Archive for August 2010

Michael’s Genuine take 1

August 10, 2010

After our scrumptious appetizers at OLA, we headed over to Michael’s Genuine in the Design District for dessert.  I hardly have any idea of what we Boyfriend ate here.  I was so full I could hardly concentrate.

The food scene in Miami reminded me a lot of New York.  It was almost 10 PM when we got to Michael’s Genuine but it was packed with people still coming in behind us.  I was worried we wouldn’t get seated but the host gave us one of the best seats in the house!  We got to sit at the “chef’s table” and watch most things get cooked and served.  I had fun watching things go into the oven.  The menu is split up into small, medium, large and extra large plates that are meant to be shared, tapas style.

Boyfriend wanted to try the pig ear salad and wow, there was a lot of pig ear in this baby.  I tried one of these crispy, flavorful things and had to stop because I was so full.

Off of the food menu, I was most interested in the crispy rice cake.  It had Florida rock shrimp, chorizo, manchego and a fried organic egg on top.  Unfortunately, this was probably the most disappointing dish we ordered.  The flavors just didn’t seem to mesh well for me and I didn’t care for it.

Who can resist some crispy sweet & spicy pork belly?  Boyfriend can’t, that’s for sure… especially if there is kimchee involved!  This mixed in with some peanuts and sprouts made for an excellent combination.

Now the real reason why we went to Michael’s Genuine was for the dessert.  We knew this had to be an amazing place if THREE people mentioned THREE different menu items in the same episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate!  Iron Chef Michael Symon chose the popcorn & peanuts dessert for the “sweet tooth” episode.  It’s a chocolate peanut butter candy bar with buttered popcorn and ice cream.  It didn’t sound all that spectacular but the salty / sweet combination sounded intriguing.  (I usually love my french fries dipped in ice cream!)  This dessert wasn’t bad but I’m not sure it’d be worth ordering again.

Scott Conant chose the tangerine creamsicle pot de creme as his dessert.  I wasn’t too interested in trying it but Boyfriend couldn’t wait to get his hands on it!  I took one bite and I was sold.  I absolutely get what Scott was saying.  The one listed on our menu was orange and tasted exactly like a creamsicle in the middle of summer.  I don’t know how each element of this dessert goes so incredibly well together but you take a bite of the doughnut, dip it in the blackberry tarragon jam, and swipe it across the cream and this one bite will take you back to your childhood.

There were so many other dishes that came out that I want to try.  Now that we know what’s popular (we literally saw the wood roasted cauliflower with parsley sauce, wood oven pizza and steak au poivre too many times to count!) we know exactly what to order when we go back. Until then, I’ll be dreaming of the orange creamsicle pot de creme…

130 NE 40th Street   Miami, Florida

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OLA

August 6, 2010

OLA: Of Latin America

We found out about OLA in the Sanctuary Hotel from yup, you guessed it!  The Best Thing I Ever Ate.   We actually had other dinner plans but knew we wanted to try out OLA so we decided to do appetizers here and head someplace else for dinner.

Boyfriend really wanted to try out the “Fire and Ice” ceviche that was recommended on the show.  It’s cobia marinated in sour oranges, Thai chilies, cilantro and jalapeno all over asian pear granita.  I had my doubts about this because the pear granita sounded like it would melt and wash away and flavor this dish had.  I ended up loving it and thought the name of the dish suited it perfectly.

The restaurant was packed so we ended up sitting at the bar.  This was probably to our advantage because we made friends with a couple next to us AND the bar tender.  The bar tender told us Chef Douglas Rodriguez is known for his ceviches and recommended the Hamachi Nikkei.  My ears perk up when I hear “hamachi” so I couldn’t wait to try it out.  This ceviche was marinated in yuzu, Thai basil, togarashi peppers, cilantro, sweet soy glaze, crushed seaweed and sesame seeds.  Talk about a party in your mouth!  This ceviche was also quite amazing.

The Chicharron dish we ordered was my favorite of the night.  I can still remember the warmth and the flavors of this rock shrimp dish.  They almost tasted like popcorn shrimp but ten times better than any popcorn shrimp I’ve ever tried before.  These were coated with rice and corn flour with a sweet and spicy panca sauce and a little cilantro.  I kept popping these in my mouth as if they were tater tots and I could’ve eaten the entire bowl myself and have wanted to order another!!

Does this dish look familiar?  It’s the Hamachi Nikkei dish again because Boyfriend loved it so much that he ordered ANOTHER!  Yes, we had two of the same dish in the same sitting and it wasn’t the Chicharron.  Sadness.

Our new friends we met at the bar told us we just HAD to order the Mystery Meat Balls.  Everything up until this point had been excellent and even though I was starting to get full, we wanted to try more.  These meatballs (we were told later they were Kobe beef) had a callampa mushroom sauce over them and if you know me at all, you know I go crazy for anything with mushrooms.  These were quite filling which wouldn’t normally be a problem except we were supposed to be heading to dinner shortly after…

We also had these AMAZING bread balls that were made with tapioca flour.  I didn’t get a shot of them because I devoured them the second they were brought to us.  They had this wonderful chewy texture to them with just the right amount of cheesiness.  They were divine and I ate three of them.  Yes THREE.  Yes, I’m trying to cut out carbs from my diet but I was on vacation so I figured it’d be okay.   I also had a couple of glasses of wine and kept asking Boyfriend if it’d be okay to ask our neighbors at the bar if I could eat theirs because that is how good they are.  I didn’t ask but thinking back about it now, I almost wish I had.  Now you know why I was full when we went to dinner about 20 minutes later…

1745 James Avenue   Miami Beach, FL 33139


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