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Restaurants & Bars 15

Brosia - Design District Miami

Frodnesor | Jan 27, 200808:39 PM

We ventured out tonight intending to try Domo Japones, one of a couple new additions to the Design District, but discovered it was closed on Sunday (or perhaps we were just too early). In any event, there are now multiple restaurant choices in the newly "arrived" Design District (so sez Miami New Times, so it must be true), and so we went around the corner and went to Brosia, a new Mediterranean spot, instead.

It's a pretty slick looking place, sort of loft-style - long, narrow and high-ceilinged, a banquette along one wall and windows on the other, some interesting modern large-scale paintings on the walls, small bar in back, with no more than about 15 tables inside and a comparable number outside.

The menu focus is on upscale Mediterranean, many dishes being riffs on semi-traditional items with some more contemporary components thrown in. Fairly short menu - about a half-dozen tapas/apps, a few salads, and then roughly a half-dozen mains, and a few veggie sides. We were started off with a small bowl of white bean dip with some bits of crisp-bread for dipping, which was tasty but a somewhat parsimonious bowl for a table of four (and it was not refreshed after we finished it off).

From the apps we got a piri-piri shrimp, "catalan style" shrimp and clams, a "mediterranean" salad, a plain pasta for little Miss F (not feeling adventurous tonight), and a strip steak and pork tenderloin for mains (though we only actually received one of the two, as discussed later). Pricing on the apps was generally low teens, with just about all the mains on the menu under $20 except for steak/lobster.

The piri-piri shrimp were pretty good, coated in herbs and hit with a little spice, and accompanied by a cucumber sambal. Five medium-sized shrimp seemed like a somewhat skimpy portion, however, especially for a $10+ app (rather than, say, an under $10 tapas portion). The catalan shrimp and clam dish really sung, studded with rounds of chorizo and in a broth w/ chile, garlic and parsley. Only drawback was the bread which accompanied (an essential tool for soaking up the sauce), which resembled Texas toast moreso than a nice crusty slice. The mediterranean salad was ... well, a salad, which means I'm only going to get so excited about it, but was a pretty nice combination with peppery arugula, grape tomatoes, hard-boiled quail eggs, orange slices, kalamata olives, and feta.

We suggested they bring the kids' dishes (the pasta and the NY strip - Frod Jr.'s choice) out whenever they were ready, and they came out with or shortly after the apps. Frod Jr. was halfway through his "steak" and marveling at how tender it was when we realized it was the pork tenderloin and not a NY strip. Whatever, he liked it, that's fine, and so I told the waiter that I'd take his NY strip instead (indeed, made a point of telling him that the blue-cheese stuffed piquillo, which I'd asked them to skip when ordering for Frod Jr., could happily be added back for me). Unfortunately when the next entree came out, it was -- another pork tenderloin.

Not quite sure what happened there, but anyway, it was a pretty darn good pork tenderloin, served over a bed of tasty braised kale, through the advertised "crab apple mustard" and "dijon mustard demi" were hard to detect, and the caperberry and cornichon alongside were overwhelming and didn't make much sense. (In retrospect, I just figured out that the "crab apple mustard" was actually a "mostarda di frutta", which were a few bits of candied & mustard-oil-flavored crab apple on the side, which had an interesting flavor). Some "bistro fries" ordered as a side, seasoned with a little sherry vinegar and sea salt, were pretty tasty.

Dessert choices are pretty limited, I think a total of four, Frod Jr. went with a fairly uninspired chocolate thing, while Miss F tried the baklava, which was a bit dry. Wine list was not lengthy but offered many pretty interesting choices. Didn't pay enough attention to make any general comments on pricing, though the bottle I got - an '03 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre - at $48 was probably at least 3x retail ($15 at Total), which is disappointing. When I checked the bill they had rung up Miss F's plain pasta as a $24 pasta w/ lobster, but when I brought it to their attention they quickly fixed it.

These comments, on re-reading them, possibly come off a lot more negative than I intend. I actually enjoyed the place - everything tasted good, the catalan seafood app in particular was great, the pork tenderloin was perfectly cooked (twice!) and flavorful. Clearly someone knows what they're doing in the kitchen, and the food prices were pretty reasonable especially on the mains. I'm actually looking forward to going back and think this is a good addition to the neighborhood.

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