A deliciously decadent brunch with bottomless drinks for $49, lunch deal at a posh spot in the Brickell Avenue area, new welcome addition to Miami’s burger offerings, and a leading New York chef opening an outpost in Overtown, all in Eating News for February.
There’s a deliciously decadent brunch option in the Magic City and it happens to be at one of my favorite restaurants of 2017— the Lobster Bar Sea Grille, 404 Washington Avenue (T.305-377-2675). I went there to celebrate a good friend’s birthday and celebrate we did! We’re talking about toasting with endless Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Bellinis, Prosecco and Santorini white wine included in the price. Our appetizer was the standout French tartes — with an oh so thin crust, what they call the French pizza. One featured three kinds of house made salmon — poached, smoked and cured — drizzled with creme fraiche, with a touch of red onion and capers. The other, wild mushroom, with a thin layer of melted gruyere cheese and sliced mushrooms, chives, and a hint of garlic. My friend said, and I totally agreed, that a divine light bite would be one of the tartes with a salad and a glass of wine.
There was a selection of appealing appetizer salads including fresh apple kale with fennel, cranberries and toasted almonds and crowd favorites, char grilled octopus and ahi tuna tartare with red quinoa and avocado and arugula. But we’re in the Lobster Bar, so had to take advantage of a chance to eat our fill of the pricey crustacean. So next we opted for lobster bisque, lusciously creamy, with the lobster essence shining through, along with the hint of cognac.
We then had the whole chili lobster toast, succulent shelled lobster on a bed of house made brioche with a mild chili lobster butter, soft cooked egg, crispy tater tots and rich green shishito peppers. The combination worked perfectly. Next time we’ll opt for the whole butter braised lobster benedict or the whole stuffed lobster. Steak eaters aren’t left out with the steak & egg bearnaise, a petite filet mignon with bearnaise sauce and crisped potato cakes. A lighter option is the sauteed prized Faroe Islands salmon with a garnish of fresh apple kale salad. For those who want their traditional French pastry, a selection of croissants, brioche and pain au chocolat are made by their French pastry chef, and served with butter and house made kumquat, raspberry jams and nutella for an additional charge.
For the “sweet ending”, opt for classic profiteroles or tropical cremeux of mango & tonka bean mousse, almond coconut biscuit and mandarin sorbet. On a lighter note, there’s also Greek yogurt with greek thyme honey and roasted walnuts.
As I started out writing, this isn’t the place to go for a light brunch. It’s for a culinary splurge — rich, delicious, and well worth the calories, my bottom line.
There’s indoor seating in an ambiance that evokes the Oyster Bar in New York City’s Grand Central Station with its white subway tiles, arched ceilings, mahogany walls and art deco inspired chandeliers, and also an outdoor terrace that’s an ideal spot for one of our balmy winter days. Brunch is served every Sunday 11:30 to 3:30 p.m. Valet parking is offered for $10. Service is reliably excellent. The three course brunch is $49 plus tax and gratuity.
Brickell has a new lunch deal at popular spot Quinto La Huella in the East, Miami. What’s special is the way they take perfect advantage of their wood fired oven for everything from special breads to meats and vegetables. And then there’s the Uruguayan touch — the special cold meats like matambre (flank steak) and picanha.
I could become a vegetarian (well almost) with dishes like these — the picture perfect roasted radishes, cauiflower, turnips, broccoli, eggplant and fennel; lush, ripe heirloom tomato salad; plump artichokes in olive oil. Then there are the tasty legumes, from couscous to red quinoa. Fish and seafood lovers need not despair. Find a ceviche selection, oven baked salmon, salmon poke and a daily escabeche. There are over thirty different dishes in all.
And how could I forget the crusty house made country bread baked fresh daily. I told them they should sell the loaves. Cost per person? $21 for the buffet plus tax and gratuity. A glass of wine starts at $10; bottles from $50. Table or bar seating in the bar/lounge area. The luncheon special is offered from 12 to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For reservations call 786-805-4646.
The newest welcome addition to Miami’s burger scene comes via Caracas, Aruba and Brooklyn. It’s Juanchi’s Burger, 1247 Coral Way, the labor of love (and research) of Juan Carlos Aoun who developed his formula after two years checking out best burgers around the USA. His final formula that’s served in his newest Miami outpost is a beefy, tasty mixture of hanger steak and brisket. The clincher is the charcoal brioche bun and his special sauces — caper, curry, bbq, honey mustard, and sweet relish. Choices are not lacking here — as in 14 different burgers including the original Caribe Burger with grilled white cheese, avocado, fried plantain and honey ginger tarragon sauce; the pilgrim, turkey patty with melted pepper jack cheese with arugula, sliced white onions and tarragon garlic sauce; and a three cheese with swiss, blue cheese, topped with parmesan crisp cookie, arugula and the honey ginger sauce.
All burgers come with garnishes and a choice of five side dishes, from green salad and truffle, sweet potato or regular fries to corn on the cob. And one of the things I like the most is the option to get almost any of the burgers as a slider (minimum order 3 sliders served with a side). For those who aren’t into burgers, there’s a selection of salads to which you can add protein; chicken, and steak sandwiches. They also serve breakfast. There’s no liquor license, but they offer a selection of beer, juices, wine and champagne. Burgers range from $13 with most in the mid teens. T.786-360-2457.
Major culinary news reported in the Miami Herald is that Food Network personality Chef Marcus Samuelsson who originally made a big name for himself at New York’s temple of Scandinavian cuisine Aquavit, is coming to Overtown. The Ethiopian born chef now heads up The Red Rooster in Harlem. The cuisine is slated to be inspired by Caribbean, Latin American and African influences. The site chosen is former Clyde Killens Pool Hall at 920 NW 2nd Avenue. The Herald reported he was invited by Cornelius Shiver, executive director of the Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, who has a vision of regaining Overtown’s once held image as “The Harlem of the South”. In Harlem, Samuelsson’s restaurant attracts a diverse crowd and is heavily involved in supporting the local community with hiring, scholarships and spearheading local festivals. Planned opening is 2019.