Daniel Boulud Takes Downtown Miami Dining to a New Level
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DB Bistro Moderne is in the JW Marriott Marquis Miami in downtown’s Metropolitan Miami development. The neighborhood provides the restaurant with a busy, urban setting where guests can still enjoy great cooking in a relaxed, distinctive environment.
DB Bistro Moderne is located just off the breathtaking lobby with its marble floors, chandlers, and sleek décor. Inside, there is a dining area with contemporary accents and 18-foot ceilings, a stylish bar and lounge, and even street-level terrace overlooking the Miami River.
The hip lounge across from the hostess table immediately created an urban vibe. Entering the main dining area Yabu Pushelberg’s interior was evident — comfortable, modern, and elegant with soft earth tones. After being seated we were greeted by the impressive and immaculately attired Sommelier John Mayfield who guided us to a nice Albariño to get started.
Having dined at a Daniel Boulud restaurant in the past, we knew we would be in for a great adventure. We were anxious to see what twists (if any) there would be on the Miami menu. There were cheeses like Brie de Meaux from France, a nice Roaring Forties Blue from Australia, and a Humboldt Fog from the United States.
After finishing, we felt like we could have closed our eyes and picked anything off of the menu and it would have been a classic Boulud work of art. Smoked salmon with capers on pumpernickel toast, the classic boeuf bourguignon prepared with a duo of celery and black truffle vinaigrette, and of course, crispy duck confit, a lovely dish with sautéed spinach, pommes Lyonnaise, and sauce forestière — we could not go wrong.
Of course, no evening at a Daniel Boulud venue would be complete without dessert. Pastry Chef Jerome Maure and General Manager German Alvarado sent out a sampling of decadent creations. The coupe l'imperatrice had a nice local touch — its coconut tapioca pudding and Champagne mango-pandan ice cream was served with Key lime gelée.
Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne is a treat for Boulud veterans and first-timers alike. Veterans will appreciate the classic French cuisine that keeps them coming back to Boulud venues around the world and first-timers will swoon over a dining experience they will remember for a lifetime. Impeccable service and classic French cuisine with a Miami twist is what db Bistro Moderne is all about. It should be a destination restaurant on any visit to the city.
Daniel Humm and Will Guidara to Open "Casual" Restaurant in Westfield's World Trade Center Mall
If you&aposve got Eleven Madison Park tastes on an Applebee&aposs budget, we&aposve got good news for you.
Renowned New York chefs Daniel Humm and Will Guidara will be taking their three-Michelin-star talents to Westfield World Trade Center with a "new casual restaurant."
With this opening, the newest addition to the Make It Nice hospitality group portfolio, the duo will join the ranks of Mario Batali’s Eataly, Daniel Boulud’s Epicerie Boulud and Marc Forgione’s Lobster Press to offer Oculus shoppers and commuters another affordable (and presumably delicious) dining option.
"We could not be more thrilled to team up with Westfield in this historic and remarkable location," said chef Daniel Humm in a statement. "Bringing our food and hospitality into the Oculus at World Trade Center𠅊n incredibly important and iconic addition to our city—is extremely humbling, we&aposre so excited to be a part of it!"
The 7,000 square-foot project is slated to open in 2018.
"At Westfield, the opportunity to contribute to the revitalization, renewal, and restoration of Lower Manhattan continues to be a passion and point of pride for us all. We are driven by a commitment to bring to the people of this community a place all their own𠅊 place combining fashion, culture, arts, entertainment, and absolutely fantastic food," said William Hecht, Westfield&aposs chief operating officer. "That&aposs why our partnership with Chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara is so exciting. They are two of the most energetic, creative, and forward-thinking restaurateurs in the world. With the team from Make It Nice joining Eataly, Hawksmoor, Epicerie Boulud, and Lobster Press—Westfield World Trade Center will be a dining destination unlike any other in New York City."
While patrons shouldn&apost expect the same decadent menu as at the world&aposs third best restaurant and its sister establishment, The NoMad, spending a day at this massive new downtown mall is about to get even more delicious.
Daniel Boulud's Favorite Things to Do in Palm Beach
The globetrotting French chef, who recently unveiled a full renovation of Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court Hotel, talks cocktails, shopping, art, and more.
Daniel Boulud is a busy man.
The Lyon, France-born chef now oversees 16 restaurants around the world along with his Feast & Fêtes catering company. He opened Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach in 2003 and last year decided it was need of some updating.
Unveiled last month, the redesign includes a 15-seat bar that's three times the size of its predecessor. A contemporary design that features sea shells and Pecky Cyprus wood in the ceiling shows no traces of the traditional Palm Beach décor of its past.
There's a new cocktail list with craft beers on tap and a menu that's more approachable yet still showcases the chef's classic French cuisine. A few signature dishes include local blackened mahi with squash gratin and buttermilk, swordfish with sweet corn succotash, and Dover Sole Meunière, filleted at the table. So while the old style of multi-course fine dining is still possible, it's just as easy to order a Cubano with house-cured pork or a burger at the bar.
The chef was in town to oversee the reveal and attend Palm Beach's Food and Wine Festival in December and took time to talk to T&C about his latest project, his toddler son Julien, and how things change when he's in one of his restaurant's kitchens.
T&C: How often do you get here yourself?
Boulud: I was not here during the summer, but now that the season has started, I come a couple of times during the high season and then after. But they have to make it work without me.
T&C: I heard your son Julien is here with you this time.
Boulud: Yes he is. He's 19 months so he's on the run. He might be running sometime soon.
T&C: What do you like to do with him while you're down here?
Boulud: I think we're going to take him to the kid pool at the Breakers. I think the water is like six inches. Should be okay. [Ed. note: Baby Boulud upstaged even his famous father at the opening of DBGB in Washington, D.C. in 2014]
T&C: I was wondering how you feel that entertaining a crowd in Palm Beach is unique? What about this place and this crowd is special?
Boulud: Well I think the crowd in Palm Beach is from all over America, the Northeast and the Eastern [Seaboard]. We have clients from Toronto, from Montreal, Quebec, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston. I just spoke to people from Rhode Island, and New York, and Philly, and D.C., and Atlanta, and yesterday I was speaking with people, they were telling me that they're from Alabama, and they are only an hour-and-a-half away by plane. So it's amazing&mdashthe radius goes far up and west of Florida and so it's different maybe than the Hamptons which will be mostly New Yorkers and a few Europeans, maybe, and South Americans. But here it's a mix of everything. And certainly here, Palm Beach more than Miami and the Palm Beach crowd more than Miami, there are more Americans, I would say, than foreigners. Versus Miami &ndash Miami I think there's a lot of foreigners. There like a lot of Europeans, South Americans, American, not so much Asians, Russians a little bit.
T&C: So does that influence the menu?
Boulud: No. No, it don't matter. I think we have a very American clientele as well and yet the chef is from the South, he worked at Blackberry Farm for a long time, he worked with me in Vegas for a long time. So there's always at Café Boulud French traditional dishes and there's certain dishes where like the escargot and soupe à l'oignon, it's more bistro classic and then there's seasonal dishes, who appear because of the seasonality of the market. There's dishes who are also based on also the market but also the preparation we might take a more South American influence or sometimes a more Asian. Now the presentation of our menu is a little different. There's dishes who like the pork shoulder has a little bit more like South American, Caribbean kind of feel.
T&C: How does the Florida climate affect what you serve here?
Boulud: Interestingly enough, we don't use corn in New York right now because it's not the season. We had it beautiful until September. We don't use tomato in New York right now either. But here local farmers are something we can benefit from and there are more and more local famers who are doing incredible work. We work with them for beef, for pork, for vegetables, for salads, for frog legs, for chicken. So, I think it's interesting that farming [in Florida] is not just orange groves there's more to that today. I just learned that up north by the Panhandle there's a guy who is raising pigs who are really, really superb so we're going to try to get in touch with him. It's nice&ndashFlorida is finally a food state!
T&C: I know, I think that's something people don't know yet, up north.
Boulud: Well we know that they produce orange.
T&C: But that's about it, right? Do you have a favorite thing on the menu?
Boulud: Well I mean, for me, I love the catch&ndashthe local catch. So the swordfish right now. We have the mahi, the local mahi, with the squash gratin. That I like very much. I always have pompano when I come down here I don't do Pompano in New York so much. I've had tomato salad three times, because I just feel like they're good! I love them! The beef also is wonderful.
T&C: How would you say you entertain in Palm Beach? Is there anything different about this?
Boulud: When we do a party in Palm Beach we always think light and summery, not maybe like in New York where [right now] we're cooking more with root vegetables, more wintery cooking. Now we're starting more wintery cooking. I think here it's still a little bit of a different zone. So it's always at a certain freshness. At lunch we do sandwiches and salads and things that are more light and refreshing as a main course. Many of the pasta are superb. So you know, it's a menu that will also keep changing during the season because what's different&mdashwell it's not different than in New York City, I will say, but the repeat business is quite big. There's a lot of regulars.
T&C: How long does it take to finalize a menu like this?
Boulud: They don't take much time&mdashit's a question of making sure we appropriately train the team to discuss recipes, discuss level of taste, and sometime we want the chef to be engaged with the menu a lot. He has to make sure he's comfortable carrying it. It's easier to cook without a menu because then you don't worry about getting the same thing everyday, consistent and fresh. You just cook what's coming and have fun. But that's not the format of the restaurant. You can do that if you have 20 seats. The menu, for me, starts by the supply. We know that beef will be a consistent supply, but when it comes to fish, when it comes to vegetable, when it comes to garnish. And then after, it's taste. The dishes we want things who are maybe very French and who are maybe don't have a seasonality to it.
It's like yesterday there's a lady who goes to Bar Boulud a lot and she said, "Daniel, I don't see the frissé salad with the chicken liver and the eggs" and I say, "You know, maybe we will do a frissé for you, because you know it's like, that dish fit maybe better in New York than here, the frissé with the eggs the lardons and the chicken liver, but I'm sure people would love it down here too so we'll see.
T&C: Does the kitchen of your restaurant change much when you come into it?
Boulud: Yeah because we spend time developing new dishes, working on new ideas. This weekend we had the food festival, so we were quite busy ramping up to that as well.
T&C: So when you're in the kitchen of the restaurant you're obviously the chef in charge, right?
Boulud: Yeah but I also, I mean I discuss with them every week. We talk with our chef constantly. I have the corporate chef who is in link with them. I have the young girl, Mary, who's worked with me for many years and she is the culinary director so she's with me to communicate with other chefs on changes of the menus. I communicate with her what I want them to do or I give them ideas, and so we constantly are in communication. So it's not like we let them fly and leave them alone [and say], See you in three months!
T&C: But when you come actually to do a new menu at a place, then you go in and you really focus on it?
Boulud: Yeah we work together with the chef. We develop new recipes with the chef. But you know, we have been working so long together. If the chef never work with me then it's much harder. I have to go from scratch. If the chef has worked with me
T&C: That's difficult.
Boulud: If the chef has worked with me we understand each other much better when we talk about something he has a benchmark reference with me. So he understands what I mean.
T&C: Do you keep chef's coats for yourself at every restaurant?
Boulud: No I carry them. I am the king of Ziploc! I have a lady who does all the chef coats for all my chefs in New York. She'll wash them and iron them because I don't want to give them to the laundry&mdashthey ruin them. And so, she's in charge of folding squares the size of the Ziploc and pressing the Ziploc very flat. Vacuum pack them. I learned that from my wife. She is the queen of Ziploc. It's so easy to travel when you have everything compacted in one plastic. I never check luggage in.
T&C: So much more space, right?
Boulud: It has to fit in my bag and my carry-on, But no. I could not leave coats everywhere but I don't want them to get stale.
T&C: When you're not here at the hotel, what are your favorite things to do in Palm Beach?
Boulud: Oh, I love to go to La Sirena. It's this timeless Italian restaurant on the Dixie Highway. It's just Marcello and two of his cooks in the kitchen. He's a good friend. His wife, Diane, works in the front with a couple of waiters. Some of them are old school, and you know, it's a favorite place to many of the regulars here. They like that place there, it's not at all Palm Beach fancy. It's a family run business so I love it. We always go to Buccan for drinks after because usually I go out. At La Sirena, because it's Italian and I'm French, we do a competition on tartare to see which will taste the best: the Italian guy or the French guy. Every time we meet at midnight in the kitchen chopping the meat and trying to do our own thing.
T&C: Who's the judge?
Boulud: Me and him! So it's always a little battle. And the women and the guests and the friends like the other chefs, we are judging each other. So we keep the rivalry going.
T&C: Any favorite shops that you go to here? Or other things to do?
Boulud: I would have loved to do golf this time but didn't get to organize. But maybe I'm gonna go try to go and play. I'm in Florida&mdashyou've got to play golf. I try to hit the beach early in the morning, the sunrise. I mean Palm Beach is all about sunrise. I like some of the gallery. I mean when I opened Daniel 23 years ago, I was working with a gallery near Daniel, and I bought a couple of pieces. Also I was borrowing from the gallery as well. And one was done by Vincente Esteban, and Vincente Esteban was a Spaniard who in the years of Miro and the years of all the Spaniards in Paris during the '40s, '50s, he was there. You know the Parisians were quite difficult with the foreigners, like they've always been, the French. He really felt like, not really included in life. And so he came to America, and when I met him he was 82. Up until he was very old and he painted beautifully and I had a painting at home for long time and then I was in a gallery here and I looked and I see, I see a small painting and just by recognizing the different squares on it and all that, I asked who was doing this, and he said, "Vincente Esteban, I have this one." So I started to talk to the gallerist and he's a gallerist from New York as well and so I had to buy it. It was very much like the style of Rothko.
T&C: So is it in your home?
Boulud: Yeah it's in my home right next to the big one. The big one and the smaller one kind of live together. I have also a can. It must have been like a can of peas of something, which was you know like in the old days when you needed a pen box or something, you would just keep a can. So he has a can with all the colors and paper, it was beautiful. I used to go to that artist and I met him, I went to his studio in New York and the studio was just a little apartment&mdashtiny but that's where he went in the afternoon to paint and then go home to his other apartment. So, one day he was putting his brushes inside and he say, "Oh, take the can home." So I have the big painting, the small one, the can, and it's all together in its corner.
T&C: A tableau.
Boulud: Yeah. The guy passed away like 10 years ago. He was already in the 90's when he passed, so he had a good life. A good man. So I like to have fun looking at galleries here. There's tacky stuff, but there is also some good stuff. But not as tacky as Miami. Jewelry stores I'm not too interested. I'd get too much trouble. My wife and my son, tomorrow they'll be going to shop at a place called Roberta Roller Rabbit. Catherine, my wife, she lived down there for a while. I met her when she was working [as a chef] at Café Boulud.
T&C: Here? Or in New York?
Boulud: Here. But we were not dating when she was here. We started dating up in New York. So she knows Palm Beach very well. You know when I come down here I never go out. I go maybe to Buccan for a drink after service with the team or we go to get a pizza maybe late. There used to be a place, an Italian place, Cucina. But I love also the classic, the team and everybody, we all go to Cucina. Because you know, it's an affordable restaurant. The staff, they want to go out, but they don't want to pay the price the customers pay in Palm Beach!
T&C: Cucina turns into a club at night.
Boulud: Yeah, we used to go there a lot. But anyways I like the classics: Jean-Pierre, Café L'Europe, Renato's, Bice. And have you seen the renovation they did at the Breakers?
Boulud: Yes. This year, there's not much new.
T&C: You set the standard.
Boulud: I'm relaunching the standard! 15 years ago, we were the new kid in the block here. There were a couple of restaurants we were competing with. But I think in Palm Beach, there is definitely a renewal of generation, and I really believe that. I mean, we see restaurants who maybe would have not been so popular 15 years ago, like Buccan and all that, but now really have a purpose to be because there's this young demographic who wants more casual. With the hotel we have to do more casual. It's kind of a good compromise for me.
Named for the café Daniel Boulud’s family operated outside Lyon at the turn of the century, the first modern-day Café Boulud opened in the original Upper East Side location of his eponymous restaurant DANIEL in 1998, in New York City.
In 2015, Daniel Boulud reopened Café Boulud in Toronto with a reimagined, mid-century design and a new menu. The dining room was envisioned by London-based designer Martin Brudnizki to have a vintage-inspired ambiance highlighted by a comfortable lounge and wraparound banquettes, a dining bar counter, and a semi-private room that accommodates up to eight guests.
Daniel Boulud: On fine dining and why he left Washington
The way Daniel Boulud explains it, he was one personality clash away from becoming a fixture on the D.C. dining scene. Before leaving Washington in the early 1980s, earning four stars at Le Cirque and launching his own New York restaurant empire, Boulud was offered a job at the forthcoming Four Ways restaurant at 20th and R streets in Dupont Circle.
Fresh off his stint working for Count Roland de Kergorlay at the European Commission, where the chef created the “most sought-after table on Embassy Row” (according to a 1982 Post story), Boulud was among a second wave of French chefs who was expected to remake Washington’s culinary scene. Instead, a clash with the general manager at the Four Ways sent Boulud packing to Manhattan, leaving behind friends and colleagues, such as Francis Layrle, then chef at the French Embassy.
“The minute I met the general manager,” said Boulud during an interview last week, “I hated him. And I don’t think he cared about me either . . I wanted to be a sous chef there, and he barely said hello to me at the first meeting. He treated me, like, ‘Who is this guy?’ I’m like, ‘Okay, thank you very much. This is it. I’m not staying with you here.’”
That’s when Boulud turned to his mentor, Jean-Louis Palladin, for help. Palladin was already a legend among his peers and the dining public. As a Michelin-starred chef back in Condom, France, and creator of Washington’s destination restaurant, Jean-Louis at the Waterate, Palladin was plugged into a network of chefs and general managers across the country. Palladin helped place Boulud as executive sous-chef at the Polo Lounge in New York’s Westbury Hotel.
“I told Jean-Louis . . .’I didn’t mind [being] a sous chef somewhere, but it had to be the right place,'” Boulud said. “I didn’t see any opportunity coming in Washington.”
The anecdote was no doubt the most concussive bomb that Boulud dropped during the 90-minute interview at The Washington Post. Could the chef have been as successful in Washington as he is New York, where he operates eight restaurants, including the three-star Daniel (not to mention dining outposts in such cities as Miami, Las Vegas, Toronto, London and Singapore)? Who knows, but Boulud he said his intention was to remain in Washington after his Embassy Row gig was finished. He apparently liked it here during the days of Palladin, Yannick Cam, Gerard Cabrol and other talented French chefs in the city.
Below are edited excerpts from the interview with Boulud.
On D.C. dining during Boulud’s day:
“I remember when I was here in D.C., there were a lot of French restaurants. I think D.C. has always been very, very vibrant for food. Like Boston in a way. Boston and D.C. were really the two cities that were the most active with their local chefs and their local food scene. Obviously in D.C., there’s been a little bit more corporate approach to dining for a long time, and now it’s kind of like growing a little bit more personalized in a way.”
On why it took him so long to open a restaurant in Washington:
“I had on many occasions over the years the opportunity to open something here, and I never felt right about it. Then CityCenter came, and because we have a restaurant in New York with [AvalonBay Communities, briefly a partner in the downtown D.C. development]. AvalonBay is the real estate developer, and our restaurant in New York, DBGB, is with Avalon. So that’s how we got together, because they asked us, ‘You know, we are doing this development in D.C. Would you come with us there?'”
On why he decided to open the casual DBGB in Washington instead of a fine-dining restaurant:
“I think in the neighborhood we have there, it seemed to be a little bit more young. We want it to be affordable and yet be a chef-driven restaurant. As soon as you go up into fine dining, I felt it would have been a more expensive proposition for diners.”
“Still, that does not mean with casual dining you can get away with everything. We care about service. We care about making sure the simple things are done right, from the temperature of the wine you serve to the detail in the dining room. Even in a causal way, we are doing it right.”
On his vision of a fine-dining restaurant:
“I want to make sure the fine-dining restaurant has a clientele who is local as much as tourists and foodies. Sometimes, I see a certain type of fine dining, there’s nobody local [eating there]. It’s all tourists. It’s fine, but to me, it’s not how I perceive fine dining. I think fine dining should be part of the community where it is, more than just for the people who are going to make a special occasion.”
On where he will find employees in Washington, which has a reputation for a limited pool of restaurant workers:
“We have a lot of kids and staff, young chefs and waiters, who are from Virginia, Maryland, D.C., and even up to Philadelphia and wouldn’t mind leaving New York to come to D.C. So it’s a question of relocating our contacts and see who is also here from people who previously worked with us.”
On how involved he will be with the D.C. location of DBGB:
“It’s easy to come down here, so a lot at the beginning, and then we have the corporate chef who comes in, the corporate pastry chef, the director of operations. We have also Ed Scarpone [chef of the DBGB in Washington], who has access to recipes and information from me, from the team. He can see everything happening in every restaurant. We have a cloud. So he can see every menu development everywhere, new recipes, as soon as we have something. We have a lady who’s in charge of communicating with all the chefs and me, and so we all have a string attached to each other.”
On the escalating rents and gentrifying neighborhoods in New York, which have forced restaurants to announce their closures, including WD-50 and Union Square Cafe:
“Daniel, we own that. That’s the one where we don’t have to worry about the landlord. The other ones, on average, we have about 12-, 15-year leases, and we have some options to renew. If it’s less than that, it’s very difficult. If you have 10 years, it could take five to six years to recoup [investment].”
On his time cooking for Count Roland de Kergorlay at the European Commission:
“I was 25 years old when I arrived in D.C. It was just myself and two people who worked and helped me in the kitchen. I was only cooking for three people most of the time. Some lunch and dinner. The wife of the ambassador was very excited about making sure we were the best table in D.C. So she would have people from The Post just come and have lunch.”
“It was great. No chef in an embassy ever had a spread in the paper. At the time, there was the Washington Star as well. I had a big spread in the Washington Star.”
On his introduction to Jean-Louis at the Watergate:
“I knew Jean-Louis from the minute I arrived here. I arrived maybe 3 o’clock in the afternoon, 4 o’clock, and by 5:30, I was in the kitchen at Jean-Louis. Jean-Louis was in France, still on vacation, because it was the end of August. So I spent a couple of hours with [his kitchen team]. A year before Jean-Louis arrived here, I went to eat at his restaurant in Condom with Michel Guérard and the entire team [Boulud worked at the time for Guérard]. We were doing the end-of-the-year dinner together with all the staff, and we did it as Jean-Louis was negotiating his deal in Washington, so he was not there. So I knew the first person I had to meet was Jean-Louis and the second one was Francis [Layrle at the French Embassy].”
Miami Cooks: Highlighting the Magic City’s Talented Chefs
Sara Liss has been covering the Miami food scene for over fifteen years having served as Senior Food Writer at Miami.com for ten years and editor of UrbanDaddy Miami for five years. She has built a career out of spotlighting the coolest culinary talents and uncovering flavors from around the world. In her debut cookbook Miami Cooks, out this fall from Figure 1 Books, she highlights chefs and recipes from 35 of Miami’s favorite restaurants.
How did this book come about?
The publishing house Figure 1 Books approached me since they were looking to expand their series of city “Cooks” books to the US and I jumped at the chance to feature Miami’s incredible culinary scene. This is the first book to highlight our city’s talented chefs and I think it’s long overdue—we’re a serious restaurant town and these places deserve all the love.
What is the recipe you tried right away?
The Persian Carrot and Sour Cherry Stew from Fooq’s was one of the first to emerge from my test kitchen and it’s become a regular dish at our house, mainly because it’s so flavorful and simple to execute and makes for a delicious main dish when paired with basmati rice.
Anyone who’s been to any of the restaurants in the book like Ember or Beaker and Gray, for example, likely assumes those creations are out of the reach of a home cook. How did you try to make the cookbook fun, approachable and not intimidating?
The whole process of trying to create at home what you see on those amazing food shots can be quite daunting. But we made it our mission to turn that around and make the entire creative process accessible and actionable for the home chef. Sure, Brad Kilgore’s recipe for Cornbread with Short Rib Ragout has seven different components but you could skip the bone marrow butter and just focus on the short rib ragout and cornbread. Or if you’re feeling ambitious the full experience is laid out for you. The cookbook gives you the choice of how fancy or simple you want to take your home cooking experience.
What do you think is the biggest intimidation factor that keeps more people from trying to cook restaurant-caliber dishes at home?
I think that most people just aren’t used to cooking the way a professional chef or kitchen cooks in their home kitchen, whether because they don’t have fancy equipment or a staff of sous chefs and dishwashers on standby! But what I think this book does so well is it demystifies the idea with recipes for the home cook that are broken down into simple components so you can make some things in advance or refrigerate the sauces and dressings so you can cook at your leisure.
Your collection includes recipes from cooks who are native Miamians and transplants, male and female, celebrities and relative unknowns. How does that speak to the unique nature of Miami’s food scene in general and these restaurants in particular?
Miami’s food scene is so hard to categorize because it’s so diverse and eclectic. Technically we’re in the South, yet our cooking can’t be considered Southern. We’ve got so many ethnic traditions working in conjunction with each other that it’s probably one of the most exciting food cities in the country right now. I love that this book has well-known chefs like Daniel Boulud (of Boulud Sud) cooking North African dishes and Miami-born Eileen Andrade (of Finka Table and Tap) showing us how to make a Korean noodle dish and Jimmy Lebron (of 27) looking to his Haitian restaurant workers to guide him on his pork griot dish. Each of the chefs and cooks highlighted in the book learned and perfected their individual recipes and what they ended up with was something really extraordinary.
What else excites you about Miami Cooks?
Beyond the impressive recipes, I think what I’m most excited about with this book is the spectacular photography by our local superstar Michael Pisarri. The food shots and chef portraits are seriously next-level, and those, combined with the elegant hard-cover design, will make this a handsome addition to anyone’s kitchen bookshelf or coffee table.
So where can we get Miami Cooks?
Each restaurant benefits from the sale of the books when you buy from the restaurant directly (for a full list see here). You can also support local by purchasing at Books and Books—both online and in-store. And of course, it is available on Amazon.
Chefs’ Picks: Miami Burgers
We’re making our way across the country, finding chefs’ favorite burgers in a variety of cities. We’ve talked to chefs about their picks in New York City and Chicago. Now we’re hitting Miami, just in time for the 15th annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
“This is easy,” says John Iatrellis of Lure Fishbar, citing cozy Miami Beach neighborhood joint Sweet Liberty. “Buns of Liberty will hit the spot with crunchy onions, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, housemade pickles, special sauce on a delicious brioche roll … on point! Since this is about burgers, I won’t go on about their amazing craft cocktails and fun and inviting atmosphere.”
The Original db Burger is an epically indulgent affair, mixing sirloin with braised short ribs, foie gras and black truffle on a Parmesan bun, with a side of pommes frites. So when Meat Market’s master of meat, Executive Chef-Owner Sean Brasel, wants to indulge, he knows exactly where to turn. Brasel, a fan of lean proteins who cooks himself Southwest-inspired bison burgers, likes the flavor that the foie gras adds to Daniel Boulud’s beefy mixtures. “When I get the chance to get away from the restaurants and splurge a little, I go to DB Bistro in downtown Miami for that foie gras burger.”
Burger and Beer Joint has legions of beef-loving fans. Award-winning chef Makoto Okuwa of Makoto is one. His favorite is topped with hearty chili, cheddar, pickled jalapenos and a habanero sauce that he swears “is to die for.” Elaborating, he says, “The flavors are well balanced, and the richness and umami of the patty are great. I usually go for that with a side of the duck fat fries.”
Nedal Ahmad, chef-owner of Pincho Factory, is constantly racking up awards for his creations, but when he doesn’t want to make himself a burger, he heads to The Local for an off-the-menu take. “Phil [Bryant]'s burger changes frequently and is consistently good,” says Ahmad. “But in-the-know guests can always order whichever burger graces the menu secret style, which adds a fried egg and switches out the regular bun for The Local’s Mc'Disco’s — two disks of melty housemade pimento cheese, hot-pressed between a potato roll.”
Matt and Priscilla Kuscher, owners of LoKal, Kush and The Spillover, make a lot of burgers for their restaurants. When they’re not at one of the three and they’re craving ground meat, they make a Puerto Rico-meets-Maryland mash-up marinade with Old Bay, yellow mustard, local lager, orange, garlic, onions and Sazón mixed with grass-fed ground beef. After letting it sit for a few hours, they cook the patties and serve them on potato buns with mayo-ketchup, potato sticks and provolone cheese.
JW Marriott Marquis Miami
A vibrant celebration of the sun and the sea. Chef Daniel Boulud’s Mediterranean concept, Boulud Sud, is located on the lobby level.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Dress code: Smart Casual Phone: +1 305-421-8800
Met Café & Bar - Temporarily Closed
Diverse cuisine from around the world including traditional American favorites. Plasma TV&aposs display popular sporting events
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Dress code: Casual Phone: +1 305-421-8600
Concierge Lounge - 36th floor - Temporarily Closed
Available to guests staying on concierge levels and platinum and above Marriott Rewards members. Open for afternoon refreshments. Breakfast for concierge guests available in 345 on 2nd floor.
Dress code: Casual Phone: +1 305-421-8600
Fitness & Recreation
Jogging/fitness trail (0.1 miles)
Mountain biking, trail (17 miles)
4400 Rickenbacker Causeway
1101 Biscayne Blvd Maurice A. Ferré Park
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Airport Phone: +1 305-876-7000
Hotel direction: 8 miles SE
This hotel does not provide shuttle service.
- Alternate transportation: Taxi service fee: 25 USD (one way) on request
- Estimated taxi fare: 25 USD (one way)
Take 836 East. After passing through the toll booth, stay to the right and take the Interstate 95 South exit toward downtown Miami. Move to the left lane on Interstate 95 and take exit 2C/Downtown. Stay in right lane on the exit and turn right at the traffic light. Make an immediate left and the hotel will be on the left. // Private limousine service is available from the airport to the hotel. Contact hotel concierge for details and price.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
Airport Phone: +1 954-359-6100
Hotel direction: 26 miles S
This hotel does not provide shuttle service.
- Alternate transportation: Taxi service fee: 70 USD (one way) on request
- Estimated taxi fare: 70 USD (one way)
Take Interstate 595 West to Interstate 95 South. Move to the left lane on Interstate 95 and take exit 2C/Downtown. Stay in right lane on the exit and turn right at the traffic light. Make an immediate left and the hotel will be on the left.// Private limousine service is available from the airport to the hotel. Contact hotel concierge for details and price.
Best Miami Bites of 2018 (So Far)
Miami's New Wave of Ice Cream Offers Exotic Flavors
Secret Sushi Restaurant Hiden Opens Inside Wynwood's Taco Stand
Many establishments &mdash among them Planta in South Beach, Boulud Sud in downtown Miami, and Hiden in Wynwood &mdash have shown an ability to adapt to a new, younger, and more energetic clientele, one that strays from tablecloths and gravitates toward approachable and experience-based dining.
Here are New Times' ten picks for this year's best restaurant openings &mdash so far.
Planta. Off South Pointe Drive in South Beach, Planta offers delicious food and a chance to rub shoulders with stars. Brought to Miami from Toronto by nightlife veteran David Grutman, the place is entirely vegan, preparing innovative renditions of meaty cheeseburgers, fresh fish, and fried tater tots without a trace of animal product. For instance, ceviche ($15.25) is made with raw coconut meat that re-creates the texture of seafood. Then there's the meat lover's pizza ($19.25), topped with mozzarella made from cashews, bacon from mushrooms, and sausage composed of farro &mdash a dried wheat product. Planta's burger ($19.95) includes a veggie patty made of black beans, mashed lentils, and beetroot, with a gooey cheese prepared from carrot and potato. 850 Commerce St., Miami Beach 305-397-8513 plantarestaurants.com.
Malibu Farm. Inside the Nobu Eden Roc Hotel, this California-cool restaurant is reminiscent of the Pacific Coast town for which it's named &mdash call it upscale beach-shack style. The menu offers cauliflower-crust pizza, chicken-ricotta burgers, and cucumber-infused vodka cocktails &mdash not exactly what you'd expect at a swank, Nobu-owned hotel at one of Miami Beach's most historic properties. Created by Los Angeles-based private-chef-turned-restaurateur Helene Henderson, Malibu Farm celebrates locally sourced items and ingredient-rich plates. Right now, Henderson receives bread from Wynwood's Zak the Baker, meat from Larry Kline in Deerfield Beach, and fruits and vegetables from Produce Kingdom in downtown Miami. Must-order items include a chicken and ricotta burger, hugged by a brioche bun and topped with bacon, tomato, red onion, and a spicy aioli ($17), and a grilled chocolate cake, which calls for throwing a cooled slice on a sizzling grill ($12). 4525 Collins Ave., Miami Beach 305-674-5579 malibufarmmiamibeach.com.
Dasher & Crank. Inside a light-pink shop in Wynwood, an Electro Freeze machine rumbles, and a yellowish cream made with vanilla bean, passionfruit, and ají amarillo erupts from the spout. Nearby, stored in a cooler set to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, are other creative ice-cream flavors, such as raspberry-wasabi, salted caramel and black licorice, and mint made black with activated charcoal. Here, the simple milk, sugar, and egg recipe is dressed up with bacon, candied hemp seeds, and miso honey. At any given time, the sleek store, located on Wynwood's main drag, offers 18 unique flavors ($5 and up), including Salty Beach, a creamy blend made with coconut, sea salt, and graham cracker crumbs. Then there's Fat Elvis, with peanut butter, banana, and Miami Smokers bacon, and Mary Jane Brownie, a mix of brownie chunks, molasses, peanut butter, and candied hemp seeds. 2211 NW Second Ave., Miami dasherandcrank.com.
Boulud Sud. The latest Miami venture for Daniel Boulud, the James Beard Award-winning French chef and restaurateur, Boulud Sud takes the place of DB Bistro Moderne, his former restaurant in the same space. Here, he serves a modern interpretation of his cuisine in a reenergized and decidedly more glamorous atmosphere. It's his way of adapting to a more casual dining culture without compromising quality. Begin a meal with a mezze platter filled with two lightly fried herb falafel and a handful of crisp crackers ready to plunge into a spicy Moroccan hummus and an eggplant baba ghanouj ($15). Then opt for the chicken tagine, showered in a blend of North African spices, from coriander to cardamom ($28), followed by a warm basket of madeleines for dessert ($8). JW Marriott Marquis, 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami 305-421-8800 bouludsud.com/miami.
222 Taco. Anna Robbins opened the eatery North Bay Village needed. This pink-and-teal joint offers tacos in the categories "Land," "Sea," and "Jardin" ($3 to $4 each). Though meat abounds here, veggie offerings are guilt-free standouts that offer all the acid, smoke, and spice of pork or beef. The cauliflower al pastor is particularly pleasing with sweet and sour flavors. The restaurant also serves breakfast all day with a Mexican twist, so you can have a plate of chilaquiles ($11) any time of the day or night. Wash it all down with some of Robbins' curated rare tequilas and mezcals to keep the fiesta going until well past midnight.1624 79th St. Cswy.,North Bay Village 833-222-8226 222ta.co.
La Centrale. Eating here is a whole lot cheaper than booking a flight to Italy. Though this tri-level food hall is located in the heart of Brickell, it has the soul of Rome. On the first floor, experience a Neapolitan pizza, its molten cheese still bubbling from the oven ($15 to $22). One level up, try an Aperol spritz at theapéritif bar. Then head to Pesce, where you can channel an evening in Amalfi over a plate of chittara with sea urchin and lemon ($22). Venture to the third-floor "wine cellar" for a wide selection of Italian vintages by the glass and an even a great variety of bottles to take home.Brickell City Centre, 601 S. Miami Ave.,Miami 305-720-2401 lacentralemiami.com.
Night Owl Cookie Co. In 2017, Night Owl churned out more than 750,000 cookies, averaging about 2,000 per day and ringing up more than $1.5 million in sales. Then, this past June, owner Andrew Gonzalez expanded into a larger, 2,000-square-foot space on SW Eighth Street, potentially breaking the record for the largest cookie shop in the nation. (Guinness World Records will send Gonzalez a certificate in the next few months, he says.) In Night Owl, Gonzalez has built a multimillion-dollar business by selling $2 doughnut-size cookies in dozens of flavors. Most nights, lines of eager customers hungry for Ave Marias &mdash made with guava dough, white chocolate chips, and cream cheese frosting &mdash swirl around his Calle Ocho storefront. Other popular cookie orders are s'mores, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and the Dirty Diana, in which chocolate dough is stuffed with Nutella. In 2019, denizens of central Dade should be able to skip the drive out west &mdash Gonzalez plans to open a Night Owl location in Wynwood. 10534 SW Eighth St., Miami nightowlcookieco.com.
Hiden. Toward the rear of Wynwood's the Taco Stand, a popular Mexican minichain from California, a mysterious omakase restaurant is disguised in plain sight. Here, a $150 reservation brings 16 courses of fish flown overnight from Japan. The two-hour experience centers on executive chef Tadashi Shiraishi, who stands behind an intimate, eight-seat bar, ready to perform an intricate culinary dance in which he and his assistant chef prepare, cook, and serve 128 plates per seating. The menu is decided each day but typically includes two cold appetizers, such as a sashimi selection or tuna tasting a warm soup eight to ten sushi items a hot entrée such as Wagyu steak and a light dessert. Reservations can be made only through Tock, an upscale version of OpenTable. A few hours before arrival, diners receive entry codes, directions, and instructions. 313 NE 25th St., Miami hidenmiami.com.
St. Roch Market. With 10,000 square feet of food choices, St. Roch is an omnivore's dream come true. The Miami namesake of a famed New Orleans food hall, St. Roch is best experienced with a group of gluttonous friends &mdash each bringing a different item to the communal table. Start at Elysian for a half-dozen grilled oysters ($18), oozing with buttery goodness. Next up is a literal tower of hummus at Jaffa a sharable portion is served with tehina, pickles, Israeli salad, and pita for only $10. Follow with 25-hour-brined fried chicken served on a cheddar-chive waffle at Coop ($18) before getting a chocolate chip cookie so creamy you'll wonder how on Earth it could be vegan. Wash it all down with the bestSazerac you'll find outside NOLA at the bar the Mayhaw. 140 NE 39th St.,Miami 786-542-8977 miami.strochmarket.com.
Azabu Miami Beach. Just up the block from Nikki Beach, Azabu is based on a sister concept in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood that earned a Michelin star for serving traditional and somewhat affordable omakase in an underground speakeasy. Miami Beach's Azabu defies the usual limitations on classic Japanese cuisine by offering large portions of Tokyo comfort food at reasonable prices with exceptional service. A visit must include orders of the tori kara-age, Japanese-style boneless fried chicken ($14) the yakitoro momo, in which grilled chicken thighs are placed on a skewer and doused in a sweet soy ($12) and spicy tuna and beef tataki rolls. Or try a platter of sashimi and nigiri tuna, salmon, toro, and amberjack ($6 and up). 161 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach 786-276-0520 azabuglobal.com.
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How to Eat Like a New Yorker in Miami
New Yorkers love coming to Miami, though one thing they love to do while visiting is brag about the wonders of New York’s dining scene. From pizza and bagels to sushi and craft cocktails, it seems that nothing in Miami can match the caliber of the food offered up North.
Luckily, things have started to change in the Magic City. In the last few years, we’ve not only developed a vibrant and diverse culinary scene of our own, but also seen a slew of New York eateries branch out all over town, allowing us to partake in NYC-worthy feasts without having to hop on a plane.
Today, sushi enthusiasts in South Beach can choose from newish spots like TriBeCa’s Azabu and NYC chain Blue Ribbon Sushi, or even go for long-standing Manhattan icons like Nobu and Lure Fishbar.
Looking for a classic NY-style pizza by the slice? Pizza Tropical serves up killer options from the folks behind Brooklyn’s Best Pizza. Got a hankering for a Neapolitan pie? Lucali has you covered. Prefer non-traditional toppings? Hit Artichoke Pizza or Paulie Gee’s.
Italian food fans can find excellent house-made pastas in stylish environs at upscale NY exports like Scarpetta and Il Mulino or seek a more casual experience at the recently opened chain Serafina.
The list goes on and the trend shows no sign of stopping, which begs the question—why are so many NYC restaurateurs expanding to the Magic City?
Certainly, Miami’s appeal as an international destination and tourism hub has played a big role in the equation. As a result, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the majority of these Big Apple eateries have chosen touristy South Beach as their locale.
The seasonal influx of New Yorkers escaping the cold winter months was also a factor for some. “Many of our clientele from NYC either live in Miami part-time or tend to travel down here and vice versa,” says Eric Bromberg, owner of Blue Ribbon restaurants. “Throughout the years, we've heard from those customers that they'd love to see a Blue Ribbon down in Miami,” he adds.
Because locals are key for sustainability, several restaurateurs have set their eyes on our city’s residential neighborhoods. Such is the case with Jason Weisberg, who preferred to bet on the up-and-coming Upper East Side for his pizzeria Paulie Gee’s. “For us, it was more important to be a neighborhood spot before anything else. Our plan was to cater to a local clientele and complement it with out-towners who see Paulie Gee’s as a food destination.”
Chef and owner Daniel Boulud decided on Downtown for his new Mediterranean concept named Boulud Sud . Similar to his Lincoln Center location, the restaurant caters to a business lunch crowd and nighttime diners looking to enjoy a meal before catching a show in the nearby performance arts centers.
To our delight, many of these NYC transplants are bringing their signature dishes with them. From Upland’s gargantuan roasted short rib and Blue Ribbon’s oxtail fried rice, to Scarpetta’s famous spaghetti with tomato sauce and Azabu’s shredded chicken salad, there are many ways to get a taste of the Big Apple in the 305.
In the case of Prohibition-style bar and restaurant Employees Only, the venue originally debuted as a close replica of the West Village sister property. “Our design is very old school New York. People here love it because we are very different from anything else that’s on South Beach,” said co-founder Billy Gilroy. D.J. booths and an enclosed patio for imbibing al fresco have also been added to the venue to better cater to clients in South Beach.
Naturally, many chefs are also making adaptations for the local market, coming up with some lighter, warm-weather friendly options or adding Latin-inspired twists to the mix. “Our Miami menu is a bit lighter due to its tropical setting,” said Upland Chef Justin Smillie. “We have some raw items on the menu at Upland in New York, but in Miami there's a dedicated raw section with dishes like the Drunken Snapper with tequila, cilantro, and key lime.”
Photo by Guzman Barquin.
In the end, it looks that they don’t refer to Miami as New York’s sixth borough for nothing. Besides the high number of part-time and permanent residents originating from the Big Apple, we now boast a long list of its restaurants as well. And the best part is that we are blessed with warm weather and great beaches to boot, which is certainly something to brag about!