Winter is the time when Miami is usually abuzz with dozens of food events. On any given weekend, local foodies are challenged whether to visit a beer festival, celebrate with barbecue, or eat their fill of burgers.
While some events, including the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, have been postponed until spring, others — like New Times' upcoming Tacolandia Taco Stop — are finding ways to allow for socially distanced fun in the meantime.
One of the most ambitious such happenings is on tap for March: The restaurant reservation system Resy and American Express Gold Card will host a drive-thru restaurant dinner consisting of a ten-course tasting menu prepared by some of Miami's best chefs that you can enjoy without having to leave the safety of your own car.
The Resy Drive-Thru, a two-night culinary event, will take over the parking area at 1 Herald Plaza on Thursday, March 18, and Friday, March 19.
Participating chefs and restaurants include Michelle Bernstein (Cafe La Trova), Michael Schwartz (Harry's Pizzeria), Timon Balloo (Balloo), and José Mendín (Pubbelly Sushi) .Restaurants include L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Mr. Mandolin, Niu Kitchen, Osaka Nikkei Miami, Planta, and South Beach new arrival Carbone Miami.
Guests will drive through the area where the chefs will be visible preparing their dishes in a socially distanced tent. Each course will be accompanied by an audio explanation by the chefs, along with music. By the time the cars exit, guests will have enjoyed a complete tasting menu — in their vehicles.
The first Resy Drive-Thru took place last fall in Los Angeles and sold out in a matter of hours.
Michael Schwartz, who intends to haul his mobile pizza oven to the event, tells New Times he jumped at the chance to join in when he heard who else was signing on.
"When Resy presented it to me, it seemed like a great intention and a highly curated lineup. I always ask who is participating. When they told me who they were talking to, it was a no-brainer."
The restaurateur says he missed participating in food festivals this past year. "As chefs, we love these events," Schwartz says. "I think we all miss them, actually. There's been this lingering feeling of isolation we've all experienced during COVID."
Festivals provide interaction with fans of his restaurants and the chance to get together with fellow chefs, Schwartz elaborates. "Sometimes the only time we get to catch up with our peers is at food events. It's also a great way to meet emerging new talent and just goof around with people."
The venerable chef and James Beard Award winner says his Drive-Thru offering will be give eventgoers a preview of the new Harry's Pizzeria location he'll soon open soon in South Beach. Schwartz says the new Harry's, located across from Macy's on Meridian Avenue just north of Lincoln Road, will have a full liquor license, allowing him to create cocktails meant for enjoying with pizza, and also a large takeout area.
"This has been in the works for a long time," Schwartz adds. "In keeping with the Harry's model, we'll have great pizza and a selection of natural wines."
And although there will be no hugs or handshakes, Schwartz will be at the Resy Drive-Thru. "We'll be there, delivering to their [car] doors and interacting from a safe distance," he promises.
Tickets for the Resy Drive-Thru Miami cost $110 per person and can be purchased at resy.com/drivethru or via the Resy app — but not until Thursday, February 26, at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased in groups of two, three, or four; guests using a group ticket must arrive in the same vehicle, with a maximum of four persons per vehicle. (American Express Gold Card members can take advantage of a presale starting February 24 at 10 a.m. To purchase tickets through the presale, add an American Express Gold Card to your Resy account and purchase the tickets with that card.)