Sweet Polly

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SWEET POLLY

71 SIXTH AVENUE
BROOKLYN, NY, 11217
MAP

Yes, the answer is yes.

Yes to the Mr. Hyde (rye whiskey, Alder smoke, cherry, Mexican cola, beef jerky), the superb Scallop Ceviche, the Tete De Cochon with lentils and pickled vegetables. Yes, yes, yes.

Yes to the Squid with olives, capers, and spicy tomato.

Yes to the American Trilogy, with Rittenhouse rye, Lairds 100 Applejack, orange bitters, Demerara and one crystal clear iceburg of an icecube.

Yes to the Pork Belly.

Yes to the perfect spot for lovers of small plates and the art of cocktailing. To wide marble bar-tops that hold lots of plates and glasses, your elbows, your phone. Yes to the Brooklynites that check Eater’s Heatmaps as frequently as I do, and to neighborhood folks that just got real lucky.

Is this the new go-to spot pre-anything at Barclays?

Yes, Sweet Polly. Yes.

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Leña Brava

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Leña Brava is the ninth Chicago hot-spot from chef and author Rick Bayless, who apparently can do no wrong. His popular 1996 cookbook Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen and TV show Mexico: One Plate at a Time have promoted Mexican cuisine beyond its most popular dishes for years. So yeah… I had unrealistic expectations going in, but am happy to report those were surpassed by what became my favorite meal of 2016.

img_20161019_150634Leña Brava carves out a unique niche along Chicago’s bustling Restaurant Row, where you can get everything from the legendary burger at Au Cheval to Crispy Pig Face at current it-spot Girl and The Goat. Like those places, Leña Brava manages to invent it’s own version of comfort food. The menu explodes with Baja California inspired dishes that sing from their plates whether kissed by fire or served raw, complimented by a dizzying array of smoldering mezcal.

Starting with raw shrimp in uzu and sunflower seeds set the tone for a night of unexpected texture and flavor. We bounced across the menu enjoying everything from fresh and delicious ceviche to perfectly charred octopus. And don’t ignore the meats. The short rib was spectacular, enjoyed within house made tortillas with a side of buttery plantains worth the price of a plane ticket to Chicago. And I have it on good authority that the glazed chicken is out of this world.

The menu explodes with Baja California inspired dishes that sing from their plates whether kissed by fire or served raw, complimented by a dizzying array of smoldering mezcal.

Surrounded by wood burning stoves and a busy bar, it’s a foodie fantasy for sure. A beautiful atmosphere, spectacular flavors, attentive service, and strong drinks. Leña Brava was the best recommendation I got this year and I’ve been preaching the word ever since.

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The Purple Pig

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Seven years after opening, this place is still packing them in. Friday night and the joint is jumping. Was lucky to scam two seats at the bar and avoid a line you can see from Michigan Avenue. I can see what all the hubbub is about; this place is my jam. Hits all the right notes if you’re a self-serving foodie. Hip atmosphere, lots of energy, great drinks, and a well executed adventurous menu.

The Roasted Bone Marrow was on par with the best I’ve had. Parsley and bone marrow go together like Shields & Yarnell. A little different than Blue Ribbon with some crusty bread in place of brioche and a finer sea salt. On point.

Hip atmosphere, lots of energy, great drinks, and a well executed adventurous menu.

We had to have the Pig Ears with Crispy Kale, pickled cherry peppers and a photogenic sunny side egg. That dish was perfection on a plate. Ideal bar food – unctuous and textured and delicious.

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Because eggs do not grow on trees, we also had the “JLT,” a BLT for your fancy-pants friends. Pork Jowl, tomato, frisee, pesto aioli and duck confit. Note to self, create a shirt that says “Put an egg on it.”

Our attentive waiter kept the drinks flowing and convinced us the Pork Tongue was worth trying. It was, like everything else at The Purple Pig. Now if they would only open in Brooklyn.

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Degustation

After checking out Degas’ mono-prints at MoMA, Kim and I head to the Lower East for a reservation at Degustation. It’s been a heavy week. Any excuse to lighten the mood is welcome. What better way than a tasting menu of “provocative” Iberian, French and American influenced cuisine?

“I’m looking forward to the octopus,” I say.
“And the foie with cauliflower ice-cream,” Kim adds.

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We take our seats around the chef’s table, not unlike the dining experience at Momofuku Ko we had some time back. It’s just us and a few other patrons basking in the glow of some non-offensive Gen-X music barely audible through the speakers. I heard some of the same songs the night before at Surfish.

“Another Modest Mouse song. We must be the dining demographic,” I say, perusing the menu.

“I look for more in a tasting menu, maybe because I’m an over-eater.”

We go with the seven course tasting menu – and ask for wine recommendations as we’re more of a “cocktail couple.” I start with a Senca Lake Riseling from Red Hook Winery and Kim gets an Eve Charles Smith Chardonay. Later I also try the Vina Peralillo Pinot Noir from Chile. We’re wine novices, truth be told, but dug the change of pace. That being said, give me a Dirty Martini any day of the week. Two on Fridays.

I’m gonna tell you right off the bat that there was nothing off about the flavors the entire evening. Every dish was competently assembled and plated. Service was attentive with each dish explained as the appropriate silverware was placed. Wine and water refills were prompt and unobtrusive. Nothing to complain about. Yet… somewhere in the middle of the meal I realized something was missing.

“What’s that?” Kim asked.
“Joy, maybe.”

The place is a bit dark with one tiny square window to the street. The open kitchen is well prepped and double teamed by two competent Chefs that tweeze tiny flowers onto seared proteins and spray plastic bottles of oils and dressings with practiced measure. It’s no more or less assembly than goes on in many other restaurants, but seeing it may take a bit of the magic away.

After two adorable oysters, the small salad of local (Union Square Market) snow peas was tasty, as was a plate of carrots with dollops of cheese. A perfectly seared scallop followed – which came with more curried sauce than the one scallop could support. Would be perfect for two scallops, I thought to myself, eating the remaining pungent sauce with a flat spoon. The use of finger limes (?) in the curry was nothing short of genius – and a spark of the aforementioned joy I was looking for. Regardless, that small salad, tiny carrots and one scallop were 43% of the meal. The foreplay was a little lacking.

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20160703_182057Perhaps the Mackerel was more adequately sized, with a delicious sear, some fennel and radish. Pork Shoulder slathered in a chocolate mole and avocado mouse had a real depth of flavor but was gone in a matter of bites.

Someone nearby ordered the skirt steak ala cart and received a heaping plate of it. Our tasting portion was something of a sliver or two. Perfectly cooked, yes, and tasty, but more than a little bit fussy.

A small brioche crème brûlée was placed before us and Kim was startled the meal was coming to a close. Delicious, tho. A sweet caramelized french toast of sorts. Hot and gooey and soon gone.
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As an advertisement for the actual menu, the tasting menu succeeds – but I look for more in a tasting menu, maybe because I’m an over-eater. Seems to me that folks go with a tasting menu because of a sense of adventure, not for a packaged tour of the usual spots. I don’t want to feel like a tourist, I want to feel like a king.

So, by all means, check out Degustation – but manage your expectations if they are anything like mine.

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The NoMad: Part II

20JPREST1-articleLargeI went to The NoMad back when I started this blog and felt totally out of place.  By now I’ve been there four times and it feels like home. In fact, I had an epiphany some nights ago during appetizers that this is officially my favorite restaurant. The distinction is fluid, yes, but right now The NoMad reigns supreme.

The problem with blogs like this, and Facebook and Twitter, is that people see these posts and think your life is going from one expensive meal to another, without a care in the world. Truth is there’s plenty of hardships to go around but that is not going to stop me from enjoying my pants off tonight.

 The distinction is fluid, yes, but right now The NoMad reigns supreme.

I take a hot shower before taking the F into Brooklyn with the excitement of a man about to visit an expensive prostitute. Admittedly, I can only guess about that, but that’s what was going through my mind; That I was about to experience the sexy charms of a true professional.

We walk through the hotel lobby then beneath a huge skylight to our disarmingly comfortable chairs. We’re surrounded by folks with every intention to enjoy expertly prepared food and some creative cocktails. Oh, and wine. Lots of wine. I watched the table next to us order four bottles. Who knows what that cost. Our cocktails were about $16 each… and worth every penny of my girlfriend’s money.

I was about to experience the sexy charms of a true professional.

Did I mention it was my birthday?

“I’m gonna put you through the wringer,” I say to her.
“Go, ahead, it’s your birfday, my boy.”

So, armed with the truth that I am one of the luckiest people I know,  Kim and I decide to switch it up tonight. Order different things. Not the old standbys we love so much. Only that’s not exactly what happened.

“We kinda have to have the foie and the poached egg.”
“Is that what you want?” she asks. “We had those before.”
“I want those badly,” I say.

We order a few ingenious cocktails. I start with my usual Start Me Up (bourbon, rum, strega, honey, ginger, lemon, orange bitters). Kim gets the Bread and Butternut (vodka, cream sherry, amontillado sherry, becherovka, butternut squash, lemon, angostura bitters). Both are marginally sweet, but totally ready to be paired with food. I promise you.

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We start with something new. Fresh radishes with butter frozen in time by liquid nitrogen and accompanied by some fleur de sel. Oh, and a nice fresh rye bread hits the table hot and scrumptious. We’d barrel through one and half of those before the meal ends.

And yes, during the Foie Gras and poached egg appetizers, listening to classic rock, facing my girl with a slight buzz… nothing else mattered. None of this election noise. No terrorism. No injustice. Just happiness in one of my favorite places to find it.

Spreading that black truffled foie on brioche, with a little truffle sauce… it doesn’t get better than that. Except, of course, for that amazing Poached Egg on quinoa with Parmesan foam and asparagus. The perfect plate of food. One of the best plates in NYC, for my money. I mean, my girlfriend’s money.

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A server recommended two new drinks for us and we drank them happily. Mine was the Scarlet Knight, which was dry rye gin, carpano antica sweet vermouth, amaro ramazzotti, amaro zucca, cranberries, lemon, mint, and Douglas fir. I got a face-ful of mint every time I took a sip. Kim opted for the Koala Pear made with new american gin, pear eau de vie, cocchi americano, lemon, eucalyptus, bay leaf, and sparkling mineral water.

People see these posts and think your life is going from one expensive meal to another.

For the main, we eschewed their famous chicken dish (which I love) and tired something new. I had the Suckling Pig, which was remarkable. Crispy skin atop tender pork confit with cabbage and pears and a delightful boudin noir. It was out of this world. The contrast of the skin with the pork underneath and then the rich and soft boudin noir sausage… so amazing.

Kim was slightly underwhelmed with her lovely Loup de Mer dish, Loup is a European Seabass and was poached with parsnips, crispy kale & salsa verde. I tried and liked it, but for Kim it was under-seasoned. And as you know, restaurants like this don’t put salt or pepper on the table due to some weird code that Chef’s are supposed to season for every possible palate. A good fish if you’re afraid of “fishy” fish, but my girl is more adventurous than that. You live and learn.

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I ordered a perfect Latte and we shared the Milk Chocolate. I know, I could eat their Milk & Honey dessert every day, but we needed something different. We were not disappointed. The Milk Chocolate is ganache with chocolate fondant and malt ice cream, with some crispy chocolate cookie pieces. Perfection.

“I could eat here everyday,” I say.
“I know you could.”

We walk out through the huge bar and library, through the new bar where they also serve food. I can see myself coming back for lunch one day and having a few drinks. I hear they have a chicken sandwich with foie that’s as good as anything else on the menu. Part III of my review is inevitable.

Kim and I hit the street full and happy, holding each tightly as we walked off dinner. We pass a homeless woman pushing a shopping cart.

“You’re smothering her!” the woman screams at me.

Ah, back to life.

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Empellon Al Pastor

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I can’t hide the lust in my heart for Empellon Al Pastor. I’ve had a bone in my pocket for Chef Alex Stupak’s latest venture since watching his segment on Real Food with Mike Colameco last month and reading all those Eater articles.

Stupak has worked some amazing kitchens, like the late great WD-50 in New York and the other-worldly Alinea in Chicago. So who could guess the latest move by this molecular gastronomist would be an elevated Mexican dive bar in the East Village?

I start with the house Michelada; serrano chiles, reposado tequila, agave nectar and Mexicali beer. I’m not much for beer, but stir this up and you’ve got something special – an umani beer experience that pairs perfectly with tacos and guacamole.

I followed that up with a variant attributed to Chef Wyle Dufresne called the Michelote. This one was made with corn powder, Malta Goya, Ponzu, and Negra Modelo. I was thinking about it for weeks afterwards, but my girl didn’t dig it at all. She liked her cider beer, though, and the guacamole they make by pushing avocados through a grate. Their guacamole is not overly mixed or unduly seasoned, just an honest side dish with crisp house made tortillas.

My plan, executed to perfection, was to eat too many tacos. We ordered at least two or three Al Pastors, which, if there was any justice in the world, would be doing Cronut numbers. To make these, pork shoulder steaks are rubbed with chile before being spit roasted shawarma-style, sliced thin, layered on a soft corn tortilla with a piece of pineapple, and tastefully garnished with salsa and onion.

My plan, executed to perfection, was to eat too many tacos.

Neck and neck with these are the Shortrib Tacos with Maggi Onions. I could eat these on repeat until I flat-lined. There are worse ways to go.

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I could eat these on repeat until I flat-lined. There are worse ways to go.

I’ve said it before, but if tongue is on the menu, my girl is putting it in her mouth. We both dug the succulent Beer Braised Pork Tongue tacos, as well as the Chorizo and Bistec variants. Yeah, we ate a lot of tacos – all served on fresh homemade soft corn tortillas made using the Nixtamalization technique where field corn is ground into masa for tortillas every day.

They’ve got a hamburger taco, a few vegetarian choices, as well as chicken wings, nachos, drunken black beans, and other cool sides. I’ve got to start making my way though the menu, including their Tequillas and Mezcal. And of course, there’s an array of Margaritas for you Sex in the City types.

Pull up a stool by the window and watch the lower east side unravel before your drunken eyes. Life is short; eat tacos.

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Indochine

I had vague memories of passing Indochine on my way back and forth to Tower Records back in the day. So I relied on sense memory to find it from the F train on Layayette. And there it was, up the staircase like I remembered. I sat in the lounge, listening to them get ready for service, playing with my phone until Shirley arrived.

We hadn’t seen each other in years. We once worked for the same giant financial corporation, but she moved on to bigger, better things. She was a kid when she worked for me, but we still had a very synergistic relationship. We learned a lot from each other. She quickly became a subject matter expert in anything she put her hands on.

Desserts were a high point. I had read about the Roasted Banana and knew it had my name on it

Now here she is, a veritable grown-up, communicating like the adult she wasn’t then, with all the poise and finesse of a lady. Me? I was just older and fatter, and truth be told; unemployed.

“Are you looking?” she asked.
“I spent about nine months doing other stuff, but I’ve been looking for the last few months. Sent out a few resumes, but no bites just yet.”

I order a Dirty Martini; vodka, rocks, olives. Shirley gets the Indochine Martini; citrus vodka infused with pineapple, ginger and fresh lime juice.

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We start with Steak Tartare with lemongrass, coriander, sesame, and ginger chili. As any reader of this blog knows, I’m more than mildly obsessed with tartare these days. This was served with some rice crisps and no egg. I dug it.

Shirley wanted the Grilled Baby Back Ribs, but changed her mind when the waitress took the order. I steered her back to it and am glad I did. Those were the hit of the night. Not traditional, so manage your expectations. More like an Americanized Thai version. Not slathered in sauce, just soft and decadent, with Asian spices and a dry coriander seed rub. Nice heat on these. We were both too polite to eat the last one so we added it to the doggie bag.
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“It’s nice that we can easily pick up where we left off. I feel like we can say anything to each other.”
“Yeah, definitely. We always had that rapport. I think that even though you worked for me, I learned a lot from you.”

Next up, I had the Skirt Steak, or was it Hanger Steak? One or the other. Don’t ask me to remember. And no, I didn’t get a good picture of it. I know, I should have my blogging license revoked. I do remember digging it. Nicely medium rare with a good char and a slight Thai funk.

Shirley wasn’t blown away by her chicken dish. It was a bit safe and bland for her tastes.

Rajiv told me he really liked this,” she said, a little unimpressed.
“Maybe he had a different dish. Well, you can always bring the rest home to him.”
“I hate shlepping,” she said.

indochine chickenDesserts were a high point. I had read about the Roasted Banana and knew it had my name on it. Wrapped in sweet rice and served with coconut tapioca, we polished it off happily. And how can you go wrong with Salted Caramel Gelato.

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Time flew. We had no idea we were drinking and talking for about five hours until a waiter came over and offered to buy us another round at the bar so they could have the table. And they sure needed it. The place was packed on a Thursday night.

The check came and I grabbed it. Shirley tried to steal it and I swatted her fingers away with my smartphone. So she slid her hand into the holder and ripped out the check from inside.

“Shirley!”
“I wanna pay,” she said.
“How about we go halfsies?” I ask, but she wasn’t hearing it.
“This isn’t about you being unemployed,” she said. “This is my way of thanking you for being a great boss.”

Slightly embarrassed, I decided to accept her offer with a little grace. “Well, I appreciate it, Shirl, I really do.” Then she gave me little box of chocolate truffles. Thoughtful as ever.

We made our way to the bar and had one more drink, talking about how we used to arm wrestle during meetings back in the day.

“I rock climb like four days a week,” she said. “I can probably beat you now.”
“I’m not gonna humiliate myself.”

I walked her to the train and we said our goodbyes. I headed back to the F with a smile on my face and no concern about being out so late on a “work” night.

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Xixa

XIXA salmonIf there’s one take-away from this review it’s that you should stop reading now and make a reservation at Xixa regardless of any of my criticisms. You’ll be blown away by the same mastery of flavors and texture you’ve come to expect from sister spot Traif just a few doors down. Whether shunning kosher at Traif or embracing Mexican at Xixa, Chef Jason Marcus casts a large shadow over the Williamsburg culinary scene.

Last year while ringing in another new year at Traif wondered what might be happening at Xixa. This year Kim and I decided to break tradition. I don’t regret it for a second, although, truth be told, New Year’s Eve may not be the best time to truly experience any restaurant.

We had reservations at the bar, which is my usual preference. Our Bartender steered me in the right direction. The Bourbon Tequila with Old Fashioned ice cube was my favorite cocktail of the year. I order another.

XIXA Drinks

“How much you wanna bet they don’t know we’re here for dinner,” Kim says after 40 minutes drinking.
“They gotta know. We gave our name at the door. And we sent them an email with our La Famiglia choice last week.”
“How much?”
“Three dollars?”
We shake on it.

I order another Bourbon Tequila. “And you guys know we’re getting food, right?”
“Oh, no. I thought you were just here for drinks.”

I hand my girl three singles.

After some apologies, the dishes come out quickly. Too quickly. Three right away, with loose explanations made in haste. I like to hear what’s in each dish before I dig in. Managing expectations is all part of service.

We start with the Mexico City style sauteed Edamame with chili and jícama. Was it the best Edamame I’ve ever had? Sho ’nuff!! Should I have eaten it before the subtly flavored Mahi-Mahi? Probably not.

I took a few breaths and dug into the Mahi-Mahi and Guacamole dishes. Delectable, soft and fresh. Peppers, hummus, vegetables, tortillas made of cheese, others made of corn, all competing for the spotlight. “A first world problem,” I thought to myself, dragging an index finger through that fiery Edamame sauce.

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“This drink is kicking my ass,” Kim says.
“Good. Me too. Can I get one more of these?”
“This round is on us for making you wait,” Bartender says.

Next up, the Salmon Sopes. I don’t normally dig salmon, but these were delicious. Not sure of the entire composition as they were placed without much of an explanation. At this point they were still trying to catch us up. Delicious anyway, for sure, albiet something of a larger amuse-bouche. I could eat nine of them.

The Foie Gras with Roasted Pineapple, torrejas, costeno honey, chipotle-pineapple reminded us why Jason should be Knighted. Even better than the amazing foie dish at Traif. I lifted the ingredients from their website because, again, I’m not sure that info was conveyed.

“Maybe you should have answered that ad after all,” Kim says, referencing a help-wanted Traif and Xixa placed some months ago for someone to manage both spots. I was THIS close to responding but felt under-qualified.

Half in the bag at this point, I had no idea what spices were in that Grilled Corn, but knew I could sink my teeth into them forever. The Seafood Pozole with lobster and squid was equally delicious, with a side of submersibles like crispy tortilla chips.
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XIXA Corn

XIXA lobsterWhen tortillas with dipping sauces and cheese hit the table, I wasn’t sure if it was a stand alone dish or part of the La Famiglia tacos, the main dish of the night. As instructed, we emailed our choice of Confit Short Ribs a week in advance, though we were close to trying the Crispy Goat Neck.

Should I dig into this plate or wait for the short ribs? This stuff seemed like it would go with tacos. So we waited. Then I asked if this went with the La Famiglia and two servers said yes. By now midnight had come and gone and many folks were leaving the place. I think we reminded one other person about the short ribs and they eventually made their way to the table. In retrospect, I think the previous plate may have been stand alone. I hope so, I ate most of it waiting for the short ribs.

Kim and I looked at each other and pretended to type on the bartop, mimicking, as we sometimes do, asshole hipsters complaining on Yelp.

When the confit short ribs finally arrived the heavens cracked open and blessed two foodies at the bar. We cut into the super crispy surface, through an unctuous layer of fat, into succulent beef we then wrapped in soft (beet?) taco shells sprinkled with corn and lime. Of course the sauces provided were worth bottling, like those at Traif. It was the dictionary definition of umami. Halfway through we were full and got the rest to go. It was excellent the next day.

XIXA who knowsXIXA Crispy Short Ribs Two desserts followed. Nothing as Earth shattering as some I’ve had on non-holidays at Traif, but sweet and delectable in their own right. A soft and luscious Strawberry Flan was followed by Churros with two dipping sauces, one citrus and the other a sinful dark chocolate. Scrummy.

We paid the bill and lamented that restaurants are not at their best on holidays. Balancing altered menus with large crowds results in sacrifices here and there. Yet, I don’t see myself changing up this tradition, and in particular I can’t wait to get back to Xixa on a boring weeknight when I’m more likely to get the full attention my fat ass desires.

XIXA Dessert 1 XIXA Dessert 2

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NIU Kitchen

Everyone and their mother will tell you to go to Joe’s Stone Crab, an institution in Miami since 1913. There’s nothing wrong with tourist spots. Many have well deserved reputations, but Kim and I like to eat off the beaten path like we’re discovering something new.

She had an allergic reaction to something earlier in the day resulting in very itchy skin so we decided to stay close to our hotel in case her face went full Picasso. Luckily I had plenty of choices outside of South Beach on my Google Map of researched eats. We decided on NIU Kitchen, the best decision I made in Miami for sure.

If you only have one dish at NIU Kitchen, and I wouldn’t suggest that, make it the Ous.

Maybe taking Benadryl before a meal that started at 9:30 wasn’t the best choice, but it seemed unavoidable at the time. Be that as it may, it didn’t stop Kim from enjoying the hell out some excellent dishes in this Catalan hot spot.

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First off, the place is pretty small. Maybe 25 seats, and loud with some hip (and ironically hip) tunes as well as the happy drunken banter of locals and tourists alike. There are some strong woman working the room, which adds to the overall appeal. Guns & Roses shirt? Check. Tats? Check.

Having studied the menu, we knew what we’d order before walking in the door. Kim didn’t want to mix alcohol with Benadryl, but I I ordered a Rosita Beer, which was light and fresh – not dishwatery like some beers can get. The Wahoo Tartare hit the table and was a thing of beauty. If only a proper food photographer had been present. The only shot I got before chomping down was out of focus. It didn’t convey its architectural beauty. The taste and textures were divine. Cucumber, scallions, lime zest. It was exactly what I had been looking for in Miami. We’d had ceviche in a spot or two, but those couldn’t compare to this dish. This was happy and healthy and delectable.

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Yeah, we had the audacity to follow this with Steak Tartare, and it was equally delicious. Hints of mustard, perfectly cut steak, a fried egg and some of their excellent bread. Kim and I ate it like it was evidence we needed to get rid of fast.

“You okay?” I ask my girl.
“So tired,” she said.
“Two dishes left and maybe a dessert, then you’ll be back in bed in no time.”

If you only have one dish at NIU Kitchen, and I wouldn’t suggest that, make it the Ous. As Kim pointed out from behind heavy eyelids, you can get tartares and such at other restaurants, even if their executions aren’t as good as NIU, but I don’t think you can get this anywhere else. Though it is now on the menu of the fake restaurant I dream of opening one day that collects the best dishes of my admittedly limited experience. Poached egg submerged in a truffled potato foam with crispy Jamón Ibérico serrano and black truffles. The first thing that hits you is that smell of truffles. Then you dip your bread in, or a spoon, and marvel that food can still be new.

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Then you dip your bread in, or a spoon, and marvel that food can still be new.

“This was terrible,” I say to the waiter, smiling. A joke that’s getting old, even to the teller.
“Here’s something just as terrible,” he says, placing some foie between Kim and I.

And yes, it was just as terrible, meaning amazing. Meaning not a morsel was left behind as we sunk our forks and teeth into perfectly seared foie on delicious honey bread with hints of apple, a dusting of hazelnut powder and a few soft and wonderful raspberries.

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By now Kim is comatose, but we agree to get one of their two desserts; the Chocolate Ganache with… well, truthfully, I have no idea what was in there. The waiter was pretty soft spoken. I think there were salted toasts and maybe even tiny bits of ice cream and olive oil. It was like Nutella made love to a salty Petits four. Which is probably illegal in most states.

Kim, trying not to scratch her face the entirely of the meal, was now nearly lifeless. The waiter, busy serving every table, wasn’t able to get us our check quickly, which is the way these things go. Also, he had no idea my girl had drugged herself silly before the meal. Regardless, we were so blown way by the meal that we’d forgive them anything.

“We may need to go back tomorrow night.”

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