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Michael Mina 74 from chef/restaurateur Michael Mina, located in the lobby of Fontainebleau Miami Beach, features a globally inspired American bistro menu. Expect to find dishes like lobster corn dogs, “jerk” quail with foie gras rice and sugar pumpkin, and Moroccan short rib with roasted pepper couscous and coriander jus. Craft cocktails with house-made infusions and varied wines are meant to be enjoyed as the restaurant transforms into a late-night lounge. Michael Mina 74, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33140, 305-674-4636.
If you’re a diner who has trouble making up his or her mind, L’Entrecote de Paris makes ordering no problemo. This new location of an originally Parisian eatery, with additional locations in Brazil, offers just one prix-fixe meal: an entrecote steak with a famed sauce made from 21 ingredients (here, mostly curry), accompanied by a mixed greens/walnuts salad and unlimited frites, plus a crisp-crusted baguette. The a la carte dessert menu is fairly extensive and changes daily. L’Entrecote de Paris, 1053 SE First Ave., Miami, FL 33131, 305-755-9995.
Box Park, the second of a three-restaurant/lounge complex from Nobu veteran Santiago Rodriguez, has opened with an entirely different look and menu than its older sibling, the New England retro-beachy Hoxton. Sporting contemporary minimalist décor, BP features food following the appropriately modern mantra: using local, seasonal ingredients --- seriously, encompassing not just farm-to-table but beyond to forest… and even swamp. Chef Matt Hinckley’s dishes include Everglades gumbo made from alligator and wild boar; citrus-cured Florida yellowjack or triggerfish; a fish sandwich with Asian snakehead; BBQ rabbit “wings”; and, the natural, old-fashioned way to enjoy unseasonal local produce, housemade “Brickell Pickles.” Box Park, 1111 SW First Ave., Miami, FL 33130, 305-356-8385.
The multi-level waterview space occupied for decades, since the early 1980s, by Miami’s (possibly, as far as we can figure, the USA’s) first Brazilian rodizio restaurant, Porcao, is now home to 21st century rodizio restaurant Brasileiro. A sort of Latin take on the concept of a steakhouse even non-carnivores can enjoy, Brasileiro is part chef-driven contemporary South/North American eatery featuring small plates from chef Gully Booth, and part modified traditional rodizio restaurant. Still there: unlimited skewered beef and other meats carved tableside by sword-wielding gaucho servers, plus veg sides. Absent: the typical huge rodizio joint salad/appetizer buffet --- but only rodizio novices fill up at those, anyway. Brasileiro,801 Brickell Bay Dr., Miami, FL, 33131, 786-502-3829.
Miami Rum Renaissance Festival Returns
Discover fine rums from around the world at the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, a two-day celebration of the art of cane spirits by rum producers, experts and enthusiasts. The event will be held from April 25-27, 2014, and will feature tastings, seminars, workshops and cocktail competitions. General admission is $50 and VIP tickets are $65. Buy tickets and find more information at www.miamirumfest.com
At downtown Miami's db bistro moderne, Jason Pringle, from NYC’s Cafe Boulud, has rather abruptly replaced Matthieu Godard as executive chef. Pringle’s previous executive chef posts include San Francisco’s Aqua and NYC’s David Burke Townhouse. No changes currently to the bistro’s menu, which will continue to feature traditional French fare like coq au vin, and American-accented Daniel Boulud signatures like the foie gras and truffle-stuffed Original db Burger and haricots verts-topped Maine lobster salad. db bistro moderne, JW Marriott Marquis Miami, 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami, FL 33131, 305-421-8800.
At Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, opening chef Jeff McInnis (a one-time “Top Chef” contestant) has departed. He is now set to open a restaurant in New York City, Root & Bone, with Janine Booth, another former “Top Chef” contestant and former Miami chef (Khong River House). Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, 1600 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305-538-5220.
When chef/restaurant empire-builder Dean James Max departed, in July 2013, as 14-year head honcho at the Harbor Beach Marriott’s top-end 3030 Ocean, he mentioned desires to bring some of Miami’s current culinary excitement up to Fort Lauderdale, while Marriott reps were quoted as “looking for the next celebrity chef.” Due to a contractual non-compete clause with Marriott, Max might be searching for a new South Florida flagship location for quite awhile, but 3030 Ocean has found its rising star: Paula DaSilva, whose meteoric career path started under Max at 3030 in 2000 before she went on to become the runner-up on season five of “Hell’s Kitchen,” and then executive chef at the farm-to-table restaurant of Eden Roc Miami Beach, 1500 Degrees. DaSilva is currently re-branding 3030 for contemporary local tastes, retaining local and seasonal sourcing but trading the formal fine dining ambience and menu for a modified touch of modern Miami-gastropub excitement, including a menu featuring more small plates. 3030 Ocean, Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, 3030 Holiday Dr., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316, 954-765-3030.
Barely a year after opening, Bloom, a hip indoor/outdoor eatery in the emerging but still far from fully-emerged Wynwood Arts District, has folded. Despite inconsistencies in both cooking and service, Bloom’s cuisine, a mix of imaginatively evolved Latin American and Asian street food favorites, was some of the most cutting edge in midtown Miami. While seemingly a perfect creative fit for Miami’s most cutting edge-artsy neighborhood, it may not have been so suited to Wynwood’s dramatically rising rents. A notice on the restaurant’s Facebook page states intentions to re-open Bloom in a different location. Bloom, 2751 N. Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33127, no phone.
Also kaput, without formal explanation (just a declining reputation for over a decade, despite recent new ownership that attempted, too late, to reverse damages with enhanced décor and food): Woody’s Famous Steak Sandwich, a North Miami institution since 1954 --- when, according to Miami natives old enough to remember, it actually served the town’s tastiest take on a Philly cheesesteak. Woody’s Famous Steak Sandwich, 13105 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami, FL 33181, no phone.
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