Another top Miami Spice pick for your list, wine deal for you oenophiles, low cal to die for ice cream bars, Palmar Miami for Chinese food fans, new brunch pick for Mexican food and drink, restaurant promotion at Dolphin Mall, and more in Eating News September.
If you’ve been wanting to try Bagatelle Miami, which is perennially one of my favorites, now is definitely the month. Their Miami Spice offering is a serious deal. Not only do they feature several of their signature dishes with no supplement, portion sizes are from the regular menu. Starters include oysters, Scottish salmon tartar and a yellow and red beet salad with goat cheese, smoked apple confit and a Sicilian pistachio flourish that added an exciting chewy texture and nutty flavor. I opted for the signature, homemade gnocchi truffles with aged Parmesan cheese, a decadent delight that was rich and buttery. My friend ordered the mussels mariniere which we dubbed tasty and silky. I always love their elegant, moist roasted truffle chicken, so opted for that, garnished with country style potatoes, caramelized cipollini, and white button mushrooms all in a thyme chicken jus. It required maximim discipline to not order the coquillettes au jus, elbow pasta with French ham, Gruyere cheese and black truffle veal jus. Saving my calories for the addictive beignets, crispy and sugary on the outside, and soft inside.and the profiteroles . A special wine pairing is offered, a choice of two wines, each for $12. Every Wednesday, every bottle on the menu is 50% off. Bagatelle, For other Miami Spice picks, click here.
Speaking of wine, the prized, delicious full bodied red Vik Wines of Chile are now featured at all Fogo de Chao Brazilian steakhouses nationwide, and at a special price. Fogo is offering two varietals, Milla Cala (Red Blend, Millahue Valley, Chile, 2013) and VIK (Red Blend, First Growth from Chile, 2013). Pricing varies by market. At the South Beach location, the Milla Calla is $13 for a 3 oz. pour, $25 for 6 oz. and $93 a bottle. The 2012 vintage scored 92 points from the Wine Spectator. VIK goes for $22, $42 and $164 respectively. They’re a perfect pair for the meats at Fogo de Chao, 836 1st Street, South Beach (T.305-672-0011).
You’ll get hooked on Enlightened ice cream bars. Unlike many low cal bars, these are delicious, satisfying, and would you believe, have protein (14%) and fiber (20%). There’s no artificial sweetener and they’re low fat, low sugar. Plus, they come in 11 flavors including red velvet, birthday cake, fudge and more. I tried the frozen hot cocoa and sea salt caramel that are both super yummy. And even better, they are large size bars and only have 70 to 100 calories. They also have a line of roasted broad bean crisps (fava beans) in appealing flavors. You can find them at Whole Foods, Winn Dixie and Publix, but not all flavors. The ice cream also comes in pints.
Chinese food lovers out there will be happy to hear that there’s a new restaurant to put on your “to go” list — Palmar Miami, named to Bon Appetit’s annual list of America’s 50 best restaurants. Executive Chef is Raymond Li who is Cuban Chinese. At lunch we tried a selection of dim sum including duck confit, shrimp and chive, and edamame and shishito dumplings and teamed them with Chinese broccoli, Moromi miso and black beans, all delicious. Service is friendly and attentive in this super casual 34 seat restaurant on the northern edge of Wynwood. I plan to return for dinner and do a proper review, so stay tuned. Palmar Miami, 180 NW 29th Street, T(305-573-5682).
The Shore Club’s Diez y Seis which you can count on for very good Mexican food is launching Sunday brunch appropriately on September 16, Mexican Independence Day and continue every Saturday thereafter.Count on Mexican style hot plates and get this – Mexican style French toast. My favorite touch is the specialty table-side beverage cartfully stocked to prepare only the best $15 build-your-own Bloody Marys (vodka-based) and Bloody Marias (tequila & mezcal based)! Brunchers can chose from three different mixes (Spicy, Traditional &Tomatillo) and then pick out their own toppings to add. If you’re more of the unlimited drinking type (it’s brunch after-all), $12 unlimited champagne will also be offered throughout. Price is $50 per person plus tax and tip. Diez y Seis at Shore Club, 11:30 to 4 p.m., 1901 Collins Avenue (T.305-695-3226).
Dolphin Spice Month – September 1-30....For the first time in its 17-year history, Dolphin Mall has launched its own featured restaurant program, Dolphin Spice. Throughout the month of September, eight of the mall’s eclectic restaurants will offer everything from American, Japanese and Latin American cuisines as prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner.
Restaurants include Brio Tuscan Grille, Cabo Flats, Dave and Busters, El Gran Inka, Jaque Mate, Kobe Japanese Steak and Seafood, Milanezza Argentinian Restaurant and Bar and Rotelli Pizza and Pasta. Menu prices for lunch and dinner range from $18 to $30. When going to a participating restaurant ask for the Dolphin Spice menu with a choice of starter, entree and dessert. Note that a few of the restaurants don’t open for lunch and some don’t open for dinner so check before you go.
We took the opportunity to visit Milanezza Argentinian Restaurant and were impressed by the offerings of the spice menu for dinner unlike the Miami spice menu which is usually accompanied by very small portions. My favorite included the the fried calamari for the appetizer that had an interesting twist with the graham cracker coating for an extra crunch. The skirt steak was a true Argentinian asado style perfectly cooked medium to my taste and dessert choice of the panqueque de dulce de leche (sweet crepes filled with dulce de leche and vanilla icecream) hit the spot. Chef Tony was gracious enough to come speak to us and let us in on his cooking secrets. — by Vaidehi Chaukulkar
Light bites…..The owner chef behind the successful Ghee Indian restaurants in Downtown Dadeland and the Design District, plans to open his first pasta restaurant, Erba. in 2019. The Miami Herald reported he hired away Tim Piazza, the former chef at Brickell’s Fi’lia. The menu will feature sharable plates, a mix of flatbreads and pastas “with unexpected flavors”, and at “an approachable and affordable” price….This month is Restaurant Month in Boca Raton. Close to three dozen restaurants are participating with three course menus priced from $21 to $25 for lunch and $36 to $40 for dinner….yet another new donut spot has opened, this time in Dadeland Mall. The donut with a difference here is a strawberry shortcake number. Serious.
And finally, questions for you readers…..has anyone been to the new Thomas Keller restaurant in the Surf Club or the French restaurant La Fresa Francesca Petit Cafe in Hialeah? If so, love to hear what you thought.