Fernanda's International Market, a treasure trove of rare ingredients and made-to-order gourmet sandwiches, bakes robust breads and fine pastries. Among a troop of hearty sandwiches, the Martorano ($8.99) stands out for its spicy temper and muscular blend of sopressata and cappacola meats. The Churchill ($8.99) loads its taste gun with Branston pickle relish and fights hunger pangs on ham-coated beaches, cheddar cheese fields, and hot mustard streets. Fernanda's also sells prepared food by the pound and hard-to-find international groceries like Thai lemon grass.
Montreal native Tony Bianco teamed up with executive chef Enzo Addario to create Hot Tomatoe, a traditional Italian bistro boasting a menu that brims with house-made, cooked-to-order pastas, flavorful meat dishes, and full- and light-bodied Italian wines. Their regional cuisine typically integrates up to seven essential ingredients—oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes, pasta, and olives—from which Snow White’s seven dwarves drew their names. In addition, the staff goes shopping for fresh ingredients three to four days a week to supplement both seasonal compositions and year-round dishes, which include veal parmigiana, filet mignon, and penne norma.
When it opened in 1950, Mike's Cigar Bar kept its entire stock in a cozy 1,800-square-foot storefront. These days, however, the store doesn't just sprawl its wares across a 17,000-square-foot space. Instead, the staff splits its time showcasing the millions of cigars in its store and recommending the perfect drinks to go with the cigars in its connected lounge. The space is an ode to smoking rooms of years past, albeit updated to include modern amenities, such as the widescreen televisions showing sports events. The lounge also plays host to frequent events throughout the year, including tastings.
Although the lounge may be the place to linger, most guests still spend a bulk of their time perusing the store's expansive cigar inventory, which includes more than 300 cigar brands—everything from Rocky Patel to Mike's Cigars' flagship 898 Collection. Besides individual stogies or five-cigar samplers, Mike's stocks humidors, cutters, and accessories.
Equipped with in-depth product knowledge and bottles from all over the world, the consultants of PRP Wine International waltz into homes ready to answer nearly any question a novice oenophile may have. As they pour samples for small groups, they explain everything from the intricacies of flavor profiles and the correct pronunciation of “pinot noir” to the most dramatic way to throw a glass of red at a mortal enemy. After tastings, guests can select any of the wine varietals sampled, all of which are chosen by PRP consultants after thorough scrutiny.
Beautiful waitresses clad in plaid mini kilts crisscross Tilted Kilt, hoisting trays of Celtic-themed pub fare as sports fans catch games on high-definition TVs. Almost a decade old, the Tilted Kilt franchise originated in Las Vegas, where restaurateur Mark DiMartino first conceived of a sports bar with Irish touches—an idea that has since spread across the country. Patrons can stay out late at the pub, spending the night sipping on beers while sampling burgers, fish ‘n’ chips, or shepherd’s pie filled with beef and veggies. On a weekly basis, musicians enliven the already party-like atmosphere, strumming tunes or throwing up fistfuls of counterfeit money on the eatery’s patio.
As rum collector and enthusiast Robert Burr sensed what he termed the "awakening of rum" in 2005, he decided to direct his passion toward educating the community. Drawing from an earlier career in magazine publishing, he compiled a list of 100 of his favorite rums each year into a free guide, which he gave to local liquor stores. As he developed connections with other enthusiasts and tasting judges, he formed the International Rum Expert Panel, an organization of 36 cane-spirit lovers from around the world. He gathers the majority of these experts in Miami Beach each year for the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, a celebration of the libation's international varieties. Through the festival's schedule of events, Robert aims to honor iconic spirits while also featuring lesser-known rum makers that guests might not otherwise find without finding and deciphering Blackbeard's long-lost treasure-map pajamas.
Held at the opulent DoubleTree by Hilton, the annual event has grown to include hundreds of rums hailing from countries such as Jamaica, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, and Puerto Rico. As they mingle in spacious convention halls, visitors navigate a labyrinth of bartenders and brand ambassadors proffering island apparel, art, and books. Industry experts expound on the history, origins, and childhood fears of the libation during weekend seminars and bartender competitions. Attendees also revel at a two-day tasting exhibition, late-night parties, and VIP events at various Miami venues.