Foodie Find: TUR Kitchen
The Coral Gables Mediterranean restaurant seasonally changes the culture of it's modern dining experience.
TUR Kitchen in Coral Gables is the restaurant aiming to take us on a Mediterranean tour by touching so many delicious senses. Of course, there’s the menu, which executive chef Christian Chirino changes seasonally to represent altering culinary points across the region. But before even reviewing the country-specific cuisine – on one occasion Lebanon, Northern Italy, Turkey, Greece and North Africa — the restaurant also presents on screens breathtaking video footage documenting the spectacular geographical origin of each dish. The geographical wonders are just sight in the modern dining room featuring tall ceilings and a towering wine wall, an open kitchen gleaming in stainless steel, tall palms and grey leather chairs.
Compliment the cuisine by starting with the aperitif, “Thyme Is of the Essence,” mixed with Grey Goose vodka, muddled blackberries, agave, D.O.M.B., thyme syrup and a sprig of fresh Thyme. The drink will arrive with a flourish of edible flowers. And just before the bread service, which involves a long lavish of pita served warm with salt and oil, alongside crème fresh with chives and Syrian pepper in addition to a pot of butter whipped with Maldon finishing sea salt.
Don’t skip the cauliflower steak, which features the cabbage served three ways. On the same plate it arrives as a thick and lightly seasoned charcoaled grill plus also a replacement for grain in a tabouli salad and – in its purple form – as a dipping sauce pureed with red beet juice. The tuna crudo is a masterpiece of mixed flavors with the fish served atop a grapefruit emulsion and crowned with Santa Claus Melon and balsamic pearls popping with flavor. The flavors of the squid are surprising as the TK is roasted with Medjool dates, chorizo, chili and cilantro. Also to start and share is a burrata served with heirloom tomato and melon, and a wagyu tartar with anchovies with caperberry, cured egg yolk and Dijon mustard.
Try a Turkish flat bread, one variety served with braised lamb, cremini mushrooms and goat cheese or another with shrimp with Salsa Verde, cilantro, lime and mascarpone. There’s also a salad with anchovies and chickpeas with pomegranate, blood orange and preserved lemon or another with avocado, cucumber, frisee, bread and butter pickles with garbanzos.
For mains, the tuna – which is a center cut loin – is a standout. It’s served alongside a North African garbanzo bean salad with pomegranate, microgreens and olive dust made from crumbling the black variety. There’s also a Sea Bream with tabbouleh, chicken za’atar with heirloom tomatoes, olives, onion and feta. Or a pork loin with pistachio and a wagyu bavette with crispy polenta and broccolini or a lamb leg with tzatziki, heirloom tomato and flatbread.
For dessert, don’t miss TUR Kitchen’s variation of the French Mille-Feuille. This one, though is puff pastry layered with “cream of cereal” and topped with berries and edible flowers.
Brett Graff is SocialMiami.com’s managing editor and has been a journalist covering money, people and power for over 20 years. Graff contributes to national media outlets including Reuters, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Maxim, and the PBS show, Nightly Business Report. A former U.S. government economist, her nationally syndicated column The Home Economist is first published in The Miami Herald and then on the Tribune Content Agency, where it’s available to over 400 publications nationwide. She is broadcast weekly on two iHeartRadio news shows and is the author of “Not Buying It: Stop Overspending & Start Raising Happier, Healthier, More Successful Kids,” a parenting guide for people who might be tempted to buy their children the very obstacles they’re trying to avoid.