Saturday, February 26, 2011

Best Bite of SobeWFF (So Far)

Setai chef David Werly's hollowed-out egg filled with caramelized eel topped with a lychee and foie gras foam, black lava salt and jasmine flowers. Consumed at 12:30am at Dim Sum Disco at the Setai.

Let Them Eat Cake @ 1111 Lincoln

The name of the ice sculptor? Vanilla Ice. Yes, I made that up.

Cupcakes were the dominant cake form on display. No complaints here.

New York chef Geoffrey Zakarian and his lovely wife Margaret not saying anything about the restaurant he may or may not open in Miami. And not saying whether the aforementioned restaurant will or will not be located in South Beach.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Burger Bash 2011: It Was a Rare Occasion

Amstel Light's National Contest-winning burger in collaboration with Greenhouse Tavern: twenty per cent lamb, anchovies, fennel slaw on brioche bun. 
Burger recipe winner Danielle Williams and Greenhouse Tavern chef Jonathan Sawyer.
Morimoto, exuding Japanese cool. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Joseph Phelps Wine Dinner @ The Forge

In case you don't have plans Saturday night during South Beach Wine and Food Fest - February 26, 7:30p and $125 per person. Menu is below.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tagliatelle, South Beach

South Beach needs another Italian restaurant like it needs another bikini wax joint. And yet – here’s Tagliatelle, peddling vittles from the Boot. Despite its predictability, it’s hard to resist the charms of the place. It's romantic. It's quiet. It's run by French people. It's tucked away in South of Fifth. The spot is owned by restaurateur Matthieu Mineo, a native of Nice with a handful of restaurants on the French Riviera. He's taken over the old Segafredo spot and given it a Mediterranean polish with cream-colored interiors, whitewashed chairs and tables and a stainless steel bar. But now is the time to take advantage of the outdoor patio – a quiet spot on Collins Ave.
The spotlight is on pasta here, as most of it is made in house including the namesake tagliatelle, fettuccini and the gnocchi. The kitchen is headed by Chef Mariano Gravante, previously of Alta Mare and Indochine. Prices are reasonable given the swanky neighborhood: starters are $6-$14, pastas average $15 and most mains are under $25.
There’s also a three-course pre-fixe menu for $23 that runs from 11:30a to 7p daily.
Some things they do well here - good wine, good pasta. Some things they don't do well - bring you food in a timely fashion. Seriously, carve out at least 2.5 hours for dinner. Also, the desserts could be more exciting.
Highlights include the eggplant terrine, homemade fettuccine with porcini mushrooms, the salmon tartar and the frito misto platter piled high with fried calamari, baby octopus and shrimp.
124 Collins Ave, 305.397.8019

Bazaar Brunching @ Cafeina

The few times I've been to Cafeina I've enjoyed it. They've commandeered a pocket of gritty Wynwood and made it feel hip and polished, an urbane oasis in an urban wasteland. Yesterday they launched the first of their Bazaar/brunch hybrids turning an airy gallery space into a pop-up dining room and converting the outdoor courtyard into a flea market for boho goods.
The food (and drinks) took an exceedingly long time to get to the table but once it hit our yellow and white striped place mats we devoured everything like hungover DJ's. Good stuff - a colossal crab cake topped with a poached egg, goat cheese croquettes in guava sauce, truffle fries, apple French toast. My friend pronounced her Bloody Mary on par with Michael's Genuine (blasphemy, I know. But she's a lawyer, the stuff practically runs in her veins). Bottomless mimosas were $20 and got the job done just fine.
There crowd was buzzing with hipsters in the hive, there were Canadian ingénues acting as DJ's. For me it was a kiss-kiss fest of all the media and PR folks I know. If you weren't in that scene you probably would have enjoyed the 70-degree weather and the relaxed atmosphere. There were dogs, kids, nightlife people who kind of look like pimps during the day and LOTS of great sunglasses. Next time I'm up for a leisurely Sunday morning I'll consider coming back, I may just have a snack before I leave the house.
Sundays, 11a-4p.
Cafeina is at 297 NW 23rd St, 305-438-0792.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dinner in Paradise, January 23

The chefs: Douglas Rodriguez (of the De Rod empire), Paula DeSilva and Thorsten Leighty (of the Eden Roc) and Michael Bloise (of American Noodle Bar).

The setting: Paradise's bucolic bounty in Homestead. The temps were cool, the Schnebly's sparkling wine was fruity and the night had A Midsummer Night's Dream mischevious/romantic vibe.

The host: Paradise owner Gabriele Marewski, exuding pioneer woman charm.

A few things have changed with this season's DIP dinners. There are now five courses instead of six (folks complained that dinner ended too late for the drive back up north) and service is brisk and efficient now they've got an army of Johnson And Wales students tending to the tables. They've also installed a cozy firepit area with benches where guests are encouraged to hang out and sip wine and coffee after dinner.

De Rod kicked things off with a shrimp ceviche topped with a stone crab ice cream. The ice cream was gimmicky but it worked fine (things went downhill for De Rod from there). Paula DeSilva's one dish was flawless - a creamy burrata sourced from Pompano frommagier Vito Volpe and heirloom tomatoes from Teena's Pride.
De Rod then came back with a duck egg dish over a parmsean cream surrounded by arugula and oyster mushrooms dressed with a pine nut vinaigrette. It was heavy and unfocused. And it would have been nice to have a piece of toast or something crunchy to go with the goopy egg.
Grouper by Michael Bloise nicely offset with pickled shrimp Pennsylvania chow-chow and tomato-confit rice.
Thorsten Leighty's meringue pyramid with pomelo (a less-juicy grapefruit) and passion fruit sorbet. Delicious, not too-sweet, balanced and refreshing.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Cine Boteco Sunday @ 7p

Vinyl & Kai One Year Anniversary Party

Complimentary cocktails and beer Wednesday Feb. 2 from 9-11pm including ten kegs of domestic import and craft beer. Also Rock and Roll flicks such as Streets of Fire and Rock and Roll High School on their massive projection screens.