I decided mid way through the year that I wasn't going to do a best meal or best dish list this year because there were already way too many great ones in the mix. From the delicious and fun visiting chef Pop Up Series hosted by chef Michael Schwartz at Harry's Pizzeria, to the great monthly themed dinners hosted by chef Aaron Brooks at Edge Steak & Bar, to some wonderful wine and champagne dinners along the way and of course, the "underground and experimental" dinners we throw with some creative and talented chefs over at Cobaya Miami.
But some of these meals were truly exceptional and memorable. And I wanted to go back and give them the credit they deserve.
I must admit that ranking these meals was very difficult as all were truly outstanding. As with my normal "tiers", these rankings take all facets of the meal into consideration. While food is the primary component, phenomenal wine or simply a great time will bolster ones rating.
I intended on limiting the list to my Top Twelve for 2012 but it was impossible to cut down to 12. Thus, I went with my top Fifteen plus a tie.
Big thanks to all of the chefs, kitchen crews, managers, sommeliers, bartenders, servers and support staff for making 2012 another happy year for my belly!!
#15 Cobaya Dunch @ neMesis Urban Bistro
#15 J & G Grill Tasting Menu
#14 Hurricane Sandy Relief Dinner @ The Dutch
My thirteenth best meal of the year featured a combination of amazing wine from Chateau Palmer paired with the flawless food of chef Aaron Brooks and his team at Edge Steak & Bar.
The dinner was hosted by Andrew Lampasone owner of the great wine shop in Ft. Lauderdale, Wine Watch. I highly recommend visiting his "cave" where you will find some very good bottles. He also hosts several tastings and dinners throughout the year that I would encourage you to attend. You can find upcoming events here.
Chef Brooks knew he needed to bring his A game and he did. Each dish offered great combinations of ingredients and flavors which is a trademark of chef Brooks.
If you still haven't made it down to the Four Seasons and Edge Steak & Bar, do yourself a favor and go. Chef Brooks is easily one of Miami's best chefs.
The evening started with a champagne reception featuring a very nice Ployez-Jacquemart Brut NV. It is a blend of 75% Pinot Noir and Pinot Meuiner and 25% Chardonnay.
The next course was a squab cooked on hay with foie gras sausage paired with a hibiscus jus and cauliflower cream. This was paired with a 2005 Chateau Palmer Alter Ego Margaux.
Chef Brooks was feeling evil and served us 'devils on a horseback'. Here, he served a slow cooked Berkshire pork belly with drunken prunes, fried egg and toast. This was paired with a dynamite 2004 Chateau Palmer Margaux and a 2006 Chateau Palmer Margaux.
The main course was an aged prime Creekstone Farms 'Cote de Bouef'. It was cooked perfectly and very tender. It was paired with smoked mashed potatoes and a very tasty spinach flan. We were treated to a phenomenal pairing of 1995 and 1996 Chateau Palmer Margaux.
New pastry chef, Sarah Thompson ended the evening with a nice roasted mission fig tart, almond cream and tupelo honey ice cream. Andrew opted for a 2006 Chateau Lafaurie Peyraguey Sauternes to end the night.
Wonderful wines, wonderful experience, wonderful food wonderful night!
Edge, Steak & Bar is located at 1435 Brickell Avenue on the 7th floor of Four Seasons Hotel Miami, and serves dinner nightly from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Telephone: (305) 381-3190;