A sprinkling of mediterranean spices makes its way into many of the dishes at Venicia Cafe & Grill. Chefs toss flavorful handfuls atop filets mignons, hide them inside falafel patties, and allow them to seep inside salmon with a wine-and-lemon marinade. Other staple Mediterranean dishes that leave the kitchen include creamy hummus with gyro, stuffed grape leaves, and spinach pie. After meals, puffs of scented smoke float around hookahs and a disco ball lights up the dance floor as patrons sway their hips, stomp their feet, and toss one another in the air.
In a dining room decorated with Egyptian-inspired artwork, visitors to Exotic Bites enjoy a tableau of Mediterranean dishes that range from tender gyros to rich and creamy hummus. Warm pita wraps around sizzling shawarma, lamb kebabs, or kebah, a combination of minced beef, pine nuts, and ground lamb, and stuffed falafels are comprised of a crunchy chickpea patty filled with minced beef, chicken, or sautéed vegetables. The occasional tendrils of hookah smoke spiral into the air, spun from the lips of friends chatting at a table or reclining in a cushioned corner decorated with a vivid wall hanging. More hookah pipes line up against a wall shelf, spaced between the chalkboard menu of daily specials and framed pictures.
Cuenca Cigars houses 80 varieties of factory and hand-rolled cigars within its forest-green and yellow walls, offering single and box smokes, humidors, and parcels of tobacco. On temperate days, rings of flavored smoke drift skyward from Cuenca's outdoor lounge while indoor patrons pick out cigars such as the H-Upmann ($7.35 each) and the Montecristo 75th Anniversary ($18). Accessories such as Craftsman double-blade cigar cutters ($3.50) help smokers to cut cigars down to size without the hassle of using a saber or unconstructive criticism. Enjoy pleasing puffs of session cigars such as the Romeo y Julieta Cedro Deluxe No. 2 (5.70 each), or inhale sips of complimentary cappuccino and espresso in Cuenca’s indoor lounge while checking emails on the complimentary WiFi.
A tree is something you might not expect to see inside a bar. But Mystic Water Kava Bar has one?and it's everywhere. Every look around yields views of the sculpted banyan tree's gnarled branches and roots tracing along the interior, giving the space the feel of being underground or in a secret lair. And the signature drink is just as unique. Kava, a traditional Polynesian drink said to have soothing properties, is served in a large bowl with small coconut shells that are used to dip into the concoction and to sip from. Beyond the drink's relaxing ways, the whole place feels like a haven for unwinding, with live funk and soul groups performing regularly, a yoga studio on premises, and plenty of space to let loose or meet up with your friend with the really calming voice.
Caffe Martier's menu yokes together gourmet salads, sandwiches, and Mediterranean fare served in a café with the élan of European-bistro sophistication. Salmon, cream cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes adorn the cod salmon pizza starter's whole-wheat flat bread base before being drizzled with pesto, and the greek bruschetta's feta, kalamata olives, and diced tomatoes play Twister atop foccacio bread. Graze the greenery of the roasted pepper-topped arugula-endive salad or opt for a spinach salad with figs and feta, sprinkled with toasted pecans and roasted peppers before being doused in a spicy lime dressing. Chefs assemble sandwiches and wraps using only kosher meats, and each arrives with an edible sidekick of organic mesclun and chickpea salad.
From the moment guests step into its entryway and pass its showcase of Fabergé eggs, Tatiana Restaurant & Cabaret Show carefully choreographs a journey through the nobility and flair of Russia's history. Like an Eastern European palace, its opulence stretches through three levels and 10,500 square feet, adorned with grand-cathedral balconies, Murano glass fixtures, and an ornate ceiling hammered with 24-karat gold accents that took artists four months to complete. And yet, this splendor can be quickly eclipsed once dinner begins. From à la carte and prix fixe menus, up to 600 guests dine on traditional Russian cuisine that includes a cold beet borscht, but is not limited to it. When a Miami.com reviewer visited Tatiana’s, she praised the vareniki—semicircle ravioli filled with potatoes, cheese, or sour cherries.
After the meal, Tatiana’s swaps bustling servers for a swarm of singers, dancers, and DJs. During shows that pay homage to Russian culture, Moulin Rouge, and Las Vegas–style cabarets, the performers twirl through smoke and light on and off a stage that can rise six feet in the air to aid performers in midshow slam dunks. The house band continues to wail after the smoke has cleared, opening up the dance floor for couples who can pas de deux into the wee morning hours.