best thing i ate last week: Oysters Ciancio at Mignonette Uptown

We've kind of let the "Best Thing I Ate Last Week" routine fall by the wayside. Let's remedy that right now.

A couple months ago, I attended a friends and family at Mignonette Uptown, the new oyster bar and seafood place from Daniel Serfer (who also runs Blue Collar in the MiMo District and the original Mignonette Downtown in Edgewater) in the old Gourmet Diner on Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami. I liked it. I finally got back there this weekend, and tried a dish I missed on that first visit: the Oysters Ciancio, named after the restaurant's chef de cuisine, Anthony Ciancio.

They're topped with a paste of garlic, shallots and white miso, basted with beef tallow, and broiled, and they come out plump and savory and just a little bit meaty and a lot delicious.

(You can see more pictures in this Mignonette Uptown - North Miami Beach flickr set.)

At Mignonette Downtown, you might instead get the Oysters Frank, named after chef de cuisine Bobby Frank, which come topped with melted Manchego cheese, crispy bacon, sherry and butter. It's just one example of how the theme of the two locations is consistent while the particulars of the execution vary. Some more: the really suave squid and tomato stew which was the "CBGB" (chowder, bisque or gumbo) of the day at Uptown, and a clever Thai-French mashup of tom kha moules frites. I'm pretty happy that I can now go seven miles in either direction from home and run into a Mignonette.

Also: big shout-out to chefs Jeremiah Bullfrog and Kurtis Jantz, who reminded us it's Mardi Gras season by throwing an Ole Bay All Day party at BoxElder Saturday (pics here). All afternoon they were slinging Natchitotches meat pies, muffulettas, crab gumbo, boiled crawfish and king cake donuts. It was a great time.

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