Ristorante Fratelli Milano

On our first day in Miami, we gathered around Annie’s laptop, browsing through Yelp for a place to eat in. I came from the airport not long ago so I wasn’t particularly fussy about what restaurant to go to as long as it’s food. “You guys pick. I’ll take a bath.” I said, shutting the bathroom door behind me. An hour later, I found myself sitting outside a small Italian restaurant, two blocks away from our hotel. Yelp is such a wonderful tool, don’t you think so?

Ristorante Fratelli Milano was an excellent choice for our first Spring break dinner. Most Italian restaurants in the world would say that their cuisine is authentic. Nearly everyone dissatisfies but not Fratelli Milano. Besides their affordable wine list, who better to prepare a true Italian dinner consisting of hearty pasta dishes, pizza and other specialties than twin Italian brothers Chef Roberto and Emanuele Bearzi?

So here is our Italian experience in downtown Miami…

Mushroom Risotto

Sometimes, I am guilty of rating a restaurant solely on their risotto. With just their Porcini Mushroom Risotto, I would have probably given them an A+. One bite and its creamy texture plus delicate flavor brought me to the brink of ecstasy. Rarely does a dish excite a picky eater like myself but it was that good!

Pear Taleggio Cheese Pasta

Annie, on the other hand chose Fiocchi di Pera e Taleggio. It is pear and taleggio cheese pasta in a sage and butter sauce. I was not a big fan of this dish because it was too sweet but my friends loved it.

Filet mignon

Maybe it’s his huge appetite but I’ve always wondered why my friend, Clarence, constantly orders steak. Personally, I do not like the texture of beef so I try to avoid it as much as I can. Nonetheless, their Filet Mignon medallions with baked potatoes and sautéed spinach served with gorgonzola sauce was quite wonderful.

Papardelle Milano

Papardelle Milano is their homemade pasta cooked with Chianti wine and truffle oil. It’s   served with tomato sauce, slices of filet mignon and porcini mushrooms topped with bits of goat cheese. Frank was a bit disappointed with his choice and ranked it as the least favorable among our main dishes. Yet, I thought it was probably the most delicious one.

After cleaning our plates and a few glasses of wine, we decided to order desserts for the four of us to share.

Tiramisu

Chocolate Souffle

We ordered the chocolate soufflé with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and tiramisu. Both were average, nothing special unlike their restaurant’s entrees. All of us decided we should have gone to a different place for dessert. Though one should note that we did not try all their desserts.

Overall, this is a wonderful restaurant with attentive service and tasty food which is perfect for dates or relaxed meetings with family and friends (warning on the extremely dim lighting though).

Contact Information:
213 SE First Street, Downtown Miami
(+1) 305-373-2300
ristorantefratellimilano.com
Mondays to Thursdays – 11 AM to 10 PM
Fridays to Saturdays – 11 AM to 11 PM

Advertisements

Team Aurora “Save the Arctic”

Global Warming has been an increasing problem on Earth primarily due to the emission of greenhouse gases. Over the years, numerous movements have been introduced to increase awareness throughout the world by encouraging people to curb practices that contribute to this climate change.

“Save the Arctic North Pole Expedition” headed by Greenpeace, is one of the newest campaigns to further this cause. Four young people, supported by guides, will embark on a journey to the North Pole this April. They will attempt to lower a capsule containing signatures of more than three million supporters, topped with a flag that symbolizes global unity.

North Pole Expedition Preparation

These four young people include:

Josefina Skerk, an active member in sami politics, she strives to work on the rights of the indigenous children to their language.

Renny Bijoux, not only a silver-medalist in the Indian Ocean island games, he is also a youth ambassador that is passionate about our environment.

Kiera Kolson, an artist and a motivational speaker, she aims to protect her culture and identity as well as empower the future generations through her work.

Ezra Miller, an activist, actor and musician most known for his role as Patrick in the movie, “Perks of Being a Wallflower”. He is the youngest member of Team Aurora.

And while I don’t see much significance from lowering down a capsule full of names to combating Global Warming (except maybe for increasing awareness and ultimately encouraging other people to fight against powerful industrial companies who are ruining our planet), please do support the movement and donate.

To learn more about this movement, visit “Save the Arctic” at Greenpeace.

Also, take the time to watch this informational video (in which Ezra Miller looks as sexy as usual).

How to open a beer bottle with your teeth.

When you get older and start your career, you’re reminded to remove some of the inappropriate things you threw out into the wide web world. So today, I started rummaging through all my social media accounts to delete some of those stuff. While doing that, I found this little video I made a few months ago.

I’m pretty proud of this one. If you want to know how to open a beer bottle with your teeth (which my friend Glen does a lot), check out this video.

She said, “I think I’ll go to Boston”.

Don’t you have those days where you just want to get away from your uninteresting life and get lost in the world? You buy a bus ticket, pack your bags and then leave, hoping for an adventure. I was ready to do just that when all my plans came crashing down. I don’t like being disappointed and yet, I learned that it’s an inevitable point in life. I stayed up all night disillusioned, imagining what could have been. It was pathetic but when things don’t go your way, what else can you do?

Well, after all the things I tried last night to get over my frustration, I decided to compile a list.

1. Take out your anger on something not someone.

ScreamJamie

There’s nothing more polluting in this world than negative energy so don’t throw that into the universe. If you feel sad or angry or even irritated, sometimes squeezing a stress ball helps. I usually just smother my face with a pillow and yell. It works. The good thing is that I let out whatever I’m feeling without hurting anyone in the process.

2. Listen to Billy Joel’s Piano Man and then make love with your tonic and gin.

There’s nothing better than letting yourself get lost in the music with a drink in your hand. What better song to accompany the feeling of vulnerability than a ballad like the “Piano Man”. The carefree tones pull you in but it’s the storytelling verses that makes you want to listen more. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing along.

Better get a good vinyl record player. It always sounds better in vinyl.

But here’s Jason Mraz’s version, pretty rad.

3. Think of other ways you can achieve what you want.

Just because you can’t have it now, doesn’t mean you can’t get it later. If you think you can’t live without this “thing” then you better devise a plan to acquire it. Be patient and never give up. If Thomas Edison gave up, we wouldn’t have light bulbs today.

4. Share your frustrations.

SmokeWriterDeLaCalleLoca

Call someone you know you can trust and who will listen to you. Rant. Tell them what you feel. If that seems uncomfortable, you don’t have to talk to someone. Grab your pen, take out a piece of paper and write. Sometimes, we carry so much thoughts in our heads that it weighs us down. Holding on to those feelings of regret, disappointment, resentment and anything negative is a form of self-sabotage. It slows our progress in life. We need to let it out so we can gain momentum and ultimately, move forward.

5. Go dance, run or even jump. Just get up and move.

DanceKiaLola

Maybe it’s because I’m a bit crazy but nothing pumps me up better than putting my EDM playlist and dancing around my room. Science says that dancing engages our senses making us acquire a sense of awareness of our bodies and minds. Also, when you move, you release endorphins and as Elle Woods would say, endorphins make us happy.

(Photos are from Flickr. If you want to see the photographers behind them, don’t hesitate to click the photo and it will take you directly to the original image.)

This week’s favorites on the Voice!

Michelle Chamuel’s rendition of “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry was mind blowing. She’s a dorky rock star (which is almost unheard of) and she called the judges “humans” which makes me love her more. It was a surprise that she picked Usher as I thought she was much better suited with Adam Levine but oh well, we shall see what she brings to the stage.

Finally, Midas Whale gave people a reason to pay attention to folk music. Not only are they musically talented, they also know how to speak Spanish and can actually do some stand-up comedy. Pretty interesting duo. I’m curious how Adam will incorporate their genre into the mix.

Noah (youtube: only1noah) was the one who created this arrangement and while I believe Noah still did a better job, I think Christian Porter’s smooth moves added a certain charm and made me want to ravish him.. Uhm, I mean, clap for him.

One more reason to hate hipsters.

Have I ever told you guys how much I hate hipsters? No? Well, let me tell you this story about a girl minding her own business in the streets of Chicago. One wonderful day, with the wind softly blowing and the warm sun shining, you would think that the day would go swimmingly well. But no, a Cary Grant, vintage glasses and oxford wearing impersonator with that perfectly coiffed hair and impeccable suit decided to ride a rundown bike in the intersection fast like he was making sure people don’t start noticing him and deciding that riding a bike during the winter is cool (which it’s not). This of course, results in an accidental foot hit and run which he does not even apologize for, ruining the day of the said girl.

Now with the Lollapalooza single-day tickets selling like hotcakes, I just know fucking hipsters were the reason for the 30 minute wait time before I finally got off the standby page and went on to the ticket page. I’ve never felt more scared that I won’t get tickets. Hipsters should just stay at home. I’ll even lend them my vinyl record player.

That’s it.

(Okay, I have a lot of hipster friends and I do love them.. Until they annoy me and then I just want to cut out all their plaid shirts and give them “not skinny” jeans.)

UMF Survival 101

The one thing that fueled me during my finals week was the thought that after all the hard work, I get to go to Ultra Music Festival and see all my favorite DJs! It did not disappoint. I had so much fun with my Filipino friends. Though I do love my foreign buddies, it’s still a different atmosphere hanging out with your fellow countrymen.

Ultra2013-6 Our three-day adventure started with just me, Annie, Frank and Clarence. Unfortunately, Gavin and Justine were still stuck in reality so they missed half of the awesome first day experience. Preparing for UMF (Ultra Music Festival) was a struggle. As a girl, I always tend to bring more items than needed. Just in case, you know?

Anyways, my guy friends brought Camelbaks which was a saving grace for everyone. It’s a backpack that holds about 80 ounces of water with a long straw coming out from the side. Perfect for long hours in crowds and better than carrying a water bottle. On the other hand, I brought..

UMF13bagcontents(Thanks to my friend, Camie, for the layout inspiration.)

  1. UMF ticket – This is the most important item in your bag. Do not lose it!
  2. Wet wipes and hand sanitizer – These will be your best friends when you want to visit the portable potties. I do not need to tell you how disgusting and dirty that human sized green box is.
  3. Diffraction glasses – You don’t really need these but they give out such a cool effect with the lights that may enhance your Ultra experience.
  4. Gum – For that uncontrollable urge to chew something when hanging out with Molly. *wink*
  5. ID that says you’re over 21 – If you want to buy drinks.. But honestly, their alcohol choices are limited and so expensive, you’re better off without it.
  6. Vaporub – Rub a little on your nose when you go to the restroom and it will mask the bad odor. Also, this will help clear your airway when you feel suffocated around the crowd.
  7. Cash – To buy food, drinks or other stuff you might want.
  8. Lighter and smokes – For friends.. (As a girl, you tend to hold all your guy friends’ stuff. It’s part of the description.)

Before, I used to think that girls in EDM festivals were too scantily dressed. I never understood the concept of wearing bikinis and short shorts. But oh boy, did I find out why. Being in that place was like being in a sauna. Shorts, bikini top or a loose tank with sneakers is the best way to go. Preferably in light colors but not white.

Ultra2013-20Ultra2013-5Don’t forget to bring your flag! We brought our own because we’re so proud to be pinoy. Haha! Filipinos represent!

Ultra2013-22 I realized UMF attendees are some of the most friendliest and interesting people you’ll ever meet. Please go and show some love if you do attend.

Ultra2013-4 Ultra2013-23 Ultra2013-11 Ultra2013-17 Be adventurous but most especially savor the music! That was truly the best thing out of Ultra Music Festival! Cannot wait for next year!

Sakaya Kitchen Miami

To fuel our third day in Ultra Miami, we decided to get a huge brunch at Sakaya Kitchen, a quick service Korean restaurant in downtown. They use organic and locally sourced ingredients which was a plus for me. I wish I took the time to take a photo of their interior. It was cute how they used a chalkboard for the menu.

MiamiFood4-5 MiamiFood4-4I started with edamame drizzled with garlic and ginger soy sauce and Sakaya’s signature Korean fried chicken wings.

MiamiFood4-6 Then I had Dirty South pulled pork sandwiches with kimchi slaw and pickle. This was served with tater tots. I should have expected this to be a bit spicy with the kimchi but I didn’t so I was a little surprised with the kick. Nevertheless, it was a good choice and I thoroughly enjoyed munching on these sliders.

MiamiFood4-3 MiamiFood4-1 My friend, Annie, got the soft shelled crab steamed bun with spicy mayo and the Bulgogi bowl served with Angus beef, rice and kimchi. Personally, she said she preferred the steamed bun.

MiamiFood4-2 MiamiFood4-8 Frank, who is the ultimate foodie among all of us, also grabbed the opportunity to try out two dishes. One was the roast pork steamed bun made with sweet chili sauce and the second one was a kalbi beef soft taco served with tater tots.

MiamiFood4-7My other friends decided to take the authentic Korean route and ordered Jigae, a spicy miso stew with kimchi and roasted pork served with rice.

I must say that this is not your ordinary Korean restaurant but Sakaya Kitchen is definitely a restaurant to try out for people planning to visit or are living in Miami. It has a casual and fun vibe that is perfect for friends hanging out (plus they serve alcohol).

Contact Information:
3401 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33127
+1 (305) 576-8096
Monday to Sunday – 12NN to 10PM
Twitter or Facebook – @sakayakitchen
sakayakitchen.com