Welcome hungry readers to the epicurean pursuit of travel and food that is the Pot and Pan Handler’s blog. Today is day three in the capitol of plastic surgery Miami, Florida. Where a stone’s throw away from our hotel is Daniel Boulod’s Bistro Moderne, we’ve heard the hype, it’s time to see for ourselves. Does this place live up to the publicity? Put on your tightest hipster jeans, we’re going to Bistro Moderne to find out. http://www.dbbistro.com/miami/
The short drizzly walk is a welcome respite from the hot Miami sun, allowing us to comfortably walk outside to Bistro Moderne. We chat airily, soon finding ourselves at the Marriot Marquis hotel that houses Bistro Moderne. Clean modern lines, perfectly linear, the epitome of modern hipster, as we open the door the beats of an appropriately trendy DJ swells. Inside the undeviating lines of strict hipster modernism are even more evident.
Taking a moment from admiring herself in a reflection, the hostess assesses us. Pensively we hope we’ll make the grade. After a moment, it seems we’ve passed the test, we’re allowed to sit at the bar, she hastily walks us there and hands us menus. Afterword she hurries back to further admire her ghostly reflection. Our Bistro Moderne experience is about to begin.
We sit at the bar the DJ’s bass swells and recedes, the bartender approaches he’s refreshingly normal without the giant pectorals and fake tan that we’ve encountered everywhere else. Always fans of wheat beers, we order two Funky Buddha Floridian hefeweizens brewed in Oakland Park, Florida. In short order we are sipping our beers contentedly while perusing the accomplished menu.
The menu consists of small plates, perfect for sharing and maximizing the potential for sampling several courses. We decide on the first course; arepas, sparingly described as skirt steak, avocado & queso fresco. Shortly, they arrive; the steak is juicy, the avocado creamy, and the queso fresco brings a tasty saltiness and arugala adds a peppery bite, all squeezed between griddled corn cakes. They’re very tasty, the only critique is that the fillings are spare so one bite is a perfect taste explosion; the next bite is lonely griddled corn cake.
For the next course we rely on the bartender’s advice. He recommends the arincini and pomme frites. Hey, he’s the expert right? Soon Bistro Moderne presents us with the next course. The fried rice balls described as seasonal inspirational are perfectly fried to a golden brown and served with an allegedly spicy dipping sauce. However the taste is lemony, too much so, the Pan Handler finds them to be so lemony, she compares them to dessert.
The fries on the other hand are textbook, topped with garlic, parmesan and rosemary, served with aioli and ketchup, they’re infinitely tasty. However pairing them with the arincini results in a course that’s too heavy and too fried. I never thought I’d say that but here we are.
Up next we try the Iberico ham. Although we’re culturally aware of Spanish Iberico ham, this is our first opportunity to try it. Raised free range and fed a diet of acorns and grass, some grades also include grains. Fatty cured deliciousness, served with baguette and an assortment of olives.
This was by far our favorite course. The ham is perfectly salty, the fat has an inherent nuttiness, the crusty bread provides a textural counterpoint and the acidity in the olives highlights and cuts the fattiness in the ham. This dish is restaurant perfection.
Deciding to end on a high note, we drink a couple more Funky Buddhas and settle our tab. Soon the sound of Bistro Moderne’s DJ follows and fades as we retreat into the night, looking for a less trendy locale to sip more beer. However, dear readers, that is a different post.
Coming soon: we continue our search for the best frickin’ biscuit in the country. We’ve heard it might be at the Federal. We hope you’ll join us there, as usual funky readers, same bat time, and same bat channel. – The Pot and Pan Handler