We gave you a sneak peek on opening day, and spoke to Andrew Carmellini about his journey as an American chef, but the all-important food visual was as of yet unearthed. We finally ate at the Dutch, so here's a little preview of what you'll soon be craving.
The menu combines a few items from NYC's offerings -- the politically incorrect ribs, spice glazed pork chop, a veal porterhouse, fried chicken, with many Miami originals, like a pizza topped with blue crab, zucchini and fresh jalapenos ($18), short rib mole with arroz roja ($35) and naturally, a Cuban sandwich ($15).
We happened to have recently enjoyed a meal at Locanda Verde, and couldn't help but notice the appearance of sheep's milk ricotta with grilled bread ($14 at both restaurants), as well as the beef tartare, which has walnuts, arugula and a truffle dressing at our Dutch, versus Locanda's version, with hazelnuts, truffles and a skinny slice of crispy guanciale perched on top ($17 at both restaurants). So basically, Chef Carmellini pulled a little of everything together for the Miami Beach edition of the Dutch, and we couldn't be happier.
They're obviously working out a few service kinks -- we waited about 20 minutes for our first beer, another 20 after that for our appetizer, and our waitress was obviously distraught, but exceptionally courteous and constantly made us aware that no one had forgotten us. We thought it was particularly amusing when she suggested that we use our bread plates for the pizza (especially considering that the squares of pizza were larger than the plates), because our tiny two-top couldn't accommodate tasting plates and the giant pie. We acquiesced, and the pizza was amazing, so we definitely vote for more pizza, less table, without a doubt. Good tip.
Don't forget dessert because from blueberry to Key lime, there is some seriously outstanding pie baking happening in this kitchen. All hail pastry chef Josh Gripper, who changes offerings daily, and mysteriously keeps the blueberries whole in his pie, instead of the usual gelatinous fruit mess. We love kitchen magic.