Monday, February 27, 2012

Macallan Dinner @ Edge Steak & Bar 2/28/12

EDGE Steak & Bar | Miami

I haven't made it down to the Edge Steak & Bar yet but have heard very good things about the food chef Brooks and chef King are serving.  Their dinner series continues tomorrow night and it sounds great.

The Interactive Dining Experience Includes a Macallan Whiskey Pairing

Edge, Steak & Bar, the progressive steakhouse at the Four Seasons Hotel Miami, is pleased to announce the second Specialty Dinner Night with a Macallan Whiskey tasting on Tuesday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Organized by executive chef Aaron Brooks and restaurant chef James King, the second dinner will introduce special edition and aged Macallan Whiskey’s, paired with a five-course dinner. Upon arrival, guests will be served a specialty cocktail made with Famous Grouse. Diners will then gather in the beautiful private dining rooms of Edge to enjoy the multi-course whiskey pairing while interacting with the chefs. Macallan Whiskey’s include; Fine Oak 17 Year, Famous Grouse 18 Year, Macallan 18 Year, Specialty Edition Macallan 22 Year, and Highland park 1990.

Since Whiskey drinkers tend to be cigar friendly, The Hotel Humidor will be providing a goody bag with Davidoff Brand Cigars handpicked to take home, including The Griffins and Camacho cigars.
The dinner is priced at $99 per person, and exclusive of tax and gratuity. Seats are limited, reservations required. Future dinners will take place the last Tuesday of every month and themes will be announced in advanced.

Edge, Steak & Bar is located at 1435 Brickell Avenue on the 7th floor of Four Seasons Hotel Miami.

                                          1. (Macallan 17)

                           Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Maple Whiskey Jelly, Rabbit Rillettes and Pinenut Praline

2.     (Famous Grouse 18)

Blue Crab Bisque and Crab Salad, American Caviar and Black Pepper Grissini

3.     (Macallan 18)

Butter Roasted Squab with French Lentils, Blood Sausage, Burnt Brussels Sprouts

4.     (1990 highland)

Salt Crusted Rocky Mountain Buffalo Rib Eye Slow Smoked Rib with Whiskey Creamed Black Trumpet Mushrooms, White asparagus.

                         Special whiskey infused dessert will be announced at the dinner.

Edge Steak & Bar

Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Date-Jean Paul's House (Wynwood)

Jean Paul's House opened a couple of weeks ago in the Wynwood section of Miami.  It is owned by chef Jean Paul Desmaison who started his cooking career in Peru at La Cofradia.  In 2005, he moved to Miami and opened a La Cofradia in Coral Gables.  He eventually left to explore other business ventures.

Jean Paul's House Restaurant and Market

Jean Paul's is located in a renovated house that has a modern cottage feel to it.  There is a long bar with ample seating that is perfect for solo diners or those who enjoy eating at the bar.  It should be noted that happy hour starts at 3pm with half price beer and wine until 5:30 p.m.  A happy hour tapas menu is also in the works as is a market in the back section of the house.  There is also outdoor seating available.

The menu is currently broken down into five sections consisting of bites, appetizers, crudos, salads and entrees plus sandwiches during lunch.  They also have a reasonably priced wine list with several by the glass options.

I started off at the "bite" section of the menu and found a real gem in the garbanzos, spinach and chorizo dish.  This dish had a real nice balance of flavors and was a steal at $4.00.

Next up was the Eggplant Carpaccio.  It featured a very fresh and thinly sliced grilled eggplant topped with shaved reggiano and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 

From the salad section I opted for the beets, blood oranges and avocado salad.  There was a nice contrast of flavors here that paired nicely together.  The only issue I had with this dish was the amount of greens on the plate but that's coming from a non salad eater.

Jean Paul's grilled octopus was a really nice dish.  It was comprised of very fresh and perfectly cooked pieces of octopus.  It was paired with roasted garlic, peppers, olives, tomatoes and fingerling potatoes.  

In a nutshell, this was a very nice first meal in a very inviting setting that showed a lot of promise.  Everything was prepared with a light touch that allowed the ingredients to standout on their own.   Prices are reasonable and I will be back for a second date and more for sure.  I look forward to working my way through the rest of the menu.

There may be a diamond in the rough of Wynwood.

 Jean Paul's House on Urbanspoon

Hours: Monday – Friday Lunch 11:30 am – 3 pm
Happy Hour and Small Bites Monday – Friday 3:30 – 5:30 pm
Monday – Thursday Dinner 6 – 10 pm
Friday & Saturday Dinner 6 – 11 pm
Close Saturday Lunch and all day Sundays

Jean Paul’s House
2426 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33137

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Maker's Mark Tasting @ Yarbdird 2/21/12

Rob Samuels, the grandson of Maker's Mark founder will be pouring his Bourbon over at Yardbird on February 21, 2012.  This is a good opportunity to learn a little about the production while enjoying a free Maker's tasting.  Just hope they don't charge for neat drinks or rocks...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Barbuto Pizzeria 3.0.5.

 The Genuine Hospitality Group
When Michael Schwartz announced that Harry's Pizzeria was going to host a series of pop-up dinners with visiting chefs who were promoting new cookbooks, I thought it was a great idea and a cool concept.  When I saw that Jonathan Waxman was going to be one of the featured chefs, I wet myself.  Okay, not so much but I was very excited to see his name on the list and I couldn't wait for tickets to go on sale.  I became a big fan while watching him on season two of  Top Chef Masters and have wanted to pay a visit to his popular West Village restaurant, Barbuto

Chef Waxman didn't come to town trying to "hawk" his new cookbook Italian, My Way by making the customary rounds at local book stores. No, he rolled up his sleeves and hit the wood burning oven at Harry's and I'm glad he did.  Thus, let me share some inside information with you.  Italian, My Way contains more than 150 simple and inspired recipes that breathe new life into Italian classics and can be purchased on Amazon for the low price of $19.15.

                            MASTERS AT WORK

The Genuine Hospitality Group
The Genuine Hospitality Group
Chef Herron & Waxman. The Genuine Hospitality Group
For my non food obsessed followers, chef Waxman started his culinary career in San Francisco at the prestigious Chez Panisse where he was a protégé of Alice Waters. He subsequently did the West Coast/East Coast thing for several years before opening Barbuto in 2003.

If you don't know who chef Schwartz is and you reside in South Florida, please stop reading this now and run over to one of the best restaurants in town, Michaels Genuine Food & Drink.  

On February 1, 2012 chef Waxman along with help from chef Schwartz, chef Herron and the Genuine team, wowed 30 or so guests with dishes primarily featured in his new book. The food may use simple ingredients and be prepared in a straightforward manner but it is executed flawlessly and packed with delicious flavors in every bite.  This is seriously kick ass cuisine.

Chef Schwartz and crew were #1 on my Top Meals of 2010 list and I anticipate that this meal will end up very high on my meals of the year list for 2012.

This pop-up was broken down into four courses plus antipasti and contorni.  The food was appropriately  served family style which I enjoyed.

Before eating we were served a JW Flip comprised of blood orange, ruby grapefruit, Diplomatico rum, meyer lemon-vanilla syrup.  This was as good as a pink drink gets, not that I've had one before.


The Genuine Hospitality Group
The Genuine Hospitality Group

The first morsel of food I sampled was a crunchy bruschetta topped with a soft, fresh and nicely seasoned pompano tartare. This was a great first bite but the next one, a wood roasted shrimp spiedini delivered the first "holy shit that was good" moment.  The plump shrimp were perfectly cooked on skewers and seasoned with an awesomely spicy habanero salsa that walloped my taste buds.  This spicy bite will undoubtedly make my top dishes list for 2012.

The final antipasti was a lobster arancini that was good but outshone by the shrimp spiedini.  


 The Genuine Hospitality Group
I'm not a huge fan of fried food these days so I wasn't overly excited about trying the fritto misto. However, Chef Waxman's version had a crisp subtle batter that complemented the fresh Thai eggplant, onions and fennel rather than overpower them. This was surprisingly enjoyable and a dish I found myself reaching for more.

The Genuine Hospitality Group
The last insalati was a salad that I could live on.  It featured conch, arugula, spinach & Seville oranges. The conch was outstanding on its own and paired with impeccably dressed and seasoned greens which made it difficult to put your fork down.

The Genuine Hospitality Group
As most of my followers know, I'm a huge pizza fan and was thus excited to try chef Waxman's pie.  He served a quattro formaggio, with local tomatoes, spinach, and bacon.  I can't tell you what the four cheeses were but I can tell you that this was a fantastic pizza.  The dough had a tasty chew and a perfectly crisp crust. The toppings were fresh and paired well together. Normally, the presence of bacon dominates the flavor of a pie but there was just a hint of it here. The cheese to dough to topping ratio was ideal and resulted in a knockout pie. On a side note, I'd love to know if he packed that dough in his carry on or used Miami tap..?? Regardless, I hope he left the recipe at Harry's.


The Genuine Hospitality Group

The Genuine Hospitality Group
The last main plate was the JW chicken al forno with salsa verde. This was one of the best chicken dishes I've ever had.  The Chicken was roasted perfectly in the wood oven resulting in a really crispy skin yet full of  tender and succulent meat. It was topped with a salsa verde that was even better than the bird.  Everything should be topped with some Waxy verde. He should jar that stuff.

The Genuine Hospitality Group

Ohhh look at that snapper. Bery Nice!!!

Waxy always makes me feel warm and tasty.  The Genuine Hospitality Group

Chef Waxman continued his battery on my taste buds with a moist and meaty Mutton snapper that was  roasted whole in the wood burning oven. I'm not exactly sure what the snapper was stuffed with prior to roasting but the result was awesome and even better than the chicken.


The Genuine Hospitality Group

Side dishes consisted of a wilted kale with garlic and sea salt and a delicious Swiss chard gratin.


The Genuine Hospitality Group
The Genuine Hospitality Group

The evening ended with a nice trip down the sweet side of Italy via a passion fruit coconut semifreddo and biscotti. 

This dinner was a real treat.  It was perfectly paced, fun and delicious. I'm looking forward to the third dinner of the pop-up series which features James Beard Award-winning chef Marc Vetri who will share recipes from his new cookbook, Rustic Italian Food.  It's on February 22 and includes a signed copy of the book.  Tickets can be purchased online via the link below.  See you there!

Barbuto on Urbanspoon

775 Washington Street New York, NY 10014 @ West 12th Street
t 212.924.9700
 Harry's Pizzeria
3918 North Miami Avenue  Miami, FL 33127
(786) 275-4963

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rhone Wine Dinner @ Sustain 2/16/12

I attended and really enjoyed the last two wine dinners hosted by Sustain.  The next one features the wines of Rhone and this one sounds like a winner too.

Discover the versatile, elegant and rich, wines of the Rhone, a tasting paired with food featuring the following producers:
reception at the bar
Chateau Trinquevedel, Tavel Rose, '10
1st course
octopus carpaccio / preserved meyer lemon / fried capers
Domaine de Monpertuis, Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc, '09
2nd course
smoked magret of duck / duck confit en crepinette /
duck sausage / braised lentils
Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux, Vacqueyras, '09
3rd course
braised 慾ackman ranch� short rib / glazed root vegetables
Domaine Faury, Saint-Joseph, '09
Patrick Jasmin, Cote Rotie, '05
to finish
lemon-lavender souffl� / passion fruit curd
[plus tax + gratuity]
reservations only
Sustain Restaurant is located at:

3252 NE 1st Ave
#107 Miami, FL 33137

Phone: 305.424.9079

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cobaya A+! Back to School with Bloise (1/30/12)

star chefs
In 2010, he opened the now defunct American Noodle Bar where I enjoyed several great dishes, most coming from his daily special blackboard.  His pork belly and spicy melons dish was ranked # 17 on my best dishes for 2010 list which included some serious national competition.  His Crispy Pig's Head Ballotine with Asian pear, spicy mustard and crostini special made my 2011 best dish list.

My co-conspirators and I had discussed doing a Cobaya dinner with him while he was at American Noodle but it unfortunately never came to fruition.  Needless to say, we were very excited to finally get him in the Cobaya kitchen.


Chef Bloise who has an interesting and unique Italian/Vietnamese background is currently executive chef at Sushi Samba, the "sexy and they know it" Japanese/Peruvian/Brazilian restaurant on Lincoln Road.

Chef Bloise really put a lot of effort into coming up with a unique and playful menu. He opted for a clever "school lunch" theme and transported thirty guinea pigs back to school a la Rodney Dangerfield.  This was easily the most creative Cobaya to date.  A+  for creativity and effort.

We started the night "brown baggin' it" along with a deliciously doctored juice box.  The box featured unfiltered apple juice, vanilla and acai vodka which we youthfully sipped through that tiny straw glued to the box.  We need to start a petition to keep Chef Bloise away from the Common Threads program...

Our brown bag featured some high end "lunchables".  Rabbit ham, truffled mozz, manchego and thyme crackers provided for a few really nice bites. No mystery meat here!

Next up was the Taco Belly Trio which was my favorite overall dish of the night.  This featured three awesome bellies of lamb, pork and tuna.  Chef Bloise knew that I loved his pork belly and spicy melon dish at American Noodle and created a spin on that dish which combined pork belly, melon, nuoc cham and Thai basil. Home run. Accompanying the pork was a lamb belly taco with mint and blood orange and a tuna, butter, garlic, soy taco. All three had great flavors and textures.   

The final savory course featured "The Tray" which contained some big hits and a couple of slight misses.  The scallop tater tots with kimchi ketchup were excellent and should end up on my 2012 best dish list.  I also really enjoyed the spicy pork cheek empanada that was paired with an awesome black bean ice cream.  The country fried beef tongue with foie country gravy sounded better on paper than it turned out primarily because I didn't love the fry and the foie flavor got lost in the mix.  Moreover, I wasn't crazy about the paiche linguica corn dog with kabocha mustard.  I'm not a corn dog fan to begin with and I thought the paiche was overwhelmed by the fried dough. That said, the kobocha mustard was solid and I wouldn't be surprised if some people in the crowd loved this dish.  The vegetable medley pudding cup was another winner for me. It was a fun way to eat your veggies and I loved the smooth texture that took me back to my days as an infant.

School ended with two desserts. First up, Tripe Churros and cobbler with bone marrow tempura.  Tripe and bone marrow dessert?? hahaha A++!!!

Just before the bell rang we were served a second dessert which was a sweet version of Spaghetti and Meatballs.  It paired panna cotta noodles, strawberries, cherries and chocolate ice cream. This was a crowd-pleaser for sure but a tad too sweet for me. 

Chef Bloise clearly understood the concept of Cobaya and delivered an extremely imaginative and fun dinner. He is a talented and very creative chef who delivers some really kick ass food.   I highly recommend paying him a visit at Sushi Samba.

SUSHISAMBA dromo on Urbanspoon

600 Lincoln Rd
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 673-5337