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Seafood

Le Bernardin – New York, NY

There’s a reason this restaurant has three Michelin stars, seven James Beard Awards and is  ranked 24 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.  Time and time again it’s impeccable.  I’ve been twice now, the first time having the Chef’s Tasting Menu and the second ordering a la carte.  Both were divine and different which was extremely satisfying.  Each dish is so beautifully composed and perfect from the presentation to the moment the flavors touch your tongue.  Mmmm…I just wanted more!  Definitely set your alarm to call two months in advance at 9am EST.  It’s worth the effort and money if you can manage it.

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Hamachi – flash marinated Hamachi, young radishes and amaranth crisp, Yuzu vinaigrette

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Langoustine – seared langoustine, fennel mousse line, spiced citrus-sambal sauce

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Snapper – crusted red snapper, pickled Persian cucumbers, green curry-goat yogurt emulsion

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The Bazaar – Miami Beach, FL

The Bazaar in Beverly Hills is one of my favorite restaurants so when I found out there was one in the SLS South Beach, I immediately picked up the phone and made a reservation.  And the fact that the only time slot I could get was 10pm didn’t phase me…well worth it!

The setting is very different from the CA location.  Whereas the one in Beverly Hills is dark and museum-like, this one consists of one large airy room, draped in white.  Very beachy, dramatic and elegant.

The menu is quite different as well – it showcases the local seafood as well as Cuban, Latin and even Singaporean influences.  They haven’t forgotten to include favorites from the CA.  We stuffed ourselves silly and didn’t regret one bite.  This place is a must!

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Caviar Cone – ossetra caviar, capers, eggs, onion, créme fraiche

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Not Your Everyday Caprese – cherry tomatoes, liquid mozzarella

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Kueh Pai Ti – Singapore’s favorite street food – shrimp, peanuts, chili sauce

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Yellowtail Hamachi – olive oil yogurt, grapes, radish, crispy rice

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Empanadillas de Bacalao – salt cod, honey

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Sautéed Shrimp – garlic, parsley, spicy tomato sauce, lemon, guindilla pepper

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“Cubano” in Honor of Café Versailles

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Black Rossejat – paella-style pasta, squid ink, shrimp, aioli

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Cuban Coffee Roasted Churrasco – passion fruit

 

Joe’s Stone Crab – Miami Beach, FL

What does one do when they go to Miami Beach?  Eat Stone Crab of course!  And that we did.  Lots of it everywhere we went.  The most famous institution though is Joe’s Stone Crab located at the southern tip of South Beach.  There is some serious history to this place which isn’t surprising seeing as it’s been open for over 100 years!

We arrived late in the afternoon only to miss the lunch service and therefore were limited to the bar menu, but limiting it was not considering all we really wanted was Stone Crab.  The Stone Crab was amazing…we ate many more than the three you see pictured:)  The rock shrimp tacos were a great addition too!

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Joe’s Bar Classic – 3 Large Stone Crabs, Hashed Browned Potatoes and Creamed Spinach

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Rock Shrimp Tacos, Cilantro Cabbage Slaw and Pickled Tomatillo Salsa

Matador Room – Miami, FL

Located in The Miami Beach EDITION Hotel, this is a restaurant not to miss while you’re in Miami.  You walk through the bar on your way to the dining room which is stunning in itself with floor to ceiling photos of matadors doing what they do best.  The colors are rich and inviting, definitely a swanky hangout for a drink and nibbles.

We sat outside on the terrace rather than in the main dining room which was very lovely and green with plants hanging above and all around.  Overall our meal was spectacular from start to finish.  So much fresh seafood, I could have eaten here every day.  Absolutely nothing about this meal was disappointing.

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Spicy Tuna Tartare, Black Olive, Cucumber and Avocado

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Florida Stone Crab, Mustard Sauce and Dill Dip

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Crispy Florida Black Grouper Tacos, Aioli and Cabbage-Chili Pickle

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Raw Shaved Florida Red Snapper with Green Chili Dressing, Crunchy Rice and Herbs

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Roasted Snapper, Sweet Chili-Garlic Sauce, Crunchy Potatoes and Farm Beans

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Tres Leches Cake, Glazed Pineapple

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Warm Vanilla Fritters, Mexican Chocolate

 

Navy – New York, NY

What a neighborhood gem!  So unassuming from the outside but cozy and sweet once you walk in the front door.  The staff couldn’t have been more amazing.  So accommodating and welcoming.  They truly made the experience twice as great.

Everything we ordered was outstanding.  The unique flavors stood out remarkably making each dish so interesting.  I kept taking bites trying to figure out what I was tasting.  I would order everything we had that night over and over again.  What a meal!  If only we lived there, they would surely know us by name.

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Crudo – coco-lime, avocado, pickled chili, cilantro

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Lettuces – puffed kasha, buttermilk dressing

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Smoked Mackerel – carrots, charred scallion, olive aioli

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Crispy Sweet Potato – olives, almonds, sumac yogurt

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Zucchini & Broccoli Fritters – nigella, mustard seed, dill

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Pork & Beans – smoked butterbeans, braised cabbage

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Shaker + Spear – Seattle, WA

Located in the new Palladian Hotel downtown on Second Ave (and Virginia), Shaker + Spear surprised me in a good way.  Without many photos online of the space itself, I didn’t know what to expect but it’s gorgeous with tons of natural light and well chosen interior design details.  I especially like the chandelier above the bar as well as the bar stools themselves.

We started with cocktails at the bar and then moved onto wine and dinner once we were seated.  Between four of us eating family style, we were able to order quite a bit which is always fun when trying a new place.  Overall I was very impressed from start to finish from the moment we walked in to the moment we walked out (being the last to leave means you had a great time right?!).  I would suggest making reservations if you’re planning on going Thursday – Saturday at least!  *Not pictured are the delicious oysters we had served with rose bitters and tarragon.  Yum!

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Special that night – ROASTED CARROTS, pickled jalapeños, kimchi puree

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GRILLED OCTOPUS, salsa verde

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TEMPURA SQUASH BLOSSOMS, foie mousse (on the side because I don’t care for foie)

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YELLOWTAIL, local mushrooms, english peas

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ROSEMARY COULOTTE STEAK, spring garlic, fava beans, avocado chili puree

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WHOLE FISH CHEF’S WAY (DORADE), panzanella salad

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HALIBUT, black garlic, asparagus, baby artichokes, pak choi

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BRULEE CARROT CAKE, cream cheese ice cream, ginger syrup

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HOUSEMADE COOKIES

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MINT DARK CHOCOLATE SEMI FREDDO, chocolate crumb, cacao nib, micro mint

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ROSEWATER RHUBARB, pistachio meringue, preserved lemon ricotta, orange

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Joe Jack’s Red Snapper

I blogged about Joe Jack’s Fish Shack in Puerto Vallarta because of this dish.  Every time I go down there this is #1 on my list of things to eat.  It’s so fresh, full of flavor and light at the same time.  Hands down one of my favorite dishes and now I have the recipe for myself thanks to the oh-so-friendly owner who had no hesitation in giving it to me the last time I was down there (thank you!).  And now I’m sharing it with you!

Each fish serves about 2

Ingredients

  • 1.5 -2 lb red snapper or other whole fish (scaled and gutted, very important)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of “huacho salt”
  • 4 Tablespoons of slivered garlic olive oil
  • 5-8 cloves of garlic poached in butter
  • 5-7 whole dry chile de arbol
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice

Huacho salt

  • 2 Tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons whole black pepper
  • 5 ea. Clove
  • 1 stick cinnamon (broken)
  • 4 chile de arbol (seeds o.k.)
  • 12 Tablespoons kosher or sea salt

yields about 1 ½ cups

Directions

Huacho Salt:

Toast all spices except salt and black peppercorns in a sauté pan on very low heat until smoking. Let cool and add black peppercorns. Grind in a spice grinder (coffee grinder) or blender or morder and pestle. Combine with the salt.

You can save and use this on anything. It will add a great interesting flavor to anything you can imagine.

Poached garlic:

IMG_6782To poach the garlic, slowly heat butter (enough to cover) and garlic cloves until cloves  just give to the touch. You can do more of this as well and just keep it in the fridge to use later in the week, but not too long as it will get rancid.

Whole Red Snapper:

IMG_6787Score the fish three or four times (or more if its bigger fish) on each side and liberally season with the salt mixture. Liberally douse the fish with the slivered garlic oil on one side and place on a medium temperature griddle or grill or large sauté pan or even a baking dish (preheat oven to 425˚F if using oven method), again liberally slather the top side with the same.  (feel free to stuff the fish with garden herbs and lemon or lime and if it’s a bigger fish also liberally salt the inside of cavity as well)

Place on griddle or grill or sauté pan on one side and cover. If its in an oven do not cover (cook for approx. 30 mins, 15 mins on each side or when done).

When fish is about half done on topside, flip the fish to the other side and cover again.

When the “new” topside is just cooked or rather almost cooked to the bone (the scores let you peek). You are pretty assured that the downside is also done.

Note:  an important thing to remember is that over cooked fish is way worse than under cooked fish. Most likely the residual heat from the cooking, will continue cooking the fish at the bone.

Place the fish on a serving platter.

IMG_6794In a separate hot sauté pan, put in the butter and poached garlic, a pinch of salt, and four or five more whole chilies. When the butter starts to brown, add the lime juice, and pour it all over the fish.  Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, lime halves, and serve with fresh tortillas and beans and rice.

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