Bidding adieu to the whirlwind that was Miami Spice 2018

Sept. 30 was the day all foodies were dreading because it marked the end of a two month romp through Miami Spice 2018. My list was quite extensive and very ambitious but what I did check off was oh so memorable.

One of my favorite chefs in the city Michael Schwartz made my list twice and except for Michael’s Genuine, all the other restaurants were new experiences for me.

Like Byblos where I’d always wanted to go and where the BFF and I had an unforgettable five course meal. This place lived up to its reputation. I also got to try Bazaar Mar by Jose Andres at the SLS Brickell, F’ilia (the other Schwartz spot), Novikov Miami in Downtown and KYU and GK Bistronomie in Wynwood.

I wish the list was longer but I’m happy with all the places I tried. Here, I’m featuring some of my favorites from each place.

Peaches at Michael’s Genuine

I loved the interesting combination of grilled peaches topped with pesto which was a surprising combo but delicious at Michael’s Genuine. The fresh cheese and greens added creaminess and bite.

Byblos dumplings

So many of the dishes at Byblos were unbelievable, and at five courses they had a very generous Miami Spice offering. If I had to choose though, it would be the dumplings. The turkish manti dumplings were made with smokey eggplant, yogurt sauce and molasses. I loved the crispy edges.

Dumplings and skewers at Novikov

Dumplings make the list again, from Novikov Miami and again, it was their unique filling that I loved. The saffron sweet corn dumplings were divine and the pork skewers were very tasty too.

Bagel & Lox at Bazaar Mar by Jose Andres at SLS Brickell

Most whimsical looking certainly gets awarded to Jose Andres, whose version of bagel and lox at Bazaar Mar at the SLS Brickell, is simply adorable. Delicate smoked salmon is wrapped around light as a cloud bread air that’s shaped like a fish and adorned with small pickled onion circles dotted with cream cheese. The dill garnish and multi-colored sesame seeds add pops of color.

Bao buns at KYU

 

KYU Coconut Cake

KYU has been one of Wynwood’s most talked about restaurants for years now and I finally got around to checking this place out for a Miami Spice lunch. Because I’m all about those delicate, pillowy bao buns those were my favorite here. And these were filled with perfect fried chicken and served with a delicate, crunchy slaw. The coconut cake I have to mention because all the hype about it is true. Go have it, ASAP.

I didn’t get a picture of the dish I had for lunch at GK Bistronomie but trust me, I could’ve eaten a bowl double the size of their Chicken Chaufa or “Chicken Stir Fried Rice” made with organic chicken, jasmine rice, peppers, scallions, egg tortilla, soy and sesame seeds. The leftovers of this abundant portion made it home, barely.

Clams at F’ilia

 

Scallops at F’ilia

Back over at the SLS Brickell, I tried out Michael Schwartz’s F’ilia and here too there was more than one dish that I loved. For the favorite, it’s a tie between the clams topped with a delicious blend of carrots, onions, breadcrumbs and a few microgreens and the scallops, thick, tender and even a little decadent with perfect grill marks served atop a great sauce and topped with a little mound of microgreens.

So…is it August 2019 yet?

 

 

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