Art Basel Miami Beach 2014: 15 Can't-Miss Food Events

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Art Basel is here, and all of Miami is awash in a sea of color as celebrities, art mavens, and people who like to drink wine and look at art converge on our city.

Art feeds the soul, but our bodies still crave nourishment in the way of food. Thankfully, many of Miami's restaurants are participating in Art Basel with hosted gallery shows, live artist demonstrations, pop-ups at various events throughout the city, food trucks, artistic vegan cupcakes, themed cocktails, freebies, and one very expensive pizza.

Here are our favorite food-related happenings this week.

See also: Ten Best Wynwood Restaurants

15th & Vine Kitchen & Bar at Viceroy Miami's Free Happy Hour

15th & Vine Kitchen and Bar at the Viceroy is hosting a complimentary Art Basel happy hour and meet-and-greet with French artist Duaív this Friday, December 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. For the hotel's "Sights & Sounds" Art Basel series, enjoy passed bites from executive chef Frank Rog and a free cocktail while admiring the artists' works.

Basel House Food Truck Roundup

Basel House, a street fair featuring artists painting live on whatever medium they can find (better not stand still for long if you're wearing a plain white shirt), also features 20 food trucks for your dining pleasure. Eat from HipPops, Palate Party, the Health Nut on Wheels, Guiseppe's Italian Sausage, Los Chamos, Mobstah Lobstah, Key West Conch Shack & Wheels, Pizza Zilla, Top Fries, the Original Greek, and much others. Also out and about is the Tobacco Road food truck. Watch artists such as Claw Money, Cope 2, El Pez, Greg Mike, Gregory Siff, Mike Graves, MAR, and Trek 6 do their thing. Sponsors include Deep Eddy vodka, Strongbow, Heineken, and Desperados. Basel House is located at 2250 NW Second Ave. in Wynwood and is open Wednesday, December 3, through Sunday, December 7, from noon to midnight.

Big Trouble in Little River Pop-Up

Art Basel is traveling upstream to Miami's Little River neighborhood for an art exhibit and pop-up restaurant titled Big Trouble in Little River.

The collaboration features an art exhibit curated by Chris Oh and an outdoor restaurant and cocktail bar by Hot Satelite on the site of an industrial space turned brick-paved, tree-shaded courtyard, located at 7357 NW Miami Ct. The 7,000-square-foot courtyard will feature free WiFi and guest DJs.

The exhibition showcases works by Miami-based artists Jim Drain, Nicolas Lobo, Typoe, and Michael Vasquez in an adjacent industrial raw space.

The pop-up restaurant will serve wood-fired pizza, antipasti, Stumptown Coffee, signature cocktails, and other libations provided by Hot Satellite, the mobile and catering arm of the newly formed Lot 6 Hospitality Group, comprising Eddie Diaz, formerly of Roberta's in Bushwick, and Brian Best and Rick Dacey, formerly of Los Angeles' Hatfield's.

The pop-up will be open to the public this Thursday, December 4, through Sunday, December 7, from noon to 10 p.m.

Bocce Pop-Up at Red Dot Art Fair

Bocce is collaborating with Red Dot Art Fair at the tent's café and VIP lounge, located at 3011 NE First Ave. in midtown. Art and food enthusiasts can purchase bites from Bocce's specially curated menu, which includes panini like porchetta with spicy aioli, sun-dried tomato, and fontina; caprese with pesto and balsamic vinegar; and an Italian with mortadella, soppressata, iceberg lettuce, and red-wine vinegar. Bocce will also offer salads, lamb meatballs, mushroom soup, and desserts. Wine, beer, and an Aperol spritz will be available. Admission to Red Dot begins at $15 and can be purchased onsite. Red Dot is open Wednesday, December 3, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, December 4, through Saturday, December 6, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, December 7, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bunnie Cakes' Artistic Cupcakes

Bunnie Cakes, Wynwood's source for adorable vegan treats, is offering a series of Art Week cupcakes. Each cupcake costs $6 and features the art of Miami artists Trek6, Don Rimx, Kazilla, Luis Valle, and Piktorama. The cupcakes come in individually signed boxes and are available in a limited quantity of ten of each artist per day. Available now through December 7, this is really and truly the tastiest way to get your art fix at Basel.

Clandestino Pub's Mural by Smithe

Yesterday, Mexican urban artist Smith unveiled a specially commissioned mural at Clandestino Pub. The artist was invited by the pub's owners to create his first Miami Beach mural. The artist, who is influenced by Japanese anime, '50s graphics, and sci-fi movies, has exhibited in Germany, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Spain, the United States, and Mexico. The mural will be on display throughout Art Basel.

GastroPod Pop-Up at Miami Project

Jeremiah Bullfrog's GastroPod will roll out two Art Basel-related locations.

GastroPod 2.0, a shipping-container-turned-kitchen, will set up shop in Wynwood at 160 NW 26th St. Featuring a Pulp Fiction-inspired menu, with Big Kahuna burgers ($10), $5 shakes, fries that can be drowned in mayo ($4), and coffee that's described as "some serious gourmet shit" (in other words, cold-brewed Panther for $4 a cup). GastroPod 2.0 will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 3 to 11 p.m.

In addition, GastroPod will be at Miami Project, located across from Target in midtown. The grab-and-go café offers gourmet sandwiches, Panther coffee, and salads, along with Noodle Head, a noodle bar where you choose from five handmade noodle shapes, five sauces, and garnishes. Nine bucks gets your choice of noodle (spaghetti, pappardelle, radiatore, torchio, or rigatoni) and sauce (brisket ragu, carbonara, ramen broth, kale pesto, or primavera). For $3 extra each, add a soft egg, roast pork, veggies, kimchee, or XO sauce.

Miami Project is open Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets cost $25 to $50 and can be purchased at miami-project.com.

Il Mulino's Artful Basel Julep

South of Fifth's Il Mulino has crafted a specialty cocktail in honor of Art Basel. The Basel Julep, available for a limited time, substitutes basil for mint (because Basel). It's a refreshing cocktail that's perfect for toasting that new piece you acquired for your collection. Drink it at Il Mulino or make it at home with this recipe:

The Basel Julep

  • 2 oz. Beluga vodka
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • Ginger beer
  • Fresh basil
  • Mixed berries purée

Combine vodka and fresh lime juice with fresh muddled basil and mixed berries purée. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a raspberry and one basil sprig.

Michael's Genuine Pop-Up at Design Miami

The MGFD pop-up celebrates its third year at Design Miami, located at 19th Street and Meridian Ave. in Miami Beach. Menu items include stone crabs (market), roasted pumpkin salad ($12), rock shrimp ($19), hummus ($8), and rice bowls with vegetable tagine (415), lamb curry ($17), or grilled shrimp ($19). Cocktails ($14), Panther coffee ($4 to $5), and, naturally, Michael's Genuine Home Brew ($8) are available for refreshment.

Public days for Design Miami are December 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., December 5 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., December 6 from noon to 8 p.m., and December 7 from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets start at $25.

Michelle Bernstein's Michy's Pops-Up at Miami Beach Botanical Garden

Michelle Bernstein's Michy's pops up at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden December 3 through 6 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the garden's Banyan Room and its adjacent terrace. Reservations are required for dinner and can be made by contacting Nick Paton at 877-222-1742 or by email at events@michysmiami.com.

In addition, the chef will offer casual eats at the Garden Café. The café is open at the botanical garden December 1 from 1 to 6 p.m., December 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., December 3 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., December 4 through 6 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and December 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Setai's Collector's Pizza

If you're not quite in the tax bracket of the wealthy who come to Basel to spend millions of dollars on an emerging artist, The Setai has found a way for you to still be a baller with its $250 pizza. Yes, you read correctly. The pizza, created by executive chef Mathias Gervais, features white truffles. Last year, 359 pies were sold. To compliment the pizza, how about a $50 Negroni? Mixologist Philip Khanderhish has created a "paint your own" Negroni using a one-ounce Nolets Reserve pour.

Shikany's Lunchtime Tapas

Wynwood's Shikany is offering a lunchtime tapas menu, starting at 11:30 a.m. daily throughout Basel. There are about a dozen items daily, including citrus duck confit with shaved fennel, pomegranate yuzu, tobiko, fennel dust, and vanilla creme; nori macaroon with ginger spiced tuna tartare, avocado mousse, and white soy foam; causa and tomato salad with aji amarillo, tomato powder, pineapple tomatillo, baby toy box, tomato crisp, huckleberry, seacrest, emerald crystal, opal basil, lime basil, yuzu emulsion, and sorrel; and a leche de tigre crispy pork belly with micro arugula, pineapple pate de fruit, banana ketchup, leche de tigre injection, lime powder, and pig head powder.

Swig n' Swine at Freehand Miami

Miami's first Swig n' Swine serves unlimited pork-centric items, paired with copious amounts of boozy punch in old-fashioned barrels. It all goes down December 7 from 3 to 8 p.m. at Freehand Miami. The event, hosted by the Bon Vivants, co-founded by Josh Harris and Scott Baird from the San Francisco bar Trick Dog, and Esquire in partnership with Imbibe, features dishes prepared by Scott Baird (Bon Vivants), Danny Grant (50 Eggs), Jose Mendin (Pubbelly), and Michael Pirolo (Macchialina), and punches by Broken Shaker. Best of all? The debauchery benefits Miami's Overtown Youth Center. Thirty dollars at the door gets you admission, all you can eat and drink, and an uber-cool shirt.

Wolfgang's Steakhouse Special Menu and Gift

Wolfgang's Steakhouse is celebrating Art Basel with a special menu. The $90 dinner includes a salad or soup, your choice of premium entrees like New York sirloin, filet mignon, or Chilean seabass, and dessert. But the kicker is the limited edition takeaway -- a bottle of the steak houses' own steak sauce wrapped in a limited edition gold cow print. Only 100 bottles were made, so get there quickly to snag one.

Wynwood Brewing

Miami artist Trek6 showcases his art at Wynwood Brewing's tap room through December 10. The artist was chosen by Miami New Times as "Best Street Artist" and is a particular favorite with the brewery's founder, Luis Brignoni. In fact, Trek6 also did a mural at the brewery of an effervescent life-size beer glass with Puerto Rican Taino symbols in honor of the island's roots for both him and Wynwood Brewing's owners. The art will be desplayed in the tap room. Hours are Tuesday - Thursday 2 to 11 p.m., Friday 2 p.m. to midnight.; Saturday noon to midnight; Sunday noon to 10 p.m.

YogArt at Wynwood Walls

Yoga and food are the perfect antidotes for harried gallerinas who are slightly hungover from too many cups of dubious prosecco in plastic glasses. From December 4-7, take a chill pill with Green Monkey yoga instructor Dawn B. Feinberg, then refresh with bites and drinks, courtesy of JugoFresh. Classes are held daily at Wynwood Walls and cost $35. Reserve in advance at yogartevent.com.

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