Most cult brunchers know South Beach is the unofficial meeting ground. Miami's coastline is flooded with restaurants offerings dozens of renditions of the weekend meal, making it difficult to choose just one place to dine.
Executive chef Josh Elliott's signature French toast at the Restaurant at the Raleigh makes a customer's decision a little easier. It's offered only weekdays during breakfast, but this plate is worth the trek.
There's good news, though: Elliott's French toast will be at New Times' Out to Brunch event May 20 at Soho Studios.
Drizzled in warm Nutella and a house-made strawberry-maple syrup, the Raleigh's French toast uses a brioche base soaked in custard, maintaining a soft center with a slight outer crisp.
"A lot of restaurants sell French toast, but the main difference is its toppings and the way it's cooked," sous-chef Javier Carballo says. "Without a doubt, the secret here is the quality and type of bread, and the amount of time we soak the bread in custard."
The recipe for the Raleigh's French toast calls for only seven ingredients. Four eggs are blended with one-and-a-half cups of heavy cream, a teaspoon of salt, one vanilla bean, one teaspoon of cinnamon, and one teaspoon of nutmeg. Each serving uses two slices of fresh brioche bread sealed with butter that is infused with sugar.
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"Another thing that stands out in our French toast is our creamy Nutella sauce," pastry chef Neil Adams says. "While most places serve it with just whipped cream and fruit, our Nutella sauce adds something special."
Adams recommends sipping an Amaretto-based drink while noshing on the Raleigh's French toast.
"I think an Almond Joy drink would go nicely with this," he says. "To make it, use a half an ounce of coconut rum, one ounce of Amaretto, one ounce of creme de cacao, and two ounces of cream."
The Restaurant at the Raleigh, as well as a number of other great Miami restaurants, will be at New Times' Out to Brunch from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at Soho Studios. Tickets for this 21-and-over event cost $50 through May 19 and $60 at the door. Admission includes unlimited brunch, booze samplings, and more. Purchase tickets at newtimesouttobrunch.com. A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit Special Olympics Florida, and food will be donated to Camillus House & Health.