There's a lot of hard work behind Tongue & Cheek's whimsical demeanor. Chef and owner Jamie DeRosa first fell in love with cooking making paella with his grandmother and beloved childhood mixing spoon. He grew up into a culinary career, finding an early mentor in James Beard Award winner Allen Susser. He brushed up against other famous names working with iconic chef Wolfgang Puck and at Spago in Beverly Hills and Fat Duck in England. Now, DeRosa's made his own home in what the Miami NewTimes sums up as "a neighborhood restaurant with a mishmash of pristine and playful food."
That translates into beef short rib with smoked pineapple at dinner, corn dogs with beer mustard during happy hour, and eggs with whiskey-aged cheddar during weekend brunch. Of course, you can also get your booze in more concentrated form. Mixologist Leo Holtzman's daring cocktails are frequent guest stars in newspaper and magazine food sections, and his bar holds not only top-shelf spirits but also savory ingredients such as cilantro, hot peppers, and dill.
Tongue & Cheek picked up a spot on Huffington Post's and Florida Trend's lists of hottest new Miami restaurants upon opening, but it continues to evolve—sometimes with the help of other chefs, during Kitchen Collab events that let guests taste the fusion of major talents. Whatever's going on, whitewashed rough stone and wood-clad pillars frame a room ideal for seeing and being seen, while funky artwork and lively music keep the energy high and the restaurant from being mistaken for a food museum.
A lot of liquid flows through a lot of beer gardens in the world, but very few of them can say pour enough beer to fill an actual pool. O.k., so the bartenders at Lou’s haven’t actually tried to fill their beer garden’s pool with beer. Still, the dozen taps and 30 bottled varieties on hand run with the stuff, dispensing craft brews in enough varieties to make the prospect of jumping into the swimming hole seem a little more feasible.
Inside the kitchen, Lou himself boasts the titles of both owner and chef, and he spends just as much time crafting his farm-to-table menu as he does curating the beer collection. He pairs his beverages with delicious creations such as New Zealand lamb, seared and served in the same cast iron skillet along with a side of bourbon and mountain honey-roasted squash. Lou’s eccentric palate and staggering panoply of brews has even earned his bacchanalian pleasure dome a nod from Esquire Magazine, which calls it one of 2012's Best Bars in America.
title: Tap 79
"Life is too short to drink crappy beer." "In wine there is wisdom." Those are two of the playful sayings a patron might find scrawled across the chalkboard inside Tap 79. But that board, which stretches behind the relaxed gastropub's bar, displays another key bit of information sure to interest anyone here—the rotating brews currently up for pours. With those special features and the permanent selection, bartenders at Tap 79 serve up some impressive numbers: 8 beers on draft and 22 on bottle, mostly microbrews from Belgium and the United States.
With stats like that, Tap 79 likely serves up something for any taste. The same can be said for the establishment's food, which ranges from small bites up to entrees the size of short ribs and the seafood catch of the day. Chef/owner Alfredo Patino and his team don't leave much to chance when it comes to these meals. Case in point: they cure their own beef jerky and blend their own burger patties with angus, short rib brisket, and chuck. Lighter eats include artisan cheeses imported from Spain, Italy, and France, which pair well with a glass of wine or a domestic cheese you feel has been too sheltered from the world.
After naming ROK:BRGR the best burger joint in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach in 2011, the New Times Broward-Palm Beach repeated the honor in 2012. "If you take apart" one of the restaurant's 17 handcrafted burgers, the paper claimed, and "dissect it into its basic components, you'll figure out why ROK:BRGR deserves this award."
Said components are all local and farm-to-table, from artisan cheese to certified Angus beef. To crown his beef patties, Chef Robbyns Martinez uses everything from chorizo and red-onion marmalade to cave-aged gruyère, which is harvested by spelunking cows. Besides beef, ROK:BRGR's specialties include a free-range turkey burger topped with baby arugula and an ahi-tuna burger drizzled with wasabi mayo.
Innovative twists on comfort food round out the menu, from lobster corn dogs to bacon-infused Kobe meatloaf. Bacon reappears on ROK:BRGR's roster of handmade cocktails, which includes an updated old fashioned made with bacon-infused Maker's Mark. Along with cocktails, more than 65 domestic craft beers can accompany meals.
Biscayne Tavern may draw its influences from around the world, but its ingredients come from right around the corner. The chefs at this American gastropub—located inside YVE Hotel in downtown Miami—balance comfort and craft in dishes that manage to be familiar but not commonplace. Some of their most popular creations include pork-belly sliders, Atlantic salmon, and a full slate of "Burgers of the World," each of which is made from local, organic ingredients.
The drink menu follows a similar idea. Biscayne's beer list features American craft beers and canned classics alongside offerings from local breweries such as Funky Buddha. The cocktail menu, for its part, is a clinic in fusion mixology with drinks like the Miagi Manhattan, made in the ancient tradition with Yamazaki Japanese whiskey and ginger-infused vermouth. Biscayne's atmosphere is best described as casual yet refined, thanks to touches such as chalkboard menus and repurposed wine-cork artwork.
Emphasizing the pub in its title, Elwoods Gastro Pub has lots of grub from fish ‘n’ chips to potato skins, chicken skewers, fried mushrooms, and hummus and pita. Its house salad features roasted beets, red onion, arugula, goat cheese and citrus. It also has an extensive offering of burgers and sandwiches. For the vegans in the mix there is a nice selection of curry, wraps and vegetable burgers. For dessert, go for the Elwoods bites, cream puffs filled with homemade ice cream topped with caramel and chocolate sauce. There is also a weekend brunch with bottomless mimosa and bellinis. And on the first and third Tuesdays of the month there is comedy night, a lineup of professional local comedians. There is no cover, but the night is not suitable for children.