The 'Tude Gang

A new Surfside eatery’s aim is off

That duck duo was the best meal we had here, a thick, meaty breast impeccably seared outside and juicy within, a leg of confit voluptuously soft and flavorful. Short ribs star in a pair of main course bargains — plumped into cannelloni with black truffle cream ($19), and braised to fall-off-the-bone tenderness in a rich, rosemary-accented jus ($23). We were less enthralled with snapper en papillote. The small square of fish was fresh enough, but roasted tomato and grilled, crunchy fennel below, a smattering of cold field greens on top, and a side of sweetly delicious red pepper marmalade proved strangely disjointed accompaniments.

Three very basic desserts are offered: apple tart served with cinnamon ice cream; chocolate "soufflé" (chocolate bombe with liquid center) with crme anglaise (vanilla sauce); and a ramekin of bread pudding with crme anglaise. We chose the last, which was brought to us with steam streaming from it just minutes after being ordered. The suspiciously microwavey consistency was that of a very hot sponge — no crunchy texture, no discernible custard. On another evening we chose the apple tart, also dished in a ramekin, but the puff pastry crust was fresh and crisp, the ice cream an apt and refreshing match.

The Food Gang's co-founders are Patrick Charpentier, former managing director of the Remy Cointreau Group, and his brother-in-law Clement Frandjian. A statement on the front of the menu portrays the Gang as "a group of food enthusiasts with a passion for quality and integrity in cuisine," whose "mission is to share this enthusiasm with our guests, neighbors, and friends...." Enthusiasm and passion are wonderful things, but they are no substitute for hard work and talent. If they were, air guitarists would be famous, Al Sharpton would be President, and The Food Gang would be as good a restaurant as it thinks it is.

JOE ROCCO

Location Info

Map

The Food Gang

9472 Harding Ave.
Surfside, FL 33154-2804

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: North Dade

Details

9472 Harding Ave, Surfside; 786-228-9292. Open daily for lunch 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., for dinner 6:00 p.m. to midnight. Market is open Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

9472 Harding Ave, Surfside; 786-228-9292. Open daily for lunch 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., for dinner 6:00 p.m. to midnight. Market is open Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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