There’s a lot more than Miami Spice happening at Belle Isle’s dining doorstep, with some events this week and some changes at our favorite haunts:
— Picnic, which opened a few months back at 1400 20th St. across from Publix, circulated a flier to Belle Isle condos last week promising free nibbles and drinks from 7-8 p.m. on Thursday night (Aug. 12). The offer follows a harsh review in The Miami Herald, but you can drop in and make up your own minds. Feedback we’ve heard on the island is pretty tepid, though.
— Burgers and Beer celebrated its first birthday Tuesday, with discounted drinks, music and a big ole party. The burger spot and sports bar is the first place to stick in the 1766 Bay Rd. location, succeeding a string of failed ventures that includes Ouzo and Mandiba. The owners opened a Brickell location at 900 S. Miami Ave. last month.
— Our favorite neighborhood spot, Joe Allen, lost its executive chef and pastry chef. Paul Suriel and William Newcomb headed to Soyka’s on the Upper East Side in Miami, which is good news for them, but….We’re still loyal to our neighborhood haunt, and curious if anyone has detected any difference in the fare at the 1787 Purdy Ave. restaurant. Hope not.
— The “For Lease” sign is back on the old Bartolome space at the corner of Purdy Avenue and 20th Street, where OM Garden had planned to open a new location. We hear negotiations for the space stalled. A shame. We really need a good vegetarian dining spot in the ‘hood. OM remains at its Brickell area location, 379 SW 15th Rd.
— The House Cafe at 9 Island Ave. is closed for summer vacation, reopening on Aug. 18. Reminds the Belle Isle Blog that we just have to review all the restaurants on the island (Costa Brava and The Standard house the rest). This ought to be a participatory experience, so weigh in!