Each Dolce Vita Gelato Cafe honors the dessert's Italian ancestry with an authentic recipe and a repertoire of 42 kosher-friendly flavors. Best-selling classics include real-bean vanilla and Belgian–style chocolate, as well as fresh, fruit-hoarding varieties such as strawberry, mango, and lemon; trailblazing palates may prefer foreign tastes such as the dulce de leche or chocolate Ferrero Rocher. Because Dolce Vita's gelato contains only 8% butterfat, the sweet, silky treats make a perfect snack option for those watching their waistline or those who typically enjoy their dessert with a side of bacon. Wrap hands around a small cup or sugar cone ($3.75–$5) or a large cup or waffle cone ($6.50 each) to get a taste of a spoon-optional sustenance that drives ice cream to shame and popsicles back to their former careers as extremely perishable traffic batons . Gelato prices may vary among store locations.
The two passionate pastry chefs at Astrid & Stephanie blend French and Argentinean flavors into eclectic café fare and desserts. For lunch, pairs of patrons can choose sandwiches such as the Chivito from Uruguay (a $11.90 value), which stamps its bread passport with layers of tenderloin beef before toothy customs inspectors tear apart its ham, egg, and mozzarella baggage in search of contraband Tickle Me Elmo dolls. Alternately, opt to browse the dinner menu, where specialty lamb foreshank floats over savory pools of meat moisture on a raft of fried sliced potatoes (a $19.90 value). After either meal, wash down a duo of desserts, such as meringue-topped lemon pie (a $3.85 value) and a slice of the cake of the day (a $3.85 value), with beverages such as piping-hot coffee drinks or tea (a $2.10–$3.90 value for a large). Then duos of diners can sit back to digest as the disparate dishes in their stomachs negotiate carefully worded international treaties for extradition to the small intestine.
The kitchen staff at Oggi Ristorante, which Frommer's dubbed a "neighborhood favorite," makes fresh pastas every day. But according to Gayot, this feat is nothing new. Formerly a homemade-pasta supplier for other restaurants, Oggi now stands on its own. Its chefs draw inspiration from homestyle Italian recipes and culinary techniques to creating a menu of comforting, Old-World staples. In addition to making whole-wheat spaghetti and perfectly square meatballs by hand, the chefs also create what Gayot described as "some of the most delicate stuffed pastas and supple seafood dishes in the city." Grilled scottish salmon arrives perched atop a bed of wilted spinach, and tilapia alla livornese is sautéd in a mixture of fresh tomatoes, capers, onions, and black olives. Other options range from classic chicken or veal parmigiana to filet mignon topped with a green-peppercorn sauce and accompanied by champagne risotto. The wait staff ferries these dishes across the dining room, whose white tablecloths and exposed-brick walls combine to create a rustic-yet-elegant atmosphere.
Varanda’s menu deposits delicious Brazilian cuisine in hungry stomachs, ensuring they're happily filled with ingredients from South America. Guests such as Lady Gaga and Ricky Martin have dined at Varanda’s, and the eatery can also satisfy inner celebrities with starters such as asinha de frango (chicken wings, $7.95) or pastel de queijo, a popular cheese-filled pastry ($1.95). Meat eaters can enjoy the muqueca de peixe—a fish fillet simmered in coconut sauce and spices and served with beans and rice ($13.95)—plunge their teeth into a picanha steak ($13.95), or sample linguica, a Brazilian-style sausage served with beans, rice, and a side ($12.95).
New York Bagel Deli cements more than 16 bagel varieties with 20 thick, rich cream-cheese mortars, building breakfasts, lunches, and snacks from behind a quick, convenient deli counter. Bread benefactors stock 13 orbital options into a baker's dozen bagel box, prompting diners to contemplate which bagels to include, which to exclude, and which to ring-toss onto car antennae. Plain, whole-wheat, and sesame-seed bagels package classic taste, while rosemary-and-cheese and garlic bagels pop flavor into the hole-holding fare. While not included with this Groupon, guests may pair their bagel roster with a cream-cheese flavor, such as southwest lime, sundried tomato, or artichoke spread. At a coffee bar, juice bar, and smoothie station, savvy staff whip together libations that complement the baker's dozen or wash down accidentally ingested napkins.
From behind an ultramodern lounge filled with jewel-toned sofas, exposed-brick walls, and black leather booths, Trio on The Bay's chefs forge a menu of surf 'n' turf, using local vendors and sustainable practices whenever possible. On the patio overlooking Biscayne Bay, waiters swing from canopies bearing sizzling steaks accompanied by locally grown vegetables or pan-seared scallops with a wild mushroom risotto and lemon crème fraîche. Chefs also cater to off-hour hunger pangs with Sunday-morning brunch and bar snacks, which blend the seafood hub’s signature flavors into palatable egg dishes and portable snacks.
Trio on The Bay hosts special events every Friday and Saturday night beginning at 10 p.m. Revelers head to the chandelier-sprinkled lounge to take in the flat-screen TVs and vacation slide shows from 1973, or retire to the outdoor patio's cushioned rattan chairs for drinks under the illumination of light-festooned palm trees and fire pits.