Chasing Emeril

Another main course plucked from "rich/hearty/robust" selections was an intensely marinated and darkly caramelized Muscovy duck "cooked under a brick," or more accurately "overcooked under a brick." Still the flavor was sweetly enticing, the accompaniments dandily ducky: rice pearl plum sections (just think sweet plum) crunchily battered and fried, cooked kumquats with a tart kick, and sautéed bittersweet sesame-and-honey Chinese broccoli leaves.

A grilled New York strip steak was likewise overcooked, but that was merely a misdemeanor compared to the felony of being one dull slab of beef. The meat's plate mates of red bliss mashed potatoes and creamed spinach were lusciously rich, but you can order these separately as sides.

"Elegant/refined/graceful" is the heading for a half-dozen seafood entrées, and a thick, pearly square of halibut was just that, aromatically braised with lavender and rosemary and presented atop a hash of cooked radishes and grated fresh hearts of palm, with black-truffle "sabayon" (really more a mayonnaise) pleasing as a potently perfumed dip on the side.

Chef Rob Boone has the kitchen in decent shape with 
compelling cuisine
Jonathan Postal
Chef Rob Boone has the kitchen in decent shape with compelling cuisine

Location Info


Preston's Brasserie

1601 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: South Beach


305-604-1601. Open for breakfast and lunch daily (and Sunday brunch) 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., dinner nightly 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
1601 Collins Ave, Miami Beach

One of my pet peeves, as I've stated often in this space, is the lack of imagination and effort when it comes to postdinner pastries. Guess I'll have to file Preston's dessert menu, with items such as a martini glass filled with strawberry shortcake, cotton candy, and bubblegum ice cream, under "watch what you ask for." Or will I? We bypassed the dessert menu during our first visit, and upon my return, the invitingly gauche pink dessert was history. So were the dessert menus. "We're in between printings -- should have a new one in a couple of days," said our waiter before launching into a recital of chocolate soufflé cake, "giant" crème brûlée, ice creams, sorbets, and key lime pie. I inquired whether they still had the key lime trio from days past --literally. "Yes, that too," he replied. A square of key lime ice cream and square of key lime pie were bottomed with chocolate graham crust and were aptly key-limey and creamy; a square of key lime crème brûlée was -- well, let's just say bouncy, and add that as you read this, new dessert menus are in place.

Every Friday evening brings an impressively extensive $38 all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, but at other times dinner at Preston's proves an expensive proposition. No quibbles with quality or integrity of the innovative cuisine, but service and other nonculinary aspects need to be retooled in order to provide a fine-dining environment appropriate for the price. When this occurs, perhaps Preston's will have cachet too.

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