Openings

Miami Chinese New Year: Champagne, Lion Dances and Kokohana Cocktails

2013 has been around for 23 days and counting, so those memories of champagne toasts, sparklers and epic hangovers may feel like forever ago. But the Year of the Snake is about to arrive, so the celebrations are about to begin, again.

Come February, some of Miami's finest Asian establishments are offering up specialty menus, lion dances and calligraphy demos in honor of Chinese New Year. Plus there's plenty of good luck in store.

See also:

- Chinese New Year's Lucky Rabbit Traditions

- Check, Please! Starts New Season: Hakkasan, Hy Vong, and a Female Impersonator

On Friday, February 8, the Mandarin Oriental will celebrate in style at both Azul and Cafe Sambal. Starting at 7 p.m., they'll host a champagne reception on the pool deck, followed by lion dance performances, Asian ribbon dancers and Chinese calligraphy demonstrations. Festive!

Afterwards, Azul and Café Sambal will serve up set menus chock full of Chinese delights. Azul will offer four courses including quail consommé, Szechwan-style short ribs and chocolate dragon ball, all for $135 per person (plus tax and gratuity).

Sambal will offer family-style Peking duck lettuce wraps, Singapore chili seafood, wok fried beef strips and other goodies. The meal will run $85, $35 for children ages 6 to 12.

All guests to the Mandarin will also receive a "red lai see packet" filled with wishes of good health and good fortune. Such envelopes are traditionally given as omens of prosperity and good luck, so that bodes well for the coming year. Reservations for the evening can be made by calling 305-913-8358.

On Sunday, February 10, Hakkasan, the Fontainebleau's swanky Asian outpost, will be offering a special menu, in addition to a lion dance in the hotel lobby at 9 p.m. In addition, the Bleau Bar will be serving a special drink, the "Kokohana," concocted with Bacardi Rock Coconut, pineapple, basil leaves and lychee juice, for $16. Call 786-276-1388 for reservations.

Looks like this is bound to be a lucky year.

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Hannah Sentenac covers veg food, drink, pop culture, travel, and animal advocacy issues. She is also editor-in-chief of LatestVeganNews.com.
Contact: Hannah Sentenac