A salsa-dancing hotspot by night and a palate-pleasing eatery by day, Martini Bar & Grill’s seasoned chefs churn out a well-rounded menu of breakfast and lunch specialties as bartenders concoct accompanying brews. Palates preferring the yolky flavors of daybreak eats can time travel to prenoon hours with eggs benedict or sausages tucked into pancake blankets. Cuban sandwiches, mac 'n' cheese, and salmon with garlic mashed potatoes conquer guests' cravings for savory noontime feasts. As entrees slowly disappear, unlimited mimosas sate unquenchable thirst with nips of bubbly champagne and tangy orange juice that tango atop taste buds or mambo down guests' bibs.
At Ace Bartending's 40-foot bar, ice clinks against glasses and prospective mixologists chatter during hands-on courses. Instructors wax informational about the history and production of liquor before outlining state and municipal legal requirements for serving alcohol or distributing liquor to horses. As students progress, they migrate to eight functional bartending stations that feature working carbon dioxide lines, and lessons feed hungry brains tidbits of information on the use of glassware and garnishes to craft a beverage with fitting aesthetic appeal. The curriculum bounds across a bubbling, colorful rainbow of 200 different drinks and recipes.
In addition to hands-on demonstrations and role-playing exercises, courses hand down lessons on how to land a job as a bartender and give tips for job interviews. The classroom's walls, like those of a real bar, are crowded with colorful bottles, lit by crackling neon beer signs, and held together by flyers for bands seeking bassists.
The rhythmic whirring of fruit-annihilating blades, punctuated by the crunching of ice and glugging of poured juices, courses through Smoothie King’s health emporium. Guests select from a bountiful selection of made-to-order beverages in seven categories—including Stay Healthy, Trim Down, and Get Energy—each formulated with specific fruit combos to help bulk up muscle or trim down waistlines. The Raspberry Sunrise balances out its tartness with honey, while the exotic Mangosteen Madness showcases the Southeast Asian fruit along with strawberries and papaya. Guests can augment their fruit flavors with one of 11 enhancers, such as a vitamin and calcium blend to strengthen joints, or a 125 mg Caffeine Charge enhancer to temporarily make mowing the lawn less sleep-inducing.
Though it’s a national brand with locations sprinkled across 14 states, Chevys Fresh Mex doesn’t succumb to shortcuts at any of its restaurants. The expert chefs at each eatery gather together fresh ingredients to prepare the entire menu from scratch, whether they’re infusing chicken enchiladas with chipotles or simmering fragrant cauldrons of their homemade tortilla soup. Even though this hands-on approach harkens back to the foundations of Mexican culinary traditions, chefs also give each dish a contemporary twist—tacos meet flavorful drizzles of chipotle aioli, slow-roasted carnitas mingle with fresh oranges and lemons alongside fajita platters. Meanwhile, bartenders engage in serious agave innovation with top-shelf margaritas in flavors such as prickly pear and spicy mango.
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.
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.