January food events: Pitbull’s iLov305 opens, ice cream festival, Chili Cook-Off

Izzy’s Ice Cream of Minnesota will be among the participants at the Ice Cream We Love festival Jan. 12-13 at the Bal Harbour Shops, benefiting the Holtz Children’s Hospital of Miami.
(Courtesy / Izzy’s Ice Cream)

Welcome to the latest edition of Hot Plates, your monthly guide to food events and dining promotions around South Florida. Peak tourist season means a crowded calendar and celebrities galore, many of whom are opening restaurants. Following the Miami debuts of Swan from musician/singer Pharrell Williams and La Placita from actor Julian Gil, hometown sensation Pitbull joins the fun this month with iLov305 in Miami Beach, a multilevel party where the grand opening will be celebrated in conjunction with the rapper’s 38th birthday Jan. 15. Pitbull is scheduled to attend. Dale!

And a reminder: The South Beach Wine and Food Festival, South Florida’s annual food bacchanal with events in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, is approaching (Feb. 20-24). Tickets are going fast, and organizers have introduced an installment payment plan to ease the sting.

Jan. 5: Brimstone Woodfire Grill in Pembroke Pines, 14575 SW Fifth St., gets in a New Year’s resolution frame of mind with its Yoga on the Patio series at 10 a.m., a free one-hour class in partnership with local studio Yoga Connection. Guests will be guided through deep stretches and meditation. Complimentary Volcan De Mi Tierra tequila cocktails will be available after the session, along with the restaurant’s brunch menu. Call 954-430-2333 for information.

Brimstone Woodfire Grill in Pembroke Pines continues its series of free Yoga on the Patio sessions followed by complimentary tequila on Jan. 5.
(Brimstone Woodfire Grill / Courtesy)

Jan. 5: Smoothie King celebrates the opening of its new Deerfield Beach location, 3632 W. Hillsboro Blvd., with free 12-ounce smoothies (apple-kiwi kale or strawberry banana) from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Also, the first 50 guests in line will receive one free 20-ounce smoothie a week for a year.

Jan. 8: Arc Broward, an organization that provides job skills and culinary training to special needs youth, continues its Traveling Plate pop-up series with chef Michael Smith at a 7 p.m. dinner at Fort Lauderdale Country Club, 415 E. Country Club Circle. Tickets are $75 and are available at

Jan. 12: Riverwalk Stone Crab and Seafood Festival, Esplanade Park, 400 SW 2nd St., Fort Lauderdale. Family-friendly food and fun will be served up 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at this free festival featuring seafood from numerous restaurants and vendors, with food options starting at $5. The event, open to all ages, also features hermit crab races and music.

Jan. 12: Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Festival, Funky Buddha Brewery, 1201 NE 38th St., Oakland Park. The acclaimed local brewery celebrates the release of its Maple Bacon Coffee Porter with a party also featuring limited-release beers from 50 other guest breweries, along with games, music and food trucks. The 21-and-older event takes place 1-5 p.m. Tickets cost $55-$225 and are available at

Jan. 12-13: It’s the dead of winter, and South Florida gets to rub its tropical warmth into the rest of the shivering country’s face with an ice cream festival. Scoops from more than 20 local and national shops will be featured at the second annual Ice Cream We Love festival at the Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour. Scheduled participants include Dasher & Crank, dō, Wynwood Parlor, hipPops, Jeremiah’s Italian Ice and Izzy’s Cream of Minnesota. The event will be held 1-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, and benefits Holtz Children’s Hospital of Miami. Tickets are $40 for adults ($15 children). Go to or call 305-585-4483.

Jan. 15: Ocean Drive, celebrities, South Beach. Is anyone expecting a sedate, understated affair for the grand opening of Pitbull’s iLov305 restaurant and nightclub, a party that will also mark Mr. 305’s 38th birthday? I didn’t think so. The restaurant is located at 1060 Ocean Drive in Miami Beach. For reservations and information, call 305-535-9771.

The center bar at Pitbull's new Miami Beach restaurant, iLov305, which will hold a grand-opening celebration Jan. 15.
(Echeverria Design Group of Coral Gables / Courtesy)

Jan. 20: Boca Raton holds a jazz brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, with food, music, lawn games and more. Additional jazz brunches are scheduled for Feb. 24 and March 31. The city also holds Lunch on the Lawn 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on Jan. 4 and Feb. 1, with food trucks and entertainment. For more information call 561-393-7890, or visit

Jan. 26: Country music and a chili competition highlight the annual Kiss Country 99.9 Chili Cook-Off at C.B. Smith Park, 900 N. Flamingo Road, Pembroke Pines. Brooks & Dunn are the headliners and the festival runs 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets cost $65 (general admission) to $329 (VIP), with parking passes $25.

Jan. 27: Chinese New Year is Feb. 5, but Swank Farms in Loxahatchee celebrates the arrival of the Year of the Pig early with a family-style dinner that will feature all things porcine and Miami chefs Jose Mendin (Pubbelly, La Placita) and Raheem Sealy (KYU). With bacon, pork belly and ribs, it’s shaping up to be a delicious Chinese New Year. Tickets cost $160 for the 4-8 p.m. event, which is restricted to those 21 and older. 14311 N. Road, Loxahatchee, 561-202-5648 or go to

Jan. 30: Chef Angelo Elia hosts a wine dinner featuring Vega Sicilia winery owner Pablo Alvarez at Casa D’Angelo restaurant, 1201 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. The 6:30 p.m. event will feature a multicourse dinner and wines from Spain and Hungary. Cost is $325 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call 954-564-1234 to reserve., 954-356-4508. Follow my food adventures on Instagram: @mikemayoeats. Sign up for my weekly dining newsletter at Join the conversation at