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.

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.

I do like lesbians… I almost forgot (and a little #MiamiSpice of course)

20130818_135412Now this is going to sound bad…. I am telling you now. THIS IS GOING TO SOUND BAD… but I’m not a fan of lesbians. I don’t hang out with lesbians. I don’t really go to lesbian establishments. I am not a part of any lesbians organizations (read: cliques). I don’t really have more than 5 close lesbian friends. I just… no thank you. I am making a scrunched face at myself while I write this but it’s true.

(Sidenote: this is going to be one of those posts where the word lesbian is used a lot…. maybe I should try to switch up the terminology to break it up.) 

When you start dealing with lady lovers there is an inevitable level of drama that I can’t be bothered with. I would say it’s a woman thing but no no no the whole vagina connoisseur component takes it to a level. It’s a “who dated who, but is dating who now” environment. It’s a “well you know she has kids, she’s only been out for 2 months, I think she still talks to her ex-husband” environment. There are so many levels on one upmanship that it makes me look at people crazy. I don’t know much about building bonds, but having an open disgust is not normally the best way to start.

So yesterday while I finally had lunch with one of those “Speak in public, Follow on Social Media” acquaintances from around town I was not expecting much. I was honestly more excited about the food. This is definitely episode of “KK Doest’t Know Best”.

After some crazy communication screwup, we finally met at Fish Fish Miami, a local seafood market/restaurant. First things first, as I suspected we had to do the sapphic rain dance. The sapphic rain dance is a term I use when two newly connected lesbians (I couldn’t think of another term except muff diver which I think is derogatory but I’m not sure) go through the who do you know, who did you date, have we shared secretions questions. Thankfully no red flags went up, so we made it through appetizers. We talked and laughed about ourselves and our mannerisms through the main course. It was clear within minutes, there was absolutely no chemistry between us. No one got wet (tears… or otherwise), so the dance came to an end.

20130818_202819After lunch, we ended up going back to hang at her apartment. It was there that I really enjoyed her company. I think wine and one’s own surrounding does that. We talked a lot more casually (and loudly). Jammed to music, India Arie is an instant friendship maker in my opinion, and played the stupidest game in the world. And yes it is only stupid because I lost…3 times. Has anyone else played Phase 10? It’s stupid lol. The only thing that raised an eyebrow was I did notice she made a few dips to the bathroom to make calls… but it’s her house and she is grown so cool.

So in between her whooping me in this STUPID game and several glasses (read: bottles) of wine, Lesbian #2 calls and Lesbian #1 invites her to stop by. Now I know Lesbian #2… but I don’t KNOW Lesbian #2. She is one of those been around a minute ODs (figure it out for yourself) that everyone has met at least once. I SHOULD have made an exit at that time, but I was tipsy and didn’t feel like driving. I am so glad I stayed. Lesbian #2 added a really fun addition to the dynamic. By the end of the night we were all laughing (a little louder than before), eating AMAZING ceviche and playing dominoes where I redeemed myself. I also found out the calls Lesbian #1 was making in the bathroom were to Lesbian #3. Lesbian #3 I also know… but I don’t KNOW. She has actually been to my house weirdly enough but that’s its own story. She was nice the 5 seconds I spoke with her which is all that matters in my book.

We are all actually supposed to hang out next weekend and play cards… or so we said. Could KK actually have new lesbian friendlies? Whodathunk…

Fish Fish Miami

13488 Biscayne Blvd

North Miami, FL 33181

Menu Choices:

ROCK SHRIMP With chipotle dipping sauce (pictured)
JUMBO SHRIMP SCAMPI Over linguini in white wine and butter sauce (pictured)
ASSORTED FRUIT WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM (pictured)

Food: Meh. Overbattered seafood is not my favorite thing. I enjoyed my Rock Shrimp well enough but her calamari was not to my liking. The Jumbo Shrimp Scampi looked good BUT the chef went a bit of overkill with the sauce to where it almost had a soup consistency. The shrimp itself was very tasty so I ate that. My dessert was fruit and ice cream. I like fruit and ice cream… yeah. She really enjoyed her key lime pie (I should have gotten a spoonful).

Service: He was personable. Not memorable but at least personable.

Environment: It is a strip mall of sorts but it is very lovely once you get inside. I really enjoyed the decor.

What to Wear: it seems to be one of those places where is honestly depends on the time of day. It was very casual during the day but I am sure at night with candlelight it could be one worth stepping it up for.

Overall: 3.

Would I go again?: If I were in the area, but I wouldn’t make the commute for it.

Sip and Serve: H.O.P.E Homeless Event and #MiamiSpice at De Luca Wine and Food

20130810_081901

This weekend ended up being a comedy of errors, all my best laid plans went to pot. I didn’t make it on the Bimini cruise with my girls or to the super amazing Pridelines Youth Gala benefiting Youth LGBT in Miami. The only shining star in my whole weekend was being able to get together with my girls and attend the H.O.P.E. Homeless event.

Every other month on the second Saturday, the parishioners of Miami Beach Community Church and other civic groups get together to benefit the area homeless population. There are areas where they can pick out clothing, toiletries, and shoes. Volunteers cut hair, medical and legal professionals donate their time, and hot meals are served.

We laughed and joked with them, even though Kimmy had to slap one’s hand (don’t ask!). We were blessed by them much more than they were blessed by us. I know I spoke with some people that are interested in coming next time. See you in October!!!

Miami Beach Community Church 
500 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(Entrance on the alley on Pennsylvania Avenue between 16 Street and Lincoln Road)
7:00 AM – 10:30 AM
If you are interested in donating or volunteering your time, you can contact them directly or hit me kristi at thekword dot com.

De Luca Wine and Food

530 Lincoln Road

Miami Beach, FL 33139

Menu Choices:

BRUSCHETTA (pictured) Tomato, basil, X-VOO
GRILLED CHICKEN PANINO (pictured) Prosciutto, mozzarella, roasted peppers, basil
CREME BRULEE (pictured)

Food: Bruschetta is hard to mess up. My grilled chicken panino was really good. The girls had all positives about their menu picks as well…

Service: Slow. Horribly slow. We were the first people there and it took forever for everything! Slow for drinks. Slow for appetizers. Slow for entree. Slow for Dessert… get the picture.

Environment: Inside and outside seating. Everyone sits outside. You have prime people watching real estate as you are on Lincoln Road mall.

What to Wear: It is really up to you. You are on South Beach. You will see everything from swimsuits to stilettos.. and in most cases at the same time.

Overall: … Sigh 3 with extreme reservation.

Would I go again?: Meh.

Out and About: #TheButler Screening and #MiamiSpice at Jaguar

butler

So last night Jojo, Naty and I went to see the Butler Screening in Coconut Grove. We allllllllllmost didn’t make it, well they allllllllmost didn’t make it for being SLOW but luckily they showed up before the doors closed. For those who have been living under a rock, here is a quick synopsis of the movie that I didn’t write.

Director Lee Daniels (Precious) teams up with Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Danny Strong to tell the remarkable story of White House butler Eugene Allen (played by Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker), who served eight U.S. presidents over the course of 30 years, and witnessed sweeping social change during his three decades of service at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. ~ From Fandango

I usually evaluate a movie on the feeling that I have when leaving… Unfortunately the lasting impression 2 hours later was “Oprah, you looked good girl”.

This was a star studded cast of African American actors (and non-African Americans too #noshade) that I was very happy to see. It is a movie that I would support and encourage others to see solely on those attached to it (I’m being honest). BUT critically I am not here for it (as the kids say). It was a over simplified portrayal of what I am sure were dynamic people. The characters were extremely two dimensional, as if the audience would be too ignorant to appreciate any nuisances. It took what could have been a more powerful piece and maybe it “just another civil rights movie with a bigger budget”.

It has done one thing, which is make me want to read on the actual man… his actual family… and actual circumstances. If he upon more research is as linear as his character makes him out to be then I will amend my review.

But you sure looked good Madam Oprah.

SCALLOP NORMA (pictured) Served over sweet potato, corn, spinach and hearts of palm

SCALLOP NORMA (pictured)
Served over sweet potato, corn, spinach and hearts of palm

Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar and Latam Grill 

3067 Grand Ave

Coconut Grove, FL 33133

Menu Choices:

SCALLOP NORMA (pictured) Served over sweet potato, corn, spinach and hearts of palm
SHRIMP MANGO VERDE (pictured) With cilantro, lime, celery and serrano peppers
BRASILIAN VATAPA (pictured) Brazilian style seafood stew with mahi mahi, shrimp, calamari and coconut milk
PALOMAS DE CAJETA (pictured) Walnuts, bananas and mascarpone cheese wrapped in a crepe and topped with vanilla ice cream and dulce de leche
FLAN DE QUESO (pictured) Topped with rich caramel

Food: Swoooooon inducing. My eyes literally rolled in the back of my head as I tasted the Scallop Norma. The citrus flavor of the Shrimp Mango Verde was also very good (Of course I had to nibble off one of my girls’ plates).  But beware my sensitive loves, the vatapa will burn your mouth off… in a good way… if you are into that kind of thing *gulp*. I only wish they had made mention of that before I ordered it because it was a bit too much for me.

SHRIMP MANGO VERDE  With cilantro, lime, celery and serrano peppers

SHRIMP MANGO VERDE
With cilantro, lime, celery and serrano peppers

Here’s a bonus: For those of us who enjoy and little sip sip, you receive a complimentary signature cocktail with your Miami Spice dinner. Score!

Service: Tim was amazing and so was the tall bald guy whose name we missed. They were a joy and extremely enhanced the WHOLE dining experience. A great contrast to the abysmal service we received at De Luca.

Environment: Nice sized venue, with seating inside and out. On the outskirts of Cocowalk which allows for pleasant people watching without too much noise.

What to Wear: It is really up to you. You will see those in the shorts and sandals, you will see others celebrating their anniversaries. This is the Grove, get it how you feel

Overall: Super Strong 4.75 

Would I go again?: Yes!!!!!!!