All Purpose Dark

Monday, August 20, 2012

Miami Beach Caffe

Prague restaurateur Tomas Johanovsky wants to bring fine dining back to Ocean Drive with Miami Beach Caffe, a French-inspired spot on the north end of the touristy strip. And yes, the name lacks creativity, or a sense of SEO significance, for that matter, but the place is churning some interesting food. The interior has a mod feel with white-on-white décor of shell-shaped white chairs, teardrop crystal chandeliers and mounted iPads on the walls. There’s ample indoor seating and a glossy bar that specializes in European cocktails like Caipiroshkas and prosecco complimented by strawberry “ravioli,” a nod to the restaurant’s slight molecular gastronomy leanings.
The menu comprises familiar globe-trotting dishes with fancy preparations. The kitchen is headed by Czech Republic-born Executive Chef Ludek Munzar, the former sous chef at the Fish Market in Prague. Prices are in keeping with the high-end vibe: starters are $14-$16, mains $27-$36.
Complimentary bread service includes a marinara dipping sauce and an herbed crème fraiche. The caprese salad is an upscale take with fresh buffalo mozzarella and a cone of tomato tartar served with a mix of sprouts and red balsamic vinegar reduction while the tuna tartar comes with mango puree and not-too-spicy wasabi biscuits. Mains include a grilled tuna with bacon lasagna (above) that adds smoky notes and braised beef cheeks in a cauliflower puree. Dessert includes a bit of kitchen theater as Chef Ludek creates strawberry, dark chocolate and Bailey’s flavored ice cream, at a tableside cart using liquid nitrogen, creating a cloud of smoke.
1412 Ocean Dr. Miami Beach, FL 33139 T: 786.691.1020

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