Monday, February 25, 2013

South Beach Bites and I Want Some More!

Doreen and I with Chef Daniel Boulud, in his Miami restaurant
The Food Network’s South Beach Food and Wine festival has come to Miami and it is an invasion of visitors, celebrity chefs, and oh yes, food. Quite frankly, it’s an event that I historically steer away from. Thousands of people standing in line in eighty-degree weather to sample a morsel from a booth manned by a chef-in-training while the celebrities hob nob with each other and pose for photographs.

BUT MY WORLD CHANGED  and I take it all back! 

My best buddy and fellow foodie invited me to a wine dinner at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami as an unofficial part of the week-long SOBE experience. Christies (the auction company) hosted the dinner with featured wines from Chateau Palmer. The setting was db Bistro Moderne, Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant in the hotel lobby.

The chef prepared the food himself – from his hands to my mouth. From the first sip of bubbly to the last crumb of madeleine cookie, the meal was stunning in presentation and flavor. I won’t tantalize you with every exquisite course, but I will mention delicacies like Grilled Portuguese Octopus, Oven Baked Branzino with Bone Marrow Crusted Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Squab with (my personal favorite) Foie Gras and Roasted Venison Loin with (get this) Cocoa Bean Shavings. The food experience was way, way over the top.

And the wines…….. a 2009 Chateau Palmer Blanc that cannot be found anymore (it’s been drunk through) to the Chateau Palmer 1988. Those in the know refer to it as “THE ‘88” and even I was throwing around that phrase by the end of the evening…!

The good news, is that the restaurant is available to all of us at any time we’d like. The bar décor  is contemporary, yet cozy. The tables in the restaurant are arranged in traditional bistro style: square four tops set just close enough to each other, that you  have to keep your voice down, which adds to the intimacy of the room. The servers are well trained, professional and just haughty enough to remind you that you are in a French bistro.

The entire dining experience was so much fun, that I’m actually thinking about driving to Miami’s infamous festival this weekend to stand in line in eighty-degrees heat to see what other morsels might be available from a chef in a tent that will someday be as important and as delicious as Daniel Boulud. 

Join me?? Maybe at the next SoBe Fest in 2014!

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