Great Taste of the Grove 2013: Rum Cocktails, Short-Rib Ravioli, and Billy Joel Tunes

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Right now in Ohio, residents are bundled up in parkas and scarves, braving snowstorms, frozen locks, and frigid temps. Here in Miami, we're strolling the streets, hitting the beach, and sipping cocktails on breezy patios.

This is why there's no place like the 305. So take advantage of our summery springtime and visit the Great Taste of the Grove next Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14. Besides the culinary element, balmy temps, rum concoctions, and Billy Joel tunes should be as added incentive to show up.

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"It is a really nice event. As you know, Peacock Park is a great front yard for Coconut Grove. Everyone loves to come and hang out and listen to music and graze from different restaurants," says Peter Laird, president of the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce.

In its 23rd year, this annual shindig showcases the best this bayfront community has to offer.

With a $5 cover and pay-per-plate policy, attendees can nibble edibles including gazpacho soup from the Chart House, crabcakes from Jaguar, tuna tartare from Timo's at the Villa Mayfair, Ceviche Crème de Rocotoshort from Panorama at the Sonesta, short-rib ravioli from the Ritz-Carlton, and other goodies from Grove standbys.

Foodstuffs will be judged on a daily basis to score awards such as Best Taste and Best Presentation. Short Order's own Laine Doss will lend her expertise to the contest.

Saturday's entertainment will include the likes of Journey, Neil Diamond, and Billy Joel blast-from-the-past tribute bands, and on Sunday, local acts, headlined by Suenalo, will go head-to-head in a Clash of the Decades.

Libations will include Miami Club Rum cocktails, Sam Adams brews, and a whole host of wines, including the Naked Grape portfolio, Vine Pro Imports, and Choco Noir.

Children are welcome too, and can run off any potential sugar rush at the Kids' Fun Zone, complete with rock-climbing walls, bounce houses, and other high-energy entertainment.

"There'll be plenty to eat and plenty to drink and lots of good music," Laird adds. "Hopefully, we'll have great weather."

The event runs next Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. at Peacock Park, 2820 McFarlane Rd. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids, and food samples run $1 to $8 each. Check out further details on the event's website.

Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.

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