Restaurant Happenings South Florida June 25, 2008



Ouzo’s Mediterranean Bistro, 1766 Bay Road, Miami Beach, 305.604.0008
Monday’s will never be the same as the  culinary gem of South Beach invites guests to indulge in a unique five-course  Mystery Menu, created by Ouzo’s Executive Chef Pablo Cittadini, featuring  gastronomic delights from the five regions of the Mediterranean: Italy,  Greece, Spain, France and Turkey.  For $35 per person (excluding tax and  gratuity) or $45 per person with any wine pairing, patrons can expect the  unexpected upon being seated at the family-run bistro, when Ouzo’s presents a  different menu each week featuring the very best of contemporary island  cuisine every Monday throughout the summer.


2203 N. Commerce Pkway – Weston, 954-389-0005
Live music combined with great service, delicious fresh food, a hand picked wine selection and unique desserts… That’s Deco Gourmet in Weston. Live music Friday and Saturday. Or watch the Euro 2008 games live monday through Friday and any pizza is $7.


Azul, 500 Brickell Key Drive, (305) 913-8358
New Wine Seminar to Offer Great Wines, Amazing Bites and Good Tunes. A bright spot on South Florida’s culinary map, Azul at Mandarin Oriental, Miami is also a haven for wine lovers, drawn to the amazing wine selections hand-crafted by talented young sommelier Cynthia Betancourt.  Priced at $40 per person (all-inclusive), each class, held at the Azul Bar from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., will feature wine tastings with Betancourt, delicious bites from the Azul kitchen and a special Mandarin Oriental gift bag, featuring an array of complimentary goodies, including a CD of relaxing tunes from the hotel spa.  Class size is limited; advance reservations required. 
W Wine Bistro, 3622 NE 2nd Avenue, 305 576 7775

This Saturday, like every 3rd Saturday of each month, enjoy the music of Cezar Santana and Brazilian Specials by Chef Thiago from 8pm to 11pm.

Delano Poolside, 1685 Collins Avenue

Every Thursday to Saturday, 8pm to 1am enjoy sushi by the poolside at the Delano Hotel on South Beach.


Ilios, North Ft. Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, 954.414.2638
The Mediterranean menu at the hands of Executive Chef Sean McDonald – formerly of the Grille Room at the Ritz Carlton Palm Beach — showcases small plates of hot and cold tapas or mezze such as spoon of tuna and tomato tartare infused with chive oil and cerginola olives; multi-course tasting menus ($45) include tapas, spoons and entrees such as braised veal cheek risotto milanese with gremolata; sauteed gnocchi with helix escargots, basil pesto, sun dried tomatoes and arugula. The a la carte menu lists soups and appetizers such as asparagus cappuccino topped with a truffle milk foam; calamari, chorizo, orzo and arugula salad, as well as entrees like hanger steak with lemon and rosemary polenta.

Miami Spice Preview Restaurants June, 2008

Miami Spice starts August 1 and runs through September 30, 2008.  Many restaurants have a Miami Spice preview menu during June.  Check the listings below. They will offer a 3-course dinner for $36.00.

Miami Spice Preview on June 16-30, Miami Spice August 1-September 30.

Previewing Miami Spice will only wet your appetite to return back to the amazing restaurants and cuisine that China Grill Management has to offer.

Escopazzo Organic Italian Restaurant, 1311 Washington Avenue, 305.674.9450
Miami Spice menu sneak preview is available through the month of June at Escopazzo Organic Italian Restaurant. Visit

Baleen Miami, Coconut Grove
Grove isle Hotel & Spa, (305) 857-5007
Miami Spice preview June 16 through 30.  Check their website for menu,

Chef Allen’s
19088 NE 29th Ave. Aventura, (305) 935-2900
Miami Spice preview, June 16-30 – a three course menu for $36.00. Check their website for menu

Other Summer Specials

18831 Biscayne Boulevard, in the Shoppes at Loehmann’s Plaza, Aventura 305.931.5775
Prezzo Restaurant and Martini Bar is standing up to rising prices by offering summer specials, beginning Sunday, June 22: Prix-Fixe Dinner for $30, Monday through Thursday, 6 pm until 10 pm, Sunset Dining for $19.95, Sunday through Thursday, from 4 pm to 6 pm.

Raphael’s, 530 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305.673.1139
During the month of June guests that order from the Meat Market menu with a a selection of prime-cuts including the Filet Mignon ($28.90); the New York Strip Steak ($23.70); Lamb Chops ($28.80); Kosher Bon- In Rib-Eye Steak ($28.90); Steak and Fries ($15.60). All prime cuts are served with a selection of sautéed or roasted vegetables, homemade mashed potatoes, Raphael’s special round fries and roasted Yukon potatoes.
The Setai, 2009 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, (786) 497-0049
In celebration of the new chef, a pre-fixed menu highlighting new flavors.  For $55, this four-course menu offers multiple choices of select new dishes at The Restaurant at The Setai.

Food News and Views WLRN NPR June 12, 2008

Food and Dining Radio Show – 6.13.08
Linda Gassenheimer (LG)
Joseph Cooper (JC)
Fred Tasker (FT)
Jonathan Eismannn (JE)

LG: Well Joe, Father’s Day is this weekend. There are always lots of questions. “What to buy for Dad?” Or the way to Dad’s heart might be through his stomach. Our guest today, Jonathan Eismann, is the Chef/Owner of Pacific Time. They’ve just opened in the Design District and they used to be on Lincoln Road. And he’s brought his eight year old daughter Morgan with him today. Welcome Jonathan and Morgan.

JE: Hello.

LG: And Fred Tasker is here in his usual seat. He writes the wine suggestions for my column that you can see in today’s Herald. Fred, what are we drinking today?

FT: I’m going to talk about my idea of what to give Dad for Father’s Day and it might even include wine.

LG: What a surprise. [laughing] Chef, what’s your dream food or dish for Father’s Day?

JE: Just about anything where I don’t have to cook so I get a break. A tradition at our house is we do a Barbeque.

LG: So you’re cooking?

JE: Well they have it set up. But I man the grill. This weekend we’re going to have Wagyu Burgers.

LG: Wow. Tell our listeners what that is.

JE: Yes, Wagyu is a high-grade of beef with origins in Japan.

JC: Like Kobe?

JE: Yes, but not as exclusive. It’s very good. Has great marbling.

LG: Aren’t some people serving it in their restaurants and calling it Kobe?

JE: I don’t know. I’ve never served it in my restaurant.

Caller 1: In my house we have a tradition where we do pork spare ribs and a corn pudding recipe that we cook in a pressure cooker. For some reason that’s our traditional Father’s Day dinner in my house.

LG: That sounds very good. Thanks for your call.

FT: Have you noticed nothing Dads ever want is good for you?

LG: Like with the word “healthy.” Yeah. Well Morgan do you help in the restaurant?

ME: Yes.

LG: What do you make?

ME: Tuna Tartar and Duck Salad.

LG: Wow! Do you give lessons?

ME: Sometimes.

LG: How did you come to learn that?

JE: Well she started out as a vegetarian. And then we noticed that she’d eat Tuna Tartar, Foie Gras and Sweetbreads.

LG: We give them all this bland stuff. No wonder they don’t like it. They want something with flavor.

JE: Exactly.

LG: Are you making something special for Dad for Father’s Day?

ME: Um…[silence]

LG: Something with chocolate? You want to keep it a secret?

ME: Yes.

LG: Who cooks at home?

JE: My wife is a great cook. Morgan is helping us too. So it’s a family affair.

LG: What about macaroni and cheese?

JE: Yes, my wife makes it. It’s a big secret around the house. I’ve never watched all the steps. She does a topping with white bread croutons. It gives it an incredible crust on the top.

LG: It’s interesting. I was at a children’s birthday party this weekend and they all ate hot dogs and hamburgers. But there were big tins of macaroni and cheese and that went like mad.

JE: It’s a favorite American dish. Anything crispy, brown and gooey is good.

LG: What are some other tips for cooking this weekend?

JE: I think it’s great to involve kids in the kitchen. They like to come in and help with the preparation. See what goes into a dish and identify the food. We work with them so they don’t get burned. But it’s important for them to understand where it comes from.

LG: Morgan helped in the Wine and Food festival?

JE: Yes, when she was 6 she worked on her assembly line with Marcus Sameulson and she did a great job.

LG: Does she get paid?

JE: I’m not allowed to say. I think there are Federal laws…

LG: Does he take care of you?

ME: Yes.

LG: Cool. What’s the most popular thing ordered in your restaurant on Father’s Day?

JE: This year they’ll have to come to my house because we’re closed but in the past I’ve noticed steaks and lamb is very popular.

JC: I’ll get your address.

JE: Julia Child said once she couldn’t live without red meat and gin.

LG: And she died at 95.

JE: Perfect.

LG: How do you have time with your family when you run a restaurant?

JE: Well it’s mostly in the morning. They help me out. We make crepes.

LG: What do you put in your crepes Morgan?

ME: Jelly, whipped cream, cinnamon and sugar.

LG: That’s so wonderful. I think if kids are involved in the kitchen they’re more likely to eat different things.

JE: I grew up in a family where food was the center and I made crepes with my mom.

LG: Does your little sister make crepes? She’s only 3 years old.

ME: No.

LG: No [laughing].

JE: She just makes trouble.

LG: Now let’s talk about your new restaurant. Tell us where it is.

JE: 35 NE 40th street in the design district. We have a beautiful indoor/outdoor space. We’re serving dinner only right now. As of the end of June we’ll be serving lunch Monday to Friday and then stay open through dinner to midnight.

LG: You’re going to be working really hard. I understand you’ve lowered your prices considerably. Like less than $40 for dinner.

JE: Yes, much less. Prices on Lincoln Road were a reflection of rent and everything else. But we’ve gone back to our original prices and they start at $9 and go into the low $20s.

LG: That’s great. We’re going to take a short break. We’re talking with Jonathan Eismann of Pacific Time and his daughter Morgan. We’ll be right back.


LG: We’re back. I’m Linda Gassenheimer. We’re talking with Jonathan Eismann of Pacific Time and his 8 year old daughter Morgan. His restaurant is now open in the Design District. We’re talking about tips for cooking for Father’s Day. Now it’s dinner in minutes time. You can eat now Fred.

FT: Not that I haven’t been but okay.

LG: Today’s dinner is Swordfish with a Zesty Sicilian Sauce. If you want the recipe see my recipe on 

JC: It’s very colorful. It’s great.

LG: It’s simple. Fred, what are we drinking?

FT: I think that finding a gift is so easy. We’re so easy you can give us the same thing every year and we’ll love it every time. If times are rough you can buy a $9 bottle of Malbec from Argentina. Or you can get us the $200 Tuscan wine and Don Shula’s. They have big porterhouses there. They’re scary.

JC: They have barbeque prawns there wrapped in apple smoked bacon.

FT: Sounds like you’re a regular Joe. Or you could pick up nice prime beef tenderloin. Google the recipe for Steak Deon and slather it with heavy cream. Then open a nice Merlot from Chile. That’s about $25. Those selections are on my blog. Get it at

LG: Thank you Fred for that information. Let’s go back to Jonathan Eismann and food. We were talking about barbeque. What are some of the side dishes you have?

JE: Homemade coleslaw, a nice antipasto like mozzarella, Caesar Salad…we keep it pretty simple.

LG: That’s easy for everyone. Antipasto plates can be put together with good cold cuts and olive oil from the supermarket. Tell me about your coleslaw.

JE: White vinegar, celery salt, and a little mayonnaise.

LG: What about dessert?

JE: My mom is a fantastic baker. She makes great cakes so I’m sure she’ll be up to something.

LG: Just before the break we were talking about your new restaurant and the lower prices.

JE: Yes, it’s really the times. People want high quality, simple food.

JC: Were you just pushed out of Lincoln Road?

JE: Yes, rent went up many hundreds of percent over the years.

LG: It’s really a shame.

JE: It’s true but our reputation is strong so we packed up and went to a friendlier zone.

LG: We forgot to say Jonathan brought us wonderful paninis.

JE: Yes, it’s something we like to make together. It’s made with Prosciutto and Parmesan and arugala.

LG: Well she ate it all! Morgan and Jonathan thank you so much for coming.

Restaurant Happenings South Florida June 18, 2008



Michy’s, 6927 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, 305-759-2001

Michelle Bernstein has won the James Beard Award for “The Best Chef of the South 2008.”  Bernstein said in her acceptance speech that she was especially gratified for the win because her restaurant is located “in a part of city better known for prostitutes than for dining.” More information about the awards can be found at


The Boutique Kitchen,6815 Biscayne Boulevard,(305-756-0089).
The Upper East Side restaurant focuses on gourmet bistro fare: salads (Asian, Greek, Tex-Mex), sandwiches (chicken and sun-dried tomato, BBQ pulled pork), and classics (meatloaf, churrasco steak, spaghetti). Rotating specials include Caribbean-style paella (black rice, chorizo, shrimp, calamari, mussels) and coconut curry chicken. Though the spot is geared toward takeout and catering, its homey Southwestern decor, cheery yellow walls, and open kitchen invite you to order your beer “to stay.”

October 9-12 see your favorite Food Network Star at the NYC Wine and Food Festival. Tickets and more information is available at

Sizzling Summer Specials at Prezzo!

Prezzo,18831 Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura, 305.931.5775,
Prezzo Restaurant and Martini Bar in Aventura is reversing the trend of rising prices by offering sizzling summer specials, beginning Sunday, June 22.  On the heels of its successful $12 Lunch Express and Prix Fixe Tuesdays, Prezzo has announced the following Summer Values: Prix-Fixe Dinners for $30, Monday through Thursday, 6 pm until 10 pm, includes a choice of Appetizer, Entrée, Dessert, Coffee and a glass of Champagne or Wine, all for just $30.  Portions are plentiful, and the menu changes daily. Sunset Dining has been reduced to just $19.95 Sunday through Thursday, from 4 pm to 6 pm. 


Azul at Mandarin Oriental, Miami, 500 Brickell Key Drive, (305) 913-8358.

New Wine Seminar to Offer Great Wines, Amazing Bites and Good Tunes. A longtime wine-lover and aficionado, Betancourt is a rarity in the wine industry – a female sommelier – a fact she finds ironic considering women purchase 57% of the wine consumed in the United States.  In keeping with this trend, Betancourt is launching a series of special women-oriented wine seminars.  Taking place this July, the Wine, Women & Song seminars will be the perfect way for burgeoning wine-lovers to learn the basics and more seasoned sippers to sharpen their tasting skills. Priced at $40 per person (all-inclusive), each class, held at the Azul Bar from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., will feature wine tastings with Betancourt, delicious bites from the Azul kitchen and a special Mandarin Oriental gift bag, featuring an array of complimentary goodies, including a CD of relaxing tunes from the hotel spa.  Class size is limited; advance reservations required. 


FRATELLI LYON, 4141 Northeast Second Avenue in Miami, 305-572-2901
Ken Lyon, director of the highly successful Lyon + Lyon catering company and former co-owner of the iconic Lyon Freres et Compagnie on Lincoln Road, has opened his new restaurant, Fratelli Lyon, an inviting Italian café notable for light, seasonal, high quality, handcrafted cuisine.  Located at 4141 Second Avenue, in what is fast becoming Miami’s version of restaurant row, the Design District restaurant occupies a soaring modern space at the entrance to the chic Driade showroom.  All the chic restaurant furnishings, from bar fixtures, chairs and tables to dishes, glassware, flatware and accessories, are sourced from Driade and available for purchase in the store — an unprecedented blending of art and design with great food and wine.

The Regent Bal Harbour, 10295 Collins Avenue, in Bal Harbour, 305-455-5400.
The Regent Bal Harbour, the luxurious new ocean front resort, offers revelers the ultimate destination for Independence Day celebrations on Friday, July 4, 2008.  Perched directly on the water at the tip of Bal Harbour Village, the hotel’s beautiful Aqua Soleil pool area and chic The View Bar offer unparalleled locations for viewing South Florida’s annual fireworks extravaganzas while relaxing in a beautiful setting and enjoying incredible cuisine.  The Aqua Soleil Independence Day Barbecue runs from noon to 7:00 p.m. and is priced at $65.00 per person exclusive of tax and gratuity.  The View Bar Clambake Buffet takes place from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. and is offered at $75.00 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity.  Both buffets are priced at $25.00 plus tax and gratuity for children under 12.

Food News and Views WLRN NPR The Fruit Hunter June 5, 2008

Food and Dining Radio Show Restaurant Roundabout– 6.6.08
Linda Gassenheimer (LG)
Joseph Cooper (JC)
Fred Tasker (FT)
Adam Gollner (AG)

LG: I love fruit. Who doesn’t? But have you heard of peanut butter fruit, ice cream beans, and pearl bearing coconuts? Our guest today says these are real. And why does some of the fruit in our markets in our guest’s words taste like tennis balls or mealy juiceless cotton wads? Some of these descriptions are quite apt. We’ll hear the answers from Adam Gollner the author of, The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession.

A: Hello. Great to be here.

LG: In his usual seat is Fred Tasker. He’s the wine columnist for the Miami Herald. So Fred, what are we drinking today?

FT: Well I’m going to talk about an absolute revolution in the French Wine Industry.

LG: Can’t wait to hear about it. Adam Gollner is joining us from Montreal, Canada. Adam, tell us if these fruits really exist.

AG: Yes, they actually do exist. There are thousands of incredible fruits that exist in nature that many of us can’t imagine. The pearl bearing one is mentioned in a book by David Fairchild. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a wonderful place and it has some very interesting fruits. Do you know it?

All: Oh yes!

AG: There are incredible people who work there. David Fairchild wrote some memoirs about his fruit hunting days.

LG: And is there a pearl in this coconut?

AG: Yes. It’s not a specific variety but it’s considered a rarity. The coconut will sprout it. It’s an aberration. There’s a photograph that David Fairchild took that is in his memoir.

FT: Is it edible?

AG: I don’t know.

JC: What palm tree produces this?

AG: I don’t think it’s too different from a regular coconut.

LG: As I mentioned, we do know about Fairchild. It’s a treasure here. Richard Campbell gave me some special fruit that we’ve got right here. We have some miracle fruit. You mention that fruit in your book. Tell us about it.

AG: The miracle fruit is a little red berry.

JC: Looks like a cranberry.

AG: It’s another fruit that David Fairchild found on a trip to Cameroon. It makes everything that’s sour taste sweet.

LG: We’re going to taste some here. Normally Adam we have dinner in minutes on the second half of our program but we’re going to have it now because after that we’re going to try the miracle fruit. Today’s dinner in minutes in Gorgonzola Chicken with Fresh Linguine and Sweet Pimentos. If you want the recipe you can go to my website I thought I would save money by buying store brand gorgonzola and it was like rubber. So buy the good quality gorgonzola. Now Adam, tell us what to do with the red berry.

AG: Put it in your mouth and gently bite it and let the juice coat your taste buds. It can take 30 seconds to a minute for it to start to work. The skin can stay in your mouth.

LG: Can you swallow this thing?

AG: Yes.

LG: While this is acting we’re going to take a break. We’re talking with Adam Gollner about bizarre and exotic fruits. His book is, The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession.


LG: We’re back. We’re talking with Adam Gollner, the food journalist. His book is, The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession. We have just tasted a miracle fruit. You said it’s supposed to turn sour things sweet.

AG: Yes, sour to sweet.

LG: It’s a funny feeling on our tongues and I find it bitter.

AG: Well I’ve never had a bitter one.

LG: We have lemon, potato chips and olives. Which should we try first?

AG: Lemon. That’s the most sour.

JC: Wow! It is sweet.

All: Wow, yes, it does taste sweet.

LG: How does it taste with wine?

FT: Oh man, I do not recommend these berries with wine.


LG: What about olives?

JC: I don’t think it worked as well as it did with the lemon.

AG: Because it’s not sour.

LG: What else should we try?

AG: Strawberries. They will totally blow your mind.

FT: They get sweeter?

AG: Yes, they get deliriously sweet.

LG: Let’s just talk about your book for a minute. Your book talks about how bad fruit in supermarkets is now. Tell us, what’s the story with our commercial fruit?

AG: Well a big reason the fruit isn’t very good is they’re passed through the supermarket cold chain. That means they’re picked and immediately placed into cold containers. Then they’re stored in frigid warehouses and then in the supermarket they’re under the glow of fluorescent lights. Also, many of them are picked when they’re not ripe. That’s because they want them to look good.

LG: That’s a real shame. Fred, can you cheer us up with wine news?

FT: French wine makers are being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Wine already has the name of the grape on the label except in France they do it differently. They put the region on the bottle because you’re supposed to know what grapes they grow in each region. That worked for hundreds of years but France is really hurting in the less expensive wine market so they’re allowing the French to put the name of the grape on the label. This is a really big deal for France. In what might or might not be a good thing, French winemakers can now put cute animals on their labels. You know like the Australians put kangaroos on their label.

LG: They regulated that?

FT: Yes, you’d be jailed. [laughing] So you may see that sweet French skunk on the label.

LG: Let’s go back to Adam Gollner. I was fascinated by your description of the grapple. I’ve seen them in the supermarket. Is there grape juice in them?

LG: It’s an apple with artificial fruit flavoring.

FT: How did they get it in there?

AG: They didn’t want me to know but they wanted me to write about it so I visited the laboratory and I did find out how it’s made. I write about it in The Fruit Hunter.

LG: So many small farms are being taken over by large farms. They’re turning to this to compete.  I suppose we can expect more artificial flavors in fresh fruit.

AG: That’s the nature of big agriculture today.

LG: Well we’re all out of time. I’d like to thank Fairchild Tropical Garden for sending us this fruit. If you want to see them or taste them, they have group tastings there. You can’t buy it there but you can order is from It’s been a very interesting week. Thank you for joining us.

Restaurant Happenings South Florida June 10, 2008



Pacific Time, 35 N.E. 40 Street, Miami, 305-722-7369.

Pacific Time in the Miami Design District is the new incarnation of Pacific Time, the Miami Beach restaurant that made waves on Lincoln Road for nearly 15 years. The new, sleek-looking 150-seats indoor-outdoor restaurant with an open kitchen, a wood burning oven and a full service bar combines Pan Asian flavors with contemporary American flavors. Chef/owner Jonathan Eismann has created a new menu, with check averages ranging from $18 per person for lunch and $38 per person for dinner. The chef de cuisine is Robert Pagan, the general manager is old-timer Ryan O’Donnell.

North One 10, 11052 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, 305 893 4211

Wednesday Night, beginning June 11th, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm enjoy live music at North One 10. Also, Skyy Vodka and Tommy Bahama Rum have partnered with North One 10 to hold Happy Hour 2 For 1 drinks – along with our $5 signature cocktailS- FEATURING  Tommy Bahama Rum and OUR SPECIAL SKYY VODKA INFUSIONS…June 11 from 6-9pm.
Kitchen 305, Newport Beachside Hotel, 16701 Collins Avenue, 305-949-1300

There’s a new restaurant in Sunny Isles. Enjoy items like “The We Got the Beat” salad (music note-shaped beets and pecan-crusted goat cheese) followed by a dose of Sun and Sand Pail Mussels, “Absolut Penne” (cream sauce, mini vodka shooter) and Ahi Tunatini trio presented in martini glasses.

W Wine Bistro, 3622 NE 2nd Avenue, 305 576 7775

Come and enjoy some great wines for ½ of their regular restaurant prices! Staring tomorrow, and every Wednesday until November 1st, no corkage fee (normally $15) for any bottle brought (@ retail price) in the restaurant and consumed on premises and a fee of only $5 instead of $15 if you bring your own bottle (with purchase on 1 entrée per person).

Miami Spice Preview on June 16-30, Miami Spice August 1-September 30.

With over 24 critically acclaimed restaurants worldwide, China Grill Management and its affiliates continually create some of the most original and innovative dining hotspots in major cities across the globe.  With a single focus in mind, China Grill Management has created an unrivaled and unforgettable dining experience for every single customer.  Previewing Miami Spice will only wet your appetite to return back to the amazing restaurants and cuisine that China Grill Management has to offer.

Food News and Views May 23, 2008

Food and Dining Radio Show Restaurant Roundabout– 5.23.08

Linda Gassenheimer (LG)

Richard Ives (RI)

Fred Tasker (FT)

Sean Bernal (SB)

LG: We’re so lucky in

South Florida to have lots of seafood. We’ve all been eating more seafood lately because we’re told it’s good for our health and it’s delicious. But not all seafood is equal. Fish populations are at their lowest level ever and we don’t know if farmed seafood is good for us. So what fish should we eat? Our guest today is going to help us with that. His name is Sean Bernal and he’s the Executive Chef of Oceanaire Seafood Room in



Village. He only uses sustainable safe seafood in his restaurant. Welcome Chef.

SB: Thank you very much. It’s great to be here.

LG: Smiling in his usual seat is Fred Tasker. He’s the wine columnist for the Miami Herald and he writes wine suggestions for my dinner in minutes column. Fred, what are we drinking today?

FT: Well when you’re eating fish the wine match is important.

LG: I’ll be anxious to hear what it is. So Chef, what does sustainable mean?

SB: Sustainable means the fish reproduces quickly, can regenerate like stone crabs and something that can accept the pressure of fishing without going extinct.

LG: So it needs to reproduce enough not to disappear.

SB: Yes, and there are regulations. Like stone crab fisherman must measure the claws so that they can regenerate.

LG: But we’re confused. For example, Chilean Sea Bass. I’ve been told it’s endangered. I see it everywhere and when I investigate it I get conflicting answers. What’s the story here?



Sea Bass is a member of a small family of fish and they are over fished illegally. To purchase it here it must pass through regulation. It has to have a stamp.

LG: So when we see it on a menu we don’t know.

SB: That would depend on the Chef and the purchaser and their morals.

LG: So you need to ask.

SB: Yes, a well educated Chef needs to know where everything is coming from so we can properly menu our items.

LG: We have several phone calls here.

Caller 1: Yesterday I read that because of concerns about mercury in tuna the safest alternative is to eat canned tuna. Do they scan tuna fish that’s canned?

LG: Depends on the type.

SB: Well tuna is tuna. Mercury levels are present in all ocean fish. What we need to do is limit the amount of tuna you eat.

Caller 1: They said you should buy a can as a solution. I thought that was crazy.

RI: I think that was geared toward pregnant women.

LG: It’s Skipjack tuna in a can that’s good. Albacore and blue fin have the most mercury.

SB: No albacore is the one that’s safest. That has the least mercury.

FT: If you’re my age there isn’t as much time for the mercury to build up so you don’t need to worry about it.


Caller 2: I love you restaurant Chef Sean. The service is superb. Linda, living in

South Florida you say we have great access to all this seafood. But it seems to me you have to pay high prices at Whole Foods to purchase good seafood in the markets. There is a lack of great independent fish mongers. Can you recommend places?

LG: That’s a great question. Chef Sean has some good information.

SB: Definitely Casa Blanca Seafood, which is a restaurant as well.

LG: What do you do if you live in



SB: My best suggestion is to start going to the

Marinas and meet the charter boat captains. I can guarantee you they’ll be happy to sell you their catch. It’s all about who you know.

LG: We have another caller who wants to know if caught bonita tuna is safe to eat?

SB: Yes, definitely. Bonita tuna is also called Skipjack. It’s great to grill because it’s very oily.

LG: I mentioned you brought something to the studio.

SB: Yes, we are famous for our crab cakes. Right now we’re using colossal lump crab meat.

FT: This is the biggest piece of crab I’ve ever seen in a crab cake.

SB: We want more crab than cake.

LG: If I wanted to buy jumbo lump crab meat, where would I buy it?

SB: One of the fish markets or you can even go online. Try brown trading.

LG: Well it’s worth it. It tastes great.

Caller 3: I have a comment. I’ve got two places in Broward for seafood. Dorris’ Italian Market on Pines and Palm and they have another location on

44th street

and university. Also if you go to restaurant depot and become a member. They have great bronzino there.

LG: Where is that?

Caller 3:

State Road

84 between University and…

LG: There’s one more question about where you can learn about fish that are endangered.

SB: It’s produced by the Monterey Aquarium. It’s very informative. It also has a section on mercury.

LG: Well we’re talking with Chef Sean Bernal about sustainable safe seafood. We’ll take a break and be back with more.


LG: We’re back. We’ve been talking with Executive Chef of Oceanaire Seafood Room in



Village. He only uses sustainable safe seafood in his restaurant. So now it’s Dinner in Minutes time. Today is Thai Tilapia with a Peanut Coconut Sauce and Basmati Rice. For the recipe see my website, Fred, what are we drinking? You’re mouth is full.

FT: No, I finished chewing. [laughing] Anyway I love to talk about wine and fish. I’ve been boning up all week for this.

LG: That was bad. [laughing]

FT: I’m looking at a menu from Oceanaire Seafood Room with the wine matches made for the menu. The first course was steamed halibut and with that they served a Portuguese wine that was very simple. The next was an Alaskan King Crab crusted Halibut. He served that with a Sauvignon Blanc. That’s a wonderful wine with fish. In


Valley wine makers will go to bars with a drink glass, drop an oyster in the bottom, put Sauvignon Blanc in that and drink it like a shooter.

LG: Wow!

FT: You can also match the wine with the sauce instead of the fish. And remember, if you want red wine go for it. The rule with drinking is drink what you like. So if you like red wine, drink it with fish.

LG: Fred, as a sad note we had an icon in the wine world who passed last week.

FT: Robert Mondavi died last week. He was a real pioneer of wine in

California. In the mid-sixties he had a big fight with his brother so he had to leave his own home winery and start his own winery. He went to

Europe and brought back the new methods they were using. He got that started and you see what has happened since. He was one of the real pioneers. One personal memory I have is that he was a great wine salesman. He staged a tasting in

Miami one time with a really expensive French Bordeaux that cost 4 times his wine. If you know about French wine you know wines need many more years of ageing. So he took a French wine of the same year as his wine and his wine blew it out of the water. So he really was a great salesman.

LG: He really put


Valley on the map. It’s such a wonderful wine growing area.

FT: And we should mention that he had been a feud with his brother for over 20 years but just before the Wine and Food Festival this year they made up. They were given an award there jointly and it was nice to see.

LG: He’s remembered with a lot of love. Let’s go back to the fish Chef Sean. What should we look for when we buy fish?

SB: Look for clear bright eyes, the gills should be bright red, tightly adhered scales and there should be no fish odor. It should have a slight seaweed smell. For filets, look at the color and check the smell.

LG: Well another delicious week has gone by. Thank you for joining us.

Restaurant Happenings South Florida June 5, 2008


Bizcaya Restaurant, The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, 3300 SW 27th Avenue,  305-644-4680
Limited to just 14 guests and only $90 per person including five-course dinner, wine, tax, gratuity AND valet parking, this relaxed, personalized dinner has new rising star Chef de Cuisine Miguel Magaña and Sommelier Jeffrey Galloway joining guests and engaging them in conversations – not presentations. The lively dinner includes Five Card Stud poker with a card dealt at each course. The guest with the best hand at the end of the night wins a Ritz-Carlton prize ranging from a bottle of fine wine to Sunday Brunch, dinner in Bizcaya, treatments at the Boutique Spa and much more.

Escopazzo Organic Italian Restaurant, 1311 Washington Avenue, 305.674.9450
Miami Spice menu sneak preview is available through the month of June at Escopazzo Organic Italian Restaurant. Visit


Raphael’s, 530 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305.673.1139
While slimming down for swimsuit season might be top-of-mind for some, Raphael’s invites those torn by their passion for sun and food to throw in the towel (or bathing suit) and enjoy their month-long Meat Market. During the month of June guests that order from the Meat Market menu will receive a Garden Salad sprinkled with organic corn oil vinaigrette, a choice of house wine and the Aphrodite Crème Brulee with fresh mint and pineapple,  compliments of Raphael’s.  Choose from a selection of prime-cuts including the Filet Mignon ($28.90); the New York Strip Steak ($23.70); Lamb Chops ($28.80); Kosher Bon- In Rib-Eye Steak ($28.90); Steak and Fries ($15.60). All prime cuts are served with a selection of sautéed or roasted vegetables, homemade mashed potatoes, Raphael’s special round fries and roasted Yukon potatoes.

Perricone’s Marketplace & Cafe, 15 SE 10th Street, (305) 374-9449.
Perricone’s Marketplace is taking advance reservations for its popular Father’s Day Brunch, Sunday, June 15.  The brunch, $24.95 for adults and $11.95 for children 5-12, (children under 5, free) will be served from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  No ala carte menu will be served that day. The brunch includes omelet, carving (fresh roasted turkey breast and honey cured ham) and pasta stations, eggs benedict, herb roasted potatoes, breakfast sausage, bacon, fresh Norwegian smoked salmon platters and mozzarella caprese platters.

Beachside Resort & Conference Center, 3841 North Roosevelt Boulevard, 305-296-3676. 
Tavern N Town, the stunningly beautiful restaurant at Key West’s Beachside Resort & Conference Center, which opened October 2007, is offering a new menu, created by executive chef Kevin Montoya, formerly of Casa Marina, in Key West, Florida. “To accommodate our guests, we’ve created a simple menu for Tavern N Town.  It focuses on flavorful wood-grilled fresh local fish, prime steaks, poultry and savory daily specials along with steakhouse style side dishes and a menu of small plates, perfect for Key West locals and visitors,” says Beachside developer, Robert Spottswood. Tempting Tavern Favorites, a group of signature main plates ranging from $19-$43, include pan cooked fillet of yellowtail with garlic mashed potatoes, hearts of palm, tiny tomatoes, and citrus butter, togarashi rubbed tuna steak with forbidden rice, shiitake mushroom salsa and an Asian-black bean butter sauce, and an aromatic garlic roasted rack of lamb with roasted fingerling potatoes and sautéed wild mushrooms in a port wine reduction, among others.

Food News and Views WLRN NPR May 1, 2008 Jacques Pepin

Food and Dining Radio Show Restaurant Roundabout– 5.1.08

Linda Gassenheimer (LG)

Joseph Cooper (JC)

Fred Tasker (FT)

Jacques Pépin (JP)

LG: We have a very special guest today. His name is Jacques Pépin. He’s a television personality, a teacher and he was Chef to three French Presidents including Charles de Gaul. A little known side of him is that he’s a painter and has a Masters Degree. He has a new book out entitled Traditions and Rituals of Cook. Welcome Jacques. 

JP: I’m delighted to be here. Thank you.

LG: Sitting in his usual seat is Fred Tasker. He’s the wine columnist for the Miami Herald and he writes the wine suggestions for my dinner in minutes column. What are we drinking today?

FT: I’m going to talk about Syrah, a very French wine.

LG: Well Jacques is joining us from

New York City. Congratulations on your new book. I love the charming paintings in your book.

JP: I’m sure you recognize many of the pictures. It reminds you of mushrooming and frogging and picking up fish from the sea with you. This is a kind of a visual autobiography explaining what we do with cooking.

LG: I remember one summer afternoon you took me to get wild mushrooms.

JP: Tried to kill you [laughing].

LG: We brought them back to your house and cooked them up. They were just delicious. They were so good.

FT: Is this all walking distance from your house?

JP: Yes, I go walk with my dog when I’m there.

LG: As you mentioned this is a very personal look at your life. What are some of your most vivid food memories?

JP: I put about 100 recipes in that book and contrary to other books that I’ve done with special angles, this one I tried to pick recipes that meant something to me. So in that sense it’s very personal and a bit different from my other books.

LG: Who did the photos?

JP: Tom Hopkins who is a friend of mine who lives in

Connecticut as well. He’s a great photographer.

LG: I remember you were playing boules once with my husband for hours and then you made hamburgers for us for dinner. I mention this because people don’t think of you as making hamburgers.

FT: How is that viewed back in


JP: No one knows me in France so it doesn’t make a difference. Some professionals know me but it doesn’t matter. I love hamburger. In fact I made them in

France. One time I did a show with Julia Child and we made hamburger without putting salt on the meat which is more American style and she made hers French style! She had sautéed onions and mixed them into the meat pressed it on the skillet. To me that tastes like meat loaf!

FT: I saw that show. It was charming.

LG: I love how unpretentious your cooking is and, along those lines, I remember another time I asked you where I should buy ingredients and you said, “just go to the super market.”

JP: The supermarkets are nicer than they have ever been in this country. When I came here, 50 years ago, there were packaged foods and no oil or vinegar or herbs like we have now. I remember I asked for mushrooms and they pointed me to the canned mushrooms! Now you go and there are 15 types of fresh mushrooms. Most of them have no taste but they’re there. But even better than that, the organic movement is exploding and there are markets opening all over the country. We have one in Madison Connecticut and we have a farmers’ market and there are vegetables, fruits and meats.

LG: Another point that you bring out in the book is that you go ahead and find local farmers. They are in the book…for example the woman with fresh eggs.

JP: Yes there are. If you start looking around and asking you will find farmers who grow one thing or another. It’s important to support local farming and to support people around you.

LG: We have a emailer who asks, “can you tell me how to do a simple French recipe?”

JP: Which one?

LG: For a beginner.

JP: A roast chicken is hard and easy at the same time. Chicken are tender now. I would advise you to buy an organic or at least a chicken without hormones. Salt pepper inside out and into a 400 degree oven on one side 20 minutes, other side 20 minutes and standing on its back for 20 minutes. Make your sauce out of the dripping juice. Use an aluminum pan, not stainless steel, and take some of the fat out and put in some water. Do a salad with that and have your chicken luke warm with salad and it’s a meal for a king!

LG: You’re making us drool!

FT: I just wrote down everything you said!

JC: You don’t put herbs on that?

JP: You can put herb but you don’t have to. But you can put them on the salad.

LG: Well I’m Linda Gassenheimer. We’ll take a short break and be back with more.


LG: Well it’s time for dinner in minutes. My recipe today is turkey with refried been enchiladas with fried corn. If you’d like the recipe see my website So Fred, what are we drinking?

FT: We’re drinking Syrah today. It’s a great wine but it can be confusing sometimes. 30 years ago it was the most important grape in France’s


Valley. Then the Australians got into the act and imported Syrah vines into their own, but they decided to call it

Shiraz. But

Australia is warm and sunny so it turned out quite different. It’s soft and sweet and sometimes you have to add cabernet to give it more backbone. Then

California imported some vines but they kept the Syrah wines. Here’s where it gets confusing. Now some California wine makers are starting to call their Syrah names

Shiraz. They say they do it when they make it in the Australian style. But now growers from

Australia are starting to make the wines under both names which makes the situation even more confusing. So the thing to remember is that Syrah is big and powerful and

Shiraz is ripe and jammy. But I’d like to ask Jacques if he finds himself serving French wines or are you more eclectic?

JP: It depends on the price. Unfortunately American wine is more expensive than Italian and

Portugal. French of course I can find a good bottle between 8 and 12 dollars.

FT: Even with the Euro?

JP: Yes, for some reason wine is too expensive here. Except or very ordinary wine it tends to be too expensive.

LG: Jacques you are the Dean of the French Culinary Institute in

New York City. Have you seen a change in the students in the last few years?

JP: Yes and no. The school is going well – we are full. It’s amazing how in a recession our enrollment goes up. Maybe people want to try a new business. For us the average age is 25-38. We also have people who were lawyers, doctors and accountants. We have 95 people who are having their second career. Certainly if you compare to 25 years ago the female enrollment is up. Now there are more women than men.

FT: Do the older students have the energy?

JP: It depends what you’re going to do. If you’re young and unattached you can work in the best restaurants and learn and really do it. When I spoke with a more mature students who are in their second career he already knew what he wanted to do. We sent him to a small restaurant so he can learn what’s happening to him when he’s running a place himself. So even at that age you can produce good food.

LG: Well we’re out of time. It has been excellent speaking with you Jacques.

JP: Thank you for having me. Say hello to all of my friends there.

LG: Jacque’s new book is Traditions and Rituals of Cook. It’s a treasure. Join us next week.

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