I have been in Miami the past 3 days for the WOMM-U conference. I had a little talk to do and I needed to reconnect with some old Womma peeps. This time the conference was moved from Downtown Miami to the Ritz South Beach. Needless to say the hotel, pool, restaurant and service held up to the swanky, sexy South Beach standard i expected. I also had my bosses along for the trip. Brian and Sean were making the trek from San Fran to Miami for their first Womma event. Because of this, I wanted to make sure they had an educational and fun experience. Naturally, I turned to my beautiful, foul-mouthed, food loving friend May for a recommendation. Why May? Because, she had been raving about a certain restaurant down there for months. May doesn’t live in South Beach but is there enough to know what’s what. So I took her advice.
We had a 9pm reservation at Michael’s Food and Drink in Downtown Miami. Along the way, our trio turned into cinque with the addition of Daniel and Johanna, two other Womma attendees. Michael’s didn’t disappoint. Good banter with the waitress started things off nicely. Sean picked a fantastic bottle of red wine and by the time we got through the apps and into the entrees I wanted to do it all again. I started with a crispy pig ear salad on baby arugula with red onion and pickled radish. I followed that with wood roasted local black grouper served with roasted brussel sprouts and pancetta. On the side was a fresh made lemon aioli. As we came into dessert the waitress used all that banter to convince me to try something. The special of the night sounded awesome and my normal non-dessert attitude was swayed. Moments later a bread pudding with rhubarb compote and fro-yo was on my spoon heading for the cake hole. Sorry for the lack of pictures here. I was a little unprepared and decided to skip the grainy bb pictures i could have taken and enjoy the meal.
The next day the conference started and we got our Womma on from 8am to about 6pm. A long day that always ends with some cocktails. The spirits were flowing at Hotel Victor on Ocean Ave. After a few hours of poring alcohol into our empty stomachs we made the wise decision to get some grub. Catching up with Johnny Sizzle and Alan Levy we walked a few blocks to this “little” italian restaurant. This “little” Italian restaurant was on Ocean Ave, it was playing Italian music at volume 9 and had a tagline that said “where Italian’s go to eat Italian. I knew in 30 seconds this was going to be one of those terrible South Beach meals that costs more that you could imagine for far less quality, substance and taste than you could imagine.
Sizzle immediately ordered about 4 bottles of vino and we gave our orders soon after. I ordered a caesar salad and Chicken Saltambocca. I figured that wouldn’t be that hard to mess up. By the pictures below you can see that corn does not come in a caesar salad and I don’t think I have ever had steak fries with my chicken saltambocca let alone any other southern Italian dish.
The salad was barely dressed but the chicken wasn’t that bad in taste. If it wasn’t for John’s wine I might have gone a bit more hungrey. All and all it was a great conversaation over a sub par meal with some mediocre wine. Exactly what I expect from an Italian restaurant on A1A beach front avenue. Plus, as you know the experience can make the meal and the people I was with definately made the meal this time. The night continued to a few more drinking establishments and ended later than it should have considering we all had another full day of conference just hours away.
In the end we made it through. The conference was great. The conversations amazing. Having two bosses that are so supportive and also so much your friends can be tricky for some people but for me I wouldn’t want it any other way.
from left: Sean, J., Mulls