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Eating Out:
South Beach

Wish***

801 Collins Ave., in The Hotel, Miami Beach.
305-531-2222

A Fresh Approach
By Mark Goldberg

The menu sparkles with imaginative, complex dishes, sharply-flavored with Brazilian exuberance, and executed with the best French cooking techniques.

W
hat does a restaurant do when it loses its notable chef? If you’re Wish, the delectable dinner spot at the Goldman Properties-owned The Hotel, you perform a nationwide search for a high-caliber chef with culinary insights. The menu doesn’t have to remain the same, but the level of creativity and kitchen skills must. Enter newly-appointed executive chef E. Michael Reidt, who arrived in South Beach on a wave of success: his French/Brazilian creations in Boston’s Bomboa had already placed him in Food and Wine magazine’s America’s Ten Best New Chefs for 2001.

Chef Reidt created a new, evolving menu in a matter of weeks, based on good basic ingredients, Brazilian exuberance, and solid French cooking techniques: Foie gras is dressed with sour cherries, salmon simmers in a coconut broth, and seared tuna sits atop a slice of spicy seared watermelon.

 

Eating Out: Coconut Grove

Bice ***

2833 Bird Avenue, Coconut Grove.
305-529-1115

Breaking the Mold
By Simone Zarmati Diament

An updated version of an old classic has refined its menu. Chef Wolfgang Birk has evolved his own contemporary Italian cuisine, big on flavors, texture, and harmony.

Although a hotel restaurant, Bice stands on its own, with a separate entrance leading straight to the jazzy bar ­ one of the nicest in town, with sushi happy hours and martini nights. The handsome room, with subdued lights and rare wood floors, looks warm and friendly whether packed or empty, as soft music from the piano player in the bar wafts through the door throughout the evening.

Since the Grand Bay Hotel was purchased by the Wyndham Group, the Italian chef is gone, and this Bice, an updated version of an old classic, is a far cry from the one we knew.


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