Golf star Ernie Els to open ‘Big Easy’ wine bar in Miami

Beyond golf: Hall of Famer Ernie Els is also a winemaker. (Courtesy: Ernie Els Hospitality)
Beyond golf: Hall of Famer Ernie Els is also a winemaker. (Courtesy: Ernie Els Hospitality)

Golf star Ernie Els is taking his culinary interests to Miami. The Jupiter resident known as “The Big Easy” is set to open a downtown area restaurant inspired by his South African roots and passion for wine.

The Big Easy Winebar & Grill by Ernie Els is expected to open Nov. 3 at the upcoming Brickell City Centre complex.

The announcement came this week from the Miami-based Grove Bay Hospitality Group, which partnered with the Hall of Famer and plans a 200-seat restaurant inspired by Els’ “lifestyle and spirit.”

The upscale-casual grill restaurant will carry the flavors (and wines) of the Western Cape region of Els’ native South Africa. A South African native chef with extensive experience in American restaurants will command the kitchen, creating comfort dishes from Els’ motherland.

On Chef Maryna Frederiksen’s menu: unusual meats like sprinkbok (gazelle) loin and ostrich filet, “bobotie” spring rolls (stuffed with traditionally spiced ground beef curry), “sosatie” mini skewers and grilled boerewors (a sausage that is said to be Els’ favorite).

Yes, there will be burgers, as well as Florida seafood and fish, and universal dishes like lobster risotto.

Ernie Els in action at this year's Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens. (Daniel Owen/ The Palm Beach Post)
Els in action at this year’s Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens. (Daniel Owen/ The Palm Beach Post)

For the pairing, there will be a variety of Ernie Els Wines, which the golfer produces with winemaker Louis Strydom. Perhaps this is what Els is most excited about.

“One of the really wonderful things about Big Easy Winebar & Grill is the opportunity it gives Louis and me to share our passion for wine and to introduce our portfolio of wines, of which we’re extremely proud, to a wider audience,” Els said via news release.

All this in a setting reminiscent of the Western Cape, with imported wood touches, clay pottery, white brick walls and leather seating.

Miami will be the first U.S. location for the Big Easy concept, which has three locations in South Africa and Dubai.

Big Easy Winebar & Grill:

The restaurant is expected to open Nov. 3 at the upcoming Brickell City Centre in Miami’s financial district, near downtown. It will serve a weekday lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., dinner nightly from 4 to 11 p.m. and Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It’s National Wine Day! Celebrate with a free tasting tonight

photo wine day
Wines for Wine Dinner at Serenity Garden Tea House & Restaurant. (Bruce R. Bennett / Daily News)

Need an excuse to drink more wine? You’re in luck! Today is National Wine Day. Pour your favorite and make a toast!

Can’t figure out the best wine for the occasion? Whole Foods is hosting a free wine tasting today from 5 to 7 p.m. at their West Palm Beach, Wellington and Palm Beach Gardens locations.

Here are some interesting wine facts, according to Wine Folly:

How many glasses should you get from a bottle of wine? About 5 glasses.

A bottle of wine has about 750 calories.

An average bottle of wine contains about 520 grapes. (varies from 300-900)

An average full bottle of wine weighs 2.65 lbs.

What’s your favorite? Vote now:

Critic’s pick: unpretentious bistro fare in Jupiter waterfront setting

CafeDesArtistesSIGN

North county pick: CAFÉ DES ARTISTES

This waterfront café, which is celebrating its 10th year in business, offers a solid menu of French bistro classics (escargot, foie gras, entrecote and plenty of frites-worthy entrees).

Expect food that’s nicely prepared, but not pretentious. Dinner can be a pricey affair, but the splendid setting (at the Jupiter Yacht Club) and warm service will give you a reason to splurge.

The café will celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day on Thursday, Nov. 19, pouring the new wine at dinnertime, starting at 7 p.m.

Bonus: If you stop in during happy hour (5:30 to 7 p.m.) that day, you get two glasses of Beaujolais for the price of one.

Café des Artistes: 318 S. U.S. Highway 1, #101, Jupiter; 561-747-0998; CafeDesArtistesJupiter.com

Twitter: @LizBalmaseda

 

Critic’s pick: nice-price wines at Lake Park’s Pelican Café

A selection of wines inside The Pelican Cafe in Lake Park on May 16, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
The Pelican Cafe, Lake Park. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

North county pick: PELICAN CAFÉ

The owners of Lake Park’s charming Pelican Café have returned from vacation in a generous mode. After a short break, they reopened the eatery last week with a terrific “fall back” deal:

All wines by the glass or bottle are half-price through the end of October. The café’s wine selection offers spot-on pairings for the Pelican’s Italian-centric menu.

Bonus: Dine between 5 and 6 p.m. and get 20 percent off your entire check. Reservations are strongly suggested for dinner. Closed Mondays. See full hours on the café’s website.

Pelican Café: 612 US Highway 1, Lake Park; 561-842-7272; ThePelicanCafe.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda