Taste of the Nation South Florida Captivates

Taste of the Nation South Florida Review & Photos

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Photographs by Paula Echevarria

South Florida (the non-confederate flag waving part of our paradise state) has been elevated into a serious “Foodie” region. While we are still anxiously awaiting our first Michelin Star, we do possess exquisite food, sexy chefs and a deeply diverse restaurant scene with an eclectic compilation of stellar dishes.

If you were unfamiliar with how fantastic our restaurants truly are then Taste of the Nation South Florida was the event to acquaint yourself with Miami’s finest. Almost 700  gastronomes showed up for this exquisite event held at the Loews Hotel. The lavish bash raised funds for Share Our Strength, an organization that aims to end childhood hunger in America. The irony of us stuffing our gluttonous faces to end hunger was not lost on us, but the event did raise almost $100K!!! With the exception of the renowned South Beach Wine and Food Fest, Taste of the Nation is the apex of culinary events in South Florida. [Read more...]

Planet Kitchen Food and Wellness Tour

Planet Kitchen celebrated its maiden voyage of its Planet Kitchen Healthy Organic Food, Drink and Wellness Tour, highlighting a growing trend towards healthy and sustainable living in South Florida. It also showcased local farms, markets, restaurants and businesses who make real food and drinks to heal us naturally from the inside out. 

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We started our tour at Trio Studio, located in between Wynwood & the Design District (Midtown) in Miami. There we had a wonderful grounding meditation to start our journey followed by  an awesome demonstration of Budokon Yoga, AcroYoga, and Aerial Yoga.   Tour participants had an opportunity to get in on the action and try out AcroYoga for themselves.  It was really beautiful to participate and watch.

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Afterwards, the folks at Sambazon shared a refreshing fruit, mint and frozen acai concoction called an “acai bowl.”  This superfood charged treat is also non-GMO, Fair Trade and b-certified. We enjoyed it so much, we purchased a bottle that same week.  I’m sure it will be a permanent part of our refrigerator as we support conscious companies and healthy nutrition.  [Read more...]

Toro Toro Miami Review

Toro Toro is an Exquisite Experience

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You only get one chance to make a first impression and Toro Toro at the Intercontinental Hotel floored us in all respects.  We were joined by Maria the Foodaholic for a remarkable dining experience at this stunning locale. She co-authored this review with us.

From the moment we stepped into the lobby, we were taken aback by the gorgeous beige marble décor lining the walls, and the captivating neon lights around vivid color changing screens. The gargantuan marble sculpture in the middle of the lobby conveyed a sense of historic grandeur balanced against the modern Miami flashing neon screens connecting the second and third floors. It was truly a seductive entryway to an amazing, yet under-the-radar restaurant.

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The resplendent allure continued with dark brick wooden tables inside Toro Toro and the beautiful supple oak colored leather booths. Rustic lanterns hung from the ceiling contrasting majestically against the red candles on the table. An artistic tree branch hung from the ceiling, seemingly crowning the robust red and white flowers below, adding vibrancy to the unique décor. [Read more...]

Summer Dining Series at Wynwood Kitchen and Bar

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Wynwood Kitchen and Bar has launched a European summer tasting menu. We swung by to try the Spanish menu last month. Currently, they are serving German dishes, and will serve Portugal treats in August.

The Duck Prosciutto was a brand new flavor for us.  When the salty, bacon like duck meat was combined with the San Simon and Tetilla cheese and the crunchy toast it was delightful. The Quince paste jam (similar to guava) tied everything together splendidly. The sweet sauce was a nice contrast to the savory duck and cheeses.

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The Stuffed Piquillo Peppers were a tasty beautiful plate.  It was comprised of crabmeat, Manchego cheese with a aji amarillo sauce.The Manchego melded with the crab giving it a creamy consistency. The aji amarillo sauce had some heat, so don’t douse the pepper in it if you are spice adverse. [Read more...]

A Stay in a Historic Castle in San Gimignano, Italy

Feel the Ancient Castle Energy

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San Gimignano (or Sangiin local parlance) is an ancient walled city with impressive Game of Thrones like towers spanning up to the heavens. The town is located atop a mountain overlooking a 360 degree view of serene picturesque landscapes, which amplifies its gravitas and sheer elegance. Although most of the original 72 towers have not withstood the test of time, the city is still very much intact and a handful of towers still reign over the city in a majestic regal fashion.

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We stumbled upon this castle online and were instantly drawn to it. Since we were travelling to a fable-like city, we felt compelled to stay at a castle that is over 1,000 years old. One of our favorite facets of Europe is the venerable spirit that permeates throughout the historic cities. One can intensely feel the energy of a city and the structures that have absorbed so much history over thousands of years. We thought a castle of this timeworn magnitude would be cool, unique and overflowing with these vibes. [Read more...]

Amigos For Kids Voya Miami Celebrity Domino Night

Celebrity Domino Night Sizzles

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Celebrity Domino Night was a sensational party that had the guests eating, drinking, playing and dancing the night away. Almost 2,000 guests partied to support an amazing charitable cause on June 14th at Jungle IslandVoya Miami Celebrity Domino Night is an annual fundraising celebration that supports Amigos For Kids, a benevolent charity that helps children who are abused and neglected. The event was filled with Latin heart throbs and sexy Novella stars, heaps of great food and an open bar sponsored by Bacardí USA.  Willy Chirino a Salsa Grammy winning musician performed and was followed by one of our favorite’s DJ Irie who lit up the room.

It was a joyous event with intense domino matches, a stellar silent auction and seductive salsa and regular dancing. Our favorite bites was the incredible aged steak from Shula’s Steakhouse, the delectable alfajores from Catalina’s Bake Shop and the magnificent Cuban buffet spread from the famous Versailles Restaurant. There were also a plethora of celebrities in attendance which included 1996 Miss Universe Alicia Machado, Maripily Rivera, Carolina Tejera, Louis Aguirre, Jackie Nespral and Laura Flores. We had an amazing time and can not wait for next year.

Love is Blind, Coral Gables Review

Love at First Sight

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When you enter Love is Blind you are going to be dazzled by the sheer coolness and ingenuity of the restaurant. It boasts a funky motif that successfully intertwines ancient art with a trendy, funky and sexy vibe. In case you are tripping out (ref: Forgetting Sara Marshall Clip), there are smooth furry walls, blowup octopus like chandeliers, head bust sculptures with papal crowns and mounted bull skulls proclaiming pearls of wisdom such as “All you need is love.” It is one of the most fun, tricked out restaurant decors we have ever encountered.

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Love is Blind is the latest addition from the Passion Restaurant Group. They also own the very popular Crazy about You, as well as Dolores but you can call me Lolita. The owner Carlos, who opened up his first restaurant in Madrid at the ambitious age of 25, explained his “cheap is chic” concept. He believes patrons should be able to experience quality cuisine in a gorgeous setting with excellent service at very affordable prices. [Read more...]

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Photo by Mitchell Zachs

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