Originating in the Spanish community of Andalusia, the art of flamenco blends the rapid rhythms of Spanish guitar music with the equally energetic footwork of skilled dancers. Under the direction of flamenco devotee Pepe Canto, both legendary and budding flamenco dancers grace the stage at Cava Restaurant. Three nights a week, joyful strumming and stomping reverberates against the brick walls and vaulted brick ceiling of a dining room perfumed with the scent of chef Francisco Mateo's Spanish cuisine.
Another Andalusian original, Francisco relies on local ingredients to create Spanish dishes, such as filet mignon with Spanish blue cheese sauce. He meticulously assembles platters of Serrano ham, cheese, and chorizo, or prepares squid in its own ink, rather than tapping the ink reserves J.D. Sallinger kept on hand to write cease-and-desist letters instead of novels. Cava's bartenders complement Francisco's cuisine with wine from a list heavy on Spanish varietals, as well as other selections from around the world.
Visitors to Miami-Dade County Auditorium witness shows and concerts unfold on the same stage where U.S. presidents, Luciano Pavarotti, and stars of Broadway have respectively stood, sung, and danced. The 60-year old auditorium, known for its cultural contributions to the Miami community, has recently undergone renovations, upgrading its sound system and ensuring its lighting accentuates each actor’s shadow-puppet dream sequences.
Pool balls clack and Ping-Pong paddles thwap at Doggi's Sports Bar & Grill, where large-screen televisions broadcast major games as patrons play games of their own, or relax with a cocktail. Beers join specialty cocktails such as passion fruit-jalapeño martinis and coconut mojitos, whose coasters double as eye patches in a pinch. In the kitchen, chefs eschew run-of-the-mill bar bites for a menu of American and Venezuelan delicacies, such as parillas and arepas stuffed with sausage, plantains, or 11 other fillings.
At Open Stage Club, visual and auditory delights share the bill with gustation and olfaction to create an extrasensory dining experience. At first glance, it's a restaurant and bar, with a menu loaded with seafood and steak house-worthy entrees, and a wine selection that seems plucked from a sommelier's dreams. But the star attraction of the club is the talent that blossoms upon its performance stage. Equipped with a professional sound and lighting system and featuring a house band for backup, the open stage draws burgeoning singers, dancers, comedians, and mimes into the spotlight to chase their muses as audiences offer encouragement and friendly critiques.
Executive Chef Massimo Giannattasio's career has taken him all over the world, cooking meals in Los Angeles, Northern Italy, and Miami, but perhaps the most important kitchen in which he worked is his mother's. At a young age, she taught him that a chef's intuition is as important as any measurement and that if a chef wears another chef's apron, he withers and dies. Chef Giannattasio and his staff rely on those early lessons in the kitchen of Cibo Wine Bar, where they've curated a menu of both traditional and modern Italian dishes.
Surrounded by columns of neatly stacked Chicago bricks, diners take their seats at tables made of sealed butcher block. Servers produce a wine list to rival a French baron's, and waiters bring out appetizers such as polenta fries or carpaccio. Pastas such as ravioli and gnocchi are hallmark dishes, and the chef prepares seasonal risottos year round. Tender cuts of veal and braised beef short ribs are served second. In addition, the kitchen can bake one of 15 gourmet pizzas for the table, with whole wheat options available.
Cibo Wine Bar won the Miami New Times' Best Wine Selection award in 2012. And once you step inside, it's easy to see why. A huge wine rack soars to the top of the restaurant's vaulted ceiling along one wall—it's so tall that Cibo's wine girl uses a harness and rope to reach the top. A vast, full-service bar pours wines and mixed drinks in the front. In the open kitchen, which is framed by exposed brick walls, chefs scurry to prepare meals, and curing meats hang in full sight of the diners.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, The Globe's CubaLibre Block Party electrifies the streets with Cuban flair as attendees savor creative cocktails, exotic street food, hand-rolled cigars, and plenty of dancing. From the main stage of the festival, Cuban-born, Miami-raised trio Los 3 de la Habana headlines, playing music for the crowds. The band plays rousing tunes such as the sweeping power ballad “Donde esta el Amor” and the thumping “No te pases de la Raya.” Edwin Bonilla y Su Son will also perform to create more traditional, though no less danceable, melodies. Elsewhere, partiers can take in a salsa lesson and demo, or watch a special tribute to Cuban piano legend Bebo Valdes.