Friday, September 27, 2013

Cobaya Bachour @ St. Regis Bal Harbour 9.21.13


The latest Cobaya experiment could be dubbed "Cobaya Iron Chef" as this was Pastry Chef extraordinaire, Antonio "nitro coco" Bachour's third visit into the Cobaya Kitchentory not including the Hurricane Sandy Cobaya Charity Dinner last year at The Dutch. His first foray was at Cobaya Jeremiah Bullfrog followed by Cobaya J&G Grill. Forget that James Beard guy, the Cobaya Hall of Fame is calling his name.  

Cobaya Bachour was a departure from our normal dinners.  The plan, concocted by a secret scientist, the honorable Judge Hslaw, was to do an afternoon tea event as a change of pace. This plan played to the strength of Antonio's sweet skills. But Antonio wanted to push the envelope further by taking a walk on the dark savory side.  Pastry chef gone wild!!


Forty gourmet guinea pigs gathered in the lobby of the luxurious St. Regis in Bal Harbour at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon. We were escorted into the Bar, Lounge and Wine Vault where Antonio's army  awaited.  Eye popping and jaw dropping pastries and sweet treats were on full display.  I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory holding that golden ticket.

As expected, Antonio with an assist from new hotel Executive Chef Tom Parlo served some satisfying sandwiches.

And of course, he dazzled us with a scintillating display of dynamite desserts.  As usual, his pastries pounced all over our palates.  His pastry passion was on full display and we got to enjoy his pastry parade.    

Big thanks to Antonio, Tom and the entire team at the St. Regis for a special afternoon.  And thanks to all of the "Guniea Pigs" for your continued Cobaya support. 

p.s. Don't forget to place your order for Antonio's new book.  Pre Order HERE.

The festivities started with the traditional sabering of champagne followed by flowing bubbles.

St. Regis new Executive Chef, Thomas Parlo providing Antonio with a savory hand.

The Golden Egg. Egg salad, cucumber gelee and a generous dollop of osetra caviar.

The Savory Tray of Tea Sandwiches.

A superb salmon macaron and a salmon eclair.

Lovely lobster roll.

Burrata with dried tomatoes and balsamic pearls.

"nicoise salad"

Curried chicken cornet.

Dr. Evil Bachour  "One million pastries"

The Pastry Parade Buffet.

Still going.

And going.

And going.

And going.

And going.





Cherry Tart.

Dulcey Macarons.


Caramelia, Apple Compote, Whipped Namelaka, Caramel.


Dessert of the day. Coconut Pineapple.

Red Velvet, Dulcey, Passion Fruit



THE BACHOUR MOBILE. kidding. I think.. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Best Sandwiches Miami

An update to my best favorite sandwiches in Miami list has been long overdue. So without further ado I present the best sandwiches in Miami plus a few worth crossing the border for. It should be noted that these are in no particular order. Eat well and eat often.


Ahh The Big Ragout.  This beast of a sandwich is what pulled me into Chef Danny Serfer's spot in Little Haiti the Uppereast side of Miami, Blue Collar.  It features hollowed out crusty bread, pork and veal shoulder, brisket, fresh mozz and parm. The perfect call for NCAA and NFL game days.


Chef Serfer has another sandwich hit on his hands with the famous "Corben."  Named after one the best documentary directors in the country, Cocaine Cowboys/The U and Miami's own Billy Corben.  Here chef Serfer pairs delicious brisket on two Portuguese muffins with dijon and dipping jus.  It also comes with latkes and apple sauce.  Insider tip, go crazy and order the Chowfather Burger which is topped with the big ragout plus some other treats and a Corbenito, a solo Corben along with Perkins Pie.  You're welcome.

Ladies and gentleman in the right corner is the undisputed Pastrami Champion of the 305 and it can be found at Schwartz's Deli located occasionally inside Michael's Genuine Food & Drink during lunch hours.  Chef Schwartz's pastrami is housemade and served with cave aged gruyere, red cabbage slaw, thousand island dressing and grilled ciabatta.  If you see it on the menu order one before they are gone. Insider tip. If at brunch order the Berry The Kid Special.  That would be a side of pastrami and a biscuit.  Shhh.

Chef Mendin's spot on riff of the McRib satisfies the soul.  The McBelly can be found at Pubbelly and features pork belly, kimchee, pickled cucumbers and thinly sliced onions.  They would sell a million of these if they had a drive thru.

Chef Mendin has two that make the list.  His Steak Tartare Sliders topped with frites, truffle and parmesan are a must get at PB Steak.

A newcomer to the Miami scene is Preservation in Sunny Isles.  Chef Ryan Harrison has a few great tasting sandwiches on the menu that I need to go and try.  I have had his pastrami and I suggest you do too.  It's housemade, smoked and topped with pickled slaw and hickory island dressing.  It can be ordered cold or warm.  The choice is yours.
The Dub can be found at Proper Sausages and consists of Berkshire pork, applewood smoked Berkshire pork, fresh thyme, habanero chile powder, allspice, fresh garlic.  Here it is served on a Portuguese muffin with red peppers and onion.  All sausages are housemade and sold retail.

The above killer sandwich is courtesy of Chef Bracha at  Oak Tavern. It's a rabbit pâté topped with fried shallots, radish salad, mustard and toasted rye.

Quite possibly the best bite in town, the Little Oyster Sandwiches at The Dutch.

The B.E.L.T via The Dutch. You guessed right.

Andrew Carmellini's NY spot, The Sausage Boss occasionally makes a cameo at The Dutch and we are lucky it does.

Staten Island Style Sausage, Peppers & Onions Hero at Macaluso's Miami.

The Canadian Classic features Willy Krauch Nova Scotia smoked salmon cream cheese, red onion on a St. Viateur Bagel from Montreal.  This beauty can be found at Milos.

Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis on Urbanspoon

Andrew Zimmern's fantastic food truck, AZ Canteen spent last season roaming the streets of Miami.  I am placing the Cabrito Grinder, a dynamite blend of Pat La Frieda goat sausage with cabbage slaw on the list in optimistic anticipation of their arrival again this season.

AZ Canteen on Urbanspoon

If we are fortunate enough to have AZ Canteen back in Miami you also want to order the griddled veal tongue on toasted Parker roll with lemon, capers, arugula and tonnato sauce.

Okay, technically not a sandwich but it's close enough plus this is my list and my blog. Oh and this Chicken Liver Crostini is one of the best bites in town via Schwartz's Deli at  Michael's Genuine Food & Drink. Go ahead and stack two and make your own sandwich.  Winner Winner Chicken Liver Dinner.

Sticking with the departure theme I am going to include this awesome almost sandwich from My Ceviche.  The Octopus Burrito consists of a grilled flour tortilla, coconut jasmine rice, cilantro, pickled red onions, queso fresco, corn and Mexican crema.


Mmmm the #90 with cheese please.  This authentic cheesesteak can be found at Sonny's Famous Steak Hogies in West Hollywood.  Ribeye and a perfect housemade hogie is hard to put down.

Sonny's Famous Steak Hogies on Urbanspoon

As my iPhone auto correct LOVES to say Bang Mi!! I'll bang this Banh Mi any day.  You can find this  grilled pork, chicken and fried egg at Pho 78.  $5.75 mi love you long time.

Torta fans need to cross the border and pay a visit to Chapultepec in Hallandale.  Pictured is the Torta huge Torta de Asado with lettuce, tomato and jalepeno for cinco dolores.  Si! Me gusta.


Pastrami @ Josh's Deli
Meatball Hero @ Macaluso's Market

Tuna salad @ Epicure Market (not the fat free one)
Shrimp Po-Boy @ Rumcake Factory (food truck)
Crispy Duck @ Sakaya Kitchen
Seared Tuna with kimchi aioli @ Crumb on Parchment
Pate @ Le Sandwicherie
Salami Provolone with all toppings @ Le Sandwicherie
Pork Buns @ Sakaya Kitchen
ET Bagel with Nova/Lox @ Sage Bagel & Deli
Brisket/corned beef or pastrami @ Sage Bagel & Deli
Italian Special @ La Spada
Monster @ La Spada
Grilled Mahi @ Garcia's
"Proper" Sausage @ The Broken Shaker
Lobster Roll @ Kelly's Landing
Pan con minuta from @ La Camaronera

To Do's

Pan Con Lechon @ Enriquetas
Cheesesteak @ Alibi
Pastrami @ Pumpernick's
Primo's on South Beach
pan con lechon @ Papo Llega y Pon
Pimiento Cheese & Fried Green Tomato Sandwich w/ hydroponic arugula, 3 fried green tomatoes, pecanwood smoked bacon @ Whisk Gourmet
UN-Traditional B.L.T. w/ thick cut pecanwood smoked bacon, hydroponic arugula, tomato, herb buttermilk spread, & sliced avocado @ Whisk Gourmet
Gusto Fino (Coral Gables)

SADLY Pirolo's Panino currently sleeps with the fishes.  Comeback in the works?

Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know.