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 March 28, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek is now following Erika Wiggins
  • On March 28, 2013
  • On March 28, 2013
  • On March 28, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek is now following Lacey Rozinsky
  • On March 26, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best restaurants in Miami?

    Emerging as quite a little food town, Miami is booming with lots of different restaurants that have become a household name to many local foodies. While there are tons of venues to check out, and lots of new spaces to try, here are a few standbys that will never let you down. 

    Red, The Steakhouse
    One of the all-time best steakhouses in Miami comes from Cleveland’s own restauranteur, Brad Friedlander and his masterpiece, Red, The Steakhouse. Serving up tender certified Angus beef prime alongside fresh seafood, rich pastas, and a plethora of wines, Red is a bonafide crowd pleaser. Inside, the ambiance is intimate and sexy that coincides perfectly with the decadent cuisine and impeccable plate presentation.

    Makoto
    Shelling out some of the freshest sushi around, Stephen Starr’s Makoto is the place to go when you’re craving fresh fish in a relaxed but pleasantly chic atmosphere. Sitting pretty inside the Bal Harbour Shops, you’ll find this charming Japanese restaurant run by Chef Makoto Okuwa who crafts up traditional dishes like the massive Rainbow Roll to the ginger garlic Kobe Beef Carpaccio. 

    Il Mulino New York
    Located on the ground floor of the beautiful beachfront Acqualina Resort in Sunny Isles, Il Mulino New York offers impeccable food with just as an exceptional ambiance. Darkly lit inside a classy dining room, this is a restaurant not to be missed when in the area, especially with its sophisticated tuxedoed waitstaff and delicious Italian cuisine. 

    Juvia
    Known exclusively for its stunning views of South Beach and plush outdoor garden penthouse space, Juvia is a newbie to the restaurant scene in Miami but offers more than just an elegant view. The cuisine, which is a mix of French, Japanese, and Peruvian, offers its guest delicious creations like the Salmon Nashi and the Sauteed Duck Magret, paired with tasty cocktail concoctions including the Cucumber Cooler and Juvia Lemonade.

    Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
    With a motto of keeping things “simple” and “fresh,” Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink located in the Design District, always provides the freshest ingredients in their ever-changing menus. Pairing up with local farmers, Chef Michael Schwartz makes sure his restaurant only serves the best-of-the-best in his culinary creations such as the Slow Roasted Lamb Neck and Wood Oven Roasted Rabbit Leg, along with their exclusive Michael’s Genuine Home Brew.

    Pubbelly
    The three partners -- Andreas Schreiner, Jose Mendin, and Sergio Navarro -- made the “gastropub” what it is today, thanks to their first outpost, Pubbelly. Now, this small nook right off of Purdy Avenue is just one of the five different spaces run by this restaurant empire, delivering Fried Chicken in a mustard miso, Pork Belly doused in corn powder, and Duck & Pumpkin Dumplings soaked with soy brown butter.

  • On March 26, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best things to do in Miami?

    Whether you're living in Miami or just visiting from out-of-town, there's lots to do here in Magic City, especially when it comes to outdoor activities. During this time of year, when the humidity drops and the nights are cooler, it's best to take advantage of being outside.  

    Al Fresco Dining
    While the rest of the country is bundled up inside, not wanting to brave the cold winters, here in Miami we are all about spending most of our days and nights outside. Instead of staying in sub-zero venues (there's plenty of that during the summer), dine outside and enjoy the nice weather. A great spot for dinner (or just drinks) is Juvia in South Beach, with its amazing view and comfortable outdoor seating. Other excellent options are Smith & Wollensky where you can watch the boats go by and the sunset, along with eating outside under the stars at Tosca for the perfect romantic dinner date. 

    Beach Lounging and Water Sports
    You can choose to hit the beach and soak up the sun, or try a new water sport this season. Either way, you're outside enjoying the awesome weather. While it's not too hot and generally pretty breezy, you'll still benefit from getting some sun. In fact, now is when you should be able to stand being outside for long periods of time on your paddleboard or bike — unlike in July, when most outdoor activities involve staying in the water. 

    Shopping Outside
    Since the weather is gorgeous right now, who really wants to be indoors shopping? Instead, opt for heading to the fashionable addresses along Lincoln Road, Collins Ave. or Merrick Park. All three spots offer some good shopping outside, allowing you to get a little vitamin D while purchasing a few new items for the wardrobe. You'll have your pick here too, including scouring Lincoln Road to find shops like All Saints, Alchemist, and Taschen, or trying out Collins Ave. to see what Barneys New York Coop and Armani Exchange have to offer. Come the humid months of April and May, you'll be booking it to Aventura Mall's cooler quarters, so, for now, take advantage of the warm sun, cool temperature and hot designer labels. 
  • On March 25, 2013
    Erica Firpo is now following Carissa Chesanek
  • On March 25, 2013
    Tom Flournoy is now following Carissa Chesanek
  • On March 18, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best restaurants in Miami?

    Emerging as quite a little food town, Miami is booming with lots of different restaurants that have become a household name to many local foodies. While there are tons of venues to check out, and lots of new spaces to try, here are a few standbys that will never let you down. 

    Red, The Steakhouse
    One of the all-time best steakhouses in Miami comes from Cleveland’s own restauranteur, Brad Friedlander and his masterpiece, Red, The Steakhouse. Serving up tender certified Angus beef prime alongside fresh seafood, rich pastas, and a plethora of wines, Red is a bonafide crowd pleaser. Inside, the ambiance is intimate and sexy that coincides perfectly with the decadent cuisine and impeccable plate presentation.

    Makoto
    Shelling out some of the freshest sushi around, Stephen Starr’s Makoto is the place to go when you’re craving fresh fish in a relaxed but pleasantly chic atmosphere. Sitting pretty inside the Bal Harbour Shops, you’ll find this charming Japanese restaurant run by Chef Makoto Okuwa who crafts up traditional dishes like the massive Rainbow Roll to the ginger garlic Kobe Beef Carpaccio. 

    Juvia
    Known exclusively for its stunning views of South Beach and plush outdoor garden penthouse space, Juvia is a newbie to the restaurant scene in Miami but offers more than just an elegant view. The cuisine, which is a mix of French, Japanese, and Peruvian, offers its guest delicious creations like the Salmon Nashi and the Sauteed Duck Magret, paired with tasty cocktail concoctions including the Cucumber Cooler and Juvia Lemonade.

    Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
    With a motto of keeping things “simple” and “fresh,” Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink located in the Design District, always provides the freshest ingredients in their ever-changing menus. Pairing up with local farmers, Chef Michael Schwartz makes sure his restaurant only serves the best-of-the-best in his culinary creations such as the Slow Roasted Lamb Neck and Wood Oven Roasted Rabbit Leg, along with their exclusive Michael’s Genuine Home Brew.

    Pubbelly
    The three partners -- Andreas Schreiner, Jose Mendin, and Sergio Navarro -- made the “gastropub” what it is today, thanks to their first outpost, Pubbelly. Now, this small nook right off of Purdy Avenue is just one of the five different spaces run by this restaurant empire, delivering Fried Chicken in a mustard miso, Pork Belly doused in corn powder, and Duck & Pumpkin Dumplings soaked with soy brown butter.

  • On March 12, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best things to do in Miami?

    Whether you're living in Miami or just visiting from out-of-town, there's lots to do here in this Magic City, especially when it comes to outdoor activities. Right now, during this time of year when the humidity drops and the nights are cooler, it's time to take advantage of being outside.  

    Dine Outdoors
    While the rest of the country is bundled up inside not wanting to brave the cold winters, here in Miami we are all about spending most of our days and nights outside. Instead of staying in the sub-zero venues (there's plenty of that during the summer), dine outside and enjoy the nice weather. A great spot to dine (or for drinks) is Juvia in South Beach with its amazing view and comfortable outdoor seating. 

    Beach Lounging and Water Sports
    You can choose to hit the beach and soak up the sun, or try a new water sport this season, but either way you're outside enjoying the awesome weather. While it's not too hot and there is usually a decent beach breeze, you'll still benefit from getting some warm sun. Now is the time you'll be able to stand being outside for long periods of time on your paddleboard, unlike in July when most of your outdoor activities involve staying in the water. 

    Shopping Outside
    Since the weather is gorgeous this time of year, who really wants to be indoors shopping? Instead, opt for heading to Lincoln Road, Collins Ave., or Merrick Park. All three spots offer some decent shopping outside, which allows you to get a little vitamin D while purchasing a few new items for the wardrobe. You'll be booking it to Aventura Mall soon enough come April when the humidity starts creeping back, so for now take advantage of the warm sun and the cool temperature and enjoy the outdoors to its fullest. 
  • On March 12, 2013
    Shannan Finke is now following Carissa Chesanek
  • On March 11, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    Where is the best Miami shopping?

    Aventura Mall, miamibeachadvisor.com
    Shopping in Miami can range from those cheap little boutiques hidden in South Beach, to some high-end designer items found in the Design District. Here are a few places to go for just about every budget and every style. 

    Bal Harbour Shops
    This outdoor mall is beautiful and full of designer boutiques that range from Marc Jacobs to Alexander McQueen. And when you're finished shopping (or window shopping), you can hit up either Segafredo for an espresso jolt or a glass of wine from Makoto or Carpaccio. 

    Design District 
    As one of the most up-and-coming area in Miami, the Design District offers a large range of quality shops which include high-end designer boutiques like Dior, Hermes, and Christian Louboutin. While you're there, you'll also be able to try some of their savory restaurants such as Michael's Genuine, and hit up various art exhibits. 

    Aventura Mall
    One of the country's largest malls, this shopping mecca offers both expensive items and cheaper finds, broadening the range for all shoppers. You'll have the option of heading into Louis Vuitton for a new bag or enjoy grabbing something trendy and less expensive at Forever 21. 

    Dolphin Mall
    Anyone who is looking for exclusive deals on designer items, the Dolphin Mall is the place to go. As a bonafide outlet mall, this place shells out marked down items from places like Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Off Fifth, and Banana Republic. 

    Lincoln Road
    Along this outside mall, you'll come across many little boutiques that are mildly priced and ideal for tourists and locals. Shop around stores that include Lucky Brand, Victoria's Secret, and then sit back and relax at one of the many different restaurants and bars along the street path. 

  • On March 9, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best bars in Miami?

    Broken Shaker
    There are lots of different bars in Miami to choose from ranging on what type of vibe you're into. Whether you're looking for more of a trendy hipster scene in Wynwood or a fancy upscale lounge in South Beach, there are plenty of options to choose from in the Magic City. 

    Regent Cocktail Club
    Between the classic New York-inspired vibe, the handcrafted cocktails, and the intimate ambiance, the Regent Cocktail Club is the place to go and be seen. A most talked about recently reopened hotspot inside the Gale Hotel, this bar is sexy and thriving without all the pretentious hype.

    Broken Shaker
    A pop-up bar that many locals have grown fond of, the Broken Shaker inside the infamous Art Deco Indian Creek Hotel, is the perfect spot to chill anytime of the week. The ambiance is laid-back and comfy, while the drinks are potent and definitely worth sipping on throughout the evening. 

    Foxhole
    Don't be fooled by the outside of this local favorite bar with its dark alleyway because the Foxhole hosts some of the best nighttime debaucheries in South Beach. You'll have your choice of relaxing at the bar for drinks, dancing to old school 90's beats (think: Red Hot Chili Peppers and 2Pac), or play some video games in the arcade. 

    Townhouse Rooftop Lounge
    If you're looking for a beautiful Miami skyline backdrop while you're sipping cocktails, the Townhouse Rooftop Lounge is the place to go. While it's amazing on its own during the day while lounging on a plush chair catching some sun, at night is where it's at with its picturesque views of South Beach at its finest. 

    Gramps
    A mismatched space known for its skinny jean-wearing, beard-sporting crowd, Gramps is the trendy hipster newcomer to hit Wynwood. Strong drinks, outdoor entertainment (live comedy acts, DJs, and aligator wrestling), and custom-made furniture, all make this offbeat bar the perfect addition to the area.

    The Abbey Brewing Company
    Known as Miami Beach's only brewpub, The Abbey has been around for many years and serving up both locals and out-of-towners with lots a plethora of beer on tap. A great place to catch a game or just a decent selection of brew -- Immaculate IPA and Brother Dan's Double -- this european-inspired pub was recently renovated and continues to be one of the number one bars in the area.

    Tobacco Road
    Miami's oldest bar, Tobacco Road shells out insane drink specials along with wacky events (tomato toss anyone?), and lots of musical acts including their well-known blues tunes and cabaret. This bar offers a everything needed for a proper dive bar: dark and gritty feel, dim lighting, clusters of drunk patrons, and cheap drink specials. 
     




  • On March 8, 2013
    Carissa Chesanek answered the question: Carissa Chesanek

    What are the best attractions in Miami?

    The tropical climate Miami has to offer provides lots of great attractions happening outside, especially during the fall and winter months when the temperature cools down and the humidity drops. However, the weather isn't the only thing that makes Miami what it is, there are many other valid attractions that take place indoors too.

    Beaches
    Miles of white sandy beaches with crystal blue water really makes Miami such a tropical paradise. And there are so many beaches to choose from. You can hit up the more crowded spots in South Beach (ideal for people watching) or try out a relaxing, secluded getaway in Key Biscayne.

    Boating
    Since the weather is so nice and the water is so clear (and normally relatively calm), boating in Miami is always a fun thing to do. On Sundays, you'll find lots of boats parked on the bay soaking up the sun, but you're able to hit the waters anytime. And for those who are boat connoisseurs, there is the massive Miami International Boat Show that happens every February featuring top-notch yachts, sail boats, fish boats, and just about anything in between. 

    Little Havana
    Inside this authentic Cuban neighborhood, you'll find tons of unique places to check out including the mecca of them all, Calle Ocho, full of many shops and restaurants. On top of tasty cuisine, you'll also see cigar rolling, domino playing, and tons of live music and dancing. Carnaval Miami is also something to see, which takes place in March, with tons of outdoor music, parades, and food.

    Food
    Miami has grown into a bigger food town over the years, and continues to emerge even more with its new restaurants coinciding with celebrity chefs. There are staple go-tos that are loved by both locals and tourists including Prime 112 and Red, the Steakhouse, but there are other newbies that have made a name for themselves, such as Haven Lounge shelling out liquid nitrogen-infused cocktails and delicious late night food -- crab cake sliders and bangkok shrimp skewers.

    Outdoor Sports
    From paddleboarding to kiteboarding, Miami is all about the outdoor adventure sports. Whether you're already a pro or a newcomer who wants to test out the waters, there are lots of sports options to choose from and classes to learn from such as Miami Kiteboarding serving up both private and semi-private lessons. 

    South Beach
    One of Miami's main hot spots for tourists and home for party-goers, South Beach plays a huge role in attracting many to the sunshine state. While it has lots of clubs with big name international DJs, it also offers some top-rated restaurants and super cool lounges. A recent renovated edition, the Gale hotel is one of the most talked about places among locals and tourists these days, thanks to their several different offerings including The Regent Cocktail Club, Dolce Italian, and Rec Room. 
  • On March 8, 2013
    Hayley Bosch is now following Carissa Chesanek