The Miami Herald's Victoria Pesce Elliot revels in the charm of Jean Paul's House, a "modest 1922 cottage on Northeast Second Avenue (that) was once owned by the Coals family, prominent Miamians of their era, and it retains its homey feel" enough for two and a half stars. With a kitchen led by Jean Paul Desmaison, "a talented Peruvian who opened La Cofradia in 2005 in Coral Gables", the cuisine is simple and down-home, unlike "other restaurants (that) are still zig-zagging plates with multi-colored sauces and adding twigs of this and that." The Jean Paul standouts highlighted by VPE include an octopus app that "wows with its tender coins interspersed with puffy discs of white potato, tomato, onion and briny olives" as well as the ceviches, "as you would expect from a Lima homeboy". [MH]
Ernie Patti, a son of Italian and Neapolitan immigrants, missed the food of his youth so much he decide to open Ernie's Italian Chophouse in Lighthouse Point and serve the dishes his mama used to make him. The Miami Herald's Rochelle Koff reward Ernie's with three stars, mostly for the restaurants warmth, "if Italian cooking doesn't make you feel sunny, something's wrong". Just about everything is made in-house and everything classically Italian, like a Sunday gravy feast of two plates "one loaded with huge paccheri pasta...the other is filled with delicious meatballs, slow-cooked spareribs, fat chunks of Italian sausage and Sicilian style braciola, all smothered in "gravy" made with San Marzano tomatoes." [MH]
Luca Bella, the Italian family eatery that took over the former Aventura location of Chef Allen's, received three and a half stars from The Sun Sentinel's John Tanasychuk. Owner Mickey Maltese, a "real honest-to-goodness personality", and chef Luciana Crosa "bring sophistication to what is essentially a classic menu of pasta, seafood, veal, chicken, and grilled chops." The one dish that Tanasychuk could not seem to forget among all the Italian staples, think meatballs, veal Francese, chicken scarpariello, was surprisingly the burnt vegetable medley. [SS]
A first look at La Gloutonnerie, "highbrow French eats in South Beach", highlights chef Testa's "subtle Mediterranean flair" that he brings "to traditional dishes like chateaubriand for two and foie gras terrine" [Miami.com]
Not lost in the shuffle of the "strip-mall-saturated landscape of South Florida", Wicked Awesome Snackbar in west Boca got the run down from the Broward New Times, enjoying the "brainchild of Paul Berger and Scott Fischer, former contestants on the first season of Gordon Ramsey's Master Chef. [BNT]
Myung Ga Tofu and BBQ, an eclectic combination, brings Seoul Food to Weston with "spicy, big-flavored fare" including "fiery kimchi, big bowls of soft noodles, and salty grilled meat", rated three and a half stars. [SS]
The Miami Herald's Linda Bladholm stops by Iron Side Cafe, located in the heart of Miami's Upper East Side, and enjoys the cafe's low-key setting mixed with casual food. [MH]
THE BLOGS: Food For Thought gives a run down of Andrew Carmellini's recent Cobaya dinner at The Dutch. As does, Blind Tastes.