Miami eating…

Fellow eater and I spent some time in Miami recently and had a great time eating, especially since it was raining and/or overcast most of the time.  No complaints here though as we still had a culinary blast.

We had lunch at Stephen Starr’s “Le Zoo” in the Bal Harbour Shops for the first time.  FE had the burger and fries, and I had the crab and avocado salad.  Both were delicious.  I’ve noticed in the past that the portion sizes in Bal Harbour and its environs are smaller, and Le Zoo was no exception.  The portions are designed for the “ladies who lunch” crowd and the exceptionally thin people who reside in South Florida.  So order accordingly!

We had dinner at another Starr location, “Upland”.  We’ve been to the NYC location (see prior post) and the menus are similar.  I personally thought the food was better at the NYC location, mainly because the dessert I had was not available at the Miami location (chocolate budino).  This meal was still very good.  We decided to order two pastas each.  I had the bucatini cacio e pepe, which I also had at the NYC location, and we both had the rigatoni bolognese.  FE also had the sausage and kale pasta.  All of the dishes were excellent.  I’m giving a slight edge to the NYC location since that bucatini had more pepper on it, which I love.  I had the chocolate mousse for dessert, which was just ok.

We had lunch at yet another Starr location, “Steak 954”, which is in Fort Lauderdale.  This was a repeat visit for us and did not disappoint.  We sat outside on the covered patio even though it was pouring rain.  No matter.  FE had the grouper sandwich, and I had the grilled chicken sandwich.  Both very good.  Dessert was ice cream at Hoffman’s on Las Olas in FL, which was definitely my favorite dessert this trip.  I had the stellar coffee with calypso chocolate, and FE had a chocolate milkshake.

We had dinner at “Zuma” in Brickell, which is another repeat visit.  Zuma never disappoints.  FE and I shared the rock shrimp, spicy beef tenderloin, sushi, and grilled scallops.  The sushi was my favorite dish of the week (FE agreed).

We had two lunches at “The Grill” at Bal Harbour, both of which were excellent.  The Grill is located on the second floor of the Bal Harbour Shops, with a lovely view of palm trees and Collins Avenue.  FE had the french dip sandwich and the caesar salad with chicken.  I had the veggie club sandwich with chicken and the seared ahi tuna salad.  We shared the warm bread plate and dip duo for appetizers.  These were probably our favorite lunches on this trip.  The Grill does everything right, from service to food quality.

I’m looking forward to returning to South Florida soon to revisit the above, and to check out some new places.  Happy eating!

Miami eating…

Great eats in Fort Lauderdale

Fellow eater and I spent some time in Fort Lauderdale recently.  We had some great meals so I wanted to share them with you.  I also wanted to memorialize them for the next time we visit.  Here they are in no particular order:

1.Asia Bay – This was our second visit to this Asian gem on a canal on Las Olas.  Las Olas is the main drag in the town.  There are many high end shops, bars, and restaurants.  We were lucky enough to sit outside at a table right on the canal.  We split the spicy tuna sushi and spring rolls, both of which were out of this world.  I had the shrimp fried rice, which had a nice kick to it.  I went with the medium spice level and that was plenty hot.  I was hoping to return for another meal but we ran out of time.

2.Steak 954 – We had both breakfast and dinner here.  This is a Stephen Starr place, somewhat similar to his Barclay Prime in Philadelphia.  The only discernible difference is the weather!  We sat outside overlooking A1A for both meals.  As with all Starr establishments I’ve been to, the service was impeccable and the ingredients were high quality.

I had the wagyu sliders and the scallops as my entree.  FE had a 22 0z. ribeye.  Everything was great.  We shared the ice cream sandwiches for dessert.  OK, OK, I ate most of them.  The red velvet cookies with cream cheese gelato and the gingersnaps with green tea were my favorites.

3.Hoffman’s Chocolates – This is an ice cream place and a chocolatier, also on Las Olas.  The stellar coffee ice cream was great.  I would go back just for that.

4.Kilwin’s – Another ice cream place and chocolatier, also on Las Olas.  The cookies n’cream on a homemade waffle cone was delicious.  FE had a chocolate-covered twinkie which FE thought was great.

5.Seasons 52 – Although this is a chain, we love this location.  The food is always terrific and the place has a great vibe because of the weather.  You can’t go wrong with any of the items here, especially the mini desserts!  I recommend the chocolate peanut butter one.

6.Serafina by the Water – This is an Italian restaurant located on a canal.  The setting is perfect – right on the canal along a row of docked yachts.  The portions are large so we didn’t order an appetizer.  I had the pappardelle bolognese and FE had king crab with squid ink pasta.  This was FE’s favorite dish of the week.  For dessert, we had chocolate mousse and tiramisu.

7.Angelo Elia Pizza – This appears to be a local chain.  We visited the Federal Highway location.  The pizza is fantastic and we shared the arancini appetizer.  We were too full for dessert there so we stopped at Whole Foods for cookies.

Great eats in Fort Lauderdale