Miami Spice: J&G Grill
After seeing a photo of a delectable dessert at J&G Grill Miami in the St.Regis Bal Harbour for the Miami Spice menu ,and a review in Miami New Times that named it one of the best, I moved it up my list for a visit. As you probably know, the restaurant is under the aegis of celebrity chef Jean Georges Vongerichten working with talented on site chef Bradley Kilgore. The menu offers three courses and a selection of three appetizers, three entrees and two desserts. We started with a light and refreshing tomato soup which my French friend declared “raffine” (refined). Next up was the chef’s novel riff on the beet salad, much in vogue these days, with two varieties including the unusual candy striped and the other yellow, along with what looked like a third beet but was surprisingly a poached plum, goat cheese, watercress and crunchy pistachios. Divine. My favorite entrée was the skirt steak, beefy and perfectly charred, with an Asian inspired chimichurri that puts the others to shame. The difference? Lemon grass and culantro rather than cilantro, plus garlic of course. Another entrée choice was the confit chicken salad sandwich with truffle and green apple on a crusty, chewy 9 grain baguette made especially for the restaurant by a local artisanal baker.
And then there were the French fries. I’ve had truffle fries, others fried in duck fat, you name it. These were exceptional. The chef shared his secret, a two part process. First he fried the potatoes in hot oil just enough to cook them, takes them out of the oil, wipes them and lets them cool. Then he fries them a second time to make them extra crispy and golden. We tried both of the Spice desserts, a signature key lime pie bar with coconut sorbet, and chocolate hazelnut mousse with raspberry compote and sorbet. As if that wasn’t enough excess, we rounded out the desserts with a passion fruit vacherin with basil ice cream and diced mango salsa (the latter off the menu). My friends also had a thin crust truffle pizza with frisee, off the Spice menu, which they declared “orgasmic”. How’s that for the ultimate accolade?
I’ve been to J & G for dinner, though prefer lunch as it’s very relaxed and you can sit at the window and enjoy a gorgeous view of the pool and beach. Ask for Antoine, a real pro of a waiter. Priced at $23, lunch is definitely up there with the top choices for Miami Spice. Parking is reduced, but additional. The St.Regis Bal Harbour is at 9703 Collins Avenue, T.305-993-3300.
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