Critics of the arts (be they visual, performing or culinary) get a bit miffed when something they are sent to review is so flawless, they have nothing to sling clever barbs at. Can you even remember a meal anywhere during which everything was absolutely spot on? If not, let me answer your first question first: YES, you should (and indeed MUST) dine at Michy’s on Biscayne Blvd, Miami.
I will take you through this amazing foodie adventure. Michy’s was participating in Miami Spice, a prix fixe $35 3-course menu. But, we choose to order a tasting menu for our party of 4, with continuous advice from our spectacular server, Jason.
Indeed, not only did we sample 11 plates, but where we skipped something Jason felt the adventure wasn’t complete without, it showed up anyhow. We never told him which to bring half orders for, and which to serve full orders. We told him what we were most enthused about, and he ran the show from there.
The house sent out two apps before we could order. A ham and cheese croquette and a ceviche were already on the way. The croquettes (served with a fig jam) went over well, but with the ceviche, I was already in foodie nirvana. The punchy, citrus-filled tilapia was served in a bowl (thank God it wasn’t yet another dull ceviche in a martini glass!), with corn “three ways”, i.e, popcorn, niblets on the cob, and corn nuts. The fish was fantastic.
Next came 3 more plates, 2 of which we didn’t order, but “the journey wouldn’t be complete without”. We ordered a Greek salad with watermelon. The feta was unlike any I had ever had, soft, fresh, not salty. This was exceptional.
Duck confit (baked 5 hours than quick fried before serving) over a bed of mandolin-sliced brussel sprouts, and Sweetbreads over fava bean pesto, plated over a sauce accented by fennel seeds, orange peel and a few mandarin orange segments were presented “for the adventurous”. We tried the sweetbreads, and found them to be tasty, and not dissimilar from particularly well prepared, lightly-fried chicken. The duck lovers among us went wild for this dish, as did the “Duckless Diner”, who marveled at the brussel sprouts “slaw”.
Then the fettucini carbonara with crispy prosciutto arrived, along with short ribs (with oven roasted tomatoes) , Malaysian curried yellowtail snapper, and truffled creamy polenta with a truffled poached egg, which we were encourage to mix in to the polenta. These plates were 4 for 4… 4 stars (or should I say, 16?). The meat from the short ribs may have been some of the most tender bites of meat I have ever known. The complex Thai flavor in the yellowtail snapper sauce (served over a hearts of palm salad and rice) had me scraping at the plate to savour.
We were far too stuffed for dessert and declined, so naturally, two desserts for sampling arrived anyhow. One was their signature baked Alaska (referred to as the “Sarah Palin” dessert) and a bread pudding with vanilla ice cream, raisins and chocolate chunks. The baked Alaska was visually fantastic, but not terribly exciting on the palette. The bread pudding could have used stronger notes of rum and raisin, and came across and not dramatic enough to cap off so fantastic a meal. But, as these were comped, we could hardly complain. (We had noted that had we ordered dessert, the chocolate brownie with salty caramel and seasonal fruits and the nightly granita with basel and mint would have been the way we went.)
We had no clue how Jason would go about pricing all this, but was beyond reasonable for such an outstanding feast, coming in at about $60/person (with a nice gratuity), with two of us having a glass of wine, and two of us having an espresso.
When I think of how two of us had atrocious food on Lincoln Road (one split appetizer, two dull-to-unacceptable entrees, one of which made me sick from bad fish, and cocktails that were supposed to be comped and weren’t at Aura), this amazing culinary event was an absolute bargain.
The simple synopsis is that you should absolutely go and dine at Michy’s… ASAP, and then undoubtedly often thereafter.
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