Saturday, January 19, 2013

Best Meals 2102 # 7 "omakase" with Jeffrey Brana @ Tuyo

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!!


#11 Cobaya "Dundee" @ Edge Steak & Bar
#10 Tasting of Bordeaux @ Bourbon Steak
#9   Barbuto Pizzeria, Jonathan Waxman @ Harry's Pizzeria
#8  Empire State South Pizzeria Hugh Acheson @ Harry's Pizzeria

Tuyo is located atop the Miami Culinary Institute in downtown Miami.  It's the home of Miami legend Norman Van Aiken.  It's also home to one of the most underrated chefs in town, Jeffrey Brana.  Jeffrey took home the 3rd and 10th spots in last years Best Meals Rankings along with the Dish of the Year.

It took me a while to get to Tuyo but I'm sure glad I finally did.  When I told Jeff that I was rounding up a posse of die hard food lovers he immediately asked if we would give him free rein to do a tasting menu. Omakase Brana?  Sold!

The entourage included the usual suspects,  Food for Thought, Miami Restaurant Power Rankings, Blind Tastes and JDonn.

Dinner was a fantastic eleven course meal featuring the trademark finesse and respect for the ingredients that make Jeffrey so great.  The sommelier did a great job pairing great wines throughout the meal.

This was another meal that I failed to write about.  Thus, I've attached some of my tweets from the dinner since they provide my instant reactions to the dishes.

If you have never experienced the wonderful cooking of Jeffrey, I highly recommend doing so.  He is as good as they come.

It's on!!! No holds barred tasting with @jeffreybrana at Tuyo.

Hogfish amuse bouche with hogfish gelee.

Chef @jeffreybrana's "beef nuta" fat in between ribeye cap with saikyo miso, sake & Japanese mustard #Tuyo

Caviar with twice baked potato.

Awesome house cured guanciale via @jeffreybrana @normanvanaken at Tuyo

Nice smoked cobia @ Tuyo w @jeffreybrana

Fresh bean curd & pigs foot broth and favas.

Florida soft shell shrimp with lemon scallion sauce.

I'm not exactly sure what happened but I neglected to take a photo of the delicious rabbit and foie gras dish.

Best "grouper" of all time..Florida black bass w/ porcini, seaweed lime and smoked fishbone jus @jeffreybrana sauce great.

Wine pairings have been fantastic thus far @ Tuyo. Cc @jeffreybrana@normanvanaken

Porgy with roasted vegetables, uni "butter" sauce.

Another missing photo of a fantastic dish.  "lips and shreds" rib eye cap, crispy shredded ribeye, malabar spinach, fish sauce caramel.

Golden beet sorbet.

Cinnamon ice cream with mole drops.

If you haven't been to Tuyo, do yourself a favor and go.@jeffreybrana and @normanvanaken are on their A++ games. Fantastic wine too

Tuyo (Miami Culinary Institute) on Urbanspoon

At the rooftop of Miami Culinary Institute
Miami Dade College
415 N.E. Second Ave.
Downtown Miami, FL 33132

Reserve Online

Tues.-Sat, 6 - 10:30 p.m.
Closed Sun. and Mon.

Valet parking available

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