First look: Paradigm
This restaurant within a restaurant within a hotel is a lesson in gastronomy. A very tasty lesson.
By Sara Liss
The goods: Exciting things are happening at Neomi's Grill at the Trump International Beach Resort in Sunny Isles. Executive chef Kurtis Jantz and chef de cuisine Chad Galiano have teamed up to create a second "restaurant within a restaurant" called Paradigm at the posh hotel. Modeled on "chef's tables" at culinary destinations like Moto and Alinea in Chicago, the idea is to present a set menu of 10-12 courses of innovative, experimental dishes in an intimate setting. Reservations are limited to 10 people and Paradigm is open for dinner only on Thursdays. The atmosphere is informal and lighthearted with the chefs offering commentary and background about the techniques employed in creating each dish. "We want to show you how we play around in the kitchen, how we incorporate science into our cooking," says Jantz. "This is our test kitchen, you're our guinea pigs."
The restaurant plans to invite chefs from other restaurants to join in the culinary wizardry. The line-up already includes The Oceanaire's Sean Bernal and Meat Market's Sean Brasel (formerly of Touch).
The grub: Unconventional. There's plenty of proteins, vegetables and starches to be had, but they're presented in an often artful, whimsical fashion. The menu's set price of $85 may seem steep, but when you divide that amongst 10-12 dishes of this caliber of cooking and ingredients, it averages about $8 a plate for some seriously interesting food. The menu changes each week based on the whims (and intellectual curiosities) of the chefs.
A starter of "breakfast" includes a 2-hour egg cooked at 60 degrees for a creamy texture, a slice of Iberico ham, crispy potatoes discs and an espresso cup of coffee "espuma" with a mousse-like texture. Things get topsy turvy as slices of watermelon begin to resemble ahi tuna (in both taste and texture) and Worcestershire sauce comes in a flavor-packed sheet. Be prepared for unexpected combinations like hamachi cooked souse vide accompanied by artichoke butter and black olive "streusel" or seared scallops in a bed of vanilla milk froth.
The verdict: There's nothing like this in Miami, and pretty soon it'll be the hottest ticket in town for food geeks and novices alike.
Paradigm at Neomi's Grill, Trump International Beach Resort, 18001 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles; 305-692-5645 to RSVP
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