As we go into New Year’s it seems that many of the new restaurants opening are moderately priced offerings, not to speak of the high profile food halls on the way (Design District, South Beach). Guess those with the money in the restaurant biz have decided at least for now that there’s growing pushback on $200+ dinners for two. On the menu include another welcome addition to Coral Gables dining thanks to a fave chef most recently at The Deck, sushi import from a successful Argentine restaurant group also in the Gables, enticing three course luncheon specials at La Mar by Gaston Acurio and Seaspice . Finally, of note is the first Annual Paris Flea Market sponsored by culinary society Les Dames d’Escoffier South Florida chapter on December 3.
Join me at 1st annual Paris Flea Market in Miami, courtesy of culinary society LesDamesSoFL, Dec.3. . Beautiful French- themed Flea Market goods and culinary housewares, at flea market prices. Enjoy Paris in Miami while supporting Les Dames d’Escoffier mission to fund culinary scholarships to deserving students. I’ll be there manning the tables. It’s at The Miami Shores Farmers Market, NE 2nd Ave and NE 94th St, from 11am-4pm.(Note the change in date and place from when this was originally written).
You readers know one of my favorite chefs in town is Alfredo Alvarez, whose impressive resume includes Seasalt N Pepper (now Seaspice) and most recently The Deck (I was sooo sad when it closed). Now he’s bringing his signature Mediterranean cuisine back to where it all began in Coral Gables with a new concept inspired by Giacosa. His new venture, M House by Giacosa, is slated to open this winter, at the intersection of Le Jeune and Valencia. The kitchen will be centered around the flavors and textures produced by a Josper charcoal oven. Dishes will be inspired by the coastal fare of Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, Wild-caught Mediterranean fish will be flown in fresh weekly with such menu highlights as Wild Caught Lubina a la Espada, Alga Spirulina Tagliolini with Sicilian Prawns; and the original emblematic dish of Giacosa, a Vidalia Onion Stuffed with Patagonian Shrimp, roasted in the Josper with a lobster bisque sauce. The menu will also feature house-made pastas and a wide selection of crudos.
The space will be designed by New York-based fashion designer, Angel Sanchez of Sanchez+Coleman. With vibrant accents of fern green, the casual atmosphere will bring the outdoors in with an “urban meets tropical” designM House by Giacosa with both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a bar and lounge area.
SUSHICLUB is Argentina’s premiere Sushi restaurant group with 30 restaurants in Argentina and others in Latin America. It opened its first location in the US recently at 127 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, FL. Billed as being “hip, artsy yet sophisticated and focused on providing high quality service “, they also offer pastas and craft signature cocktails along with a broad selection of wines.
Miami Spice may be over but two leading restaurants are offering $25, 3 course lunch menus. La Mar by Gaston Acurio at the Mandarin Oriental offers its value deal Monday through Saturday from 11:30am to 3:30pm. Sample dishes include Cebiche Chipotle, fish of the day, chipotle leche de tigre, crispy tortilla, avocado; Chicha Morada Brisket, braised and slowly cooked with chicha de jora, chichi morada, aji panca served with creamy lima bean stew and smoked bacon; and Smoked Trout, mini red gem lettuce, crostini, radish, huacatay vinaigrette.
Seaspice on the Miami River dishes up its river views and waterfront location also with a special three course lunch. Sample starters include Butternut Squash Soup; Winter Plant Bowl with roasted butternut squash, black barle, tatsoi spinach, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil, pecan brittle and creamy cashew balsamic; and Watercress Salad with roasted corn and cucumber vinaigrette. Enticing entrees include Shrimp Linguini, Crispy Skin Chicken Breast, 1855 Prime Churrasco, and Pan Seared Black Grouper Fillet with navy bean, sage and bacon succotash and butternut squash gnocchi. For dessert, Cheese Souffle and Orange Blossom Cake made with Kumquat marmalade, sable and black berry. To pair each course, guests can also order white, red and rosé wines by the glass at $10. The Executive Lunch Menu will be offered Tuesday-Friday from noon to 3:30pm