LaMuse Cafe at the Epic Hotel and Residences

I loved sitting outdoors for lunch with my mom at LaMuse Cafes beautiful new outdoor terrace. The cafe is located inside Avant Gallery at the Epic Hotel and Residences. It is far from ordinary with great attention to detail from the cafes decor to their plating. 

The first time I came across some pretty adorable looking coffee cups was at LaMuse Cafe. I had sat indoors for an almond croissant and macchiato, my coffee came served in the cutest little cup I had ever seen. Well, I loved my coffee cup so much that I had to search all over the web to buy a set for myself.

The food at LaMuse Cafe is excellent. Not only are the dishes beautifully plated but they taste great. Their menu features dishes like avocado toast for breakfast and crosubs (croissant sandwiches,) for lunch. My favorite is Brigitte’s Burrata & Tomatoes from their afternoon menu, it’s handmade Italian Burrata with Roasted Campari Tomatoes On The Vine, Pesto Smear, and House made Focaccia that you can spread all the cheesy goodness on.

LaMuse Cafe is definitely one of my favorite local spots in Miami. Delicious food in an Alice in Wonderland kind of setting is pure happiness for me.

Location:

THE EPIC @ Avant Gallery
270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, #102
Miami FL 33131

Musimelange at The M Building

Musimelange is a beautiful intimate chamber music experience together with gastronomy and wine. It is founded by Anne Chicheportiche who graduated from the University of Maryland with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree.  She wanted to share her love of music and culture so she decided to start Musimelange.

Musimelange is located at The M Building in the Wynwood Art District of Miami, FL. (Performances are limited to a season so you’ll want to check when the season starts.) The experience takes place in the buildings intimate formal living space and garden terrace. Before each performance guests enjoy hors d’oeuvres made by a talented chef, beautifully paired with wine, and after the performance there are desserts prepared by the same.

I’ve always enjoyed the musicians Anne invites to Musimelange, their passion for what they do is obvious in the way they play. I was able to listen to Anne herself play at the most recent Musimelange experience.

I especially enjoyed hearing her together with Ashley Garritson playing the cello and Konstantin Soukhovetski at the piano.

The chef invited that evening was the talented Vincent Catala who was making a delicious mushroom risotto to order. The wine was brought  by Barton & Guestier

If you love classical music and unique experiences, I definitely recommend Musimelange.

Laque House Nails It

I visited Laque House with some of the ladies in the fam for some much needed pampering before my nephews wedding. The salon is beautifully decorated with a (glam)bar kind of setup for manicures and plush white lounge chairs for pedicures. On our visit we were treated to some delicious watermelon juice mimosas prepared by the owner. The staff was very friendly and their selection of nail colors is extensive. I had only done gel once before, at a different salon, and unfortunately the experience had not gone so well. Ada at Laque House however, has turned me into a gel believer.

Usually when I do manicures they last two days (literally.) I am going on day 5 of my gel manicure and my nails look as good as they did on day 1. The pedicure was also great, they have an industrial looking electric callus remover that works wonders, my feet were left feeling like baby skin. I have already booked my next appointment and will definitely become a regular at Laque House.

Location:

6001 SW 70TH ST Suite C-106, Miami, FL 33143 | Tel: 305-397-8447

Greek Lunch at Kiki on the River

One of my favorite ways to enjoy a meal is waterfront. Thankfully, Miami is finally making the most of our waterfront spaces with restaurants like Kiki on the River. Kiki is located on the Miami River and in my opinion is one of the most beautiful, charming restaurants in the city. The outdoor deck has a center bar, cabana and dockside tables with bougainvilleas and vines throughout. Indoors you are transported into a secret garden with windows all around to make the most of its waterfront location.

The cuisine is Greek with a big focus on seafood and a great three course lunch menu offered on Tuesdays-Thursdays. One thing to note is that the restaurants atmosphere at night is more club-like so for non club goers like me I recommend stopping in at lunch time to enjoy their delicious Greek food in a more peaceful setting.

On my visit I chose the Octopus starter (this option has an up-charge), the Lavraki (Mediterranean Sea Bass) as my entree and the yogurt with honey and walnuts for dessert. The octopus is cut into bite sized pieces that are braised in olive oil with red onions, fried capers and parsley. It was perfectly cooked, tender and not overly seasoned. The lavraki comes to the table de-boned and dressed with olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and capers. I love lemon potatoes so I was very happy that these were its side. The dessert was light and perfect. The yogurt is creamy, the honey is thick, and you get perfect spoonfuls every time with the crunchy walnuts.

Overall: Service was wonderful, the meal was excellent and the setting is beautiful.LOCATION: KIKI on the River 450 NW North River Dr, Miami (786) 502-3243

A Meal to Remember at Barton G Miami Beach

I had heard of Barton G and it’s amazingly presented dishes. I finally got to see these for myself and I can now say that the dishes are indeed amazingly presented but also amazingly delicious. The restaurant is located in Miami Beach, a few blocks away from Lincoln Road. It has a beautifully lit inside bar and a lush outdoor courtyard for dining when the weather allows.

On my visit I chose to start with a Miami Retro Vice cocktail made with Silver Rum and fresh strawberry purée, with a piña colada nitro pop. It came to the table atop a small screen showing retro beach clips, a beach chair to its right and the nitro pop which provided the great smoky visual. Then came our first appetizer, I could hear the sounds of a chicken coop coming towards the table, our waiter sat a nesting box on our table and inside were The Devil’s Egg which were white truffle whipped deviled eggs with a togarashi bacon crumble, crisp garlic, fresh black truffles & garden herbs. These were some delicious deviled eggs, slightly spicy with a great crunch from the bacon and garlic, the fresh black truffle was the perfect addition.

Our second appetizer was the Can’t Sea Scallops which came with a cedar wrapped scallop crudo on toasted brioche, concealing a deep dish of pan roasted Maine diver scallops with parsnip, smoked mushroom, sweet spinach and bacon butter broth. The crudo toast was excellent but the scallops stole the show, bacon and butter, need I say more? The scallops were cooked perfectly tender, every bite with the mushroom and spinach was a delight to the senses.

My favorite presentation of the night was Honey Bee My Surf N Turf, it came atop a honeycomb glass dish with a beehive and wearable beekeeper hat which you know I just had to put on for a picture. As for the delicious dish, it had porcini honey lacquered Florida grouper and slow braised veal breast, a cannellini bean puree, wilted escarole, and local honeycomb. We could hear our next dish from the kitchen, sounds of a mower coming towards us, our table had already been prepared with scattered wheatgrass and a large square grass turf. Our server came and sat down a small mower with our next entrée, the The Lawn Moo-er 200, a 48oz. Grass Fed Porterhouse, charbroiled and carved with roasted mushrooms, battered onion rings and natural jus. Sides were buttermilk Yukon potatoes and a cheesy ‘greens, grass & weeds’ gratin. The meat was juicy, flavorful, and tender. The sides were cheesy and creamy as they should be.

The night had to end with a bang, and that it did. Dessert was quite the attraction. We had the Dolla Dolla Bills Y’All which comes to the table with an extra-large hundred dollar bill which is the desserts focal point, below it are “gold” nuggets in a variety of sizes. The large one concealed a mega rich chocolate ganache and dulce de leche tart which our server torched while wearing a welders helmet.  It had a graham cracker crust, soft meringue, and chocolate –feuilletine golden nuggets. Like I first mentioned, presentation is amazing but that chocolate tart was so deliciously rich, eating spoonful’s of it with the melted meringue just made me so very happy!

Barton G is a restaurant you definitely want to go to for a special occasion as the prices are a little high, but if you want to wow your special someone this is the place to go. Service is excellent, the food is delicious and you will definitely get a wow of an experience.

Location:

1427 West Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 | (305) 672-8881

Eating Local at Essensia

Essensia restaurant at the Palms Hotel in Miami Beach has a new chef with over 20 years experience under his belt. Chef de cuisine, Ilde Ferrer, has brought with him his farm to table philosophy. The menu is seasonal with an emphasis on local and sustainable ingredients. Dishes feature ingredients from his on-site organic Chef’s Garden.

We chose to start our meal with the day boat ceviche. Made with fresh caught fish, leche de tigre, aji amarillo, celery, red onion, canchita corn, mango, papaya , yucca chips and cilantro from their garden. You could taste the freshness in every bite and I loved the addition of the yucca chips.

For main entree my husband chose the spaghetti all’amatriciana made with La Quercia Guanciale (domestic pork cheek bacon) , San Marzano tomatoes, red chili flakes and pickled shishito peppers sprinkled with parmesan cheese. The sauce wasn’t overly spicy, it had just the right amount of kick and the pasta was cooked al dente.

I chose the pan seared Florida snapper for my main dish. It came with pineapple fried rice made with sweet Chinese sausage, grilled gulf shrimp , Thai basil and other freshly picked herbs from their garden. The fish skin was crispy while the flesh was deliciously flaky. I loved the fried rice, I would eat that by itself were it an entree.

The evening ended on a sweet note with their passion fruit key lime pie. I love key lime pie, it’s one of my favorite desserts. Their passion fruit version did not disappoint. They added just the right amount of passion fruit so that the lime flavor was the one shining through.

If you’re looking for a nice date night spot with a beautiful outdoor setting, I recommend you visit Essensia.

FYI: The Palms Hotel & Spa was just ranked #3 in Travel & Leisure’s “ Top 10 Greater Miami Beach Resort Hotels” 2018 World’s Best Awards.

Bodega Brunch Sundays in Miami Beach

I love brunch and Mexican food so you can imagine how excited I was when I learned that one of my fave Mexican spots was now offering Sunday brunch. Bodega South Beach runs brunch on Sundays in their fun back room with a DJ and live music.

For my main dish I chose the Breakfast nachos which come topped with bacon, scrambled eggs, queso, tomato, cilantro and guacamole. These were sooooooo good, the queso makes them extra special and of course guacamole is always a huge plus. I accompanied the nachos with a Mexican twist to a mimosa they’ve called hermanamosa, made with tequila, grapefruit juice, and prosecco.

The hubs ordered the Primo’s Burrito stuffed with short rib, scrambled eggs, oaxaca cheese, cispy hash browns and truffle maple ::drool::. I took one bite and found it hard to not take a few more. He asked for a side of queso and well that was a very good idea because there can never be too much queso.

To finish we shared their churros french toast. These sugar dusted yummy stacks of dough come with strawberries, powdered sugar and a slightly spicy truffle maple.

Needless to say, we’ll be back for more soon.Bodega Taqueria y Tequila – 1220 16th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139