  a $29 bottomless option good for two hours. Chotto Matte, 1664 Lenox Avenue, T.305-690-0743.

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Gino Sorbillo at Sorbillo Pizza

In Naples, the home of pizza, people line up outside the doors of Sorbillo Pizza. So it’s not surprising that Sorbillo Pizza  has 11 outposts from Tokyo to New York, and now South Beach. We went on a Friday and returned the following Monday we liked the pizza so much. They do the classics beautifully and then there are seasonal pizzas and their famous pizza fritta, a pocket of Neopolitan style dough that’s fried and filled like a calzone. Our favorite meal there — the pizza diavolo, broccoli rabe, and wine from the Veneto.

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Broccoli rabe at Sorbillo Pizza

Pizzas are all made in the special wood oven that’s a focal point of the fun, casual atmosphere. There’s also a selection of  antipasti, pastas, salads and sides and of course desserts. Pizzas are priced in the high teens to low twenties. Important to note, they make a total of 300 pizzas a day for lunch and dinner and when they’ve sold them all, no more to be had, though other menu items are available.  Sorbillo Pizza, 100 Collins Avenue, T.305-381-0588.


A recreation of Teresita Fernandez’s art in food at Verde at PAMM

Just in time for Art Basel, literally art to table. At PAMM’s Verde restaurant, the chef is creating dishes inspired by the current art exhibit of Teresita Fernandez. Begin the dining experience with the Red Beet Tartare ($10) blood orange cream, hearts on fire and crispy black bread. The menu’s ‘centerpiece’ will showcase a contrast of textures with the Pan Seared Salmon ($22), which is prepared with corn purée, french beans, crispy rice, and black olive crumble. For a lighter option, try the Little Gem Salad ($12), green goddess, pistachio and herbs. For dessert, enjoy the refreshing Black Sesame Ice Cream ($8) with freeze dried raspberries.For reservations or more information, please call 305.375.8282 or visit

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LEKU restaurant to open in the new Rubell Museum

You’ve probably heard by now that the Rubell Art collection has a new home, and what a home. It even comes with a restaurant opening in early 2020,  LEKU, that brings the tastes of the Basque region to the new Rubell Museum at 1100 NW 23red street in the Allappatah neighborhood. LEKU is owned by an impressive international group of veteran restaurant and hospitality professionals including Alejandro Muguerzaof Le Basque Catering in Miami; Andreas Schreiner of Schreiner Hospitality; Terry Zarikian of the New York and South Beach Wine & Food Festivals, and the 30-year-old Executive Chef Mikel Goikolea, formerly of Azurmendi Prêt à Porter. It’s set to open for lunch and dinner.

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The Deck at Island Gardens

The Deck at Island Gardens was one of my favorite restaurants for the food, people watching, waterfront location and tough to match views of the Miami skyline.So I was very disappointed when it closed, and its former chef passed away. Now, I’m happy to say that it has now reopened .

New Executive Chef Alfio Longo’s pedigree includes training in multiple Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as stints in places ranging  from Le Cirque New York to Casa de Campo. The new Mediterranean menu is inspired by his native coastal Italian regions as well as the Cote d’Azur, Mykonos and Costa del Sol.

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Colorado rack of lamb carved tableside at The Deck at Island Gardens

Signature dishes include Trofie Pasta tossed in his award-winning basil pesto recipe and served with pine nuts and Parmigiano Reggiano; Oven Roasted Chilean Sea Bass  nestled in marmalade leeks drizzled with Champagne sauce and topped with caviar; Colorado Rack of Lamb is brick oven roasted and prepared tableside with porcini mushroom and spinach; and Mediterranean Salt Crusted Branzino.

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Sweet green pea risotto at The Deck

The Deck’s in-house pastry chef turns out  desserts including Chocolate Nemesis, and traditional Pistachio Cake sprinkled with fresh pistachios served with vanilla custard and rose petals. Brunch on Sundays, always a tradition here, includes global DJs and live drum performances beginning at 4 pm. The Deck at Island Gardens,
888 MacArthur Causeway, Miami, FL 33132 (786) 627- 4949. Open for dinner Thursday through Sunday and brunch on Sunday.

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Rita’s Italian Ice now in Surfside

LIght bites: It has taken over two years after the damage from Hurricane Irma, but the iconic Red Fish Grill at Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables is reopening as Red Fish by Chef Adrianne. Adrianne Calvo is bringing an all new menu featuring new American style seafood dishes, riffs on traditional fish house classics…..Having spent a lot of time when I was young in Philadelphia, I know something about Italian ice in the US, what’s good and what’s not. The ice in Philadelphia and South Jersey is considered among the best. So I was pleased to hear that The Philadelphia-based chain Rita’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard opened in 9461 Harding Avenue, Surfside last month.  Three other shops — in Miami Beach, Hialeah, and Hollywood — are projected to open in early 2020.





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