And Now for Something Completely Different ...

Hey, it's not all just New York chefs opening satellite restaurants here in Miami (even though it may seem that way with Scott Conant / Scarpetta, Alfred Portale / Gotham Steak, Laurent Tourondel / BLT Steak, Michael Psalikis / Eos ...) - there are L.A. chefs doing it too! UrbanDaddy reports that Apple Restaurant & Lounge, from Los Angeles chef Bryan Ogden (son of the legendary Bradley Ogden), will be opening Friday evening. Now, however, New Times reports that the opening is being delayed to next week on account of weather.[*]

I've been biting my tongue on this one, concerned that I've been too harsh on the influx of imported restaurants. Then I read this quote from one of the owners:

Bryan [Ogden] is the best chef I've ever worked with. In fact, I don't think Miami has ever seen anything quite like this before.
Haven't seen what, exactly? Arrogant out-of-town restaurateurs thinking they're bestowing magnificent gifts upon an unsophisticated, knuckle-dragging Miami culinary audience? The dubious proposition of an exclusive, clubby "VIP" restaurant/lounge in a depressed economy? Or is it the menu, which features such revolutionary items as shrimp cocktail, ceviche, tuna tartar, beef carpaccio, lobster bisque, caesar salad, $40 steaks, and truffled mac and cheese? Wow - to think we've been subsisting on grubs and roots all this time.

Apparently unafraid of setting the bar too high, Apple's website already describes it as "Miami's premier dining destination" and promises it will "feature a menu that maintains the highest level of quality to reflect the best of South Florida's bounty." That menu features Alaskan king crab, Maine lobster, oysters from British Columbia, Washington and Maine, and Maryland crab cakes (not quite local), along with Florida stone crab claws (not quite seasonal any more). A reference to "grilled local asparagus" was intriguing, but of dubious accuracy since it does not appear that asparagus is a viable Florida crop (though I'd love to be proven wrong on this). On a more positive note, ceviches feature Florida shrimp, yellowtail snapper and cobia, and fish entrees include grouper, red snapper and line-caught swordfish, all of which are at least potentially locally sourced.

I know when another L.A. guy, Govind Armstrong, first opened Table 8 in Miami, he expressed dissatisfaction with the ability to source local seafood and produce, but eventually found his way. Maybe Apple will be able to do the same. Or, maybe they won't need to bother, since they're already Miami's premier dining destination before they've even opened.

[*]Just as a sidenote, this has got to be the lamest excuse ever for delaying an opening. Delayed on account of rain? What is this, a baseball game? If you're waiting for the thunderstorms to stop, you're going to be waiting a few months. Welcome to Miami.

Comments

  1. the food looks appealing. The prices do not. How about that drink menu? Six vodka drinks? Way to raise the bar. And yes, that website disgusted me, not because it is out of date or poorly designed but for its banal, ridiculous self-promotion. You should draw people into your restaurant, not kill their appetite.

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  2. Govind Armstrong hates Miami and is rarely here, which explains why Table 8 is always empty.

    This Apple place needs to take a bite out of its cockiness and pray that people pay those prices...the location is hideous so the food better be stellar!

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  3. It was not the prices at Apple that galled me so much as the chutzpah. Apps of $8-15 and entrees of $19-45 don't strike me as out of the typical South Beach range. That "cocktail menu" was probably just thrown together - there was nothing at all up on the website a couple days ago.

    As for Table 8, I've actually heard that Govind Armstrong is seen in town pretty often. I don't go to Table 8 because after a few visits, I just found the food sort of boring.

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  4. the food is boring..and my husband got severe food poisoning from there. Govind is rarely in the kitchen. Very, very rarely.

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  5. The PR person also separately made a point to mention that they intentionally launched "Core," the club above, on a distinct date weeks beforehand, because they want Apple's cuisine to be taken seriously. Troublesome to say the least that they felt the need to do that. And word of advice - don't two places after parts of the same fruit, and one on top of the other, if you want them to have their own identities.

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  6. Weird - seems you either want the association, or, if you don't - don't open a nightclub. It all seems very L.A.-ish to me, which I don't mean as a positive. L.A. seems to feature all of the worst qualities of Miami, magnified.

    On the other hand, the guy is the son of Bradley Ogden. I suspect he's learned a thing or two about how to handle himself in a kitchen.

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  7. We fell in love with the Dad's breakfast at Campton Place Hotel in San Francisco when I was a little girl. We now make his Lemon Souffle Pancakes for breakfast which are TO DIE FOR! Very curious about Bryan...

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  8. I had one great meal at One Market about 5 yrs ago, and had a pretty mediocre one on a more recent visit about 2 yrs ago.

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  9. oddly enough, one of the best burgers i've ever had was at bradley ogden bar in las vegas last year.. just amazing. hopefully the apple won't fall far from the tree... ( sorry couldn't resist).. d

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  10. Table 8 closed on Tuesday for good. they had a long running issue with the hotel, and just walked. I hear they are looking for a new location, but there's not a whole lot of hotel developments going forward right now.

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