Culinary Highlights from Terry Zarikian
Week of November 14
Enjoy Terry Zarikian’s weekly account of some of the newest restaurants in South Florida, along with many of his all-time favorites.
This week Terry dines at Food@Science at the new Frost Science Museum, ZUMA, DIZENGOFF Miami and Habitat.
Originally from Finland, Chef Tony Terho leads the culinary team at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science where he serves as executive chef for SAVOR, a division of SMG, the exclusive food and beverage provider for the museum. He develops the everyday menu for the museum’s cafe, Food@Science, procuring farm-to-table freshness that features locally grown products. Kids will be delighted with Baked Chicken Tenders and Cheese Quesadillas, and grown-ups with a variety of wonderfully fresh and gigantic salads like the Chop Chop, a mix of local leafy greens and frisse, heirloom cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, assorted radishes, heirloom carrots, haricot verts, fingerling potatoes, a mix of dill, mint and parsley all dressed in sherry-citrus vinaigrette. But I was sold on their well-known, homemade dough flatbreads and chose the Four Cheese, with randomly sliced black truffles, a mountain of arugula topping the melting cheeses and paper-thin slices of lemon.
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
1101 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33132
The brainchild of my friend Chef Rainer Becker, who oversees the culinary creativity and integrity of the ZUMA brand, now that is has extended to 11 locations worldwide (London, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Dubai, Miami, Bangkok, Abu Dhabi, Datca Peninsula, New York, Rome and Las Vegas) still maintains its aura of exciting culinary fun. Never go wrong with the clean flavors of the Suzuki no Sashimi, pristine seabass sashimi with yuzu, truffle and a hefty portion of salmon roe; when in season, Age Watarigani, fried softshell crab with mizuna leaves and wasabi mayonnaise; and the always popular Ebi no Tempura, crispy fried rock shrimp with lime and chili mayonnaise. I can’t get away from the ZUMA classics, Gyuhire Sumibiyaki, Karami Sauce Zuke, cooked to a beautiful medium-rare, sliced spicy beef tenderloin with sesame, red chili and sweet soy, and the Gindara no Saikyo Miso Yaki, black cod marinated in saikyo miso with homemade hajikame – two dishes that always stand out above the rest.
EPIC Hotel & Residences
270 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33131
I was honored to be invited by the Israel Ministry of Tourism to a marvelous dinner created by Michael Solomonov and his culinary team at DIZENGOFF Miami. There are no words to describe his food, only because accolades would feel exaggerated and beneath the simple complexity of his recipes. This is what I call real food, the kind that makes eyes roll back from pleasure. His Hummus-Tehina, a recipe that I use when I prepare hummus at home (since I can’t buy a store-bought version anymore) came with constantly replenished hot fresh baked pitas. The Salatim course of small dishes, included fine chopped Beets with Tehina, Moroccan Roasted Carrots, Yemenite Pickles, and a unique Kale Tabbouleh as well as Twice-Cooked Eggplant, a recipe known to convert eggplant haters to passionate eggplant lovers. The Mezze course included Brussel Sprouts over a bed of Brussel sprout baba, all of it accented with crumbly fresh creamy Bulgarian feta and Stuffed Peppers, the miniature yellow and red ones, stuffed with minced chicken and pine nuts. Oy Vei! Entrees included tender and silky Slow Roasted Short Ribs with house-made Yemenite spice and fingerling potatoes confit, Chraime, baked Mahi-Mahi in pickled green tomatoes and shishito pepper sauce, and an out-of-this-world Baked Eggplant, with Fresh Amba, the delicious pickled mango, drizzled with tehina and pistachios. A Malabi Custard with passion fruit and orange blossom was a light and a refreshing ending to this unforgettable meal.
250 N.W. 24th Street Miami, FL 33127
There is a wonderful air of renewed energy and vibrant freshness at Habitat, the highly anticipated concept by chef Jose Mendin, chef/partner of Food Comma Hospitality Group, and Angel Palacios, former chef de cuisine at La Broche, Sergi Arola’s former two-star Michelin restaurant in Madrid. The menu encourages guests to order a dish from different categories in the menu: Charcuterie, Live Green Cart, Raw, Cooked and Wood Fire Grill. Favorite dished on the first night we visited, the Salt Crusted Cured Foie Gras, consisting of two beautiful lobes of unexpectedly firm, smoky, yet soft to the knife foie gras, topped with an addictive Tomato Chutney, which was quickly devoured, and the Hamachi Aguachile, a tartare of chopped Hamachi mixed with fresh wasabi, guajillo chilies, watermelon that must be eaten with a spoon to fully enjoy its bursting flavor. Revealing desserts: Ningyo Yaki, Apple Pie, the Habitat version of traditional Tokyo soft cake snacks – this one’s filled with fresh apple pie gel, confused me a little by the mochi-like texture; nevertheless, they were delicious. And the Barba-Papa, a gigantic cloud of cotton candy with coconut, hiding a treasure of pineapple and ginger sorbet, with thin sheets of pineapple, defused by a bright fennel syrup made me want to go back have soon again!
1 Hotel South Beach 2341 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL
Terry Zarikian is a connoisseur of good food and wine with unparalleled experience and vision in the culinary sphere. His early beginnings at the award winning L’Alouette Restaurant in Bal Harbour served as a stepping stone to the luxurious Grand Bay Hotel and its legendary Regine’s, the international disco and private club atop the hotel, where he directed the food and beverage operations in the 80s and 90s. Entering the new millennium, his culinary PR agency, Shapiro & Zarikian joined forces with Jeffrey Chodorow’s China Grill Management.
Zarikian is most recognized for his strong hand in the development of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival under Festival Director and Founder, Lee Brian Schrager. Today Zarikian is the festival’s Culinary Advisor and liaises with some of the most renowned chefs in the world.
Since 1988 Terry has been the Food Editor of Selecta Magazine, a national Latin lifestyle publication; he is also the Culinary Content Director for azureazure.com, an online publication dedicated to all things luxury, as well as contributor to American Airlines’ Celebrated Living magazine and SocialMiami.com. The focus of his writing is travel, restaurants, food and wine.
Additionally, Zarikian is the Director of New Business and Development at Rockaway PR, Marketing & Events, a culinary agency with offices in Orlando and Miami.