Food for a Song

Loin of lamb, which we expected to be a similar cut, turned out to be a full rack (bones in) of some of the most supple lamb I've ever eaten. Simply roasted to a luscious medium-rare, it was served over a fragrant puree of fresh lima beans. I especially liked the interesting treatment of this starchy legume, a break from the usual potatoes.

As a great alternative to chicken, squab was an enticing choice. The full-fleshed bird, slightly smaller than a Cornish hen, was perched on a noodle pancake, a welcome change from pasta and reminiscent of the cakes I used to consume in New York's Chinatown. Egg noodles were woven into a round base, fluffy as a Spanish tortilla and wide as a dessert plate. A tangy demi-glace covered both the cake and the squab (a cultivated game bird related to pigeon), which fell off the bones into a heap of tender, light-color meat. Pearl onions caramelized with honey and ginger were a crowning touch.

Roasted pearl onions also accented a red snapper fillet, a recipe that in comparison to the highly charged venison, lamb, and squab seemed timid. On its own, though, the fish had merit. Pan-fried, the flaky snapper wore a suitably crisp exterior. A beurre blanc laced with Pernod was a defining touch, soaking like coconut milk into the heap of herbed basmati rice that supported the fish.

A dessert trolley stacked with sweets may be the perfect "Grand Finale" for some, but I preferred the port recommended to us by our waiter (who, by the way, was as well trained in the service industry as he was in the business of show). The sweet fortified wine tasted especially good with the cigars Chef Wells, on his first gig in Miami after stints in New York and Orlando, distributed while making the rounds of the 200-seat dining room, made cozy with curtains and decorated with framed collectible Broadway posters. True, too many people indulging in this option can make the place awfully smoky, especially for those not in love with pungent tobacco. But however you end it, a meal at Bravo! will leave the toughest critic humming with contentment.

Bravo! 17004 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles; 945-0312. Open nightly from 6:00 to midnight; until 1:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and from 4:00 to midnight on Sunday.

Wild mushroom ravioli
$12.95

Ceviche de langostino
$12.95

Squab
$24.95

Venison loin
$26.95

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