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Bon Appétit at Cafe Bastille

RandoMiami, RandoFood, RandoContributor, RandoReviewKaty CoffieldComment

Written by: Katrina Vargas Vila

When I found out that Café Bastille was undergoing renovations to reveal a brand new look, I was so excited! It was a place that held lots of memories for me. It was a spot I frequented so many times on my lunch break with my mom when we used to work together in Downtown Miami. We’d get a couple of crepes and always completed our lunches with our favorite Crepe Suzette (Grand Marnier and orange butter sauce) along with a few “I don’t want to go back to work” sighs. 

Back then, it was a small space with a long counter equipped with the restaurant’s kitchen and crepe station right behind it. The food was always delicious and the ambiance always cozy – a sweet escape from the workday. Café Bastille is all that and more now. It has been beautifully renovated and upon entering I realized that the transformation still reminded me of the coziness that it had in its earlier days with an added sophistication, new menu, and an extensive wine list. 

I noticed my favorite crepes were still on the menu but there were so many delicious specials I decided to try instead. Adorned with chic bistro lights and chairs, tufted benches, and fresh rosemary this small café is a nice slip away from busy streets and Cuban coffee. 

A unique touch to your typical bread basket. All guests are brought complimentary French bread with housemade tapenade. The tapenade included roasted red pepper and goat cheese (my favorite) and the bread was crusty on the outside, soft on the inside. Fresh and authentic, as a genuine French bread should be!

Foie Gras Maison – homemade duck fois gras, onion jam, toasted brioche

Foie Gras Maison – homemade duck fois gras, onion jam, toasted brioche

The buttery brioche was toasted and pressed flat. When piled on, the flavors of the sweet onion jam and rich foie gras reminded of me of how much I missed this French delicacy. 

Soupe du Jour: Carrot Ginger

Soupe du Jour: Carrot Ginger

This soup was so creamy and smooth. Carrots on their own can taste very earthy and sweet but the bright flavor of fresh ginger added a nice kick that balanced it all out. I finished this soup to the last sip!

What drew me to order this as my entrée was not only the fact that it was the Chef’s special that night but the mix of ingredients that were brought together. Mint and kiwi are two things I enjoy very much, but combining them alongside fish and risotto? I just had to see for myself. The Mahi was fresh, the risotto was tender, and the mint was refreshing. I was afraid that the fish risotto would be overpowering, but it was surprisingly very subtle with the help of a secret ingredient. I wasn’t convinced that my taste buds were steering me in the right direction, but they did! Buried within the risotto were bites of fresh ginger. Bringing all the kiwi, fish, and mint chutney in one bite was pure goodness. The plate was garnished with a buttery sauce that I incorporated into each bite for an extra savory treat.

Steak Haché à Cheval

Steak Haché à Cheval

A French version of the hamburger topped with an egg. The beef was lean and seasoned nicely. I could really tell that this was grass fed beef.  

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

I love white chocolate and I love bread pudding. Drizzled with white chocolate sauce and garnished with blueberries, you can’t go wrong when ordering this dessert! 

Café Bastille is a beautiful little café that took me back not only to some very special memories, but to a feeling I had when visiting a café in Paris. Sit outside and people watch or sit inside and say a few nice words to the party sitting next to you – that is the French way, n’est-ce pas? The food is fresh, delicious, and I can’t wait to go back very soon. When I do, I’ll make sure to bring my mom along so we can make some new memories. Bon Appétit!

Baby Jane Officially Launches Their Unplugged Lunch

RandoMiami, RandoLists, RandoFood, SponsoredKaty CoffieldComment
Courtesy of: WorldRedEye

Courtesy of: WorldRedEye

I am excited to announce that Baby Jane officially launched their "Unplugged" lunch on July 1st! What does this whole unplugged lunch even mean? Well, as you walk in for lunch with your friends or co-workers they will ask if you’d like to leave your phone at the door, and in exchange they will hand over a “bucket o’fun.”

In recent years, technology has become unavoidable in restaurants. Diners have turned into food paparazzi, hustling to get the perfect snapshot of a well-plated dish. But the spirit of Baby Jane, like its namesake "Baby Jane" Holzer, is one of stylish rebellion. So, in tribute to that iconoclasm, BabyJane launches their "Unplugged Lunch," encouraging all diners to check their phones at the door in exchange for a "Bucket o' Fun" stocked with adult coloring books, magic markers, slinkies, table-top basketball games, mini-Jenga sets and play dough. 

Courtesy of: WorldRedEye

Courtesy of: WorldRedEye

"Baby Jane is fun, naughty and a little mischievous," says owner Jason Odio. "And we want to encourage that playful environment where people can disconnect from their screens and have a fun, midday break."

Courtesy of: WorldRedEye

Courtesy of: WorldRedEye

Guests are invited to hang out and take a "recess" from the office over lunch items like Chef Michael Beltran's famous soy caramel chicken wings and the double-patty McChug Burger made with a homemade bun and in-house cured pickles. I personally tried the wings, pork belly, and the delicious pork belly Banh Mi sandwich with a side of scrumptious fries.

Courtesy of: WorldRedEye

Courtesy of: WorldRedEye

In addition, all lunch goers will receive a complimentary craft beer with their entree and can opt for the Daily lunch special of Chef Michael Beltran’s famous Soy Caramel Glazed Wings and a choice of Caesar Salad or our Beet & Peach salad for $10. It can’t get much better than that!
 
Unplugged Lunch will occur every Friday during the hours of 12-3pm.

South Beach Summer Sizzle with Fresh Fish & Craft Cocktails at Izzy’s

RandoFood, RandoContributor, RandoMiami, RandoReviewKaty CoffieldComment
Lobster Summer Rolls

Lobster Summer Rolls

Written by: Tyler Sminkey

Izzy’s Fish & Oyster has just what you need to escape the hot & humid South Beach heat this summer in the form of six new summer cocktails named after and inspired by common fishing boats. Always the fan of a good party (especially on a boat), the “Pontoon” cocktail created with vodka, sage syrup and ginger beer was our go-to fave of the night.

Coracle Cocktails

Coracle Cocktails

The six new cocktails were paired with amazing bar snacks from James Beard award-winning chef Allen Susser, who currently directs/oversees The Café at Books & Books in Coral Gables, Miami Beach & the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Delicious creations included “Devils on Horseback” – madjool dates stuffed with gorgonzola and sriracha and wrapped in bacon; “Lobster Summer Rolls” – lobster, mango, arugula and more wrapped in rice paper; and “Crispy Oyster Sliders” – stuffed with fresh fried oysters, heirloom tomatoes and topped with a creamy Russian dressing.

Oyster Po'Boy

Oyster Po'Boy

Live music and a buzzing bar scene make Izzy’s perfect for happy hour after a long day, or grab one of the intimate tables for a South Beach date night with fresh seafood. We feasted on the Summer Fish Fry which is basically a small mountain of fried local fish, oysters, shrimp, onion rings and Izzy’s signature seasoned waffle fries – all with unlimited Narragansett and a cup of New England-style chowder.

Summer fish fry

Summer fish fry

If you’re looking for great seafood and cool cocktails to escape the sun – Izzy’s is the perfect summer escape!

The Taste of Summer at Batch Gastropub

RandoMiami, RandoReview, RandoFood, RandoContributorKaty CoffieldComment

Written by: Katrina Vargas Vila

Batch has rolled out a brand new menu that’s all about hearty, feel good food. You know, the kind that’s good for the soul. The menu is creative and unexpected, not the food you’d expect from a restaurant that offers the perfect atmosphere to watch a game. Everything we ordered was served family style and served in generous portions. 

Our meal began with a Cocktail Flight. A sampling of four cocktails that are carefully crafted with fresh ingredients, made in batches, and ran through a carbonator. Batch aims for consistency and your favorite cocktails are always on tap.

From Left to Right 305 Collins: Mint Infused Hangar One Vodka, Passion Fruit, Lemon Peel Soda Entourage: Jalapeno & Pineapple Infuse Sauza Blue Tequila, Guava, Citrus Housemade G&T: Seasonally Infused Bombay Gin & Seasonal Housemade Tonic #22 Blood Orange Fizz: Grey Goose, Housemade Blood Orange Tart Shrub, Aperol, Macerated Lemon Peel

From Left to Right
305 Collins: Mint Infused Hangar One Vodka, Passion Fruit, Lemon Peel Soda
Entourage: Jalapeno & Pineapple Infuse Sauza Blue Tequila, Guava, Citrus
Housemade G&T: Seasonally Infused Bombay Gin & Seasonal Housemade Tonic #22
Blood Orange Fizz: Grey Goose, Housemade Blood Orange Tart Shrub, Aperol, Macerated Lemon Peel

I love a perfectly cooked sunny-side up egg. I especially love it when it’s crispy on the outside and adds a decadent creaminess to whatever I’m eating. Blending the Chef’s southern roots and training in French cuisine, the Egg & Cheese Biscuit Skillet stands out with a creamy béchamel sauce. Thinly sliced green onion adds a fresh kick. This skillet isn’t just for breakfast. So if you’re craving breakfast for dinner or need a late night meal after a night out, this will be waiting for you at Batch.

This Wild Mushroom & Goat Cheese Pizza was one of my favorite things of the night. If you love a good veggie pizza, this is for you! The mushrooms added great texture and the garlic confit made this pizza so savory. 

Now this right here is the dish that built Batch – the Loaded Mac Attack. Gnocchi, gruyere cheese, and Dorito dust. Yup, you read that right! The idea of adding Doritos was actually suggested by a customer! But there’s more. This is just the foundation. All this is served under thin and crispy truffle fries with fresh Rosemary! The truffle was light enough that even my Hubby liked this dish (and he’s not a fan of truffle). Make this Loaded Mac Attack your own by piling it high with your choice of toppings. Every Monday for lunch you can stack unlimited toppings as high as you can – for $12.

The GFV Roasted Cauliflower & Charred Carrots offers a delicious blend of South Asian flavors. Gluten free? Check. Vegan? Check! Not vegan? Don’t worry, I promise you won’t even miss the meat. The variety of texture and flavor will leave you feeling satisfied. You could literally smell the curry and coconut the second it was placed on the table. The carrots were amazing, the cauliflower was perfect. This dish has a kick, so pair it with something light and refreshing like their Cucumber Cooler cocktail.

The Nashville Hot Fried Chicken has a spiced crust that’s hot but not too hot. In true Southern fashion, it’s served with biscuits and pickle chips. A decadent bacon butter and fresh green tomato jam comes on the side.

My dessert was actually an item from their brunch menu. Every Saturday and Sunday, Batch serves their signature cheese fritters. The Special Edition Cherry & Cheese Fritters were so yummy! Cherries are in full season right now so they were nicely incorporated into the fritters and also served on the side. They were glazed with what the Chef coined the Entourage Glaze, so subtle flavors of pineapple and guava were nicely incorporated (just like their Entourage cocktail).  The final touch of powdered sugar made this sweet enough to call dessert any day of the week! 

Don’t miss out on their cocktails!

Toasted Pecan Whiskey Sour: Pecan-Infused Whiskey, Housemade Sour Mix, Egg White, Brandied Cherry, Chicory Bitters

Peach-Mint Smash: Herradura Silver Tequila, Peach, Mint Syrup, Housemade Pomegranate Grenadine

Batch is Brickell’s neighborhood gastropub serving delicious food that is locally sourced in an atmosphere that’s fun and lively. Make them your go-to for great food and drinks any day of the week!

Batch Gastropub
30 SW 12th Street
Miami, FL 33130

 

Where to Celebrate the 4th of July

RandoMiami, RandoLists, RandoFood, RandoReviewKaty CoffieldComment
Photo courtesy of: Nikki Beach

Photo courtesy of: Nikki Beach

It’s time to show your pride and where red, white and blue! There are a bunch of great celebrations happening all over South Florida. Check out some of my favorite parties.

Nikki Beach
1 Ocean Dr. | Miami Beach, FL 33139

Nikki Beach Miami, the quintessential South of France style beach club known for it’s joie de vivre and larger than life celebrations does 4th of July the good, old American way – with explosive beats, over-the-top BBQ, and a massive fireworks display across the South Beach sky. Celebrated at each of the twelve Nikki Beach locations across the world, Fourth of July Nikki Beach-style has become legendary. This year, IndepenDance DJ’s include Victor Calderone, Chus +Ceballos, Behrouz, Rafa Barrios, Vanjee, ALX, Patrick M, Debby Coda, MD and surprise guests take to the decks, featuring 17 hours of non-stop dance music.  
 
Beachside, guests can feast on the ultimate BBQ to kick off Nikki Beach’s Weekly Saturday BBQ to include Baby Back Ribs, the ‘Meeerrrica’ Burger featuring American cheese and pork belly bacon smashed between two glazed donuts – and many more. Also on the menu are a variety of sides like Chef Frank’s famous truffle fries, fried macaroni and cheese balls and many more. The night is complete with a massive fireworks show – one of only two that take place directly on South Beach – exclusively for Nikki Beach guests who can recline on the beach club's luxurious day beds or sit with their toes in the sand teepee-side while watching the night sky.  
 
IndepenDANCE takes place July 4th with doors staring at noon and is 21+. Tickets start at $15.00 and BBQ features start at $9.00. For more information visit: www.independance.com. Nikki Beach is located at One Ocean Drive, Miami Beach FL. www.nikkibeach.com.

Gulfstream Park
901 S Federal Hwy. | Hallandale Beach, FL 33009

Gulfstream Park, located in Hallandale Beach, FL, will host Freedom Fest from Saturday, July 2nd to Monday, July 4th. The three-day celebration will feature an array of entertainment including live racing, family activities, giveaways, entertainment and more. Racing fans can enjoy three days of world-class live Thoroughbred racing, starting with the Summit of Speed on Saturday and continuing on Sunday and Monday. Also happening daily, the Fan Grab Giveaway will give guests the chance to win prizes, including betting vouchers, race wagers, Gulfstream Park merchandise, Ten Palms buffets, VIP Fan Experiences, and retail and restaurant gift cards. The casino will be open 24 hours throughout the weekend from Friday at 9 a.m. until Monday at 2 a.m.

Delano South Beach
1685 Collins Ave. | Miami Beach, FL 33139

On Sunday July 3rd, Delano South Beach invites guests and party goers to enjoy the first Night Swim Pool Party of the summer in conjunction with a 4th of July Weekend BBQ. With BBQ served all day, including during the Privileged Sundays Pool party starting at 2pm as usual, guests can enjoy fun activations including giant beach balls, red/white/blue lighting, ice cream, colorful floaties, and sounds by DJ Tito, Nate Ryan and Dave Sol. Come swim with us! 

After the pool party, FDR is the go-to for late night celebrations. In honor of its namesake, FDR Lounge at Delano offers a chic ambience where guests can enjoy signature cocktails such as the Eleanor (Bombay Sapphire Gin, Muddled Strawberries, Lemon Juice), the Presidential (Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka, Red Bull, Fresh Lime, Mint) and more. Perfect for July Fourth!

KYU
251 NW 25th St. | Miami, FL 33127

KYU’s Asian wood-fire grill concept in Wynwood offers all the fun a good old backyard barbecue without the hassle. Ditch the basic cheeseburger and hot dog combo for crisp pork belly steamed buns, grilled octopus, duck breast “burnt ends” and wagyu beef brisket. 

The Continental
2360 Collins Ave. | Miami Beach, Florida 33139

Typically relegated to Saturdays and Sundays, The Continental will be open for brunch Monday, July 4, 2016, from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. in celebration of Independence Day and will resume regular Happy Hour and dinner hours. The restaurant will be offering 50% discounts all day on a favorite dish -- the Philly Cheesesteak Eggroll -- in honor of July 4th and Philadelphia where the declaration was signed. The catch? Guests must use a password to unlock the discount. The password is: The name of any original signer of the Declaration of Independance. Guests are encouraged to study up on history and enjoy cheesesteak eggrolls with a variety of The Continental’s holiday-appropriate items including rum punch bowls and backyard burgers.

Big City Tavern, City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill, Louie Bossi’s Ristorante, City Oyster and Sushi Bar, and all Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar
Multiple locations

On Monday, July 4th your favorite Big Time Restaurant Group locations will be serving up their savory weekend brunch in celebration of Independence Day. Big City Tavern, City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill, Louie Bossi’s Ristorante, City Oyster and Sushi Bar, and all Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar locations will be serving their weekend brunch menus along with a delicious selection of special items. No holiday brunch is complete without Unlimited Mimosas or Endless Bloody Marys, available at all locations for only $12 (with the purchase of an entrée).

The Gale Rooftop
1690 Collins Ave. | Miami Beach, FL 33139

On Monday, July 4th celebrate at The Gale Rooftop with the biggest rooftop party on South Beach. From 3-10pm guests will enjoy a decadent BBQ, drinks sponsored by Jack Daniels, Budweiser and Tito’s Vodka with live music by Patrick & The Swayzees and DJ Tom_Tuna throughout the day and into the starry night. Guests can purchase their tickets on www.mixstir.com. 

Shelborne Wyndham Grand Hotel South Beach
1801 Collins Ave. | Miami Beach, FL 33139

Guests can make their way to the pool at the Shelborne Wyndham Grand Hotel South Beach on Saturday, July 2nd for Cazzette at The Shelborne. Happening from 1:00pm to sundown, guests will be able to hang out poolside while enjoying bites from The Sarsaparilla Club, live music by headliner Cazzette with supporting acts by Mike Russ, Brazilionaire, Malone and Blaze Carreras. Cabana’s are starting at $1,500 and daybeds starting at $1,000. Early ticket sales start on Monday, June 27 at $15 (early arrival) and $30 (general admission), guests can purchase their tickets at http://www.wantickets.com/Events/208356/CAZZETTE-POOL-PARTY-THE-SHELBORNE. 

Radio Bar
814 1st St. | Miami Beach, FL 33139

Radio Bar will be celebrating America’s independence with events and drink specials all weekend long. Stop by on Sunday, July 3rd for karaoke beginning at 9 p.m. (Born in the USA, anyone?), $7 Jameson shots and Radio Bar Picklebacks, and $10 Jameson Caskmates cocktails. The fun continues on Monday, with beer pong beginning at 4 p.m. Drink specials that day include $7 Avion Tequila shots, $10 Avion Cadillac Margaritas, and $5 hotdogs and grilled cheeses. On Tuesday, July 5th, join Radio Bar’s own Teddy Collins from 7 - 8 p.m. for an Avion mixology class and learn to craft two tequila cocktails.

Brimstone Woodfire Grill
14575 SW 5th St. | Pembroke Pines, FL 33027

Join Brimstone Woodfire Grill for a summer celebration at the Red, White and Blue Beach Party on July 9th. Guests will be treated to summer favorites including cotton candy, traditional snow cones and even specialty snow cones infused with spirits. A caricature artist will also be on-site drawing free live portraits along with a body painter. BG Live, a rock ‘n’ roll party band performing English and Spanish music ranging from pop, rock, dance, salsa, merengue and top 40, will keep the tunes coming all night long. Guests will also have the chance to compete for prizes in a Best Beach Outfit Contest. The party is free to attend. Guests can enjoy food and beverages from Brimstone Woodfire Grill’s regular dinner menu in addition to the drink specials. 

Mondrian South Beach
1100 West Ave. | Miami Beach, FL 33139

Known for spectacular views and an outstanding bay-side pool deck, Mondrian South Beach is the place to be for the Independence Day. Hotel guests and locals alike are invited to celebrate in style with a special barbecue menu prepared by Chef Dustin Atoigue, a DJ and Holiday themed cocktails including the American Beauty, frozen strawberry rosé with rose petals and rose mist; and Stars & Stripes, gin, Blue Curaçao, lemon, and honey, garnished with an American Flagged Cherry and classic frozen torpedo. Daybeds and cabana rentals will be extended through the evening for front row seats to the fireworks display. This is happening Monday, July 4, 2016 from 12 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. 

St. Regis Bal Harbour
9703 Collins Ave. | Bal Harbour, FL 33154

Celebrate the Fourth of July poolside at Miami’s best address, The St. Regis Bal Harbour. The resort is serving up delicious food and great views with a contemporary take on the classic Fourth of July barbecue. The evening will feature multiple buffet stations including a raw bar, bbq beef, pork, burgers and classic sides, and Executive Pastry Chef Antonio Bachour will dazzle and delight with a Fourth of July themed dessert presentation. Live music and Bal Harbor’s fireworks display will top off the festivities. The celebration will take place at the Resort Pool on Monday, July 4th from 7:00pm to 10:00pm. Admission is $139 for adults, $75 for children and $350 for VIP tickets that include bottle service and a private beach setup to watch the fireworks.

Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel
1825 Collins Ave. | Miami Beach, FL 33139

Celebrate Independence Day at Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel, with a BBQ Pool Party starting at 1 p.m. The party will include sounds by Dave Sol, Andretta, Giovannetti, Kid Moss, Dank and Joe Paes. BBQ menu highlight items include: Nautilus Burger, Grilled Hot Dog, Smoked BBQ Ribs, BBQ Chicken Pinchos "Kabobs," Veggie Kabobs and a Chopped Salad. The party is $15 admission but free for ladies and hotel guests. Guests can also reserve a cabana or daybed by emailing: infonautilus@sixtyhotels.com.