A night with Massimo Bottura in Miami

On Thursday night I went to a one night event at chef mendin’s Habitat Restaurant at the 1 hotel in South Beach, where chef Massimo Bottura, of Osteria Francescana, was visiting. As we are currently obsessed with him of course we had to go!

Here’s what we had:

INSALATA DI MARE the classic Italian antipasto reinvented like a game of hide and seek where octopus, shrimp. Sea urchin, clams, oysters, mussels, bottarga, tu I, seaweed and aromatic herbs delight and surprise

we had already had this dish during the tasting menu in Modena, and here it was a good attempt at recreating it but we felt it was much better executed in Modena. It was also a bit of a disappointment that it was a dish I had already seen because in my mind somehow I thought that this was going to be a creative collaboration between the two chefs and a unique event – but having the same dish I had a month ago although delicious was not original in my book. Yet given that most people there wouldn’t have it is an excellent approach to use some of his signature dishes

MEDITERRANEAN SOLE three classic Mediterranean preparations combine into one singular recipe. A filter of some with lemon and olive oil emulsion and invisible hints of Vesuvian tomatoes, capers, olives ans candied lemon is literally covered in sheets of Burned sea salt summoning the canvases of Italian modernist Alberto Burri

I loved this dish in Modena and it was spectacular here as it was there

AUTUMN IN NEW YORK A celebration of the Big Apple with a selection of seasonal apples prepared according to different culinary practices to represent the diversity New Yorkers who make this city one of the most unique and stimulating places in the world. Apples are glazed with red Beet juice and smoked; pickled in Apple cider vinegar and fall spices; roasted in pork fat ; pureed with red wine and onions served with a green apple gel, puree of Italian canpanine apple mostarda and burnt apple dashi

the third repeat dish and equally impressive and perfectly executed.

RISO ARANCIA centuries ago, Caterina de medici brought the original Tuscan recipe anatra a la arancia to celebrate her union with king Henry II and the recipe has been traveling ever since. Following the same travels, RISO allá rancia with duck, orange and spices bridges the cuisine of Europe and Asia. Violins Nano rice is cooked in fragrant broth of Burned oranges and served both with a handcut duck ragu and Pekinese sauce with coriander

this was the first of the dishes I hadn’t tried before and I loved it. The rice was super al dente which I love and the mix of orange and duck flavors was spectacular. I really wanted a whole bowl of it. Looks might not be great but taste was a 10

BEAUTIFUL PSYCHEDELIC SPIN-PAINTED VEAL A tribute to English artist Damien Hirsts spin painted canvases, this beef filet takes on the Tuscan tradition of grilled meat without lighting a flame. The meat is marinated in Milk as if it were veal, brushed with vegetable charcoal for a faux grill effect then cooked at a low temperature. It is dressed with creamy potatoes, puree of orange and yellow peppers, a red beet reduction and balsamic vinegar

such a gorgeous dish. It reminded me color wise a bit of my pork dish in Modena but here the meat made me love this incarnation even more. A ridiculously tender piece of beef – so much flavor – again I wanted seconds. Culinary art on the plate

TRIBUTES TO VIGNOLA

dessert was original in its use of cherry but noting spectacular- an ok dessert, light yet nothing special cherry sorbet with cream

POPCORN

this course really was special. A little on the experience side, they even scented the plate . I love popcorn especially sweet popcorn and this totally hit all my dessert needs and wants.

Massimo himself working the kitchen

The wines were great, The only issue was we were supposed to share one glass between two dishes and two that usually doesn’t work out well in timing especially for the men in our table — and apparently they weren’t allowed to do refills – that put a slight damper on the night.

In general Massimo’s food far exceeded the service received — it was a bit of a mismatch. Something that you don’t get in his restaurant But seeing him cook and getting the pleasure to taste his food is always a marvelous experience

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