Tasting & Toasting

Gourmet Food and Wine Pairings, October 2008

Crown Online has re-launched! Crown Wine and Spirits, the leading wine merchant in South Florida for more than 50 years, has re-launched its website and is now even better suited to bring the gourmet experience right to your door! The powerhouse Miami gourmet, wine and liquor retailer has teamed with SocialMiami.com to present Tasting & Toasting – a South Florida guide for connoisseurs. This 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. Crown is the fastest and easiest way to shop for wine, liquor and gourmet foods online. And be sure to make a reservation at one of these featured restaurants and enjoy a feast fit for royalty.

Le Café

Located along Biscayne Blvd in the hip urban corridor that is the MiMo District, lays Le Café. A cozy-but-chic French bistro, Le Café is the perfect neighborhood spot. The walls are adorned with pieces by Eric Lavazzon, an artist best known for his three-dimensional “Hollywood memorabilia” art. Take in his Marilyn Monroe pieces or the giant shoe-box display as you sip your espresso and catch up on emails (Le Café has free WiFi!). With a small bakery in the back, Le Cafe always has a wide selection of freshly baked treats to choose from- baguettes, croissants, and whole wheat loaves, just to name a few. Try the escargot two different ways: in a garlic butter sauce or with Roquefort cheese. Another great lunch option is the mussels frites served in a garlic white wine sauce with French fries. If you’re in the mood for something heartier, try the Beef Bourguignon: beef stew in red wine sauce with white rice and roasted potatoes (Crown recommends Chehalem 3 Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006). Of course, Le Café has more to offer then just great food and art! The Ricky Johnson jazz band performs every Wednesday night, and there is also live music on Thursday and Saturday evenings. So drop by 7295 Biscayne Blvd, and see why Le Café has been dubbed “Your neighborhood French Bistro!” 305-754-6551

Laffing Matterz

Opened in August 2005, Laffing Matterz was created in the likeness of the Crystal Palace Theatre Restaurant of Aspen, Colorado. This unique dinner theatre concept combines musical satire of politics and pop culture with a menu that far surpasses traditional dinner theatre fare. With the exposed brick, navy blue leather banquettes and dark wood accents with custom lighting throughout the lounge and showroom, Laffing Matterz has a real classic metro-chic look. This intimate 175 seat theatre has tiered seating, so all guests have a clear view of the show while enjoying their meal. With Chef John Eustace at the helm, don’t expect Laffing Matterz to serve up typical dinner theatre fare. Dishes like the Stuffed Portobello Mushroom with Artichokes, Spinach, Parmesan and Provolone Cheeses, Fresh Tomato and Roasted Garlic Basil Sauce, and Herb-Crusted Chilean Sea Bass oven baked and finished with a fire-roasted pineapple – red pepper salsa, make it easy to see why guests come for the food as much as the show! (Crown recommends Guigal Condrieu 2005.) Laffing Matterz is the perfect place for corporate events, social functions, holiday parties, birthday parties, etc Call the Box Office directly at 954-763-5236 for show times and to make your reservation. Laffing Matterz is located at 219 South Andrews Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale.


Under the direction and ownership of Chef Gary Lampner, Eggwhites Special Event Catering, now in its fourteenth year, continues to bring a standard of excellence to catering in South Florida.
Eggwhites offers full-service catering for corporate, wedding, social and charitable events including: event planning, complete menu packages, service and bar staff, floral design and décor services, logistical management, entertainment and rental equipment. Plus, Eggwhites’ state-of-the-art kitchen allows the company to handle multiple large events as well as service functions exceeding counts of more than 10,000 guests. Eggwhites has earned a reputation among the most discriminating clients for providing personalized service and first-class international cuisine with an emphasis on style and flexibility, which has made them the “caterer of choice” for many high profile clients & events. Most recently, Eggwhites has catered the Obama campaign, Ivana Trump, Lexus Hybrid, and the launch of the limited edition David LaChapelle Remy Martin Cognac. Additional clients include The Make a Wish Foundation, Jackson Memorial Foundation International Kids’ Fund, The Latin Grammy Awards, Miami City Ballet and the list goes on and on. Personalized, professional service, strict attention to detail, innovative menus and the highest of culinary standards are Eggwhites’ hallmarks. For more information, call 305-892-2066 in Dade County, 954-927-4557 in Broward County, toll-free at 1-877-833-EGGS, or visit us on our website at www.eggwhitescatering.com

La Goulue

La Goulue Christian Delouvrier is the exact replica of a glamorous Parisian-style bistro in the middle of the Bal Harbour shops. Its only fitting that Chef Christain Delouvrier would decide to open his chic bistro among some of the most exclusive, high-end shops in the country. Designed by Denoyer, La Goulue’s honey-colored oak façade with Specialites de la Maison feels like a 1900s Parisian bistro. On a nice day, diners can choose to sit outside on the patio underneath the Florida palms. The menu boasts traditional and signature French fare while taking advantage of Florida’s fresh seafood and produce. Start off your meal with Calamari a la Plancha, baby calamari seared in extra virgin olive oil with basil pesto and lemon. Try La Goulue’s take on Mussels & Fries, steamed Mediterranean cultured mussels in a mustard and saffron broth with French fries. If you prefer land over sea, then the Steak Tartare served with fries is a great choice (Crown recommends Franciscan Magnificat Meritage 2005) La Goulue is also a wonderful location to meet for a drink, serving up classic cocktails like the Manhattan, Salty Dog and a New York Sour. La Goulue Christian Delouvrier is located at 9700 Collins Avenue, in the Bal Harbour shops. 305-865-2181.


Take an epicurean journey to Trina Restaurant & Lounge in Fort Lauderdale and experience innovative and sumptuous Mediterranean cuisine by Executive Chef Brian Kay and Chef de Cuisine Farid Oualidi. Through November 14, foodies can indulge in this urban and beach chic restaurant during Dine Out Lauderdale, a six-week culinary celebration in which Broward’s top restaurants feature a three-course dinner menu offered at a $35 fixed price (taxes and gratuity not included). Trina is participating in the Dine Out Lauderdale Sundays through Thursdays. Because the restaurant changes its Dine Out menu on a weekly basis, the Chefs suggest selections from Trina’s regular dinner menu. Begin with the Grilled Baby Octopus with fingerling potatoes oregano and sherry vinaigrette. For a shareable starter, try the signature Lamb Flatbread with feta cheese, oven roasted tomato, roasted garlic puree, sweet balsamic onions and Moroccan glaze. An excellent main dish selection is the Lobster and Scallop “Risotto,” a butter poached lobster over truffle orzo risotto and asparagus, blood orange beurre blanc (Crown recommends Heitz Cellar Napa Chardonnay). Join Trina Lounge every Friday night for Fort Lauderdale’s only Muddling Party, 7 – 11 p.m. Trina Restaurant & Lounge is located inside The Atlantic Resort & Spa at 601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. For reservations: 954-567-8070. For more information on Dine Out Lauderdale, visit www.sunny.org/dineout.

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

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