Monthly Archives: July 2016

Watr on the Heights

By mimorg33SALADS

Whether you are welcomed with a directly flown-from-Hawaii lei, a glass of bubbly and perfectly seasoned crispy rock shrimp or not, the mix of one of South Beach’s coolest rooftops and sushi-poke cuisine makes Akûa or Watr on the 1 Rooftop a uniquely seductive destination for locals and tourists alike. Nonetheless, the food alone is enough to beckon you back and again to the invitingly open-air Watr Restaurant at 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach.

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I was particularly impressed by the Tako ($18) salad: the smoked chili vinaigrette added a fiery edge to the octopus and edamame but for those of more traditional palates, the Kimchi ($17) with just a touch of crispy garlic to give a kick to the tuna and avocado, is the way to go. The Dragon Roll ($19) from the Sushi Maki sampling was especially flavorful with a delightful crunchiness from the cucumber, asparagus and shrimp while the cashew cream cheese and avocado added a rich layer to the Happy Vegetable Roll that made it quite appetizing. The Salmon Teriyaki $26) was delectably cooked while for the carnivores, the Wagyu Skirt Steak ($36) would be the ideal choice.-1

Our taste buds were sent to ecstasy upon encountering the alluringly mouth-watering Ginger Bread Pudding with coconut chips ($12).

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Just thinking about it makes me want to dress up, run out to the car and drive across town to try my luck at getting in without a reservation. Did I forget to mention that you should make one? It is recommended as the seating is limited and if the weather turns ugly as it has today, they need to call you to cancel because Watr is an outdoor restaurant. Everything in life has its pros and cons but trying to experience this gem is well worth it. Listening to the distant sounds of the waves rushing in and out while watching the sunset, slowly sipping one of Watrcocktails and trying a savory starter is one of the finer ways to begin a South Florida evening.

The chef 10-course tasting for $95 is an excellent option to get to know the Polynesian-Japanese menu. A well-thought-out wine, sake and cocktails list is available. However, don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of the great $39 prixe fixe offer for a three-course dinner: Monday – Thursday and Sunday nights under Miami Spice through September 30. Watr at 1 Rooftop is for 21 and older. Aloha!

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It’s Christmas in summer…it’s Miami Spice!

The sun is shining, daylight lasts longer, and Miami Spice returns… it’s like Christmas for foodies (on budgets like me) to rejoice! What kicks off the season? Not eggnog and candy canes, but rather Fontainebleau’s Miami Spice Preview, hosted by the lovely Karen and Larry from BCPR and Ana Lanzas and Stephanie Giner from the Fontainebleau, showcasing: Scarpetta, Hakkasan, and StripSteak by Michael Mina, and their own patisserie, Chez Bon Bon.  This year we were greeted by Scarpetta’s limoncello cocktail that was delicious, followed by a lovely roasted branzino, and then the angels began to sing, the sky opened up and rays of light unveiled the dish before me… my favorite food perfected by this glorious place… spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce (pasta pomodoro e basilico)… it was and always is outstanding. It’s tough to follow that, but Hakkasan always can and they did it by greeting us with a Chinese mule (their version of the Moscow mule, which is my preferred summertime cocktail) which I had to pace myself with… and yes, they serve both lunch and dinner Miami Spice menus and yes, either will prove amazing, but my recommendation will always be to head for lunch because they serve their… dim sum basket which includes lotus root with mushroom chicken shumai that is heavenly alongside their baby bok choy with garlic that is scrumptious. We then headed to StripSteak, which greeted us with a “Sugar n Spice, whiskey is nice” cocktail that was my favorite of the evening (and that is not an easy feat especially since I’m not a huge whiskey fan). It was perfect.  The kale salad with pickled tomatoes was incredible, and so was their filet mignon that was served with a yummy carrot ginger purée and broccoli… and I had stayed away from bread all night, but their garlic bread was one that I wanted to cuddle with while nibbling on. The night ended with a goodie bag from Chez Bon Bon, which is always the goodie bag of all goodie bags (and whose macaroons make me sing), included their amazing flavored marshmallows, madeleines, and chocolate bon bons…by the end of the night my inner child was twirling with delight!

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