KLife: @DishcrawlMiami’s #BattleDish Competition

20131006-192523.jpgI am very happy that I was able to attend the Dishcrawl Miami’s Battledish. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Dishcrawl or Battledish, shame on you (ha!). A Dishcrawl is an event where you sample dishes from a collection of restaurants for a set price (very similar in essence to my birthday event this year). Battledish takes the concept a step further. You are asked to vote on your favorite dishes in categories like “Most Authentic” or “Best Drink”.

Due to timing issues, I was only able to visit 3 of the six competing restaurants. I chose the DiLido Beach Club at the Ritz Carlton, the Terrazza at the Shore Club, and the Social Club at the Surfcomber. Though I took pictures at all three, only one of them gave me an experience worth sharing… the DiLido Beach Club. Continue reading

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Do We Love It: Devon Seafood + Steak #MiamiSpice

20130921_222451Devon Seafood + Steak

11715 Sherri Lane
Miami, FL 33183

Menu Choices:

MAINE LOBSTER BISQUE Cream, lobster, sherry, cayenne
CREOLE GUMBO Shrimp, andouille sausage, crawfish, bacon, beef, ham, chicken, tomato, green peppers
12 OZ NIMAN RANCH BONE-IN PORK CHOP Mostarda, parmesean roasted yukon potatoes, grilled zucchini
8 OZ COLD WATER MAINE LOBSTER TAIL Whipped yukon mashed potatoes, asparagus
KANSAS CITY STRIP STEAK Mostarda, parmesean roasted yukon potatoes, grilled zucchini

Food: The food was executed very well. The lobster bisque (mostly cream, very little lobster) was very flavorful. When I looked at the menu I was torn between that and the creole gumbo. I was happy with my choice as my friend said the gumbo had a spicy kick to it. The lobster tail was prepared well, no risks were taken but sometime that’s not a bad thing. Luckily we were able to try the steak and the pork chop due to a ordering error. The steak was also done just right, the pork… wasn’t the best I ever had. Unfortunately there are no pictures of the dessert because by the time it was going to arrive I was feeling very ill. I did eat my strawberry shortcake later. It was simple and effective. Let’s be honest this is a steak house, not a concept restaurant. With that being said, they do what they do very well.

Service: The waiter, Daniel, was very personable. He was able to give us great wine choices and his own personal insight on the menu offerings. When it seems the chef prepared a steak as opposed to the ordered pork chop, he was right on it. There were some hit and misses, like us having to remind him about my tea 3x. But all in all he did a good job.

Environment: It looks like the quintessential steakhouse. They kept the decor simple and it works for them. On my next trip, I would like to sit outside on the deck.

What to Wear: This is a date place so you will see folks dressed accordingly. It is also on the outskirts of a mall so there are people wearing more casually as well.

Overall: 4.25. Not eye-popping or jaw-dropping but a good experience.

Would I go again?: It will definitely be in my mental Rolodex when I have steak lovers in town. It is literally 7 minutes away from my house.

KLife: Adrianne Calvo’s Dining in the Dark Masquerade Gala

20130920_202724It’s been suggested that I add a bit of my real life into the blog. I haven’t done this before mostly because I didn’t think that anyone would be interested but I guess we shall see. I have had an extremely busy week which is why I haven’t given you my latest Plenty of Fish update. There has been some activity on that front but I will be writing all about that tomorrow from my trusty Starbucks.

So I wanted to share the amazing experience I had last night at the Dark Dining Eyes Wide Shut Masquerade ball. Thanks to the power of Instagram and the event’s amazing team, my friend Rissa and I were given the VIP treatment last night.

Before I get into the delicious food and entertainment, let me tell you about the best part of the night. A portion of the proceeds raised through ticket sales will be donated to Make It Count, Chef Adrianne’s foundation, which benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I don’t know the totals right now but I can say there was a packed house paying $150-250 dollars a pop.

From the moment that I walked in, my senses were on high alert. From the first sip of champagne, you knew you were entering into a night of decadence and luxury. There were beautiful women lit by candlelight… and beautiful women wearing candlelight. We were greeted with tuxedo clad little men passing out roses and delectable mini bites of food. Reality was suspended as mermaids swam in the pool. That was just the cocktail hour. The night’s events continued with an amazing mix of live performers, dancers, and other specialty acts. Flame throwing belly dancers heated up the party. Women turned their bodies into canvas.  And of course any night including an androgynous (leaning toward lezzie) burlesque show is a win in my book IJS.

Let’s get into the food… you know I am all about the grub (yes I can call it grub even if I ate in in a gown). There were several stations of food but my favorite had to be the beef served with a cornbread mash of sorts (I will try to update the post with the fru fru names of the food later). It was delicious. It felt like home.

Shout out to LIttle Black Dress Vodka for being the sugar in my tea… or maybe the tea with cranberry juice as the sugar. My powers of analogy are lacking today.

All in all it was an amazing night, I can’t wait to tell you all about Chef Adrianne’s restaurant, especially since it is right by the house.

Later lovebugs!

As always the pix were taken with my trusty Samsung Galaxy S4. I promise to learn how to take better pictures with it. *heading to Youtube*

:60 Second Shorts: Taverna Opa Brickell #MiamiSpice

I was out and about with the sisters Saturday handling some chapter business when we ended up having a little nosh at Taverna Opa in Brickell.

Though I had the Miami Spice offering, honestly I was more concerned with the meeting than the food/environment. Since I really wasn’t paying attention, it wouldn’t be fair to write a review. BUT I will say that Taverna Opa never disappoints. The food was delicious and I hope I captured some of that yummy in the few pictures I snapped.

I’m sure to be back there Spice or not.

Do We Love It: #MiamiSpice EPIC SUCCESS at Barley and Swine


20130905_221403B & S GASTROPUB (BARLEY & SWINE)

Dadeland Area
9059 SW 73rd Ct
Miami, FL 33156

Menu Choices:

CRISPY CHIMICHURRI PIG TAILS (pictured) Niman ranch pork with sambal chimichurri sauce
OCTOPUS (pictured)  Smashed fingerling potatoes and roasted cherry tomatoes and pimiento aioli
PORK RIB TIPS (pictured)  Sweet potato and bacon hash and fried egg and sriracha
HOUSE MAC AND CHEESE (pictured) 
MAC AND CHEESE OF THE DAY (pictured) 
PATATAS (pictured) with black truffles and Parmesan cheese
SWINE BALL (pictured)  Fried brownie and cookie crisp beer porridge
CHURRO BITES (pictured)  Fried bread pudding and caramel dipping sauce

Food: I don’t even know  how to explain how pleased I was with this meal. Every course brought a smile to my face. The Crispy Chimichurri Pig Tails had a delicious crunchy outside while the inside was extremely savory and juicy. The acidity that the chimichurri added was a great element. The Octopus also had a hint of that acidity and a tenderness that made my eyes roll in the back of my head.

While the house mac and cheese was “ok”, the mac and cheese of the day (Thank God for Thursdays) was Carbonara, and amazing. I would be remiss not to mention the he patatas and pork rib tips as they were both very tasty, but my mind continues to drift back to the Octopus. OMG that Octopus.

The swine ball was a great dessert suggestion from our waitress, whodathunk Cookie Crisp cereal isn’t just for breakfast. Unfortunately, the churro bites were over salted, but that didn’t take away from the overall experience.

Service: We were very pleasantly surprised by how knowledgeable and personable the wait staff was. They were almost falling over themselves to give us excellent customer service. That goes a long way in my book. I promised them I would return and I aim to keep that promise. They had a bit of difficulty with the pacing of the meal but that is something that will improve with time (They only opened their doors July 4th).

Environment: Very warm and inviting venue. It is small, literally sitting up to 50 people. We were a tad close to the table next to us. Good thing was they didn’t arrive until we were at the end of our meal.

What to Wear: This is a date place so you will see folks dressed accordingly but the warmth of the wait staff makes you honestly feel you could walk in there in flip flops and receive great service.

Overall: 4.8 out of 5 (with assurance that it will only get better)

Would I go again?: Yessssssssssss! That’s all I got. Yesssssssss!

Do We Love It: #MiamiSpice Fail at the Oceanaire Brickell

20130901_170712The Oceanaire Seafood Room

Mary Brickell Village
900 S. Miami Ave., Suite 111
Miami, FL 33131

Menu Choices:

VANILLA INFUSED LOBSTER BISQUE (pictured)
CRISPY FRIED SHRIMP “NUOC CHAM” (pictured) Bacardi Silver Aioli & Haitian Pikliz
TEMPURA CARIBBEAN 6 oz LOBSTER TAIL (pictured) Sweet Chilli Butter, Mango Wakame Slaw & Coconut Rice
BARBEQUE BONELESS BEEF SHORT RIBS “LAND & SEA” (pictured) Crispy Wakame Scallops, Hash Brown & Chipotle Soy Glaze
BANANA BREAD PUDDING (pictured)

Food: Sigh… Deep Sigh. If you know me, you know I love the Oceanaire. I even had my mother’s 60th birthday dinner there. I’ve raved about both the one here and the one in Orlando… but now I can’t do that as whole-heartedly anymore. The Miami Spice experience my girls and I had was meh. The food was not up to the Oceanaire standards I am used to. The vanilla infused lobster bisque was extremely bland. From what the others said so was the mahi mahi. The tempura lobster tail was overcooked, and flavorless (one of my dinner companions actually asked for cocktail sauce). I had to send it back. I couldn’t even eat it.

With that being said, the nuoc cham was very tasty. The BBQ short ribs that I received after sending back the lobster was a LOT better. I was very satisfied with the replacement. And though the banana bread pudding isn’t “your mama’s bread puddin'”  it was really good. At least we ended the meal on a high note.

Service: Brenda was amazing! She was the highlight of the experience for us. She literally kept them from having an even worse rating. She was polite, knowledgable, attentive… all the things you would expect.

Environment: The blue lighting could be seen as a bit cheesy but it’s a seafood restaurant so I let it go. I love the Brickell area in general.

What to Wear: No explicit dress code but it’s always nice to turn it up a notch. If you are going to be casual chic, no worries there is outside seating. (Yes I put you outside again ha!)

Overall: 3.5 which makes me sad

Would I go again?: Yes only because I know they are better in general but if I were a first timer, nope.

Note: The options on the online version of the Miami Spice menu were COMPLETELY different than the ones we were offered. Not slight substitutions, completely different.

Do We Love It: ARMILLARY GRILL AT INTERCONTINENTAL AT DORAL MIAMI #MiamiSpice edition

20130830_131202ARMILLARY GRILL AT INTERCONTINENTAL AT DORAL MIAMI

2505 NW 87TH AVE.
DORAL, FL 33172

Menu Choices:

SAUTEED SHRIMP WITH WARM FLOUR TORTILLA (pictured) Onions, Garlic, and Tomato
BAY SCALLOPS AND BLUE CRAB SALAD TOPPED WITH AVOCADO (pictured) And Grapefruit Sections
PLANTAIN CRUSTED SNAPPER (pictured) Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Broccolini
INDIAN-SPICED GRILLED SUPREME CHICKEN (pictured) Warm Salad of Wilted Spinach and Chickpeas
OPERA CAKE (pictured)
RICE PUDDING MOUSSE (pictured)

Food: Something in my spirit said… don’t do it. You won’t like it. Runnnnn. But the menu said “Come hither my child” like a slivering snake. And that one sentence will be the only exciting part of this review. The food was meh at best. The shrimp with the tortilla has a over-powering citric taste. The bay scallops and blue crab salad was underwhelming. The plantain crusted snapper was bland to the point that my companion refused to eat it. I lucked up with the Indian-Spiced Grilled Supreme Chicken that was actually quite flavorable. Thank goodness! And the dessert which you know I love… I hated. I got one scoop in and decided to push back from the table.

Service:  Marginal. In a crowd of people self-serving at the buffet, you would have thought the only plated table would have received more personal service. You would have been mistaken. She wasn’t horrid but I don’t remember her name either. *shrugs*

Environment: It’s located in the Intercontinental at Doral. Nice enough environment as hotels go. Could use a bit of updating.

What to Wear: You are in a hotel, and not a fresh hip hotel… a regular… meh hotel. Come as you are.

Overall: Struggle 2. (My companion refused to let me give them 2.25)

Would I go again?: Not if I were paid… well maybe if I were paid.

All pictures were taken by my trusty iphone Samsung. No they didn’t compensate me for the post and… yeah that’s it.