If anyone was up to the task of resurrecting the former Brasserie Le Coze space on Coconut Grove's Florida Avenue, which in the 90s was operated by Le Bernardin's Maguy Le Coze and her late brother Gilbert, it would be Villa Mayfair's executive chef Frederic Joulin. Mostly because of Federic's strong culinary pedigree from working in notable French patisseries, Joulin and his partner Timo Kipp received three stars from The Miami Herald's Jodi Mailander Farrell for Villa Mayfair, which opened last December. "Fortunately, Joulin's amazing culinary skills outshine the disco lighting and soundtrack". Farrell highlights Joulin's touch with his "French-infused American fare (that) commands it (attention) with perfectly seared steaks; a superb, herb-crusted rack of lamb with croute de tomate, and delicate pan-fried branzino with a flavorful salty, crisp skin." Because of his efforts at Villa Mayfair, "for the first time in 10 years, Florida Avenue deserves to be found again." [MH]
After J&G Grill received glowing reviews from both The Herald and The Sun Sentinel, Lesley Elliot of Miami New Times agrees with all the fuss claiming J&G "one of the best new fine-dining establishments to join the Magic City pack". When she tastes the initially assumed pedestrian Parmesan-crusted chicken breast, Elliot is converted to a believer in the ability of Jean Georges Vongerichten and his chef de cuisine in Bal Harbour, Richard Gras, to take "what's simple, what's expected, and then brushes the protein canvas with so much technique, so much straightforward flavor, and such perfection in the preparation." [MNT]
Up in Broward, Rochelle Koff of The Miami Herald finds "the new, sexier sibling to Fort Lauderdale's Tee-Jay" worthy of three stars. Open since February of 2011, Tee-Jay Thai Sushi has an extensive sushi menu and a huge selection of Thai and Japanese dishes. Koff's favorites came at the waiter's suggestion, specifically "mama's recipe" of Thai steamed dumplings, which are stuffed with ground steamed chicken, shrimp and shitake mushrooms. [MH]
Considered "a proper shrine for a proper oyster", PB Catch on Palm Beach, which opened late last year from the partners behind Pistache, is applauded by Liz Balmaseda at the Palm Beach Post for their fresh seafood that is "both simple and sumptuous, reflecting PB Catch's pedigree". Balmaseda rewarded PB Catch and chef Julien Gremaud an A for "his sophisticated touch".[PBP]
THE BLOGS: the food-e finds a hidden gem at Essensia in the Palms Hotel and Spa on South Beach in his seven second review. Food For Thought gives a taste of his "Frod burger" which was served at chef Daniel Serfer's Blue Collar in honor of "National Burger Month".