Tasting & Toasting

Gourmet Food and Wine Pairings, November 2008

Crown Wine and Spirits, the leading wine merchant in South Florida for more than 50 years has teamed with SocialMiami.com to present Tasting & Toasting – a South Florida guide for connoisseurs. Crown Wine and Spirits current “Pick of the Month” is The Statesman. Upon opening its handsome tweed case, you’ll be overwhelmed with four of The Glenlivet’s finest single malt scotches: French Oak 15 year, Nadurra 16 year, Single Malt 18 year and Archive 21 year old. This stately presentation of The Glenlivet truly represents the upmost style and generosity of gift giving and certainly will be appreciated by any man or woman, in any state. The Statesman sells for $374.99. Other great holiday gifts include any of the fabulous wine pairings that Crown’s experts have chosen for the highlighted dishes from four of South Florida’s leading restaurants: Asia Bay, Mandarin Oriental, The Grill at The Setai, Vue at Hotel Victor.

Asia Bay

Located just a few blocks west of the Bal Harbour Shops, Asia Bay Bistro is the perfect spot for lunch or dinner when you are in the Bay Harbour area. This quaint little restaurant boasts the freshest selection of fresh fish, as well as an extensive “cooked food” menu for those not into eating raw. With roughly 50 seats, Asia Bay Bistro’s warm and intimate interior can best be described as “minimalist-chic.” In fact, many of the servers and customers are on a first-name basis. Prices are very affordable, and Asia Bay Bistro serves up delicious lunch specials during the work week. The restaurant also has a few outside tables, so be sure to bring the family pet and dine al fresco when the weather is nice. Some of the best dishes include the ever-popular Spicy Tuna Rock appetizer which is a tower of rice, seaweed, and a mix of tuna, scallions, avocado, masago, tempura flakes, and spicy mayo. The Fuji Roll is a great choice if you’re craving sushi: tuna, cucumber, scallions inside with chopped tuna mixed with avocado, wasabi tobiko, masago and kimchee sauce on top. If you’re looking for a cooked entrée, try the Pad Thai, served traditional style with mixed veggies and your choice of chicken, shrimp or beef. (Crown recommends Vouvray Le Mont Sec.) Asia Bay Bistro has a thorough sake and wine list as well as a nice assortment of international beers and is located at 1007 Kane Concourse in Bay Harbour Islands. To make a reservation or catering inquiry, please call 305-861-2222.

Mandarin Oriental

Make Thanksgiving “stress-free” this year, and let the amazing chef’s at the Mandarin Oriental do all of the hard work for you (and still take the credit yourself!) Pick up your five-star “Thanksgiving To Go” dinner with all the fixings for this festive holiday. Those wanting to truly savor time with family, or to escape the time-consuming task of cooking and baking, can simply leave it to Mandarin Oriental, Miami and pre-order a decadent dinner. The “Thanksgiving To Go” Menu serves four to six people and for $250, gets you an oven roasted organic turkey (between 12 and 16 pounds) served with all of your family’s favorite sides: giblet gravy, chestnut and cornbread dressing, Yukon gold mashed potatoes, sweet potato flan with vanilla and orange, kabocha squash and corn chowder, green beans and baby carrots, cranberry orange chutney, and a whole pumpkin pie. (Crown recommends Gaunoux Volnay Clos des Chenes.) So finalize the head-count and please call 305-913-8358 by November 24 to place your order. Stop by the hotel from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day for pick-up. 500 Brickell Key Drive in Miami.

The Grill at The Setai

Nothing short of extravagant, dining at The Grill at The Setai is always an incredible experience. The Grill features the finest ingredient-driven dishes from around the world with everything presented in a simple, yet elegant manner. The food, service, and attention to detail make the experience. The wait staff has been known to be so attentive that your glass will never even have the chance to be half empty. Much more than just a steakhouse, The Grill offers up decadent antipasto, freshly baked breads, and wonderful wines offered by the bottle or the glass. Begin your meal with chicken liver and foie gras pate with spiced apple jelly, and toasted brioche. For a main course, the “Greg Norman” Australian Wagyu Grade 7 NY Strip Steak, cannot be missed. (Crown recommends Pine Ridge Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2005.) This sensational cut of meat is cooked to perfection, and so tender that you may not even need your knife to cut through it. Now is the perfect time to try The Grill if you never have before, as they are just launching their new Prix Fixe menu dinner menu this week! For dining reservations, please call 305-520-6400 or email setaidining@ghmamericas.com. The Grill at The Setai is located at 2001 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.

Vue at Hotel Victor

The ultra-luxe Vue terrace at the Hotel Victor serves up much more than your typical pool bar fare. Overlooking Ocean Drive, there is plenty of eye-candy to be had at this outdoor satay and ceviche bar. Add the soothing ocean sounds to the mix, and you’re in for a real treat. Hotel Victor is all about “the vibe” and Vue does not disappoint. Relax in orbit beds while viewing artful displays on the twenty foot video wall. This is a ceviche bar after all, so when hunger strikes, you must try the tasting of two ceviches served with mariquitas, citrus and ginger marinated catch of the day and spicy prawn with Spanish olives and peppers. If something more substantial is in order, the basted center cut filet of beef and smashed potatoes “two ways” Peruvian purple and Yukon gold potatoes, seasonal mushrooms, cipollini onions and beef jus. (Crown recommends Chateau Batailley Grand Cru 1998.) Great ambience, and great service make Vue the ideal destination for day or night. So sit back, relax, and just remember… wait thirty minutes before swimming in the pool! Vue at the Hotel Victor is located at 1144 Ocean Drive in Miami Beach. 305-428-1234.

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

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