Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lou's Beer Garden @ The New Hotel

A little while ago I covered a deco hotel in North Beach that's eco-friendly and laid-back. They've a great little bar in their pool area and dubbed it a beer garden. I've been spending a lot of time there because: the beer selection is small but good, the food menu has a few quirky yet delicious items and the atmosphere is refreshingly low key for Miami. Plus, it's in my neighborhood and I like the fact that I can walk home instead of driving after a few Longboard lagers on a Sunday night.
Lou is the chef and he's got some respectable gigs in his background. He worked at the Setai and alongside Kris Wessel at Elia at Bal Harbour. The menu's got some standard tiki bar stuff - quesadillas,nachos, fried calamari - but you know that is there to please the hotel guests. If you're lookingin for something different and delicious go for the crispy sardines. They come with a light pepper-flecked breading and a squeeze of lemon (no Tabasco necessary). Sort of like something you might get off a boat in Greece.

The pizzas are good, too, with a thin crispy crust and nicely balanced toppings. The vegetables are impressively fresh. The fries are hand cut Belgian with a generous douse of pepper. The chorizo-stuffed squid is spicy. And Lou is really keen on adding tripe to the menu. So no, this definitely isn't your typical hotel pool bar.

Beers on tap include Shock Top, LandShark and Longhammer I.P.A. There's also wine and sake cocktails. Prices are low, with most beers under $6 and pizzas around $12.
The New Hotel, 7337 Harding Ave, 305-704-7879.

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