Carissa Chesanek

Correspondent

  • Miami, FL, USA

Carissa Chesanek is a correspondent who lives in Miami and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. She has her Master’s in Journalism and is involved in the Writers’ Network of South Florida. An avid eater and expert diner, she has used her fascination with food to write culinary-inspired pieces for various publications including CityEats.com, Dining Out Magazine, Zagat Survey and Gayot.com. When she’s not busy eating, Carissa works as the Miami Editor with Rundown.com, a locals guide to must-see places and happenings, and finishing up her first novel. Follow what she’s up to on her website, www.carissachesanek.com.

  • On July 2, 2014
  • On February 19, 2014
  • On July 30, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best places for dessert in Miami?

    Swine Southern Table & Bar
    In the mood for something sweet? Well, head over to any of these top locations in Miami for the ultimate desserts everyone will enjoy.

    Swine Southern Table & Bar
    Hands down, the Warm Sticky Icky Bun at Swine Southern Table & Bar is one of the best desserts around. This cinnamon bun is served with maple-bourbon toffee syrup, candied smoked bacon and a large scoop of sweet potato pie ice cream on the side for the ultimate extra sweet goodness.

    Michael’s Genuine
    Really, anything that Executive Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith creates is amazing, so it’s no surprise her tasty after dinner sweets are sought after. While the dessert changes with the menu (and the smore’s in a jar was the long time favorite), right now it’s all about the Chocolate Cremoso with sea salt, sour dough crostini, and espresso parfait that’ll be sure to feed your craving.

    Timo Restaurant & Bar
    Sitting alongside Collins Avenue tucked away in cozy Sunny Isles, you’ll find Timo Restaurant & Bar, along with one of the most solid desserts around: Macadamia Brittle. Served with a side of gelato, this sweet treat is well crafted with caramelized bananas, pineapple, and toasted coconut that offers a not-too sweet dessert that’s right on the top of the list.
  • On July 30, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best Miami food experiences?


    There are so many amazing restaurants here in Miami, but to get the best food experience, there are a few excellent events to take part in. For all those foodies out there looking to try something fun and exciting in the culinary world, here are the top five best Miami food experiences to dive right into.

    DishCrawl Miami
    Join your neighbors for a couple of hours of taste testing all the best foods in happening Miami locations in this restaurant crawl. Eaters will head to four different restaurants once signed up for DischCrawl Miami to experience some signature dishes from top local chefs, allowing them to learn more about just what’s offered to the palate in this booming food town.

    Miami Culinary Tours: South Beach
    A fun experience for both locals and tourists, the South Beach Food Tour offers everyone a chance to get to know not just the staple restaurants in the area, but also the culture and history behind the city. You’ll take an incredible culinary journey, stopping at about 7-8 places and tasting some of the best cuisine, along with getting informative background information on the city from a friendly, knowledgeable tour guide.

    Miami Spice
    From August 1st through September 30th, Miami diners are able to enjoy trying dishes from top chefs at fancy restaurants, all for a fixed low rate. During Miami Spice, the best-of-the-best in the restaurant industry fixes up delectable three-course menus for both lunch and dinner, and offer them at low rates starting at just $19, allowing everyone to dine at the most sough-after venues.

    Taste the Nation
    An evening that is packed with the most talked about chefs in Miami, gourmet food, and live entertainment, Taste the Nation is a not-to-miss food event. Over 50 restaurants pack the house, feeding guests their most delicious menu items all under one roof in efforts to help fight childhood hunger.

    The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival
    February not only brings beautiful weather here in the Magic City, but it also shells out one of the most anticipated food events in the country. The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival is a four-day food fest with celebrity chefs cooking up their favorite eats for spectators along with extravagant after parties that are criminal to miss.
  • On July 28, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best Italian restaurants in Miami?


    Anyone with an appetite for saucy pastas and decadent meats will need to get their fill over at one of these top Italian spots in Miami tonight.

    Sylvano Ristorante Italiano & Sports Bar
    This venue moved a while back from its original Alton Road location to the new spot on Liberty Avenue, giving Sylvano Ristorante Italiano & Sports Bar a much bigger space with larger outdoor terrace. It’s simple, laid back vibe follows the no-fuss menu too, with solid, traditional items consisting of Antipasto Misto, Mezzemaniche alla Putanesca, and Risotto alla pescatore.

    Escopazzo
    A small hole-in-the-wall venue known for its organic menu and quaint Tuscan-type setting, Escopazzo is a go-to for many South Florida locals looking for decent pasta dishes. Items such as the Butternut Squash and Amaretto Filled Tortelli and Spaghetti with Pacific Sea Urchin will never disappoint the hungry yet health-conscious eater.

    Macaluso's Restaurant Miami
    This cozy Italian spot is nestled inside a small strip mall right off of busy Alton Road in South Beach, and delivers some of the best homemade Italian around. The meatball appetizer is just one of the many dishes that makes Macaluso's Restaurant such a staple in the food scene here, along with their pastas, pizzas, and huge piece of white cake covered in sprinkles, just like grandma used to make.
  • On July 28, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best Italian restaurants in Miami?


    Anyone with an appetite for saucy pastas and decadent meats will need to get their fill over at one of these top Italian spots in Miami tonight.

    Sylvano Ristorante Italiano & Sports Bar
    This venue moved a while back from its original Alton Road location to the new spot on Liberty Avenue, giving Sylvano Ristorante Italiano & Sports Bar a much bigger space with larger outdoor terrace. It’s simple, laid back vibe follows the no-fuss menu too, with solid, traditional items consisting of Antipasto Misto, Mezzemaniche alla Putanesca, and Risotto alla pescatore.

    Escopazzo
    A small hole-in-the-wall venue known for its organic menu and quaint Tuscan-type setting, Escopazzo is a go-to for many South Florida locals looking for decent pasta dishes. Items such as the Butternut Squash and Amaretto Filled Tortelli and Spaghetti with Pacific Sea Urchin will never disappoint the hungry yet health-conscious eater.

    Macaluso's Restaurant Miami
    This cozy Italian spot is nestled inside a small strip mall right off of busy Alton Road in South Beach, and delivers some of the best homemade Italian around. The meatball appetizer is just one of the many dishes that makes Macaluso's Restaurant such a staple in the food scene here, along with their pastas, pizzas, and huge piece of white cake covered in sprinkles, just like grandma used to make.
  • On July 28, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best seafood restaurants in Miami?


    Seafood here in Miami is a must, so if you’re hunkering for some sauteed scallops, baked lobster, or even a good batch of oysters, this city has just the places. Here are the top three seafood spots to get your fish fix.

    Monty’s
    An old staple to the Miami food scene, Monty’s is one place that has been around for years and still offers some of the best seafood today. It provides a simple, beachy-type setting with impeccable views and tasty food, including the famous conch chowder, fried clams, and popcorn shrimp.

    The River Seafood & Oyster Bar
    A hot spot for many locals, The River Seafood & Oyster Bar never disappoints its awaiting fans with mouthwatering seafood inside its cozy Brickell location. Everything from the snapper tartare with crispy wontons to the gnocchi and blue crab with shaved black truffles is always solid.

    Joe’s Stone Crab
    You can’t really get away from talking about Joe’s Stone Crab when discussing top seafood spots in Miami. Although the expected wait time is about 45 minutes or longer (unless you know a person) the food is usually worth it, including the stone crabs themselves when in season.
  • On July 22, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best romantic restaurants in Miami?

    Tosca
    Finding the perfect date night restaurant with the dim lighting, romantic music, and cozy ambiance isn’t very hard here in Miami. There are tons of great places to take a date for a romantic evening, and the best part is that many of these places have the ocean as the backdrop. Can’t get much more romantic than that.

    Red Fish Grill
    This restaurant is completely off the beaten path, to the extremes of having to drive a long dirt road to get there. However, once you’re here in this seclusion, you’ll definitely be impressed with its lovely ambiance set directly on the beach.

    Juvia
    With a breathtaking view of Miami and a beautiful setting, Juvia is one of the most romantic restaurants around by far. Everywhere you sit you’ll have a great view of the city and the water, making it a perfect backdrop for cuddling up with your date over fancy cocktails.

    Tosca
    A restaurant that offers kissing swings, a mini movie theater for two, and antique binoculars for star gazing, can only be noted as one amazing date spot. Tosca offers a beautiful private wonderland of a space with all the fixings to make for an ample date night, including delicious cuisine.
  • On July 22, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best summer activities in Miami?


    While summer might not be the ideal time to come to Miami, since it’s always 90 degrees or hotter and has sticky humidity with random torrential downpours, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to do. If you’re looking to visit Miami in the summer, here are a few of the best happenings to take part in.

    Swim Week
    For all those fashion lovers out there, Swim Week will be the main event to hit up. From July 18-22, South Beach is transformed into a fashion mecca with topnotch designers, swanky soirees, and a whole lot of fashionable after parties.

    Pool Parties
    To help keep you cool, most of the large big name and smaller boutique hotels offer up some crazy pool parties for both locals and tourists to enjoy. The Fontainbleau has lots of fun at their pool, with parties, drinks, and live concert performances during their BleauLive concert series.

    Outdoor Sports
    While you can really do any outdoor sports throughout the year here in Miami, during the summertime you’ll be able to enjoy doing them in 85 degree water. Who doesn’t want to windsurf in the ocean or kayak on the bay when the water is this nice?
  • On July 18, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best bakeries in Miami?























    If you’re in the mood for something sweet to go with that cup of coffee, you’ll want to check out one of these yummy bakeries to get your fix.

    Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe
    This Sunset bake shop has been around for a few years and have been expanding with a new spot in Hialeah and a food truck, shelling out tons of yummy cakes and sweets on-the-go. If you’re looking for something sweet and buttery, you’re in for a treat when you come here because they only offer the best in baked goods, like Red Velvet Cake Pops, Chocolate Cubed cup cakes, and Coconut Key Lime pie.

    Karla Bakery
    Known as the “home of Miami’s finest pastries,” this bakery has been dishing out tons of tasty treats for over 20 years in the Magic City. You’ll find cakes, empanadas, pies, and other fine sweets that include Borrachas and Churro Topped with Dulce de Leche. There’s also plenty of new items worth trying here too, such as the Cake Shaped Cup Cakes that are ideal for kids birthdays or the Rice Pudding Cup Dessert that works well for entertaining.

    El Brazo Fuerte Bakery
    This is one of Miami’s best Cuban and French pastry shops around that offers some of the most sought-after Cuban “pastelitos” infused with anything from guava to ham. Some other solid pasty options include eclairs, key lime tarts, and a small cake dipped in syrup called Capuchinos.
  • On July 18, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best bakeries in Miami?



























    If you’re in the mood for something sweet to go with that cup of coffee, you’ll want to check out one of these yummy bakeries to get your fix.

    Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe
    This Sunset bake shop has been around for a few years and have been expanding with a new spot in Hialeah and a food truck, shelling out tons of yummy cakes and sweets on-the-go. If you’re looking for something sweet and buttery, you’re in for a treat when you come here because they only offer the best in baked goods, like Red Velvet Cake Pops, Chocolate Cubed cup cakes, and Coconut Key Lime pie.

    Karla Bakery
    Known as the “home of Miami’s finest pastries,” this bakery has been dishing out tons of tasty treats for over 20 years in the Magic City. You’ll find cakes, empanadas, pies, and other fine sweets that include Borrachas and Churro Topped with Dulce de Leche. There’s also plenty of new items worth trying here too, such as the Cake Shaped Cup Cakes that are ideal for kids birthdays or the Rice Pudding Cup Dessert that works well for entertaining.

    El Brazo Fuerte Bakery
    This is one of Miami’s best Cuban and French pastry shops around that offers some of the most sought-after Cuban “pastelitos” infused with anything from guava to ham. Some other solid pasty options include eclairs, key lime tarts, and a small cake dipped in syrup called Capuchinos.
  • On July 18, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best bakeries in Miami?

    If you’re in the mood for something sweet to go with that cup of coffee, you’ll want to check out one of these yummy bakeries to get your fix.

    Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe
    This Sunset bake shop has been around for a few years and have been expanding with a new spot in Hialeah and a food truck, shelling out tons of yummy cakes and sweets on-the-go. If you’re looking for something sweet and buttery, you’re in for a treat when you come here because they only offer the best in baked goods, like Red Velvet Cake Pops, Chocolate Cubed cup cakes, and Coconut Key Lime pie.

    Karla Bakery
    Known as the “home of Miami’s finest pastries,” this bakery has been dishing out tons of tasty treats for over 20 years in the Magic City. You’ll find cakes, empanadas, pies, and other fine sweets that include Borrachas and Churro Topped with Dulce de Leche. There’s also plenty of new items worth trying here too, such as the Cake Shaped Cup Cakes that are ideal for kids birthdays or the Rice Pudding Cup Dessert that works well for entertaining.

    El Brazo Fuerte Bakery
    This is one of Miami’s best Cuban and French pastry shops around that offers some of the most sought-after Cuban “pastelitos” infused with anything from guava to ham. Some other solid pasty options include eclairs, key lime tarts, and a small cake dipped in syrup called Capuchinos.
  • On July 18, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best bakeries in Miami?




    If you’re in the mood for something sweet to go with that cup of coffee, you’ll want to check out one of these yummy bakeries to get your fix.

    Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe
    This Sunset bake shop has been around for a few years and have been expanding with a new spot in Hialeah and a food truck, shelling out tons of yummy cakes and sweets on-the-go. If you’re looking for something sweet and buttery, you’re in for a treat when you come here because they only offer the best in baked goods, like Red Velvet Cake Pops, Chocolate Cubed cup cakes, and Coconut Key Lime pie.

    Karla Bakery
    Known as the “home of Miami’s finest pastries,” this bakery has been dishing out tons of tasty treats for over 20 years in the Magic City. You’ll find cakes, empanadas, pies, and other fine sweets that include Borrachas and Churro Topped with Dulce de Leche. There’s also plenty of new items worth trying here too, such as the Cake Shaped Cup Cakes that are ideal for kids birthdays or the Rice Pudding Cup Dessert that works well for entertaining.

    El Brazo Fuerte Bakery
    This is one of Miami’s best Cuban and French pastry shops around that offers some of the most sought-after Cuban “pastelitos” infused with anything from guava to ham. Some other solid pasty options include eclairs, key lime tarts, and a small cake dipped in syrup called Capuchinos.
  • On July 18, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best bakeries in Miami?

    If you’re in the mood for something sweet to go with that cup of coffee, you’ll want to check out one of these yummy bakeries to get your fix.

    Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe
    This Sunset bake shop has been around for a few years and have been expanding with a new spot in Hialeah and a food truck, shelling out tons of yummy cakes and sweets on-the-go. If you’re looking for something sweet and buttery, you’re in for a treat when you come here because they only offer the best in baked goods, like Red Velvet Cake Pops, Chocolate Cubed cup cakes, and Coconut Key Lime pie.

    Karla Bakery
    Known as the “home of Miami’s finest pastries,” this bakery has been dishing out tons of tasty treats for over 20 years in the Magic City. You’ll find cakes, empanadas, pies, and other fine sweets that include Borrachas and Churro Topped with Dulce de Leche. There’s also plenty of new items worth trying here too, such as the Cake Shaped Cup Cakes that are ideal for kids birthdays or the Rice Pudding Cup Dessert that works well for entertaining.

    El Brazo Fuerte Bakery
    This is one of Miami’s best Cuban and French pastry shops around that offers some of the most sought-after Cuban “pastelitos” infused with anything from guava to ham. Some other solid pasty options include eclairs, key lime tarts, and a small cake dipped in syrup called Capuchinos.
  • On July 18, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best bakeries in Miami?


    If you’re in the mood for something sweet to go with that cup of coffee, you’ll want to check out one of these yummy bakeries to get your fix.

    Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe
    This Sunset bake shop has been around for a few years and have been expanding with a new spot in Hialeah and a food truck, shelling out tons of yummy cakes and sweets on-the-go. If you’re looking for something sweet and buttery, you’re in for a treat when you come here because they only offer the best in baked goods, like Red Velvet Cake Pops, Chocolate Cubed cup cakes, and Coconut Key Lime pie.

    Karla Bakery
    Known as the “home of Miami’s finest pastries,” this bakery has been dishing out tons of tasty treats for over 20 years in the Magic City. You’ll find cakes, empanadas, pies, and other fine sweets that include Borrachas and Churro Topped with Dulce de Leche. There’s also plenty of new items worth trying here too, such as the Cake Shaped Cup Cakes that are ideal for kids birthdays or the Rice Pudding Cup Dessert that works well for entertaining.

    El Brazo Fuerte Bakery
    This is one of Miami’s best Cuban and French pastry shops around that offers some of the most sought-after Cuban “pastelitos” infused with anything from guava to ham. Some other solid pasty options include eclairs, key lime tarts, and a small cake dipped in syrup called Capuchinos.