Monday, March 16, 2015

SOBEWFF Podcasts: Marcus Samuelsson, Scott Conant, Quality Meats MB

One of the highlights of ‪this year's South Beach Wine and Food Festival for me was hosting the inaugural podcast whereby we taped six (!) back-to-back interviews with accomplished chefs. The roster was impressive: Scott Conant, Marcus Samuelsson and Craig Koketsu of Quality Meats Miami Beach. You can catch them all the link below but I suggest you start with Marcus Samuelsson, simply because I loved his outfit the most and want to steal his cardigan.
Listen here.

Matador Room @ The Miami Beach EDITION

Ever since Matador Room opened at The Miami Beach EDITION it seems everyone has been Instagraming a certain copper pineapple cocktail. This $30 elixir was all the rage when the swanky hotel opened its doors during the Art Basel crush this past December. Made with Absolut Elyx, Palo Cortado Sherry, salted caramel bitters, Bittermens Elemakule tiki bitters, house-made pineapple and rosemary syrup, and a torched sprig of rosemary that when the lid is removed, gives the guest a subtle puff of herby fragrance.
Yes, it's pricey, so while you're there you ought to stay for some avocado pizza, which is reason enough to make it to the gorgeous restaurant inside the restored Art Deco hotel.
Celeb chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten may no longer be at J & G Grill at the St. Regis Bal Harbour, but he has partnered with hotelier Ian Schrager at the Edition to create this spot, his ode to Latin cooking. Chef Jeremy Ford ( formerly of 15 Steps at the Eden Roc) heads up the kitchen.
"We knew we wanted to do something that reflects the area," says Vongerichten regarding the inspiration for the restaurant. "These are the flavors that belong in Miami. It's the Seville hotel and we kept the name Matador Room, so it's also inspired by that. Everything is family style, have some olives, tacos, a big bowl of arroz con pollo."

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Seagrape at Thompson Miami Beach

Photo courtesy Thompson Miami Beach
Miami favorite Michelle Bernstein is back in a hotel setting, this time with Seagrape at Thompson Miami Beach. Chef Steven Rojas, known for earning a Michelin star at Saddle Peak Lodge in California and most recently at The Island Bistro on Brickell Key, is running things in the kitchen. I loved the space - a multi-level 267-seat dining room with retro furniture, a green marble bar and a tiled outdoor patio. The cushy semi-circular banquettes were buzzing with smartly-dressed locals and Thompson guests on two separate occasions when I dined there.
Photo courtesy Thompson Miami Beach
Expect locally sourced goods with regional influences. "Michelle wanted me to cook they way we do in California, by using local farms and purveyors," says Rojas. "It's great because now I can finally cook the way I want to." Prices reflect the immaculate sourcing with starters $10-$21 and mains $21-$39.
Dinner starts with fluffy Parker House rolls served with fish dip, pickled veggies and butter. From there it's on to rich homemade gougeres, or profiteroles stuffed with melted gouda and topped with sherry glaze and lardo. The Maine lobster ravioli are three delicate pasta pillows stuffed with lobster in a red curry emulsion along with fried ginger. The roasted beet salad comes with avocado hummus while delicate squash blossoms are stuffed with shrimp over creamy gits.
 The lamb chops served with chermoula yogurt and fried sweetbreads was a bit of a roller coaster, still trying to figure what I think of that one. Fish dishes include a halibut with grapes and swiss chard and a red snapper accompanied by a paella "cake."
Desserts include berry Angel food cake with frozen yogurt, guava and cheese-stuffed doughnuts and homemade ice creams in flavors like chai tea.
4041 Collins Ave
(786) 605-1043