We didn't know when we walked through the doors of neMesis Urban Bistro
last Friday night that we were the first customers. Ever. When co-owner Harald Oechsner acknowledged the fact and Micah Edelstein
smiled in agreement, a strange feeling fell over us. Were we supposed to sit right in front of the kitchen or far enough way to protect her from our investigative eyes? Did we dare order off the menu or do we just let the chef deliver what she wanted us to try?
After peering around at the cracked mirror bar top; wiry tie sculpture; batik-covered barstool cushions; crazy photos of Vivienne Westwood, Woody Allen and two people we couldn't quite recognize, and just before being presented with a menu that made us giddy with anticipation, we decided the theme of the night would be "who-the-hell-cares." It's just that kind of place. And then we met the bobotie.
This South African dish isn't something you'll find anywhere else around this town. Edelstein, who was raised there, made her native dish with smoked veal, rocket, mango ginger vinaigrette, garam masala pecans and--the addition that impressed us most--melon chutney ($12). We suspect this will become her most popular offering, though she promises to change the specials more often than Lindsay Lohan gets accused of misconduct.
This is probably a good time to point out that Edelstein is known for incorporating ingredients that most of us have never heard of, so don't freak when you see things like ciliegine, pinoli, dukka, puri puri, and amarula listed. Thankfully our patient server Julius (a.k.a. Jules) [shown here in the reflection of the mirrors as he served us a hunk of bison with huckleberry dark chocolate sauce atop butternut sage hash, $35] had been schooled properly and was able to describe it all in layman's terms.
neMesis Urban Bistro
1035 N. Miami Ave., Miami, FL
Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.