best thing i ate last week: grilled carrots with aged gouda and buckwheat at Eating House
Somehow, I had let a year go by since my last visit to Eating House, Giorgio Rapicavoli's pop-up gone permanent on the northern edge of Coral Gables. That was dumb of me. This past weekend I grabbed a solo spot at the bar after both wife and daughter had abandoned me for the evening, and sampled as much as I could of the current menu. Some staples remain: the tomatoes with coconut ice and Vietnamese flavors, the chicken and "foi-ffles," the over-the-top pasta carbonara. But everything else around the edges is new – and very good.
Vegetable-focused dishes in particular are a strong suit, and of these, my favorite was a plate of grilled carrots, blanketed in soft curls of a powerfully rich five-year aged gouda cheese (it gets crystals like a good aged parmigiano-reggiano), dappled with crunchy buckwheat kernels, all resting atop a pillow of a creamy carrot-top pesto. I especially liked that the carrots were not annihilated, but maintained a not-quite-raw but still firm core – so you get both clean, vegetal snap and dark, sweet roasty caramel flavors. It was the best thing I ate last week.
Runners-up: the blistered shishito peppers showered with cured egg yolk and dry olive at Eating House; the flaky malawach bread (a Yemenite specialty) served with spicy hariff, grated tomatoes, feta cheese and hard boiled egg for brunch at 27 Restaurant (especially good when accompanied by a Miso Honey Cold Brew).