BEST CAESAR SALAD Miami 2005 - Costa Mar
Sunny Isles Beach
305-933-5900 The International Society of Epicures in Paris hailed caesar salad as "the greatest recipe to originate from the Americas in 50 years," but was it named after Caesar Cardini, the Italian immigrant who created it, or Caesar's Palace, the locale at which he first served it? Due to the singular nature of the moniker, we'd guess Mr. Cardini named it after himself. The man made a small mint on his packaged Cardini's Original Caesar dressing mix and to his dying day (in 1956) insisted that anchovies don't belong in the salad (he attributed the confusion to the inclusion of Worcestershire sauce in the recipe). But we have come to praise the caesar, not to bury it in too much garlic-laden, Parmesan-drenched, anchovy-heavy mayonnaise as so many restaurants are apt to do. Balance is the name of the caesar game, and at Costa Mar they wield the proper proportions right before your very eyes as a cart wheels up to the table with wooden bowl inset and small ramekins of the classic salad ingredients. First into the bowl goes garlic, followed by egg yolk, extra-virgin olive oil (a brisk whisking all the while), a shot of Worcestershire, lemon juice, mustard (which lends a light punch), and anchovies. Chopped crisp romaine leaves get swirled with the mildly creamy dressing, the caesar then divided into two white bowls (the $15 salad is for two to share) and crowned with crunchy croutons and a powdering of Parmesan. Costa's Juan Adames, formerly the personal chef to Venezuelan presidents Rafael Caldera and Carlos Andres Perez, can now lay claim to his own title: the eminent emperor of caesar salad.
Readers´ Choice: Christy´s