Happy National Food Day
At Newhall Klein, we have a passion for food. So with today being National Food Day, I thought it would be fitting to share some the most memorable dining (and wine sipping) spots that I’ve visited over the years. In no particular order, here are the favorites that come to mind.
OLA – Of Latin America – Sanctuary Hotel – South Beach, Miami, FL :
Sit outside on the small patio at the Sanctuary Hotel, and prepare to be blown away by Chef Horacio Rivadero’s world-renowned ceviche, masterfully paired with the perfect wines. You must order and share several ceviche to experience the full spectrum of flavors. The entrees are equally as delicious and are prepared with a creative combination of Pan Latin, Spanish and Caribbean flavors. If you journey to Miami, this is a must stop for the culinary minded seeking an epic culinary experience like non other.
The Bazaar – SLS Hotel – South Beach, Miami, FL:
Ok, so I do love Miami and have been there many times. This is a newer place in the heart of the Art Deco area of South Beach in the very trendy SLS Hotel. As per the description on their website: The Bazaar, the world-renowned restaurant by the James Beard award-winning Chef José Andrés, made its Miami debut with a vibrant mix of sophisticated cuisine and a playful indoor-outdoor environment. The Bazaar menu blends Andrés’ Spanish heritage, tradition and ingenuity with influences from South Beach’s local Latin flavors.
The Clean and Dirty Grey Goose Martini was served with olive spherification and olive brine air – If you're a dirty martini drinker, this should be on your bucket list. We ordered the smoked oysters with ice and smoke and apple mignonette, which was a sensory delight. We were presented with a smoke-filled dome that was lifted to reveal five perfect little oysters. The mignonette came in the form of a foam dabbed on each. The applewood smoked flavor was at first intense, then the slightly sour foam expanded in the mouth to present the sweet oyster.
Auberge Du Soleil – Napa Valley, CA:
This inn and restaurant has been in existence for over 30 years. I’ve been there several times with several years in between, and each time is as memorable as the last. I’ve never sat inside, as the famous terrace is one where you can sit for hours and just take in the panoramic views of Napa Valley stretching out before you. Executive Chef Robert Curry’s inspired cuisine reflects the natural diversity and rich ingredients of California’s Napa Valley and draws from regional produce, accented with Mediterranean flavors. Everything on the menu is made to perfection and presented beautifully.
NoMad Restaurant - NoMad Hotel – NY, NY:
The NoMad Hotel celebrates its casually elegant food and beverage offerings with Chef Daniel Humm at the helm. The restaurant has a cozy series of rooms surrounding a glass-enclosed atrium and features a refined yet approachable menu with a wine program that celebrates the great winegrowing regions of the world and innovative, classically focused cocktails.
There is one dish this restaurant is known for – the whole roasted chicken for two, with foie gras, black truffle and brioche. While dining there, our server expertly explained to us that the chicken starts raw from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, arriving intact to preserve the skin. Unbroken skin is important, because it contains the stuffing – fois gras stirred with black truffle and brioche, then piped beneath the skin with a pastry bag. The cavity filled with lemon and rosemary leaves is then tied up and spends several hours in the refrigerator as the stuffing firms up. The chicken is presented with herbs along for the ride, and then whisked away for plate preparation, dark meat on one dish the breast as the main. Truly an exceptional dining experience – food coma comes happily to mind. One tip, the restaurant is extremely hard to get into unless you are also a guest at the hotel – definitely worth an effort.
Fig and Olive – Chicago, IL:
We head to Chicago frequently – especially now that NK has an office there. One of my favorite restaurants in Chicago, Fig and Olive, is both elegant and informal, and features a variety of unique spaces that capture the essence of the French Riveria. Its origins are from the South of France, Italy and Spain. A simple approach, Fig and Olive is about passion for the best olive oils, flavors and cuisine. Executive Chef, Pascal Lorange, creates around genuine taste and seasonality with carefully selected farmers and ingredients. We ordered the mixed Olives and the traditional Jambon Iberico for starters. Then for entrees the Chilean Sea Bass and the Chicken dishes were reminiscent of the fresh, clean, simple and delicious flavors of European fare.
El Catrin, Distillery District – Toronto, Ontario, Canada:
We love to spend time with NK colleagues and clients in Toronto. This restaurant in the trendy Distillery District of Toronto is all about authentic and modern Mexican cuisine. They serve up tacos, burritos and tostadas, served tapas-style, plus starters like Serrano-spiced guacamole and watermelon-tuna ceviche. Heavier dishes include 24 hour–braised pork brisket and mole-braised short ribs. Chef Olivier le Calvez, one of Mexico City’s top chefs, was brought to this restaurant to create a wide-ranging tapas style menu. The drinks were great, the food authentic and delicious, and the ambience exceptional! A must for a memorable dining experience!
This blog would not be complete, if I didn’t look close to home. Newhall Klein is headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a bustling college town that boasts many trendy restaurants and bars. I have two favorite places here in the ‘Zoo’ – Rustica and Bold.
At its core, Rustica is simple, fresh and delicious. Rustica blends influences from France, Italy, Spain and other European countries with regional Michigan fare. Chef de Cuisine Chris Kidd, is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. We love the special monthly wine-paring event that includes a 5-6-course meal with wine from a specific region of the world. This is the must-go spot for when our clients visit. The pear and parsnip soup, baked fresh fish in parchment paper with vegetables, the duck, and finally desserts are all favorites.
Just a couple of miles outside of Kalamazoo is the cozy restaurant aptly named BOLD. As their web page depicts – Simple Food, Big Flavor. BOLD specializes in a variety of small plate selections that delight the palate. We love the warm and relaxing atmosphere of the soft seating – like sitting in a friend’s living room. Chef Andy Havey is a Kalamazoo native who attended Johnson & Wales in Charleston, SC and graduated with his AAS Culinary Arts degree. We have become regulars at BOLD and love everything on the menu and their nightly specials. Chef Andy has a knack for combining ingredients in a unique way that result in outstanding dishes that delight the palate. Try the Bacon dish, Whitefish or Tenderloin medallions with a whiskey-peppercorn sauce.
- Posted in: Thoughts
- Friday, October 24, 2014.