Last night was the official launch of "A Feast for the Eyes" at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar and we were invited to check it out. In what Chef Miguel Aguilar hopes will become a monthly series, the restaurant exhibits the work of an artist and offers a four-course prix fixe menu that celebrates the artist's nationality and personal palate.
The artist of the evening was Miami-based Santiago Rubino, renowned as a street and graffiti artist as well as for his contribution to the Wynwood Walls. His work was on display as diners nommed on Argentinian-inspired dishes, in honor of Rubino's heritage.
The prix fixe menu consisted of smoked tuna empanadas, an avocado and romaine salad, Chilean sea bass with boniato puree, and chocolate alfajores. The four courses run $50 per person and a $20 wine pairing is available. The wines served last night were Alta Vista Torrontes (2012), Alto De Platas (2012), Terrazas Malbec (2010), and Raza Late Harvest Torrontes (2011), but diners also have the option of choosing from the wine menu.
Smoked tuna empanadas served as first course.
Says Rubino, "I was initially approached by Meghan Coleman and Marlo Courtney from Goldman Properties; being that I am the only Miami-based artist to be a part of the Wynwood Walls, they felt it would be appropriate for them to start off the chef/artist collaboration dinners at WKB with me...after being introduced to Chef Miguel Aguilar of WKB I felt it would be an honor to be a part of the collaboration."
Second course: avocado and romaine salad.
"Most of the components in each dish such as the chimichurri, empanadas, alfajores, and boniato are authentic. The dishes were created as a combination of Santiago's nationality, and his likes. The sesame dressing on the salad is also an authentic Argentinian recipe," says Chef Aguilar about last night's menu.
The menu items were mostly hit or miss, with the tuna empanada and the boniato mash being true standouts, both flavorful and satisfying. Unfortunately, the main course was rather bland, and the dessert something to be immediately forgotten.
Chilean sea bass and boniato puree served as third course.
Why combine art and food? Well, a chef is an artist after all. "We both create masterpieces and present our work in visual ways, which can make people desire more. Chefs and artists also use a lot of color to appeal to the eyes and palates," says Chef Aguilar.
Rubino agrees, "In both fields you have to use your creativity and skills to create something beautiful and appealing to your audience."
Santiago Rubino's work.
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Chef Aguilar understands how the art scene has transformed the neighborhood and wanted to create a dining experience which honors that contribution. "We've seen that more people are coming to check us out and enjoy the scene, from places like West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Weston, and Coconut Grove, to name a few."
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