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Just For Fun Category

The Barnacle Will Host A Mad Hatter Tea Party This Friday

Halloween is usually a crazy time in Coconut Grove with street closures and perennial house parties. This year The Barnacle is joining in with a Mad Hatter Tea Party this Friday evening. Costumes are encouraged, hats are recommended, and everyone is to bring their own teacup!

Proceeds from the catered party will be used for the care and maintenance of the Barnacle, one of the Grove’s oldest and most beloved treasures.

If you or someone you know is thinking about buying or selling a home any time in the next year, please call to let me know at 305 794.6570. It would be my pleasure to contact and work with your referral. My commitment to you is to treat them with the utmost care as they work towards buying or selling a home.  Referrals are the core of my business and are always appreciated.

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A Foodie’s Review of Miami Spice

The following is a guest article written by Debra Wellins, a good friend and fellow agent with EWM, about her experiences at 5 participating restaurants in this year’s Miami Spice. Celebrating its tenth year, Miami Spice is an opportunity to try out signature dishes at set prices in some of Miami’s most popular restaurants. Debra knows great food and dining, and she has given four of the five restaurants glowing reviews.

Sumptuous Gourmet Nibbles

“The Peacock Garden Cafe has the best ambiance of any restaurant since Food Among the Flowers. It’s beautiful, albeit it a bit noisy indoors. They offered only one selection, center cut filet mignon, but it was delicious. Usually the Spice menu consists of three courses but at PGC they impressed with gravlox tartine, soup du jour, a pear and gorgonzola salad, a chocolate brownie and a glass of Prosecco. The dessert was the single less-than-outstanding selection. One diner had the tuna tartar appetizer with grilled shrimp and Asian slaw salad, all exceptional. We also enjoyed the white sangria, a house favorite. I’ve been back already.

Talavera Cocina Mexicana is owned by the same group as the PGC. It’s no wonder we loved this dining  experience as well. Again, we enjoyed extra courses with no skimping on portions. We had  fantastic service that began with cilantro margaritas (surprisingly delicious) followed with shrimp ceviche tostadas, cactus salad that included portabella mushrooms, spinach, tomato, red onion, serrano chili, cilantro and goat cheese. Then came the entree of carne asada (melt in your mouth tenderloin served with guacamole, roasted poblano pepper that was DE-vine, refried black beans (rather dry) and enchilada mole. The owner offered up a second round of drinks on the house prior to the amazing mango sorbet dessert. I’m going back soon.

Palme d’Or has exquisite food. We enjoyed the three-course meal and its small portions left us wanting more. Our meal began with a mushroom amuse bouche followed by chilled Heirloom tomato soup with goat cheese – all quite pleasant. One diner ordered the lobster bisque as an extra course. It was superb, with perfect consistency and great flavor. For our entree we all ordered the lamb tenderloin with ratatouille and a creamy potato garnish. Presentations were elegantly minimalistic, flavors were exceptional. We were a little disappointed as the menu changed from the posted one on the internet offering slipper lobster. This can happen if an item is not fresh or available, so diners must be flexible. However, an updated menu posting would be appreciated. Dessert was a decadent chocolate ball (frankly, I can’t remember the specifics but it was quite tasty). The wait staff was attentive but a bit stuffy and cold. Seems they might have been tired after a busy Labor Day weekend. I may go back.

Sustain Restaurant and Bar, a relatively new Midtown hotspot, fits the bill for great energy and hip urban ambiance. The food was trendy and tasty beginning with the fennel salad with arugula, orange, walnuts and parmegiano. I chose the Cavatelli for my main course – Harris Ranch braised short rib ragu with ricotta – a nice comfort food that was very satisfying and flavorful. Others ordered the pan roasted snapper and, although it was good, it was literally three bites and diners were disappointed and still hungry. I had the strawberry cobbler with marscapone cream for dessert and it was a great play on textures and flavors, the sweet and the slightly salty. I may go back.

Hakkasan at Fountainbleau was wonderful – LAST YEAR. Unfortunately, this year disappointed in many ways. The crispy vegetarian spring rolls – greasy. The sweet and sour sauce sea bass – surprisingly fishy. We related this to our waiter who was rather disinterested. Most unique and enjoyable was the hot and sour soup – very thick with a distinctly smoky flavor. The braised tofu with dried shitake and garden greens was quite delicious and the best of the vegetarian selections this evening. Also flavorful was the braised eggplant with toban chili sauce. The veggie fried rice was nothing special while the minced beef fried rice was considerably more interesting with ginger pickle and Szechwan peppercorn. Off the Spice menu (a must, as portions are small) we shared a vegan dim sum and regular dim sum platter (both good) as well as the sweet and sour pork prepared with a light batter and a sweet and tangy sauce that was one of the best I’ve ever tasted. We finished with a rich and creamy dark chocolate mousse with vanilla ice cream and hazelnut crumble. A few extra mentions: service was good, ambiance great, and parking was discounted to a reasonable $12 for Spice month. Drinks at Blue Bar in the lobby of the hotel were pricey, but the biggest turn off – the lobby smelled like sun tan lotion and chlorine. Swim anyone? I’m NOT going back.

There you have it – Debra’s take on the five places she visited. There are over a hundred restaurants participating and Miami Spice continues through the end of September. Don’t miss your opportunity to sample fabulous (and sometimes not so fabulous) food at reduced prices.

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Celebrate Commodore Ralph Munroe’s 160th Birthday at The Barnacle

The Barnacle

Join the fun at The Barnacle on Sunday, April 10th, to honor the 160th birthday of Commodore Ralph Munroe, one of Coconut Grove’s most charming and influential pioneers. Each year the Barnacle Society gathers to commemorate his remarkable life, and this year’s festival will have plenty of perks.

Dinner will be catered by Top Chef contestant Howie Kleinberg’s Bulldog BBQ, music will be provided by The Three Jacks, an American-Celtic rock band, and of course there will be birthday cake! The festivities will begin at 6:00 pm. All details about this event are listed here.

It’s a great opportunity to visit this historic and grand bayside home built by the Commodore in 1891 at 3485 Main Highway. At the same time you’ll be supporting the Barnacle Society’s mission to generate public awareness, education, and financial support for the preservation and maintenance of this historic home.

If you are looking for a Realtor who knows and loves Coconut Grove, and who can guide you to informed decisions, call me at 305 794.6570 or leave me a note.


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