Nifty Fifty

This isn’t just another fuddy-duddy tourist trap

I must admit that Georgia is not the first place I think of in regard to great cheese-producing regions, but a sampling from that state's Sweet Grass Dairy farm (the tasting menu's fourth offering) convinced me otherwise. I especially enjoyed the buttery Green Hill, a cow's milk cheese with creamy Brie-like texture and thin white rind; and Lumiere, a crusted goat cheese layered with French grapevine ash that lends a gentle blue cheese flavor. These and other American farmhouse cheeses can be ordered à la carte as well.

I also confess to not formerly appreciating the potential pairing of chocolate and carrots, which I always assumed went together about as well as Mel Gibson and a bar mitzvah. So I was again pleasantly pleased at how smoothly the subtly shaded flavors of each melded into one another in the chocolate carrot cake dessert — which was really mostly carrot but crafted in a classic French manner. Lending a boost was a vibrant and tangy roasted carrot-orange sauce and tiny diced squares of mango nectarine — a hybrid of two types of pale nectarine that has nothing to do with mango other than a faintly tropical taste. Nevertheless it's a scrumptious fruit available at Epicure for $7.99 per pound.

Hats off to pastry chef Romero, sous chefs Agustin Toriz and Nestor Gomez, and especially Cruz-Taura, a Miami native who formerly forged his craft at the Miami City Club. Chef Roly's progressive menu of delectable cuisine had me exiting Fifty in a buoyant mood, filled with optimism concerning Miami's potentially resurgent dining scene. Perhaps even more incredibly, Fifty instilled within me a newfound respect for the state of Georgia.


Location Info


Fifty Restaurant & Lounge

444 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Services

Region: South Beach

Miami City Club

200 Biscayne Blvd. 55th flr
Miami, FL 33137

Category: Community Venues

Region: Midtown/Wynwood/Design District


Open daily for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; midday snacks 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.; dinner Sunday through Thursday 6:00 to 11:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
444 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach; 305-532-2441

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