It’s fall somewhere. Meanwhile in the tropics, the temperature continues to simmer with no sign of relief. To break the seasonal monotony, try these creative dishes and drinks inspired by the arrival of fall at some of the best restaurants in Miami.
Roasted Baby Carrots at Vagabond Restaurant & Bar
Roasted baby carrots make a long-awaited return to the Vagabond’s menu after a steamy summer vacation. The tender root veggies (pictured at top) are paired with a rich and zesty mole sauce, covered in crunchy hazelnuts, and dusted with a generous layer of za’atar, a tangy and herbaceous Middle Eastern spice. Yogurt is added to cool the palate and offset this supercharged blend of spices.
7301 Biscayne Blvd.; 786-409-5635
Osso Buco at La Mar by Gaston Acurio
This Northern Italian delicacy takes on an ancient Andean persona at La Mar inside the Mandarin Oriental. The crosscut veal shanks are braised in chicha morada — a sweet Peruvian beverage made from boiled purple corn infused with pineapple, cinnamon and cloves — and spiked with a smoky red pepper known as aji panca. Scoop out the marrow before using the potato purée to soak up this rare braise.
500 Brickell Key Dr.; 305-913-8358
Wagyu Gyoza at Sushisamba Miami Beach
The marbled-beef dumplings at this Lincoln Road mainstay are a must-try this fall. Dip them into the creamy kabocha purée before taking a bite. Su-shoyu sauce lends some acidity from its vinegar and soy blend.
600 Lincoln Rd.; 305-673-5337
Jumbo Buttermilk “Bizkit” at The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions
Fret not! This decadent biscuit bears no relation to the ’90s rock band. It’s simply The Federal’s quirky name for a simple fall treat that comes with a mouthwatering apple-cider glaze. We appreciate the mini mountain of Maldon sea salt sitting atop the biscuit; it’s hand-harvested from seawater and processed without artificial additives.
5132 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-758-9559
Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie at Ortanique on the Mile
At Ortanique in Coral Gables, chef Cindy Hutson’s shepherd’s pie with turkey, potato and veggies is like Thanksgiving in a bowl. It’s topped with Old Quebec vintage cheddar and baked until golden. If you want to make it at home, you’ll find the recipe in Hutson’s latest cookbook, From the Tip of My Tongue.
278 Miracle Mile; 305-446-7710
Crispy-Skin Snapper at Blue Collar
Let’s channel an Indian summer and pretend colder days are coming with this red-curry fish dish. Florida snapper fillets are seared skin-side down in screaming-hot oil and then finished in the oven for a delicate and crispy texture. A hearty bed of rock shrimp vegetable fried rice accompanies the snapper in a bright-red curry sauce.
6730 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-756-0366
Mofongo at Pubbelly
The green-plantain stuffing, a staple of Puerto Rican Thanksgivings, gets a decidedly Miami rendition with shoyu broth and slow-roasted pork belly.
1418 20th St.; 305-532-7555
Brussels Sprouts at Cleo South Beach
Fall is the best time to get your Brussels sprouts fix. For this dish, the leaves are deep-fried and tossed with anchovies, rosemary, chile flakes, garlic oil and capers to the mix in a big bowl. Next, the “salad” gets a warm red wine vinaigrette along with a handful of toasted almonds and chopped parsley.
1776 Collins Ave.; 305-534-2536
Pumpkin Old Fashioned at Repour
Repour’s rendition of the old fashioned gets a boost from fall’s favorite gourd and Afrohead rum. Expect housemade pumpkin syrup (from fresh pumpkin flesh) and hazelnut bitters with spicy pumpkin seeds for extra texture.
1650 James Ave.; 305-913-1000
Maple-Wood-Smoked Old Fashioned at Dolce Italian
Ask the bartenders here to get their torches! They’ll be happy to burn a piece of Canadian maple wood in an effort to enhance every sip of your autumnal old fashioned. Watch as they capture the smoke inside a rocks glass for a woodsy twist on a classic in which bourbon is typically presented without a lot of bells and whistles. Separately, the bourbon is stirred with a bit of simple syrup, Angostura bitters and mole bitters in a mixing glass and then poured into the smoky glass. The essence should cling to the drink from start to finish.
1690 Collins Ave.; 786-975-2550
Article by ZAGAT