Frodnesor's Profile

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Brickell and Wynwood

There are some who would suggest the mere name "Toasted Bagelry" is a major red flag:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/05/wh...

(I'm not among them, I generally have no problem with toasting a bagel, but that's also because 90% of the bagels in the universe aren't great bagels to start with).

But now I'm going to have to try it.

about 7 hours ago
Frodnesor in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Brickell and Wynwood

I guess I'd heard Campania had closed, though there's been so many closings this summer it's hard to keep track. That spot has been cursed for years, but it's pretty remarkable to me that the Design District really hasn't been able to sustain a restaurant other than MGFD. (And now it's going to have Joel Robuchon opening 3!)

Yes on Myumi as well - which is an omakase only sushi truck in a lot in Wynwood next to gastroPod. That is a particular niche you have to be in the market for, but I was pretty impressed. Some thoughts from my first visit here:

http://www.foodforthoughtmiami.com/20...

Second to Mignonette too.

about 7 hours ago
Frodnesor in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Brickell and Wynwood

Wynwood is in close proximity to the Design District but very different, especially these days. Design District is rapidly becoming home to a mind-boggling array of mind-boggling high-end shops - every high-end designer, watchmaker, etc. seems to feel the need to have a store there.

Wynwood is undergoing a pretty rapid shift from an arts district into a shopping district itself, but not as much on the high end of the market and more in the way of independent, crafty shops - and still has many of the art galleries that made it a destination in the first place, as well as the blocks and blocks of street art that draw the tourists and their cameras (and me, too, I'll confess).

As far as eating: Design District still has Michael's Genuine, which is still very good; as well as Harry's Pizzeria (more casual pizzeria), Cypress Room (more luxurious, white-tablecloth dining) and now Ella (a counter-service breakfast / lunch place) as well, all from the same chef (Michael Schwartz). I liked Oak Tavern but it's gone in the face of new development. I've been less impressed by MC Kitchen though it has its fans, and haven't been to Campania, though it's got a good pedigree (the folks from Sardinia on Miami Beach opened it). I've not been in some time, but Michelle Bernstein's Crumb on Parchment is good for casual breakfast / lunch. A little ways north, Mandolin Aegean Bistro is solid for simple Greek / Mediterranean food though the primarily outdoor seating is not always ideal in July.

In Wynwood proper, Alter is a very good new restaurant from chef Brad Kilgore (formerly at J&G Grill). Search this board for another post on Alter. For more casual, hit up Zak the Baker for excellent bread and a simple menu of toasts, sandwiches & salads, or the gastroPod for updated gourmet versions of old classics (burger, crispy chicken sandwich, etc.) and sometimes some really outstanding pastas too.

Midtown Miami sits right in between Wynwood and the Design District and also has several more spots. Of these my favorite is Proof Pizza & Pasta, whose simple name really doesn't do justice to how good the food is. The pizzas are very good but the pastas (made in-house) are pretty uniformly excellent. I'm also a fan of BlackBrick for somewhat modernized Chinese using responsibly sourced ingredients. I've not been to Sugarcane in quite some time but have had some good meals there.

I don't get to Brickell often because if you don't live (or stay) there it is often a nightmare to drive in and out of. But La Mar is good for higher end Peruvian, plus Edge Steak (in the Four Seasons), Momi Ramen, Naoe for a very expensive, omakase Japanese experience. There have been several recent openings in Brickell I've not yet tried.

about 10 hours ago
Frodnesor in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

ALTER (new Brad Kilgore place in Wynwood)

I get where that particular comparison comes from but I think there's plenty that distinguishes them. Shikany was a huge space, that someone poured a ton of money into, with a menu of ~$18 apps and ~$35 entrees (and a $180 10 course tasting menu). Alter's a pretty tight, bare bones space with about 45-seats, where an app & main together will set you back about $40, and nothing on the menu is over $30 other than a 5-course $65 tasting menu. Different places and different price point.

I also think there's a difference in the experience levels of their respective chefs. I just don't recall Shikany getting much hype, at least not here anyway.

Recommendations for Miami/SoBe

Always great to hear back from visitors and glad you had a good experience here.

ALTER (new Brad Kilgore place in Wynwood)

Honestly not sure either what "hype" there's been nor the reason for the negativity. I get lots of restaurant press releases every day - I've never received a single one for Alter. There have been the usual opening reports from the usual publications, but not much more than that. And a total of 5 Yelp reviews after 2 weeks open, which is a low number compared to many of the hype-beasts that will sometimes miraculously have a dozen before the place has even opened.

Maybe consider trying the place before predicting its closure?

Hottest Taco Joint in Miami

I've had the fish tacos at Matador Room a couple times now (during lunch service and dinner, one time fried and the other time grilled) and have been underwhelmed. I find they're overpowered by the very vinegar-y slaw that's served over them, which is kind of surprising because JG is usually the master of balancing acid and spice.

I preferred the mushroom and kale tacos. Haven't tried the chicken.

ALTER (new Brad Kilgore place in Wynwood)

I went earlier this week solo and did the tasting menu (with a couple add-ons). Pictures here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/foodfor...

(the bread was an add-on and the grouper cheek was a gift from the kitchen).

The soft egg w scallop mousse & gruyere seems to be the leading crowd favorite - and it's great - but I think maybe my favorite dish of the night was the grouper cheek (as an entree I'm sure you get a bigger portion than what you see in my pictures). The only course I found kind of underwhelming was the swordfish w charred avocado butter (the choice of fish varies from day to day, I think it's listed as pompano on the online menu).

If you're only 2, I think the tasting menu may be the way to go for a first visit. With 5 courses you'll probably still get to try more dishes than if you go a la carte (unless Mrs. CFB is a really good eater). The tasting menu must be ordered by the whole table, which is too bad because the best move would be one tasting menu and then fill in the gaps with the other person going a la carte.

Definitely order the bread as well and - pro tip - ask that it come during the egg course (prime dunking material).

Also don't sleep on the poussin, I've had Brad's chicken dishes on other occasions and they've been excellent.

Recommendations for Miami/SoBe

Dairy Belle. It's solid. A few pics here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/foodfor...

Recommendations for Miami/SoBe

Don't think the food trucks make it into South Beach. I suspect the closest they may get is a weekly gathering on Wednesdays along the 71st Street Causeway across from Pelican Harbor Marina.

Recommendations for Miami/SoBe

It would be helpful to know if you're planning to stay on South Beach or are willing to venture to the mainland (it's only 10-15 minutes away but some visitors prefer to stay on the beach).

On South Beach, yes to Pubbelly, and its sibling Pubbelly Sushi (the traditional sushi is not that exceptional but if you think of it more like a Japanese gastropub and order the prepared dishes (and the rolls - not usually my thing, but theirs are fun and tasty) it's a good meal. I know you discouraged Italian, but I think Macchialina serves some of the best food on the beach, in an environment like you're seeking. The Dutch is a hotel restaurant but draws some locals and has a menu that sounds like what you're looking for, plus good cocktails and a good (though very expensive) wine list. 27 Restaurant in the Freehand (restaurant sibling to the Broken Shaker cocktail bar) also does a great job of capturing local flavors, with a great atmosphere. You might also want to check out Tongue & Cheek on the south end of South Beach too.

If you're willing to venture off South Beach, yes to Michael's Genuine, and also some of my favorites of late: Mignonette (oyster bar / seafood place in Edgewater), Vagabond (contemporary place in a restored 50's hotel on Biscayne Blvd.), BlackBrick (sort of modernized Chinese with good ingredients in Midtown), Eating House (contemporary in Coral Gables), Proof (Italian in Midtown - their pastas are excellent). I've not yet been but you may also want to check out Alter, recently opened in Wynwood by Brad Kilgore (formerly chef at JG Grill in Bal Harbour). I went to a couple of their pre-opening pop-ups and am very excited to try it myself.

Cuban Restaurant in Coral Gables, South Miami or Kendall

I've not been but Havana Harry's on LeJeune is often recommended, especially for the chicken vaca frita. Malanga Cafe which is further down south toward Pinecrest claims to have the world's best pan con lechon - and I've been told it's actually pretty good.

Cafe Boulud

They did this last summer at DB Bistro in Miami and are doing it again this summer. I wouldn't take it as indication of permanent changes, just a summer special menu thing.

We did a whole hog dinner at DB last year (and got a preview of almost the entire DBGB menu too) and it was pretty great:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/foodfor...

Following up on your comments, I think Cafe Boulud may be one of the most under-rated restaurants in South Florida. I've had nothing but good meals there, and I actually find the menu more interesting than DB here in Miami.

Has Michy's reopened?

Responding to the original post, Michy's reopened as Cena by Michy this past weekend.

One day in South Beach - review

Thanks for the feedback, always good to hear what visitors enjoy.

It's hard to imagine that the Miami Hakkasan is more expensive than London but I suppose it's possible. (Actually I've just checked online menus and it actually looks as if the prices for the a la carte dinner items - the only one I see that has prices for both London and Miami - are mostly pretty closely aligned factoring in exchange rate, and in some instances Miami is markedly less expensive. But I can't compare the dim sum menus).

It's been many years since I've been but I share the belief that the food in London - we went to the original Hanway Place location near Tottenham Ct Rd - was better. And the dim sum choices are definitely more limited on the Miami menu.

Any chance there is a great caterer in South Florida?

I have used them and they do great work.

I'm wondering if there are any crab/crawfish boils similiar to the format of "The Boiling Crab" or "Hot 'n Juicy" on Miami Beach??

The Federal also does a crawfish boil every Wednesday in season, and adds a few other crawfish-centric items to the menu.

http://www.thefederalmiami.com/images...

Check Please South Florida

Yeah, that's a rerun, it first aired about a year ago (they did a food bloggers episode). Don't worry, there are no secrets any more (I even use my real name when I write for Edible So. Fl.). My claim to fame is I'm the first person to recommend a restaurant that closed before the show even got on the air!

Has Michy's reopened?

Michy's will be reopening with a new name (Cena) and a new menu, so it's kind of hard to say. This article gives the most detailed preview I've seen:

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/restaura...

Miami - Financial District

I'd add La Mar, Toscana Divino.

date spots in miami?

Casa Tua menu:
http://southflorida.menupages.com/res...
MM74:
http://www.michaelmina.net/pdf/menus/...
Bazaar:
http://sbe.com/content/uploads/2015/0...

Pretty much everything at Casa Tua is pricey: apps average $20, pastas average $25, mains average $40.

MM74 has some expensive items - and some that may be overpriced (a $24 turkey burger?! The turkey burger on the Bourbon Steak bar menu is only $15) - but comes in at lower price points overall than Tua.

Bazaar is a bit harder to gauge as it's a tapas style menu where you will typically end up ordering 3-4 things per person and it can be either very expensive or somewhat reasonable, but you will probably end up spending around $60-75pp (without drinks, tax or tip).

Need a Simple Stylish Lunch for 2 Spot

Whisk?
Not as good as it used to be, but El Carajo?
Is Gables too much of a detour? Su Shin Izakaya, Talavera, Swine (you'll come out smelling smoky though), Bugatti, Sushi Samba, Seven Dials ...
I just had a good lunch at the Local, which has seen a lot of folks pass through the kitchen but Philip Bryant (last at Swine, I think?) is doing good stuff there right now.

A month in MIA

For farmers' markets, Edible South Florida has a good map of them all:

http://ediblesouthflorida.com/farmers...

But keep in mind, season is sort of starting to wind up here (our South Florida growing season runs fall to spring and in the summers is much more limited). Some of these markets are much better than others - i.e., have actual local farmers rather than folks just buying wholesale stuff and redistributing it. Sometimes the better approach is to check the farmers themselves: Bee Heaven Farm, Little River Cooperative, Verde Farm and market are a few.

Visit Palacio de los Jugos for fresh fruit and steam-table Cuban food - the locations out west (Flagler or Coral Way) I think are best.

I like Garcia's for fresh grilled fish, La Camaronera even more for fresh fried seafood, the Cuban sandwiches at Luis Galindo's Latin American Cafe, the pan con lechon at Papo Llega y Pon, but for some really in depth coverage on comfort foods - and food trucks as well - you should read Burger Beast:

http://burgerbeast.com/

Note, however, that healthy and Cuban don't always go together so well.

The stretch of North Beach (i.e., around Collins Avenue in the 60s and 70s) is another fertile ground for exploring local flavors. You can find Peruvian (Cholo's Grill), Venezuelan (Moises Bakery), Cuban (Sazon), Uruguayan (Chivitoteca), Colombian (La Perrada de Edgar, Mi Colombia around the corner on 71s Street), Argentinian (Buenos Aires Bakery, Las Vacas Gordas) all within a few blocks.

date spots in miami?

Bazaar, especially in the back room (the white room not the black room in front) might be another good date place. Not exactly quiet and dark and intimate but it's a gorgeous room, cozy especially if you can get one of the couch-style seats, and very good food (though it's actually been ages since I've been, and I ought to fix that).

Raleigh (Restaurant Michael Schwartz) is another really pretty spot, either inside or outside. I think the food trails both MGFD and Cypress Room, but I've not had a bad meal there in a few visits.

date spots in miami?

I was thinking of the room as much as anything else with QM. I'd agree Cypress is more romantic than cool.

Drunken Dragon? I've not been.

date spots in miami?

Cypress Room in the Design District. Also very pricey but I think one of the most romantic dining rooms in Miami. I like 27 but it's very casual and not a "fancy" date place. MM74 in the Fontainebleau on the beach is dark and relatively intimate with good food. Recently went to the new Quality Meats in South Beach and really thought it was a gorgeous dining room (old Art Deco, restored and given a bit of a steakhouse feel) and we had a good meal if you're in the mood for something meaty.

Macchialina

I would eat at Macchialina 10x before Gabbiano. Escarole salad w preserved lemon, broccoli al cesare, house made porchetta, polenta w sausage ragu, spaghetti vongole are all better than anything I've ever eaten at Gabbiano, which I find to be pretty generic pedestrian food most notable for all the other stuff they bring to the table (bruschetta, parmesan, fried zucchini, etc.). To each his own I suppose.

Just a FYI, since the post you're responding to goes back to 2012 - Macchialina is no longer a Pubbelly restuarant, PB sold it to chef Michael Pirolo and GM Jen Chaefsky a year or so ago.

Miami Bachelorette weekend - need suggestions!

For the right atmosphere I'd see if you can buy out the 1930's Room at the Thompson Hotel (w food from Michelle Bernstein's Seagrape) - or they also have a nice space upstairs too. Seagrape also has a nice semi-private space in the main dining room of the restaurant, but its style is more 1950's. Quality Meats is in a nicely restored and updated Art Deco property and also has several private rooms if you want. Or maybe the Raleigh (with Restaurant Michael Schwartz). Go to the Regent Cocktail Club at the Gale for drinks. If you want to stay on property, the Fontainebleau has MM74 and Scarpetta (I haven't been to the latter since Nina Compton left but I'm sure it's still solid). I think Scarpetta has a couple private dining areas with water views, and the whole place has a sort of 1930's luxury cruise liner style to it. And if your girlfriends are up for it, Hakkasan dim sum brunch on Sunday would be a great call.

I've focused mostly on atmosphere and decor in response to your "Gatsby themed dinner" request but all of these places would be recommended on their food too.

2 Days in Berkeley

Thanks all for a lot of great feedback, much appreciated.

So, bumping Gather off the list, Ippuku probably remains in as 1 of 2 dinners, with Kiraku as a backup, and moving Comal up as a candidate for the other dinner, though I'm still intrigued by Tigerlily. Ajanta is tempting too. Corso also looks good, but strikes me a bit as more of a "good restaurant that happens to be in Berkeley" than a "good Berkeley restaurant" if that makes any sense (and I'm glad to be corrected if I'm off base).

Chengdu Style, Mount Everest and Jayakarta are strong contenders as lunch options, based both on comments and proximity to campus.

There may still be a side trip at some point to Vik's Chaat and nearby Cultured Pickle Shop.

Particularly with the limited time we have on this trip I think the focus will stay on Berkeley proper rather than Oakland, though if Frod Jr. chooses UC we may be visiting a lot more often ...

bouncepass - always glad to help on the Miami front, and thanks for the local analogies, very helpful.

tre2012 - "scion" is so much kinder than "spawn".

One more request: breakfast places? Close walking distance to campus is a plus. Good coffee and baked goods are a higher priority than full-blown breakfast plate type things. Already have PIQ and Cheese Board noted.

Looking for fresh mint leaves

That's surprising, they usually have fresh mint in the plastic clamshell packages at most Publixes. Which one did you try? There are 3 on South Beach alone (Alton & 5th, Dade Blvd., West Ave.) then there's another in North Beach (Collins & 68th), plus there's Whole Foods on Alton Rd., Fresh Market on West Ave., Epicure on Alton - between one of those I'm sure someone has fresh mint. If all else fails you can cut some from my garden.