Let's be honest: the pace of reviews of Miami restaurants here at food for thought has not exactly been breakneck lately. There are plenty of reasons for that.
The past year particularly, I've written much more often about meals outside of Miami, or special event dinners here in town, than the straightforward Miami restaurant "reviews" that started off being the focus of this blog. This has always been a passion project, and so I tend to write about what makes me passionate. I think many of our local chefs do some of their best work outside the constraints of a regular restaurant menu, so I write about our Cobaya dinners to turn a spotlight on what they are capable of doing. Earlier this year I had the incredibly good fortune to visit Japan for the first time, where I had several outstanding, perspective-altering meals. Four months later, and I've still only written about roughly half of them. The "to-write" list from recent excursions to New York and Los Angeles (and Seattle and Vancouver last summer!) is even longer.
That's not to stay I've lost interest in Miami – not even remotely. But much of my writing on local restaurants of late has either gone into Edible South Florida magazine (you can read all those pieces here), or straight to twitter, with no stops in between. And when I do get around to writing a "review" of a Miami restaurant here, my approach is usually pretty deliberate. (The words "slow" or "lazy" may also come to mind). Call it what you will, it usually takes me a while to figure out what I really want to say about a place – and sometimes, yes, to find places that are worth saying something about. (Though my Miami "to-write" list is already even longer than the out-of-town list, to say nothing of the "to-visit" list.) Still, whether it's intention or inertia, I'm not convinced that restaurants necessarily reveal their true selves in their first few months. Many get better – and plenty get worse. So I usually play the long game.
But the flipside is that plenty of places deserve attention in their first few months, and many of them may need it in order to get over the hump of opening. So I'm experimenting with doing something here I'll call "first thoughts." It's not going to be a full-blown review. It's also, hopefully, anyway, not going to be the typically breathless puff pieces you see on so many other sites (often the by-product of freebie media previews). I know this is hardly a new thing, but it's new for me. We'll see how this works, but right now, expect mostly a "just the facts, ma'am" approach and a good number of pictures. Let's see how this goes, first with N by Naoe.