best thing i ate last week: duck leg confit at Alter
The best thing I ate last week could easily have been the Japanese wagyu beef shabu shabu at N by Naoe which I wrote about yesterday. But as good as that was, this was still better: the duck leg confit from the lunch menu at Alter.
The duck meat is pulled off the bone and served over a pearl onion kimchi that's given an extra jolt of flavor from little "sweety drop" peppers. These bright red, teardrop-shaped chiles are simultaneously fruity and spicy, and remind me of the Brazilian biquinho peppers which Chef Micah Edelstein of the late Nemesis Urban Bistro turned me on to a few years ago. Additions of a cashew condiment and black garlic tweak the umami dial. A sheet of drisp dehydrated cabbage mimics the usual crispy skin (Hey Brad - where'd the duck skin go?). Perky pea shoots add some contrasting freshness. This was a great dish.
It can also be part of one of the best value meals in town: Alter serves a 3-course, $29 lunch which may be the most effective use of $29 you can make in Miami; even better, you can also upgrade that to a $48, 5-course lunch tasting menu. (You can see all my pictures from a recent lunch visit at the end of this Alter - Miami (Wynwood) flickr set).