View a slide show of the Villa by Barton G.

There was an apology, of course, as the plates were whisked away and new ones prepared. The lobster looked great, and had the server brought it instead of the hogfish entrée, I might have kept it. But the large, luscious scallop and petite, melting-soft cheek nugget were worth the wait. It was a delectable offering not only for the sharply contrasting surf-and-turf aspect but also because of a unique set of accompaniments and flavors: wilted chicory leaves, beech mushrooms, and a puck-size toasted oat cake accented with cumin and moistened with a broth flecked with capers and golden raisins. This brilliant composition bounces off and lights up the senses like a pinball.

Other main plates include a thick rack of Colorado lamb with guanciale and charred lemon-jus ($53); market price Dover sole ($69 the day we dined); a duet of Wagyu tenderloin and Black Angus short rib with foie gras, truffled taro, and bing cherry bordelaise sauce ($89); sage-roasted farm chicken with a ramp-and-morel fricassee ($34); and pan-roasted local hogfish with eggplant, olives, garlic chips, tomato confit, yellow piquillo peppers stuffed with fennel sausage — a somewhat mundane Mediterranean medley relative to the aforementioned items. Sausage and peppers should not be fussed with but rather seared on fiery grills with gusto like the Argentines and Italians do it.

Snapper and shrimp ceviche. View more photos.
Snapper and shrimp ceviche. View more photos.

Location Info

Map

The Villa by Barton G.

1116 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Contemporary

Region: South Beach

Details

The Villa by Barton G.

305-576-8003
thevillabybartong.com

Dinner daily 6 to 11 p.m.

Snapper/shrimp ceviche $21
Duck confit crêpe $22
Pan-roasted hogfish $38
Diver scallop and veal cheek $39
Chocolate-praline mousseline $19

View a slide show of the Villa by Barton G.

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Luis Vasquez of Venezuela has replaced Luc Buisson as the Villa's pastry chef. A key lime "fantasy" arrived at the table compliments of the house, in atonement for the earlier mixup. Round pillows filled with sweet lime custard come piled atop salted graham crumbs and crowned with a puff of Chantilly cream. There is a nice sweet/tart/salty conflict at play, but a decadent meal calls for a similar finish: chocolate praline mousseline — a rich, creamy melding of Valrhona ganache, hazelnut mousse, and caramel. It's simple, yet the first spoonful yielded one of the most memorable moments of the evening.

The Villa still delivers a singular dining experience, and Jeff O'Neill continues to plate sensational tastes. Those are two things you can bank on — if you can afford to.

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2 comments
Steve
Steve

Sounds and looks great, but where are they getting ramps and morels in January?

Rich S
Rich S

Amazing review of a fine restaurant. Kudos again to Mr. Klein.

 
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