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Meat Market

Meat Market

Oh my! There is so much I want to say about Meat Market that I don’t even want to know where to begin. I have had the privilege of eating not only at the Palm Beach location, but the Miami one as well. The ambience is one of a kind. It is upscale and chic without having that feeling of stuffiness that no one can stand. The service matches and surpasses the great ambience. The wait staff is informative and attentive. You can expect that your glass will never be empty and only the finest of steaks will be served on your plate. Speaking of the food, OH MY GOSH!!! The food is so very good. They offer your traditional steakhouse staples with a new modern twist. Everything I have tried is amazing, but below you will find my top favorites!

Appetizer: Whole Roasted Cauliflower with lemon, EVOO, Parmesan , and cauliflower cream

Entree: Sea bass with truffle mash, wild mushrooms, sweet corn, tomato concise, truffle name, and soy beans

Side 1: Homemade Mac and cheese with lobster tail

Side 2: Crispy Brussel sprouts with almonds and bacon

Dessert: Adult milk and cookies- chocolate chip, double chunk, and oatmeal. Served with an aged rum, creme de cacao and almond milk whip

 

 

 

 

Interview with Executive Chef of S3, Chris Miracolo

Interview with Executive Chef of S3, Chris Miracolo

I had the privilege of sitting down with Chef Chris Miracolo this morning. He is the executive chef of S3 in the Hilton Hotel. I have become a huge fan of the restaurant, and their style of cooking. He gave me some insight into his life as a chef to share with you all. Below you will the transcription of our conversation. Enjoy!

“Hi my name is Chris Miracolo, I am the executive chef of S3 here in the Hilton hotel.”

 

How long have you been a chef?

 

“I have been cooking professionally since I was 18. So it would be 24 or 25 years now.”

 

Are you from Miami?

 

“ I am originally from long island, but I have lived in Miami since I was 15.”

                          

When did you decide you want to be a chef?

 

“It would have to be about the time I went to Normans down in Coral Gables for dinner back in the day. I had been cooking as a pizza man for some time and never really got smitten by food until I walked in there and couldn’t even pronounce half the items on the menu.”

 

Did you go to culinary school?

 

“No, I actually ended up forgoing culinary school. By the time I had decided it was an option, I had already worked under a few good chefs. I actually went and toured a couple of campus. However, I felt the best way for me to get the experience was to keep working under good chefs and get direct hands on experience.”

 

How would you describe S3 as a whole?

 

“We are very eclectic. At any given time, our menu will touch on 15 different nations and 4 to 5 different continents. We have a sushi program, and we have a very heavily internationally influenced staff. A lot of people bring a lot of different views to the table. Our scene resembles that of a pacific resort. Being in South Florida, we are a melting pot of different cultures so we like to represent that as well.”

 

What is your favorite type of cuisine to cook?

 

“Not one per say, I like different aspects of different cultures. I like the peasant dishes of these cultures. For example, mofungo from Puerto Rico, vishwada from brazil, and bouillabase. All of the things people were forced to make tremendous flavors out of the off cuts.”

 

Have you traveled to one area that you have been overwhelmed by the cuisine there?

 

“I actually enjoyed believe it or not, San Francisco. I speak the language there. I haven’t been able to travel much to France or Italy since I have become a chef. I only experienced it before I appreciated food. Now that I have a son, my wife and I want to be able to expose him to these places. My recommendations for San Francisco are : the Main Stage, Berkley, The Slanted Door, and of course I like mom and pop shops. I have friends out there that are sure to take me to all of the good local secrets.”

 

One thing on the menu at S3 that you have to order?

 

“Believe it or not, the edamame. It is 5 ingredients, and it is the thing I get the most feedback from. Edamame is usually very simple wherever you go. We put a little garlic, salt,  soy, seasoning, and then just the right amount of char inside the wok and it really seems to make the difference and stay in peoples mind.”

 

Any advice to people who want to be chefs?

 

“Read, I mean really read. Admit that you will never know everything. Be humble in your approach to new experiences. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from it.”

Donut Fest is Coming!

Donut Fest is Coming!

Alright time to get excited! Donut Fest is coming to Miami. All your favorite Soflo donut spots and craft beers will be in place! It is taking place March 30th at 7pm at MAPS backlot. The list of vendors has been announced. Drumroll please… circus eats, crave clean, dunkin donuts, helen & Meyers, Jupiter donuts, Krispy Kreme, mojo donuts, one donut shop, and yonutz are taking center stage. Tickets are $35 and come with unlimited donuts and two free beer tickets! You can purchase them here –  http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1400087-2017-donuts-miami/

Best Places To Eat In Doral

Best Places To Eat In Doral

I find that Doral is a very underrated section of Miami. I never ventured out there until about 2 months ago. Now, I continuously find myself wanting to dine there. Below you will find my favorite restaurants in Miami’s hidden gem:

Best Restaurant for Celebrations: Bocas House 

Bocas House has become wildly popular due to their extreme milkshakes. Why they do tend to be quite sweet, they make a fantastic centerpiece for photos! Personally, I am all about their dinner! I am not a huge octopus fan, but the grilled octopus appetizer has to be my absolute favorite item on the menu! Plus, you can never go wrong with the tomahawk and truffle fries!

http://bocashouse.com

Best Restaurant for Sushi: Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market

Dragonfly is located in the cutest strip mall not too far off of the Turnpike, that you would never guess is there! However, if you are lucky enough to stumble upon this place, you will not be disappointed. All of the fish is so fresh and flavorful. They have signature rolls and lots of shareable asian inspired plates. I mean who doesn’t like anything that has to do with the concepts of tapas?

http://www.dragonflyrestaurants.com

Best Restaurant for Grab & Go: Giardino Gourmet Salads 

Although Giardino is a chain, I am definitely not ruling it out! I am a huge huge huge salad fan. Like I eat at least one salad everyday… this one was up to par for sure. Plus it has a BYO option, which is great for people like me, who make every menu item into a BYO. Most importantly, all of the ingredients are so fresh as if just picked out of the garden.

http://www.giardinosalads.com

Best Restaurant for Instagram Content: Pisco Y Nazca

So as content creator, I had to make this a category… sorry not sorry. I mean just look at this dessert, the videos of it have gone viral for good reason. The perfect chocolate dome melting is the truest from of food porn anybody can find!

http://www.piscoynazca.com

What it’s Really Like To Eat With a Food Blogger

What it’s Really Like To Eat With a Food Blogger

Let’s start by saying that as a food blogger I often get invited to media tastings and different food events. The question I typically follow up with is, “can I get a plus one?” After I get the o-k, I reach out to a friend to see if they want to join. The answer is almost always “of course, why wouldn’t I want free food?” Let me say, THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE GETTING THEMSELVES INTO. Dining with me for fun and as a food blogger are totally different experiences. Let’s take a walk through what its really like to eat with someone infatuated with food.

Ordering:

Right here my friends are already starting to hate me because I pretty much tell them what they are going to be eating. Actually, I tell them exactly what they are ordering for every single course. We all know that the plates have to be different. This way, I get the most shots with different colors, angles, and perspectives. Plus, there has to be cheese on the plate because… #cheesepull.

Waiting: 

As we wait for the food, I politely ignore my friend as managers frequent the table making sure you give them a good review by the end of the meal. After I just gave my menu to the waiter, I ask to see the menu again. This is because I have the memory of a gold fish and forgot what was in the items I ordered and have to take a photo of the menu for my review later. Finally everything starts to relax and I can enjoy a nice peaceful meal with my friend. Nevermind, here comes the food…

Feast Time:

Glorious sighting… here comes the food. Out comes the: iPhone, Canon, Tripod, 2 different lenses, and selfie stick, just for good measure. My friend now looks over and comes to the realization no way is the food going to be hot by the time they get it. I pretty much take photos of every angle imaginable. The background is super important. This is when other patrons awkwardly watch me as I parade around the restaurant with a plate in my hand looking for the best lighting and prettiest wall. I finally found it, now I must destroy the food ( #doitfortheinsta ). If there is cheese, I must pull it; if there is cookies, I must separate it; and if there is steak, I must cut it (in slo-mo of course). Now that the food is: cold, chopped, pulled, and broken… it’s time to eat!

More Waiting: 

Now that the food is gone and we are in a food coma, it’s time to relax right? No! The work has only begun. Now, I must once again ignore my friend to edit a photo, post it to all the social media channels as possible, create the perfect hashtags, and then schedule the rest of my posts. This is now complete, and the manager or owner once again walks over. Now we engage in a 30 minute conversation about how great the food was. Finally we wrap up and head out of the restaurant.

The Drive Home: 

I take this time to apologize to my friend for how long it took, and how I ignored them, and used every single thing they ordered (well, I ordered for them) for photos. I expect them to be upset and never want to join me in my work ventures ever again. Yet, unexpectedly they don’t care at all. Why? Free food that’s why! Welcome to the life of a food blogger!

Making the Perfect Charcuterie Board

Making the Perfect Charcuterie Board

As everyone knows charcuterie boards are a gift from God. I mean who doesn’t love cheese? Now just add a bunch of side items, and you have made the perfect party dish! Well… not so much. Making the perfect charcuterie board can be tricky sometimes. Below you will find all of the steps to making the showing stopping dish you have been waiting for!

Step 1: The Cheese

I have found that depending on the size of the party you are catering to, around 4 cheeses is perfect! Always choose 1 soft cheese, 1 hard cheese, a staple, and a unique item. For example, if I were creating the board, I would include a French brie, truffle cheese, Vermont cheddar, and maybe a gruyere.

Step 2: The Meat

So this is really customizable to your tastes! I say the more the merrier! When you have a bigger group, it is always good to have more choices! I am a huge truffle fan, and Whole Foods carries a black peppercorn truffle hard salami.. so this is automatically one of my picks! Other ideas include: mini meatballs, prosciutto, pate, or any thinly sliced high-quality deli meat.

Step 3: The Carbs

We all know that you can’t forget about the carbs! Go for a trio! Traditional cubed French bread is always a winner. Then don’t be afraid to switch it up with a seeded bread or a nice pumpernickel. Also, give a variety of textures with a good cracker to really support those hard cheeses!

Step 4: The Spreads

Again, the great thing about a charcuterie board is that you can make anything you want! So, the spreads are the same way. I think having a sweet and a salty spread allows flavor contrast. For the sweet, I would choose a fig jam. The figs will pair really nicely with prosciutto, cheddar, and gruyere. For the salty, I always reach for the pesto! Pesto has such great flavor notes that honestly compliments anything! If these aren’t pulling your fancy, feel free to try mustards, oils, and olive tapenade.

 

My last piece of advice is to just have fun with it! Charcuterie boards are great party trays, because people are bound to like something on there! So go wild!

 

The Soflofoodfinds Sundae

The Soflofoodfinds Sundae

For all of you who don’t know, @soflofoodfinds on Instagram is reaching its first year anniversary on February 27th. In celebration of this, I have teamed up with Cream Parlor in Miami. Cream Parlor is a craft bakery and ice cream shop located on Biscayne Boulevard. All of the ice cream, desserts, drinks, and food are made in house fresh every day! I had the opportunity to make my own menu item to be featured during the month of February. I am a huge health junkie with a sweet tooth! I can eat salads all day long, but I have to sneak in some chocolate here and there. Well… this dessert reflects my chocolate dreams! Let me present to you the Soflofoodfinds Sundae. It all starts with a fudge brownie, then it is topped with heaping scoops of coconut macadamia ice-cream, this is then all covered with chocolate and caramel drizzle. While it all sounds great, the addition of the adorable white pearls makes it even better! You can experience this beautiful creation for yourself! All you have to do is make sure to order the soflofoodfinds special when you visit Cream Parlor during the month of February! Enjoy and spoons up!

Spicy Thai Chicken Recipe

Spicy Thai Chicken Recipe

Spicy Thai Chicken with Cauliflower Fried Rice:

Total time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients for the chicken:

  • 1 lb chicken breast (diced into quarter sized pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the “rice”:

  • 2 cups riced cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 slice turkey bacon (pan-fried and diced)
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

Instructions:

Sautee chicken on medium-high in pan until brown. Combine almond butter, honey, Sriracha, pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic powder, and salt and pepper in with the chicken. Cook on low until it sticks to the chicken. As this is simmering, heat the sesame oil on medium-high in a cast iron pan. Once it reaches heat, add the cauliflower. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the corn, egg whites, and turkey bacon in with the cauliflower. Top with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and whatever seasonings you desire. Turn the heat down to low and cook for another 5 minutes. All that’s left to do is serve and enjoy!

Optional: Use a half-cored pineapple as a bowl to hold your delicious meal!

Personal note: This is a perfect show stopper meal. It takes very little effort for the beautiful masterpiece that it ends up as! All of the flavors come together to make the delicate sweet and spicy blend. Bonus- it is very healthy and low in carbs. Since the rice is subbed out for cauliflower, the whole meal is only around 15 grams of carbohydrates! Plus, the pineapple bowl is the perfect amount of flashy to impress your guests!

Healthy Blondie Recipe

Healthy Blondie Recipe

 

Healthy blondie recipe:

Total time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8×8 pan

  • 1/2 can white beans (drained, rinsed, and pureed)
  • 1 1/4 cups whole grain oats (pureed to a fine grain)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (solid form)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk (may substitute for any milk)
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter (may substitute for any nut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine pureed white beans, coconut oil, honey, vanilla, coconut milk, and almond butter in a large bowl. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients (oats, almond meal, baking powder, chia  seeds). Once everything is evenly mixed, fold in the chocolate chunks. Scoop the batter into a well greased pan. Before placing into the oven make sure to sprinkle the sea salt on top. Bake for around 15 minutes. You want the blondies to be slightly underdone seeing as the heat from the pan will continue to cook them once out of the oven. All thats left to do is slice and enjoy while warm!

 

Note from the baker: These blondies are the perfect option when you don’t want to break the diet, but are craving something slightly sweet. This recipe may not be for those who are used to very sweet, decadent desserts. However, I find they make the perfect on-the-go breakfast option!

Best Coffee Spots in South Florida

Best Coffee Spots in South Florida

Best Coffee- Switchbox

switchbox

Switchbox roasts their beans in house. The majority of the time this can lead to a weird bitter tone in the coffee, well not here! The espresso is so smooth and flavorful. Everyday the shop serves a unique barista inspired creation. Even their mocha is used by melting down cacao into the espresso as it brews!

http://switchboxcoffee.com

Best Vibe- Brew Urban

brew-urban

Brew Urban is located in a recording studio right off of the Ft.Lauderdale train tracks. The walls are lined with books and wood. It is practically hipster central. Every detail is carefully chosen to create a perfect aesthetic. The pastries are beyond amazing! However, I find that their coffee can have a little bit of a bitter taste.

Best Food Choices- Atelier 3

atelier-3

Atelier 3 is the whole package all in one; it is an art gallery and coffee shop! I think what makes them stand out is their food! The chef creates new items all the time. My favorite is definitely the Italian Panini. The coffee is fairly good as well!

Best Specialty Coffees- Mister Block

mister-block

Mister Block is located in the Wynwood Art District. They serve your traditional coffees along with interesting drinks such as nitro cold brew, eggnog coffee, and cold pressed juices! If you are feeling extra fancy… combine the nitro cold brew and eggnog!

http://misterblockcafe.com

Best Selection of Beans- Pasion del Cielo

pasion-coffee

Pasion del Cielo truly is a coffee lovers paradise! They have over 20 countries of origins that you can choose your bean from. If you are feeling adventurous, you can make your own blend and do a shot of espresso from Brazil and Jamaica all in the same drink! If you are hungry, make sure to get the smores brownie!

http://pasiondelcielo.com