Tag Archives: Brickell

Perricone’s Marketplace and Cafe ***

Baked Brie En Croute with Apricot Glaze and Slivered Almonds Served with Fresh Fruit and Crackers

15 SE 10th Street (at South Miami Ave)
Miami, Fl 33131


The whole Miami club scene is great, but it is certainly not conducive to catching up with your best friend that you haven’t seen in a while. Of course, it is also not conducive to many other things either, such as; relationships, a sober productive lifestyle, maintaining good grades in college, and having your voice in the morning…but it’s fun and so we willingly sacrifice these things. But after showing Jen the whole South Beach spectacle on Friday night, I really just wanted to spend Saturday somewhere low-key where we could actually talk…without yelling over house music and getting elbowed by fist pumping DJ groupies!

I figured that Brickell would probably be the best spot to grab dinner and then drinks, since everything is within walking distance and knowing Jen’s love for seafood pasta, I decided to go the Italian route. Il Gabbianno is my favorite Italian restaurant in Brickell (and so far in Miami for that matter), but after all the shopping we did during the day, we decided to go for a slightly cheaper option (aka more money for drinks afterwards!). Perricone’s in Brickell is both a restaurant and an Italian market. It looks tiny from the front, but don’t be fooled because once you walk through the market, the entire back opens up to an enormous outdoor seating area. It is half enclosed, but the ceiling opens up for just the right amount of fresh air!

I love Perricones because it isn’t stuffy…it’s causal and delicious Italian for an affordable price. If you’re wondering why I only give it three stars then, allow me to explain. Perricone’s is good, and the atmosphere is nice, and the price is reasonable, but the food is very basic and uninspired and the red sauce is very inconsistent. I always enjoy my meal, but never really feel like it is exceptional. I do give Perricone’s three stars though because it is a pleasant dinning experience and they have the most incredible Baked Brie En Croute Appetizer, which is an entire wheel of brie baked in puff pastry with a warm apricot glaze and slivered almonds, served with fresh fruit and precious heart-shaped crackers. It is really fabulous and a must have for the table to share. Even when no one will share with me, I order it as an entrée for myself because it is the best thing that I have had there yet. Of course, this is very difficult to mess up, considering how easy it is to make (see my recipe if you want to try!), but it is still delicious and nice to have someone do the work for you. The heart shaped crackers are so cute too!

As expected, Jen ordered the Seafood Linguine in Fresh Scampi Sauce, with sautéed gulf shrimp, scallops, muscles, and calamarie for her entrée. The sauce was really nice and the seafood was generous, she loved it! I was just jealous because her dish came out piping hot, and my Chicken Parmesan with Penne Pomodoro was only luke-warm, at best. The temperature of my food is one thing that I am very, very fussy about (I hate food to go because it’s not hot enough, and I microwave my dishes to get them hot before putting food on them) so this was a problem for me. But they gladly took it back and warmed it up, in addition to taking it off the bill. I was glad they did too, because even after they made it hot, I still wasn’t thrilled with the dish. The piece of chicken was really thick, resembling a chicken breast more than a chicken cutlet. I tend to like my chicken parmesan pounded out real thin so that the bread crumbs flavor every bite. Also, the red sauce tasted kind of smoky. I’m not sure if it was burnt or if they used liquid smoke to flavor the sauce, but I wasn’t a fan.

When I go back to Perricone’s again, I am going to stick to the baked brie appetizer and order one of their salads as an entrée, which seemed to be a very popular trend there. Overall, I like Perricone’s but it’s not the place I would send someone wanting an amazing Italian meal. It’s definitely good (no Olive Garden for sure), but I am hard on it because a) I am Italian and b) there are so many other fabulous Italian restaurants in Miami to choose from. Although I have not done blog posts on all of them, I suggest (starting with my favorite): Il Gabbiano (Brickell), Scarpetta (Sobe), La Loggia (Downtown), Joeys (Wynwood), Prime Italian (Sobe), and I hear that Café Abbrachi (Coral Gables) is also fabulous and it is on my to-try list!

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Segafredo Brickell

Chocolate Molten Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream

1421 South Miami Ave
Miami, Fl 33131


Tonight is my first time blogging in a while (my apologies to any loyal followers) because I have been busy dealing with heartbreak for the past couple of days, which can be rather time consuming as it turns out. I had lots of Godiva truffles to eat, funny movies to watch, tissues to fill with tears, and several 3 am phone conversations with my parents but, just I thought I was heading the anti-depressant route, I found my inner peace and have begun returning to my normal happy self again. Of course, there were a couple of factors that facilitated my ability to move on: (1) a few great nights spent with my girlfriends, and (2) my meeting Sergio.

Under what circumstances did I meet Sergio, you ask? Obviously, while I was binge eating. Why do I love Sergio? Because he wasn’t put off by my double fisting hot dogs, but rather intrigued and anxious to get to know the girl capable of such an act.

Allow me to describe the scene of our encounter:

A few of my girlfriends and I decided to go to the Dolphins v. Jets game last night, and ended up in the club box of LIV thanks to our friend Lauren. However, when we arrived, we realized that we were the only girls dressed in football apparel. We stood out in our oversized Dolphin’s jerseys and jeans to say the least, considering all the other girls were in booty shorts, belly shirts, and 6 inch stilettos. (It was kind of like the scene from Mean Girls where Lindsey Lohan shows up to the Halloween party in a Zombie Bride outfit while all the other girls are dressed in skanky “cat” and “bunny” costumes–girls you get this reference!). Anyways, I was laughing at the ridiculousness of high heels at a football game, when a man passing out hors d’oeuvres was spotted in my peripheral. I decided right then and there that this whole event came down to one thing for me…eating as much of those hors d’oeuvres as I could possibly get my hands on. I watched him return his empty tray to the kitchen and then relocated myself so that I was posted up right outside the kitchen door for the arrival of the next full tray. First to come out were the Coconut Shrimp Skewers with Mango Drizzle, which were incredible and of course fun to eat because they came on long skewers. Next to come out were the Lobster Sliders—very good but too much bread and not enough lobster…there can never be enough lobster! By this point the bartender was starting to notice my hoarding of the food and for a brief second I contemplated taking a stroll, but thankfully I decided to be shameless and stay because the next tray contained the best appetizer yet…gourmet Hot Dogs with Broccoli Rabe and Crispy Onions. WOW! They were amazing. I decided to take one for me and one “for my friend” (yeah right) and stood there double fisting when a man came up and asked what I was drinking. I felt like saying, “forget drinks! Clearly I’m okay with just these hot dogs!” But I swallowed my oversized bite and mumbled, “vodka soda.” He then said (in a very Spanish accent) “okay, come with me and I buy you a bottle of vodka at my table.” I was shocked. I was wearing a jersey, flip flops, and double fisting hot dogs for goodness sake, and someone wanted to not only buy me a drink, but a bottle?!?! I may never wear a dress and heels again!

Long story short, we end up at his table and he continues to call me a princess (well mi princessa, actually) and tells me that I can have whatever I want because I’m a good person and I deserve the best and he wants to spoil me and my friends. Depression is out of sight now. I order my favorite bottle of red wine (Cakebread!) and enjoy the game with my girlfriends in his company.

At the end of the game he tells me that he wants to treat my friends and I to dinner. He takes us outside where a driver comes to pick us up, and then he whisks us off to Brickell for some late night grub….as if I didn’t already eat enough, right? We arrive at Segafredo and the pizzas start coming out one after the other. The only two I can even remember are the Cotto e Funghi, which had San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, cooked ham, and mushrooms, and the Parma, which had sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto di Parma, and black olives. Both were amazing!!! The crust was super thin and crunchy, and the cheese was gooey and hot. I was having a relationship with my food. But, of course, I wasn’t done yet. Yes, I asked for dessert. The waiters brought three different types including Molten cake, Sorbet, and some other type of Pastry. I was in sheer bliss. I mean who knew that a cheesy pizza and warm molten cake could just lift me from a month’s depression? Sergio was like my little angel sent by God to cheer me up (aka feed me) and get me back on my feet. After 3 rounds of mojitos (Segafredo’s has awesome mango mojitos) and all that delicious food, Sergio got up and told me that the driver and car was mine for the night and I could go wherever I wanted. He then kissed me on the cheek, told me I was beautiful and a great person, and left me to reflect on the night with my friends. I had the driver take us home, and when I woke up in the morning it was almost like a dream—then I noticed my bloated belly and reality kicked back in. Lets just say, I’m going to be eating salads for the next few days!

Honestly cannot remember what this is…but it was delicious

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Beer and Burger Joint ****

The Mother Burger

Mary Brickell Village
901 South Miami Ave
Miami, Fl 33130
(Also Located In South Beach)


I discovered Beer and Burger Joint this past week, and I have already been three times! I attribute this both to my addictive personality and the incredible food that they serve. The concept is simple—massive burgers, with gourmet toppings, for a very reasonable price (average burger costing between $10 and $12). Of course there are also some specialty burgers on the menu that can get expensive, such as the Stairway to Heaven Burger, which costs about $39. But that burger comes loaded with 10 oz of kobe beef, 3 oz of foie gras, a black truffle demi, on a brioche bun, and is served with duck fat fries. It’s your 3 square meals for the day in just 1 sitting! My personal favorite however, is the vegetarian Dear Prudenceburger, which is two thick portabella mushroom caps, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella, arugala, tomato, and garlic parmesan cheese, served on a ciabatta roll. It is the largest portabella burger that I have ever seen, and I love it particularly for all the fun condiments that it is served with (I might have mentioned in former blog posts, that foodies like myself are condiment people by nature). It comes a side of walnut-basil pesto, a roasted garlic bulb, and zucchini fries that are accompanied by a creamy dill dipping sauce. The whole plate is just an assortment of deliciousness.

For the most part, each burger is paired with its own unique variation on the french fry. Options include:onion rings, mushroom fries, skinny fries, zucchini fries, duck fat fries, and sweet potato fries. The skinny fries are by far my favorite, and the duck fat fries confuse me and scare me a little, to be quite honest. If you’re not feeling called by any of the suggested burgers on the menu, then there is always the option to create your own custom burger. You get to build it from scratch, choosing your meat, bun, sauce, and toppings, but this is definitely not the cost friendly option because it does get expensive. And for those of you who wish that you could be Adam Richman from Man v. Food, you can challenge your stomachs with Beer and Burger’s Mother Burger. I believe that they describe it best on their menu:

“The Mother Of All Burgers! A Ginormous Beast The Size Of A Manhole Cover And Sandwiched In A Bun That Resembles A Couch Cushion! Order One For The Table Or Finish It Yourself Within 2 Hours And It’s Free! Serious Eaters Only Need Apply…” 10 Lb. Of Our Natural Freshly Ground Angus Beef Choose One Cheese-Two Topping-One Sauce-Two Sides. Please Allow 25 Minutes to cook.”

If you do decide to take on this epic food challenge, make sure that you’re hungry because if you don’t finish the whole thing in 2 hours, then you are responsible for the bill, which is a staggering $75. However, if you do complete the challenge, then Beer and Burger will pay for your tremendous stomachache…isn’t that nice?

Dear Prudence Burger served with Zucchini Fries


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Novecento ****

“Lomo” – 10oz Grilled Beef Tenderloin

1414 Brickell Ave, Miami 33131


I am back in Miami for the week, celebrating my 1-year anniversary with my boyfriend, Roberto (the only thing in my life that I have managed to commit to), and he has been speaking my love language by taking me out for some incredible food while I’m here. Today, he told me that we were going to Novecento in Brickell to watch the Spain v. Portugal world cup game and of course, I got all sorts of excited to be included in the ethnic festivities, since soccer isn’t really as big of a sport here in America. So I put on my Spanish Saints bracelet, which somehow always makes me feel slightly more ethnic when going to places such as Novecento, and sure enough I found myself blending right in with the 200 something Spaniards who had gathered at the restaurant to watch the game. And as if my bracelet wasn’t enough to disguise my inner gringa, I even referred to soccer as futbol!!

But on to the food! For lunch I ordered the Milanga de Pollo (aka Chicken Milanese), which was very, very good. I believe that a Milanese should always be pounded to a ¼ of an inch thin, and this was so I was pleased. I had mine with a side of mixed greens and my boyfriend had his with a side of fries, which I ate half of and thought were delicious! My boyfriend’s brother, Juanmi, ordered the Pollo al Curry, which I thought was odd to appear on a Spanish menu but it both smelled and looked delicious (I would probably order that the next time I go to Novecento). Juanmi’s girlfriend, Lidi, ordered the smallChicken Caesar Salad (she’s a swimsuit model….I wish I could order that and be satisfied) and the chicken to lettuce ratio was way out of proportion—“Would you like some salad with that chicken?!?” If your trying to get your protein in then you’d probably love it, but if you just want a salad I wouldn’t suggest it.

So we have finished our food and Spain has just won the game against Portugal, much to everyone’s delight (they cheered so loud you would have though the won the whole world cup), and now we are ready for another meal. To celebrate the win we order a bottle of champagne, which was half price (not sure if it’s a daily special or just because of the game) and some more food—Ceviche Con Tostones (white fish ceviche marinated in lime juice, jalapenos, avocados, plantains, and fresh basil and served with tostones) and Entrana Con Chimichurri(grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce). I didn’t care to try the ceviche, but the chimichurri sauce for the steak was so delicious that I even dipped a couple fries in it!

Overall, Novecento serves good food and has a great atmosphere. In my opinion, it is a little over priced for the simplistic nature of the food (my lunch portion of Milanese was $13) but it is an enjoyable experience and a perfect place to watch the game.

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Cafe Sambal ***

Waterfront View at Cafe Sambal

500 Brickell Key Dr, Miami 33131
(In the Mandarin Oriental Hotel)


My first time at Café Sambal was about 8 months ago with my boyfriend, and while we were driving there he said “baby, I’m taking you to a restaurant with one of the prettiest views in Miami.” He certainly wasn’t kidding because the outside of the restaurant is on the water, overlooking Brickell key and the rest of the city with a breathtaking view. Just make sure that you go on a warm night if you plan on sitting outside, because the water does create a breeze that can get rather chilly. If you end up sitting inside, you will find that the décor is very modern with clean lines, which seems fitting for the Japanese-inspired cuisine.

Tonight I went with my boyfriend and his family to Café Sambal for dinner, which was fun because as a group we ordered lots of appetizers and so I got to try a whole bunch of new things on the menu (I couldn’t wait to blog about it all!!). We started with the Steamed Edamame with Hawaiian sea salt (sounds fancy, but it was like the Edamame at every Japanese restaurant), the Lotus Chicken Wraps (really delicious, puts PF Chang’s version to shame), the Te Corvina Ceviche (not really my thing, but everyone else enjoyed it), and Dim Sum samples with chicken, vegetable, and beef (the beef was my favorite). For my entrée I ordered the Korean-Style Kobe Skirt Steak in spicy brown sauce, which is probably my favorite dish here to date. But I was disappointed that it wasn’t served with any sides…just steak on a plate. The brown sauce was good, but not even remotely spicy, so I asked for some type of hot sauce to put on my steak and they brought me a little dish of hot pepper heaven!! If you like spicy food then you have got to ask to try their hot sauce….it’s divine!

On other occasions I have also had the Chicken Pad Thai, which is very good and unusually light on oil (I can only imagine how god the hot sauce would be on this dish!!). I have also had the Crispy Tamarind Chicken, which good but very small. Although it did come with some mashed potatoes and string beans, the dish was not filling and I left the restaurant wanting to eat another meal. It’s not something I would ever order again.

Overall, I like this restaurant but I don’t love it. The menu is not inspiring or unique. The food is good, but not exceptional. There is no dish that I crave or feel that I can’t enjoy somewhere else. Basically, Café Sambal makes good Japanese food, but doesn’t take it to another level or create any signature dishes of flavors of their own. I think the restaurant is over priced for the rather average food that it serves, and I believe that there are many other Japanese restaurants more reasonably priced that offer a similar menu. I think that the beautiful view is the most inspiring thing about Café Sambal (the food certainly isn’t) and although I would eat there again, it isn’t a place that I’m dying to go back to.


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Piola ****

Miami Beach Pizza

1250 South Miami Avenue, Miami 33131
(Corner of SW 13thStreet)


Three years ago I left my hometown in Philadelphia and moved to Miami to start college. Besides the obvious differences between the two cities, there were also MAJOR differences in the food that took some getting adjusted to. However, as adapted as I have become to Miami cuisine, the inability to find good bagels and good pizza remains a serious frustration. So on the very rare occasion that I do finally come across a good slice of pizza, I get all sorts of excited and tell every one of my Northern friends about my new discovery (when I found Piola…I shouted it from the roof tops).

My boyfriend and I actually came across Piola by chance one night after a late flight back from Spring Break. We headed straight to Brickell from the airport to meet friends and decided to stop at the first open food place we saw. Thankfully, that place turned out to be Piola!! We sat up at the bar and each ordered our own pizza. Roberto got the Diavola, which is a standard plain pie with spicy salami…and let me tell you, their salami is spicy (we both loved it, but that’s a warning for all you spice haters). I ordered the Miami Beach, which is a plain pie topped with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and arugala (I also added garlic and kalamata olives to amp up the flavor, making it taste like a bruschetta). Both pizzas were incredible!!  They are on a very thin crust, which is nice and crispy and the tomato sauce is great (not sweet, which is an odd new trend that my Italian side does not like). The pizzas are also large (about 12”) and really reasonably priced, despite the gourmet toppings (approx. $9-$12 per pie).

However, please note that I only give Piola’s PIZZA four stars, because tonight I ordered a couple salads for dinner and they were very disappointing. I asked for the dinner portion and they were as small as side salads!! Also, I added chicken to all of them and the chicken was so tough and clearly not freshly grilled, judging by the temperature…it was almost inedible. I have not ever tried the pasta dishes, but based on this experience tonight with the salads, I plan on sticking to pizza at Piola. Their tagline is “famosi per la pizza” for a reason, because pizza is what they do best. So order any one of their 40 or so pizza pie combinations and you will not be disappointed. I think that Piola is the best pizza in Miami along with Spris, which has locations on Lincoln Road and Miracle Mile.

Piola is open late and serves beer and wine. At the Brickell location that I go to, there is both outdoor and indoor seating…and plenty of it! Occasionally, they even have a live band or performer that is outside. Ohhh, and Thursday night is ladies night….FREE house wine girls! (They say it’s limited to one glass…but they usually comp. all of them!!)


I have continued going back to Piola on a weekly basis since my first time trying it (caution: it may be habit forming!) and since then I have also tried the Pizza Bruxelles, which has ricotta, fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. This is a white pizza and although I rarely like white pizza (because sauce is just soooo good), the pizza is truly delicious. The ricotta adds a nice sweetness to balance the salty mozzarella and the chopped tomatoes on top of the pizza add just the right acidity, which compensates for the lack of sauce.

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