Tag Archives: Foodie Finds

Authentic Indian Cuisine in Sunny Isles – Copper Chimney

12 Sep

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In the corner of a Sunny Isles strip mall there is a hidden gem of authentic Indian food that should truly be on everyone’s best of Miami list. Copper Chimney is amazing, hands down the best Indian food in Miami! Copper Chimney specializes in Tandoor (clay oven) dishes. The food is spicy; the kind of spicy where your tongue is burning but you still can’t stop eating because it is so delicious. Unless you like your dishes with a lot of heat, ask for mild. We went for medium, it was almost too hot to handle but with the spice came an irresistible burst of flavor.

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Copper Chimney is family owned. The owners are gracious hosts who clearly have a lot of pride for the quality of both food and service. Bollywood movies play in the background while patrons feast on simmering dishes, succulent sauces and baskets of fresh naan. Here is a link to Copper Chimney’s menu, check it out before you go because there are over 50 delicious Indian dishes for you to choose from.

For those of you who feel that Sunny Isles is a little out of your way, there is still hope. I was told Copper Chimney plans to open a second location in Downtown Miami, which we are very excited about.

Enjoy!

DH

Copper Chimney

18090 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160

(305) 974-0075

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Best Slice of Pizza in South Beach

7 May

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If there is one food I pride myself as an expert with, it has to be pizza! During my college days, I even wrote an in depth research paper on the history of pizza. Although NYC has us beat on the best slice, Miami Beach does have some great options!

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    Bella Napoli Pizzeria is a Hertzberg family favorite. Since 1980 Bella Napoli has been bringing in the locals and it’s a known hang out for Miami Beach police officers and south beach locals. It’s a delicious go-to hole in the wall spot, family owned and operated. I like their pizza and they have a good chicken cacciatore but the real highlight is their minestrone soup, they make it from scratch. Plus the pizza seems to travel well with delivery. So that’s Bella Napoli, nothing fancy, plastic checkered table cloths and that kind of thing.
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    Piola, really good salads. Cool place to eat. Have a glass of wine and a pizza. Their pies are thin, crispy and come right out of the wood burning oven. The pizza is best eaten at the restaurant as it doesn’t seem to travel very well. Maybe because it’s so thin? Who knows, but it is good!
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    I also like Pizza Fusion. Similar to Piola with good salads and GREAT pizza that also does not travel well… at all. However, on the plus side they only use organic ingredients and even have a gluten free option!
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    Primo’s south of fifth is a Miami Beach original and is open until 5am on the weekends. Primo’s boasts that their pizza is a “Product of Brooklyn” and the big (greasy) New York style slices are great.
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    Pizza Rustica first opened on Washington Avenue and has now grown to a couple of locations nationwide. Not my style but I have to put it on the list just because they have such a large cult following. You’ll find square pieces done in an almost Chicago like style. Pizza Rustica is open nearly 24 hours and seems to be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike all day (and night) long.
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    Lucali is a very new addition to the pizza scene, recently opening a second location straight from Brooklyn to Miami Beach’s growing Sunset Harbour area. Very cool décor, cool vibe, cool place, but that is an expensive pie! It’s a 27 dollar pizza and an extra three dollar charge for each topping so I think I ended up with a 33 dollar pizza. It was a pretty good pizza and I enjoyed it but the jury is still out on this one.
  • This last spot to make the list isn’t exactly on South Beach but if you are up to a short drive, Anthony’s Coal Fire Pizza is hands down the best pizza in Miami. It’s crispy and can be complimented with great sides, great salads and they make amazing baked chicken wings…the chicken wings are really really good, on par with the pizza. I don’t think they deliver but they do take out. Perfect Sunday night kind of spot.

Enjoy your new found pizza joints and as always please leave comments and suggestions, I will be glad to see them!

DH

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Wine and Food Festival 2013

21 Feb

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February is world known as the month of love. In Miami Beach a love specifically for food and wine takes form as the Wine and Food Festival (WFF). This year WFF will be held during the weekend of February 21-24. WFF 2013 promises to be bigger and better than ever before. You may have noticed the banners popping up over the McCarthur causeway (and well… everywhere else) announcing the appearances of food personalities such as Guy Fereil and Paula Abdeen. WFF has a talent for bringing in all of our favorite culinary celebrities and allowing us to observe them as they work their magic in person by attending events such as BBQ & The Blues, Carnivorous Dinner, Swine & Wine, The Grand Tasting Village, Tribute Dinner, and Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best.

WFF should be treated as a five course meal because every event (such as a film screening of my favorite food documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” hosted by Anthony Bourdain, Garden to Glass held in the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Amstel Light Burger Bash hosted by Rachel Ray and Celebrity Chef Golf Tournament hosted by José Andrés at Turnberry Isle Miami) is as impossible to pass up as the next. Purchase tickets on the official WFF website and do it ASAP because tickets are selling like hot cakes. This year’s festival ends with a closing ceremony featuring a cook off and concert between Ziggy Marley and Guy Fereil! Happy WFF 2013!

Foodie Finds: Jugo Fresh

23 Apr

My first job at 15 years old was at the Smoothie King on Alton road.  As a result, I have always been a smoothie connosieur of sorts, constantly on the look out for the best smoothies.  After a recent discovery, I can happily announce that the search has ended – Jugo Fresh officially earns the crown for the best smoothie on the beach.

Located on 20th St. (between West Ave. & Alton Rd.), Jugo Fresh is an organic juice bar/smoothie bar in the hot new area off purdy Lounge.   This spot is unlike any other juice or smoothie bar in that it uses a cold-press system that can take up to 45 minutes for just one serving of juice!  The result is an unpasteurized and “alive” juice that contains five times as many nutrients as regular juice.

Despite having a menu with more than 20 beverages, I think it could use one or two more “mainstream” fruit options…but the bottom line is that these “foodie”-style smoothie blends are delicious and nutritious.  They’re on the pricier side but definitely worth the price tag.

Other mentionables include a cool vibe and very knowledgeable staff that is more than happy to answer any of your questions about the blends and their ingredients.  And if you’re looking for a way to detox, Jugo Fresh also features a 3-day juice cleanse with free delivery on Miami Beach.

Conveniently located right next to Foot Works (an amazing running store) and just around the corner from Green Monkey (my favorite yoga studio..post coming soon), Jugo Fresh is the perfect post-yoga smoothie/juice spot.

Happy juicing,

DH

Miami Must: Wynwood Art Walk

13 Apr

Street Art and Graffiti at Wynwood Walls

Whether you’re an art aficionado or just appreciate a great people-watching crowd, Wynwood Art Walk is definitely a MUST in Miami.  Held every second Saturday from 7-11pm in Wynwood (an artsy spot nestled between Downtown Miami and the Design District), Art Walk is essentially a smorgasbord of art, food, music and mingling.  If you haven’t yet checked it out, be sure to catch the next one this Saturday [tomorrow], April 14th.

Outdoors dining at Wynwood Kitchen and Bar 

These days, there’s so much to take in and see at Art Walk with over 60 art galleries, art complexes and collections in Wynwood [check out the Miami New Times’ guide to 8 “unmissible” shows this Saturday here].  But one thing you cannot miss is The Wynwood Walls –  an open-air “art park” featuring incredible murals of street art and graffiti [see top photo for a glimpse].  Take a stroll around the park, stop by the outdoor bar for a drink, groove with local DJs, and check out the black-light bus that’s like a time warp to the 70’s.

Artwork inside Wynwood Kitchen and Bar

 While you’re feeding your soul with art, why not feed your stomach?  Wynwood Kitchen and Bar is a great spot located right at the Wynwood Walls.  Or, if you prefer to eat and walk, hit up the food trucks for an incredible array of cuisine, from tacos to falafel to burgers and grilled cheese.  Check out the full food truck lineup for this Art Walk here.

Checking out a gallery with friends at Art Walk.

Caipirinhas food truck parked at Art Walk.

Although Art Walk technically ends at 11pm, the party definitely doesn’t stop [this is Miami, after all].  If you’re looking for some “after hours” fun, check out Wood Tavern for a chill bar experience, Bardot for a party atmosphere, or Cafeina for a lounge ambiance.

The main area of the Wynwood Art Walk is between 20 St & 36 St and from NW 2nd Ave to NE 2nd Ave. – if you plan on driving, get there early for best parking.

Have a great weekend!

DH

[All photos shot by Lindsay Rubens]

Foodie Finds: Eating House

9 Apr

“Fried Chicken Thighs”: Photo via miaminewtimes.com

The latest foodie hotspot to hit the Miami scene is Eating House, a “pop-up” restaurant in Coral Gables.  Despite its popularity in other major cities, the pop-up restaurant is a relatively new concept to Miami.  Essentially, a pop-up restaurant is a temporary restaurant that “pops up” in an already existing restaurant space.  It’s a great way for young chefs to gain exposure and experiment without the financial risk of opening a restaurant.

At Eating House, local Miami chef Giorgio Rapicavoli (who you might recognize as the winner of “Chopped” on the Food Network) has taken over dinnertime at Cafe Ponce, a quaint eatery in the Gables that serves only breakfast and lunch.  And by the looks (and taste) of it, it won’t be long before Giorgio sets up shop in a permanent spot of his own.

“Homestead Tomatoes”: Photo via yelp.com

The ever-changing menu consists of about a dozen small plates meant to be shared (although you won’t want to – the food is too good).  I went with a small group and we ordered one of every item on the menu  – and asked for a second (okay, and  third) of dishes like the fried chicken thighs and waffles, korean BBQ brussel sprouts, homestead tomatoes, braised short rib, and the duck breast.

But be sure to save room for dessert: treats like the “breakfast” (two words: coca puffs) and the “dirt cup” (salted Oreo crumbs? GENIUS) are too good to pass up.

“Breakfast”: Photo via http://bvsc.tumblr.com/

Eating House is open from 7pm-1am, Tuesday through Sunday.  Be sure to check it out before it closes up shop late this summer – you’ll be sad you missed it!

Beyond Ordinary

27 Mar

Aside from its soaring luxury condo buildings, everyone knows that Brickell offers an energetic nightlife for 20 and 30 somethings looking for an alternative to the flashy and oftentimes pricey Miami Beach nightlife.  But even the Brickell scene can get a little “same-old” and sometimes you’re just in the mood for something different.  I was recently introduced to Blackbird Ordinary, a new Mad Men-inspired Brickell hotspot, and it was exactly what I was craving. 

And it’s no wonder I immediately felt right at home at Blackbird; the geniuses behind the new spot are the same guys who started Purdy Lounge on Miami Beach (an old favorite), and The Bar in Coral Gables. 

Their concept is clear — it’s about having good, old-fashioned fun.  No fighting behind a velvet rope at the door to get in, and you don’t need to spend a dime to get a table.  Walk right in and find a cozy seat at one of their many booths or hit the dance floor where you can find an ecclectic mix of tunes from 80’s hits to electronic beats.  Grab a board game (Jenga, Candyland, Connect Four, anyone?) or head to the patio out back. 

Co-owner Dan Binkiewicz says: “People forget it’s about having a good time. And I’m here to remind them. All four of my bars are for regular people, because to me everybody’s a VIP. I’ll never have a door guy that picks and chooses people out of line or discriminates. All of my bars will always be affordable for everyone even if we are making delicious handcrafted cocktails.”  

 And the cocktails are delicious indeed.  Try the house-named “Blackbird” for Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka with freshly muddled blackberries, fresh lemon, a touch of simple syrup served over crushed ice.  If you’re a Southern belle, you might like the “Blue Bonnet,” made with Bulleit Bourbon, Georgia peach purée and fresh mint served Kentucky julep style in a tin cup.  Looking to add a little protein to your diet?  Try the “Red Footed Booby”: a frothed egg white tops off fresh muddled strawberries with agave nectar, lime juice, Cocchi Americano, and Don Julio Tequila Reposado. 

Should your drink need a little extra mint?  No problem.  Each table is complete with a growing mint plant.  No need to bother your waitress or get up from your Jenga match to walk to the bar.

Blackbird Ordinary has definitely found a fan in me.  I highly recommend you checking it out when you’re in the mood for something a little out of the ordinary. 

729 SW First Avenue, Miami, Florida 33130.

Bottoms up!

DH

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