MAKE WAY FOR NIKKEI! SURFSIDE’S 26 SUSHI & TAPAS INTRODUCES NEW MENU

Posted By : denise/ 131

Hello Foodie Friends,

Savor Our City was recently invited to attend a media dinner at 26 Sushi & Tapas in Surfside for the launch their new menu.

Since 2014, 26 Sushi & Tapas has been and remains one of the Miami dining scene’s best kept secrets. This unique Latin-Asian fusion eatery is 100% certified Kosher, serving the vibrant, flavorful Japanese-Peruvian cuisine known as Nikkei. But those in the know – kosher or otherwise – have embraced the restaurant for its casually chic ambiance, wallet-friendly pricing and delicious cuisine. Now, with newly-appointed Chef Miguel Gomez at the helm, the restaurant is unveiling a refreshed menu featuring creative additions to abundant offerings.

Passion Rita Cocktail

“The goal with 26 was to go beyond what many think of as ‘kosher food,’” says owner Morris Kaplan. “We wanted to provide something exciting and different to that community but also deliver a compelling and delicious menu for everyone. We’re excited about the new menu and hope it keeps our loyal fans engaged and gives folks who never gave us a try a great reason to come in.” 

The menu remains vast, offering plenty to explore and countless ways to mix & match to create a unique, immersive experience for each diner. Signature favorites – like the Nitro “Scallops” made from tempura battered scallops, rocoto aioli, sweet sauce,mixed greens and sesame seeds. Corvina Lettuce Wraps, made with Flounder tempura, Asian slaw, cashew pistachio crumble and aji amarillo aioli. Both of these items were extremely tasty, crowd pleasers for sure!

Nitro Scallops & Corvina Lettuce Wraps

Tuna Tower and Truffle Tiradito – remain. They’ve been huge sellers for years and are going nowhere. Joining them on the playing field are their new hot and cold tapas including: Causa Krab Tower – cold, savory potato layer cake typical in traditional Peruvian cuisine, served with Krab salad and fresh avocado;

Tuna Tower
Causa Krab Tower

Nikkei Tuna Salad with fresh greens, enoki mushroom, carrot, and tri-colored peppers tossed in ponzu sauce and topped with sesame seeds; and Nao Ceviche Ball – traditional Corvina ceviche cured in a house-made leche de tigre, red onion, lime juice and aji limon then tempura battered with panko and deep fried. This was a really unique dish and fun to eat too!

Nao Ceviche Balls

Also debuting, several new sushi additions including the Nigiri 5-star – Chef’s choice of five nigiri selections served atop sushi rice;

Nigiri 5-star
Tropical Roll
Tropical Roll

Tropical Roll – tuna, salmon, kiwi, guava and dynamite sauce topped with tuna and rocoto aioli;

Crispy Kani Roll – soy paper, plantains, avocado, scallions and cream cheese topped with Krab tempura, masago and curry aioli; Sandra Roll – a rice-less roll with Krab salad, avocado, cream cheese, and tempura topped with fresh tuna; and the Acevichado Roll – Whitefish tempura, sweet potato and avocado topped with Corvina ceviche. A word to the wise – the new rolls may be amazing but you would be missing out BIG TIME if you didn’t have their popular Maduros con Coco Roll – flounder tempura, avocado and cream cheese topped with sweet fried plantains and coconut flakes – Just order it, you’ll thank me later!

Assorted sushi: Karate Kid – Tuna/avocado/scallions/masago/aji amarillo/topped with salmon  El Miamito – Tuna/salmon/mango/coconut flakes/guava sauce/topped with avocado OMG Tuna/avocado/jalapeno/crispy shallots/hamachi & tataki on top/citrus sauce Pink Dragon – Krab tempura/avocado/sweet sauce/topped with dynamite Maduros con Coco – Flounder tempura/avocado/cream cheese/plantains/coconut flakes/sweet sauce

 

Maduros con Coco

 

Two unusual offerings worth a try: Sushi Burritos, which come in two styles – the Saltarito with sautéed salmon, fried egg, plantains, French fries and guacamole and the Three Amigos – fresh raw tuna, salmon and Hamachi with guacamole, scallions and a chimichurri ponzu – and the new Sushi Sandwich. Meant to be eaten with the hands, it consists of salmon, mango, avocado, scallion and dynamite sauce, layered between “slices” of pressed rice, served with guava dipping sauce. 

Sushi Sandwich

New larger plates include Branzino Livornese – fresh Branzino filet served on a pool of fragrant Livornese sauce of capers, Kalamata olives, garlic and cherry tomatoes, dressed with house-made shakshuka and served with potato wedges; Tuna Kovi, sesame-crusted, seared tuna served on a bed of quinoa risotto huancaina, topped with pico de gallo and a balsamic reduction; and a sweet & sour Red Snapper, grilled and served with grilled vegetables and rustic mashed potatoes.

Miso Bass
Strawberry Pavlova

The restaurant’s vibrant desserts have also received a seasonal upgrade; not to be missed offerings include a fresh Strawberry Pavlova served with whipped cream and the sinfully creamy Goat Cheese Ice Cream.

Goat Cheese Ice Cream

 

Apart from updated summer offerings, 26 Sushi & Tapas also boasts an impressive, four-hour long Happy Hour available Sunday through Thursday from 5PM-9PM. The Surfside mainstay has updated their Happy Hour food selection to include several Tapas-style items priced between $6 and $8 dollars. Guests 21 and over can enjoy 2-for-1 drink specials depending on the day:

  • Sunday: “Sunday Funday” – 2-for-1 Mimosas (available all day)
  • Monday: “Mojito Monday” – 2-for-1 Mojitos
  • Tuesday: “Tequila Tuesday” – 2-for-1 Tequila cocktails
  • Wednesday: “Watermelon Wednesday” – 2-for-1 Watermelon Elyx cocktails
  • Thursday: “Whiskey Thursday” – 2-for-1 Whiskey cocktails

Looking to spice up your next soiree or corporate event? As a premiere service caterer, diners can bring the 26 Sushi & Tapas experience to any home, office, or event space. The restaurant’s versatile catering menu offers a wide variety of crowd-pleasing options and can accommodate special ordering requests allowing guests to customize menus that make the most of an event and reach budgeting goals. For more information, contact Natalia Suarez at (305) 570-2626 or email her at nsuarez@26sushitapas.com. 

    

26 Sushi & Tapas is located at 9487 Harding Avenue in Surfside, FL. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday: 9AM-10:15PM; Friday: 9AM-2:30PM (closed for Shabbat) and Saturday: 9:15PM-11:45PM. Happy Hour is available Sunday through Thursday from 5PM to 9PM. Follow 26 Sushi & Tapas on Instagram: @26Sushi_Tapas and Facebook: @26SushiTapas; Telephone: (305) 570-2626; http://www.26sushitapas.com/

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

A WINE-DRIVEN DINING EXPERIENCE, INSPIRED BY NAPA VALLEY’S WINE COUNTRY

Posted By : denise/ 152

Hello Foodie Friends,

Well I finally made it to Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant at the newly opened location inside the Galleria Mall in Ft. Lauderdale. Have you been to one yet?

Founded in 2005 by CEO Tim McEnery, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants is built upon the passionate belief that food and wine hold the power to forge lasting connections.

HANDCRAFTED WINE

At Cooper’s Hawk, they understand that great wines begin in the vineyard. Their winemaker and his team travel the globe looking for the very best grapes and when they are particularly impressed – whether it be in Chile, France, California or Washington – they work with the wine grower to begin crafting their one-of-a-kind wine. Their winemaker nurtures each wine according to its individual needs to craft the best wine possible. It’s this philosophy that has led to hundreds of national and international awards for their collection.

MODERN CASUAL DINING

Cooper’s Hawk has created a modern, casual dining experience with warm hospitality in an inviting upscale setting. Their culinary team has designed a contemporary American menu infused with flavors from around the world. Each dish is made fresh in their scratch kitchen, incorporating peak-of-season ingredients, and listed with a bin number to guide you to your selection’s perfect wine match.

NAPA-STYLE TASTING ROOM & ARTISANAL MARKET

Cooper’s Hawk’s Tasting Rooms embrace the rich experience of Napa, providing guests the opportunity to explore and expand their palates and enrich their wine journey. High end decanters, wine accessories, and gifts, along with their very own gourmet food line, allow guests to live the Cooper’s Hawk lifestyle at home.

Last May, one of our staff attended Cooper’s Hawk’s Grand Opening in Pembroke Pines. You can read about her visit here.
On this recent visit, my Marketing Director, Jennifer and myself had the pleasure of being treated to a lovely dining experience. We first stepped foot into their market/tasting room which offered a variety of items for every wine lover. I am told that guests are usually treated to a tasting of the wine of the month here in the retail store, but on this particular day and time of our arrival, we didn’t notice any being offered.
As we were shown to our table we passed a tasting barrel that contained Cooper’s Hawk’s signature Bordeaux-style Blend. Guests are treated to a tasting of this special blend straight from the barrel, which is also bottled for wine club members.
Our server Daniel (sorry for chopping your head off Daniel). He was awesome!
We started off with the Artisan Cheese Plate with the Master’s flight, a monthly flight curated by CH’s Master Sommelier, Emily Wines. Cooper’s Hawk Lux Ice Wine · Viognier · Cabernet Sauvignon · Super Tuscan · (This was my second favorite item of the evening)
Trio of Cheeses: Stracciatella, Buttermilk Bleu, Sartori Parmesan, Honeycomb, Black Fig Jam, Grilled Polenta Crostinis
SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS bin 78 Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Shaved Parmesan, Lemon, Marcona Almonds, Balsamic Glaze (My favorite dish of the evening)
HOUSE-MADE MEATBALLS bin 90 Rich Tomato Sauce, Burrata Dolce, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grilled Polenta Crostini
TRIO OF MEDALLIONS* bin 80 Horseradish, Bleu Cheese, and Parmesan-Crusted Filet Medallions, Mary’s Potatoes, Asparagus
Dana’s Parmesan crusted chicken Tomato Basil Relish, Lemon Butter, Betty’s Potatoes, Garlic Green Beans
CARAMEL BANANA BREAD SUNDAE bin 63 Caramelized Banana, Vanilla Ice Cream, Rum Caramel, Candied Walnuts

Meet Emily Wines, CH’s Master Sommelier. (With a name like Wines, it seems as though a career in the wine business was inevitable). Emily’s responsibilities include expanding and strengthening the Cooper’s Hawk Wine Club community, and advancing team members’ knowledge of wine. She serves as the liaison between the company and its individual restaurants, engaging with guests and the brand’s 350,000+ Wine Club members to create unique experiences centered around wine and spirits. She spearheads initiatives designed to enrich the guest journey through education, immersive events, collaborative partnerships and curated lifestyle adventures.
Emily Wines, Cooper’s Hawk’s Master Sommelier
Cooper’s Hawk has a Wine Club which is designed exclusively for their Members who love to explore, share and pair new wines with wonderful food and memorable moments. Wine Club Members enjoy access to extraordinary events and partake in one-of-a-kind experiences in their own cities and around the world. Their Club is a community of friends & neighbors who have a thirst for a life well lived. Some of the benefits of joining their wine club:
  • Members receive monthly wines, insider tasting notes and delicious recipes not available to the general public.
  • Members get rewards with every dollar they spend and points towards dining rewards.
  • Members get access to awesome domestic and international trips to the greatest wine regions
  • Members get invited to spectacular evenings of food and wine featuring celebrity chefs, sommeliers and outstanding cooking demonstrations.
  • Members get gifts on their birthday, Cooper’s Hawk’s anniversary or just to say thanks.
  • Members get special member-only pricing on wine, select retail, catering and carryout.

Memberships start at just $19.99/mo. For more information on membership, as well as a whole lot of useful wine tips and other valuable info, please visit their website.

We enjoyed our visit to Cooper’s Hawk at the Galleria location very much. The staff were very friendly and extremely knowledgeable and the service, food and ambiance were all delightful. I am looking forward to my next visit back.
Until we eat again…
   I send you delicious wishes, xo
Denise

Savor Our City Visits Las Vegas

Posted By : denise/ 128

Dear Foodie Friends,

This summer we have been fortunate to do some traveling and have taken a couple staycations locally (Wyndham Deerfield Beach and Grandview Gardens B&B in West Palm Beach) as well as a couple out of state. We tasted our way through New York and now this blog post will cover our most recent trip to Las Vegas, It’s been 12 years since my last visit to Sin City and I was super excited to check out the food scene, the gorgeous hotels and some shows.

The Venetian/Palazzo was our base for the next 5 nights. I had been to The Venetian before but this was the first time I stayed there. This hotel is gorgeous. Even if your plans don’t call for you to stay here, I would certainly recommend a visit; trust me you will want to see the Venetian canals, take a ride on a gondola and eat dinner at St. Mark’s Square.

One of the restaurant groups we work with in Miami, V & E Restaurant Group has a couple restaurants in Las Vegas that we decided to check out. We went for brunch at Cafe Americano located inside Caesar’s Palace. They are doing a fantastic job serving up classic American fare with a Latin twist and bonus, they’re open 24/7. Woo hoo!!! We were warmly greeted and brought to a lovely table near the back which was nice and bright with a lot of natural light coming from the floor to ceiling windows. The GM Gerardo surprised us with a Blueberry Lemondrop Martini which was sooooo delicious. I would highly recommend it. After scanning the menu, we decided to share the grilled artichoke hearts which came with 8 pieces to an order with a balsamic glaze and basil pesto for dipping. I could have stopped right there and gone home happy. But wait, there’s more…We ordered the breakfast sandwich on a buttered and toasted brioche bread. Our server Raul had recommended we sub the bacon which comes with the sandwich for their house bacon instead. I’m glad he made that suggestion, because we enjoyed the sandwich and the bacon very much. We also had the steak tacos. Shaved rib eye, avocado salsa and Cotija cheese. It was excellent. I was so enamored with the balsamic glaze they used with the artichokes that I asked for an extra side of it which I also used on my tacos. Yumm!!!

After brunch, we walked through Caesar’s Palace including a stroll through the Forum Shops.

Then we ventured over to The Wynn. If you haven’t been to the grand hotels at least for a walk through, you are really missing out. The lobby was adorned with beautiful fresh flowers everywhere. It was like the Rose Bowl Parade.

We saw two shows while we were there. One was a comedy show at The Comedy Cellar at The Rio Hotel. It was an intimate space and the acts were decent. Nothing spectacular.

The true highlight for me was the Criss Angel Magic Show though. He was beyond incredible. If you haven’t seen him perform, I can’t recommend you do so enough!

After the show we headed back to The Venetian’s St. Mark Square where we had dinner reservations at Mercato Della Pescheria. (This is another of V & E Restaurant Group’s restaurants, also found in the heart of Espanola Way in Miami Beach).

Now this was a most wonderful experience dining at Mercato Della Pescheria in St. Mark’s Square inside The Venetian Hotel. We were welcomed by the Manager Mahe and the Assistant Manager Ben in addition to our lovely Italian server Giada. We started off with an Italian High Ball and a Tuscan Red Blend. For starters, we had the Caesar salad and the grilled octopus. The salad was perfectly dressed and packed with flavor. The octopus was so beautiful and thoughtfully plated and cooked to perfection as well. For our entrees, we had the Swiss Chard Ravioli with a pesto sauce and Caccio e Pepe. They do this tableside. Check out the video below. What a treat.

Have you ever heard of Hash House A Go Go? Apparently they have a few of these around the country including Orlando, Chicago and Las Vegas. The one we went to is located in the LINQ Hotel. We did have a bit of a wait, but it was worth it. Portions were big and the food was very good.

 

 

GRIDDLED FRENCH TOAST dipped in their home made banana cinnamon cream with candied pecans, grilled banana and syrup
BIG O’ CHICKEN POT PIE Their famous rosemary black pepper “hat shaped” crust filled with roasted chicken, shaved sweet corn, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, red potatoes, spinach and cream gravy

On our final night, we headed Downtown to Fremont Street. Have you been there? It’s like Times Square on steroids. It’s a pedestrian only street several blocks long with street performers every few feet. They claim to have the largest video screen over head that projects a light show set to music thoughout the night..You’ll also see people whizzing by on cables up above. Something worth venturing off the Strip for, for sure.

 

 

Another restaurant we had to try while in Vegas was Chica by Celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia. We are working with Chef Lorena and her team in Miami to soon bring groups to her Culinary Loft. A second Chica will also be opening this Fall in Miami. The Latin flare is evidenced throughout the dining experience from the bright and cheery decor to the food & drinks.

GUACAMOLE Hass avocado, lime, cilantro, chile, served with crispy tortillas, assorted arepas and plantain chips
SKIRT STEAK & KALE SALAD grilled skirt steak, green apples, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, parmesan croutons, citrus yogurt dressing

Well, we came, we ate, we were entertained and like all good things that must come to an end, so did our stint in Las Vegas. So whether you have gambling on your agenda or not, there’s so much to do in this adult playground and definitely no shortage of good eats!

Until we eat and drink again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise