Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1500 Degrees at Eden Roc in Miami

Eden Roc
Photo credit:Brett Hufziger

If you are looking for a kind of late 50's early 60's glamour, it's hard to beat Eden Roc Resort, Miami, on the upper "Golden Mile" of Miami Beach. Though just a short cab ride, it feels a world away from the thumpety-thump of South Beach where the party scene is inescapable. The $200 million renovation has the place feeling fresh and modern with a cool and shimmery color palate and nods to a time when it was the resort of choice with entertainers like Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Lena Horne, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr and Elizabeth Taylor.

The property has multiple pools, a great view of the ocean but not a lot of choices when it comes to dining. Fortunately I found the new restaurant on property, 1500 Degrees, to be absolutely wonderful. Hell's Kitchen fans will recognize the name of the chef, Paula DaSilva, a past contestant who was named one of the "Top 40 under 40" by Gold Coast magazine and "Best Celebrity Chef" by Broward/Palm Beach New Times. To be honest, it's hard for me to get excited about yet another steakhouse. 1500 Degrees is described as a farm to table steakhouse, which was good news for me, because you can easily make a meal out of small plates and appetizers.

Wahoo ceviche
First up was the local Florida Wahoo ceviche ($13). Ceviche can be found on many Miami menus, but this one was really outstanding. It had the right balance of peppers, cilantro, onions and lime. It managed to be refreshing and savory at the same time.

Pork Belly Tacos
I don't know if the Pork Belly Tacos with Housemade Kimchee ($7) are always on the menu, but they should be. Shatteringly crunchy morsels with melting bites of pork and juicy kimchee are a mouthwatering treat! I suppose an order of 4 is meant to be shared, but I gobbled them all up myself.

White Water Clams
The spiciest dish I tried was the White Water Clams with Chorizo, Peppers and Aji Amarillo Pepper Broth ($15). Chewy nubs of Spanish chorizo and lots of garlic and peppers flavor the clams and the luscious broth. It was a generous portion and I will not soon forget it. The tangy broth was so good I used a spoon to get every last drop.

So as you can see, I didn't even bother ordering steak. I have no idea how the steak is, but am happy that the other dishes were by no means an afterthought. Prices are a what you would expect to find in a hotel, a bit on the high side, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

I was a guest of Eden Roc and 1500 Degrees