Monday, June 6, 2016

Faena Hotel Miami Beach - Pao and Los Fuegos

Damien Hirst "Gone but not Forgotten"

I like to talk and write about food and not hotels or developers so I just deleted the four paragraphs I wrote about the Faena hotel. I'll leave you with the nutshell version so we can move on to more important things like food.

It's located at 3201 Collins Ave., on Miami Beach in the old Saxony Hotel. It's owned by Argentine developer Alan Faena and businessman Len Blavatnick. The project a/k/a the Faena District, stretches from 32nd Street to 35th Street between the oceanfront and Indian Creek. In addition to the hotel there is the Faena House condo, home to a record breaking 60 million dollar penthouse plus two restaurants, a theater, lounge and secret bar. There's probably more but I hate to bore (but coming soon shopping fans is the Faena Bazaar, plus a Marina on Indian Creek and a 50-room beach house in the former El Paraiso Apartments).

Oh and there are two excellent restaurants from prestigious chefs.  Francis Mallmann, famous for his open fire cooking style recently opened Los Fuegos which is a solid choice for my meat loving fans.  If you are unfamiliar with chef Mallmann I highly recommend watching his episode of Chef's Table on season one on Netflix.

Restaurant two, Pao features the modern cuisine of James Beard Award winning Paul Qui who you may have seen dominate season nine of Top Chef.

These are easily two of the best restaurants in town and also two of the most expensive restaurants in town.


I'm going to refrain from complaining about the awful tables for two awkwardly placed in the center of the room at Pao and stick to the food. It was a special occasion so I asked to move which I've never done before. Denied.  But the food was outstanding. The menu was interesting and the flavors and execution were top notch.  I'm looking forward to going back and working my way through the rest of the menu.  Hopefully, they will continue to add dishes and/or offer a tasting menu.

Damien Hirst "Golden Myth"

Our first course (above) was wheeled out whole and carved table side. 

Giant Clam, Fennel, Yuzu Mayo, Fresh Wasabi

Smoked Beetroot, hibiscus, dashi crispy sunchoke, hazelnut

Maguro & Olives
Seared Bluefin Tuna Akami, Castelvetrano Olives, Sanbaizu, Crispy Sweet Garlic

Bandera Texas Quail
Cha Lua Vietnamese Sausage, Hen Egg Gnudi, Coconut, Turmeric, Kalamansi. Best non quail quail dish I've had (sold out of the quail so they substituted shrimp). I missed the quail but the flavors of this dish excelled.

Pork Adobo Rice
Ginger Jasmine Rice, Pork Adobo, Fried Duck Egg, Cilantro, Dried Shrimp, Green Mango Pico

Hours of Operation
Dinner Only
6:00pm – 11:00pm (Sunday – Thursday)
6:00pm – 12:00am (Friday & Saturday)

For Information
Phone +1 786 655 5600 / + 1 844 798 9712

Sunday Asado, the traditional Argentine meal shared with family and friends goes down every Sunday at Los Fuegos. For those unfamiliar with a Sunday Asado all you really need to know is that you will eat well and eat a lot.  There will be delicious empanadas, meat, vegetables and sweetbreads cooked on the open fire. And salads too.

This was a very enjoyable meal and a fantastic way to spend a Sunday with family and friends.

I was fortunate to experience a recent Sunday Asado with fellow food lovers and writers as guests of Alan Faena. Evidence of the damage is below.

Wood Oven Empanada, hand cut prime filet, llagua sauce

Pink Grapefruit Salad, avocado, arugula, parmigiano-reggiano, roasted hazelnuts

Heirloom Tomato Salad, stracciatella di bufala, basil

Provoleta Parrillera, Argentine provolone cheese, fresh oregano, extra virgin olive oil

Grilled Vegetables

Crispy Polenta, watercress

Sweetbreads a la Parilla, chimichurri, burnt lemons

Chimichurri & Salsa Criolla

Parrillada - lechonito (marinated young pig, confit with fine herbs), entrana de ternera (lived skirt steak), ojo de bife (hanging slow cooked rib-eye), hanging chicken (wood smoked & slowly roasted), chorizo & morcilla, branzino, wild salmon.

No dessert for me.  We had sitter issues and had to leave before dessert so I did not get to try the famous dulce de leech pancakes.  Another reason to go back.

Hours of Operation
Lunch 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Dinner 6:00pm – 11:00pm (Sunday – Thursday)
6:00pm – 12:00am (Friday & Saturday)

More information
Phone +1 786 655 5600 / +1 844 798 9712


Unknown said...

Sounds like two great meals. The photos are great.

I'm curious what you think about Pao's Paul Qui's recent alleged domestic violence issues. Now that chefs are celebrities and their lives are not truly private, should their actions at home influence where we decide to spend our dollars?

The Chowfather said...

That's a personal choice. Domestic violence should be taken very seriously. But all I see/heard are accusations which may be false. innocent until proven guilty.