If you didn't have hundreds of dollars available to taste a marble-size portion of grub made by a celebuchef during the South Beach Food & Wine Festival, don't give up your sampling and wine-imbibing dreams just yet. There are two opportunities this weekend to taste food from dozens of restaurants amid fellow foodies. And, since nobody's paying Emeril to stand around for a photo op, tickets cost a lot less too.
First up: Taste of Brickell, a giant outdoor waterfront fest that will
benefit Kristi House, a nonprofit that helps children who are victims of
sexual abuse. A wine garden, featuring mostly domestic and European
labels, will comprise the center of the festival. It will be surrounded
by sample stations for several area restaurants including Area 31,
Morton's Steakhouse, El Gran Inka, Atrio, The Oceanaire, Dolores/Lolita,
Baru Urbano, Chophouse Miami, Fado Irish Pub, Gordon Biersch, Sushi
Maki, Crazy About You, Boiler House, and Truluck's. And a rep tells us
there are more restaurants coming on board last minute. There will also
be sculptures and paintings by local artists on display and live music
by Bay Area funk band Pocket Change and Elizabeth Elias, a local pop
singer. A children's zone will feature rides and activities.
The festival is open from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 26, at 1201
Brickell Bay Dr. Tickets cost $5 for Brickell residents (take an ID or
business card) and $10 general admission. $25 buys you access to the
festival plus a VIP room with complimentary cocktails, goodie bags, and,
most importantly, air conditioning. It's rumored some Sony Ericsson
stars might be hanging out there too. Wine and food will have separate
price tags and be sold via separate tickets that cost $1 each (most wine
samplings will cost $6-$8).
Also on Saturday is the Coral Gables Wine and Food Festival, featuring
more than 30 area restaurants offering samples paired with international
wines. Between Miracle Mile and Almeria Avenue, Ponce de Leon Boulevard
will be closed off for the street gathering, which is hosted by the
Miccosukee tribe and benefits the American Lung Foundation.
Participating restaurants include Anacapri on Ponce, Barrio Latino on
Sunset, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Il Grissino, La
Marea, Liberty Caffé-Coral Gables Country Club, Norman's 180, Ortanique
on the Mile, Por Fin Restaurant, Randazzo's Little Italy, Red Koi,
Seasons 52, Talavera Restaurant, Tarpon Bend, The Bar, and several
others. Live music will come via People You Know, which is not us trying
to be mysterious but the actual name of the local band. There will also
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be two lounge areas serving cocktails.
That fest costs $65 to attend from 7:30 to 10 p.m., or $150 VIP to get in early beginning at 6 p.m.