Best Pop-Up Restaurant - 2012
Eating House just popped up one February night in the unassuming luncheonette-by-day Café Ponce. Giorgio Rapicavoli and Alex Casanova handed out menus of 12 to 15 foods (most $7 to $15, a few larger composed plates $20 to $25), three to five desserts, and a shortlist of craft beers ($6 or $7 per bottle) and boutique wines ($35 to $52 per bottle, $8 to $13 per glass). That's what pop-ups do. Miami hasn't experienced this impermanent dining phenomenon the way other American cities have, but what we lack in quantity (Eating House is at the moment our only entry) we make up for in quality (the food is unbelievably good). There is no defining gastronomic motif at work here; chef Rapicavoli, winner of Food Network's Chopped competition, simply showcases his innovative takes on everything from Korean barbecue to fried chicken to what is surely the best fettuccine carbonara in Miami. And by "innovative takes" we mean items such as a Homestead tomato salad with ginger, lime, and nuoc cham accents and a sprinkling of peanuts, microherbs, and basil, all interspersed with quenelles of frozen coconut milk. There's a kick-ass brunch too. Plans are to close up shop in August. That's what pop-ups do. Still, there's plenty of time to relish some of the best cuisine in town. Plus we're hoping that come autumn, Rapicavoli and Casanova will pop up somewhere else.