Recipes for Success II
Jeremy Eaton

Recipes for Success II

On the scale of anticipation, Timo is a ten. Just mention the restaurant, chef-owner Tim Andriola's first proprietary project that is about to debut on Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles, and the reaction is immediate. "Is it open?" "What's the address?" "What kind of food?" "Wanna go?"

Potential customers aren't the only ones who are restless. Timo has been in the official works for nearly a year, and Andriola's itching to open. "It's been fun, but I'm sick of it. Ten months is far too long, especially when seven months of that is solid construction. People say it's not, but to me it seems like an eternity."

Part of the reason for his itch, no doubt, is because the former executive chef for Mark's South Beach -- and Chef Allen's before that -- had long thought about opening his own place. Indeed he had plans to do so before joining Mark Militello, recognizing that he needed just a little bit more apprenticeship and exposure with a master chef before venturing out on his own. He took the opportunity to do so last June, joining with partner Rodrigo Martinez, an erstwhile general manager at Norman's.

Celebrity chef training notwithstanding, finances are also a cause for concern. Paying rent on a working title doesn't do much for the ready cash flow. As a result of the tight budget, the pair has done without a general contractor and has been unable to test recipes.

At press time, however, all they were waiting on was the fire inspection, after which Andriola anticipated immediately getting the kitchen staff in and practicing. "In reality we're looking at five more days of training after that, then two days of mock service to friends and family. Then we're giving an AIWF [American Institute of Wine and Food] function, so the members can critique us on everything from décor to portion size." To Andriola's knowledge, having a culinary organization act as gastronomic barometer has never before happened in this town. "We're guinea pigs," he admits. "Hopefully they'll fill out the surveys before they drink too much wine. They usually bring really good stuff with them."

After the AIWF review, Andriola and Martinez will make adjustments, revising both menu and recipes (see below) according to comments. By that point, the restaurant will permit the public. So generally speaking, give or take a day or two after publication, Timo is open at 17624 Collins Ave. The fare is inventive Italian, with enough basic dishes to satisfy the simple diner and eclectic ones for the foodie. And yes, I do wanna go. But until I do:

Fried Oyster Salad with Frisée, White Beans, and Smoked Pancetta Vinaigrette

1 cup flour

Soda water

Oil for frying

4 ounces oysters, shucked

Salt and pepper to taste

1 bunch frisée

1 plum tomato, julienne

3 ounces cooked white beans

1 tablespoon julienne red onion

2 ounces Smoked Pancetta Vinaigrette (see separate recipe)

Moisten 3/4 cup of the flour with soda water until a slightly thick batter forms. Season oysters with salt and pepper, then dredge in reserved flour.

In a sauté pan, heat oil to 375 degrees.

Coat oysters in batter and fry for one minute. Drain on paper towel.

In a mixing bowl, toss remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.

Plate salad in center; arrange oysters on top.

Serves 1.

Smoked Pancetta Vinaigrette

4 ounces pancetta, finely diced

4 ounces smoked bacon, finely diced

4 ounces minced shallot

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 cups olive oil

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon salt

In a sauté pan, render pancetta and bacon over low heat until all fat is released. Add shallots and thyme and sweat gently. Remove from heat and add liquids, pepper, and salt. Stir and reserve.

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Sicilian Pasta Pie


4 each eggplant slices, 1/4-inch thick, lengthwise

Oil for frying

1 hard-boiled egg, diced

4 ounces cooked macaroni

2 ounces tomato sauce

1 tablespoon chopped basil

2 ounces diced bufala mozzarella

2 ounces chopped tomato

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Salt eggplant slices for 45 minutes. Brush off excess salt.

In a sauté pan, heat oil to 375 degrees. Fry eggplant for 30 seconds. Place on paper towels and let cool.

In bottom of terrine mold, overlap eggplant, leaving overhang to fold over when filled.

In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients together. Fill mold. Fold over eggplant flaps to seal.

Heat until hot. Serve immediately.

Serves 1.

Skirt Steak Marinated in Garlic and Lemon

3 ounces olive oil

1 1/2 lemons, juiced and zested

2 bulbs garlic, shaved

1 sprig rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

8 ounces skirt steak

Herb Oil (see separate recipe)

In a mixing bowl, combine oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, and rosemary. Marinate steak in refrigerator for 24-48 hours.

Season steak with salt and pepper and grill over wood fire. Let stand eight minutes.

Slice and drizzle with Herb Oil.

Serves 1.

Herb Oil

1 1/2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced and zested

1 tablespoon chopped basil

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1/2 tablespoon chopped rosemary

1/4 tablespoon blanched, diced garlic

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Whisk and reserve.

Makes 1/4 cup.


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