Culinary Highlights from Terry Zarikian
Week of November 3
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 Brad Kilgore’s Alter and Norman Van Aken’s latest Miami offering, THREE.
Had I imagined that Bradley Kilgore’s “Brasserie” menu at Alter was so good, I would have pretended I was on vacation in Wynwood and eaten there every other day – it was so good! Now, gone, till probably next Summer, Kilgore introduces his prix fixe 5 and 7 course menu and a Chef’s menu. But back to what I ate, at the Brasserie Pop Up: delicate Chestnut Tortellini with white bean and porcini mushroom sauce; and a surprisingly and indescribably delicious Grilled Lettuce Salad. Who would think that light grilling little gem lettuces will enhance its natural flavor, and that along with a house made green goddess dressing and crisp shallots – all amazing. Pan Fried Veal Sweetbreads, impeccably prepared, with the right sear and juicy pink inside, served with a Gribiche made with pickled ramps. But the very rich and well worth the caloric intake of the braised and glazed Beef Cheek, a shimmering single piece seating atop pistachio and cauliflower puree with a side of celeriac-pistachio remoulade, is the dish I will remember for years to come. It rivals the best of its kind in the Basque Country, next year’s location for the 50 Best restaurant awards.
223 N.W. 23rd Street
Miami, FL 33127
The number three holds many significant meanings to most people: it’s the symbol of the Orion Belt where we supposedly came from, the shape of past civilization found in pyramids worldwide, and for Norman Van Aken this lucky number, a symbol of strength, is a collaboration with hospitality veterans, Susan Buckley and Candace Walsh. So, the father of New World Cuisine, and original Mango Gang member, returns to his Miami to open THREE by Norman Van Aken, No. 3 Social Rooftop Bar & Lounge and In the Kitchen with Norman Van Aken, all three venues at the new, undiscovered, Wynwood Arcade. At our recent dinner, chef de cuisine Miguel Massens sent us a delightful amuse bouche constructed of a crisp yucca and boniato stick dotted with sweet and savory guava gels. An amazing, cracked conch chowder, with hints of citrus, saffron, potato and fresh coconut milk was as triumphant as the breast of roasted green circle chicken, over sumptuous black garlic romesco and bell pepper essence with a perfect eggplant escalivada. Other dishes I have to mention because they were remarkably good were the Brazilian xinxim shellfish blintz, served with compressed tomatoes and cucumbers bursting with flavor and the oaky wood-grilled beef striploin with papas choreadas, roasted potato slices with creamy cheese sauce.
Desserts by pastry chef Mame Sow, include a modern version of an arroz con leche and a rich and decadent caramelized milk chocolate custard with plantain ice cream, coffee caramel and divine platanos en tentacion.
THREE by Norman Van Aken
50 N.W. 24th Street
Miami, FL 33127 305-748-6915
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.