Miami's new "It" girl, José Andrés' The Bazaar, was golden in its first big review, receiving three and a half stars from the Miami Herald's Victoria Pesce Elliot for being a "fun, sexy triumph."
"This is no game of smoke and mirrors. Andrés is a culinary clinician who has considered every reaction his food will elicit, weighing not only its depth of flavor but its every hue, aroma, sound, texture and mouth feel.One of the world’s most exciting chefs has found a home in South Beach, and what a natural fit for this adult wonderland. Not just the meal but the décor, the waiters and the experience are sexy, fun and adventurous.With "every dish delicious, or at least provocative", a few standouts from a menu that "can seem bazaar-like" include "quinoa with 20 vegetables is an intensely flavored treat with an array of Lilliputian roots and shoots and a husky tamarind broth" and "the thoroughly tropical and utterly dramatic dragon fruit ceviche of diced tuna and avocado with toasted pecans and bright lime juice served with a crown of pink hibiscus foam." VPE sums up José Andrés' addition to Miami as "one of the world’s most exciting chefs has found a home in South Beach".
Combining rustic Italian cuisine with staged props and rehearsed welcomes, Brickell's Toscana Divino puts on "a helluva show", according to the Miami New Times' Emily Codik. "Despite all the theatrics, Toscana Divino isn't all for show. The restaurant, rather, unites all things Tuscan — fashion, wine, food, art — inside a 150-seat Brickell eatery." Julian Baker mans the kitchen, creating fresh homemade pastas like a "delicate tortelli, with a dainty filling of ricotta and spinach, enveloped in nutty browned butter and fragrant sage" and "fresh egg pappardelle tossed with a robust sausage-and-fennel ragù and finished with a hint of fennel pollen." Tocsana Divino reaps Codik's praise for its authenticity, uniting "all things Tuscan —; fashion, wine, food, art — inside a 150-seat Brickell eatery."
The Herald's Rochelle Koff tackles Indonesian cuisine at Pembroke Pines' Indo Quest, an intriguing introduction to Indonesian food, Suriname style." Koff grades the eatery two and half stars, enjoying the "lumpia, crunchy, fried spring rolls filled with veggies plus tofu or chicken" and "sweet plantains in the form of delicious pisang goring".
After quadrupling in size, Bistro Mezzaluna in Fort Lauderdale receives the treatment from The Broward New Times' Emily Codik, who finds the restaurant catering to the elder locals with menus decorated in cyan LED lights, a dining room dressed in mellow lighting, wooden blinds, beige walls, large-scale paintings of the Italian Riviera, and diners humming to the Tina Turner track on the sound system. With the kitchen "big on the protein/starch/vegetable trio", the cuisine is consistent and safe with nothing to prove. "It's not the Carly Rae Jepsen of restaurants; it's the Paul McCartney."
The Sun Sentinel's Danny Sanchez stops by Ethos Greek Bistro in Coconut Creek, finding the restaurant makes the "Old World feel new."
Given the traditional cuisine and trendy trappings, passersby may wonder if the restaurant boasts more style than substance. It doesn't. Ethos delivered one of the most-delicious Greek meals our group had eaten in recent memory.From 36 hour marinated lamb chops to a Greek-inspired seafood paella, Ethos "takes one of the world's oldest cuisines and elevates it with a fresh take."
THE BLOGS: Blind Tastes also visits The Bazaar.