As promised, a peak at my favorite South Beach bites. Because what better way to start your Tuesday than by drooling all over your keyboard?
A most perfect board o’ carbs at The Dutch, stacked with the moistest mini cornbread muffins, tomato / parm focaccia, and honey / sea salt butter. Crazy delicious, these bready wonders were merely a precursor to the wonderful lunches we enjoyed at the hotel’s restaurant each day. On the highlight reel was a lobster (!) curry salad studded with raisins and cashews and served inside a coconut. The waitress offered to have the kitchen crack open the coconut for me so I could eat the “meat” once I’d finished the salad inside of it. I did not object.
Also on the favorites list was a most refreshing rosemary lemonade (above) that made me forget the Florida humidity, stat.
Dinner at The Raleigh meant outdoor seating under string-lit trees, a blazing blue pool nearby, and some of the snackiest starters around, including crispy hominy dusted with chili + lime, and sesame-crusted “shrimp toast” (inappropriately labeled, appropriately delicious). Both so fried, so crunchy, and so small — we split these babies four ways — that we couldn’t feel bad about trying them. Though the entrées at the restaurant didn’t blow me away, the atmosphere was worth a quick visit, at least for a drink and a taste of the dishes featured above.
An evening at Mandolin Aegean Bistro in Miami’s design district transported me to Greece for a quick, wonderful sec. Tucked away under white canvas, surrounded by ivy and vibrantly colored décor, we managed to sample our way through a Mediterranean feast of my very favorite foods. To start, we shared zucchini stuffed with eggplant, tomatoes, yogurt, and ground almonds, kefte (ground beef / lamb meatballs) paired with a thick, garlicky yogurt sauce, and grilled octopus. Next came a whole grilled fish doused in lemon juice and a barley salad studded with fresh mint, green apple slices, and pomegranate seeds. Note: This is my idea of a perfect meal.
We ended our vacation on a superbly high note, thanks to The EDITION Hotel’s Matador Room. Let’s just say we rolled (not walked) out of the restaurant, cursing/blessing our over-ordering of: crispy calamari with ancho chili glaze; the mushroom / 3-cheese / farm egg pizza pictured above; shaved raw scallops; BBQ pork tacos with pickled red onions; charred octopus with crispy potatoes; and the chef’s speciality: arroz con pollo. Put simply, it was a flavor party of the highest order. The Matador Room ranks at the top of my Miami list as a must-try if you’re looking for a splurge ($-wise, calorie-wise, you name it) and some of the finest people-watching you’ll ever have the chance to do.
So by no means is this a Week’s Healthy Eats post, but you gotta do what you gotta do when vacation is just three days long. Right…?