February 5, 2021
Each Friday, we compile South Florida food-related news and events that we couldn’t fit on the site earlier in the week, as well as other local news that piques our interest. Want to be included in our next roundup? Shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Coming Soon: Casa Isola
Five-time James Beard Foundation Award-nominated chef and celebrated restaurateur, Chef Jose Mendin, announces today the opening of Casa Isola. Slated to open in early February, Casa Isola will take residence in Mendin’s iconic Pubbelly space, located at 1418 20th Street in Miami Beach’s exclusive Sunset Harbour neighborhood.
Casa Isola is a culinary collaboration between Mendin and Brooklyn-born chef, Santo Agnello. Before joining Mendin, Agnello spent seven-plus years behind-the-scenes creating Lucali’s celebrated pizzas and more. As in all Mendin’s kitchens, the food at Casa Isola will embrace a scratch-made approach utilizing best possible ingredients at the foundation, because memorable food is not made with shortcuts.
Agnello’s menu influences are distinctive and inspired by childhood memories spent with his Nonna. From a Pane Al Prosciutto, a Brooklyn-style prosciutto bread with parmesan butter to a Veal Chop Parmigiana, his dishes encapsulate the small “la famiglia” nuisances that elevate Italian cuisine’s classic simplicity.
Mendin complements Agnello’s refined approach, by juxtaposing different flavor profiles to create bold dish combinations like Milanesa Carpaccio with wagyu beef, aged balsamic, black truffle, heirloom tomatoes and the Raviolini Ai Funghi with porcini mushrooms and pine nut gremolata.
For the complete experience, guests are encouraged to follows the traditional Italian dining format that begins with an Antipasti dish, and progresses to a Macaroni, Secondi course and then completes with a quintessential dessert like Tiramisu or a Daily Cannoli. A selection of wine and beer will be available as well as five low-proof cocktails.
Mrs. Balloo Opens at The Wharf Fort Lauderdale
Breakwater Hospitality Group (BHG) and James Beard Award-nominated chef Timon Balloo are pleased to announce the opening of Mrs Balloo at the newly reopened The Wharf Fort Lauderdale. The Pan-Asian food truck features a variety of poke and sushi bowls, dim sum, and bao buns along with other casual bites. Following this weekend’s debut, guests of The Wharf Fort Lauderdale can enjoy Chef Balloo’s creations during the venue’s regular business hours, Thursday through Sunday.
Originally planned as a brick-and-mortar restaurant, Mrs Balloo is dedicated to Chef Balloo’s wife, Marissa, whose homestyle cooking consistently features pan-Asian flavors from Japan, Thailand, and China.
The menu at Mrs Balloo will feature appetizers like Asian Street Corn; Crispy Panko Shrimp; Pork Dumplings, and pillowy Bao Buns perfect for casual river front noshing.
Entrees at Mrs. Balloo are centered around bowls featuring a variety of fresh fish and vegetables. The Crispy Rice bowl combines the crunchy bits of cooked rice with fresh green onion, sweet soy and chili mayo with tuna. Shrimp lovers will enjoy the sweet and savory Dynamite Shrimp, featuring fresh shrimp on a bed of rice or crisp greens with cucumber, green onion and eel sauce.
Finally, Chef Balloo’s Classic Poke bowl is a crowd-pleasing combo of fresh tuna atop rice or crunchy greens with cucumber, red onion and poke soy sauce. Guests will also have the option to customize their bowls with extras like sauces, extra poke, seaweed salad and guacamole.
The Biltmore Brings Back Brunch
The Biltmore Hotel, a national historic landmark located in the heart of Coral Gables, has relaunched its iconic Sunday brunch. The luxury hotel is inviting guests and locals to indulge in the world-famous brunch firsthand from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Sunday, with seatings at 10am, noon, and 2pm. The popular, new, à la carte menu has been live for nearly 4-weeks and continues to generate favorable reviews.
Situated in the beautiful and serene courtyard in the center of the notable resort, the al fresco dining experience offers familiar and new menu options for guests to enjoy. Guests can experience an all-encompassing board selection premium package for $90 per person or select from the numerous a la carte options that offers a plethora of sweet and savory items to satisfy the most discerning tastes and palates.
Upon its relaunch, the brunch experience was re-conceptualized to accommodate and meet guidelines provided for by the CDC and Miami-Dade County orders. With those guidelines in place and the new menu established, reservations for the Biltmore Sunday Brunch can be made by calling (305) 445-8066 extension 2407.
Space is limited due to social distancing practices and advanced reservations, so patrons wanting to experience the new brunch should book immediately.
Collaborative Dinner for a Cause
The Ritz – Carlton, South Beach will be hosting the Culinary Experience to benefit The Hospitality Relief Fund featuring Chef Brad Kilgore, Chef Antonio Bachour, and Executive Chef Antonio LePape to benefit the SOBEWFF® & FIU Chaplin School Hospitality Industry Relief Fund on Saturday, February 20 at 6:30 p.m.
Taking place at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach’s signature restaurant, Fuego y Mar, this collaborative experience marks the first time Chef Brad Kilgore and Chef Antonio Bachour will be working together in over a decade.
The ticketed dinner will run for $350 per person, with $100 going towards the relief fund. The menu will be pre-fixed. For more details, click here.
BoyChoy Pops Up at Novikov Miami
Diners can now experience BoyChoy, the Uber Eats exclusive in a brick and mortar location beginning Wednesday, February 3rd at Novikov Miami. BoyChoy, the premium authentic Chinese food offers Novikov Miami signature flavors along with an attractive price point.
The buzzy Wednesday ladies night will allow ladies to cheers with their best girlfriends and try the delicious and craveable bites. Ladies night is Wednesdays from 5pm-8pm at the bar where guests can experience BoyChoy along with complimentary selection of signature cocktails for ladies. Dishes include Roasted Duck Bao Buns, Coriander and Shrimp Dim Sum, King Crab Spring Rolls, and Chicken and Mushroom Spring Rolls.
Photo credit: Casey Fritz
Yappy Hour at LoKal
Monday’s are a drag but for Grovites and dog parents alike there’s a solution: BOGO drafts and wine by the glass PLUS time spent with your pup at LoKal Coconut Grove for Yappy Hour, featuring treats for humans and their precious pooches.
Complimentary food and goodie bags will be offered to all four-legged friends. Dog vendors including Equipaws and BFF Treatery will be available onsite as well as miniature dog canvas painting (limited quantity).