The world’s a different place than it was in 1962, when the Beatles were kings, JFK was president, and the internet sounded like the name of some kind of obscure tennis equipment. However, despite a half-century of changes, at least one thing remains consistent: when they want a darn good burger, people still come to the Keg South. The sound of familiar greetings echoes against the wood-paneled walls of the 50-year-old establishment, mingling with the clatter of billiard balls and clink of frosted mugs. Neon beer signs and flat-screen televisions cast a colorful glow on the regular clientele, who munch thick beef burgers, freshly cut fries, and grilled wings. Throughout the year, the pub staff holds special events out in the parking lot, including a Christmas pig roast that was called out in the Miami Herald.
Classic Italian gets a contemporary take at Trattoria La Gondola (formerly Trattoria Dolce Vita), where chef-owner Omar Morillo draws on the culinary skills he perfected during his years in Italy. His innovative, housemade pasta dishes are light and full of surprising ingredients; the black-calamari-ink ravioli stuffed with crab swims in a pink vodka sauce, and a creamy gorgonzola sauce with a hint of truffle hides ravioli bursting with pear and ricotta.
Main courses include meatier options too, such as the salmon in a honey-mustard glaze and prosciutto- and buffalo-mozzarella-stuffed chicken. House wines and enthusiastic but tasteful exclamations of “Mamma Mia!” are ideal finishes to meals.
The soft-serve-dispensers at Tutti Frutti inspire customers to create edible architecture with more than 40 rotating frozen-yogurt flavors and 50 self-serve toppings. Patrons fill bowls with a choice of frozen yogurt before blanketing their velvety frozen treat with fruit, candy, and nut toppings such as peaches, chocolate sprinkles, and candy corn harvested from a local piñata farm. Though yogurt flavors rotate daily, past varieties have included birthday cake, strawberry banana, and mint chocolate, and average approximately 30 calories per ounce. Name-brand candies, including Reese's, Snickers, and M&M's, are available per ounce to top yogurt creations at both the Pembroke Pines and Pinecrest locations. Upon completing sweet masterpieces, dessert sculptors can submit their handiwork ($0.45/oz., including toppings) to the store's judicious scale to be weighed, priced, and read its Miranda rights.
Working side by side at Miami Beach's kitchens for nearly a decade, Moshe Petel and Spurgeon Solomon bonded over their love of Italian cuisine. Along with Nicaraguan executive chef Felix Pavon, the Israeli Petel and Honduran Solomon bring an outsider's reverence to Grazie Italian Cuisine's authentic dishes. Six days a week, the amber-lit, 75-seat dining room fills with the aroma of fresh-baked bread, which joins housemade pesto oil and toasted garlic slices to start each meal. For main courses, Chef Felix tosses handmade and gluten-free pasta with ingredients such as crabmeat and gravy as well as cooks bone-in New York strip steaks with a special rub. Classic and specialty cocktails plus domestic and imported wines help to wash down feasts, which come to a close with more than 10 housemade desserts such as chocolate pecan pie and tiramisu. Weekly specials include an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet and happy hour drinks and appetizers.
With a rotating selection of seven to eight delectable cupcake flavors offered daily, Clarabelle’s Cupcakes offers a bevy of tastes with today's deal. Choose from a surprise six-pack of the day's cupcakes or make a six-pack from vanilla with vanilla buttercream, chocolate with chocolate buttercream, red velvet with signature non-dairy cream cheese frosting, vanilla chip with chocolate buttercream, chocolate chip cookie dough with vanilla buttercream, chocolate with fluffy cream filling and ganache topping, chocolate with vanilla buttercream, or lemon with tangy lemon frosting. Romantics can capture the hearts of dreamy, lactose-intolerant lovers with any of Clarabelle’s treats, because all cupcakes are non-dairy, kosher, and won't expand into a wheel of cheddar cheese when exposed to water. Visitors can sample some 30-odd flavors while visiting the pink-stripe-walled cupcakery confines, watch the bakers give birth to sweets in the open kitchen, and nosh on a variety of treats such as brownies, cookies, cakes, and olde-timey salted leather bootstraps.
Be careful—stepping into Atelier Monnier may become a habit-forming activity. Best of Voice Places bestowed the Best Croissant title upon the French bakery in 2012, adding that the chocolate-almond variety "will make an addict of you." Miami New Times blogger Trina Sargalski praised Atelier's parisian macaron, a gluten-free cookie comprised of a light crust, moist almond meringue, and a natural ganache filling in such flavors as pistachio, coffee, and raspberry cassis. The shop's glass cases also brim with European-style ice cream (crème glacée), profiteroles and pastries, and handmade chocolates along with freshly baked bread and sandwiches.
The store owes its success to the gourmet passions of owner and Belgium native Patrick Feyten and the artisanal creativity of French pastry chef Franck Monnier. The minimalistic decor allows guests to focus on the vibrant colors of their sweet treats, which range from a sunny lemon yellow to a rouge as deeply crimson as Édith Piaf's lips.
The Joint's expert chefs revamp dietary staples into cleverly devised comestibles, satiating culinary curiosity within a sports pub setting. The menu packs more surprises than a magician's airline luggage, featuring delectable fare such as the Mahi tacos ($10.99) or the Joint pizza ($11.99 for a 10"), which coats a crispy, cheesy circumference with grilled chicken, bacon, goat cheese, and mozzarella drizzled in truffle oil. Buns halt the outward expansion of toppings bent on plate domination, blockading the fried eggs and applewood-smoked bacon of the Hangover burger ($10.99) or the peanut butter, fried plantains, bacon, and marshmallow fluff that compose the Crazy Elvis burger ($10.99).