Hello, all! When I last posted, Chef and I were packing for a move to south Florida. For those of you who’ve been on the edge of your seats in anticipation of what happened, relax, we made it!
Here’s the view across the street from our new place:
In other news, Chef is working on the new restaurant, and I found a job in less than a week! (Insert Arsenio Hall woo-woo-woo.) But the downside of that is that I don’t have a lot of time to cook. However, we have been eating our way through south Florida. Some highlights:
This Miami Beach restaurant describes itself as a “gastropub” because they’ve got the laid-back feel of a tavern but the chef-driven menu of a finer dining establishment. Both are true. If you are lucky enough to walk by and see an open seat inside, take it. Their menu offers a little but of everything, from fried chicken with an Asian twist — kimchee and mustard miso — to udon noodles with an Italian one — carbonara style with peas, bacon and a slow-poached egg.
Right next door and also part of the Pubbelly family is Barceloneta. Like the name implies, the menu features Spanish small-plates and mucho vino. But if I were you, I would start with one of their specialty cocktails. Pero por favor, pace yourself because they go down like water. A lot of the ingredients didn’t seem like they would work together — langoustines with garlic and chocolate? — but after sampling almost the entire menu, I’d say just go for it. Although you can clearly discern each component, no ingredient overpowers the other.
When I grow up, I want to be a regular at Buccan. This of course means I want to be a well-dressed woman who’s had some some work done and owns an ocean-front mansion in Palm Beach. Aside from fabulous people-watching, Buccan offers a rotating menu of “progressive American” small plates. Which I think just means food stolen from another culture because their menu has a lot of Asian and Latin ingredients. That being said, the food is worth the drive. My one complaint, however: what is a piece of romaine doing in a conch ceviche?
This is a causal joint down the street from our place. The chef always has a rotating menu of specials like Lick Me (beef tongue) and Mahi stew flavored with squid ink alongside his regular menu of tacos. He is such a master at combining flavors and using the best ingredients that you probably won’t even notice these little taste explosions are served in a store-bought tortilla — unless you’re a picky Latina who considers it blasphemy to not make your own. But I will forgive this sin in exchange for a plate of Lick Me.
Do me a favor and click on the link above. One look at the homepage and you’ll know exactly what kind of place this is. But even so, I will suffer through club music, strobe lights and guidos hitting on me for their grilled octopus and baked clams. They also claim to be home of the world famous meatball. If my ears ever stop ringing from our last visit, I’ll go back and let you know if this is true.
Of all the restaurants we’ve been to in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding cities, I can count those worth mentioning on one hand. I’m hoping my visits to db Bistro Moderne and JG Grill turn out better than those to Sushisamba and Setai: everything at Sushisamba was drenched in acid, and the paneer and pork belly at Setai were awful. Though, I’d happily go back to both for drinks. But that can be said for every place we visited.
Come to think of it, maybe that’s why everyone here looks so damn good. No one eats, they just drink.
P.S. — MD loves her new beach life. She doesn’t shiver anymore and spends the majority of her time outside or wishing she were outside:
I only wish Linus could have lived long enough to retire in Florida. RIP, the sweetest Rottweiler this Earth has ever seen.