So we’ve hit the steamy summer lull…somewhere between Swim Week and Season- a welcomed rest for our social calendars and a great time to catch up on a few great restaurants that have been enticing our taste buds. This week we bring you a recap of a stylish event featuring some tasty nibbles and highlights of a couple of spots that you must put on your summer eating list. Over the next few weeks, as Miami Spice goes into full gear, we will be spotlighting other great bangs for your culinary buck, in addition to our usual fabulous summer social stuff.
To Live and Dine in Miami
Last Wednesday, Miami magazine hosted its 3rd Annual “To Live & Dine in Miami” event to celebrate its restaurant issue, which spotlights some of Miami’s top toques and restos. A hungry crowd of 400 maneuvered its way up and around the historic Moore Building’s windy floors and steep steps for an evening of mingling, cocktails and bites and to relax in the cozy lifestyle lounges created by local design showroom, Planet Lighting.
Participating chefs who thrilled our palates included: Paula DaSilva (1500° at Eden Roc), Dewey LoSasso (The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar), Joel Huff (Azul), Douglas Rodriguez (De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean), Philippe Ruiz (Palme d’Or), Jeffrey Hundelt (Truluck’s Seafood, Steak and Crab House) and Crumb on Parchment.
VIP guests included Miami magazine Publisher Anne Owen; the restaurant issue editorial team including Editor-in-Chief Luis Rigual; Senior Contributing Editor Riki Altman; dining critic Jen Karetnick; and Contributing Photographer Michael Pisarri. Several award-winning chefs also attended including Michael Schwartz and Heidi Goldsmith of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink; Jeff McInnis of Yardbird Southern Table & Bar; and Todd Erickson of Haven Gastro-Lounge. Miami Beach Vice Mayor, Michael Gongora; Majestic Properties’ Jeff Morr; The Forge owner Shareef Malnik; and Cadillac Regional Marketing Manager Sam Homsy were also in attendance.
“To Live & Dine in Miami” benefited Common Threads, a national non-profit after-school program that teaches low-income children to cook wholesome and affordable meals. Guests had the opportunity to support Common Threads and purchase the organization’s cookbook, Eat the World: Good-for-You Food for Families by Allison Liefer and Katie Leahy.
Ms. Yip is Hip and Tasty
Ms. Yip, which for years was the traditional Chinese mainstay on Lincoln Road has a younger, hotter, prettier sister, located right across from the American Airlines Arena on Biscayne Boulevard. The new Miss Yip offers the same delicious traditional-yet modern Hong Kong fare, with a few change-ups, in an atmosphere that can best be described as Shanghai chic.
The ornate 4,000 square foot space features red tufted banquets, antique bird cages, vibrant Chinoise wallpaper and lots of little nooks, crannies and fabulous spaces within the restaurant. Sort of like a cross between the inside of Jeanie’s bottle and an opulent Shanghai teahouse in fancy Chinese cabinet.
Aside from the striking décor, the first thing you’ll notice upon entering is the dim sum chef, who stands in the center of the open kitchen creating some of the most delicious dim sum in town, with the diligence of the donut guy from the old Dunkin Donuts commercials (“Time to make the donuts,” remember?) The dim sum master doesn’t stop, turning out thousands of scrumptious samplings per day. Top choices include the Shanghai Soupy Dumplings, BBQ Pork Bao, Pan Fried and Shrimp Dumplings- plus enough other varieties to put you in a certifiable dim sum coma.
The rest of the menu includes typical Chinese cuisine featuring all your favorites: from the spare ribs to the spring rolls to several fried rice and noodle dishes. A few signature dishes include the Mongolian Beef, stir fried with ginger, garlic, scallions and finished with sweet and tangy sauce; the pepper steak, which almost has a bit of Latin flavor- blame the garlic and the Peking shrimp, with just enough fire to leave your tongue tingling.
But this isn’t just a spot for a quick Chinese fix or take-out. The new space is as much a culinary destination as it is a premier nightlife venue. The outside terrace is perfect for lounging or dancing to the music spun by a DJ on weekend nights. Ladies can enjoy free champagne during Happy Hour on Fridays, during which drinks are 2-for-1.
Ms. Yip’s hip, gorgeous crowd; beautiful, fun space and alluring food and drinks, will have you yelling “Yippee!” and coming back for more.
Ms. Yip is located at 900 Biscayne Bay Boulevard and is open daily for lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery are available. Valet is only $5. Visit www.missyipchinesecafe.com or call 305.358.0088.
Morton’s Miami Beach
Not to be overshadowed by the countless steakhouses on the beach, Morton’s Miami Beach delivers the exceptional food and service for which the restaurant chain has been respected for over 30 years. In short, it is a traditional staple for food connoisseurs in search of terrific food and friendly service at a reasonable price. The classic steakhouse joins the 10th anniversary of the gastronomic event of the season, Miami Spice, with a menu that is as savory as its price point. Offering a variety of steak, seafood, and poultry dishes with delicious sides and desserts, the quality of the food surpasses the quantity- which says a lot- as you will leave stuffed- for a mere 35 bucks. Noteworthy dishes include: Morton’s signature chopped salad with Blue Cheese dressing, the single cut Filet Mignon with Béarnaise Sauce on the side, Potatoes Lyonnaise (sautéed in bacon fat with onions), and the double chocolate mousse. Yes, ALL of this is included in the price.
Seasoned Sommelier Steven Hoyt will recommend the perfect bottle of wine to enhance the culinary experience and Christopher, top server, is quite the expert on dishes and specialties Morton’s Miami Beach has to offer. Oh, and did we mention that the valet parking is free?
For more information, visit: http://ilovemiamispice.com/participants/mortons_miamibeach.htm.
Bridesmaids star, Rose Byrne made her first visit to Miami Thursday night for the W South Beach’s Symmetry Live concert with electro-pop sensation, Theophilus London in celebration of the hotel’s two year anniversary. The Australian actress wore a delicate couture top and short leather skirt by her hometown designer Zimmermann. She lounged in a poolside cabana and made plans with friends for the rest of the weekend.
Actresses from the new ABC series Charlie’s Angels, Minka Kelly and Annie Ilonzeh, dined at The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar on Friday night. Kelly, who happens to be Derek Jeter’s girlfriend and was named Esquire’s 2010 “Sexiest Woman” did not disappoint her admirers, looking stunning in a beige summer dress. The girls arrived at 8 p.m. and sat in the main dining room. Despite missing the third “angel” from their trio, the two girls chatted all night, drank wine and shared everything from a few appetizers to entrees which including a stuffed lobster and a three mushroom risotto.
Burn Notice actor, Jeffrey Donovan, was seen dining at the newly opened Vic & Angelo’s on Ocean Drive on Saturday night with his girlfriend who was accompanied by Ocean Drive magazine editor, Suzy Buckley.
Teen heartthrob, Justin Bieber was in Miami visiting recovering music sensation, Sean Kingston. Bieber was seen lounging by the pool in his skivvies and driving around Ocean Drive with Kingston before being mobbed by fans and requesting police protection.