Inspired by the menus of neighborhood eateries throughout Naples, the chefs at Fresco Miami combine the traditional and modern as they assemble refined dishes using high-quality ingredients. Pastas, pizzas, and grilled entrees are speckled with familiar flavors such as buffalo mozzarella and imported Italian prosciutto, as well as imaginative adornments such as Maine lobster and edible microchips. Adhering to his own time-tested recipes, Alfredo Forgione and his handpicked team of chefs also churn out oven-crisped Neapolitan pizzas.
Fresco Miami’s décor, much like its cuisine, effortlessly blends contemporary and time-honored styles. The wall art's vibrant reds and purples stand in contrast to the dining room's hues of black, white, and brushed nickel. Outdoors, patio seating allows diners to enjoy their meals as they keep an eye out for the return of their favorite cloud.
A man seizes a bottle of liquor by its neck, lifts it off its grooved feet, and hurls it into the air. Eyes forward, he catches it behind his back with his left hand as his right pours the first ingredient in a mixed drink. Off The Hookah's flair bartenders juggle flaming concoctions and fix classic cocktails inside a 14,000-square-foot restaurant with Moroccan décor and cushy beds and couches. After high-fiving the two pharaoh statues stationed by the door, guests can dig into tapas, sushi, and artfully arranged Mediterranean cuisine. Outdoor seating wraps around the entire main hall, providing plush couches from which to exhale hookah fumes and watch mariners tying up their boats or saddling their sharks at the marina. On the weekends, DJs spin Mediterranean, Latin, and American records, while belly dancers undulate around indoor and outdoor areas.
The Burgundy Room's kitchen serves up a mouthwatering menu of contemporary coastal cuisine in a hip open lounge. Kick off gastronomical journeys with crispy Serrano ham and gorgonzola croquettes served with poblano aioli ($6), great for sharing. Those that want to cool off mouths without chewing on an air conditioner can nosh a salad of chilled Key West pink shrimp, mingling in a party of roma tomatoes, feta, red onion, and diced apples, all running through a sprinkler of balsamic vinaigrette ($12). Alternatively, famished foodies can chow on esculent entrees, from a seafood linguini populated by lobster, scallops, shrimps and mussels in a white wine lemon sauce ($20), to the grilled filet mignon, bedecked by brandy-drunk mushrooms that stumble over onions and fall into herb-roasted red potato pillows ($24).
It's easy to both start and end a night at Blue Martini. During the early hours of the evening, guests can catch the last rays of sun on the patio as they dine on light fare such as fruit-and-cheese plates and flatbread pizzas. This lightness is necessary, because once the sun goes down, guests have to be light on their feet as the lounge turns into a full-on dance party. From then until closing time, guests can keep their energy up with glasses of wine or one of the house's 42 signature cocktails. The bartenders shake, stir, and blend together ingredients to make these drinks, which range from skinny-raspberry mojitos that contain less than 250 calories to the lightly flavored key-lime-pie martini or cucumber lemonade.
Bongos Cuban Café is known for its delectable food—the eatery won the Pat LaFrieda award for Best Lechon at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival Swine & Wine Event in 2013. It's also known for its famous mojitos made with fresh mint and sugarcane. At Bongos Cuban Café, the energy of Old Havana pulses through the air with Latin music and aromas of authentic Cuban dishes. Vaca Frita with grilled onions, Ropa Vieja, Arroz con pollo, and Paella with fresh scallops, lobster, chorizo, chicken, and mussels are a few specialties.
When dance instructors Rochelle Fereira and Vanessa Caamano Gonzalez teach class, they draw from experiences instructing on a celebrity cruise ship, dancing for productions in Greece, and establishing a dance company in New York. Together, they imbue beginners and seasoned pros with lessons in ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary dance. Each of their two spacious studios hosts toes atop floating floors, which prevent fatigue as well as provide jumps with the necessary spring to dust the studio rafters.