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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.
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.
Though the downtown/Brickell restaurant scene continues to expand at an explosive rate, a few of the most interesting eateries that attracted diners downtown in droves have, unfortunately, been victims of the area’s new hipness. A recent casualty: Little Lotus, a remarkably inventive contemporary Japanese/Indonesian fusion jewel hidden away in the International Jewelry Building. The small spot opened in 2011 to critical and public acclaim that made landlord greed a problem within mere weeks, according to a lawsuit filed by restaurateur Sara Maharani, as the space’s owners engaged in a harassment campaign trying to get her to break a lease that suddenly, in light of the place’s success, seemed much too affordable. In addition, both food and service seriously declined after Morimoto-trained sushi chef Michael Asalie left for the Upper Eastside’s Buddha Sushi. Little Lotus, 22 NE First St., Miami, FL 33132, 305-533-2700.
View our calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in Miami