Category: Food

Wynwood Brewery Becomes Miami’s First Production Craft Brewer

This month, Wynwood Brewing Co. founder Luis G. Brignoni marks the second anniversary of his craft production brewery, Miami’s first. He’s celebrating “excellent success, and a lot of growth,” which is accelerating since he and his staff began bottling two house beers in late August. His dad, Luis C. Brignoni, now 63, came out of retirement to help his avid home-brewer son open the business and taproom close to the heart of the Wynwood Arts District. His preferred beer, naturally, is Pop’s Porter, a rich, roasty brew named for him. The other one being sold in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles at Total Wine, Whole Foods and Milo’s Markets locations in Broward and Miami-Dade counties is La Rubia Blonde. Crowds come to the Wynwood taproom to sample their golden and pale ales, porters, barrel-aged strong ales and a large line of seasonal and specialty brews. On tap are about a dozen beers including Barnacle Belgian Pale Ale, Brown Nitro, Rickenbacker Pils, a Wynweizen, IPA and Original Sin Apple Cider. A half-dozen are available in 32- and 64-ounce growlers. This time of year, some different brews are produced. “We have two Oktoberfest beers coming out now. We have a nontraditional Imperial Märzen, which we dry hop with Citra hops, and then we have a traditional Oktoberfest style Märzen that’s coming out in about a month. They’re lagers,” said Luis G. Brignoni,...

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Chanson Restaurant in Deerfield Beach Aims for All-Organic Cuisine

At Chanson Restaurant in the Royal Blues Hotel, their goal is to serve only 100 percent certified organic food. Executive chef Sylvain Noel has been directed by the hotel’s owner to buy only produce certified organic by the USDA. He even tries to get organic wines for the Lounge, and the hotel’s wine list when available. “Since day one we made a choice to use only fresh, organic produce and meat. Even the shrimp we get is Florida shrimp,” says Guilherme Goncalves, food and beverage manager for this new hotel just across from the sand in Deerfield Beach. However, for the sake of full disclosure, he tells me that the shrimp are put on ice in the boats immediately after being caught but they are never frozen. “That makes a big difference,” he says. Their beef comes from grass-fed cows in northern Florida. The “calotte” of beef is a popular menu item served with morels and artichokes. “These are the choices we’ve made,” Goncalves says. The owner is Edward Walson, a film and Broadway producer (Blue Jasmine, Magic in the Moonlight) who chose this sleepy oceanfront town because the beach reminded him of growing up surfing along California beaches in the 1950s. He’s personally chosen just about everything in the dining room as well as the 13 guest rooms and suites, including hand-done Italian linens and silver service. According...

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Road Food: The Garden Cafe a Downtown Oasis in Sebring

    by Chris Felker Lolly McLane says gardening is her first love, but she and husband Scott easily shifted into full-time restaurateurs when the opportunity presented itself in the wake of the recent recession. Business at their 20-something-year-old McLane’s Country Garden, a landscape/garden-supply business in the heart of Sebring, had sputtered. But on hearing from customers hungering for good outdoor dining downtown, and realizing they already had a ready supply of food from their own garden, the McLanes cultivated what became the Garden Café. Their bistro fare, featuring homemade quiches, sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts – made with ingredients plucked from the surrounding garden – has proven popular since Lolly and Scott opened their venture in 2011. Using a Community Redevelopment Agency grant, they erected a roomy, wooden-truss, open-air pavilion with roll-up vinyl sides. The result has become a local hit and magnet for visitors, and it’s No. 1 for the area on a popular travel website. Until recently, the McLanes still were selling plants, produce, and colorful hanging baskets out of their garden. Lately, though, they’ve used all the produce in the cafe. What they don’t grow, local farmers supply. “I’m just looking for quality, and they know it, so I get the pick of what I want,” Lolly says. Their greenhouse is now a hothouse for ripening fruits and vegetables, and they lease space two doors...

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New Brewery in the Wynwood Neighborhood, Concrete Beach Brewery

 Joining Wynwood Brewing, Miami Brew Bus and J Wakefield Brewing in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood is Concrete Beach Brewery. The repurposed space, converted into a social hall and two-story brewery, opened to the public last month. Concrete Beach, an independent subsidiary of Boston Beer Company, features a 20-barrel brew house and an onsite quality control lab. Two tanks are set aside for smaller, experimental batches and seasonal varieties. In a year, the brewery will produce 4,000 to 5,000 31-gallon barrels of beer. The “spent grain,” the used hops and barley, are transported to a local farm in Homestead for feeding....

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Avocado Grill New Farm to Table Restaurant in Downtown West Palm Beach

By Jan Norris Editor, Florida Food and Farm Julien Gremaud was closing in on the finishing touches of his new downtown West Palm Beach restaurant, Avocado Grill. He was hiring in preparation for the opening two weeks away. We caught up with the former executive chef of Pistache, now out on his own, during construction to talk about the new venture. I stepped around tools, building materials and workers on ladders to get a tour of the large room. “We’re improving the space throughout,” he said. An open kitchen still remains from the days of previous restaurants, but the bar, which swooped into the dining room, is smaller to allow tables and more dining seating. The “casual, sophisticated” restaurant’s theme is avocados, symbolizing fresh Florida foods with a healthy profile. “They’re a superfood, too, and I just love them – I think they are what a Florida lifestyle is about.” The location on the waterfront was perfect for his idea, he said. “As soon as I saw this space, we wanted to brighten it. It screams healthy food, great cocktails, wine and sharing plates of food.” It’s what today’s diners want, he said. “People want to eat healthier today. And lighter foods – especially in South Florida. When it’s 100 degrees outside, you want something more refreshing. “It’s how they eat in Italy. It’s all about the climate,” he said....

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