Earls Kitchen + Bar in Dadeland Mall is All About Soul

At Earls Kitchen + Bar their secret is simple. According to them no matter the size of the gathering you’ll find it at every table and in every drink. You will find it in everything that they do. It’s called Soul

You may have never heard of Earl’s prior to seeing them over at Dadeland Mall because this well-established chain was actually started and is headquartered up in Vancouver, Canada. Having over 50 restaurants all over Canada last year they decided to take their talents to the states, and opened up their first restaurant in the USA right in our backyard, and I am really glad they did. 

First, I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in and saw the décor and restaurant set up. Like every restaurant is has your dinning area, but what’s cool about Earl’s is that they also have two bars set up with several flat screen TV’s, and also a pretty nice outside dining area. Great spot to take family, friends or for a birthday celebration.

Now when it comes to their menu it is seasonal so make sure to order the BBQ pork buns before they take them off the menu. These little guys come three to an order and let me tell you that the softness of the buns mixed with the sweet chili sauce and BBQ pork is divine. 

For your entrée I suggest you try their famous Bronx burger, which comes stacked high with beer battered onion rings, red pepper relish, aged cheddar, arugula, and a hand smashed patty. And make sure to order a side of yam fries. If burgers really aren’t your scene, don't know how that could be possible, then try their slow braised rack of BBQ back ribs. The meat literally falls off the bone. And make sure it comes with their homemade warm potato salad.

For dessert you really have two options. You are either getting the chocolate hazelnut bar with salted caramel and vanilla bean gelato, or the warm chocolate sticky toffee pudding. Both are out of this world. 

P.S. They also have a stellar cocktail list. With libations made with fresh ingredients you can’t really go wrong. My personal favorite is the Earl’s Old Fashioned.

See below my full Tastemade review!

Bronx burger

Bronx burger

Slow braised rack of BBQ back ribs

Slow braised rack of BBQ back ribs

La Ferme, A Modern Take On Your Favorite Comfort Food

In the middle of a shopping center you would never expect to find such a gem like La Ferme. Brought to you by the Shapiro family, the family behind the very famous Flex Mussels in Manhattan, this modern bistro prides itself is offering locally sourced food with an emphasis on quality and flavors of the Mediterranean.

Now, let’s talk business here. Their menu is a mix of some of your favorite comfort foods as well as modern interpretations of a bistro menu. To start make sure to ask your waiter for the specials because not only will you find out that on Sunday’s the full order of mussels are half off, but you might also find out they have their flatbread on special. This flatbread comes with prosciutto, blue cheese, manchego, arugula, and pomegranate glaze.  

When you are looking at their entrees I definitely recommend you order the moules frites, or mussels and fries. They come prepared four different ways. Either thai, marinières, provençal, or parma. I ordered the marinières, which is prepared with white wine, butter and herbs. Equally light and delicious.

And for those of you who are short rib lovers like me then you must order it a La Ferme. Their short ribs come with lardons, mushrooms, and a pomme puree. I have to tell you that the flavor between the short rib, the pomme puree and the mushroom is absolutely perfect.

Last but not least, they currently have on their special dessert menu a carrot ginger cake. Even if you aren’t a huge carrot cake lover try it, just trust me on this one. 

Not to mention La Ferme features an extensive wine list, with a focus on boutique vineyards, beers from local and international microbreweries, and a craft cocktail list. How could you go wrong?

Check out my full Tastemade review below!

Flatbread special

Flatbread special

Mussels

Mussels

Short rib

Short rib

Carrot ginger cake

Carrot ginger cake

Girls Day Out at Tongue & Cheek Brunch

Written by RandoMiami contributor: Leilani Pacheco

Ah...Girls Day Out (GDO).  A time-honored tradition my friends and I have been following now for well over 15 years.  Whether it's a special occasion or just a regular day, we always strive to make it fabulous.   Of course, given that we are all foodies, "fabulous" equals trying new places to eat (and sometimes re-visiting old favorites).

My friend Dorelys is a Bravo TV junkie...so we knew for her birthday we wanted to treat her to one of the places recently featured on Bravo's "Best New Restaurant". After perusing brunch menus, we decided on Tongue & Cheek.

Located right in the heart of South Beach, this restaurant is a rare combination, with both style and substance. Upon entering, we were immediately impressed by the modern decor, including offbeat lighting, dark wood floors and comfortable round booths.

Now...on to the food.  The star dish here is Torrejas with frozen cafe con leche parfait.  Yes...that's as delicious as it sounds.  The only tragedy is that it's very, very tiny.  So, you must get it.  However, order something else to go with it unless you want to be hangry. 

In second place is the Sticky Bun with browned butter pecans, which is NOT tiny and was perfectly gooey/crispy and sugary, as it should be.  The egg dishes are also very tasty and their hash browns are home-made and amazing nuggets of crispy deliciousness.

If you like lemon, I also recommend the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, which are served with maple syrup on the side and blueberries to top it all off.  This dish is a mix of sweet and tart, and it works.

Overall, the food here was great and the service was also awesome.  Besides our very attentive waiter, Chris, the host was also very flexible and accommodating when we had to add people to our party at the last minute.  We also never felt rushed and were free to sit, eat, laugh and enjoy each other’s company, which at the end of the day, is what it's all about!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Sticky Bun

Sticky Bun

Torrejas

Torrejas

Transport Yourself to Italy with Made in Italy Gourmet

When you first walk into Made in Italy Gourmet you immediately feel like you have left Wynwood and have been magically transported to an Italian market. There are different stations where you can pick up different cheeses and meats, or even pastas to prepare your very own Italian feast at home.

Besides being able to buy Italian products Made in Italy Gourmet is also a wine bar. Lining the wall are hundreds of different wine bottles. Everything from red to rosé, they have something to fulfill all of your wine desires. 

When you visit Made in Italy Gourmet you must try the wines from the Zonin family, straight from Northern Italy this family has been making wine since 1821. With seven generations of winemakers they have increased their portfolio to include nine wineries located in seven of the most renowned wine regions in Italy. 

A few wines that I recommend you try are the Zonin Prosecco, Masseria Altemura Fiano, Masseria Altemura Negroamaro, and Masseria Altemura Sasseo. Each wine has its own taste and flavor, so depending on what you are in the mood for, or what you will be eating that night will determine which wine you will pair your dinner with.

For example, the Zonin Prosecco is perfect for any and all occasions – for before, during or after any meal. When drinking Masseria Altemura Fiano you should pair this wine with dishes like fregula, which is a typical pasta from Sardinia made with semolina dough served as a salad with mixed vegetables. 

If you are having a charcuterie plate with different meats and cheeses then you should pair this with the Masseria Altemura Negroamaro. It adds the perfect after taste to this dish. And last but not least, the Masseria Altemura Sasseo. This wine pairs perfectly with a focaccia. At Made in Italy Gourmet they make one stuffed with buffalo mozzarella, a sun-dried tomato and artichoke spread, and ricotta cheese.

Having met Francesco Zonin, Vice President of the company, I know firsthand that this family is extremely knowledgeable and know exactly what they are doing when it comes to winemaking. My favorite line of his was when he mentioned to me, “The best bottle of wine is an empty one.” I’ll drink to that! [Scroll down to see the full interview with Francesco]

Zonin Prosecco

Zonin Prosecco

Zonin Fiano

Zonin Fiano

Burrata Cheese

Burrata Cheese

Fregula Salad

Fregula Salad

Zonin Negroamaro

Zonin Negroamaro

Charcuterie Plate

Charcuterie Plate

Focaccia

Focaccia

Get Cheezy with Ms. Cheezious

When co-founders Brian and Fatima Mullins and M. Christian Dickens were putting together the concept of Ms. Cheezious their mission was to share with the Miami community everyone’s favorite comfort food – grilled cheese sandwiches – only not quite as innocent as mom used to make.

In December 2010 these guys took Miami by storm when they introduced us to their food truck Ms. Cheezious. Now, they are excited to announce they have two food trucks and a brick and mortar location in the historic MIMO district of Miami.

They are serving up things like their BBQ Pulled Pork Melt, which is my personal favorite. This guy comes stacked with house BBQ pulled pork and sharp chedder, all between two pieces of Texas toast. Another personal favorite is their Smoked Turkey, which comes with Fontina cheese. But what makes this one so different is they added rosemary honey to add the perfect sweet flavor that soaks right through the sourdough bread.

If those don't sound like mouth-watering grilled cheese options, then order the Croqueta Monsieur. With ham croquetas, tavern ham, Swiss cheese and béchamel how could you go wrong?

Not too mention that if you are feeling something more on the sweet side you could order a sandwich like their S’mores Melt. This sandwich comes with roasted marshmallows and salted chocolate hazelnut spread with graham cracker crumble. I mean, is this heaven?

Ms_Cheezious
BBQ Pulled Pork Melt

BBQ Pulled Pork Melt

Smoked Turkey

Smoked Turkey

Croqueta Monsieur

Croqueta Monsieur

Get Your Aphrodisiac Fix Over At Mignonette

Yea, you read that right, “aphrodisiac.” I would say perfect timing considering 50 Shades of Grey just came out today… Anyways, moving on, let’s talk about the newest restaurant to pop up in Miami’s up-and-coming Edgewater community, Mignonette. This restaurant is actually owned and operated by the same chef behind Blue Collar, Daniel Serfer, which if you have never been then please do yourself a favor and add that to your “must eat at Miami restaurants” list.

Daniel’s vision for Mignonette is that you are able to come in and enjoy a dozen oysters, a bottle of champagne, classic seafood preparations in a fun and approachable environment. And that's exactly what I did.

Now, let's talk food. Without a doubt you have to order the oysters, whether they are from the West or East coast this is a must. If you are a fan of deviled eggs then you are going to die after you try their lobster deviled eggs. Topped with Maine lobster, smoked paprika and chives, how could you go wrong? 

As you are perusing the menu you are also going to run into what they call popcorn clam. These little guys are essentially their version of calamari, but with clams and much better. You get a side of their chipotle mayo, which adds the perfect spice to the fried clam. Oh, and you have to order the French-fried potato chips. You might be thinking – why would I order potato chips at a seafood joint? Just order them. I promise you won’t regret it.

Something that I am totally in love with over at Mignonette are their toasts. My two personal favorites are the Maine lobster and crab toasts, which come served on a warm Portuguese muffin. The Main lobster comes with shallots, chives and mayo, and the crab comes with piquillo pepper, and meyer lemon mayo. Simple, yet delicious. 

Last but not least, their heath bar bread pudding is a must for dessert. Even if you are full at least try it or take one to go. They heat it up at just the right temperature so that when you bite into it the melted pieces of heath bar just melt in your mouth. Talk about aphrodisiac.

Rose champagne

Rose champagne

Oysters

Oysters

Deviled eggs

Deviled eggs

Popcorn clams

Popcorn clams

French fried potato chips

French fried potato chips

Lobster & crab toast

Lobster & crab toast

Heath bar bread pudding

Heath bar bread pudding

DELLA Is Bringing Healthy and Happy to Miami

A few weeks ago I was invited to attend a sneak peak of a new healthy spot that will be opening up soon here in Miami, DELLA. I couldn't be more excited for DELLA to open in Miami for several reasons. Not only is their food absolutely delicious, but it truly is good for you, which is sometimes hard to find in the MIA.

So how does this work? Basically when you enter the restaurant there will be a bar you walk up to where you will choose from many ingredients to make your bowl. First you choose your base, which could be brown rice, quinoa or fresh greens. Then you choose protein like their chickpeas with sea salt, lentils with olive oil and herbs, tofu with spicy chipotle or tempeh with a tangy ginger spice to it. You can also top that with veggies like their marinated kale, which is amazing or their sweet potatoes, which I also love.

And then comes my favorite part, adding your sauce! My personal favorites are the “yellow,” which is their coconut curry sauce, and “orange,” which is a sweet citrus tahini.

And the last part of the line is adding a boost, which can be anything from avocado, to spicy sunflower seeds, which you must try!

At DELLA they are focused on creating a menu that is nutrient-dense, local, and sourced ingredients that are organic when possible. And the coolest part is that all of their ingredients are gluten, sugar, dairy, and peanut-free!

Stay tuned for the official opening of DELLA, coming soon to a spot near you!

Curry bowl

Curry bowl

Green bowl

Green bowl

Mediterranean bowl

Mediterranean bowl

Southwest bowl

Southwest bowl

Eat, Drink and Perform at Open Stage Club

Who doesn't like to eat good food, have a few drinks and then perform and sing the night away? That’s exactly what you can do with my friends over at Open Stage Club. This Coral Gables gastropub is very different from what you are used to. Besides having a full bar and kitchen they are also an upscale karaoke restaurant.

Their mission over at Open Stage Club is to enable exploration, help artists grow and find their motivation to perform on stage. But you don’t have to be a super professional to join in on the fun!

What I like about Open Stage Club is you can first make a reservation for their restaurant, so you can sit down eat a few appetizers and have a few drinks to really get you pumped to perform. When it comes to food head chef Nitza Mendoza really knows what she is doing. I highly recommend you try Nelly’s empanadas, a homemade recipe straight from abuela’s kitchen. Then you have to try the Coral Gables ceviche, which has the perfect touch of bitterness with a hint of sweetness from the corn they add into the mix.

If you want something a bit more filling then you have to order the fiocchi with four cheese pasta plate. What makes this dish a bit different is that they fill the pasta with pear, so when you mix the flavors from the sweet pear and the four cheeses it truly is a heavenly experience.

When it comes to drinks I think if you should have two or three Cocorita’s, which is essentially a margarita with coconut vodka, then you will be totally set to take on the stage and rock out to your favorite Britteny Spears song!

Cocorita

Cocorita

Empanadas

Empanadas

Coral Gables ceviche

Coral Gables ceviche

Fiocchi four cheese pasta

Fiocchi four cheese pasta

The Federal Food, Drink and Provisions: Come Hungry, Leave Happy

Written by RandoMiami contributor: Leilani Pacheco

Hi, RandoMiami readers!  I’m Leilani Pacheco, and I’m super excited to be one of the new contributors to this fabulous site.  Katy and I are foodie-kindred spirits, so when I heard she was seeking contributors I jumped at the chance to do what I love most:  eat, and share my opinions.
 
I also have a 2-year old daughter (“EM”), so my posts will mostly be focused on being a foodie while toting a child along for the ride.  I know many parents shy away from taking their kids out to “nice” restaurants, but my husband and I have made it a point to take EM almost everywhere we go, and I think it has paid off.  She knows how to behave (for the most part), and I’ve found she is willing to try almost any food at least once. And if not…there is always the breadbasket.
 
Our latest adventure involved taking a couple of our friends to one of our favorite restaurants:  The Federal Food, Drink and Provisions.  Located inside a strip mall off of Biscayne Blvd., you could easily miss this place driving by, but it’s truly a diamond in the rough, with some of the most delicious and unique food to be found in Miami.  Of course, we also brought EM along for the ride.
  
When you visit The Federal you have to try the BBQ’d Deviled Eggs, Naw’lins Style Stuffed Crabs, Spicy Clams, Porchetta, Crawfish & Grits, Heirloom Tomato Salad, Mac&Cheese, Waldorf Salad, Jar o’Duck and Jumbo Buttermilk Biskits.  Oh make sure to order their deliciously refreshing strawberry mango sangria.
  
One of the things I love best about tapas-style restaurants like The Federal is the opportunity to try things you might not normally order.  After trying some of my friend’s Jar o’Duck and Porchetta, I was floored….the Jar o’Duck is literally Thanksgiving in a jar, and the Porchetta was super moist and flavorful (that sauce...OMG).
  
EM and I shared the Mac & Cheese and a biscuit (but truthfully I ate most of the biscuit myself). This biscuit is probably my favorite biscuit ever (and I used to live in the South, so this is saying a lot).  It is not only the size of my face, but it comes out piping hot and smeared with a magical honey apple cider glaze [insert drool face here].
  
We finished the night with a delicious banana brûlée dessert. Our very attentive and awesome waiter then came to our table with a champagne toast to celebrate The Federal’s 3rd anniversary.  With full and happy bellies, we were happy to oblige and wish this gem of a restaurant many more!

Jar O' Duck, duck confit rillette, charred marshmallow fluff, candid sweet potato 

Jar O' Duck, duck confit rillette, charred marshmallow fluff, candid sweet potato 

Mac & cheese - no, that isn't Panko bread crumbs it's Cheetos crumbs!

Mac & cheese - no, that isn't Panko bread crumbs it's Cheetos crumbs!

Cheers! And yes, EM toasted with that sippy cup in the bottom left corner.

Cheers! And yes, EM toasted with that sippy cup in the bottom left corner.

Take Your Taste Buds For A Ride With Aromas del Peru

I have a confession to make – I love Peruvian food. No really, I do. My father traveled to Latin America for many years when I was growing up, and at one point my entire family made it over to Lima. Even though I must admit I wasn't old enough at the time to really appreciate the food I definitely can now – and Aromas del Peru knows what they are doing.

Without a doubt you have to start your Peruvian adventure with their signature drink, a pisco sour. My personal favorite at Aromas is their passion fruit (maracuya) pisco sour. My only advice is to take it slow while drinking because it is so delicious that before you know it’s all gone!

For your appetizer you must order causa, which I am completely obsessed with. The combination of yellow potato, egg, aji amarillo, and whether you order it with chicken or shrimp is just perfect. It has the perfect mix of flavor and it’s just spicy enough to get your taste buds going.

For your main dish you are ordering the lomo saltado. I have had this dish at several Peruvian restaurants, but this one takes the cake. This very traditional Peruvian dish is their version of stir-fry, but even better. It’s basically slices of beef, tomatoes, and spices all on top a bed of French fries. How could you go wrong with that?

Last but not least, you have to end your experience at Aromas del Peru with their suspiero limeño, or “sigh of Lima,” dessert. I do have to warn you that if you don't love really sweet desserts than this isn’t it for you. But for those of you who do this dessert is basically evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, some eggs, sugar, and cinnamon. It reminds me of the natilla I used to eat growing up.

Check out my Tastemade review on Aromas del Peru here!

Pisco sour

Pisco sour

Yuquitas

Yuquitas

Causa

Causa

Lomo saltado

Lomo saltado