Tasting & Toasting

Gourmet Food and Wine Pairings, July 2008

Crown Wine and Spirits, the leading wine merchant in South Florida for more than 50 years, and SocialMiami.com present Tasting & Toasting – a South Florida guide for connoisseurs. Our monthly newsletter brings together the finest Miami restaurants with Crown’s experts who suggest wines to complement the cuisine. If the wine selection intrigues you, click through to Crown Online and make the purchase. It’s the fastest and easiest way to shop for wine online. And be sure to make a reservation at one of these featured restaurants and enjoy a feast fit for royalty.

The Restaurant at The Setai

The Restaurant at The Setai, with its open kitchen and casual atmosphere, showcases authentic Asian cuisine from China, Thailand, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. A team of chefs specializing in their native cuisine prepare authentic Asian cuisine under the masterful direction of executive chef Jonathan Wright. His passion for new ideas, world affairs, culture, cuisine and travel all play a role in the kitchen, and has earned him positions in some of the most notable dining establishments worldwide. The Restaurant’s menu represents many favorite dishes, some classics and some modern interpretations to guide you on your culinary journey. Dishes are ordered and served family-style, many in authentic native crockery. The Indian station includes a combination of curries, breads and Tandoori items; from the Chinese station Dim Sum, noodles, steamed fish and Chinese barbeque. Suggestions from Chef Wright are: Tom Kha Gai – Chicken, Galangal, Kaffir Lime Leaf and Oyster Mushrooms simmered in Coconut Milk (Crown recommends Chateau Smith Haut Lafite Blanc); Chun Tong Bei Jing – Peking Duck with Steamed Buns, Green Onions, Cucumber, and Plum Sauce (Crown recommends Henry’s Drive Reserve Shiraz); and Kaeng Khaiw Waan Kai – Chicken with Green Curry Paste, Thai Eggplants, Bamboo Shoots, Coconut Milk and Basil. (Crown recommends Guigal Condrieu) The Setai’s sommelier is well-versed at pairing a global wine offering with these exotic Asian flavors. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and Sunday brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. – The Restaurant at The Setai is located at 2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. In addition to The Restaurant, The Setai offers guests options for dining in The Grill, The Pool & Beach Bar, The Bar & Courtyard and, of course In-Room service. For reservations: 305-520-6400.

1 Bleu

Discriminating palates will delight in 1 Bleu’s unique partnership with the legendary Le Cordon Bleu, making this only the second Le Cordon Bleu restaurant collaboration in North America. As the signature restaurant of The Regent Bal Harbour and with rising star executive chef Gerdy Rodriguez at the helm, 1 Bleu and The View Bar deliver world-class service, style and sophistication for which Regent is known. Boasting an awe-inspiring design with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean, 1 Bleu is the epitome of panache and elegance. The cuisine takes its inspiration from the Mediterranean, indulging diners with a menu overflowing with gloriously fresh seafood, organic and locally-sourced produce and the finest cuts of meat available worldwide including Kobe and Wagyu beef. Rodriguez, born in Havana and raised in Miami, takes advantage of local delicacies; he also imports fresh seafood specialties from the Mediterranean, all flown in daily from Spain. For 1 Bleu, his dinner menu includes tempting starters such as Spring Garlic Soup made with Escargot, Black Trumpets, Mini Croutons and Spinach. Or from the Daily Seafood Bar, try Duo of Local Grouper and Wild Salmon Seviche, Citrus Marinated, with Cilantro, Truffle Scented White Corn (Crown recommends Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc). Main courses tantalize taste buds with dishes such as Red Wine Braised Short Rib, served with Yukon Gold Potatoes, Baby Carrots, English Peas and Horseradish Froth (Crown recommends Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon). Adjacent to the restaurant, The View Bar offers all-day dining in a casual setting that bursts with style and sophistication. Here you can unwind with a glass of wine from the world-class wine list and nosh on tantalizing light entrees. 1 Bleu, open for dinner daily, and The View Bar are located at The Regent Bal Harbour, 10295 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour. For reservations: 305-455-5400.

Los Ranchos

Los Ranchos Steakhouse, winner of the “Golden Fork Award” and known for serving the Best Steak in Town, offers four full-service restaurants in the Miami area. Since its inception in 1981, Los Ranchos Steakhouse has provided quality food and service at affordable prices in an elegant, yet warm steakhouse environment. In addition to enjoying Los Ranchos favorite selections from the menu, each location offers special party menus for larger groups. And if you are entertaining at home, Los Ranchos en Su Casa delivers a wide array of catering choices for groups from 20 to 200. When a guest at any of the four Los Ranchos locations, try an internationally renowned signature dish of Charbroiled Tenderloin Churrasco, a Juicy and Flavorful Center Cut, Marinated in Garlic and served with Gallo Pinto, a traditional mixture of Red Beans and White Rice, Sweet Plantains, 3 Special Los Ranchos Sauces and Garlic Bread (Crown recommends Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon). Finish off with Tres Leches, Los Ranchos’ Original and Famous House Dessert. Locations are: Bayside, 401 Biscayne Boulevard, Downtown Miami (for reservations 305-375-8188); CocoWalk, 3015 Grand Avenue, Coconut Grove (for reservations 305-461-8222); Sweetwater, 125 S.W. 107th Avenue, Miami (for reservations 305-552-6767); and The Falls, 8888 S.W. 136th Street, Miami (for reservations 305-238-6867). For information about catering, call 305-221-9367.

Ortanique on the Mile

Under the able direction of owner and executive chef Cindy Hutson, Ortanique on the Mile delivers a unique culinary experience. Its “Cuisine of the Sun,” an eclectic fusion of flavors of the tropics and its abundance of natural spices and herbs, translates to award-winning dishes that reflect a true taste of the islands. Hutson’s emphasis is on healthier, lighter foods that showcase her passion for flavor. Dishes are beautifully plated and served in Ortanique’s warm, rich ambiance of sunset yellow, burnt sienna and rich mahogany. Regular patrons, including an array of celebrities who frequent the restaurant, especially enjoy live jazz on Sunday nights, Mojito Madness all day and night on Mondays and free champagne tastings on Thursdays beginning at 5:30 and lasting till the bubbles run dry. Ortanique is open for dinner seven days and for lunch Monday through Friday. Choose one of these entrée selections on your next visit and savor the pleasure: Mediterranean Red Stripe Beer Steamed Mussels served in a Spicy Red Stripe Broth with Shallots, Scotch Bonnet Peppers, Tomatoes and Jamaican Thyme (Crown recommends Perrier Jouet Fleur de Champagne); or Pan Sautéed Bahamian Black Grouper marinated in Teriyaki and Sesame Oil with an Ortanique Orange Liqueur and Flor de Caña Limon Sauce, Topped with Steamed Seasoned Chayote and Carrots on a Creamy Boniato Mash (Crown recommends Mer Soleil Chardonnay); or Jerked Double Pork Chop with Guava Flor de Caña Rum Sauce and South American Moros Topped with Drunken Raisins and Tropical Fruit Flambé (Crown recommends Philip Togni Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon). Ortanique on the Mile is located at 278 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. For reservations: 305-446-7710.


A Miami Beach neighborhood restaurant, Talula has been the darling of South Florida’s culinary community since it opened five years ago. Owned and operated by husband and wife chefs, Frank Randazzo and Andrea Curto-Randazzo, Talula’s menu embraces both chefs’ professional experience and Italian-American roots. Each dish begins with fresh ingredients and ends by exciting the palate with masterfully layered flavors and is served in hearty portions in a warm and welcoming environment. Begin with Grilled Sonoma Valley Foie Gras with Caramelized Figs, served atop Blue Corn Cakes — so delectable, it was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal (Crown recommends Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes). Entrées include several delicacies from the sea, such as the Crispy Skin Yellowtail Snapper with Sweet Potato-Wild Mushroom Risotto, Wilted Organic Arugula and Kaffir Lime Butter (Crown recommends Krug Grande Cuvee). A Talula favorite is Chef Curto-Randazzo’s Risotto of the-Day for which she employs a variety of ingredients from the simple — like Wild Mushrooms — to the sublime — an assortment of Rare and Exotic Cheeses (Crown recommends Dom Perignon). This daily special is dished up in either appetizer or entrée portions. The menu is complemented by a wine list featuring more than 100 wines from around the globe. Desserts, a specialty of the house, include favorites like Sweet Potato Crème Brulée topped with Burnt Marshmallow and Chocolate-Banana Bread Pudding. Talula also offers a great lunch menu Tuesday – Friday, including the Lunch Box, a 3-course prix fixe menu featuring specials not available a la carte. Open for dinner 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, til 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 6 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, Talula is located at 210 23rd Street, Miami Beach. For reservations: 305-672-0778.

Interested in having your restaurant featured in Tasting & Toasting? Please contact Allison McCormick at allison@socialmiami.com

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