Tuesday, May 29, 2012

J + G Grill, Bal Harbour

Miami gets another celeb-chef restaurant with the first Florida outpost of J + G Grill, a bistro from French toque Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Housed in the opulent new St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort the cathedral-like dining room overlooks the ocean and the resort’s pools through double-height floor-to-ceiling windows. The room exudes a soothing Zen mix of grey herringbone wall panels, slate-colored banquettes, plush carpeting and oversized silver pendant lights. An outdoor patio with lush landscaping and mod furniture works well in the evenings.

The kitchen is helmed by chef de cuisine Richard Gras (Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay) who executes classics from the Jean-Georges canon like hamachi sashimi and black truffle pizza. Prices are in line with the posh surroundings with starters $10-$32, mains $24-$45 and sides $8-$10.

Dinner starts with slices of crusty baguette and multi-grain bread and a soybean spread. From there starters like parsnip soup with coconut foam and peekytoe crab cake with pink grapefruit showcase the chef’s farm-to-table approach. Florida hearts of palm and heirloom tomatoes are showcased in a delicate salad dressed with shards of coconut while the black truffle pizza with fontina cheese could easily be a main dish. Fish dishes include a local red snapper with sweet and sour jus and a roasted grouper with black beans and cilantro. Meat lovers can go for the Flintstones-sized milk-fed veal chop in a sherry marinade nestled in a pistachio pesto along with roasted cauliflower. The soy-glazed short rib with apple-jalapeno pueree is hearty enough to be shared.

Sides like black truffle cheese fritters and sautéed maitake mushrooms round out the eclectic feast.

Pastry chef Antonio Bachour (W South Beach) gets creative with sweets like the key lime vacherin made with coconut meringue and chunks of mango and the Grand Marnier soufflĂ© with mandarin orange sorbet. But ice cream lovers shouldn’t miss the salted caramel sundae made with homemade ice cream topped with popcorn and peanuts.

9703 Collins Ave Bal Harbour, FL 33154 (305) 993-3333


Molly R Leis said...

I wish I had been your dinner partner at J+G! Sounds like a memorable and elevated dining experience. Can't wait to check it out.

Sara said...

Oh Molly! You shall have to meet me there for lunch one day. We'll share the truffle pizza and glasses of Viogner and toast this lovely city.