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The St. Regis Bal Harbour is most definitely one of Miami’s most glamorous hotels (read: no trendy closet-sized rooms or loud bachelor parties). The hotel’s restaurant, J&G Grill, is a sophisticated dining option with a killer view — peer out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the ocean and brightly lit boardwalk while enjoying ultimate privacy with the one-way glass.
As for the food, relatively new chef de cuisine Dagan Stocks, who took over in November 2014, has maintained the flavor profiles of conceptual founder (and legend) Jean-Georges Vongerichten, while adding his own twist to the classic dishes. His impressive résumé includes a stint as sous chef of The Four Seasons Resort in Vail, Colorado and executive chef of Porters on Merchant Street in Decatur, Illinois, has lent itself to some exciting new programs for the restaurant.
All dishes are presented much like the hotel itself — that is, exquisitely, with perfectly clean details. One must start with the black truffle pizza as the scent of truffles precedes the dish by approximately four seconds, while frisée on top adds the perfect crunch.
If you are a caviar connoisseur, certainly go for the River Beluga, but if you (like me) just love the general saltiness and feeling of it, you can’t go wrong with the crispy egg caviar dish. Presented as a crispy (on the outside) poached egg with caviar on top and a toasted brioche underneath, the combination of flavors and textures made for one of the better appetizers in recent memory. The hamachi sashimi with Shiitake mushrooms and itty-bitty avocado slices was also marvelous.
As for entrees, naturally, there is a large selection of grilled options — pick your protein and pick your sauce. All are done well. If you want something a bit more creative, the steamed Florida wreck fish (a local) with tomato lemongrass broth and sweet corn was light, yet wholly flavorful.
Luckily, August and September are Miami Spice months, and J&G is a great option for savings. They’re offering a comprehensive three-course menu while sticking to the $39 dinner per person price. Additionally, the hotel is offering a fun sunset champagne hour every day from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Don’t forget — location, location, location. The signature champagne sabering ritual is a site to see, and pairs well with the sushi assortment (Champagne from $16 to $59; sushi assortment from $45 to $58).
Hotel Review: The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
A Deluxe Room at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort. All images courtesy St. Regis.
The Vibe: At the heart of the beautifully manicured village of Bal Harbour is the iconic Bal Harbour Shops — and directly across the street lies The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort. Its prime location to both the shops and on the beach, draw in fashion-forward travellers in search of exceptional service and amenities, who would prefer to avoid the party scene of South Beach. Drawing in a crowd that doesn’t bat an eye at price tags, the lavish setting attracts everyone from young families to honeymooning couples. With an expansive layout, and beachside setting, it’s easy to find your own slice of paradise.
The Facts: Since opening its doors in 2012, this $1 billion property has received numerous awards and accolades, mostly recently the Forbes five-star and AAA five-diamond awards for 2015. With rumoured celebrity guests and a highly coveted address across from the luxurious Bal Harbour Shops, this 227-room exclusive resort is made for those with a refined palette and appetite for style.
Featuring extremely elegant accommodations, the guest rooms are spacious by any hotel standards and all offer glass-enclosed balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic ocean views (no Instagram filter needed). Decor-wise the rooms have a soft, pleasing palette, and feature gorgeous marble bathrooms and an extremely spacious walk-in closet, meaning you don’t have to edit your travel wardrobe. Not to mention the intelligent in-room technology — which let’s you control the lights, temperature and even call for your butler.
The stunning views at the J&G Grill.
The resort also boasts A-list amenities to help elevate your stay. Dining-wise the J&G Grill is a must, a creation of world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, that not only features stunning ocean views, but creative and delectable cuisine.
Activity-wise, the best way to keep your body in bikini shape is to either head over to the St. Regis Athletic Club, where you can join in on a yoga or cardio boxing class (many classes are held on the beach), or take advantage of the extensive top-of-the-line equipment. Better yet, get one of their celebrity trainers to help you blast calories in a personal training session.
Lounging pool-side or on the beach is probably the most important activity you’ll want to participate in. Rent a private cabana for the ultimate experience or escape with a book beside one of the two tranquility pools (one of which is adults only). There are also fun complimentary poolside offerings throughout the day like smoothie tastings, sunscreen spritzing and foot reflexology samplers.
Another resort highlight is the 14,000 square foot Remède Spa. A tranquil escape from the action on the resort, you’ll find 11 treatment rooms, Finnish saunas, and aromatic steam rooms, plus there are also private spa cabanas allowing you to enjoy the ocean breezes and sunshine.
The Experience: Breezing past the Bentleys, Mercedes and Ferraris parked outside, everything about The St. Regis Bal Harbour isn’t like your typical hotel. Before reaching the check-in area, you’re first stunned by the gallery-like lobby that leads into the sparkling Grand Hall of mirrors. Feeling more like an incognito celebrity as the staff kept in-the-know with their discreet earpieces, first was the champagne check-in, before being whisked up to the stunning Ocean View Room.
For what is considered one of their smaller rooms, by any other standards this room was extremely spacious. A large marble washroom with a huge walk-in shower and deep soaking tub, plenty of mirrors for wardrobe checks, a massive walk-in closet and an oversized glass balcony with two loungers overlooking the turquoise ocean — perfection. Another detail I appreciated was the in-room technology seamlessly integrated into the room. Everything from opening the curtains to adjusting the temperature was easily controlled by a bedside control station.
After settling in, I had some time to kill before my spa appointment, so I headed down to the pool. Plucking a sunny seat at the Fresco Beach Bar & Grill, I was delighted to see plenty of healthy options on the menu. I started with a refreshing non-alcoholic cocktail (remember I’m heading to the spa soon!) called Beach Break and opted for the Quinoa Garden Salad with chicken. The server was delightful and the poolside setting was a fun people-watching location.
After some lounging at the adults-only Tranquility pool it was already time to hit the spa. The Remède Spa is a destination onto itself and it worth coming early to take advantage of the amenities inside. You’re instantly transported to a world of relaxation the moment you pass through the doors to the reception. Greeted by a lovely staff member, I was presented a refreshing towel and sip of fresh juice before being escorted inside. The women’s change room has every extra you could want (from razors to hair products) and if you don’t see it? They have a sign that says to just ask. Wrapping myself into an ultra-plush robe, I headed to the relaxation room. A spread of teas, fruit-infused water, nuts and dried fruit, and Jacques Torres truffles were all at my disposal, but I kept it light with a tea. Grabbing a cozy cashmere throw and magazine, it wasn’t long before I was greeted by my massage therapist. Booked in for their signature Customized Massage ($229 for 60 minutes), I left feeling completely relaxed and my knots gone. I dare say it was the best spa experience I’ve ever had.
Dinner reservations were for 8 p.m. at the J&G Grill, so beforehand I decided to enjoy some live music at the bar with a cocktail. Selecting Blackberry Bubbly, a Champagne cocktail that was infused with Belvedere Vodka, Chandon Brut, elderflower and fresh blackberries — it was oh-so delicious!
Not wanting to be late for my reservation, I headed to the impressive dining room of the J&G Grill just in time to see the sun fully set. Sat in a cozy booth facing the ocean, I was recommended the Tasting Menu complete with Wine Pairings and I happily obliged. As you would expect the best part of opting for the Tasting Menu is it allows you to fully experience the beautiful creations you couldn’t possibly try in one sitting otherwise. Each dish wowed more than the previous, and their sommelier took things to the next level with his exquisite pairings. Even if you aren’t a guest at the hotel it’s completely worth it to make it an occasion and plan a dinner here.
Though the prices are steep, you certainly get what you pay for and more. Every staff member was extremely pleasant and quick to meet every need. The property itself is not only stunning, but has every amenity you could want as a beach-hungry vacationer in search of relaxation and fun. Plus if you are hoping for a little South Beach action, it’s just a short Uber drive away.
Good to Know: There are no in-room coffee machines, so plan to get your java fix at breakfast. Also, if you’re driving there is only valet parking, which will cost you $40/night.
Room to Book: Hard to believe, yes, but view-wise there isn’t a bad room to book thanks to the angled design of the hotel. For longer stays or those with families, consider booking a Suite which includes a kitchenette.
Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill
There is no better way to catch up with a group of friends than over an array of tapas. It allows for constant engagement, as every person is sharing the same mini plates and one has to be aware of the amount of food present at the table, if you want to eat anything, as opposed to what can commonly occur at dinner: putting your head down and devouring your entree.
One of my favorite places to frequent when I am in Miami for this fare is Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill. One of the reasons this place is so unique is that it ties in three types of tapas: robata, hot and raw bar, which unite for a fresh take on tradition and a unique culmination of flavor.
While I would recommend this spot for tapas in a heartbeat, they are also quite a differentiator for cocktails. I indulged in the Strawberry Balsamic. My love for sweet and savory was complemented in this drink, incorporating fresh strawberries, aged balsamic, premium vodka, and fresh lime juice.
Another thing I really like about tapas is that they come to the table as they are ready. Our first dish was the Scallop crudo. It was so fresh, including apple, black truffle, lime, and jalapeño. Scallops have a tendency to be on the sweeter side, so it was nice to have the contrasting flavor of black truffle and jalapeño.
My favorite plate of the night was the Brussel sprouts, cooked with orange and sweet soy.
The beef short ribs were made in aKorean fashion. The meat was very tender and delicious.Finally, we had the octopus with aji panca.
As if we could eat more, we decided dessert was necessary. The best dish on the menu, hands down, is the torrejas with maple caramelized apples.
The thought that goes into the marriages of flavor in the above dishes is truly spectacular. It is always a treat to come in and have this “shared experience” the connections between food and people here are just magical. Next time, share that moment over tapas at Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill. You won’t regret it.
And, as if you need any more reasons to stop by, their Happy Hour selection is just FABULOUS. Check out the deals below:
Monday – Friday
4pm – 7pm
*happy hour menu available at the bar only
SNACKS / 3
marinated olives orange, thyme
edamame fresh soy beans, salt
shishito peppers lemon, sea salt
TAPAS / 5
american wagyu sliders tonkatsu, quail egg
brussels sprouts orange, sweet soy
half 12 / dozen 24
east & west coast oysters
SUSHI ROLLS / 6
ROBATA / 7
octopus aji panca
chicken tokyo scallion, yakitori sauce
When travelling, I take full advantage of being on vacation mode. This means where I stay is as important as where I go. Splurging on accommodations is something to consider when you're travelling to south Florida–especially in Miami–because there are so many fabulous hotels that will make you feel like you're a million miles from home.
Just a short drive from downtown Miami you'll find the exclusive and luxurious village of Bal Harbour, home to the iconic St. Regis hotel—recently named the best hotel in south Florida. There are not many St. Regis hotels in the world (50, to be exact) yet each one offers the same incredible service in a luxurious setting where you can truly unwind and feel a bit like royalty. You'll even receive a glass of champagne upon check-in.
The St. Regis Bal Harbour, recently awarded the coveted Forbes Five-star and AAA Five Diamond award, is an oceanfront haven of elegance, and the place to go for people with impeccable taste for the good life–good food, service, views, and accommodations. Where else can can you find a hotel that has world-class dining, 24-hour butler service, an incredible full-service spa, and two infinity pools overlooking the Atlantic ocean? Even the elevators are luxurious here: instead of pressing a button, simply swipe your key on the computer screen by the elevators and you're told which one to get into.
Although this hotel attracts an affluent crowd from around the world, anyone can stay here. It is the perfect hotel for couples looking for a very romantic getaway, and it's equally perfect for families travelling with children.
Here is why your visit to south Florida should include a stay at St. Regis Bal Harbour:
The hotel has two gorgeous infinity pools overlooking the Atlantic ocean one for families and children, near the beach, and a tranquility pool for adults only–perfect after you've dropped your children off at the St. Regis Children's Club. The service by the pool is amazing. I was offered ice water and sunscreen as soon as I sat down.
You can rent a cabana or an oceanfront day villa, which comes complete with a daybed, bathroom with shower, marble floors, television, a wet bar, fridge, air conditioning, and private loungers and dining table, all with ocean views.
The 14, 000 square-foot Remede Spa is stunning (t's so easy to fall in love with the Yabu Pushelberg-designed interior) but the service is what's best.
I recommend indulging in a luxurious one-hour massage. It was one of the best I've ever had and just what I needed to recharge my batteries. You can also enjoy services in the couples treatment room, refresh yourself in the luxury soaking tub for two, and cool off with a private rain shower. There are 11 treatment rooms, a Vichy shower room, saunas, and steam rooms. If you're feeling up to it, check out the St. Regis Athletic Club. (The only exercise I do on vacation is swimming in the ocean and pools).
The large oceanfront guest rooms are breathtaking the entrance, hallway and bathrooms are all marble, and the huge walk-in closet with floor-to-ceiling mirrors will make you want to move in.
My favourite part of these luxurious rooms is the large balcony with ocean views. The couches on the balcony are so comfortable you'll want to fall asleep under the stars, with nothing but the sound of the ocean lulling you to sleep. Pure paradise. Again, it's the service that really stands out no matter you need, you will receive, whether you forgot a toothbrush or need a crib for your baby.
Make sure to spend a few hours in the St. Regis wine vault, enjoying drinks after sunset. It's best to do this after you've enjoyed dinner, though Atlantikos is the newest restaurant at St. Regis Bal Harbour, and once you step inside you'll instantly feel like you're in Greece, specifically on the island of Santorini. This authentic Greek dining experience with fresh seafood from the Atlantic Ocean and Aegean Sea will take you a delicious culinary journey, thanks to Chef Anastasios Chasekioglou. You can also enjoy the breakfast buffet at Altantikos featuring waffles, crepes, eggs, bacon, yogurt, fresh fruit, baked goods, and much more. We dined outside by the pool area, soaking up the warm Florida sun.
For something more casual but equally delicious, try BH Burger Bar, where you can customize your own burger, gourmet hot dog, or wings. (The Truffle Parmesan Tater Tots are an amazing side dish!).
For desert or an afternoon tea, check out La Gourmandise, an authentic French cuisine experience with delicious pastries you won't regret eating. La Gourmandise offers the largest tea selection in Miami, too.
With so much to explore in the St. Regis Bal Harbour, you'll never want to leave, but make sure you step outside and cross the street to experience the world-famous open-air Bal Harbour Shops.
This luxury shopping mall is like no other, with every store you can image: Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Cartier, Rolex, Valentino, Fendi. you get the idea.
Shopping and people watching is not all you can do here, though you can dine at Carpaccio's, (one of my favourite Italian restaurants) and maybe bump elbows with a celebrity or professional athlete, or try The Grill overlooking the parking lot of Lamborghini's and Ferrari's. Le Zoo will whisk you away to Paris with their tasty menu and great service. We celebrated my son's 12th birthday here. For lunch, head to Makoto, a fine Japanese restaurant and one of the country's highest-grossing eateries. Whether you're ordering the sake or edamame, you won't be disappointed.
Once you're finished shopping and dining, check out Unscripted, Bal Harbour Village's art program. They partnered with renowned Miami literature organization O, Miami, on an exhibition called "Post Haste", comprised of four linked poems along Bal Harbour's beach-walk. The exhibit is on view until October 31, 2017.
Thank you, Bal Harbour, and St. Regis, for once again exceeding my expectations. The memories made here will last a lifetime, and I can't wait to come back to experience it all over again.
Disclaimer: In exchange for my review, I received a complimentary two-night stay at St. Regis Bal Harbour, including dining, spa treatments, and more. All views and opinions are my own.
Just Grand at J&G Grill
Ever since I had the opportunity to experience the brilliance of Jean Georges in my first encounter with his work at ABC Kitchen in NYC, I was hooked. Having been to some of his concepts in Shanghai this past October, I perused his website to see where there were other locations, as I could not get enough. Realizing that there was one in Florida, I KNEW my family and I had to venture there. J&G Grill takes the impeccable tastes of Jean Georges Vongeriten and presents it through the talented work off on-site chef Bradley Kilgore.
I took the opportunity to begin the New Year with the right foot and I made a reservation and told my parents they didn’t have a choice but to take me. After reading through the post and viewing what we experienced this night, I think you could tell they were quite pleased with my decision.
J&G Grill is located in the St. Regis Bal Harbour. Once you hit Bal Harbour, you can tell it embodies two words: chic sophistication.
Walking into the St. Regis was just incredible. The decadent mirror halls really blew my mind. Arriving into J&G, I was impressed with the comfortable, yet elegant ambiance. The floor to ceiling windows were just stunning. From the dining tables to the painting selection, and lighting, no thing in the restaurant was unthought. This sleek design was paired with some fabulous background jazzy, sexy, and chic jazz sounds.
Even before arriving, I was able to connect with Executive pastry chef Antonio Bachour via my friend Estrellita. I seriously love social media. Through a few tweets, he knew I was to come in and set up a night of pure magnificence for my family and I.
At first we weren’t sure if we were getting appetizers however, knowing how much we liked Jean Georges in the past and given that we probably wouldn’t be back in a while, we couldn’t say no. We started off with the Prawns.
Bacon wrapped prawns,
The second you put the took a bite, the fusion of flavors that embodied all things sweet and savory came to life. Antonio then sent us out a signature dish, the Black Truffle Pizza with Fontina Cheese. I do not eat cheese regularly, but made an exception and boy oh boy was I happy. The truffles were so fresh and delectable. I could have eaten the whole thing myself! (But then how would I have had room for the remaining dishes??)
Then there was the main dish…
Local Red Snapper
Crusted with Nuts and Seeds
Sweet and Sour Broth
Never have I had such a fabulous fish. At first, the sweet and sour broth made me question how much I wanted the plate, but John, our waiter, insisted it was not what one would imagine for “sweet and sour”. I’m so happy I took his advice.
And then there were the BRUSSEL SPROUTS. HOLY BEJESUS, these bad boys were to die for. Want to experience them yourself? Make your own homemade version with this Jean George recipe.
Everything about the night during the main course was fantastic. We could only expect the same for dessert, but boy were we blown off our feet. The desserts were really top notch. While we had had a lot of food, there was no way to stop now! I was so excited to try the desserts by Antonio Bachour, who was named of of 2011 “Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America”. Antonio’s Assistant Pastry Chef, Guillermo Perez, came up and explained each of the beautiful pastries we received in the night:
Coconut rice pudding, mango curd, tropical fruit, and vanilla whipped panna cotta.
Key lime tart, passion fruit foam, organic tropical flowers, and passion fruit sorbet.
Creme Brûlée with Apple Cider foam, Poached Apples and Apple gel with Cinnamon icecream.
My favorite new dessert: Chocolate caramel cremux with olive oil jelly, sea salt and toasted bread.
The best way to end a night: macaroons and bon bons.
Go big or go home here, my friends. We went BIG.
Review: Loved every minute of this meal. I would say it was the best one I had in 2013, leaving quite the high bar for 2014.
9703 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour
Do yourself a solid for 2014 and book a night now. When you go, ask for John he was a real pro of a waiter.
Boynton Beach Vacation Rentals
If your vacation plans include a visit to the “Gold Coast“ and specifically the city of Boynton Beach in Florida look no further than Owner Direct Vacation Rental accommodations including villa rentals or a condo rental for all your lodging needs. If you have not visited the cities along Florida’s south eastern coast in the last few years, you’ll be amazed at how much it has changed. Miles of sprawling grasslands and empty lots have been replaced by luxurious resorts with many villas to rent and high rise condo rentals.
Boynton Beach was first developed in 1894 by Nathan S. Boynton and his colonist friends from the Port Huron, Michigan area. They built the famous “Boynton Beach Hotel “ for Mr Boynton’s family to use as a summer residence but quickly realized this was an ideal place to live year round. Development has steadily continued since this time and fortunately for visitors not only are there many vacation rental accommodations including villa rentals available but there is also an abundance of activities to partake in for all travellers.
br/> From your villa rental accommodation be sure to visit the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Fantastic for birders, gator viewers or just a nice walk along the series of paths along the canals and fields. The Loxahatchee Refuge is home to the American alligator and the critically endangered Evergreen snail kite.
The Green Cay Nature Center and Wetland is the county’s newest nature center that overlooks 100 acres of constructed wetland and provides educational opportunities about this unique habitat. Vacation rentals include accommodation of a variety of vacation rental options are close to this facility as well as the Mangrove Nature Park . This park features a boardwalk over a natural Mangrove preserve. Learn about the native trees and animals, and view the enormous spider webs woven wherever you look.
These activities as well as taking advantage of the sandy beaches on the Atlantic Ocean or intercostals’ waterway, deep sea fishing, using wave runners, shopping and dining , the options are endless from your vacation rentals including villa rentals in the Boynton Beach area.
Best Of :: Food & Drink
As gastronomy has become cultural currency, France's lauded cuisine has been forced to share the stage with the other great cultures of the world. La Petite Maison, a French concept in the stable of restaurateur and Zuma founder Arjun Waney, shows why we shouldn't forget the primacy of les Français. The bayside spot exudes the vibe of an art gallery in Le Marais, a seaside beach shack near Nice, and a grand extravagant dining room in Paris. Here, you'll find fresh and light French-Mediterranean and Niçoise-inspired cuisine. The carpaccio de coquilles St. Jacques ($25) features raw scallops expertly sliced into impossibly thin coins with a scattering of toasted almonds and dried cranberry flecks that add delicate licks of salt and sweetness to each bite. A thick, bone-in section of turbot ($44.50) is prepared with artichoke, chorizo, white wine, and fragrant olive oil. The combination of chorizo and the fish's soft, buttery flesh makes you forget &mdash at least for a moment &mdash the staggering price. No regrets.
Finding a quality bagel in Miami is tough. So 25-year-old entrepreneur Matteson Koche found a way to do it himself. He's the creator of El Bagel, a roving food truck stocked with hand-rolled New York-style dough. Each bagel is proofed overnight, boiled, and then baked, yielding a dark and crisp shell with a heavy sprinkling of poppy and sesame seeds. The center is remarkably soft. The whole thing tastes even better when loaded with a heap of cream cheese, a yolky egg, and a slice of American cheese. Some weekends, the truck pops up at local spots such as Boxelder on NW Second Avenue in Wynwood to sling bagels with schmear for $5 apiece.
There are many reasons why you should visit Eating House on a weekend. Created by Chopped champion Giorgio Rapicavoli, the popular Coral Gables restaurant gives brunch a face-lift with the Wake-N-Bacon a munchies-themed menu filled with tater tots drizzled with Coca-Cola ketchup, candied applewood-smoked bacon with brown sugar and sea salt, and pumpkin-spice granola. But the star dish is Rapicavoli's Cap'n Crunch pancakes ($14). Covered in vanilla butter, condensed-milk syrup, and candied cereal, each doughy bite includes a loud crunch and a sweet finish. Wash it down with a guava mimosa, made with prosecco and pink guava juice ($10), or a yuzu cocktail with Florida grapefruit juice and vermouth ($12). Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11:30 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
There's a new baker in town. James Beard Award-winning Jim Lahey, best known for creating New York's Sullivan Street Bakery, has opened a production facility in Little Haiti. Through a partnership with Steven Perricone, owner of the long-standing Perricone's Marketplace & Café, Lahey has brought his no-knead method of mixing dough to a growing list of local restaurants and shops. Among the places serving his crunchy and fluffy baguettes and loaves are 27 Restaurant at the Freehand, Proper Sausages, Laurenzo's Italian Market, MC Kitchen, the Four Seasons, Le Zoo, River Oyster Bar, Joey's, Les Bahn Amis, and Café Roval. In early 2019, Lahey and Perricone will open a bake shop attached to the facility, which will sell a lineup of breads as well as sandwiches, salads, pastries, and pizza.
On the corner of NE 29th Street and Second Avenue in Edgewater, amid shiny new restaurants and selfie-taking tourists, stands the iconic Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop. The low-priced Cuban cafeteria serves authentic eats such as pan con bistec ($7) and medianoches ($7) from morning till night. For something more breakfast-centric, try the desayuno especial: two eggs, bacon or ham, Cuban toast, a cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice, and café con leche for $6.25. For something light and portable, go for the house-made smoothies and shakes. No matter what, don't leave without a sip of café con leche ($2). Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
This cozy neighborhood breakfast and lunch spot is just what Broward locals need. You'll probably miss seeing the friendly, rugged-good-looking chef and co-owner, Keith Freiman, who is happiest flipping his homemade buttermilk pancakes in the back. After years of working as pastry chef in fancy Florida restaurants, Freiman, along with co-owner Emilio Freire, took a chance and opened up shop in unpretentious Dania Beach, where he makes simple and delicious food. Customers are greeted by an eye-catching display of doughnuts in flavors such as blackberry blintz, tres leches, and Nutella mousse ($1.45 to $2.25 each, $10.25 per half-dozen, and $19.25 per dozen). But regulars come for the Dough Boy ($5), a delectable combo of salty and sweet made with a mini cheese egg omelet and bacon, sausage, or ham nestled inside one of Freiman's signature airy, slightly sweet doughnut breads. They're so good you'll want to order two, so why not give your meal a bit of a health boost by adding avocado for an additional 75 cents?
The St. Regis is behind a brunch experience stocked with bottomless pink bubbly, unlimited trips to a buffet, and an unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean ($95 per adult and $45 per child). It's called Rosé Sunday Brunch. The resort's main waterfront dining room looks like the perfect spot for a bridal shower. Various shades of pink, from blush-colored tablecloths to coral-hued booze, dominate the space. Half of the area includes dining stations piled with sweet and savory items such as sea-salt-crusted fish, freshly shucked oysters, and a bakery section offering croissants filled with fruity jams. Then there's a large dessert table anchored by a five-foot-tall macaron display in the shape of the Eiffel Tower. Sparkly cake pops, key lime pie, chocolate mousse, and other sweets orbit the centerpiece of colorful meringue cookies. But what distinguishes the St. Regis' Sunday brunch from other experiences is its lengthy menu of bottomless rosé wines, champagnes, and the hotel's variation on the classic bloody mary and mimosa. For rosé alone, the menu includes nearly ten brands categorized by sparkling or flat. It's all served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
In Miami, brunch comes in many forms. There are reasonably priced experiences, indulgent buffets, and spirited parties with effervescent crowds. Myles Chefetz's Prime Fish in Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood has struck the perfect balance. It has a full-service buffet serving both breakfast and lunch dishes, an entrée selection, and bottomless bubbly, all for $59. Standouts include the Egg Foo Yung, with rock shrimp, Chinese sausage, and shiitake the Green Eggs & Ham, with Serrano ham, wilted spinach, and manchego cheese and a warm popover stuffed with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, scallions, and cream cheese. For an additional price, order from the raw bar, stocked with oysters, lobster, and caviar. Then there's dessert, from chocolate-Oreo squares and cranberry scones to homemade s'mores and chocolate and peanut butter bites. Wash it all down with mimosas, bellinis, prosecco, or house-made bloody marys. Try brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Pembroke Pines' Gold Marquess Fine Chinese Cuisine is behind 1-800-Lucky's dim sum stall, Yip. There, you'll find a selection of dim sum served in small bamboo steamer baskets. Dumplings are made from scratch every morning and filled with ingredients such as shrimp and pork, carrots, mushrooms, and savory soup. There are also steamed buns packed with roast pork or chicken, as well as crunchy spring rolls stuffed with bean noodles. Don't skip dessert: Yip serves crisp steamed buns filled with dulce de leche, and hand-rolled sesame balls loaded with red bean paste. It's best to select a few sweet and savory items to share with the table. Try it from noon to midnight Sunday through Wednesday and noon to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
This bright, airy spot near Sunset Drive in South Miami has everything you could want offered in a way that makes it seem as if it emerged from someone's kitchen. Much of this is due to the spot-on sensibilities of co-owner Brendan Connor, who skillfully imparts culinary touches only a tried-and-true chef would think up into dishes that conjure happy memories of youth. Order a large iced tea and some pimento cheese spread with corn chips ($6.95) and follow them up with filet mignon salad ($17.95), deploying a rich onion confit that marries green beans, mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette, and a goat cheese fritter. That'll set you right for the rest of the day, or you can go for the open-faced chicken BLT ($14.95) and spend your afternoon in a delicious fog.
MRM’s New & Notable: A Glimpse at the Future of Food and a New Era in Hot Cups
Disruptive sustainable food and agriculture entrepreneurs showed the audience what the future of food could look like at FoodBytes! NYC, top photo. SomaDetect, Winnow and Wasteless took home the three top awards for their cutting-edge technologies &ndash aiming to reduce food waste throughout the supply chain and produce better quality milk.
FoodBytes! by Rabobank is a global platform designed to build lasting connections between corporates, investors and the most promising food, food tech and agtech startups.
Judges' Choice Award: SomaDetect
FoodBytes! NYC judges selected the winner based on product innovation, market traction, team and sustainability from the 3.5-minute pitch companies. SomaDetect, a deep learning AI dairy company, was chosen for their fiercely innovative technology that provides real-time, automated analysis of milk quality without any addition of chemicals or consumables. Applauded not only for its technology, but for its farmer-first approach and focus on quality.
Bethany Deshpande, CEO, commented: "So much of our passion comes from wanting to make an impact in the food industry by helping to build a more sustainable tomorrow, and the FoodBytes! community is trying to do just that. Winning this award is exciting for us and for every single dairy farmer who has been supporting us this whole way."
People's Choice Award: Winnow
Voted on by the audience and Facebook Live viewers using the same judging criteria, Winnow won the People's Choice Award. As the developer of technology that allows real-time data monitoring on discarded food in commercial kitchens, Winnow aims to help businesses increase profitability while dramatically reducing food waste.
Highly Commended Award: Wasteless
From the 1.5-minute pitch companies, the judges awarded Wasteless, a dynamic pricing system that allows supermarkets to price and sell products based on expiration dates, the Highly Commended Award. Wasteless aims to prove that an innovative, intelligent and data-driven approach is needed to disrupt the food chain and reduce food waste.
The New York City pitch companies were:
Carapelli Celebrates 125
Carapelli Olive Oil celebrates its 125th Anniversary, from its traditional Tuscan roots as the first oil mill in Florence, to acclaim for its multi-award-wining product collection in 2018.
Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive oil
"This year, we are delighted to celebrate Carapelli Olive Oil's 125th Anniversary. Quality and innovation have always been deeply rooted in our value and mission since Carapelli's humble beginnings in 1893, and our foremost commitment is to deliver the highest quality olive oil to our consumers," said Miguel de Jaime Guijarro – Chief Commercial Officer at Deoleo parent company to Carapelli. Started as a home business in Florence, Italy in 1893 by Cesira and Costantino Carapelli, newlyweds who invested her dowry into a factory and oil mill. The resulting extra virgin Olive Oil became so legendary, that by the 1940s Carapelli became the most modern food company in Italy. Now in 2018, it is the number one premium olive oil brand globally, recognized for setting new trends and innovations for olive oil — including an organic range, and unfiltered products for maximum purity and taste intensity.
125 Years of Craftmanship
Still fashioned in the heart of Tuscany today, the exhaustive Carapelli method of making the best range of Extra Virgin Olive Oils combines age-old knowledge, with contemporary approaches.
The Carapelli Master Blenders analyse and reject 75% of all olive samples, to ensure the selected 25% are of the guaranteed highest quality. This means annually, more than 12,000 Olive Oil samples are tested by Carapelli experts, until they find the 3,000 or fewer they need to make delicious, unique, high-quality blends.
"At Carapelli, making olive oil is not just a process, but a form of art. And to ensure unmatched quality and flavor of the olive oils, it all comes down to olive which are carefully selected at the optimal harvest time by an olive master and treated with the utmost care to ensure the resulting oils have the most incredible flavour profiles, recognised by olive oil tasters the world over," said Miguel De Jaime.
Making it even more complex, exquisite flavours of Carapelli's extra virgin olive oil cannot be derived from one specific olive variety or olives from single region, but from the blend of different olive varietals which are finely selected, ensuring the best combinations to create the exceptional characteristics of Carapelli olive oil.
Deeply rooted in tradition and art to produce high-quality olive oils for its consumers, Carapelli's mission remains the same after 125 years in the making — to ensure the best extra virgin olive oils reach tables around the world.
More than a Century of Innovation
Recipients of eight global Olive oil honours this year alone, including the Paris, London, New York and Japan olive oil awards, the brand credits their century-of-success by constantly evolving to match the needs and convenience of its consumers.
An example is the iconic stripe bottle inspired by its Tuscan origins. The elegant aesthetics shroud a litany of consumer benefits such as the ribbed glass designed for easy grip, hermetic cap ensures better oil conservation as does the dark glass protecting the oil from UV radiation, finished off with an anti-drip spout.
And in response to organic food trends in the United States, who value health and well-being, Carapelli has created their Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil variety which is crafted from 100% organic extra virgin olive oils and imbued with characterful flavours and aromas.
"We are humbled to see how our historic brand Carapelli is recognized and embraced by consumers around the world. This is truly an artisan product that we trust will be delighting fans for another 125 years to come. Quality is eternal, and we remain firmly committed to delivering quality and innovative products to our consumers," said Miguel de Jaime.
Contadina Celebrates Women as it Turns 100
To honor its 100-year-history of being in the kitchen of confident female cooks, Contadina ® &ndash which is Italian for "woman in the field" &ndash is celebrating 100 years of women in the culinary field.
Contadina is supporting Cherry Bombe, the bi-annual indie magazine that champions women and food, for the launch of The Cherry Bombe 100, its inaugural list of 100 women who are making unique and lasting contributions to the food industry. The brand also tapped Hedley & Bennett, the Los Angeles-based makers of aprons, chef wear and accessories used by the country's top chefs and home cooks, to design a limited-edition apron to commemorate this pinnacle moment in time for the brand.
"The Contadina logo features a strong, dedicated woman who has always been a symbol of the care the brand puts into every can of tomatoes," said Marc Fehlberg, brand manager for Contadina. "In celebrating the brand's 100-year anniversary, we wanted to pay tribute to that heritage and I can't think of a better way than by partnering with these two wonderful, female-fueled companies to honor women and their impact in the world of food."
To announce The Cherry Bombe 100 and honor the women on the list, Contadina is hosting a celebratory event with its two partners at Hedley & Bennett's apron-factory-meets-event-space in Los Angeles and gifting the honorees with the limited-edition Contadina anniversary apron created by Hedley & Bennett.
"When Contadina approached us about partnering on their 100 th anniversary program, it felt like the perfect time to launch The Cherry Bombe 100 with their support," said Cherry Bombe editor in chief Kerry Diamond. "We are thrilled that the inaugural list has a partner that understands the importance of showcasing the contributions of women making history in the culinary field today."
A New Era in Hot Cups
GP PRO&rsquos Dixie ® Foodservice spilled the beans on its soon-to-launch Dixie Ultra® Insulair&trade Hot Cup, the only heat-activated disposable beverage cup that uses an internal air pocket rather than an external sleeve to help keep beverages hot and hands cool.
The New Dixie Ultra® Insulair&trade Hot Cup
Introducing the Dixie Ultra® Insulair&trade Hot Cup
&ldquoWe are incredibly proud of the innovation and industry insight that went into designing the Dixie Ultra Insulair Hot Cup, and we are confident that it will quickly become the go-to cup for coffee-on-the-go,&rdquo said Alec Frisch, GP PRO vice president for Foodservice. &ldquoFor operators, the Insulair Hot Cup can help them improve efficiency, reduce costs, and deliver a better, more branded customer experience. And, for consumers, it will completely change how they enjoy their hot beverages on the go, undoubtedly making it the best part of their day!&rdquo
The Insulair Hot Cup is a single-wall paper cup with an interior lining made of a low-density polyethylene film. When a hot liquid is poured into the cup, a thin heat-activated air pocket expands within the cup&rsquos lining, replacing the need for an external sleeve. The air pocket adjusts to the temperature of the beverage, meaning the hotter the liquid, the greater the air pocket. The Insulair Hot Cup is available in 12-, 16-, and 20-ounces, with actual ounces dependent on the heat of the liquid and the size of the air pocket.
By eliminating the need for an external sleeve, the Insulair Hot Cup uses less material than other hot beverage cups. Based on a comparison of a 12-ounce Insulair Hot Cup to an average of top competitor cups, a single-wall paper hot cup and sleeve has 35 percent more material and a multi-wall hot cup has 70 percent more material, making the Insulair Hot Cup a highly sustainable option. In addition, operators will appreciate that the Insulair Hot Cup requires less storage and less labor because there is no external sleeve to store it boasts a one-size-fits-all lid it has a lower stackable height than a polystyrene foam cup or a multi-wall hot cup and it can be customized with visible graphics.
Dixie Foodservice is currently accepting Insulair Hot Cup pre-orders, and consumers can expect to see them in limited- and quick-serve restaurants, coffee houses, convenience stores, and other foodservice establishments in the coming months.
Coravin announced the global availability of Coravin Model Eleven, the company's first connected and fully automatic wine preservation system. Coravin's app, Coravin Moments&trade, is also available for download and enables wine lovers to discover unique pairing experiences for wines with food, music, TV, movies, and more. The app creates memorable wine moments for all types of wine drinkers from the casual wine enthusiast to serious wine collectors. Wine lovers have the freedom to enjoy bottles of wine by the glass with curated moments.
- The new, intuitive Model Eleven is faster, easier and more fun than pulling the cork. Users can pour a sip, a glass, or more, simply by placing the Coravin Model Eleven on top of the bottle and pressing the needle down through the cork.
- The light ring on the Coravin Model Eleven will turn green, indicating it is ready to pour. Then, just tip the bottle with one hand and the wine will automatically start flowing.
- he Model Eleven lets users set the flow rate, so they can easily pour a little to taste, a glass to enjoy, or more to share.
Designed with consumer insights in mind, the new, intuitive Model Eleven is faster, easier and more fun than pulling the cork. Users can pour a sip, a glass, or more, simply by placing the Coravin Model Eleven on top of the bottle and pressing the needle down through the cork. The light ring on the Coravin Model Eleven will turn green, indicating it is ready to pour. Then, just tip the bottle with one hand and the wine will automatically start flowing. The Model Eleven lets users set the flow rate, so they can easily pour a little to taste, a glass to enjoy, or more to share.
Connectivity to the Coravin Moments App
The Model Eleven connects via Bluetooth to the Coravin Moments app to make it easier to maintain and monitor usage and ensure a great glass of wine with each pour. Along with color LED icons on the Coravin Model Eleven, the app indicates the level of argon gas left in the Model Eleven's Coravin Pure&trade Capsule, keeps track of needle usage and the need for replacement, adjusts speed of pour, and monitors battery life. Auto replenishment of Coravin Pure Capsules and replacement Coravin Needles can also be enabled through the app, so wine lovers are always able to pour from and preserve the bottles they love.
In addition to monitoring and controlling the Model Eleven, Coravin Moments includes a photo capture feature and a flavor mapping tool that can be used by all wine lovers, whether they are starting their wine journey or are wine connoisseurs, and whether they own a Coravin or not. With the photo capture feature, users can add and manage wines in their own virtual cellar. The wines are then automatically mapped for easy visualization based on their characteristics – from light to bold, earthy to fruity.
Through a partnership with Delectable, the leading social focused wine app from Vinous, Coravin Moments offers recommendations on unique wine pairings for everything from food to film to music and movies. Beginning later this year, users will be able to create, edit and share their own wine moments in the App.
"We've received a tremendously positive response from both the wine and technology industries since announcing the Coravin Model Eleven earlier this year, and now wine lovers will be able to experience it for themselves," said Frédéric Levy, CEO of Coravin. "The Model Eleven takes what everyone loves about our existing Coravin Systems and amplifies the experience as we continue to drive our mission of changing the way the world drinks wine."
The Coravin Model Eleven launch kit comes with everything you need for a complete Coravin experience, including six Coravin Pure Capsules, enough to pour more than 90 glasses of wine. It also contains a Coravin Aerator, a set of standard size Coravin Screw Caps, a die cast brushed metal display base and a USB charging cord, all in an elegant carry case.
Coravin Model Eleven is available both online and in select stores at Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Sur La Table and Total Wine, as well as at Coravin.com. The Model Eleven launch kit, valued at $1,275.65 is available for an introductory price of $999.95. The Coravin Moments app is free and available for download on Apple iOS mobile devices.
Frozen Food Futures
An affiliate of New Water Capital L.P., a Boca Raton-based private equity firm focused on lower-middle market companies, made a growth capital investment in The Perfect Bite Co., a leading research, development and ideation firm for the frozen food industry.
Founded in 2006, Los Angeles-based The Perfect Bite Co. develops innovative recipes and products for a number of prominent national grocery and club brands, as well as airlines and other hospitality companies. President and CEO Teri Valentine built the company based on the philosophy that food should be handmade from scratch using high-quality ingredients. Products created by The Perfect Bite Co. are offered in over 20,000 U.S. retail locations.
Headquartered in Glendale, California, The Perfect Bite Co. is New Water's second investment in the frozen food manufacturing and ideation space, and its third investment in the value-add specialty food category within the past 18 months. New Water and its affiliates invested in Pegasus Foods, a leading contract manufacturer of frozen appetizers and snacks, in March 2018, and acquired Custom Made Meals, a leading manufacturer of fresh, oven-ready, value-added entrees and appetizers, in April 2017.
New Water Capital partner Jason Neimark said The Perfect Bite Co.'s continued focus on growing its brand, along with its ability to create innovative, high-quality products to help strengthen its blue chip customers' private-label products made it an attractive partnership for New Water.
"The Perfect Bite stands out in an industry that is experiencing significant tailwinds, driven by customer demand for innovative product and greater supply chain flexibility that coincides with a consumer shift towards private-label brands," Neimark said. "We look forward to partnering with The Perfect Bite as the company continues to scale and expands its capabilities to continue to meet demand in this high growth category."
"Our partnership with New Water will provide capital and extensive operational experience in frozen foods R&D and manufacturing for The Perfect Bite Company to continue its growth trajectory," said Teri Valentine. "We look forward to working with them to realize our company's full potential as we expand our team."
Palomares Named F&B Director for St. Regis Atlanta
The St. Regis Atlanta , named Antonio Palomares as the director of food & beverage for the property. A veteran of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, he will oversee all food and beverage operations for the hotel&rsquos 151 guest rooms and suites, dining venues, and banquet and group event space. Palomares and the dedicated food & beverage team will enhance the highly-regarded dining program at The St. Regis Atlanta, which is defined by exceptional service, luxurious hospitality, bespoke beverage programs, and an impeccable culinary experience in each of the hotel&rsquos celebrated dining establishments.
Palomares joins The St. Regis Atlanta with more than a decade of food & beverage leadership experience around the country. After beginning his career as a crew member for Royal Caribbean International &ndash one of his most valuable life experiences, as he visited more than 25 countries during his tenure &ndash he started working at luxury hotels when he joined The St. Regis Aspen team as the food and beverage outlet supervisor. He was promoted to private dining manager on the opening team for The St. Regis Deer Valley after a year and a half, and during this time, he acted as one of the opening task force leaders for The St. Regis Bahia Beach for three months. Upon his return, he became manager of the hotel&rsquos J&G Grill. During the past 10 years, he also had roles as assistant general manager of J&G Grill for the opening team for The St. Regis Bal Harbour general manager of Kauai Grill Restaurant in Hawaii and director of outlets for the opening team at Pier A Harbor House in New York. Most recently, Palomares was given the opportunity to become the general manager of Los Fuegos and Living Room at Faena Hotel Miami Beach for a year before he was promoted to the food and beverage outlets director in 2016.
While working at the Miami Beach property, the hotel achieved the AAA Five Diamond Award and the coveted Forbes Five Star award within the first year of opening. Palomares also has Master Court of Sommeliers Level I and Level II certificates. He received a bachelor&rsquos degree in Study of Tourism Management from University Anahuac Del Sur in Mexico City.
&ldquoAntonio&rsquos experience working at several St. Regis properties and luxury hotels around the country will amplify our food and beverage operations, as we aim to provide an unparalleled culinary experience for our guests,&rdquo said General Manager Guntram Merl.
Jones Named Executive Chef at Blue Mermaid
Argonaut Hotel appointed Gary Jones as executive chef of the property and its signature dining destination, Blue Mermaid Restaurant . Jones boasts more than 14 years of experience in various leading roles in the restaurant industry, as well as a passion for the culinary industry.
&ldquoGary is the ideal individual to continue the enhancement of Blue Mermaid Restaurant&rsquos offerings with his strong connections to the culinary world and San Francisco,&rdquo said Stefan Muhle, area managing director of Argonaut Hotel. &ldquoWe&rsquore looking forward to introducing locals and visitors to his exceptional dishes and unique cooking style.&rdquo
Growing up in Northern California, Jones worked and thrived in the restaurant industry since a young age and has held numerous management positions after obtaining a sous chef role at 18. Before joining Argonaut Hotel, Jones served as west coast regional chef for Special Restaurants Corporation in Los Angeles, where he oversaw all aspects of kitchen operations for multiple venues, including budget forecasting, menu design and preparation, staff training, and catering large parties. Jones was previously the executive chef at Castaways in Burbank, California for five years, managing the hilltop restaurant&rsquos staff and menu items.
In San Francisco, Jones gained experience cooking international cuisine as an executive chef at Chez Papa Bistrot for two years, perfecting traditional French dishes like cassoulet, pâté, and charcuterie. Prior to moving to the Bay Area, Jones was the executive chef and owner of Blue Flame in Chico, California for three years. He also served as executive sous chef at Delmonico Steakhouse in Las Vegas.
Blue Mermaid Restaurant, which re-opened in July 2017 after extensive renovations, offers a casual, family-friendly atmosphere coupled with delicious seafood. Popular among locals and travelers alike, the restaurant&rsquos seasonal, locally-inspired menu features San Francisco favorites, such as the award-winning Dungeness Crab & Corn Chowder , classic Cioppino, and Dungeness Crab Boil, complemented by crowd-favorites like the Blue Mermaid Burger. Blue Mermaid Restaurant also features a full-service bar offering creative cocktails with a local twist, including the Bloody Mermaid, Painted Lady, and Steph Saffron.
Shortly after its renovations, Blue Mermaid Restaurant was recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as San Francisco&rsquos #3 favorite restaurant and the #1 value-for-money restaurant. The restaurant also received a Diners&rsquo Choice Award from Open Table in 2018. Jones&rsquo appointment comes on the heels of Irfan Mohamed&rsquos appointment to director of food & beverage outlets for the property, exemplifying Argonaut Hotel&rsquos dedication to elevating its food and beverage team.
Globe Adds to Gas Lines
Globe Food Equipment Company continues to expand their gas offering with the addition of three step-up models to their gas hot plate line. The two-tiered units are designed for large operations, such as high-volume restaurants, to increase production and versatility. With the ability to hold and warm various items and the step-ups&rsquo modularity, cookline space is maximized.
Featuring an extended cool-to-touch front edge, heavy-duty cast iron burner grates and 30,000 BTU cast iron burners with adjustable front-access pilots. As with Globe&rsquos current hot plate line, the step-up models feature 2, 4, and 6-burner units. All models ship set for natural gas with a liquid propane gas conversion kit and regulator included at no extra charge.
Kevin Woods, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, notes, &ldquoGlobe is committed to product development to meet customer needs and preferences.&rdquo
JMH's Culinary Design Center Debuts
JMH Premium opens the doors of its new Culinary Design Center, welcoming customers for on the bench development of custom flavor solutions.
JMH Premium Culinary R&D Team
JMH Premium got its start over 30 years ago as a standard soup and sauce base manufacturer. The company has grown into one of the premier custom flavor development and manufacturing companies in the USA. JMH Premium creates products for industrial, institutional and food service organizations, with customers enjoying its premium flavors around the world.
The new innovation and development kitchen features a 2,200 square foot development kitchen and pilot plant which will enable JMH Premium's world-class Research & Development team to serve its customers in an even more substantial way. The new Culinary Design Studio (referred to by the JMH Premium team as the "CDS") includes enhanced work stations, high-powered, restaurant-grade cooktops, griddle and wok stations, large capacity swept surface kettles, and increased dry and wet blending capabilities. These major upgrades allow its team of Food Scientists and Chefs to take customer ideas from concept to benchtop to application to scale up, all in one space substantially reducing the time required for commercialization. With the capabilities of the new innovation center, JMH Premium will help its customers get to a much quicker yes or no decision in their product development process. The Company can now can reduce customer development time from months to weeks or even days.
JMH Premium has an impressive reputation with its customers of being able to meet stringent regulatory requirements, with the highest quality ingredients, utilizing state-of-the-art manufacturing practices, all within industry leading timelines. "This incredible new development center will enhance our ability to solve problems for our customers," said Nicole DeBloois, Director of R&D. "With our expanded work space, newly updated equipment and our incredibly talented team, we look forward to providing a better experience for our customers. They will thoroughly enjoy coming to Salt Lake Cityand working on the bench with us."
"The strength and efficiency of our decomplexification process, which we call speed-scratch, helps our customers get products to market rapidly. We are solving problems like flavor and texture consistency, reducing labor costs, and even improving existing recipes when needed," added Ms.DeBloois.
"We just had an incredible grand opening experience, opening our doors to customers, vendors, family and friends to experience delicious food and win greata prizes," reports Laura Guthrie, Director of Marketing. "Now that our event is finished, we will be hosting virtual tours on our website, and anyone who watches will be entered to win a great ski vacation to Utah. And all of our customers are invited to visit us and take advantage of our new development capabilities."
Ultimate Baker recently launched a range of Kosher-certified naturally colored xylitol baking accessories for the diabetic market. Xylitol is an FDA approved sugar substitute that has a very low glycemic index and does not spike blood sugar or insulin.
Craft blended with all-natural fruit and vegetables, Ultimate Baker xylitol is made from 100 percent plant fiber and is designed specifically for use by diabetics. Xylitol is a natural occurring polyalcohol found in most plants, fruits, vegetables and hardwoods. Xylitol almost perfectly mimics the natural sweetness of sugar, while having 40 percent fewer calories.
In addition, though xylitol is technically classified a carbohydrate, xylitol is a low-carb substance due to its minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that xylitol carries a glycaemia index rating of 7, as opposed to the 60&ndash70 rating carried by normal sugar.
Ultimate Baker offers a growing assortment of natural baking and cake decorating products intended for professionals and home chefs alike. An extended variety of colors, sugars, glitters, luster dusts and flour options ensures that every baking artist will have what they need on hand to perfect both baked and confectionary creations.
"Our goal is to create high quality products that are both visually appealing while free of the harmful synthetics and preservatives which are dominant across the baking industry. Xylitol is a product we're just as proud to serve our families as we would all of our customers," said Sue-Ellen Cutler, VP of New Product Development.
With the CDC estimating that over 100 million people now live with diabetes or prediabetes in the U.S. alone, development of safe, natural cake decorating alternatives is rapidly becoming crucial.
Winning on Reducing Food Waste
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed a joint agency formal agreement under the Winning on Reducing Food Waste initiative. The agreement is aimed at improving coordination and communication across federal agencies attempting to better educate Americans on the impacts and importance of reducing food loss and waste. Signing the joint agency agreement were U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply. This figure, based on estimates from USDA's Economic Research Service of 31 percent food loss at the retail and consumer levels, corresponded to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010. Wasted food is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills and represents nourishment that could have helped feed families in need. Additionally, water, energy, and labor used to produce wasted food could have been employed for other purposes. Effectively reducing food waste will require cooperation among federal, state, tribal and local governments, faith-based institutions, environmental organizations, communities, and the entire supply chain.
While there have been significant actions taken and commitments made through public-private partnerships to date, such as the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions initiative, which aims to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030, there is still much work to be done. The Trump Administration commends the 23 organizations and businesses which have joined the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, including the two most recent companies &ndash Kroger and Hilton &ndash which joined today. There are tremendous economic opportunities and possible cost savings for businesses and individual households that can result from reducing food waste. And while businesses are a critical component of food waste reductions, consumer education is also key to the Winning on Reducing Food WasteInitiative.
"An unacceptable percentage of our food supply is lost or wasted," said Secretary Perdue. "As the world's population continues to grow and the food systems continue to evolve, now is the time for action to educate consumers and businesses alike on the need for food waste reduction. I am pleased to be joined by my Trump Administration colleagues on this important, common sense issue. The future of food depends on action from us now, which is why we have established this formal partnership among USDA, EPA, and FDA."
"EPA is proud to partner with USDA and FDA to enhance food recovery efforts and educate the public on the need for improved food waste management," said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler."Redirecting excess food to people, animals, or energy production has tremendous economic and social benefits, and that is why the Trump Administration is working closely with businesses and consumers to prevent food loss and maximize the inherent value of food."
"Sadly, each day too many American families struggle to meet their nutritional needs and we at the FDA recognize the important role that reducing food waste can play in filling this critical gap," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. "By taking steps to address obstacles that food donation and recovery programs may face in giving unsold foods a second opportunity and helping food producers find ways to recondition their products so that they can be safely sold or donated, our aim is to both reduce food waste and nourish Americans in need. We are delighted to be collaborating with our federal partners on the Winning on Reducing Food Waste initiative as we continue to explore additional ways to reduce food waste and make safe, nutritional foods available to all."
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has several online resources designed to help importers comply with requirements under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). New developments in three programs established by FSMA strengthen oversight of imported foods: Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP), the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) and the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program.
FSVP: This rule places responsibility on importers for ensuring that foreign suppliers meet applicable U.S. safety standards. The FDA has conducted over a thousand inspections and investigations under the FSVP rule since the first compliance date in May 2017.
To help importers and manufacturers/processors meet supply-chain requirements, the FDA recently released a new feature of the Data Dashboard: the Firm/Supplier Evaluation Resources page under the FSMA Data Search component. This section will make it easier to find compliance and enforcement information related to specific firms (i.e. foreign suppliers). Details include whether companies have been inspected by FDA, received a warning letter, are listed on an FDA Import Alert, initiated a recall, and other compliance information.
The FDA has made public a List of Participants, identifying FSVP importers and the states in which they do business, which it will update on a quarterly basis.
VQIP: On October 1, 2018, the application portal opened for importers to apply for participation. This fee-based program provides expedited review and import entry of human and animal foods for participating importers. Importers must demonstrate that the foods in their application are from facilities certified through the Accredited Third-Party Certification program and complete an application providing other information.
One of the benefits for importers approved for VQIP is the option to have their company publicly listed by FDA. This list will inform the public that the products are being imported by companies with a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chains.
Third-Party: The Accredited Third-Party Certification Program has established a framework in which accreditation bodies recognized by the FDA can accredit third-party auditors, called certification bodies, to conduct food safety audits of eligible entities. The certifications issued by these auditors are required for participation in VQIP they may also be required in other circumstances to prevent a potentially harmful food from reaching the United States.
Four accreditation bodies have been recognized by the FDA:
- American National Standards Institute
- ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board
- International Accreditation Services, Inc.
- National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards
And the first certification body has been accredited:
The FDA has established a registry of Accreditation Bodies and Certification Bodies as a resource for importers.
Panasonic Launches New Kiosk
Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America launched a new turnkey kiosk solution that provides restaurant customers an immersive, customized, and faster experience.
"Panasonic kiosks have proven that they drive a significantly higher check and that the guests using them experience an overall satisfaction similar to or greater than those placing their orders directly with staff," said Michael D. Clarke, Owner, Lickety Split Food Services, LLC, a Texas Dairy Queen multi-unit franchisee.
Panasonic's end-to-end platform is managed at the enterprise level, allowing chain restaurants to deploy large installations easily and efficiently. The enterprise-grade application features full Point-of-Sale and Payment integration, a cloud-based enterprise management portal, flexible screen design, highly responsive user interface, suggestive selling, and order customization throughout the customer ordering journey.
"The highly intuitive, digital user interface promotes customer engagement, increases restaurant sales and profits, and frees up staff to tend to other business needs," said M. Faisal Pandit, SVP and Chief Digital Officer, Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America. "Customers interact with kiosks in myriad venues and have come to expect that same connectivity in restaurants too. And kiosks can have a significant impact on sales and profits with transaction uplifts of 20-30 percent versus the traditional counter."
Restaurant brands can have one strategic partner for a comprehensive menu of hardware choices, software, and consulting, with full deployment and after-installation services that can help scale self-ordering kiosks across an entire enterprise with speed and agility.
Kitchen CUT in Spanish
Due to overwhelming customer demand, Kitchen CUT are excited to have launched their ground breaking software in Spanish. Part of an ambitious development plan for 2018-19, the Spanish version of the system is the second language to be released (following the successful rollout of Thai earlier this year) in a bid to make the system available to all, with other languages (including Swedish, Hungarian and German) following in the next few months.
Kitchen CUT helps to transform every element of an F&B business allowing control wherever you are, with access from any device. The full Purchase-to-Pay system includes features such as Supplier Management, Allergen Tracking, Nutritional Analysis, Recipe Costing & Menu Planning, Stock Control, Wastage Tracking and Buffet Analysis among many others.
The system combines an understanding of operational pressures with insightful and detailed financial performance reporting, whatever the size of your business – from a single unit, to a multi-site operation that spans different regions or even countries and languages.
Talking about the latest development, Co-Founder John Wood said:
&ldquoWith international clients spanning more than 55 countries, it&rsquos imperative that we make the system available to all, from students starting out in their careers to Michelin Starred chefs, whatever the size of your operation, whatever your location, we are determined that language won&rsquot be a barrier to accessing the incredible time and money saving aspects of our software.&rdquo
The newly translated software is a welcome development to many of Kitchen CUT&rsquos Spanish speaking clients. Danny Lewis, Head of Culinary Operations at The Hunter group, says:
&ldquoWe are thrilled to see the launch of the Spanish version of the system here at The Hunter Group in Gibraltar. The system itself is intuitive to use, but we were occasionally encountering a barrier when it came to our staff not having English as their first language. Transitioning the system from English into Spanish couldn&rsquot be simpler &ndash the team simply login, and select it from a drop down menu and can instantly access the Spanish version of the system.
As a multi-site operation, empowering our whole team to be able to use a system that is set to ensure efficiency and consistency across our business is key, and we are therefore delighted that both our English and Spanish speaking teams can now navigate confidently throughout a system that is truly accessible and user friendly for them all.&rdquo
PreGel's Gelato Top Ice
PreGel America has expanded its ServIce ® line of equipment, serveware, and supplies for frozen dessert and pastry, with the addition of Gelato Top Ice by Italian mold producer, Pavoni ® .
These decorative silicone molds provide a modernized appeal to authentic Italian gelato, adding new depth to a longstanding tradition of exceptional artisan presentation of the specialty frozen dessert. As leaders in innovation in the specialty desserts industry, the company is excited about the modern designs these new Gelato Top Ice molds offer, and how much intrigue they can bring to a gelato case.
"With new Gelato Top Ice molds, we are providing the necessary resources that allow our partners to wow their customers at first sight," says Anna Pata, director of sales & marketing, PreGel America. "Through this initiative, we are taking innovation into the presentation and display aspect of artisanal desserts," Pata concludes.
Gelato Top Ice molds are available in three different styles including:
Gelato Top Ice &ndash Iceberg &ndash PAVTOP100: Replicating the crystal-like peaks of a natural iceberg, this silicone mold adds a delicious 3D effect to specialty frozen dessert with little effort.
Gelato Top Ice &ndash Tablet &ndash PAVTOP101: This silicone mold creates the visual effect of a chocolate bar that can be enjoyed in cubed pieces of perfection. Effortlessly add another layer of delicious dimension to gelato pans.
Gelato Top Ice &ndash Coral &ndash PAVTOP102: A decorative silicone mold that creates the eye-catching illusion of a coral reef surface. Perfect for adding creativity and undeniable texture to pans of gelato.
Gelato Top Ice molds are utilized with PreGel Pino Pinguino ® cold fudge sauces to add a unique and decorative layer to flat gelato pans. PreGel Pino Pinguino ® cold fudge sauces are available in seven delicious flavors including: white chocolate, caramel, lemon, dark chocolate, orange, chocolate hazelnut, and salted peanut, allowing for chefs to mix and match gelato and Pino flavor profiles as well as color schemes.
Power Soak Intro
Unified Brands added a new product series to its Power Soak line-up. The new "Power Soak Intro" is a continuous motion pot, pan and sheet pan washing system, delivering consistently clean results with improved sanitation and workforce efficiency. The unit offers an enhanced solution to warewashing that replaces the standard three-compartment sink. It is available in four standard-length models.
"Power Soak is well known for their custom warewashing solutions, chosen by many of the industry's top chains, institutions, and retail operations for operational efficiency, reduced labor costs, and improved product quality," said Clay Thames, Product Line Director &ndash Cooking & Warewash. "The development of the Intro series rounds out our product offering by providing a lower-cost solution for those operators seeking to replace the labor-intensive method of hand washing, but needing an economical alternative to the three-compartment sink."
Upgrading from the Intro model, Power Soak also offers Advanced and Unlimited product platforms &ndash providing additional options, features and benefits, as well as fully customizable solutions and layouts.
Lancer Corporation debuted their newest beverage dispenser, TwinPour, at the NACS Convention in Las Vegas. The TwinPour serves two customers at a time from its two dual-dispensing areas, each with their own ability to pour custom flavors and ice. Lancer's TwinPour accommodates all ice types, and, with 24 beverage brands and eight bonus flavors, customers can choose from over 266 flavor combinations.
Lancer's FlavorTouch&trade technology allows customers to utilize both pour points at the same time, with minimal steps, for better speed of service and premium product quality.
"It's a new era at Lancer and our new TwinPour is the first of many compelling innovations we will be bringing our customers and their consumers," says EJ Morrow, recently appointed President of Lancer. "Fountain-dispensed beverage sales are a critical part of our retailer and foodservice customers business model. TwinPour enables them to maximize and optimize 44 inches of counter space, increasing customer throughput with two complete dispensing stations in one dispenser. Our legacy and leadership in the category will only get stronger."
The 44-inch TwinPour serves twice the number of customers in less space than traditional beverage dispensers. This allows customers to get their beverages twice as fast and operators to generate more profits in less retail space. Lancer's Multi-Valve Technology has a faster flow-rate and valves can be serviced independently, even though they are all within one dispenser.
TwinPour is made from heavy duty stainless steel construction and provides 30 inches of LED lite space, or you can upgrade to a 32-inch LCD merchandiser monitor with full HD video capabilities. Lancer's TwinPour is durable and user-friendly for both the customer when pouring beverages and the operator when servicing the machine.
Colicchio's a MadeIn Man
Made In, the direct-to-consumer cookware company , announced an investment from prolific restaurateur and TV personality Tom Colicchio (Bravo's Top Chef Executive Producer and Head Judge, Chef/Owner of Crafted Hospitality). His decision to invest in Made In is due in part to his admiration for businesses that are changing the way people perceive food. In addition to an investment, Colicchio will spearhead the brand's Advisory Board where he will offer council in respect to new product launches, production and educational content. He is joined in his support for Made In by KarpReilly LLC, a private equity firm noted for backing other prominent food and lifestyle brands.
"What Tom Colicchio has done for the progression of cooking and food culture can't be overstated. We share his approach to building authentic brands and he fits right in with our team," says Made In Co-Founder Jake Kalick. "We couldn't be happier with the partnership."
Made In is one of the fastest-growing companies in the direct-to-consumer cookware space delivering quality, thoughtfully-constructed kitchen tools at an approachable price point. Since launching nationwide just one year ago, the company has accomplished meteoric growth with a multi-million dollar run rate. This exciting milestone coincides with the closing of the latest investment round.
"I've been approached by a ton of cookware brands over the years, but Made In truly stands out from the pack. Their mission to supply quality cookware at approachable prices is undeniably authentic, and they execute on every level from the thoughtful sourcing of materials to the masterful finished product," said Colicchio. "I was so impressed with the cookware that I've stocked my home kitchen with it, and will be outfitting my upcoming New Yorkrestaurant with Made In products as well. It's rare to find kitchen tools so well-suited for both professional and home applications, and I'm excited to join the Made In team as an advisor and investor in the brand."
"We're very excited to have a chef as well-respected as Tom Colicchio join Made In and acknowledge the effort our team has put into building the brand and our products," added Made In Co-Founder Chip Malt. "His passion for quality and technique fit perfectly with our brand strategy, and he'll be an asset to helping Made In become a major player in the home space."
With Made In, Colicchio is advancing a message to the home cook by showcasing the craftsmanship of cooking through the importance of tools. In this next quarter, Made In will expand upon its integrated educational platform, offering home cooks a crash course in topics ranging from cookware selection to recipes and techniques, utilizing its brand new test kitchen to further engage its community.
Ice-O-Matic in Oregon and Idaho
RHI Solutions now represents Ice-O-Matic in the states of Oregon and Idaho. RHI Solutions is a manufacturer representative company in the foodservice industry. They provide solutions to restaurants, hotels, and institutions through the manufacturers they represent. RHI solutions focuses on selling value, expertise, and experience in foodservice equipment and supplies.
&ldquoRHI has been representing Ice-O-Matic in the Washington & Montana markets for 3 years and have grown the Ice-O-Matic business through distribution. We are adding the Oregon & Idaho territory to their responsibilities to grow our business through the local distributor,&rdquo said Stephanie Wall, Regional Manager for Ice-O-Matic.
Ice-O-Matic is a Denver-based manufacturer and global supplier of ice-related products and the world&rsquos largest producer of ice evaporators. Ice-O-Matic is dedicated to providing innovative, reliable and energy-efficient ice solutions including ice machines, storage bins and dispensers.
Chill-X Frozen Beverage Machine and Nitro Infuser
Specialty drinks&mdashlike frozen fruit beverages, gourmet tea slushies and icy hot chocolate&mdashare an excellent way for quick-service restaurants (QSRs), gourmet coffee shops and other retailers to increase store traffic and profitability. But some frozen beverage machines can be inefficient, bulky and labor-intensive. What's more, not all are easy enough for staff to operate, or attractive enough to feature in front-of-the-house areas.
Curtis has solved that problem with the introduction of the Chill-X Frozen Beverage Machine.
The Chill-X is part of the expanding line of Curtis frozen beverage machines designed to help operators serve up the big, bold, tantalizing flavors that are guaranteed to draw people in. Sleek and versatile&mdash with zero clearance side-to-side, Chill-X looks great, works hard, and slips easily into any counterspace in spite of its large three-gallon bowl capacity.
It also comes with features that make it easy to consistently dispense an ever-changing variety of drinks day after day, hour after hour. A self-refill function saves operators significant time and labor. Digital temperature controls expand offerings to include delicious dairy-based drinks. A standby mode keeps product fresh overnight and, a built-in defrost cycle eliminates downtime during the rush and saves energy when the dispenser isn't needed.
- Corrosion-resistant stainless-steel panels
- Lighted cover with safety lock system
- Patented ergonomic push-pull handles
- Built-in timer
- Built-in defrost cycle
Easy to use and easy to clean, the Curtis Chill-X Frozen Beverage Machine helps operators get profitable specialty drinks down cold.
Cold brew coffee, tea, milk or juice on the menu are nothing new. But when you infuse nitrogen they become very different, highly desirable drinks that are sure to grab customers' attention.
Catering to one of the hottest trends in cold coffee, Curtis has introduced its new Nitro Infuser to help operators grab a piece of the nitro craze. This simple yet highly-versatile component makes it easy for convenience stores, specialty coffee operations and restaurants add a creamy, stout-like effect to a wide variety of drink items and increase beverage sales right along with them.
The Curtis Nitro Infuser produces a longer lasting drink that seems thicker, creamier and sweeter without adding additional calories. Although nitro cold brew coffee is the most popular example, inventive operators are finding many other applications for nitrogenation, including teas, juices, and beer as well.
Epitomizing Curtis smart engineering, the Curtis Nitro Infuser is compact, easy to install, and features an exclusive patented design. It has no power requirements, no delicate electronics and no uncontrollable ball valves. Plus, its stainless steel construction and simple design makes cleaning a breeze.
The three channel unit provides support for three dispensing taps. Individual precision controls enable operators to offer different nitro-infused drinks at once, dial in just the right amount of infusion, and serve up beverages with better cascading&mdashup to two minutes&mdashfor a beautiful presentation and incredible taste. Operators just need bottled nitrogen and a tap system. It fits all kegerators. And no additional regulators or pumps are required.
The Ultimate Florida Beach Road Trip
T+L goes behind the wheel for a five-day, action-packed road trip through the iconic beach towns of Florida.
Day 1: Jacksonville to St. Augustine (38 miles)
Fly into JAX, then drive south along the coast to the oldest European settlement in America.
Lunch: Angie&aposs Subs
Memorable sandwiches in a nondescript mini-mall popular with surfer types. 1436 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach 904/249-7827 lunch for two $15.
See: Castillo de San Marcos
Imposing 17th-century fort that makes a good jumping-off point for a walking tour of St. Augustine&aposs historic downtown.
Snack: The Hyppo
Artisan ice pops made from seasonal ingredients (try the pineapple-cilantro) and modeled after Mexican paletas. 15 Hypolita St., St. Augustine 904/217-7853 ice pops for two $7.
Dinner: The Floridian
Husband-and-wife team Jeff McNally and Genie Kepner put their own spin on trusted Southern favorites. Grab a bottle of biodynamic wine from the bar next door to pair with the shrimp and grits. 39 Cordova St., St. Augustine 904/829-0655 dinner for two $40.
Stay: Casa Monica Hotel
Great Value Moorish-style grandeur in an 1888 property once owned by railroad tycoon Henry Flagler, who developed much of Florida&aposs eastern coast. Doubles from $199.
Best Town Crawl: The Tasting Tours&apos Vittles and Vino ($76), a three-hour feast through the city&aposs top restaurants and food shops.
Day Two: St. Augustine to Palm Beach (257 miles)
Next up on the road trip, two of Florida&aposs greatest hits: a retro spring-break capital and the site where U.S. space history was made.
Breakfast: Casa Maya
This tiny spot serves Yucatecan dishes made with organic ingredients. Fuel up on the "huevos de Popeye" before hitting the road. 17 Hypolita St., St. Augustine 904/217-3039 breakfast for two $20.
See: Daytona Beach
Swanky it&aposs not, but the town is still worth a stop, if only to buy a $5 beach day pass and cruise along the hard-packed sand in your car at 10 mph.
See: Kennedy Space Center
NASA&aposs former launch headquarters is guaranteed to fascinate.
Lunch: Jazzy&aposs Mainely Lobster & Seafood Co.
No, you can never have too much fish in Florida, as evidenced by the crowd here. 210 N. Orlando Ave., Cocoa Beach 321/613-3993 lunch for two $25.
Stay: Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach
Seven-acre beachfront spread that&aposs a welcome sight at the end of a long drive. Eau Spa is a design stunner the reopened Angle restaurant has a Regency-meets-supper-club ambience. Doubles from $479.
T+L Tip: Right next to the Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge has one of the east coast&aposs most beautiful beaches: shell-strewn Playalinda.
Day Three: Palm Beach to Miami Beach (63 miles)
Start the day in Florida&aposs old-guard enclave, then head to the ultimate luxury-shopping hub.
Shop: Palm Beach Area
Possibly the most rewarding place in the country to score designer thrift and secondhand couture. Two not to miss: Palm Beach Vintage (3623 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach 561/718-4075), which carries beaded cocktail dresses, and Groovy Palm Beach (108 N. County Rd., Palm Beach 561/628-9404) for Lilly Pulitzer and Pucci.
Shop: Trouser Shop
In ripe-for-discovery Delray Beach, this sartorial staple excels in preppy classics: snap up a pair of patch-madras pants or a custom cotton web belt cut off the roll while you wait. 439 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach 561/278-5626.
See: IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum
Just outside Fort Lauderdale and a must for any nature enthusiast. Grab lunch next door at the Islamorada Fish Co., an outpost of the Keys chainlet (it&aposs housed, appropriately enough, in a Bass Pro Shop). 300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach 954/922-4212.
Stay: Quarzo Bal Harbour
Space is the draw at this recently opened property near the exclusive Bal Harbour Shops. (Look for Gucci, Prada, and Bottega Veneta, plus the excellent Books & Books.) Quarzo feels less like a hotel than a boutique apartment complex, with suites that top out at 1,800 square feet. 290 Bal Bay Dr., Bal Harbour 305/222-7922 doubles from $350.
An Asian-inspired gastropub? Curiously, it works. Welcoming spot with a Brooklyn-esque vibe (hipsters with their parents). 1418 20th St., Miami Beach 305/532-7555 dinner for two $90.
Day Four: Miami Beach to Islamorada (80 miles)
Welcome to the easy, breezy Florida Keys—no shoes required.
Breakfast: David&aposs Café II
Order a café con leche from the walk-up window. Ccoffee for two $4.
Lunch: Shiver&aposs BBQ
Roadside pit stop specializing in ribs smoked over hickory wood and slathered with house-made sauce. 28001 S. Dixie Hwy., Homestead 305/248-2272 lunch for two $25.
Do: Holiday Isle Resort
Get out on the water by chartering a sportfishing excursion or renting a boat at this tiki-festooned marina. 84001 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada 305/664-2321 two-hour boat rentals from $165.
Shop: Shell Shack
Candy and Mike Baker have been selling shells and curios for 40-plus years. 83005 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada 305/664-9467.
See: History of Diving Museum
Passionately curated, with displays of vintage artifacts and underwater equipment. 82990 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada 305/664-9737.
Stay: Casa Morada
Petite, well-styled boutique hotel with simple, whitewashed interiors. Doubles from $299.
Dinner: Lorelei Cabana Bar
Join the fishing guides for a bowl of conch chowder. 81924 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada 305/664-2692 dinner for two $20.
Angler alert: more world-record fish have been caught in Islamorada than anywhere else on earth.
Day Five: Islamorada to Key West (81 miles)
At the road trip&aposs end: the southernmost point of the continental United States.
Breakfast: Green Turtle Inn
Revamped 1940&aposs diner with one of the best morning meals around (just try to resist the coconut French toast). 81219 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada 305/664-2006 breakfast for two $20.
Do: Robbie&aposs of Islamorada
Feeding the tarpon ($3 for a bucket of bait) off the dock of this water-sports center is a Keys rite of passage. 77522 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada 305/664-9814.
Lunch: Seven Mile Grill
Just north of the Seven Mile Bridge, which connects Marathon to the Lower Keys. Order the grouper sandwich. 1240 Overseas Hwy., Marathon 305/743-4481 lunch for two $25.
Shop: Isle Style
A true fashion oasis in souvenir-laden Key West: colorful women&aposs wear and accessories that would look equally at home on the beaches of Malibu. 1204 Simonton St., Key West 305/292-4000.
Stay: Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Resort
Great Value Rita Hayworth and Gregory Peck are among the stars who once stayed at this revamped 1920 compound, another product of Henry Flagler&aposs bold vision. Doubles from $199.
See: Key West Sunset
The main event in town. You could brave the carnival-like Mallory Square, where the rowdy Sunset Celebration involves sword swallowers and fortune-tellers. Or you could sit back with a cocktail at Casa Marina&aposs Sun Sun beach bar and toast the day&aposs end in a more civilized fashion.
Dinner: Pepe&aposs Café
Atmospheric little shack that&aposs the oldest restaurant (est. 1909) in Key West. Head here primarily for the Key lime pie—pleasingly tart, garnished with whipped cream, and served in a bowl. 806 Caroline St., Key West 305/294-7192 pie for two $8.
Spotlight: Florida Neighborhood Report
Eclectic, artsy Wynwood is Miami&aposs most unexpected cultural hot spot𠅊nd a good contrast to the glossy south beach scene.
The Northwest Second Avenue main drag is packed with cutting-edge galleries and high-design restaurants. The best way to take it all in? Hop on a Vespa for a Roam Rides guided tour (888/760-7626 $125).
Butter Gallery: Contemporary art space whose eye-catching exterior (a wall of painted eyeballs) could easily pass for a nightclub. 2301 N.W. Second Ave. 305/303-6254.
Cafeina Wynwood Lounge: Gathering spot that serves as a brunch destination, gallery, and late-night lounge. 297 N.W. 23rd St. 305/438-0792 brunch for two $22.
Joey&aposs Italian Café: The neighborhood&aposs flagship restaurant. You can&apost go wrong, whether you sit indoors or on the action-packed patio. Dinner for two $30.
Lester&aposs: Coffee and wine bar created by a former artist and chock-full of obscure books and literary journals. 2519 N.W. Second Ave. 305/456-1784 drinks for two $11.
Panther Coffee: Its orange, green, and white fa is as vibrant as a Missoni print, but the paint job isn&apost the only thing that&aposs buzzing at this temple to specialty java. 2390 N.W. Second Ave. 305/677-3952 coffee for two $5.
Plant the Future: Argentina-born Paloma Teppa eschews traditional cut flowers in favor of sculptural compositions of orchids, succulents, and even butterfly cocoons. 2511 N.W. Second Ave. 305/571-7177.
Wynwood Kitchen & Bar: Chef Miguel Aguilar puts his stamp on the Latin-inflected menu, but the art-filled interiors are as much of a draw as the food. 2550 N.W. Second Ave. 305/722-8959 dinner for two $70.
Wynwood Walls: It&aposs part free outdoor gallery, part Disney World for grown-ups at this open-air art park next to Wynwood Kitchen & Bar. —Eleni N. Gage
Side Trip: On the Gulf Coast
World-class art comes to this beach-blessed stretch of western Florida, already known for its wildlife. Here, four places not to miss.
Gasparilla Island: Sea turtle nesting is up on this barrier isle, beloved for its circa 1890 lighthouse. Naturalists are hoping for even more turtle nests in the 2012 season, which runs from May to October. Try your luck at spotting hatchling tracks—made during their break toward the sea—on a beach walk in Gasparilla Island State Park (880 Belcher Rd., Boca Grande).
St. Petersburg: The new Chihuly Collection (400 Beach Dr. N.E. 727/822-7872) is the world&aposs first permanent exhibition space for the work of American sculptor Dale Chihuly.
The Dalí Museum (1 Dali Blvd. 727/823-3767), which houses more than 2,000 paintings by the surrealist icon, recently relocated to a $36 million glass-and-concrete building designed by global architectural firm HOK.
Sanibel Island: Bucolic nature meets 21st-century technology at J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. It just unveiled an iNature Trail, the first of its kind in the United States. Visitors can scan smart-phone codes along hiking paths to access online videos for more in-depth information. —Lindsey Olander
Great Value Boca Raton Interior designer Jane Dillon has revamped the 244-room tower at the Boca Raton Resort & Club (501 E. Camino Real 888/543-1277 bocaresort.com doubles from $219). Look for headboards in raw-silk tweed and floors accented with David Hicks–like geometric rugs.
Great Value Sunny Isles Beach Neomi&aposs Grill, the restaurant at the Trump International Beach Resort (18001 Collins Ave. 866/628-1197 trumpmiami.com doubles from $219), debuts a modern new look courtesy of Michael Wolk Design Associates, which also refreshed the lobby.
Bal Harbour Scheduled to open in 2012, the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort & Residences (9703 Collins Ave. 877/787-3447 stregis.com doubles from $850) houses Jean-Georges Vongerichten&aposs first Florida outpost, J&G Grill.
Miami One of the best spas in town ups the ante with the addition of a beauty-focused VIP treatment suite. The Mandarin Oriental, Miami (500 Brickell Key Dr. 800/526-6566 mandarinoriental.com doubles from $479), is also introducing a menu of pampering options exclusive to the space.
Miami Beach Lenny Kravitz. Philippe Starck. José Andrés. They&aposre just three of the heavy hitters involved in the SLS Hotel South Beach (slshotels.com), slated to open next spring. It will be Starck&aposs first Miami design work since the Delano.
Miami Beach Polish-born designer Anna Busta unveils her new look for guest rooms at the W South Beach Hotel & Residences (2201 Collins Ave. 877/946-8357 whotels.com doubles from $709) early next year. —Lindsey Olander
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Some of humankind’s greatest adventures began here at NASA’s launch headquarters, an easy hour east of Orlando on the Atlantic coast. Time your visit right, and you may see a space shuttle streak into the sky on liftoff (visible all around the state but much better from up close). Attractions include Q&A’s with astronauts, plain-speaking technical explanations, and a launch-simulation ride.
Tip: Getting around the center requires taking on-site buses, and the last one sets out around the property between 2 and 3 p.m. Arrive early in the morning to give yourself plenty of time.
Eau Palm Beach (Formerly Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach)
Formerly the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach.
David's Cafe II
The first family-owned David&aposs Cafe&aposs opened in the 1970&aposs, serving Cuban cuisine, and was so popular that they opened a second location in 1993. David&aposs Cafe II is open 24 hours and does the bulk of its business from the street-side, take-out window. The dining room has a long, curved bar and a wall decorated with signed photos of Latino celebrities. Popular dishes include Cuban staples like arroz con pollo and the traditional Cuban sandwich, as well as David’s Caribbean Chicken (grilled chicken with mango and brandy sauce) and the rabirubia entera frita (whole, fried yellowtail).
Casa Monica Hotel
Moorish-style grandeur in an 1888 property once owned by railroad tycoon Henry Flagler, who developed much of Florida’s eastern coast.
Mandarin Oriental, Miami
Besides the Mandarin&aposs trademark luxury Asian touches, the reason to stay here is the view of the downtown Miami skyline and Biscayne Bay. Of course, those views come with a carefully modulated elegance, evident in the design of the curvy white building and the cream-colored marble baths that open onto generous balconies. The Mandarin is located on Brickell Key, a small residential island that has fairly pedestrian condos. Still, it&aposs within walking distance of downtown for business travelers, and has all the advantages of a waterfront resort (making it ideal for singles too). In fact, only in Miami would a Mandarin have a private man-made beach and a weekly Sunday party that rivals the social fray of South Beach. Celebrants can work it all out in the soothing Asian-inspired spa.
Boca Raton Resort & Club
In 1926, Palm Beach society architect Addison Mizner ventured to the frontier swamp of Boca Raton and created his Jazz Age masterpiece, the 100-room Cloister Inn. Although the Florida land crash closed the inn after just one season, the property was eventually resurrected as the 1,043-room Boca Raton Resort & Club, which is undergoing an ambitious 21st-century makeover courtesy of LXR Luxury Resorts and an all-star ambience team. Thierry Despont (who put his stamp on the bar at the Dorchester, in London) lightened the Spanish-revival promenades with epic Florida à go-go murals. Alexandra Champalimaud (of New York’s Carlyle Hotel) created a series of Boca Bungalows. Guests will find outposts of New York’s La Goulue and the Old Homestead Steak House, as well as the Monkey Bar, a nod to Mizner’s penchant for sashaying about town with his pet monkey.
Castillo de San Marcos
Imposing 17th-century fort that makes a good jumping-off point for a walking tour of St. Augustine&aposs 144-block historic downtown.
Casa Marina Resort
Joey's Italian Café
With its glass mosaic mural, marble tables, and vibrant garden patio, Joey’s seems right at home in the Wynwood arts district. Popular with patrons of the nearby Adrienne Arsht Center, the café features an authentic Italian menu from head chef Ivo Mazzon, who hails from the Vento region of northeastern Italy. Specialties include the baccala alla Siciliana (baked cod with eggplant, tomatoes, olives, and capers) and the hand-tossed pizze dolce e piccante (sweet and spicy pizza with fig, Gorgonzola, honey, and hot peppers). An affordable wine list offers a variety of Italian vintages hand-selected by owner Joey Goldman.
W South Beach Hotel & Residences
Miami&aposs first W property is a major departure for the brand: all 408 spacious residences have a French bohemian aesthetic, and are done in various shades of white and gray. The W South Beach immediately shows its aspirations to chic in a gleaming lobby equipped with a 120-foot-long marble wall, and with an edgy art collection (pieces by Damien Hirst, Christopher Wool, and the like) counterpointed by campy brass screens that recall the glamour of Miami’s 1950’s heyday. Upstairs, the guest suites have Cippolino marble vanity countertops, Italian cotton velvet sofas, and photos of pop musicians by Danny Clinch.
Robbie&rsquos of Islamorada
Feeding the tarpon ($3 for a bucket of bait) off the dock of this water-sports center is a Keys rite of passage.
Trump International Beach Resort
Set in the heart of tony Sunny Isles on Miami Beach, this contemporary full-service Trump resort is ideal for all types of travelers𠅏rom families to those wanting to be within striking distance of the party in South Beach. The lobby and adjacent Fusion Lounge are intimate, but the on-site Mediterranean restaurant, Neomi, and outside grounds, 10 acres in all, are capacious, with the latter featuring two pools (one with grotto and waterfall), hot tub, tennis courts, and even air-conditioned cabanas. Renovated in 2011, the 390 guestrooms and suites are done up in ocean hues—water blues and sandy browns. Suites are smartly outfitted with full kitchens and washer-dryers, amenities that go a long way, especially with families. The service is stellar, and extends to the resort’s spa, Aquanox, which features seasonal treatments, like pumpkin facials.
Wynwood Kitchen & Bar
Chef Miguel Aguilar puts his stamp on the Latin-inflected menu, but the art-filled interiors are as much of a draw as the food.
Canada's first St. Regis has finally arrived in Canada, making a grand entrance in downtown Toronto. With personalized butler service, a lobby bar, 124 spacious suites, a two-level spa, large swimming pool, and a stunning restaurant on the 31st floor, the hotel definitely caters to those who love fine dining, relaxation, and luxury.
I was thrilled to find out Canada was getting their very own St. Regis, but even more excited when I was invited to review the new hotel a few weeks ago. I've had the pleasure of experiencing the St. Regis Bal Harbour twice, and I instantly knew that my experience at St. Regis Toronto would be equally as memorable–for myself, for my husband, and for our children.
The newest restaurant that's causing a lot of buzz in Toronto is LOUIX LOUIS, on the 31st. floor of St. Regis Toronto. It's the perfect place to indulge in your most desired cravings, from caviar to champagne, and everything in between. The menu features items like whole truffle chicken, maple squash soup, seafood platters, snapper, and more. Perhaps one of the most delicious aspects of dining in LOUIX LOUIS is experiencing the 13-layer chocolate cake, called The King's Cake, which comes with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. There is also a secret garden terrace that can be enjoyed during the warmer months, with breathtaking views of downtown Toronto.
The first St. Regis opened in New York City in 1904, and is still considered one of the finest hotels in America, and around the world. (After all, not many hotels come with personalized, around-the-clock butler service). There are 48 St. Regis hotels worldwide, from Abu Dhabi to Bal Harbour, and each hotel offers guests a truly exquisite experience. St. Regis strives to make every aspect of every moment perfect, and this is noticeable from the moment you check-in.
Every St. Regis around the world celebrates three daily rituals, an integral part of the brand:
The Bloody Mary ritual: This cocktail was actually founded and first created in St. Regis New York, and now, every hotel creates this drink as their speciality cocktail, with a local spin.
The Evening Ritual: This ritual takes place in every St. Regis at 5 p.m., and consists of a ceremonial champagne sabering in the lobby bar, where every guest that's of age can enjoy a glass of champagne
The Afternoon Tea Ritual: The afternoon tea ritual caters to both young and older guests, and can even be enjoyed poolside in some locations. It takes place on Saturday and Sunday.
Stunning Rooms and Service
We stayed in a two-bedroom suite, on the 28th floor of the hotel. Our suite had floor-to-ceiling windows, a dining room, a living room with fireplace, two large bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a large foyer.
Our suite was stunning–and spacious enough for the four of us to truly enjoy. We arrived to some special treats, including personalized Christmas ornaments that took my breath away. It's the little things this hotel does that makes you feel like a most welcomed guest. Every detail is thought of, and children are equally welcomed, too we had a video game console in our room with games, and our butler offered my youngest son a build-a-bear experience his bunny even came with a St. Regis Toronto t-shirt, an excellent keepsake to remember our stay. For my older son, they welcomed him with a charcuterie board, something he thoroughly enjoyed. The in-room dining is also delicious, and the menu is quite extensive, catering to all tastes.
We spent time poolside, enjoyed the fine dining, and made the most of our time in our gorgeous suite. We were able to grab a quick bite to eat for breakfast, along with coffee and juice, in the Astor Lounge, the lobby bar, before we departed.
St. Regis is modern elegance, setting a new standard of luxury in Canada. The only disappointing thing about the hotel is having to say goodbye.
Disclaimer: I was offered a two-night stay at the St. Regis Toronto, to experience all that is new at this hotel, including dinner at LOUIX LOUIS. All views and opinion are my own.