Thank you for visiting Amy Sue’s Tasty Bites, BEYOND THE BIG APPLE Restaurant Reviews.
November 5th, 2010
Restaurant Review: db Bistro Moderene
Daniel Boulud’s Downtown Temple
DB Bistro Moderne
in the JW Marriott Marquis
345 Ave of the Americas
Miami, FL 33131
You may have heard whispers, and yes, The Dashboard finally hit Miami. So now you can find the answers to eternal questions like “What’s the girl-to-guy ratio in South Beach right now?” It’s nightlife, by the numbers, realtime. And it’s sponsored by our friends at GREY GOOSE® Vodka.
We’ve seen your future, and it involves foie gras-stuffed burgers, wine-soaked feasts in plush dining rooms and drinking champagne from a sunken bar.
DB Bistro Moderne opens in just over a week. Here’s what you need to know about this temple of French cooking.
Stroke the Beard: The DB stands for Daniel Boulud, charming culinary superstar, recipient of three James Beard awards, proprietor of a three-Michelin-starred Manhattan restaurant and creator of perhaps the most gluttonous burger on earth (more on that later).
Lowering the Bar: There are three different areas to this gourmet juggernaut, but the first place you’ll want to hit is the polished bronze champagne counter. Guide your date across the whitewashed oak floors, settle into the overstuffed chaise lounge and take in the majesty of Miami’s largest sunken bar.
$25 Bottles of Wine: You’ll choose from over 150 bottles, some of which go for less than the cost of valet on South Beach. The bulk of the list will be French bottles, with a few American and international labels thrown in the mix.
The Stuffing of Legends: There’s plenty of French classics on the menu, but we’re recommending you start with the chef’s take on an American classic: the Original DB Burger. The ground Angus patty is stuffed with short ribs braised in red wine, foie gras and black truffles. It all gets sandwiched in a parmesan bun slathered with horseradish mayonnaise and a tomato confit. Might want to eat this with a fork.
And if you’re with a big group that has a hankering for oysters, ask for one of the curved banquettes in the persimmon-colored room, where you’ll have space to stretch out.
Everyone loves persimmon.
October 27th, 2010
Restaurant Review: Rino in Paris
By ALEXANDER LOBRANO
The chef Giovanni Passerini’s small, friendly and funky bistro (titled after his childhood nickname) stands out from the crowd not only for his delicious produce-driven modern European cooking but because it epitomizes a number of major dining trends in Paris. To start, Mr. Passerini moved to Paris from his native Rome for the same reasons so many other aspiring culinary talents from all over the world have. “All Romans want to eat is their own traditional food, so there’s very little room for creativity or experimentation,” he said. “There’s so much more going on in Paris, and it has a fantastically receptive public.”
Following in the footsteps of many young chefs these days, Mr. Passerini set up shop in this outlying residential arrondissement after stints in a suite of star kitchens including Arpège, Le Chateaubriand and nearby La Gazetta. “I like the arty laid-back vibe in this quartier,” he said. He invents two new menus daily according to what’s seasonal and most appealing in the markets. “If my palate is Italian, my cooking is personal and eclectic.”
Rino offers a four-course meal for 38 euros, or $52 at $1.36 to the euro, and a six-course for 55 ($75). During a visit on a spring night, my dining companion and I went for the six-course menu, and the suite of dishes that followed made it clear that Mr. Passerini is exploring the many inflections between a sensual Mediterranean simplicity and a tonic dose of Nordic minimalism.
Delicate homemade ravioli, below, filled with creamy brandade de morue (puréed salt cod and potatoes) were garnished with a baby artichoke heart and a dressing of boiled mint and the artichoke cooking water. Asparagus was teamed with briny shavings of bottarga and chewy sea snails to create a sexy mouthful of textural contrast. A cod steak arrived on a bed of gently bitter Swiss chard in an emulsion of pil-pil, a Basque sauce of olive oil, fish juices and garlic. The juiciness of a rack of baby lamb was brilliantly accented by grilled treviso and a garnish of crushed pistachios, orange zest and fresh mint.
A tasting plate of Basque cheeses and then some excellent cheese cake with blood-orange sorbet concluded a meal that showed off why Paris is quietly sizzling as the most exciting food city in Europe right now: the city just keeps pulling in new talent.
Rino, 46, rue Trousseau; (33) 1-48-06-95-85; rino-restaurant.com. Closed Sunday and Monday.