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Posts Tagged ‘American Bistro’

BLUE COLLAR

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

6730 Biscayne Blvd.
(305) 576-0366
bluecollarmiami.com

Daniel Serfer, Chef de Cuisine for 5 years at Chef Allens in Aventura, and most recently, 15th Street Fisheries in Fort Lauderdale, has created a much buzzed-about neighborhood restaurant along Biscayne Boulevard. Now open a little more than a year, he is sending out some ambitious, mouthwatering, if oversized, plates in this tiny (25 seats) interior with an additional outdoor patio. Blue Collar certainly implies the working-class are being catered to, but the crowd is also young singles, and families who are joining the crowd for a sampling of Serfer’s widely varied American comfort food.

Appetizers to “nosh on ” seem the perfect place to start. Do not skip the shrimp and grits, which is outfitted with a Piedmontese trugole cheese charged with chunks of bacon, and a New Orleans style bbq sauce.  It doesn’t get any better than this marriage of flavors topped off with lots of local pink shrimp. What blue-collar meal would be complete without a healthy portion of pork and beans and Berkhire sausage under an oozing egg? While “healthy” as in size, not as in “nutrition,” the menu is heavy on carbs and fried foods. The daily chalkboard always includes: Ribs with warm German potato salad, a “Parm,” that could be chicken, veal pork on angel hair with a red sauce, and a Braise which could be a tender brisket, pot roast or ox tails, accompanied by mash potatoes.

I don’t know of another eatery that offers more than 20 different vegetables, and at recession prices of $4.00 a plate. This is a vegetarian paradise of grilled asparagus topped with blue cheese, roasted butternut squash or fennel, sautéed kale and artichoke hearts in a lemon aioli among others. The choice of crispy snapper with rock shrimp, grilled Cobia, and Mahi Mahi are simple and pleasing local offerings.

Thirteen brews from Delaware to Belgium and some old fashioned sodas, such as orange, or black cherry cream soda, numbers among the offerings. The bread pudding is a popular conclusion to the meal.  Be ready for small tables and close quarters, but it’s recommended over the outdoor patio, which is far too close to the Biscayne traffic.

Monday – Friday: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Friday – Saturday: 6:00 pm – 2:00 am
Saturday – Sunday (brunch): 11:00 am – 3:30 pm

MICHAEL’S GENUINE FOOD & DRINK

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

130 NE 40th Street  Atlas Plaza
305-573-5550
www.michaelsgenuine.com

Chef/owner, Michael Schwartz has created an unpretentious American bistro rated one of the 10 best new restaurants in the United States in 2008 by the  “New York Times,” and it continues to live up to its initial reviews.

The menu is down to earth, classic and often features organic and regional ingredients. Dishes from the wood-burning oven are a highlight and the Berkshire pork and fig pizza is an awesome combination.  For a snack ,the deviled eggs and homemade potato chips with onion dip will satisfy your longing to return to your youth, only, they’re better.  The house-made cherry rosemary soda is a smash.  The restaurant is all about wines at a reasonable price, A light lunch might include the heirloom tomatoes and burrata or one of their reasonably priced salads.

Don’t pass on desserts, the pastry chef,Hedy Goldsmith, has fun with an exquisite list of mouthwatering, playful desserts that include popcorn and peanuts, or a tangerine cream-sickle pot de crème.

Monday – Thursday: 11:30 am – 11 pm; Friday – Saturday: 11:30 am – 12:00 am
Sunday: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm

MICHY’S

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

CLOSED FOR RENOVATION
6927 Biscayne Boulevard
3
05-759-2001
michysmiami.com

Michy’s is the kind of restaurant where many of the dishes linger in your mind and keep you coming back over and over just to see if your memory played tricks. Michele Bernstein, a former ballerina and previously at Azul downtown, runs this serious eatery alongside her husband David who mans the reservation desk and expertly oversees the somewhat funky, floral dining room.

Trained in classical French cooking, Michele decided to offer innovative, beautifully presented plates in two sizes, more often referencing the New American style. On a recent visit, we noticed the number of dishes offered has dimmished. At the beginning, they took a risk opening this ambitious restaurant in an area of Biscayne bereft of fine dining. But word travels fast and bolstered by her reputation at Azul, Michy’s was an instant success. Now Michy’s only improves with age as she continues her quest for “luxurious comfort food.”

Signature dishes include the jamon serrano and blue cheese croquettas, Peruvian-style ceviche and seared foie gras “n” waffles for  starters.  Falling off the bone shortribs with parsnip potato mousseline or seared halibut with wild mushroom salsify or the pan-seared sole accompanied by sunchoke puree, baby artichokes, preserved lemon and olive nage are all dishes in the “transcendent” category.

For desserts I gravitate to the baked Alaska and Michey’s ethereal bread pudding which are killer endings to an evening at one of Miami’s best.

Tuesday – Thursday and Sunday: 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Friday and Saturday: 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm

MORGAN’S AMERICAN

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

28 NE 29th Street
305-976-9678
themorgansrestaurant.com

Morgans, on the border of Wynwood and the upbeat MidTown area,  boasts a ”modern take on American comfort food.” Named after the owner’s Mom, this 1930’s home conversion features a wide, wrap around porch for outdoor dining and a small interior dining area with a minimalist decor.  The restaurant originally opened it’s doors for weekend brunch and the crowds flocked here for brioche French toast, maple basted bacon and” voluptuous” grilled cheese.  Lunch offers a wide range of sandwiches, soups and pizzas.

The dinner menu is an ambitious one for a small restaurant offering a wide range of options sure to please everyone, whether it’s date night or a family gathering.  Laquered wild salmon, coconut mussels and half a lemon grilled chicken, along with a NY strip and a Moroccan stew with merguez sausage are just a few of the oh-so-tempting entries. Service could be better; we’ll give them more time for training.  Weekend Brunch is still a very hot item.

Tuesday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 10 pm; Friday: 11:00 am – 11 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm; Sunday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

OAK TAVERN

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

35 Northeast 40th St
(786) 391-1818
Oaktavernmiami.com

Oak Tavern is a comfy rustic new entry in the heart of the Design District.  A brick archway opens onto a pleasant garden with a namesake oak tree springing from the center courtyard.  Taverns of Yore were seldom known for serving creative, or high quality fare. The weary traveler was more focused on the bar and beds. Such is not the case here, at David Bracha’s modern day version, where the food is surprisingly tasty. Bracha’s River Seafood and Oyster Bar has been a staple on Brickell for more than 10 years, and he knows his way with a crustacean.  Oysters and stone crabs head up the list, “Jewels from the Sea,” but the scallop and snapper crudos are equally well presented and pristinely fresh from the sea.

A long list of small plates to satisfy everyone provides a strong supporting cast.  Bistro fare such as deviled eggs, rabbit pâté, and crispy pigs ears with kale compete for your attention. Try a perfect offering of beets with whipped goat cheese, arugula and pistachio vinaigrette, along with an heirloom tomato salad with sheep’s milk feta. Bracha’s has been one of Miami’s earliest chefs to embrace buying his produce from the area farmers. Pizzas are a standout; my pick for the best is duck confit, mushrooms, oozing Fontina, and a bit of truffle, on a crisp and thin crust.

On one visit, the tavern’s wood grill yielded a perfectly grilled Cobia topped with a medley of peas in a light lemon olive oil, and it was a triumph. Whole branzino at $34 is in keeping with their moderate prices.  The charcuterie offerings are crafted in-house, and the restaurant is justly proud of  this area of the menu.  Each is accompanied by marinated olives, mustard pickled fruit and country bread. The emphasis at this gastropub is craft beers, so enjoy one of the twenty microbrews and 10 draft beers on tap. Their Happy Hour should not be missed.

Monday – Thursday: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Friday – Saturday: 6:00 pm – 12:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 2:30 pm, 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm

SOYKA

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

5556 NE 4th Court
305 759-3117
soykacafe.com

The owner, Mark Soyka, originally purchased this warehouse in 1999 to house his collection of vintage cars and one day in 1999 decided to transition it to restaurant status, a pioneering idea at the time.  It has had its ups and downs. We are encouraged by the pleasant staff that greeted us and who related that the restaurant is under new management. A new chef has been hired away from a very popular local watering hole.  This huge, high ceilinged room with massive steel beams  and leather banquets focuses its menu on comfort food.  One recent special was the lobster risotto with crab, peas and saffron and baked pompano with ginger soy.  Happy hour is from 3-7PM and the restaurant is opened daily.

Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:00 am – 12:00 am

THE CYPRESS ROOM

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

3620 Northeast 2nd Ave
(305) 520-5197
thecypressroom.com

This compact, recent opening from Michael Schwartz hits every comforting note on your palate by extolling the virtues of local, focusing on fresh, simple ingredients.  Located on a less populated area of Second Avenue in the Design District, the room sports a clubby atmosphere; at once cozy and congenial, while a bit retro.  Matching deer heads line one wall facing a bar on the other.  Toile de jouy wall covering festooned with animals is further embellished with old Florida photos and mismatched china of grandma’s era sits atop starched napery. The decor is offbeat in every sense of the word.   The hostess is warm and accommodating and the service on several occasions was perfect.

Starters are all excellent but don’t miss the delicate slivers of royal red Cape Canaveral shrimp, commingling with coconut milk, lime and puffed rice added for a bit of crackle and a touch of humor. The heirloom beet assortment, smoked, raw and roasted, makes a stunning presentation when sharing the plate with ribiola and pistachios. Marrow bones, frogs legs and classic onion soup round out the retro feel and were equally well prepared.

The Pre-Theatre menu ($49 until 7 pm) is an excellent way to sample Chef de Cuisine, Roel Alcudia’s risotto with lump crab and stinging nettle pesto which was offered on one occasion. The full tasting menu offers five courses at $95 with selected wine pourings at $155. On the a la carte, rack of lamb perfectly crisped at the edges was mouthwatering and every bit a taste sensation. Bean ragout and eggplant caviar served as perfect accompaniments.
A vegetarian dish of wild mushrooms, asparagus and a napoleon of chevre are also included on the menu.

The wine list is extensive with a well balanced list of wines by the glass.  Not to be outdone in the resurgence of house made specialty cocktails, the “Nicknack” with Death’s Door gin, Ardbeg scotch, damson plum, and herbs, or a “Calle Ocho”, a mix of Rum, JM Agricole, hibiscus, lime, tonic ,egg white and coconut water are standouts. The neighborhood is changing for the best thanks to the rapid expansion of the District, but, prices are high here even though the customers don’t seem to mind.

Closed Sunday
Monday – Friday:  12:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Monday – Thursday: 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Saturday: 5;30 pm – 12:00 am

THE FEDERAL FOOD, DRINK & PROVISIONS

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

5132 Biscayne Blvd
(305) 758-9559
thefederalmiami.com

A trio of Miamians: co-owners Cesar Zapata, Aniece Meinhold, and Alejandro Ortiz, have already experienced success with pop-up restaurant, Phuc Yeal, and Acme Bakery in Midtown. Now they have set up shop in a small strip shopping center on Biscayne and 51st as the Federal Food, Drink & Provisions.

This is definitely a neighborhood-meeting place with a relentlessly rustic and funky decor. The mood here is indisputably jeans-casual and retro. Following the trend of modern day gastropubs, the menu is divided into sections by size and sharing is encouraged. The featured jumbo lump crab cake, 3 ounces of crab served with shaved fennel, citrus and spicy remoulade is outstanding. Memorable dishes include the jar-o-duck and the juicy lamb burger with chow chow relish, pretzel bun and goat cheese.  On one occasion, the glazed double-cut pork chop had remained in the oven far too long and was returned to the kitchen. Meat is often served unconventionally. The Wellington, made from short rib not prime beef, comes simmered with bacon, mushrooms, and pearl onions beneath a potpie crust.

Thirteen all American  “Brewskis” and wines from around the world contribute to the convivial atmosphere.  Wait staff is pleasant and accommodating.  The restaurant is closed on Mondays and does not serve lunch.

Tuesday – Thursday: 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Friday – Saturday: 6:00 pm -11:00 pm
Sunday: 11:30 am -10:00 pm

WYNWOOD KITCHEN AND BAR

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

2550 NW 2nd Avenue
305-722-8959
wynwoodkitchenandbar.com

Debuting during Art Basel 2010 is this American style brasserie in the heart of the gallery district. The bar and adjacent dining room reverberate with the murals and paintings of street art provocateur, Shephard Fairey and the abstract paintings by the architect, Christian Awe. Outdoors, a spacious courtyard provides a third alternative on one of Miami’s many warm weather days. Here too, murals capture the eye in every direction.

Wynwood Kitchen and Bar is the creation of the late Tony Goldman and his daughter, Jessica Goldman Srebnick. Tony, who was also owner of Joey’s Café in Wynwood, was the ambitious developer who helped transform Soho and Chelsea in NYC into hip cultural neighborhoods.

Small plates are a hit here. Crispy artichokes, tomato gazpacho accented with watermelon, the Mediterranean platter( hummas, baba ghanoush and tabbouleh ) and a seafood ceviche bathed in lemongrass and coconut are all outstanding beginnings.

The menu serves both lunch and dinner and covers all bases from a choice of 6 omelettes to hearty burgers of beef, tuna, turkey and more.  The clay pots such as snapper and mussel curry with charred pineapple and braised pork with garlic crumbs and mint were surprisingly good. Brunch is Saturday only.

Monday – Saturday: 11:30 am – 4:30 pm; 5:30 pm – 12:00 am