Lesley Elliott

  • Blogs

    August 13, 2012

    Miami's Ten Best Key Lime Pies

    ​Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Miami® 2012 online at dessert tradition adopted locally by travelers to Key ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 3, 2012

    Top Five Wines at Total Wine For $9.99

    Carefully navigating the aisles at the immense stadium of booze that is Total Wine in North Miami and Pinecrest, you'll find a wide array of ups and downs cost wise, with a few well priced gems just waiting for you. If you search for those special selections, there is no need to overspend when drink ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 18, 2012

    Miami's Ten Best French Fries

    ​Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Miami® 2012 online at a simple little side dish, yet so revered in Americ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2012

    New at La Provence: Breads To Go, Salmon, Leek Quiche With Salad for $5.95

    La Provence is letting the public in on its commercial business. The bakery and café chain (with 9 locations including Brickell, Coral Gables and Doral) is offering up the breads they bake daily for hotels and restaurants to their retail customers.Most breads can be made with 24 or 48 hours notice ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 10, 2012

    Ni.Do. Mozzarella Bar: Italian Done Easy on the Upper Eastside

    Ni.Do. Mozzarella Bar opened quietly in MiMo last month -- no press release, no big party. It's just a quiet little café buried in one of the area's gentrified strip malls, where the place happens to make its own mozzarella. It's a pretty space, offering a comfortable spot to rest for a few hours o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2012

    Cochon 555 Miami at Four Seasons Hotel: A Pignificant Way to Celebrate Pork

    ​We didn't know what to expect from Cochon 555 -- a national, pig-centric culinary event that made its way to Miami for the first time this past weekend at the Four Seasons. We knew that five chefs would be playing with pig parts from five heritage breed animals, but we had no idea how long they h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 28, 2012

    Juvia: Foodtastic or Just a Pretty Penthouse?

    ​The beauty of Juvia was months in the making; we're not sure of how long it took botanist Patrick Blanc to create that rainforest wall, or to build out the gorgeous open kitchen, shining in the back of the restaurant like a food beacon. There was lots of buzz prior to opening about the fact that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2012

    Chef Suvir Saran Serves Up Healthy Indian at Cafe Sambal

    ​We just love it when chefs are imported from afar to bring a taste of something special to the table. Now through Sunday, chef Suvir Saran of NYC's Dévi (the first ever Michelin-rated Indian restaurant stateside) is offering a special menu at Cafe Sambal, inspired by his cookbook, American Masal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 26, 2012

    SoBeWFF: Why We Heart Symon's BBQ & The Blues

    Lesley ElliottDiablo Dimes & The Bloodhounds​The grub and the booze lasted all night long, and that's why we loved Thrillist's BBQ & The Blues last night. There was no line to get in, simply present your ticket and boom, welcome to the party (Burger Bash snaked around for what seemed li ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2012

    SoBeWFF Burger Bash: Michael Symon's Three-Peat

    ​View photos of Burger Bash at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach here.Although we had grand dreams that a local chef would take the prize, Symon's B Spot Burgers claimed the People's Choice Award yet again this year at last night's Burger Bash (that's a third consecutive win for him). Fellow Iron Chefs ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 23, 2012

    Rosa Mexicano Debuts Jonathan Waxman's Take On Mexican

    Lesley ElliottWaxman takes over Rosa Mexicano's kitchen. ​Jonathan Waxman's Mexican food roots lead us on a winding road from Chez Panisse to Rosa Mexicano. Growing up in El Cerrito, California, apparently influenced his choice in "go-to comfort food," Last night we got a first taste of what it me ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2012

    New Chef Aaron Taylor Puts Stamp On STK's Menu

    Lesley ElliottTaylor's new heart of palm salad at STK Miami. ​About a month ago, we watched Aaron Taylor defect from Meat Market to take the top spot at STK, after Ralph Pagano went off to the races. And since a new chef usually means new menu items, you can look forward to a taste of something di ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2012

    At Mare Nostrum, They're Flying It In From Spain

    ​Brickell's newest fish and seafood emporium, Mare Nostrum, is importing everything from the chef (Pedro Gallardo moved here a little over two months ago from Murcia, Spain) to the tuna, which has to be frozen at minus sixty degrees Fahrenheit in order to make the trip, but more on that later.The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 25, 2012

    Lolita Cocina Seduces in SoBe: Taco Window Coming!

    Lesley ElliottThe patio at Lolita, serving shots on the weekends until 5 a.m.​SoFi's latest addition, Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar, recently surfaced in the old Nemo space. Aiming to bring sophisticated Mexican food with street cred to Miami, the CB5 Restaurant Group -- which operates two other ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2012

    Custom Cocktailing in the W Hotel's Living Room

    ​The Living Room at SoBe's W Hotel claims to offer any patron the cocktail of their dreams courtesy of a team of mixologists who are dedicated to making your evening of alcohol consumption a personalized experience. Named as one of Food & Wine Magazine's "50 Best Bars in America," the beverage ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2011

    Nothing Says Holiday Celebration Like a Caipirinha Throwdown

    Lesley ElliottAll in favor of decapitation, say "aye." ​When you think of a bunch of the city's top chefs getting together to celebrate the holidays, what do you picture? A whole roasted pig and caipirinhas? No? Well, at Sugarcane in Midtown, Timon Balloo pulled out all the stops Monday evening to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2011

    Salumeria 104: Midtown's Candy Store For Meatheads

    Lesley Elliott​Salumeria 104, Midtown's newest restaurant contender, is really a candy store for meatheads, offering a little taste of Italy courtesy of Chef Angelo Masarin. The native of Treviso who has spent the last few years making the rounds of Miami's best Italian kitchens, including Casa Tu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 23, 2011

    Edge, Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons Open For Business

    Lesley Elliott​Edge, Steak & Bar invited us into the kitchen yesterday to spy on opening day behind the line, which we have to say, was pretty damn efficient for a first-time at bat. The steakhouse menu is a collaboration between Executive Chef Aaron Brooks, who has worked at Four Seasons prop ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 23, 2011

    The Dutch Miami Beach's Food in Pictures

    ​We gave you a sneak peek on opening day, and spoke to Andrew Carmellini about his journey as an American chef, but the all-important food visual was as of yet unearthed. We finally ate at the Dutch, so here's a little preview of what you'll soon be craving.The menu combines a few items from NYC's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 21, 2011

    Wynwood Kitchen & Bar Now Open for Lunch

    ​Hood hangout Wynwood Kitchen & Bar (named our Best New Bar this year) just launched lunch service last week, with a few new tricks by executive chef Miguel Aguilar, who took over the kitchen this past summer. His "daily express lunch specials" are sort of a bento box minus the Japanese fare, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 17, 2011

    The Grill at the Setai Premieres New Menu Today

    Lesley ElliottThe Grill at the Setai offers a new, more casual menu including small plates and charcuterie (doesn't that leg look good?).​Starting today, The Grill at the Setai reboots culinary offerings. Executive chef David Werly has been busy remaking the menu, choosing to selectively focus on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 4, 2011

    Banana & Leaf Offers Good Grab-and-Go Sushi Downtown

    Lesley Elliott​Banana & Leaf is a no-frills sushi place offering basic rolls at insanely cheap prices. This is a great new spot for downtowners in need of a quick raw fish fix, and it's by the same crew behind Little Lotus, experts at making a restaurant something out of nothing (if you haven' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2011

    Pears With Licorice, Manchego, or Almonds: Hedy Says Try It All!

    Lesley ElliottSeckel pears with pistachio pear baklava, local honeycomb and Greek frozen yogurt.​We know she has sweet and salty sides, which is why her desserts are always such a delight. Even for food aficionados who embrace savory, saving room at Michael's Genuine for executive pastry chef Hedy ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2011

    $318 For a Box of Candy? Trick Or Treating For Snobs

    Lesley Elliott​Let's say you live in one of those incredibly wealthy enclaves on Star Island, or own the penthouse somewhere south of Fifth, or wake up to the pretty water view right outside your Coral Gables mansion. Your kids go to private school, travel all over the world with you and expect no ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2011

    Symcha's Launches Buffet Brunch, Lunch Coming Soon

    Lesley ElliottSymcha's new Sunday buffet. ​Sunday marked the beginning of brunch service at Symcha's, featuring a breakfast buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The food was most definitely tasty, but expensive ($45). The best part is that daytime service truly makes use of their pretty patio. Owners ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2011

    Pasta Folie's Opening First U.S. Location In Midtown

    Lesley Elliott​Pasta Folie's is bringing their line-up of "extravagant pastas" to Midtown with the first stateside location opening just south of fellow fast-casuals Muscle Maker Grill, Sweet Pointe Bakery and 100 Montaditos (3252 Buena Vista Avenue, Suite 118). Given that it adds to the ever-exp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 17, 2011

    Even When Full Moon Hides, The Ritz Rocks

    Lesley Elliott​This past Saturday night marked the return of the Full Moon Party to SoBe's Ritz-Carlton, although sadly, weather conditions were uncooperative (cloud cover and rain made those telescopes a bit useless). Nevertheless, party goers turned out in full force to sample the newest menu bi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2011

    Pied a Terre's Rotating Chef Series Masks New Hire Mystery

    Lesley ElliottFoie gras with duck confit stuffed ravioli. ​Pied a Terre at the Cadet Hotel has been left without an executive chef since the quick departure of Andrew Balick this past summer, who recently re-appeared at DiLido Beach Club at SoBe's Ritz-Carlton. Since then, owner, Dr. Vilma Biaggi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 12, 2011

    Oh the (House of) Horror, Carnival Food at Its Finest?

    Lesley ElliottWelcome to the House of Horror. ​Well-rounded eaters will embrace a crusty corn dog just as happily as a slice of seared foie gras, and I absolutely fit within these parameters. In fact, what kind of food writer wouldn't appreciate the glory of greasy fries covered in chili and chees ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2011

    Pubbelly Sushi: On A Roll?

    ​Pubbelly's neighborhood takeover officially begins this week, with the opening of their sushi offshoot right next door to its' predecessor. We told you all about local artist, Erni Vales, responsible for Pubbelly Sushi's Japanese anime-inspired murals, and gave you a few hints on the menu. But he ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 30, 2011

    Fill The Grill Bloggers Competition: A Grill-Like Recipe For Apartment Dwellers

    ​Last month I chronicled the winding road that was Whole Foods' "Fill The Grill" competition, where we watched chef Timon Balloo (from Midtown's perpetually crowded Sugarcane), go up against chef Michael Jacobs, (who cooks up our Miami Heat player's creative fare) for the championship title. As on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 22, 2011

    Top Five Food Festival Etiquette Faux Pas

    Lesley ElliottThe tents at last year's South Beach Wine & Food Festival. ​It seems premature to say that the South Beach Wine & Food Festival is already a subject of talk about town, but they recently released the 2012 line-up, and we already spoke to Lee Schrager to get the inside scoop ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2011

    Pork-Infuse Your Old-Fashioned: Fat-Wash Some Bourbon

    Lesley ElliottAn old-fashioned made with baconized bourbon. ​We are lucky to be experiencing a libation renaissance -- when everything from vanilla beans to mint to rosemary can make old drink favorites shiny and new again. The modern bartender seems to be a liquid magician, infusing alcohol wit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2011

    New Seasonal Menu Items Coming to the Setai

    Lesley ElliottAlaskan king crab red curry with peas and sweet potato. ​It's no easy task consolidating every type of Asian cuisine from India and China, to Singapore and Malaysia, into a menu that maintains the identity of the chef behind the door. Executive Chef David Werly came to The Setai last ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2011

    Fill The Grill Competition Finals: Jacobs vs. Balloo

    Lesley ElliottChefs Michael Jacobs and Timon Balloo.​The championship battle of kitchen wills finally culminated last night at Whole Foods in Coral Gables, where chef Timon Balloo of Sugarcane faced chef Michael Jacobs, who caters to the cravings of our Miami Heat players. Both had previously won ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2011

    An Oyster Tutorial With Sean Bernal Of Blue Door Fish, Part Two

    Lesley Elliott​In celebration of National Oyster Day, we present the second installation of our oyster tutorial with Executive Chef of Blue Door Fish and oyster savant extraordinaire, Sean Bernal. Yesterday, he opened up the kitchen and gave us a lesson in everything mollusk related, and today we ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 4, 2011

    Fill The Grill Competition, Part Two: Jacobs Wins Second Round (Photos)

    Lesley ElliottChefs Michael Jacobs and Samuel Gorenstein. ​Last night marked the second face off between chefs for the title of champion of the grill at Whole Foods in Coral Gables. Chef Samuel Gorenstein of BLT Steak at The Betsy Hotel was pitted against Chef Michael Jacobs, who caters to the whi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 4, 2011

    An Oyster Tutorial With Sean Bernal Of Blue Door Fish

    Lesley Elliott​Tomorrow is National Oyster Day, as if we needed an excuse to honor the most delectable of readily edible seafood, fit for consumption as soon as it is pulled from the sea. We begged Executive Chef Sean Bernal of Blue Door Fish at the Delano, for public insight into his private coll ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 2, 2011

    Crumb on Parchment: Oh, Those Savory Scones (Recipe)

    Lesley ElliottBacon, date, and blue cheese scones​Michelle Bernstein was kind enough to post her recipe for Crumb on Parchment's cherry-vanilla scones on Tasting Table. If you haven't had the pleasure, the scones are oversize and somehow both dense and fluffy. It's quite an achievement. The scone ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2011

    Lou Lou Bistro Launches New Happy Hour

    Lesley Elliott​Lou Lou Bistro wants to be your favorite neighborhood happy hour. Although the uneducated might head next door to old standby, Tobacco Road, for a raucous good time, a more cultivated experience can be had courtesy of Lou Lou's new offerings.Its "Tchin-Tchin Happy Hour" ("Tchin-Tchi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2011

    The Five Most Spicetastic Bites From The Kick-Off Party (Photos)

    Lesley Elliott​Last night, the 10th annual Miami Spice program celebrated with a kickoff party at the Miami Beach Convention Center. VIPs were treated to extreme entertainment including contortionists and aerial performers from Cirque Eloize, but even the laypeople got to watch jazz flautist Nesto ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2011

    Sugarcane Gives Good Head (Cheese, That Is)

    Lesley Elliott"Here piggie, piggie..."​Head cheese is one of those things the French come up with that takes whatever everyone else in the world is doing (bologna for example), and elevates it to a completely different level. Fromage de tête is officially classified as a terrine, but we prefer to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2011

    Chef Lok Rocks the Wok at Hakkasan

    Lesley ElliottExecutive chef Ooi Soon Lok in action at Hakkasan. ​In traditional Chinese kitchens, there are different sections, each equipped to handle a certain element of the menu. Sections for barbecue, wok, dim sum -- each works on an individual component that all come together before server ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2011

    Miami Spice Photo Preview: Bourbon Steak

    Lesley ElliottTomato Gazpacho with Alaskan King Crab. ​Chef Gabriel Fenton's menu sounds unassuming at first glance, a gazpacho, smoked salmon, strip steak, and a puttanesca holdover from his student days at the CIA, which he says "is still my favorite." Yet, every course of Bourbon Steak's Miami ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 21, 2011

    Fill The Grill Competition: Balloo Wins First Round (Photos)

    Lesley ElliottChefs Timon Balloo and Daniel Ganem.​Last night two chefs faced off in the first installment of a cooking competition sponsored by Whole Foods in Coral Gables. Chef Timon Balloo of popular Midtown spot, Sugarcane, went up against Chef Daniel Ganem of the recently opened Kane Steakhou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 20, 2011

    Miami Spice Preview: Red The Steakhouse (Photos)

    Lesley ElliottKobe meatball topped with housemade mascarpone. ​Red The Steakhouse 's Executive Chef Peter Vauthy has taken the task of developing the Miami Spice program very seriously, wanting to both entice newcomers and reward regulars. The place will be "switching it up every week," he says, b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2011

    Mister Collins Brings New Life to Bal Harbour Dining

    Lesley ElliottChunks of first grade tuna are served with a side of crispy fried yucca chips. ​Bal Harbour offers a measly array of restaurants for the walking wallets who live there. For years, La Goulue and Caffe Da Vinci fueled pre-shopping lunches and family dinners, but now it seems resta ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 20, 2011

    New Dining Club Shikany Has Big Plans

    Lesley ElliottChef Shikany at work. ​It's definitely a club when you want to join, but can't. Chef Michael Shikany's new dining venture is more like a "lifestyle experience." Last night he hosted a media preview at his home to launch the "world of Shikany" on an unsuspecting public. This membershi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2011

    Marriott Reopens, New Best Place for Sunset Cocktails

    ​​Lesley ElliottThe new and improved Catch Grill Bar.​The Marriott on Biscayne Bay held a preview of its $31 million renovation last night. Although Catch (the on-site restaurant) has been open for several months, the 28-year-old hotel has finally completed renovation on the remainder of the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 6, 2011

    Chapultepec: Authentic Mexican Is Worth the Drive

    Lesley Elliott​Destination eating is a serious matter. Since it now costs about $4 a gallon to fill up the tank, we figure the meal better be worth the drive. On that note, we present Chapultepec, a neighborhood dive just north of the Gulfstream commercial monstrosity. This restaurant delivers the ... More >>

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