Boisterous Brunchers Can't Bog Down Miami Chefs

Categories: Review, The Critic

BlueCollarInsideWisser.jpg
Photo by billwisserphoto.com
Brunch at Blue Collar.
A 50-pound pig is pumped full of brine for four days and then -- around midnight on a Saturday -- placed in a large wooden box just behind the Four Seasons Hotel in Brickell. The box is closed, covered in hot charcoal, and left for hours beneath a tent that's shrouded by foliage. Around dawn, two cooks return and slide back the cover. Steam spills out and the sweet smell of roast pork fills the air as they flip the animal and roast it for another five hours.

More »

Morimoto's Miami Debut Is Cool, Collected, and Full of Surprises

Categories: Review

MorimotoCeviche.jpg
Courtesy of Morimoto South Beach
Morimoto ceviche
Masaharu Morimoto's latest outpost is so understated that a bellhop might have to steer you toward its discreet hiding place in the Shelborne Wyndham Grand's starchy white lobby, which is spotless after its recent $90 million face-lift.

More »

Moroccan Hideaway Fez Is a Reason to Reconsider Española Way

Categories: Review, The Critic

FezHeader.jpg
billwisserphoto.com
Fez chef and owner Faycal Bettioui, chickpea fries.
The beige bulb of crackly pastry dough sprinkled with white powder could be hiding anything. You punch a fork into the flaky shell and a wisp of steam fills the air, which is already thick with incense and the blare of R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" set to a Middle Eastern rhythm.

More »

Loba in MiMo Draws a Pack of Admirers

Categories: Review, The Critic

lobagoatcheese.jpg
Photo by billwisserphoto.com
Loba owner Jessica Sanchez and the restaurant's popular goat cheese balls
Bathroom talk is usually off-limits during meals, but at Loba, a 3-month-old restaurant in MiMo, the lavatory is a conversation piece. That's because apart from the complimentary dental floss (greatly appreciated), the wallpaper is composed of pages torn from the classic children's book Where the Wild Things Are. It's no coincidence that the protagonist, Max, dresses up in a wolf costume and that Loba translates to "she-wolf."

Literary accents can be seen (and read) all over the place at Loba because of owner Jessica Sanchez's love of reading and her limited decorating budget. The 28-year-old former financial analyst also wanted to liven up the mood and create a playful atmosphere at this small place across the street from the newly remodeled Vagabond Hotel. For instance, a vegetarian entrée featuring farro piccolo, succotash, radishes, squash blossoms, eggs, and zucchini is cleverly called "Orwell's Dystopia." And checks are delivered inside novels. (On several occasions customers have coincidentally received their bills in their favorite books, says Sanchez, adding a Loba library is in the pipeline.)

See also: Photos from Loba in MiMo

More »

Doral Japanese-Peruvian Gem Tira.D.Toss Hides in Plain Sight

Categories: Review

TiraDTossTacuBitesWisser.jpg
billwisserphoto.com
Tacu tacu bites at Tira.D.Toss.
Take a pull of chicha morada -- a sweet, bluish drink made with Peruvian purple corn, pineapple, and orange accented by the spicy aroma of cinnamon and cloves. Nibble an anticucho of a half-dozen juicy, glistening chunks of beef heart seasoned with little more than garlic, salt, and a good sear. Relish the glow of tiki torches and dim string lights.

It's hard to believe you're in a strip mall sandwiched between a Subway and a chiropractor's office.

More »

Cuban Pizza Tells the Exile Story

Categories: Review

PizzaCubanaMontesDeOcaIntro.jpg
billwisserphoto.com
Pizza Cubana at Montes de Oca.
The doughy crust is so chewy it almost seems undercooked. A thin char on the bottom lends a crunchy crescendo to each bite. The ruddy tomato sauce is sweet and thick but devoid of the gently spicy aroma of basil and oregano. There's plenty of mozzarella -- Gouda and Parmesan too. But what makes this pizza really unique are toppings like sliced bananas, sticky fried plantains, and delightfully oily picadillo studded with salty green olive rings and sugary raisins.

More »

Cantina La Veinte: 20 Kinds of Delicioso

Categories: Review

CantinaLaVeinteChef.jpg
Photo by billwisserphoto.com
Cantina La Veinte chef Santiago Gomez and chicken molé.
In a yawning space surrounded by inky, lacquered shelves stacked with Mexican folk art, sharply dressed business types negotiate over pale-green margaritas. Two men wearing matching Piguet watches and Ferragamo belts are trailed by their wives, both pushing strollers and toting Chanel purses as they make their way to an onyx-colored table.

See also: Photos of Cantina La Veinte in Brickell

More »

Danny Serfer's Mignonette Is Edgewater's Pearl

Categories: Review

mignonette1.jpg
billwisserphoto.com
Lobster roll at Mignonette
It's 9 p.m. and it's raining in sheets outside Mignonette, a new oyster bar and seafood eatery off NE Second Avenue across from the City of Miami Cemetery. Gentlemen pull their cars onto the sidewalk to let their ladies scurry in (relatively) dry. But there's nevertheless a wait to be seated at this latest venture from Blue Collar owner and executive chef Daniel Serfer and the man behind the food blog Miami Restaurant Power Rankings, Ryan Roman.

Diners yet to be assigned tables stare longingly at the massive marquee behind the raw bar indicating the day's oyster offerings. West Coast options are displayed on the left, East Coast ones on the right.

See also: Danny Serfer Talks About Mignonette

More »

Uvaggio and Touche: Top Chef Alums in Miami Have a Spotty Record

Categories: Review

cafe-Carla-Nina.jpg
Image courtesy NBC/Bravo
Former Top Chef competitors and Miami chefs Carla Pellegrino and Nina Compton.
Bravo's hit reality cooking show, Top Chef, which debuted in 2006, changed the way we look at chefs and the people who prepare high-end dishes. Its judges have included culinary luminaries like Anthony Bourdain and Food & Wine magazine editor Dana Cowin. And it has thrust more chefs before a national audience than any other platform. The show's contestants compete with hopes of not only preparing the best dishes and winning the competition but also eventually opening a restaurant with jam-packed reservation books and big money.

See also: Photos of Uvaggio Wine Bar in Coral Gables

More »

Basil Park: Tim Andriola's Long-Awaited Follow-Up Will Change How You Eat

Categories: Review, The Critic

BasilParkAndriola.jpg
billwisserphoto.com
Tim Andriola, Basil Park's rotisserie chicken.
Things aren't what they seem at Basil Park, the airy 4-month-old bistro in Sunny Isles Beach. A dollop of sour cream atop some tacos has no dairy. It's made from cashews soaked overnight in water, puréed with yeast and live bacteria, and then fermented for 12 hours to create a tangy, rich blend.

The Parmesan sprinkled over crisp emerald kale chips is also cashew-based. The nuts are pulverized and then mixed with nutritional yeast to mimic the piquant cheese. A dash of sea salt finishes the disguise.

More »

Now Trending

Loading...