Thursday, April 19, 2018

Cobaya Time Machine at Stripsteak 3/15/18

Cobaya Experiment #72 was a trip back in time.  Back to 1954, the year the legendary Fontainebleau Hotel was born.  Michael Mina's Stripsteak was decorated with photographs and paraphernalia dating back to the 50's.  The concept was created by chef William Crandall along with bar director Seth Weinberg.  It was a pleasure having two talented individuals who I've watched grow and succeed over the years in the Cobaya kitchen.  And they did not disappoint.  

It should be noted that chef Crandall was on the line for Cobaya Azul which was featured on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Seth was most likely bouncing around the floor for the first Cobaya Bourbon Steak.


Chef Crandall spent time researching and studying old menus from the hotel and did a fantastic job modernizing classic dishes.  He started the night off with a creamy foie gras torchon topped with toasted pumpernickel bread that added a lovely texture to the delicious dish.  Other highlights included a flavorful intermezzo featuring blood orange, mango and yuzu sorbet topped with champagne and a spritz of Pernod.  That was followed by a fantastic updated version of steak diane that was packed with flavor and melted in your mouth.  Pastry chef Breanna Tepper came to play too and ended the night on a sugar high with not one but two wonderful desserts.  

Cocktails played a big role in the night too.  Seth did a tremendous job re-creating classic cocktails and probably spent even more time sourcing the numerous vintage spirits we were treated to throughout the meal.  He also knows his Frank Sinatra songs (see below).

Huge hat tip to chef Will and Seth for putting a lot of thought and effort into a unique Cobaya Experiment.  

And thanks to the entire kitchen crew and service team for contributing to the fun night. And big thanks to the guinea pig nation for your continued support.

History of the Fontainebleau featured inside the menu 

Hemingway Daiquiri
1970 Ron Bacardi Superior, Nassau Bahamas
1950's Cherry Heering, Denmark 
Grapefruit, Lime

Torchon de Foie Gras
Peppered Port Wine, Leek Quenelle, Pumpernickel

Strangers In the Night
1979 Barros Porto Colheita, Portugal
1970's Stravecchio Branca Brandy, Milan, Italy
1957 Chateau Thierry Orange Bitters, Canada

Sole Bonne Femme
Mousseline of Wild Mushrooms, Caviar Hollandaise, Shallot Confit

Luck Be a Lady
1962 Southern Comfort, St. Louis, Missouri
1978 Dubac Orange Brandy, Bologna, Italy
1974 Jorgue Amaro, Treviso, Italy

Blood Orange, Mango, Yuzu, Champenoise

"A Chilling Temptation"
1973 Pernod Fils, Paris, France - Intermezzo Mist

Steak Diane
Brandy-Dijon Jus, Pommes Salardaise

It's Up to You New York
1976 Jim Beam Bicentennial Bourbon, Clermont, Kentucky
1950's Noilly Prat Sweet Vermouth, Marseilles, France
1960's Angostura Bitters, Port of Spain, Trinidad

Salade de Caesar
Black Pepper, Parmesan Sabayon, Bioche Panade

Les Pre-Desserts
Elderflower Gelee, Huckleberry Gelato

Oscar Cordial
1960's Oscar Liquore di Prugne, Padua, Italy

Desserts La Fin
Ambrosia Mille Feuille, Pineapple, Coconut, Passion Fruit

Bananas Foster
1978 Saint James Rhum, Martinique
1970's Tekel Muz Liquor Banana, Istanbul
Cinnamon Brown Sugar

A Toast to the Chairman of the Board
Jack Daniels Sinatra Select, Lynchburg, Tennessee

4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Cobaya Ariete with Chef Michael Beltran

Cobaya underground and experimental dinner #71 went down on December 18th, 2017 at Ariete in Coconut Grove.  Chef Michael Beltran treated the guinea pigs to a classically inspired delicious meal from start to finish.  His flavors were great and execution was solid.  Chef Beltran is a young rising star chef who has worked for some of Miami's best chefs including Norman Van Aken and Michael Schwartz.  Miami needs more home grown talented chefs like Michael so head to the Grove and support a local chef and restaurant doing things the right way.

herb butter, truffle butter

stone crab beggars purses, cherries and chicken liver, tostone smoked fish rilletes

Quintero Farms egg, malanga, sugar cane, herb, caviar

foie gras and eel, confit plum, white bread

Pot au Feu
oxtail, carrot, zucchini, bone marrow, consommé

heirloom tomato confit, ravioli of tomato and salt cod

Crown of Venison
roasted stone fruit and sauce Diane

honey, apple, frangipane

Tea service (missed the shot) was courtesy of another great local product JoJo Tea

Tibetan tea, Ya'an city, Meng Ding Mountain

3540 Main Hwy, Coconut Grove, FL 33133

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Cobaya Rancho Patel with Chef Niven Patel 2/11/17

Chef Patel hard at work.  

Cobaya experiment #69 took the guinea pigs on a trek down to Homestead on a beautiful Saturday night.  The dinner was located at Chef Niven Patel's backyard farm where he prepared several courses of farm-to-table Indian cuisine.  It should be noted that he had serious help in the kitchen from his mother and mother-in-law.  
This was a great meal and a very fun night.  

Niven opened his first restaurant this year, Ghee in Downtown Dadeland which specializes in flavorful Indian fare.  He recently opened a second location in the Design District.  I highly recommend paying him a visit. 

Photo Recap Below

Rancho Patel in Homestead.

The calm before the Guinea Pig Storm...

Welcome Cocktail courtesy of the now open Edukos.

ghee wiz sake | basil infused mango juice | clove and coriander simple syrup

80 die hard Guinea Pigs made the drive down to Homestead and enjoyed a fantastic meal.


chickpea roll up | black mustard  | cilantro

Florida shrimp toast | charred scallion | sesame

backyard pakora | taro leaf | sweet onion

Kid 'n Play in the house on the farm....



roasted chicken samosa | peanut chutney | pickled garlic | green papaya

beet cured cobia | grapefruit | puffed rice | avocado | pickled turmeric

roasted green millet | red onion | heirloom tomato | sev | cilantro chutney


dry aged ribeye | eggplant | heirloom tomato sauce

lamb kofta | fenugreek | plumped raisins | cashews

baby cucumber | green mango | radish | chaat masala

black eyed pea basmati | lentils | curry leaf

purple yam puran puri | cardamom | Florida strawberries | almonds

Spice of Life

Niven and family with his Ghee team.