I love this DIY craze that’s been hitting the American food scene! With all the attention that consumers are placing on where things come from and how they’re made, it seems as if many individuals have resorted to the notion that the best way to know the exact what, where, and how of a product is to make it yourself. In addition to controlling such things as the quality and sustainability of the food, making it yourself gives you full reign over the flavor and appearance of a finished product, as well as enabling you to add your own unique flourishes. The DIY revolution doesn’t seem to be merely confined to the home, however, as many chefs are finding more and more items that they can make from scratch, attempting everything from jams, pickles, condiments, and even cured meats...and they don’t seem to be turning back. I am so glad to see that, along with sourcing local products, the trend of making things in house is on the rise in South Florida and can be found a lot closer than I had previously thought. Big City Tavern, on the bustling Las Olas Boulevard, has always been a popular spot for good, informal meals and a convivial vibe, but I have often overlooked this restaurant as a mere purveyor of standard pub fare until a recent meal led me to discover otherwise. Local meat and produce coupled with excellently cured house-made charcuterie, along with a delicious array of homey desserts make Big City Tavern perhaps one of Fort Lauderdale’s best “right-under-our-noses” culinary secrets.
A recent stroll down the streets of Miami’s Design District - especially when one hasn’t strolled down those streets in quite a few months - can reveal some surprising changes. While design still rules in this area of Miami, the kind of design that is on display is changing. It is still a mecca for interior designers and industrial design aficionados, and favorites like Luminaire, Fendi Casa, and Ligne Roset are still present. However, the district is now becoming home to far more many creative venues than just furniture, kitchens, and baths. Christian Louboutin, Hermès, Chloé, and Cartier are among a few of the names making one of Miami’s most fashionable areas even more fashionable, and along with the the designer sofas, shoes, handbags, and baubles, is a treasure chest of fabulous eats from local favorite, Michael’s Genuine, to upscale Greek eatery, Egg & Dart. Among the most exciting eateries to make an appearance in the Design District is Oak Tavern, which plans to open its doors to Miami’s eager foodies this November.
As living beings, we have been blessed with five senses. Eden Restaurant heightens and impresses each of them creating a unique multi-sensory experience that will leave you feeling like you have just fell into Shangri-La.
Smell; upon entering through the front doors of Eden you are hit with the intoxicating aromas wafting from the open air kitchen. A word of advice? Come a half hour prior to your reservation and enjoy a drink at the bar or in the garden. The specialty cocktails here; Adam and Eve, Genesis, Forbidden Fruits and The Tree of Life to name a few, are the perfect foreplay and segue to dinner, as fresh herbs grown on site are infused into some of the cocktails as well as the dishes.
The Brindle Room
277 East 10th Street
New York, NY 10009
Cuisine: New American
Price: Reasonable to Moderate
Jeremy Spector's newest culinary venture, The Brindle Room, recently opened in the East Village. Spector's vision takes comforting classics and reworks them with refined flavor infusions and preparations. The unique menu's composition has three distinct sections labeled "spreads," "small" and "large." The spreads vary in influences from Greek and traditional American ingredients. Classics, like steak tartare and chicken liver mousse, are offset by taramasalata, a traditional Greek spread made from carp roe, soaked bread, lemon juice, onion, and olive oil. The small plates range in price from $8 to $15, and vary in flavors from roasted beets with stilton blue and lemon to baked oysters with creamed leeks and duck confit poutine. The large plates are entrée style and size. The chicken fried steak is a nod to the chef's home state of Oklahoma, where he claims the dish is quite popular. The Spanish influenced seared cod with chorizo and saffron adds yet another ethnic dimension to the flavor profiles. The number of food options is kept low intentionally so that the menu reflects seasonal produce, thereby keeping the dishes at their optimum freshness and flavor.