Shireen’s Spotlight: Café Roval

Shireen’s Spotlight: Cafe Roval

Shireen’s Spotlight: Cafe Roval

Shireen’s Spotlight: Cafe Roval

Shireen’s Spotlight: Cafe Roval

Shireen’s Spotlight: Cafe Roval

Shireen’s Spotlight: Cafe Roval

Shireen’s Spotlight: Cafe Roval

Shireen’s Spotlight: Cafe Roval

What:

Sunday brunch at Café Roval, one of the most enchanting restaurants in South Florida — and perfect for a Mother’s Day celebration.

Why:

Captivating & beautiful: Café Roval is one of the most magical and romantic restaurants I’ve seen in a long time.

When I first walked into its beautiful back garden (which is how you enter the eatery,) I was completely blown away.

Was I really still in Miami and what did this beguiling building used to be? I’ll get to that in a minute, but first…

Café Roval’s outside patio easily spills into a massive ode to Mother Nature with a pretty pond, a wide scenic pathway and eye-popping palm trees lining the property.

I especially love the dining tables speckled throughout the garden, offering up a real sense of intimacy (which is hard to find in a big city restaurant.)

Inside, the greenery gives way to dark wood, moody lighting and interesting artwork. Even the bar has its own awe-inspiring personality, suggesting its just stepped out of the pages of a fancy magazine like, say, Architectural Digest.

The walls, which are made out of a blanched coral-rock, hint at the building’s rustic beginnings. Originally built in the 20’s, it served as a pump house, providing fresh water to what’s now known as MIMO.

Over the years, it’s been turned into a bit of everything: a private home, a vagabond hang-out and a beauty salon.

Now, thanks to the keen eye of prominent restaurateur, Mark Soyka (yes, of Soyka Restaurant fame, which is in the same area,) Café Roval is one of Miami’s newest hot spots; one I’ve been dying to try. With that said…

I started Spotlight with a gorgeous craft of crisp & delicious “White Sangria” made with a medley of fresh fruit. It was the perfect accoutrement to go along with the sparkling weather.

BTW…Café Roval doesn’t serve hard liquor, but you’d never know it by their craft cocktails, which are wine-based.

The “Shrub Fizz” is the perfect example, made with house-made shrub, Mionetto Prosecco and your choice of one of the following: fig cinnamon, strawberry balsamic, celery, raspberry, blueberry or blackberry.

I went with the raspberry (which came with the slightest speckling of brown sugar.) This drink is definitely garden-party worthy and the fizziness was fabulous.

I was also curious about…”It Became Bloody Mary” without the vodka (with cilantro, radish, lime, tabasco, smoke agave reduction, house-made tomato juice,) it gets an A+ for originality (they also serve beer and sake.)

If you’re a sucker for a good “Eggs Benedict”, the “Lobster” will NOT disappoint (made with local eggs, watercress, asparagus and lemon hollandaise.) This plate wasn’t just pretty, it was beyond pleasing to the palette and hands-down my favorite. Until I tasted the “Short Rib Grilled Cheese”…. Yum!

My photographer, James, fawned over it, too. A generous helping of short rib is served on thick country toast with smoked cheddar, field greens and balsamic fig dressing.

Just writing about it makes me wanna run back to the restaurant to order one for the memory and another for the road. Lol. Yeah, it’s THAT good.

My stylist, Jackie, was smitten with the deliciously decadent “Tres Leches Pancakes” (garnished with pecans, caramel and tres leches sauce.) Also on the sweet side, “Roval French Toast” (made with Brioche, fresh berries, caramel, sea salt butter and pure maple syrup.) You can add applewood bacon or artisanal breakfast sausage.

Although I didn’t taste the “Heirloom Tomato” salad (made with feta, basil and fig balsamic vinaigrette,) it was too gorgeous to not take a photo. In fact, everything about Café Roval is gorgeous. It’s all photo-worthy so, if you have good social media game, you’re gonna go crazy with your camera.

Brunching at Café Roval is such a special experience, from the breathtaking scenery to the incredible food, you won’t be disappointed and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things.

Where:

Café Roval
5808 NE 4th Ct.
Miami, FL. 33137

(There’s Valet on property and street parking, too.)

When:

Monday & Tuesday: 5pm-10pm
Wednesday-Saturday: 5pm-12am
Sunday Brunch: 11am-3pm & Dinner: 5-10pm

Be Social:
IG: @caferoval
FB: @caferoval
Twitter: @caferoval

Make a reservation:
www.caferoval.com
786-953-7850

Wine is sunlight, held together by water.Galileo Galilei
James Woodley Photography
Styling & Producer Assist: Jackie Kay
Wardrobe & Accessories: www.Vchicstore.com
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Gorgeous” Auerbach

Shireen’s Spotlight: Lou’s Beer Garden & Gastro Pub

Shireen's Spotlight: Lou's Beer Garden & Gastro Pub

Shireen's Spotlight: Lou's Beer Garden & Gastro Pub

Shireen's Spotlight: Lou's Beer Garden & Gastro Pub

What:

Lou’s Beer Garden, 7337 Harding Avenue, Miami Beach, FL. 33141

Why:

It’s one of the hippest, hottest, well-hidden gems in Miami. Tucked into a canopy of lush, tropical green trees, Lou’s is truly unique: serving great food, unusual craft beers and delicious drinks. Its centerpiece is a pretty pool that sits right in front of the always buzzing open-aired bar.

Although it’s kicked-back and relaxed, don’t mistake this place for some kind of local joint; it’s way more than that. The quality of the food is beyond excellent. I’ve tried almost everything on the menu and I’ve never been disappointed. Matter of fact, this place serves cuisine that I would easily compare to a fancy-schmancy restaurant.

My favorite things on the dinner menu include the Big Angus Burger, Our Carbonara and the Diavola Pizza. Brunch is fabulous, too. The Mary Jane Veggie Frittata, Oppenheimer Death Row Pork Cutlet and Bodacious BLT are crazy good. You’re definitely gonna wanna wash your midday meal down with one of Lou’s famous hot-&-spicy Bloody Mary’s. There’s so much garnish on the drink, it’s like a meal in itself. I hang out at Lou’s when I want to get away from the madness of Miami. The only problem – when I go, I never want to leave.

Where:

Lou’s is right off Harding in North Beach. Parking is tricky because it’s literally right off the side of the road, but there’s a parking lot one block South that’s easily walkable. From my experience, Lou’s is the kind of place where you wanna linger, so it’s always better to cab or uber it.

When:

Monday – Friday 5pm-2am, Saturday & Sunday 11:30am-2am

www.lousbeergarden.com
IG:@LousBeerGarden
Twitter: @LousBeerGarden
FB: Lou’s Beer Garden

(The pictures in this blog are from a “Shireen’s Favorite Things” photo shoot I did at Lou’s last year and some personal candids. Trust me, this place is totally worth going out of your way for. Everyone I love, including my Deco Drive/Channel 7 colleagues, always go to Lou’s and that says a lot.)

But the greatest love – the love above all loves, even greater than that of a mother – is the tender passionate, undying love, of one beer drunken slob for another.An Irish saying

Editor: Matthew Auerbach
Photo: t4two photography
Producer: Jessie Rosario
Writer: Shireen Sandoval

Shireen’s Spotlight: The Local House/ At The Sense Beach House

 The Local House/ At The Sense Beach House

What: The Local House, 400 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida 33139

Why: It’s light, airy and reminds me of a homey Kennebunkport beach cottage. It’s the kind of restaurant you’ll linger in; it’s like sitting in your own living room or at least, the kind of living room I’d love to have. The menu is interesting, healthy and yummy. My favorite is the Kale and Roasted Beet salad. Although known for its raw bar, The Local House has a bit of Latin flare, too, and its Sunday Brunch is to die for.

The eatery is nestled into the cool and beyond-comfy Sense Beach House. The boutique hotel reminds me of the set of a Nancy Meyers movie: think “Something’s Gotta Give” or “It’s Complicated.” It’s like Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart had the perfect hotel baby. It’s private, cozy and like the lyrics to that popular 70’s Eagles song (slightly altered,) You can check in anytime you want, but ‘you’ll never want to leave.’

Where: It’s near the end of THE most popular street in Miami, Ocean Drive. The good news is, it’s South of 5th, allowing you to avoid some of the crazy South Beach traffic, but at the same time, you can still enjoy its popular Art Deco charm and atmosphere.

When: Mon-Thur 8am-11pm, Fri-Sat-12pm, Sun 8am-10pm

www.localhousesofi.com
IG: @TheLocalHouse
Twitter: @TheLocalHouse
FB: The Local House

www.sensebeachhouse.com
IG: @SenseBeachHouse
Twitter: @SenseBeachHouse
FB: Sense Beach House