GMCVB Vacation Planner 2012 : Page-102
G Food for Thought Local Stars, Local Flavor 102 A WORLD OF FLAVOR Greater Miami isn’t just one of the most exciting destinations in the United States; it is known around the world as a culinary crossroads where different cultures, cooking styles and spices all converge on local menus. From sweet plátanos maduros (fried plantains) to juicy Argentinean churrasco steaks, a perfectly seasoned Béchamel sauce or the drizzle of mango and key lime over lobster, culinary masterpieces abound in the Magic City. debuted at the new JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Downtown Miami; Tom Azar, a protegé of Emeril Lagasse, who helms the kitchen at City Hall the Restaurant just north of Downtown Miami; and Nuevo Latino cuisine pioneer Douglas Rodriguez, whose D. Rodriguez Cuba at the Hilton Bentley South Beach recalls the exhilarating nightlife of Old Havana with vintage cocktails, but puts a new twist on classic dishes — vaca frita (shredded beef) with avocado and tomato chimichurri, for example. Redefining the principles of classic Italian cooking are twin brothers and chefs Nicola and Fabrizio Carro, whose Quattro Gastronomia Italiana on Lincoln Road is one of the city’s most popular restaurants of any style, thanks to an always-changing menu that might include a selection of truffles one day and a tasting event the next. “At Quattro, we care greatly about introducing our guests to the true essence of our menu,” says Chef Fabrizio Carro. “We always suggest that they try our daily specials that use the fresh ingredients available that day.” Fresh local fare is a priority echoed by other top chefs in Miami, including Paula DaSilva, an alumna of Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen,” who helms the kitchen at 1500 Degrees at the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach. “Being a farm-to-table restaurant means that each dish is created based on what is fresh locally,” DaSilva says. “I work very closely with many of the farmers we have down here, and even have my own onsite vegetable garden that inspires my menu daily.” Echoes Barton G. Weiss, “At all three of my restaurants, our menus take a cue from the ever-expanding variety of local products available... it’s all about the tropics here.” One great way to add flavor to your Miami vacation is to visit during Miami Spice (iLoveMiamiSpice.com), a mouthwatering late summer restaurant promotion showcasing local restaurants at reduced prices. During August and September, the city’s top restaurants offer fixed-price three-course meals featuring signature dishes created by world-renowned chefs. But no matter when you visit, more than 6,000 dining spots will be waiting. So toss the diet and loosen your belt; it’s time to eat! Just over 20 years ago, a handful of area chefs combined local produce with influences from the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia to create the region’s signature New World Cuisine, putting Miami in the nation’s culinary spotlight while introducing ingredients like mangoes, guava, yucca and hearts of palm to kitchens around the world. Today, Miami has already surpassed its image as the capital of New World Cuisine, and is home to a constantly evolving landscape of renowned eateries whose chefs continue to push the frontiers of culinary excellence. A few members of the original “Mango Gang” are still going strong in Miami, and they have been joined by scores of other culinary artists, each adding their own ingredients to Miami’s melting pot of flavors and cementing the area’s status as one of the world’s best dining cities. “Miami’s dining scene has grown fabulously over the last 10 years,” says restaurateur and events impresario Barton G. Weiss, owner of Barton G. The Restaurant, The Villa By Barton G. and Prelude By Barton G. “Today, there is something for everyone. The city’s become a dining destination, with up-and-coming chefs and all the city’s James Beard Award winners.” Continued on page 106 Among those award winners are Michelle Bernstein, who presides over Michy’s — a modern bistro on Miami’s Upper East Side — and Sra. Martinez, featuring tapas in the Design District. Other high-wattage chefs making culinary waves in Greater Miami include industry legend Daniel Boulud, whose db Bistro Moderne recently If you’re visiting during August or September, don’t miss a chance to sample some of our area’s most spectacular cuisine. Greater Miami and the Beaches’ top restaurants offer mouthwatering meals at incredible savings. For more information, visit iLoveMiamiSpice.com.
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