But the occasional tough pintxo is not the reason Hughes claims to be holding back on his full potential. The kitchen at the Embassy is equipped with only a fryer, an electric convection oven, and a small flattop. There is no open flame. Hughes practices cooking methods such as frying, braising, roasting, and baking. In the case of his small bites menu, those restrictions produce mixed success.

See also: Closer Look: The Embassy in Buena Vista

Rich stewed tomatoes, topped with capers, black olives, and a buttered slice of baguette, enveloped a luscious, flaky fillet of corvina. Although the menu listed rouille as a component of the dish, the sauce — composed of olive oil, breadcrumbs, garlic, saffron, and chili peppers — never arrived. It was unnecessary; the fish triumphed on its own. But paprika-dusted braised rabbit, paired with a Greek-yogurt-stuffed roasted red pepper and flavorless Israeli couscous, was underseasoned. Like other dishes I sampled at the Embassy, such as the poached eggs with braised greens and warm black rice salad, the rabbit lacked the excitement in execution that it inspired in concept.

Poached eggs with braised greens and warm grain salad
Poached eggs with braised greens and warm grain salad

Location Info

Map

The Embassy

4600 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33137

Category: Restaurant > Brunch

Region: Midtown/Wynwood/Design District

Details

The Embassy

305-571-8446; theembassymiami.com
Dinner Tuesday through Thursday 6 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.; brunch Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Roasted tomato, goat cheese, and anchovy pintxo $4
Roasted corvina with capers, black olives, and rouille $14
Braised rabbit with Israeli couscous $14
Poached eggs with braised greens and warm grain salad $11
Earl Grey chocolate mousse $6

See also: Closer Look: The Embassy in Buena Vista

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Still, despite its flaws, the cuisine resonates with a comfortable, unfinicky charm.

"When I decided to open the Embassy, I knew I was going to get some hard reviews," Hughes said. "But I don't care what they say. This is a little experiment. This is just my neighborhood bar."

Like its owner, the Embassy is eclectic, imperfect, funky, and erratic. Some evenings, the music is weird, the food underseasoned, and the bread tough. But nights when Wynwood feels too artsy or the Design District seems too snazzy, Hughes's latest venture in Buena Vista is a hip, fascinating, and delightful place to visit.

If it's open, that is.

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3 comments
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YOYme
YOYme

If his landlord from 190 was so bad, why is he renting from him again? This building is owned by the same landlord.

tuttifrutti
tuttifrutti

"bushy eyebrows and ungroomed brown hair" ?!?!?!

What has that to do with a restaurant review?  You are mean spirited.  I live in Buena Vista and remember One Ninety.  Legendary.   Kudos to Chef Alan for once again bringing his food artistry to the  'hood while keeping it real!

 
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