My interaction with the food industry in Miami as I work, dine and play with the people and professionals that have a passion for food
Friday, July 22, 2011
Yes, I may have been the only one in Miami that has not been to any of Michelle Bernstein's restaurants. But as of a couple weeks ago I have been slowly trying each of her different evolutions. First I went to Sra. Martinez with a fellow cook and we were able to have some fantastic tapas, a special thank you from Steven, one of the cooks in charge of the Charcuterie that night (pleasant conversation) I then went with my former co-worker Joel for a lunch at Crumb on Parchment. I loved everything about the place from the mismatched chairs to the employees aprons and just the sweet southern feel of this trendy little breakfast and lunch spot. Then FINALLY the other night I dined at her name sake. May I just say from the outside one would not expect what is on the inside, the midtown motif of the outside is nothing like the inside of what looks like a restaurant in South Beach or the Design District. We came in through the back which is the front through the little bistro style outdoor seating. As we entered we walk through the hallway that opens up to this amazing dining area. You know your somewhere special when you run into 3 old co-workers (foodies as well) and the grill cook who I'm friends with all in the first 15 seconds of walking in. I am so impressed by the decor. The walls are beautifully painted with the modern chandeliers and cute floral chairs have an "OMG you know a girl with some serious design skills owns this place" moment. As we sit down we are warmly greeted by our server and bread and drinks were offered.. Attention: only bad thing of the night is the bread was a little old... yes I'm in the industry and yes I was dining with a pastry chef so I'm sorry I was bound to catch it. After the bread we went with trying a little of everything.. My guest raved about the Croquettes so we had to get that, we also got the Ceviche of the day as well as the Ricotta Gnochetti, Polenta with Truffled Poached Egg, Duck Confit, and the Short Ribs. The Blue Cheese and Serrano Croquettes when placed on the table vaguely resembled a croquette that you would normally find on calle ocho but when you bite inside there is a myriad of flavors and textures that is sure to delight your palate. The Ceviche also caught my interest simple in plating yet perfect in execution. the different shellfish brought out a textural difference which I thoroughly enjoyed. The next round of food was the Duck Confit and Polenta. I'm sorry Duck Confit you got overshadowed by this amazing dish. The polenta is beautifully cooked with truffle and truffle oil and a perfectly poached egg in the center. The Duck was also good with its beautifully dressed Brussel Sprouts salad. As that course was taken away, Chef Michelle (may I just say gorgeous) made her rounds going up to many tables much of them what looked like regulars and friends. Even a couple stopping her for pictures. She is obviously a superstar in her own right. With 3 successful restaurants under her belt and more on the way, a public channel show and countless spots on many culinary national TV shows She is really one of the Bad ass Women in the Chef World. We then received the sweetbreads that I can say is the best Offal I have had in Miami. Perfectly cooked with black eyed peas this if only one thing needs to be reordered off of her menu. The last course was the Gnochetti and Short Ribs. The Gnochetti made with ricotta was wet with a beautiful herb or pesto sauce mixed with some beautifully sauteed carrots. this was a beautiful dish full of bright colors and flavors. The great ending to our meal was the fall off the bone short ribs. The boneless dish proved to be all that it was stated as. soft and delicate meat with the cauliflower mash and the lovely vegetables placed underneath. Wonderfully seasoned! As the icing on the cake we ordered the famously admired Baked Alaska. Even though it wasn't flaming when it came out (big disappointment because I'm a little child at heart and I wanted a flaming dessert) the flavors under the meringue were sinfully delicious. The Dulce De Leche ice cream was so full of deep intense caramel flavor I wish I had room for more. As we left I was definitely planning my trip to return. Michy's still got it and going strong!