Tag Archives: Seafood

George’s in Sunset ****

Angus Center Cut Beef Filet “Au Poivre” with Truffle Mashed Potatoes and French Green Beans

305.284.9989
1549 Sunset Dr
Miami, Fl 33143

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I recently wrote a rave review on George’s restaurant located in the Grove, making specific mention that his location in Sunset did not have the same quality of service. However, I feel that I need to revise this criticism after most my recent experience there for my graduation dinner. The place was obviously packed for graduation weekend (although it is packed almost every night of the week), and I was struggling to find the hostess amidst the large crowd waiting outside—as they don’t take reservations for parties less than 8 persons…a.k.a get there early! Suddenly, a rather stout bald man approaches me and assures me (in a charming French accent) that he will personally see to it that my family is seated within 15 minutes. Pleased to meet you, George!

We headed to the bar, grabbed a round of cocktails, and sure enough he had us a table outside before we finished the drinks. This kind of attentive personal service is seriously lacking in Miami, so to be taken care of and treated in this way is infrequent and enjoyable. We were then each brought a complimentary glass of champagne before receiving our menus. Again, a nice personal touch that scores major brownie points with customers. Who doesn’t love getting free stuff? Especially, free alcohol!!

To start, I ordered the Steamed Mussels with shallots and garlic in white wine sauce. This is the must try menu item. They come in a large le crusset pot, piping hot, with a decadent side of Truffle French Fries. I would estimate that about 50% of the tables you see will have an order of these mussels on them, because everyone loves them. The mussels themselves are large and plump and the sauce is just outrageously good and flavorful.

Mussels with Shallots and Garlic in a White Wine Sauce with Truffle Fries

Next, I got an order of the French Onion Soup, which is prepared in the traditional way and served in a crock with baked gruyere and provolone cheeses atop sliced French baguette. Although it is tasty, onion soup is onion soup in my opinion, and I would recommend trying some of the more unique menu items.

French Onion Soup with Melted Gruyere and Provolone Cheeses

For my “celebration entrée,” I thought that a nice steak was the most appropriate! I ordered the Angus Center Cut Beef Filet “Au Poivre” with Truffle Mashed Potatoes and French Green Beans (photographed at top). The steak was incredibly lean and buttery…each bite just melted in my mouth. And the sauce, although rich, was delicious. The cognac added a nice sweetness to the dish complimenting the pungent peppercorn crust on the steak. I was a little disappointed with the mashed potatoes however, which lacked in truffle flavor. I would get the potatoes au gratin instead next time.

For dessert, we ordered the Raspberry Custard Tart with homemade Raspberry Sorbet. I really enjoyed the dessert, although my family thought the sorbet was a little too tart and sour. Guess it is a sheer matter of preference.

Raspberry Custard Tart with homemade Raspberry Sorbet

Overall, I believe that George’s in the Grove is a more appropriate place for a dinner date and family dinner because it is a lot less noisey. But I take back my former harsh criticisms on Georges in Sunset, and recommend it as a great place for celebration dinners and drinks. The bar scene is much larger at the Sunset location, and on Wednesday nights you can watch the local Miami divorcee scene get smashed and mingle. Ohhh, and Wednesday night is ladies night, which means free champagne for women all night long!!

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George’s in the Grove *****

Morels Mushroom Risotto with Shaved Foie Gras

305.444.7878
3145 Commodore Plaza
Miami, Fl 33133

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“Don’t fix it, if it’s not broken!” This is a quote I’ve heard my dad say a million times over throughout my lifetime. I remember when the Blackberry first came out and I wanted to trade in my hot pink Motorola flip phone so that I could get a pin and enter the world of bbm-ing (this dates me a little since kids these days know their Blackberry pins before their social security number!). But, my dad wouldn’t have it. He refused to upgrade me because my Motorola worked just fine. I then made it my mission to break that little phone and quickly learned that Motorola phones are nearly indestructible—much unlike Blackberrys! That pink phone had loose wires coming out of one end, had duck-tape keeping the battery in, and had a simultaneously cracked and water damaged screen, but wouldn’t you believe it still made phone calls! Now the biggest annoyance in my day is when my trackball gets stuck and my bbm is slow (and to this my dad would say, “be careful what you wish for!”) But, back to point…don’t fix something if it’s not broken! Likewise, don’t feel pressured to always try a new menu item when you have already found a dish that you love at a restaurant! When I find something that I really like at a restaurant, I stick to ordering it because I then I am never disappointed!

One place that I go for the same dish every time, is Georges in the Grove (they also have opened a place in Sunset, but I was there the other night and very disappointed by the unfriendly service, which never happens at the one in the Grove!). Anyways, the dish to order is without doubt is the Steamed Fresh Mussels with garlic, shallots, and parsley in a white wine butter sauce served with french fries. I really don’t even think that there are adjectives in the English language to describe how incredible these mussels are. Just…wow! The mussels are enormous and succulent and the sauce is outrageously good. As soon as I get the bowl, I drop a few slices of french bread into the sauce to let it soak…yummm. And best of all, they are served piping hot and do not cool off before you are finished, so you can take your time. Also, if you are into truffle flavor, ask the waiter to bring you truffle fries instead of plain fries (the Georges in the Grove will do this at no charge…but the same cannot be said for the one in Sunset—I’m really hating on them). The fries are delicious and taste fresh cut, and also go well with the white wine sauce.

Steamed Fresh Mussels with garlic, shallots, and parsley in a white wine butter sauce served with french fries.

Truffle French Fries

Of course, I have also tried other menu items (all very good), but if someone won’t split the mussels with me for an appetizer, then I have to get them for my entrée. On the occasion that someone will split them with me for a starter, I like to order the Steak Tartar, served with Truffle Fries and Mesclun Salad. Not too many places do steak tartar and so I take advantage of this menu item when I go. It sounds gross, but it is delicious.

Steak Tartar with Mesclun Salad and Truffle Fries

And for those of you who like your meat cooked, the Steak Frites with Bearnaise Sauce is also amazing!!

Steak Frites with Bearnaise and Mesclun Salad

If you’re looking for a carb, then I highly recommend the Morels Mushroom Risotto with Shaved Foie Gras (pictured at top). It is straight up high-class comfort food!

The only thing I am not crazy about is the pizza at Georges. The crust doesn’t ever get crunchy on the bottom and so the dough is very chewy, which isn’t my thing. I ordered the Proscuitto and Arugala Pizza for lunch today and was pretty disappointed. But other than that, everything else on the menu is a go!

The atmosphere (at the one in the Grove) is very hip and chic with a lounge feel. And don’t be alarmed when the disco balls light up and the club music comes on for someone’s birthday, because it seems that everyone goes to Georges for their birthday! Ohhh and they give you a free mimosa with breakfast and lunch, or a glass of champagne with your dinner (again, at the one in the Grove…the one in Sunset didn’t)!

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Keys Fisheries Restaurant ****

Lobster Reuben with Sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese, and Thousand Island Dressing on Rye Bread

305.743.4353
3390 Gulf View Avenue
Marathon, Fl 33050

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My New Year’s Resolution for 2011 is simple. It has nothing to do with going to the gym, or losing weight, or saving money, or anything else that would destine me for failure. I merely want to live happier. I want to be in a state of well being and contentment, actively seeing out pleasurable and satisfying experiences (this is the definition of happiness according to Merriam Webster…yes, I really looked it up). Basically, I am going to be the “yes woman,” ready to go to all sorts of places and try new experiences! Since I only have about 4 months left in Miami before my graduation, I figure I better get started here and right away. So Ariana and I drafted a long list of all the things we want to do before May and got to it!

First on the list, kayaking in the Keys. Ariana had once read that Bahia Honda was pretty cool and rated number one beach in the country, so we packed up our beach bags and made the two and a half hour drive down there to check it out. Of course, when we got there the park sign said that it was rated number one beach back in 1992, which made us a little nervous, but it turned out to be great (although I still wouldn’t say it was the nicest beach I’ve ever been to!). Within minutes of our arrival, we were sitting in a lime green 2-person kayak and heading out to sea. We spotted a little island way out in the distance and decided that we wanted to go there and explore, possibly even collect some seashell party favors! After about 30 minutes of paddling, we started approaching the island and noticed that there was a man in a wet suit walking around and collecting something. Our minds think alike and we begin discussing the possibility of him being some hot young scuba diver that we can befriend. As I am dismissing this as mere a fantasy, we get close enough to see that he is in fact young, certainly muscular, and undoubtedly hot. Lets recap: we choose to paddle out to a random island in the middle of ocean and by freak chance run into a hot, young guy….could this have had anything to do with my lucky coin?! (read previous blog post if you don’t know what I’m referring to). Well long story short, he turns out to be collecting crabs for aquariums and enlists our help. We spend the entire afternoon gathering crabs and talking about life with our new friend, Matt. I also took it upon myself to be the conch match-maker, rescuing them and then pairing them together out in deeper waters so they could survive the low-tide. Ariana then pointed out that these arranged marriages seemed cruel and that each conch should choose it’s own mate, and that’s pretty much when I got on board with crab collecting.

After exchanging numbers we then kayaked back to shore and set out to find some delicious grub! We were told to go try Key Fisheries and it was everything we were looking for in a restaurant—on the water, with a bar, and tons of seafood. Ohh, and the $1.25 stone crabs at the upstairs bar were a deal that couldn’t be beat.

We got started off downstairs, ordering what we considered to be our “appetizers”—Lobster Rueben and Coconut Shrimp. Although Ariana and I aren’t the biggest fans of lobster, we felt pressured to try this sandwich because it was clearly the most popular item at the restaurant. Not only was everyone around us ordering it, but they actually had a ticker next to the ordering window, keeping track of the number sold to date! So far they have sold 142,570….we figured it must be pretty delicious.

The Ticker Next to Ordering Window

When it finally arrived at the table, we were taken back by the size. The sandwich was massive, 2 huge pieces of rye bread containing lobster meat, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing. The bread was toasted and buttery, and the sauerkraut was delicious. However, Ariana and I weren’t totally in love with it because of our lobster aversion….it didn’t convert us. I would have preferred if the lobster had been shredded a little bit more because it was kind of chunky, which took away from the texture of the sandwich. It was tasty but not particularly our favorite. The fries, on the other hand, were incredible! Not for any special reason, just simply fried, salty, and delicious. I also really enjoyed the assortment of condiments that were available to dip the fries in; mustard, ketchup, malt vinegar, and hot sauce! Mmmmm…it was almost hard to choose. We agreed that the Coconut Shrimp with Mango Horseradish Sauce were fabulous!!! They had huge flakes of coconut that were fried to a beautiful shade of golden brown, and the flavor of the mango dipping sauce was a perfect contrast. I could put that mango sauce on just about anything!

Coconut Shrimp with Mango Dipping Sauce

After our appetizers, we ordered drinks and headed to the upstairs bar for $1.25 Stone Crab with Mustard Dipping Sauce. It was my first time ever having stone crabs and I absolutely fell in love! Of course, I wish that you didn’t have to work so hard for the meat of the crab, but it was totally worth it. I loved alternating sips of margarita with bites of delicious crab, all while watching the sunset over the ocean…it was almost too perfect. One of the happiest and most content moments of my life (certainly achieving my New Year’s resolution!). But just when I thought the evening couldn’t better, the bar tender passed around free shots for the sunset toast. This is a daily tradition at Key’s Drinkerie, and one that I undoubtedly support! It was a perfect nightcap to send Ariana and I on our way home. We left with sandy feet, salty hair, bronzed cheeks, full bellies, and a great buzz. After this experience, I’m officially positive that you could drop Ariana and I anywhere in this world and we would make friends and be happy.

$1.25 Stone Crabs with Mustard Dipping Sauce

Key Lime Pie with Whipped Cream

View from Key’s Drinkerie (upstairs bar)

 

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STK ***

Japanese Wagu Sliders with Secret Sauce and Truffles on Seseame Bun

305.604.1000
2377 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, 33139
(In the Gansevoort Hotel)

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I’m not going to lie, after the break up with my ex-boyfriend, I turned into a little bit of a serial dater. I went through a period of like 2-3 weeks where almost every night I was wining and dining with someone different. I definitely wasn’t looking for anything, but figured I had to get my groove back somehow and why not through casual dinner dates? I thought I was killing two birds with one stone—eating my emotions and adjusting to the single life all at the same time—but in reality, I was really just steadily gaining 5-pounds over the course of those 3 weeks. The lesson learned: no one can help you get over a break-up but yourself. Sure, having other crushes provide a distraction, but you cannot really move on until you remember how to love yourself….and this can take some time, so be patient. But since this is a food blog, and not a Dear Alice column, I’ll quit giving love advice and get to the food already.

Obviously, I ate out at a lot of restaurants during my short-lived “serial dating” phase, but I have not blogged about any of them because I never know who might read my posts (aka one of my dates). So why start blogging about them now? Well I think that finally enough time has passed since my “phase,” and since so many of my dates have deleted me from facebook and bbm (upset that I wouldn’t do a second date) I feel like they might not find my new site?!? Ehh, I just don’t care anymore really.

So one of my first dinner dates was to STK in the Gansevoort Hotel on South Beach. If you didn’t already guess from the name, STK is a steak house and I was really excited to check this place out because I had never been before (I like it when a guy takes me out to a place that I have never tried before). The interior of the restaurant is very modern and elegant, mimicking a swanky nightclub. In fact, I believe that it does turn into a club/lounge after dinner hours. The only thing that I hated about the restaurant was the seating. Tables for two were one-sided booths!!!! It was a half moon shape bench around a small circular table. So you sit next to one another and look out at all the couples cuddling in other booths while you eat. Since I absolutely hate booth cuddlers—I think people should just focusing on eating at a restaurant and save the snuggling for home—the seating situation really bothered me. It’s also terrible for a first date because your awkwardly close and unintentionally playing footsies under the table before you even get to know them.

To start we ordered The Lil’ Big Mac’s, which were sliders made of Japanese wagu beef topped with special sauce and truffles served on a sesame bun (photographed at top). They were incredible!! We added on the truffles extra and I am so glad we did because they added an awesome rich flavor that complimented the creamy secret sauce beautifully. The secret sauce is some sort of mayonnaise-based spread. I couldn’t quite figure it out completely, but I guess that’s why it’s called secret sauce. (After having the rest of my meal, I decided that I would get to orders of these sliders for my entrée if I ever came back…yes, they are that good)

For my entrée, I ordered the 10 oz Filet and it was good, but not the best (I still believe that Meat Market on Lincoln Road is the best steak house in Miami). However, I did enjoy the STK Bold Sauce that I ordered to go with it. It had a great smoky kick to it that added a lot of flavor to the meat. I was less impressed with their Bordelaise Steak Sauce, which was standard and lacking in flavor to be quite honest. Of course, I finished the whole steak though and definitely did a number on the Parmesan Truffle Fries, which were presented as a tower. I thought that they were good but not as strong in truffle flavor. If you are into Parmesan truffle fries, the best are at Gotham Steak House in the Fountaine Bleau…woah are they good!

Tower of Parmesan Truffle Fries

Overall, I thought it was overrated for the price point and the hype. I wasn’t wowed by anything, except the sliders, and even those were ridiculously over-priced ($25). I enjoyed the meal, don’t get me wrong, but I had higher expectations based on others comments. I would recommend going to Meat Market for steak in Miami.

STK REVISED:

Ironically, the night after posting my review on STK, my girlfriend called me up and invited me out to a promotional dinner there. I was unimpressed the first time that I went, but thought I would give it another chance—I really just couldn’t resist the opportunity of a free meal. So we went and surprisingly it was fantastic. I couldn’t believe the difference in the quality of the food between my first visit and this time. Everything was a million times tastier. I had the Filet Mignon again and this time it was juicy and flavorful without even putting any steak sauce on it. I also had the chance to try a lot of other items on the menu, considering the food was brought out family style for everyone to share.

One of the first plates to come out was the Tuna Tartar, which was made with a citrus yogurt and jalapenos served with a roasted pineapple chutney, crispy shallots, and plantain chips. I thought it was the best tuna tartar that I have ever had, and the sweetness of the pineapple was a perfect contrast to the heat of the jalapeno. The pineapple chutney was really great, and I couldn’t get enough of the citrus yogurt.

Tuna Tartar with Citrus Yogurt, Jalapenos, Roasted Pineapple, and Plantain Chips

I also had a chance to taste the Hearts of Romaine Salad with garlic croutons and parmesan dressing. It was very standard but tasted good. The Blue Iceberg Salad with smoked bacon, blue cheese, and pickled tomato was better in my opinion, but again, very average.

Unfortunately we didn’t get any of the sliders, which are still my favorite thing in the restaurant…in addition to the tuna tartar now! But I did get to try the Organic Free Range Chicken, which is served with a butternut squash-salify-forested mushrooms. I was actually wowed by this chicken dish, because the aforementioned “butternut squash chutney” was delicious and added a great flavor to the tender and juicy meat.

As far as side dished go, we had the Mac & Cheese (basic, not my favorite), the Seasonal Mushrooms (very, very, good), the Creamed Spinach (I like creamed spinach a lot but theirs was gross!), the Creamy Yukon Mashed Potatoes (way too creamy, almost a polenta consistency), and the Brussel Sprouts (prepared sweet, not salty = big mistake and not good).

For dessert, they brought out a cool display with a variety of treats. The presentation was great, the desserts were not. I would not bother saving room for dessert at STK, instead I would fill up on the tuna tartar, the wagu sliders, and of course steak! Based on my experience tonight, I would give STK 4 stars but because they are so inconsistent I have to keep them at 3. I like a restaurant that is dependably good…not just sometimes good.

Homemade Bread Served with Chive Oil

Assorted Desserts

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