For a truly cosmopolitan foodie, choosing the right venue for a dinner out can be a daunting task. Okay. Daunting might come across as drastic, but when someone’s palate follows a culinary trajectory that mirrors that of Magellan, it can be a little tough to find a restaurant that caters to every gastronomic desire. There is that great Korean joint, but you feel like having German, too. Gnocchi would be perfect, but could the kitchen top it off with some ropa vieja and maybe rustle up a mango lassi? Granted, most diners are content with just one cuisine at a time, but for those who like it all at once, Fort Lauderdale seems to offer just the place. A local favorite that has been almost secretly talked about and shared among Broward foodies since 2009, The Grateful Palate takes influences from across culinary traditions to bring diners a truly global dining experience. With a new cocktail list and new dishes that branch out further into the far reaches of the world’s kitchens, The Grateful Palate offers a delicious solution to the culinarily cosmopolitan.
Chef Paula da Silva of 1500º in the Eden Roc has been one South Florida chef who has been on the forefront of the farm-to-table concept since the restaurant opened a few years ago. Bringing diners the freshest and most local products available, Chef Paula also has a way of blending these ingredients in ways that can sometimes surprise and at other times conjure memories of enjoying grandma’s (or abuela’s) comfort food. There always seems to be an innovative twist to everything she puts on the menu, and this innovation has garnered the attention of Esquire magazine in 2011, which named 1500º one of the best new restaurants in America that year. Ever since then, we have been enjoying some of her menu staples like a perfectly roasted half chicken, meltingly tender pork belly tacos, and perhaps one of the silkiest octopus tentacles to be had in Miami. Last month, Chef Paula introduced some new seasonal items to the menu that continue to demonstrate her ability to expertly source and prepare local produce, as well as showing off some new techniques and new ingredients.
The Bedford (110 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg) held a special sneak preview of their newly appointed Executive Chef Jason Michael Giordano’s forthcoming Tavern Menu last night in their I-Beam barroom. Jason’s new contemporary American pub snack menu was inspired by the dinner served at the White House during President Lincoln’s inaugural dinner. With such an original concept a lot of research had to be done to recreate these dishes that time had forgotten. The Tavern Menu uses old world techniques with classic American ingredients to create dishes such as arancini (risotto balls), fried duck rillette (similar to pâté), devils on horseback (bacon-wrapped dates filled with cheese), and others. Diners also enjoyed a basket of delicately fried kale chips while snacking on the Tavern Menu sampler.
Good news for all you Chinese food snobs: Cafe China is revamping their menu this spring and we know what's coming! Inspired by the markets back in Shanghai, Cafe China sought out produce at the Union Square Green Market. The restaurant has decided to include organic veggies on their specials menu and for the month of March, there will be in-season Chinese broccoli, bok choi, and spinach.
But this new menu isn't all about your greens. Flounder (caught off Long Island) will now be offered for any dish with fish filets. The popular dish, tea smoked duck, which is lightly browned with a smoky flavor (delicious paired with red wine), is now going to be organic free-range, making the dish even better.