This week, Zest's pop-up bar competition returns with a Great Gatsby-themed experience, while the Salty Donut launches a breast cancer awareness doughnut and drink pairing. Plus, House of Spells, a Halloween-themed bar, launches at Rumbar, and New Times' Iron Fork offers food from some of Miami's best-loved restaurants, alongside drinks, entertainment, and surprises.
Pop-Up Bar Competition at Zest Miami
Thirsty for the best booze in the city? Hit up Zest Miami's pop-up bar competition. Five weekly rounds and one final competition offer the tasty talents of bartending duos. Each will craft a cocktail menu at the Zest Miami bar in Brickell. But this isn't just about the libations — it's about creativity beyond the cocktails. Previous champs made a Harry Potter-themed bar and another honoring Rick and Morty. Monday, bartenders from Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne and Fort Lauderdale will take over with a Great Gatsby theme. 6 p.m. Monday, September 30, at Zest Miami, 200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-374-9378; zestmiami.com. Admission is free.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month at the Salty Donut
Through the month of October, the Salty Donut will donate proceeds from the sale of all Breast Cancer Awareness Month doughnuts and drink specials to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Robyn's Rainbows. The breast cancer awareness cake batter doughnut, made with a 24-hour brioche dough ring filled with a homemade cake batter and marbled white chocolate glaze, and topped with crumbles of homemade sugar cookies ($4.50), will be paired with the Dragonfruit Shrub, a dragonfruit, grapefruit, and mango Topo Chico shrub served in a glass Topo Chico bottle ($5). Beginning Tuesday, October 1, through Sunday, October 27, at at the Salty Donut, various locations; saltydonut.com.
House of Spells at Rumbar
You wouldn't expect to find such a spooky pop-up lurking behind the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne — until you realize that grand hotels have hosted ghosts and ghouls for centuries. Rumbar is a complete experience with costumed staff, ghastly decorations, and live entertainment. Themed cocktails include the Grave Robber ($15) with Blavod black vodka, creme de cacao, and dry Curacao; the Witch's Brew $15) with Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, black tea, oleo saccharum, orange juice, lime juice, and Angostura bitters; and the Vampire Kiss ($15) with Barbera d’alba, pomegranate liqueur, sparkling rose, and roasted cherry syrup. Enjoy a bite — either from your favorite undead creature or from the food menu that includes items such as Mummy Bites ($12), queso fresco wrapped in pastry dough with cilantro lime aioli; or the Day of the Living Veg ($12) a plate of roasted garlic hummus (to ward off vampires) with crudite and pita for dipping. Open 3 p.m. to close Tuesday, October 1, through Friday, November 1, at Rumbar at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, 455 Grand Bay Dr., Key Biscayne; 305-365-4500; ritzcarlton.com.
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Iron Fork 2019
New Times' 12th-annual Iron Fork, presented by Wild Fork Foods, returns Thursday, at the James L. Knight Center and Hyatt Regency in downtown Miami. From 6 to 10 p.m., guests can enjoy food from some of Miami's best-loved restaurants along with entertainment and surprises. The highlight of the evening is the annual Iron Fork competition, in which two of the city's best chefs compete in a live battle to show off their cooking skills. This year, Cesar Zapata (Phuc Yea) will take on Aaron Arditti (The Brick: American Kitchen & Bar) for the title of Iron Fork Chef 2019 and the New Times Skillet of Excellence. To win, each chef must demonstrate his cooking skills in two rounds of fierce competition. This year, Iron Fork will also present a people's choice award. Attendees can vote for their favorite bites of the evening, and the winning restaurant will receive a special honor. In addition, a portion of all proceeds will benefit Special Olympics of Florida. 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, October 3, at James L. Knight Center and Hyatt Regency Miami, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $40 to $80 via newtimesironfork.com.