Showing posts from October, 2009

goes around ... comes around Part III

A few months ago, as part of an ongoing fascination with food trends, a post here traced the origins of the "uni sandwich" back to local darling Chef Michelle Bernstein (though the Food & Wine story dubbing it "The Next It Sandwich" managed only to identify several New York variants).

image via All Purpose Dark
Such sharing can work in both directions, and it seems Michelle's borrowed a couple ideas from some big-shot New York chefs for her newly opened restaurant at the Omphoy resort in Palm Beach. One of the dishes on the menu, as described by All Purpose Dark, is a veritable Eric Ripert/David Chang mashup: a tuna carpaccio topped with foie gras "snow".

The parents of this concoction? How about the pounded tuna laid over foie gras at Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin, combined with David Chang's famous frozen foie gras "snow" at Momofuku Ko (named by both the New York Times and Food & Wine as their 2008 "best dish of the year&qu…

Cobaya Underground Dinner Experiment #2, 2.5

My weak joke the past couple months when people ask about "Cobaya", our underground dining experiment, is that South Florida really isn't made for underground dining, because as soon as you try to go underground you hit water. Well, we may be in the process of proving that premise (and any number of other reasons why people might think South Florida isn't made for these kinds of things) wrong.

After a great first dinner at Talula from Chefs Andrea Curto-Randazzo, Frank Randazzo and their talented Sous Chef Kyle Foster, we set out to try it again. This time around, Chef Jeremiah Bullfrog was the chef; and instead of going underground, we went up, to a fantastic Midtown penthouse courtesy of the good folks at The Factory Interactive.

The demand for more unorthodox types of dining experiences may be greater than many people give Miami credit for; we had so many people interested in the dinner that we ended up adding a second seating on Sunday, with a total of about 36 gui…

Artisan - Paso Robles

If Bistro Laurent is the kind of restaurant that every wine region seems to have, then Artisan in Paso Robles is the kind of restaurant every wine region wishes it had. We had several great meals on our recent California trip, but this may have been the one that was the most purely enjoyable.

Clearly the locals know what they've got. The place was packed the first night we stopped by and there wasn't a table available for at least an hour, so we made a reservation for the following night. Our persistence was rewarded with a meal that highlighted local product with unfussy preparations and bold flavors.

The restaurant has a relaxed, casual feel to it, with lots of natural light coming in through the tall windows. The space is split by a line of banquettes, behind which is a partially open kitchen and a sizable bar area with additional seating. It was equally crowded the next day when we returned for our reservation, and the room feels convivial without ever becoming overwhelmingl…

More News Flashes and Rehashes

When I started this blog, I pledged - to myself anyway - that it wasn't going to be yet another site that simply rehashed the same press releases that every other site regurgitates. Content is king.

Well, it's been a little hectic over here lately and I've not had much time to gather deeper thoughts about restaurant eats, so in the meantime, some more, hopefully marginally useful, news of restaurant openings and specials:

- Talavera, a Mexican restaurant in Coral Gables from the folks who brought you Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar and Grill in Coconut Grove, is set to open this coming Monday October 19. The location most recently housed Mari-Nali Gourmet Quesadillas, but when I walked by today I saw that they've recently taken out more space and their spot now extends out to the corner of Ponce de Leon and Giralda. They say the menu is inspired by old and new Mexico, from street food to classic restaurant dishes, including guacamole made to order, several styles of ceviches (n…

Brunch Invasion

I've never been a big brunch person, particularly those where the approach seems to value quantity over quality. $50-60 and up just strikes me as a goofy amount of money to spend on the first meal of the day and I don't like feeling obligated to gorge myself like a goose getting prepped for foie gras to get my money's worth. So it's nice to find there's some new brunch options that are a lot more my speed.

BLT Steak on Ocean Drive is unveiling a $24 prix fixe Sunday brunch featuring, among other things, a "SoBe Burrito," ham & cheese croque monsieur or Black Angus burger with fries, along with a complimentary bloody mary, mimosa or white peach bellini. But what really got my eyes to light up was the "BLT Popover Poached Eggs," with spinach, ham, bacon, bechamel and gruyere cheese over one of their awesome popovers.

Not quite new but another good option on South Beach is the Sunday brunch at Talula, which offers a spread of salads and sweets th…

Ready for your Close-Up?

Local chefs, are you ready to become a TV star? Top Chef has issued a casting call for Top Chef Season 7, including October 25 in Miami at the Viceroy Hotel. Pack up your knives and go! Or, actually, don't bother packing your knives, they say you won't need them for the casting call. But do bring your completed application and your 5-minute video. You can see the complete application here.

Be ready to disclose "your most embarrassing moment," but make sure it's not too embarrassing. The application also asks if you have ever done or been involved in anything that would cause the producer or network "any embarrassment or monetary loss."

Mai Tardi Opening in Former Brosia Spot

The good folks at Thrillist bring news that "Mai Tardi," a new restaurant from the Graspa Group (the folks who run Spris, Tiramesu, the Lincoln Road Segafredo, and Van Dyke Cafe), will be opening Wednesday in the Design District location formerly held down by Brosia.

Thrillist has a link to the menu, which appears to be more ambitious than any of their other ventures to date and mixes Italian and tropical motifs (Flor-Italian?) along with a fulsome list of pizzas from a new wood-burning oven.

Rotten Apple?

A few months ago, I gave Apple Restaurant & Kore Lounge, the South Beach project of Los Angeles-based Chef Bryan Ogden (yes, son of Bradley) some grief for having delayed its opening "on account of weather." Maybe "weather" is some LA-lingo euphemism for "ownership dispute," because the next week, New Times reported that one of the investors had sued South Beach Restaurant Authority, the operator of Apple, and the other partners, claiming they took nearly $1 million from him under false pretenses.

As recently as this past Monday, the lawyers had reported to the court that they had met several times in an effort to amicably resolve the dispute, and were close to completing a settlement to resolve the entire matter. So close, yet so far away? On Friday, South Beach Restaurant Authority filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

All perhaps reinforcing the adage that the way to make a small fortune in the restaurant business is to start with a large one.

How to Make Money Food Blogging

Loyal readers, allow me to introduce you to (M)Eater Miami - my attempt to cash in as a food blogger.

Three Hot Pots

Another home cooking post? Really? I know, it's weird. But not to worry, this isn't anything I cooked recently (though I did make some pretty awesome short ribs a couple days ago). Several months ago I volunteered to be a recipe tester for a cookbook-in-progress; the book, Japanese Hot Pots: Comforting One-Pot Meals, is now out, and I am released from my oath of silence.

The book is exactly what it says: a compendium of recipes for Japanese hot pots, or "nabe." It was written by Chef Tadashi Ono of Matsuri restaurant in New York City, and Harris Salat, author of the Japanese Food Report blog. I tested three recipes: beef shabu shabu, lamb shabu shabu, and a pork and greens hot pot. While I am not a complete stranger to the kitchen, I don't do much in the Japanese idiom, and I'm also not big on strictly following recipes, so this was an interesting experience for me.

The recipes I tested each followed the same basic formula: a broth base, several varieties of ve…