Florida is home to America's sexiest city, Miami, where the fun is endless day and night. I am fortunate to have a reason to visit Florida; my sister lives in West Palm Beach, so I try to combine a family get together with a weekend at Miami's Wine and Food Festival.
It is a fun time when food and drink seem to take over the whole city. Foodies can experience everything from the Burger Bash on the beach at the Ritz Carlton to the beach stalls that shake up a cocktail or two to fine dining creations from famous chefs the world over.
This year the festival runs from Thursday 20th February to Sunday 23rd so if this happens to be when you are visiting Florida, head down south to Miami for a weekend of outrageous fun. You can choose from walk around tastings, brunches and lunches, intimate dinners to late night parties.
There are wine spectators' events where you can sample vintage wines and hear stories of how distinguished wineries have reached your table. Whatever you choose, it's a wonderful opportunity to sample the delights of this truly cosmopolitan city. My tip would be to pack clothes with elasticised waists!
If you don't make the festival, worry not as any visit to Miami ensures a great culinary experience. My regular visits, with the help of both visitors and locals have enabled me to recommend, with confidence, some restaurants that would please the most discerning.
I mention a few but not in any pecking order, simply as they come to my mind:
- For location, ambiance and of course food and wine, I love the Red Fish Grill, located by Biscayne Bay. Whether you choose to dine outside or in the historic old stone building, this unique seafood restaurant is definitely worth a visit.
- Joe's Stone Crab is another landmark, at the end of Miami's South Beach. I must mention however, there are no reservations so you may have to wait for a table. I would also mention that the signature dish – stone crab craws aren't cheap so check the price range. Also try Joe's hash browns and coleslaw, my mouth waters at the very thought.
- Otentic is to date my favourite restaurant offering French cuisine in Miami, however I have been informed that the restaurant has moved to bigger premises in Washington Avenue, just a couple of blocks away. I loved the intimacy of the original so hope that this change will not alter the ambiance or indeed the food which was always delicious and great value.
- Gelato-go Miami is where you can taste the best ice cream ever. I have travelled around Italy and enjoyed the very best of Italian ice cream – this is on par with any Italian ice cream worldwide. An added bonus is – Italian gelato is made from less buttermilk so it's lower in fat!
- Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar is a gem offering fine dining in a romantic setting. This young chef is the talk of Miami so book early and don't miss the Nutella bread pudding.
There are of course a multitude of eateries serving from morning till night, and a vast range of cuisine from around the world, so get out there and enjoy the delights of this amazing city.