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Showing posts from July, 2012

Goes Around ... Comes Around - Etxebarri Edition

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Clearly I'm not the only fan here in Miami of Asador Etxebarri, the wonderful temple of grilling in Spain's Basque Country that I visited a couple years ago:


Gambas de Palamos, Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain, September 2010

Florida Soft Shell Shrimp, Tuyo, Miami, Florida, July 2012

Mejillones a la Brasa, Asador Etxebarri, Axpe Spain, September 2010

Mediterranean Mussels, The Bazaar, Miami, Florida, July 2012




The Bazaar for Dummies

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So let's say you want to eat at Bazaar South Beach, but you don't have the patience to wade through 4,000 words and 19 footnotes to figure out what to order. Here's my version of "The Bazaar for Dummies" - a simplified (and opinionated) guide to the 60+ item menu. For more details, consult the long-playing version.

Must Have:[1]

Papas a la Huancaina - Peruvian potatoes, sea urchin
Baby Japanese Peaches - fresh burrata, hazelnuts, arugula
Black Rossejat - paella-style pasta, squid ink, shrimp, aioli

Really, Really Good:

Kueh Pai Ti - Singapore's favorite street food - shrimp, peanuts, chili sauce
"Colada Cubana" Yogurt - coffee with foie gras
Almond Yogurt - tomato granite, fresh almonds
Smoked Oysters - ice and smoke, apple mignonette
Jamon de Toro - salt-cured fatty tuna like Spanish jamón with picas
Yuca "Churros" - with peanut butter and honey
Ajo Blanco - mango, sherry ravioli, king crab, fresh almonds
Butifarra Flauta - piquillo pepper…

The Bazaar - South Beach

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If it wasn't the most eagerly anticipated restaurant opening in Miami, The Bazaar was certainly the most long-awaited. Speculation that Chef José Andrés might be opening a Bazaar in Miami started all the way back in early 2009, shortly after the original Bazaar Los Angeles opened, when the SLS hotel chain started work on the Ritz Plaza hotel on South Beach.[1] The patter continued in 2010. And then we waited. And waited. And waited, as is the customary Miami style.

Finally last month, Bazaar South Beach opened. It was worth the wait.[2]

I've not been to The Bazaar in L.A., but I've been to several other of Chef Andrés' establishments - Washington DC's Jaleo several times, minibar back in 2008, the now-closed Café Atlantico, plus more recent visits to é and China Poblano in Las Vegas. (For more background on Chef Andrés, read my post on é.) The Bazaar borrows bits and pieces from each of them. There are traditional Spanish tapas, many of which are mainstays on the …

State of the Union (of Miami Dining)

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I'd been a bit despondent of late over the closing of a couple of my more favorite Miami restaurants. It is, of course, a known fact that the restaurant business is a brutally difficult one. Restaurants - even successful ones - don't live forever, and relatively few have the staying power to last more than a few years.[1] But that still doesn't keep me from becoming attached, especially to places that do things right.


Sustain, in Midtown Miami, was one of those places for me. It wasn't the best restaurant in Miami; it wasn't even the best of the farm-to-table, sustainable-sourcing themed restaurants in Miami (Michael's Genuine remains the category-killer of that genre).[2] But it was a good restaurant. The menu balanced the accessible (fried chicken, burger, pizza, all done quite well) with the exotic (roasted marrow bones with pineapple jam, turnip "carpaccio"). The execution was solid and improved with just about every visit. The staff was friendly a…

I don't care if Monday's blue ...

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Miami is not exactly at its most charming in the summmer: the constant 90°+ heat and sweltering humidity can wear just about anyone down. But for those of us who stick it out year round here, there are at least a few good things about summer. There's mango season, for one. And there are the dining specials, designed to bring the locals out from their air-conditioned caves until the tourists come back in the fall.

We're still a month away from Miami Spice season, but there are already enough restaurant specials to fill out nearly the full week of dining. Consider:

Monday - It's not quite every week, but Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill has been using Monday nights to host a "Dinner with Friends" series of guest chef events. Chef Timon Balloo has already teamed up with Jamie DeRosa (Tudor House), Paula DaSilva (1500°), Lee Schrager (SoBeWFF), David Bracha (River Oyster Bar), Dean Max (3030 Ocean), and Dena Marino (MC Kitchen). Coming up next: Cesar Zapata (The Federal) on M…