Like its imaginative cocktails, Ricochet Bar & Lounge's décor mixes a wide variety of distinct elements to create an alluring final product. Tufted walls, purple marble accents, and reclaimed wood swirls around a 90-foot triangular bar that serves as the lounge's centerpiece. Rotating installations of video art flash across TV screens, and curated drink coasters designed by local artists offer a hip place to rest glasses or elbows during arm wrestling contests. Ricochet's food menu adds to the artistic ambiance, mollifying pangs of hunger with mini paninis, guava and lime lollipop ribs, and other innovative small plates.
Taking shots at the bar is already a performance: the dramatic tossing back of the head, the struggle not to make a puckered, that-was-rough face. Shots MIAMI’s bartenders embrace that theatricality by creating a show around each of their handcrafted shots, outfitting drinkers with silly props like oversized sombreros and sunglasses. The goofy costumes complement more than 150 cheekily named libations, such as Fruit Punch to the Face, a watermelon-flavored vodka shot. SHOTS Miami’s crew mobilizes its liquor, props, and glassware for private and corporate events, where they happily adapt their concept and drinks around each soiree’s specific theme.
The breadth of the Atlantic Ocean doesn't impact the reach of Alfredo Patino. As the chef and owner of Bin No. 18, the Miami-based chef draws inspiration from the casual cuisine of European bistros while using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and contemporary technique to lend a bit of New World flair to the ever-changing menus. French, Italian, and Latin American flavors appear throughout Chef Patino's cuisine, adding a global scope to the regionally rooted dishes.
Shareable platters of imported European cheeses and cured meats are served alongside Latin staples, including octopus salad, as well as classic Italian entrees made with homemade pastas. But recreating time-honored classics isn't the only thing that Chef Patino does. He also demonstrates a willingness to experiment by fusing New and Old World influences. This culinary whimsy is evident in the kitchen's modern interpretation of a Cuban sandwich—complete with slow-roasted pork, brie, and fig sauce—which earned a spot on Food & Wine magazine's list of the Best Sandwiches in the U.S.
And much like the European bistros that originally inspired Chef Patino, Bin No. 18 features an extensive wine list. Like his menu, the wine list takes a global approach by including bottles from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Hungary, Greece, and Austria, as well as Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, Washington State, California, and Oregon. This variety of options ensures that numerous pairing options are available for diners looking to enjoy a glass with their meal or collection of small plates. CBS Miami was also impressed by the selection, placing Bin No. 18 on its 2011 list of the Best Wine Bars In South Florida.
The Old World inspiration shines through a bit more clearly in the restaurant's décor, which skews more toward a rustic, yet refined ambiance as opposed to a nouveau vibe. Wooden wine barrels sit beside tables with avocado-green chairs, occasionally doubling as small side tables. At the same time, the collection of crystal chandeliers dangling from the ceiling adds a bit of classical elegance to the space.
The bar looks like a beer-lover's rainbow, a row of draft handles representing more than 30 brews. While bartenders fill pints and 7-ounce flight glasses, flat-screen televisions air major-league sports from around the world, from football to international soccer to pay-per-view UFC bouts. These surroundings make the bar and grill the kind of place where fans can spend an entire day catching games while enjoying drinks and a menu of pub fare. Valet parking lends the sports-focused eatery a luxurious aspect only seen in the sports world when the Marlins wear tuxedos instead of their baseball uniforms. In addition to sports, Hoops attracts guests with special events such as Singles Mingles and karaoke.
Popular globetrotting pop collective Architecture in Helsinki transforms Grand Central into a throbbing, futuristic discotheque as its latest tour storms American shores. Formed in Melbourne, the ambidextrous dance band stirs fans with a tornado of flamboyant sounds, infectious anthems, and commitment-free instrument swapping. With hits such as “Do the Whirlwind” and latest single “Contact High,” lead crooner Cameron Bird and his cakewalking team of tunesmiths tickle ear bones and rehabilitate ankles in support of its latest album, Moment Bends. During the kaleidoscopic performance, the band seduces dance floors with 10-foot hooks and sounds culled from hypnotic synths, romantic glockenspiels, and strummed chest hairs. Filling out the bill, Swedish dance wizards Lo-Fi-Fnk enchant with instant club hits and songs for strobe-light campfires, while pop enthusiasts Dom charm with stargazing Casios. Following the show, Grand Central invites Groupon holders backstage to meet the band, discuss musical influences, and take notes on how to hit the elusive high Z note.