Esquire sure doesn't know how to give a compliment.
The magazine just released its picks for the 20 best new restaurants in the nation, and one of Miami's own has made the list. MC Kitchen, the Design District restaurant helmed by chef Dena Marino and Brandy Coletta, received acclaim for its impeccable eats and handsome environment.
But a condescending attitude lurks beneath all the praise. Penned by John Mariani, a James Beard Award-nominated food writer, this article is not only misguided. It also belittles Miami's dining scene.
The patronizing starts at the very top.
"Quick: Name a great Italian restaurant in Miami. No? Okay, how about a real good one? Take your time. Nothing? Then here's news: MC Kitchen is not just the best and best-looking Italian restaurant in Miami; it's also one of the best in America," Mariani writes.
Quick: Name an uppity food writer who thinks its OK to offend an entire city to justify his opinion.
Uncouth, Mariani, so very uncouth.
Now, don't get me wrong. I agree with him on one thing: MC Kitchen is a great restaurant. But there's a problem in his reasoning. He thinks MC Kitchen is an exception -- but it isn't. This town is packed with "real good" Italian restaurants. Macchialina, Salumeria 104, and Toscana Divino are only a few.
Things get worse as he goes on. Mariani concludes, "[Marino's] food and Coletta's savvy coalesce in a sophisticated balance rare in a city where glitz often trumps taste." [Emphasis added.]
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Um, newsflash. This isn't the '90s. Miami no longer signifies snobbery and overpriced restaurants. Our city is packed with fantastic places to dine. Spots such as the Cypress Room, Michy's, and Naoe rival restaurants in other metropolises. Sure, you can argue that glitz still trumps taste at some South Beach restaurants. But it certainly doesn't happen "often." And good spots definitely aren't "rare."
What I'm saying in this, Mariani: I'm not alone here. Others have also protested your elitist ways. So just give me a call next time you're in town. While the New York Times and Bon Appétit laud Miami dining, it looks like you, sir, could use a refresher.
Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyCodik.