Hello, summer! It's officially the balmiest season in Miami, and that means lots of lazy beach days and endless evenings with friends and family. There's no better way to make the most of the longest days of the year than with good food and good drink. Here are a few places to spend these nearly eternal days.
Weekend starts now!
Ultimate Miami Bartender and Dessert Competition at Magic City Casino
Miami's mixology and baking talents will be put to the test this Friday, June 26, at Magic City Casino when the town's top bartenders and pastry chefs compete for the title "Ultimate Bartender" and "Ultimate Dessert Chef." The battle begins at 7:30 p.m., with contestants vying for a cash prize of $5,000 and the "Ultimate" title.
Competing bartenders include Hillary Choo (TEAM Enterprises); Roger Moreno (Score); Santiago Corona (Trump International Beach Resort); Juan Sosa (Mango's Tropical Cafe); Nicole Guzman (Azucar); Santiago Vazquez (Elite Bartending School); Philip Khandehrish (the Setai); and Seth Weinberg (Fontainebleau). Ultimate Miami dessert finalists include Yailyn Bloise (Yai Berry Cupcakes); Roni Rivera (Sweet Wheels Bakery); Daniel Gomez (Kimy Desserts); Maria Rodriguez (Donut Divas); Michelle la Tona (Dolci di Sicilia); Thomas Worhach (B Sweet Coffee Shop); and Graham Randall (Mar-a-Lago Club).
Tickets to this battle of skills and will cost $40 and include the opportunity to savor all eight competing cocktails and desserts. Attendees also have a say in voting for their favorites. Guests must be 21 or older. Visit theultimatemiami.com.
Estrella Damm's Three-Course Pulpo Pairings
If there's one thing better than a fine meal, it's a fine meal paired with good beer. Estrella Damm, the beer of Barcelona, has teamed up with some of Miami's best restaurants to bring you both. Now through July 5, enjoy a special three-course meal, paired with Estrella Damm beer — with a leggy catch: each meal will feature pulpo (octopus) as a main course. Prices range from $30 to $52 (dependingup on the restaurant), and the venues range from casual to upscale. No matter which restaurant you choose, you'll be sure to have a great meal, paired with a Damm fine beer. Participating restaurants include Barceloneta, Bin18 Bistro & Beer Loft, Bulla Gastrobar, Cena by Michy, Dolores but You Can Call Me Lolita, Fooq’s, Jimmy’z Kitchen Wynwood, Joey’s Italian Cafe, Klima Restaurant & Bar, La Mar by Gastón Acurio, Morgans Restaurant, Novecento (Aventura, Brickell, Key Biscayne, and midtown locations), Ortanique on the Mile, Perfecto, Piripi, Segafredo Brickell, Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill, Tapas y Tintos, the Embassy, Tongue & Cheek, Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, and Xixón. Visit chefschoicemiami.com.
Gravity Brewlab Tap Takeover at Boxelder
Gravity Brewlab will take over the taps at Boxelder this Saturday, June 27. The brewery will pour some favorites and rare brews, including its Sunshine State of Mind, Cherry Petit Stout, and Breakfast Anytime (proving once and for all that beer is for breakfast — and anytime after that). The tap takeover begins at 7 p.m. and lasts all evening. Fun, surprises, and lots of beer will be had by all.
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Australian Black Truffle Dinner at Scarpetta
Want to indulge in something a little fancy this weekend? Scarpetta's special Australian truffle dinner has just the meal for a birthday, anniversary, or simply because it's the weekend. Celebrity chef Scott Conant's beautiful restaurant is offering a decadent five-course truffle wonderland, lovingly made by chef de cuisine Marlon Rambaran. The meal begins with an amuse-bouche of steak tartare served with preserved truffle and pecorino. Then there's creamy polenta with a fricassée of truffled mushrooms, followed by Swiss chard and ricotta raviolini with porcini mushrooms, asparagus, and garlic crema. For the main course, there's halibut cooked with morel mushrooms, local corn, fava beans, guanciale, and tarragon oil, and filet of beef served atop hazelnut potato crema with a caper shallot reduction and charred broccolini. A chef's choice dessert follows. This truffle-riffic meal costs $195 per person (not including tax and gratuity); a wine pairing is available for an additional $115 per person. For reservations, call 877-326-7412.
Ms. Cheezious and Taquiza's Backyard BBQ
Backyard barbecues are great...especially when someone else is doing the cooking and cleaning up. Head over to Ms. Cheezious on Sunday, June 28, from 4 to 9 p.m. for an outdoor celebration. Taquiza is joining in on the fun with $5 bites and $2 beers. Bets firing up the grill at home!