Thursday, November 14, 2013

CobayaBelly with Chef Jose Mendin 11.11.13


It was a bloody Monday for 60 Guinea pigs who were slaughtered as part of Cobaya Experiment 37. Chef Jose Mendin had a gothic vision for the evening and he killed it.

The candle lit dining room may have been over run by a group of rabid gourmet guinea pigs but there was no doubt that Chef Medin was in compete control. It was a lively crowd that became more energized with each creative and impressive dish.

It was an aggressive menu that delivered a ton of great flavors from start to finish.

In a nutshell, it was a great time, a great group in a great setting, paired with great food and drinks which resulted in an all around fantastic Cobaya.

Thank you Chef Mendin, Andreas Schreiner, Sergio Navarro and your entire team. It was an impressive display in every way.

The quote of the night goes to the guy who roared "thanks to the brains" as Chef Mendin was introducing and thanking his kitchen crew.

And I neglected to congratulate the couple who were recently married and celebrating their honeymoon Cobaya Style. Congratulations. That's an awesome way to roll.

I'm sure by now you are familiar with Chef Mendin and his success as Chef/Partner at Pubbelly, PB Steak, Pubbelly Sushi as well as his fairly new lunch pop up Taco Belly. He has a new venture in the works that should be open called L’Echon Brasserie. It will be located at the Hilton Cabana Hotel on Miami Beach. I'm sure it will be another hit and well worth visiting. For those unfamiliar with Jose and the Belly's, I wrote about him and PB Steak back in March and you can read that recap here.

The night featured several knockout dishes. My favorites were the veal brains thanks to the soft and creamy texture of the brains along with the fantastic flavor of the squid ink and soy. The szechuan style tripe dish was one of the best tripe preparations I've had. The execution and flavors were flawless. It's three days later and I still can't pinpoint exactly what it was that had me wanting more and more of the smoked tongue papperdelle. The three passed appetizers to start the night were outstanding as well. Oxtail, bone marrow and sweetbreads were all prepared in unique and extremely tasty ways.

Below is a photo recap of the night. I was dark so pardon the quality.

Thank you to all the guinea pigs for coming out and for all those who requested seats. You support keeps the Cobaya Bus rolling. Stay tuned.

    The packed, candle lit room was the perfect setting for this fun and energetic evening.

   A special wine pairing option was offered along with four cocktails. Yes, the Burlesque Old        
   Fashioned was included for me. Thank you.

The aforementioned Burlesque Old Fashioned comprised of Four Roses Bourbon, Benedictine, Hibiscus Syrup and Burlesque Syrup.

Passed Appetizers
                              Crispy Sweetbreads with fermented black bean sauce and carrot ginger slaw

                            Oxtail Croquettes with caramelized onion purée and valdeon aioli

    Not pictured was a fantastic Bone Marrow pumpernickel toast, short rib, raisins, pickles

Stabbed in the Beef Heart Tartare
(Niman Ranch Cattle, California)
                  Peruvian aji panca rustic dressing, pickled baby onions, blood sausage filone toast

                                                              The blood sausage filone toast

Close up of the blood sausage filone toast

Szechuan Style Tripe
braised in juniper berries, allspice, cinnamon, orange, then fried and glazed with a reduction of chilies and sugar. raw slaw of shaved brussels sprouts, Florida green onions, ginger and garlic

Veal Brains Meuniere
(Strauss Family Farms, Wisconsin)
black butter made with squid ink and soy, roasted huitlacoche, oregon chanterelles, fava beans, end of the season sweet corn, parmigiano reggiano

Red Oak Smoked Tongue Papardelle
(Jackman Ranch Wagyu Cattle, Florida)
tuscan kale from Robert Borek Farms in Homestead, dry shiitake, nicoise olives, umami jus

30 Day Dry Aged Prime Rib
(Cox Familiy Farms, Alabama)
beef blood jus, fall mushrooms, baby pumpkin souffle, vidalia onions with sauce bordelaise

The baby pumpkin souffle, vidalia onions with sauce bordelaise

Ice Cream Sundaes
with fudge, nut brittle and toasted coconut

Jose and manager Monique Hernandez who did a great job with the front of the house and bar.

    Chef Mendin introducing his team at the end of the meal to a boisterous crowd.

    "Thanks to the Brains"
PB Steak
1787 Purdy Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 695-9550

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