I’m back!

After a week in Miami, presenting to hundreds of people and enjoying a bit of the Miami nightlife, I’m back home and a little worn out. Some highlights:

  • Barton G is a spectacle.  Some of the food is great, but a lot of it is just presentation.  For example, I had duck served in a gigantic wooden duck decoy (the duck was a bit dry, but the egg roll served with it was great) , and the table had funnel cakes served to us with one of those old carnival games where you shoot the ducks.  Other dishes included a salmon dish served on a miniature Weber grill, and at least one presentation involving monkeys in fezzes.  Amusing, but a bit gimmicky.  Their drinks were all served with 360 degree-below-zero frozen vodka as ice (liquid nitrogen was obviously in use), and the drinks were pretty but a bit on the sweet side.  They did give me some ideas for how to use the bottles of rose nectar I got at Tales.   Want an impressive show for dinner when you go to Miami? Go here.
  • We stayed at the Fontainebleau for the second year in a row.  This time, I spent a little more time in the on-site restaurants and bars.  Gotham has a fabulous bartender (her name is Melly, ask for her) who has a vast knowledge of Scotches and pours some mean drinks.  Their lobster salad is also stellar.  The Bleau Bar, which is right next door, doesn’t make the best drinks, but has some killer atmosphere.  There, I stuck with Grey Goose L’Orange and soda.  They also make what others described as a killer mojito, the Bleauberry Mojito, and there’s a recipe here.   Hakkasan has some great Chinese-style food, including some really nice noodle dishes.
  • The best meal I had the entire time was courtesy one of my coworkers, John, who had recently been to Miami with his wife and tried this place out.  D. Rodriguez Cuba, whose motto is “Who lives better than us?” was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in a while.  They serve Cuban food, some of it Cuban-inspired, others very authentic.  I had a spicy, perfectly cooked tuna dish served on a bed of grated carrots and crab that was absolutely impeccable.  John had oxtail cooked in a tin can that was meltingly tender and complex in flavor.  We kept trading forkfuls, as both dishes were just eye-rollingly delicious.  Their ceviche (we chose the “Mixed Seafood) was the perfect light start to dinner.  Terry and I aren’t really beach vacationers, but I really want to go to Miami just to take him to this restaurant.

I came back on Saturday, and on Sunday I hosted a small surprise birthday party for Terry.  The theme was greek, with a big greek salad, dolmades, couscous, chicken cooked in a tomato sauce, and a cake from Take the Cake that was gorgeous and delicious, and sorry– didn’t take a pic.

All in all, a pretty eventful week.  I’m looking forward to slowing down a bit for a while!  Thanks to all of my guest bloggers who kept the conversation goingh in my absence.  You rock!

Barton G. The Restaurant on Urbanspoon

D. Rodriguez Cuba on Urbanspoon

Gotham Steak on Urbanspoon

Hakkasan on Urbanspoon

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