Tongue & Cheek: Cheeky Food, Playful Cocktails (Scrumptious Pictures)
|All photos by Laine Doss|
|MIchael Reginbogen and Jamie DeRosa at Tongue & Cheek's bar.|
Before we get a chance to order, chef/partner Jamie DeRosa emerges from the kitchen wearing a gray utility shirt embroidered with the Tongue & Cheek logo. "No chef coats here," he says. "It's cooler not to wear them."
By cooler, he means temperature-wise in the kitchen, but there's no denying there's also a cool factor in the dress code at the restaurant, which gives off a vibe as much downtown Manhattan as downtown Miami Beach.
In fact, Tongue & Cheek's subway-tiled walls, Atlas lamps, and thick brown tables are reminiscent of Greenwich Village bistro Pastis. Prominently displayed in the dining room is a framed picture of an ox in a top hat and gold chains, one of the quirky animal mascots on the servers' T-shirts, the coasters, and the postcards that come with the check.
DeRosa is in a jovial mood, even though the restaurant's point-of-sale system is down. Actually, all Internet is down in the SoFi section of Miami Beach. With a laugh, he says that owning a restaurant is different from merely heading a kitchen. Attention must be paid to everything -- from keeping the music played at an even decibel to making sure the computers have 4G backup. But with ownership comes pride. "The juice is worth the squeeze," he says.