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Restaurants & Bars 8

Miami Food Report

loratliff | Dec 11, 2012 08:02 AM

Hi all,

I posted a few weeks about visiting Miami for Basel. Our trip has (sadly) come to an end, but I wanted to thank everyone for their recommendations and report back on some of our favorites.

The first day, we were in Wynnwood and had a great Jamaican lunch at Clive's Cafe—fall-off-the-bone-goat stew and excellent jerk chicken for cheap. (Earlier that morning, we stopped at Panther Coffee.)

That night, we ate at Florida Cookery in the James Royal Palm. It was very good, but I didn't find it to be incredibly exciting—in fact, I can't even really remember what we had, other than a nice corvina ceviche. Not sure if I'd return. "Safe" food with a little bit of Florida flair. I did very much like their key lime pie. I also thought the space was a little weird... Not so much as a restaurant as just a corner of the hotel dedicated to dining.

We had a great lunch from Joe's Take-Out and ate it in the park, per CHer's recommendations. We did medium claws, fried chicken, and the sweet potato fries with a great bottle of Riesling. Everything was great, and that fried chicken—what a steal!

That night we had a late meal at Pubbelly, which was maybe the weakest meal of the trip. It wasn't bad, but I've had better renditions of similar dishes at home in NYC (something we try to avoid when we travel). It didn't seem worth the $100 for two, and I felt oddly rushed. Our first plate was literally set down almost a few minutes after ordering. Another place where nothing truly stood out and thus I have trouble remembering what we had.

The next day, we had one of our favorite meals: lunch at Tap Tap. We had the malanga fritter, fried goat cubes, the whole deep-fried yellowtail (the best whole fish I've ever had) and the grilled conch. Truly phenomenal food, and perfectly accompanied by cheap mojitos and rum punches. The service is leisurely, but attentive and it was just a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. That night we were so stuffed that we didn't eat dinner.

Last night was our grand finale—we did the 16-course tasting ($100) at The Bazaar and found every part of it to be perfect as well. Truly warm, polished service, great pacing, and we found it to be a great value, even after a bottle of wine, tax, and grat. Standout courses: the bao con lechón, the Brussels sprouts, Cuban escabeche, and the yucca churros. The famous Jose's Taco was delicious too, and it's a true steal that both the $100 and the $125 tastings include it. The liquid nitrogen caipirinhas are unbelievable for just $5 (the hidden cocktail gem of South Beach, given their booziness).

All in all, we really had a great trip and I thank every CHer who shared their recommendations. We didn't make it to Yardbird, La Sandwicherie, Michy's, and many others this time around, but we'll definitely return soon.

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