By David Minsky
By Jen Mangham
By Bill Wisser
By Laine Doss
By Bill Wisser
By Dana De Greff
By Laine Doss
By Zachary Fagenson
Miami chefs seem to have the trajectories of hurricanes these days. Take for example Guillermo Veloso, who earned his chops at Restaurant St. Michel before becoming executive chef at Yuca on South Beach several years ago. After leaving Yuca he bounced around among restaurants, including a couple of Italian joints as well as his first haunt, Restaurant St. Michel. But now he's made landfall at Martha's on the Intracoastal in Hollywood, where he's again promoting Nuevo Latino dishes, such as grilled pork tenderloin with Brazilian black bean stew. And David Sloane, who worked at Debbie Ohanian's Starfish before landing the executive chef position at the erstwhile Embers on South Beach, recently said goodbye to Hollywood when he closed his signature restaurant Revolution 2029. Sloane has continued on a northward course, and is now executive chef at Dancing Bear on Las Olas Boulevard, where he's presenting the upscale comfort cuisine (bourbon-glazed beef tenderloin or slow-roasted osso bucco) he perfected at Embers. He plans to spin there for a while, where he has "a good core staff, lots of capital, and an owner who's 150 percent behind me." But you never know: As hurricanes often demonstrate, they're unpredictable.
•Chef-proprietor of Pacific Time Jonathan Eismann is no longer indecisive about what to do with his pet project, Pacific Time Next Door. He sold it last week to Shelly Abramowitz, who, after a brief delay owing to Hurricane Irene, reopened the café this week as South Beach Stone Crabs. Abramowitz ran Mad Max in the Boulevard Hotel on Ocean Drive back in the early Nineties as well as the Society Billiards pool halls in South Beach and the Grove. He's calling his new place "a combo of The Palm and Joe's." Let's hope the prices aren't a reflection of the same. As for Eismann, he admits, "It was a very good deal for me." I don't doubt it. Eismann may be a chef, but he's also a cool cat who's only used up two of his lives: on Pacific Heights and PT Next Door. The Pacific Rim pioneer has another project planned for "somewhere on South Beach," but he won't spill the azuki beans just yet. "You'll probably find out before I tell you," he says. I see. Consider the gauntlet thrown.
•Miami local Leah La Plante and her daughter, Vicki Luckett, have published their joint effort, a menu dictionary titled, appropriately enough, The Menu Dictionary. It's tough to make this kind of glossary sexy, but the pair attempted to do just that by including quotes about dining by famous weird dead people such as Andy Warhol and New Yorker-style cartoons. They also added in a list of international toasts, a tipping table, and interviews with chefs and restaurateurs such as Norman Van Aken, who has this to say about food critics: "They should stop being so fucking cute." (Present company excluded, natch.) La Plante and Luckett should have paid more attention to being consistent. While some of the terms are defined in the text, like "fajitas (faHEtas) and "conch (CONk)" (with rather arbitrary translations), others, like "fagioli" and "chiktay aranso" are not. You can complain in person on November 5, when the authors (AWthers) will be signing copies at Books & Books in Coral Gables.
•Ocean Drive stalwart I Paparazzi Ristorante has moved. But in typical South Beach fashion, it hasn't gone far from its original location. Formerly serving at 940 Ocean, the northern Italian trendsetter -- one of the first outdoor cafés to open on the Beach -- is now on Eleventh Street between Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue, neighboring the Versace mansion. But the restaurant "isn't yet open to the public," a voice-mail message reveals, "due to technical difficulties."
•Kvetch: Overheard on the walkie-talkies at The Strand's grand opening: "No free drinks for anyone. Repeat, no free drinks for anyone." I guess it is pretty expensive hosting an estimated 1000 people at your premiere party. But a cash bar (and an understaffed one at that) at your debut is no way to make up for costs. For shame. If I'd wanted to fight underage, undersize models in teeny-weeny black dresses for an overpriced martini that was promptly spilled all over me, I'd have gone to Liquid.