Michael's Kitsch-en

This might be the cure for boring food, but it sure ain't the remedy for obesity.

"Chimichurri skirt steak," fully garlicked-and-herbed, was lukewarm and flaccidly grilled. That the lengthy cut of meat was wrapped around an ear of corn didn't make much sense — the tastes do not meld, and neither can be eaten until the beef is unrolled. I wasn't sure what to do with a fried red tortilla round emerging from a mound of yuca mash, either.

Heftily portioned à la carte sides hit the spot. Penne mac and cheese is an earthy, smoky mash of mascarpone, Parmesan, and smoked Gouda cheeses, with a finishing dash of black truffle oil. Creamed spinach bucked the menu trend by going the light route — a thin cream sauce pooling bulbs of softly roasted garlic and fresh, gracefully wilted bright green leaves.

Richly satisfying, supersweet desserts march to the same whimsical beat as the preceding courses. A sampling of miniatures shines the spotlight on six meticulously crafted pastries, including key lime pie, tiramisu, baked Alaska, and a Milky Way chocolate malt. "Deep-dish Rice Krispies Treats pizza" for four adds a tasty twist to the classic confection via a topping of raspberry coulis and white chocolate shavings (to resemble tomato sauce and cheese). This might be the cure for boring food, but it sure ain't the remedy for obesity.

Joe Rocco

Location Info


Newport Beachside Resort and Hotel

16701 Collins Ave.
North Miami Beach, FL 33160

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: North Dade


Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort, 16701 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach; 305-749-2110. Open for dinner Sunday through Thursday 5:30 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5:30 to 11 p.m.

The service staff is woefully undermanned. Our harried waiter performed admirably under circumstances that included having to cover too many tables, and clearing plates and doing other tasks normally assigned to buspersons — who were in very short supply. Everyone was friendly enough, but there was nobody around to say good night to us. Whether you're spending $30 or, as in our case, $300, it's always nice to be acknowledged on the way out.

Chef Blum knows how to operate a restaurant, so such service quirks will likely be smoothed out over time. Having graduated top in his class at the Culinary Institute of America, Blum is likewise capable of fine-tuning the food — although, in his own words, Michael's Kitchen is "all about the show." The more-is-more style displayed here cuts against my less-is-more leanings, but three years of critical and popular acclaim in Broward, and the crowds cramming into this new 160-seater, attest to there being a considerable number of diners who appreciate Mr. Blum's cuisine and showmanship. A helpful gauge for how you might react is to determine your preference when it comes to culinary influences: Beard and Bourdain, or Barnum and Bailey?

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