The Taste of Brickell Food and Wine Festival serves culinary samples from nine popular Brickell restaurants, endless fine wine and spirits, and international rhythms. Chefs from such area eateries as Porcao Farm to Grill, El Vato, Tapas Xperience, and Batch Gastro Pub distribute freshly prepared portions of signature menu items, including morsels from 2014 Executive Chef Virgile Brandel (Atrio at the Conrad). Wine experts entice visitors to try new vintages by hosting tasting demos and dispensing samples. A portion of all event proceeds help fund the local charities.
Bar? Urbano takes the ingredients of island life?the colors, the music, and the laid-back vibe?and tosses them into a blender with the ingredients of urban life?the street art, the food, and the cocktails. The resulting concoction is a festival for the senses that still manages to offer a relaxing escape from everyday city living.
Bar? Urbano's menu reflects this casual yet exciting spirit. Using urban comfort food as the basis for many dishes, chefs infuse bites with Latin and Caribbean flair, especially through signature dressings, sauces, and salsas. The spread also features ceviches, empanadas, and carnes, including one dish called the BARU parilla. Packed with enough food to feed three people or one body-building alligator, the BARU parilla is served on a sizzling skillet loaded with grilled steak, short ribs, and chorizo.
Sporting Miami-Dade's oldest liquor license, Tobacco Road has been the city's quintessential bar for more than 100 years. A speakeasy where Al Capone reportedly once drank and gambled, Tobacco Road now specializes in what Frommer's lauds as "good and greasy bar fare." Bites range from houesmade empanadas and smoked baby-back ribs to the "death burger"—Angus beef crowned with grilled onions, jalapenos, and jack cheese.
As bartenders pour top-shelf liquors and beers, musicians rock out every night on the same stage once graced by blues luminaries, such as John Lee Hooker and Buddy Guy. The party lasts until 5 a.m. every night, leaving just enough time for Tobacco Road's vampire maintenance crew to clean up before sunrise.
Shoes have a rough gig, keeping feet safe from concrete, gravel, bottomless puddles, and other unforgiving surfaces. Luckily, the crew at Brickell Shoe Repair & Alterations?which has three locations in the Miami area?know the ins and outs of keeping men's and women's footwear in great shape. They also clean suede and leather and make more in-depth repairs such as replacing heels and fixing holes. With their careful touch, they also hem paints, replace buttons, and execute numerous other clothing alterations.
Back in the kitchen, the chefs at El Vato Tequila and Taco Bar grill up only antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken and angus beef for their tacos, fajitas, and piñatas, all part of their commitment to humanely raised food. They also give vegans a chance to taste their Mexican street tacos and gooey quesadillas by offering the option of Smart Ground veggie protein and Daiya non-dairy cheese for any of their dishes. Liquid sustenance is just as important as the food here, and bartenders can be found pouring blanco, reposado, and anejo tequilas or mixing margaritas with ingredients such as lime juice, fresh cucumber, or chipotle spices. The Miami New Times described the eatery’s decor as a “Tijuana dive re-imagined as a backdrop for a music video,” thanks to the graffiti-like artwork behind the bar and the Buick Riveria-turned-banquette in the dining room.
Since 1989, The Miami Symphony Orchestra has mimicked Miami’s cultural diversity with concerts and events that act as a melting pot of musical influences. Music director Eduardo Marturet, a Venezuelan composer and conductor, helms many of the concerts, encouraging the musicians to unleash their inner Beethovens or Bachs—former members of the ’80s hair-metal band Skid Row.