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.
Last Call Pub Crawls? party-savvy guides steer revelers through lively city neighborhoods, stopping at esteemed watering holes along the way. The guides chart courses by strolling the predetermined route to ensure that bars are conveniently spaced apart and not tended by puritan librarians. Once the path is set, they invite explorers to embark with them on the tours, built around themes such as masquerades and drinking around the world, or set in distinct neighborhoods such as Brickell and Espa?ola Way. Each tour lavishes guests with half-off bar tabs and free shots at every stop on the crawl. Some venues may choose to enforce a dress code, so Last Call recommends that crawlers avoid sandals or shorts. Last Call brings photographers along for the ride to document the happenings of progressively hazy evenings and provide guests with new photos to attach to their resumes.
The breadth of the Atlantic Ocean doesn't impact the reach of Alfredo Patino. As the chef and owner of Bin No. 18, the Miami-based chef draws inspiration from the casual cuisine of European bistros while using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and contemporary technique to lend a bit of New World flair to the ever-changing menus. French, Italian, and Latin American flavors appear throughout Chef Patino's cuisine, adding a global scope to the regionally rooted dishes.
Shareable platters of imported European cheeses and cured meats are served alongside Latin staples, including octopus salad, as well as classic Italian entrees made with homemade pastas. But recreating time-honored classics isn't the only thing that Chef Patino does. He also demonstrates a willingness to experiment by fusing New and Old World influences. This culinary whimsy is evident in the kitchen's modern interpretation of a Cuban sandwich—complete with slow-roasted pork, brie, and fig sauce—which earned a spot on Food & Wine magazine's list of the Best Sandwiches in the U.S.
And much like the European bistros that originally inspired Chef Patino, Bin No. 18 features an extensive wine list. Like his menu, the wine list takes a global approach by including bottles from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Hungary, Greece, and Austria, as well as Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, Washington State, California, and Oregon. This variety of options ensures that numerous pairing options are available for diners looking to enjoy a glass with their meal or collection of small plates. CBS Miami was also impressed by the selection, placing Bin No. 18 on its 2011 list of the Best Wine Bars In South Florida.
The Old World inspiration shines through a bit more clearly in the restaurant's décor, which skews more toward a rustic, yet refined ambiance as opposed to a nouveau vibe. Wooden wine barrels sit beside tables with avocado-green chairs, occasionally doubling as small side tables. At the same time, the collection of crystal chandeliers dangling from the ceiling adds a bit of classical elegance to the space.