Verde at Perez Art Museum Miami serves edible art

By Linda Bladholm / For the Miami Herald

Enter Verde through the main entrance of Pérez Art Museum Miami and admire the hanging boats that represent how many people in South Florida arrived across vast cultural seas. 

Dine on the deck with views of Biscayne Bay and cylindrical hanging gardens. The concise menu is as varied in textures and colors as the art here, ranging from salmon crudo with pickled kumquats to snapper on yogurt-cucumber salad with red quinoa and avocado mousse.

This may be a Stephen Starr restaurant, but chef Nicolay Adinaguev runs the kitchen. 

He grew up in Lima and learned to cook out of necessity, as his mother did not excel at the stove. His Russian father is of Iranian heritage, from a small town in the Caucasus Mountains, and met Adinaguev’s Peruvian-born Romanian mother in Israel.

Adinaguev came to Miami for the bar mitzvah of a cousin and never looked back. He went to Capital Culinary Institute in Tallahassee, then came south and worked at the now-closed Chef Allen’s in Aventura and Steak 954 in Fort Lauderdale, also a Starr restaurant, before coming on board when PAMM opened in December.

Shredded Jonah crab ceviche is punctuated with the sharp, lemony and pine flavor of coriander seeds and thin slices of red chile. 

Chewy, crisp squash blossom and zucchini pizza has a base of melted goat cheese with a dab of herb- and garlic-roasted tomato purée, good with a bowl of meaty hen of the woods mushrooms pan-seared in a rice wine-dashi sauce with thyme and garlic. 

Light eaters can enjoy heirloom tomato and celery leaf gazpacho or a warm shrimp salad doused in truffle beurre blanc. Dinner adds steak with chard and chicken under a brick. No admission fee required for the edible art.

Linda Bladholm is a Miami-based food writer.