TROPIC MAY 2015_sm

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Vagabond Restaurant and Bar There's a bit of a Rat Pack-era vibe going on at the Vagabond Restau- rant and Bar, and that's no accident. The flagship eatery in the hotel of the same name, The Vagabond opened in 1953 as a restaurant- lounge and was a favorite hangout for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the rest of the ring. So when it came time to revamp the iconic Robert Swartburg-designed building last year, it only made sense to maintain its MiMo flair — a historical nod to the hotel's colorful heyday. There is no shortage of sophistication at the Vagabond, which is the brainchild of art collector and restaurateur Alvaro Perez Miranda and chef Alex Chang. The atmosphere reflects the duo's respective backgrounds: The interior is reminiscent of an airy art gallery, and the kitchen is part of that open design, giving diners a sneak peek inside the commotion. The menu is carefully curated and echoes Chang's experience in cities like Polanco, Tokyo and L.A. At first glance, the dishes may seem daunting, but a second perusal reveals updated takes on classic recipes. The jerk chicken wings — not fried but smoked over allspice leaves — are seasoned to perfec- tion. The blistered cauliflower, grilled in goat's milk and impeccably presented, will get you ex- cited about vegetables again. More adventurous diners can dive into diverse menu items such as the chapulines (grasshoppers) or the fried quail. Before you dine, stop by the intimate, outdoor pool bar and sample one of the mixologist-crafted cocktails. It's the perfect spot to unwind, throw caution to the wind and pretend you're a vagabond … if only for an evening. —Jillian Whitaker 7301 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami 786 409.5635 Café Boulud We have been in love with Café Boulud in Palm Beach since it opened 10 years ago. For the last few summers, Chef Daniel Boulud's Manhattan-based Boulud Sud has opened a pop-up restaurant in the air-conditioned court- yard terrace of the Brazilian Court Hotel. With Chef Boulud's special summer dishes like Gambas Al Ajillo, sweet, head-on shrimp with rata- touille and basil pesto and whole roasted Loup de Mer with local squash and romesco sauce, this is reason enough to book a weekend stay at the Brazilian Court! 301 Australian Ave, Palm Beach 561 655.7740 Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House The Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House is Tropic's hands-down choice for best breakfast in the city. Hungry locals and visitors travel from all cor- ners of South Florida to eat chef Aaron Johnson's creations, which include farm-fresh eggs, cheese grits and homemade bread slathered in butter. His tremendous Florida Corn Oven Pancake, served with real Vermont Maple syrup, remains piping hot until the very last bite. Who said you can't eat dessert after your first meal of the day? Save room for the Chocolate Chip cookies, which you can purchase on your way out and savor during your walk home. From the five-star food to the maritime décor, the O-B House is casual and welcoming — a perfect way to expe- rience the "flavor" of old Fort Lauderdale. 333 Himmarshee Street, Fort Lauderdale 954 530.7520 68 T R O P I C M A G A Z I N E

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