Monday, March 28, 2011

Sneak Peek at Makoto

Stephen Starr's Japanese masterpiece Makoto opens at The Bal Harbour Shops tomorrow. I stopped by over the weekend to take a few shots and taste a few dishes. So far, so good. The restaurant is named for chef Makoto Okuwa, the executive sushi chef at Morimoto in Philly. So expect pristine seafood and modern Asian dishes with fancy trappings: Kobe beef fried rice with frosty foie gras, lobster shabu shabu with ginger lime vinagrette and Kindai toro topped with caviar.
The space is grand (200 seats) but the vibe is laid-back. Good for a power lunch, great for a date, fine for an early dinner with kids. It feels like the middle ground between Zuma and Gigi - not quite as pricey or stuffy as Zuma, yet not as rough around the edges (or filled with tattooed hipsters) as Gigi.
Mostly, I'm overjoyed to see more Asian restaurants in my hood.
See the menu here.
Lychee martini made with sake and rosemary.

Tea-smoked tuna with avocado and pickled onions.

The Bal Harbour roll: crab, spicy tuna, shrimp, shiso, mint and jalapeno.

Kurobuto pork belly with micro chives and pork cracklings.

Chicken Tsukune meatballs topped with quail egg.

Outdoor seating flanks the whitewashed bar in a courtyard inside the mall.
9700 Collins Avenue
Suite 107, Bal Harbour, FL 33154
(305) 864-8600

Thursday, March 24, 2011

French Caribbean and French Macarons

A couple new openings to keep you busy this weekend.

  • La Cocotte, a cute French-Caribbean spot in downtown.
  • Madmac, the pricey French macaron company has opened two locations in Miami - one in North Miami and the other at the Bal Harbour Shops (might want to wear a bullet-proof vest for that visit. Also, to continue with a parenthetical tirade, people in Bal Harbour get citations for riding their bikes on the sidewalk but someone opens fire in the mall and they can't find the person? WTF?).
  • And Clay Conley's new spot in Palm Beach, Buccan, is open and doing delicious things, so I hear. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crudo Oil

I'm in a crudo mood. Not carpaccio, not sashimi, not ceviche. Crudo. Paper-thin slices of fish slightly-marinated in the Italian tradition. Tiraditos, the dish's Peruvian cousin, are too boldly-spiced, too reliant on the zesty fire of aji amarillo. Altamare chef Simon Stojanovic understands the delicate dance of the crudo.  Meaty hunks of snapper are arrayed with shaved buddha's hand (a Japanese citrus) giving the dish a bitter bite. And below, thin slices of sheepshead are bathed in lemon and olive oil and topped with shaved hearts of palm and oranges. It's everything you want cured fish to be - bright, balanced, with a touch of crunch. But mostly silky, oceany.

This Friday: A Full Moon and Endless Raw Bar @ Ritz South Beach