Saturday, January 12, 2013

BEST MEALS of 2012 #15 Cobaya "Dunch" @ neMesis Urban Bistro

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.

Ranking these was not easy 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!! 


In at number fifteen for 2012 was a wonderful breakfast lunch dinner no brunch "dunch" hosted by the magnificent Micah Edelstein.  When we started planning this Cobaya, Micah tossed out the idea of doing a Sunday brunch because she was closed on Sundays plus she had never done one.  The Cobaya boys were brunch virgins as well so we were all excited to pop that brunch cherry. One small problem, Micah has vampire tendencies and doesn't rise before noon.  Thus, the brunch slowly became dunch. And I'm glad it did because the guinea pigs and I were treated to a fantastic meal and a great time.  

Getting to sit next to the most popular guinea pig, the beautiful and lovely Belkys Nerey was an added treat.

My original recap is below.

Cobaya neMesis 6/24/12


NeMesis Urban Bistro

That funky little spot on the periphery of downtown Miami that serves fantastic global cuisine played host to the latest Cobaya experiment.   neMesis Urban Bistro is located in the Legal Arts Building a few blocks west of the American Airlines Arena and close to the Adrienne Arsht Center.  It's one of my favorite spots in town and also one of the best.  It's the brainchild of former Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein.  Micah has traveled the world and her culinary experiences are clearly on display throughout her menu.  Not surprisingly, her Cobaya menu followed suit.

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When we approached Micah about doing a Cobaya she immediately mentioned her desire to do a fun Sunday afternoon Brunch since she had never done one. We were brunch virgins as well and were ready to pop our brunch cherries so it was a perfect match. It should be noted that the brunch sort of turned into "dunch" since Micah and crew allegedly do not function before noon.


Thus, thirty hungry guinea pigs assembled at Micah's funky restaurant at 3pm on Sunday June 24, 2012. For those wondering, yes, there were people still floating out of Club Space from the night before. Who needs bath salts and molly when you have Cobaya?? (insert cured pig's face joke here)

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Micah's Brain

The mind of Micah                                                     

Yes, this was the actual menu for the day. Our table had fun trying to follow the creative mind of Micah and decipher each course. 

The first course was titled, "Have you met the muffin wo-man?" On the left is a vin santo Mallorcan raisin nutmeg muffin topped with garam masala Parma butter and local all spice jackfruit jam. This was paired with a delicious lamb bacon caramelized shallot muffin topped with piri piri meringue and passion fruit lavender mint jam. As you can see, there were lots of layers of flavors with very bite along with the pleasant textures of the muffins. This was a nice start to the meal.

The next course was zucchini currant bread French Toast a/k/a pain perdu. The bread was filled with a creamy Winter Park Dairy "Blue Sunshine" cheese. It was paired with a Peruvian hierba luisa syrup and topped with spiced pecan crumble and spicy duck sage sausage. I enjoyed this dish primary because of the texture of the bread along with the "Blue Sunshine" filling.

This was paired with our first cocktail of the day. Mixologist Micah served a chicha morada sangria mixed with Italian lambrusco and topped with a small dice of fruit. Micah explained to us that chicha morada is a Peruvian drink that she fell in love with while hiking through the Sacred Valley. It's made from a long slow cooking process of purple corn, fruit skins & spices.

"Bacon Bits" arrived next. On the left is a lamb belly that was spiced rubbed, cured and rosemary smoked. It's resting on a naked potato salad, minted greek yogurt and pomegranate dots. The second bit featured a local goat belly that was spice rubbed, cured and sage smoked. It is sitting on on a duck egg frozen custard and crumpet. I enjoyed both bites on this unique bacon as well as the supporting cast.

Up next was an awesome spin on a classic dish, eggs benedict. Here, Micah marinated whole rabbits sourced from Seriously Organic, in a housemade bulgogi sauce. After they were braised, the meat was shredded and served on a crispy jasmine infused rice cake and paired with an orange 5-spice hollandaise. It was topped with a perfectly poached Lake Meadow Naturals duck egg and crispy chives. Each component of this dish was outstanding on its own but they combined to form a fantastic overall dish.


It was paired with a unique carrot, ginger, orange mimosa. The juices were freshly squeezed and mixed with organic Tiamo prosecco.
photo by CGuz

Micah provided us with another twist on an old school dish. This time she went Jewish Deli on us with a version latkes and lox. Micah opted for one of my favorite cured salmons, gravlax. It was thinly sliced and topped with an nice apple cognac sauce, mascarpone dots, mustard fennel dressing, picked mustard seeds and apple jicama slaw. It was paired with torn fingerling potatoes. I thoroughly enjoyed very bite of this dish.

It was paired with a very refreshing Hefe Shandy. This featured a combination of Hopf Hefeweizen beer from Miesbach, Germany and a house made Hierba Luisa soda. Micah explained that hierba luisa is used as a tea in peru.

The crew hard at work preparing the Rooibos Amarula tea-uccino.

The meal ended with a wonderful tropical fruit shortcake featuring mango, dragon fruit, balsamic macerated peaches, passion fruit, and topped with some mango butter and smoked organic whipped cream.

The last pairing of the day was a Rooibos "Red Bush" tea-uccino. It was made with organic milk and Amarula which is a combination of marula fruit which is fermented in oak for two years and blended with cream. Micah claimed that elephants travel hundreds of miles for this fruit which causes intoxication.

This was a fun way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon. It doesn't get better than sharing great food with a great group of food lovers. Big thanks to all the guinea pigs in attendance and thanks for the continued support. 

And thank you chef Micah and your team for participating in an "experiment" and for taking us on another wonderful journey around the world.

If you haven't been to neMesis yes, I would recommend paying a visit soon before it becomes impossible to get a seat. Sit back, relax and enjoy the journey.

Legalart Building
1035 N Miami Ave

MiamiFL 33136
(305) 415-9911

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