By Josie Gulliksen
Most people that hit Mary Brickell Village between Thursday and Saturday nights are there to bar hop, but on a recent Saturday afternoon, foodies came to restaurant hop at the First Annual Kitchen Hop held Feb. 8 from 2-8 p.m. It was a fantastic way to spend a beautiful, breezy Saturday afternoon, outdoors under blue skies.
Crowds gathered to purchase $35 tickets at tables set up at Brother Jimmy’s as well as in the open courtyard closest to South Miami Avenue. The lines were manageable the first hour but as the afternoon wore on ticket lines grew longer, as did those at each designated spot.
The set up was great because it allowed foodies to meander and the close proximity of each restaurant meant a leisurely pace was welcomed. After all, the After Party at Blue Martini was set to begin at 8 p.m. so stretching out time between stops was a definite plus.
There were 10 participating restaurants serving bite size portions of their specialties. Beer lovers could get $3 Modelos at all stops and for those needing something with more kick $5 cocktails varied by location.
At Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, friendly girls doled out samples of tender brisket and juicy shreds of pulled pork. Sauces for topping them included Original, Blazin’, Carolina and Chipotle. The chipotle had a definite kick to it and tasted great on both servings.
Across the way at Tapas Benidorm servers were busy passing around platters of chorizo wrapped in delicate, flaky phyllo, unexpectedly topped with a sweet blueberry. And although Blue Martini was mainly for cocktails they were serving margherita flatbread and skewered chicken chunks in a variety of flavors.
At Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita, servers awaited with a creamy Serrano ham croquette and a crispy bite size veggie spring roll while at Toscana Divino a hearty, comforting soup of pork shank and beans with a hint of rosemary, which the server mentioned was a hybrid of two of their menu items, transported us to Italy. Topping it with a touch of olive oil gave it a finishing fruity note.
It was the opposite at Oceanaire Seafood Room where the tangy, cold, inviting shrimp ceviche topped with crispy tortilla chips was light and refreshing. Upstairs Taverna Opa was shelling out Greek style meatballs made with a combo of beef and lamb and at Fado Irish Pub it was delicate one-bite snappy cold oak smoked salmon on a crisp Boxty Blini topped with capers, red onion, light horseradish and lemon.
Finally at Balans there were buttery fettuccini noodles dotted with salmon, spinach, slivered cherry tomatoes and a touch of olive oil and at Baru Urbano it was whitefish ceviche atop a crispy tortilla chip.
Thanks to the folks at Zevents for pulling off a successful first Kitchen Hop. Now looking forward to another fun weekend at the next event, set to take place in Coral Gables in April, same price, same time.
The Kitchen Hop
Zayas Marketing Group / Zevents
1325 Northwest 78th Avenue, #200, Doral, Fl 33126
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