The who: Chef partners Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth have returned to Miami with Sarsaparilla Club, their first joint venture here (McInnis and Booth are partners in New York City’s Root & Bone). Chef Marco Ferraro (formerly of Wish) is in the kitchen as well.
The space: The former Morimoto space at the Shelborne has been country-fied with couches, macrame knotted hanging plants and a palette of woodsy greens, browns and beige.
The dishes: American Dim Sum with southern flair. Think comfort food with Asian and Mediterranean tweaks. Three dim sum carts offer a variety of small plates which range in price from $2.50-$8. Menu items are equally reasonable with starters going for $12-$15 and larger mains $23-$29.
The trollies rolling through the dining room get things started with a vegan beet tartar made table side, dumplings stuffed with beef, pork belly buns, and corn on the cob topped with corn bread butter and popcorn. Vegetables get lots of love with the charred bok choy in a ginger miso broth and grilled graffiti eggplant with black garlic aioli. Honey carrots and farro salad are dressed with a green harissa sauce and creamy labneh cheese and the “Spiced love rice” is a play on Persian-style wedding rice with Saffron basmati, rose petals, pomegranate and pistachio. McInnis rolls out his famous fried chicken, this time marinated in green curry and dusted with kaffir lime powder. The rock shrimp laksa is a steaming bowl of egg noodles in a coconut turmeric broth and the braised duck pappardelle comes with home made pasta and salsify root cream.
Desserts off the cart include banana cream pie, chocolate cake and a sarsaparilla float with a scoop of toffee ice cream. Warm ginger almond apple pie with fresh sweet cream is also available.
Bottom line: Jeff McInnis is back, this time with a homey comfort food spot that plays with the idea of dim sum.