Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cobaya Niu Kitchen with Chef Deme Lomas 11/23/15

Niu Kitchen, the little restaurant that could.  Intimate, cozy, lively, friendly, charming and most importantly delicious.  The dining area is tight and the kitchen is as small as they get but the front and back of the house deliver a large restaurant caliber experience.

It's easily the best all around small restaurant in town.

Niu is a Catalan inspired restaurant that opened without the normal Miami fanfare about a year and a half ago.  It's located near the American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami.  "Like Catalans themselves, we are eclectic and just a little bit eccentric. We mix the local with the exotic. The seasonal with the sophisticated. We play with the finest regional ingredients and make them simply extraordinary. "

Manning the broom closet kitchen is chef/owner Deme Lomas who hails from Barcelona.  He successfully puts a unique spin on traditional Catalan ingredients and dishes.  Last April, he was one of ten chefs in the gulf coast nominated by Food & Wine magazine for People's Best New Chef.  Co-owner Karina Iglesias runs a warm and hospitable front of the house.

I initially wrote about Niu back in July of 2014 shortly after they opened (unfortunately, 3 of the 4 spots mentioned are now closed). "The next stop is a real hidden gem. Niu Kitchen is a brand new Catalan inspired restaurant located in downtown Miami. It's tiny and great. A combination that prompted this tweet exactly one month ago "I'd go enjoy Niu Kitchen while you can still get a table. And it may be too late already as word has spread and the feedback I've received has been great."  Fast forward and this hidden gem continues to shine.

For Cobaya, Niu really showcased what Niu is all about. The crowd was lively and loud and Deme created a tasty seven course menu that featured all hits, no misses and a few standout dishes.

If I lived or worked downtown, I'd be there all the time.  If you haven't been yet, I highly recommend going.

You will have fun, eat well and leave with a smile.  That's guaranteed.

The Niu Crew

Cream of Leeks
crispy leeks, herring roe

Flash-Seared Scallop
cauliflower purée, pomegranate gelatin

I'm a big scallop fan when they are cooked right.  These were and enhanced by the flavorful cauliflower puree.  This was one of the highlights of the night for me.

Baby Artichokes
bresaola, black truffle mayo

Cod Confit a la Catalana
roasted onions, dry figs, grain mustard, honey

Another standout dish. The cod was cooked perfectly and melted in your mouth. Deme enhanced it with a nice combination of flavors.

Steak Tartare
mustard gelato, paja potatoes 

Mustard gelato!! 

Duck Margret, Apple Garlic and Cinnamon puree, confit scallions and chestnuts

Another perfectly executed and flavorful dish.

Cold Melon Soup
lemon, mint oil

A very refreshing palate cleanser.

Pear Escalivada, rosemary crema catalana, maria cookies, grapefruit sorbet

Big thanks to Deme, Karina and their team for a wonderful night. And thanks to all the guinea pigs for your continued support.  See you at #59.

NIU Kitchen
134 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33132

OR DIAL 786 542 5070

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