Lippi Serves Poised, Precise Fare for the Brickell Crowd
At Lippi, you should really eat your vegetables. The handsome Brickell restaurant, perched amid shimmering Christmas trees, offers a Mediterranean-inspired menu that features $75 Dover sole and $30-per-ounce Kobe beef. But perhaps more interesting, it also proffers roasted baby carrots and turnips flecked with coarse sea salt that share a bowl with tomatoes, basil, and green beans. It sounds simple, adorned with microgreens and priced at $12. Not only are the flavors are complex, but they are also teeming with bold textures and hues.
billwisserphoto.com Grilled duck breast with cranberry marmalade and roasted apples
Even the most gluttonous of appetites can enjoy the vegetables here. The fritto is a bulky stack of deep-fried zucchini, eggplant, and enoki mushrooms, crisp on the outside, tender and meaty on the inside. Sure, the dish looks like fried calamari's nerdy cousin. But you can dunk these plants in a delicate, aromatic curry aioli. "I don't eat vegetables," our server said on a recent Friday night. "But when I do, I eat these."
It's no surprise that Philippe Ruiz's cooking converts carnivores. The seasoned chef who's earned two James Beard Award nominations once ran the kitchen at Palme d'Or -- the French fine-dining restaurant at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. Two years ago, he left the post, and now he's cooking at Lippi, a place founded by Tunu Puri -- one of the partners behind the wildly successful Zuma, the Japanese restaurant with outposts in Miami, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, and Dubai.
This newest venture is a study in luxury. Located on the first floor of Brickell World Plaza, Lippi occupies an airy, shiny space that includes high ceilings, marble floors, and pretty chandeliers. While nearby restaurants such as Box Park and Gordon Biersch have recently shuttered, on most nights, there's a lengthy wait for one of Lippi's 214 seats.
billwisserphoto.com Inside Lippi