Behind the Line

At Schnebly's Revamp, Dewey LoSasso Goes Full Florida

The spent grains that emerge from Miami Brewing Company’s towering stainless-steel cylinders aren’t walking their funeral procession. Instead, Dewey LoSasso repurposes them into a nutty tabbouleh salad flecked with parsley and doused with fruity olive oil. It’s also coaxed into a spongy, toothsome bread that soaks up the savory tomato-beer broth that bathes a dozen and a half small clams.

LoSasso’s efforts at Schnebly Redland’s Winery are a stark turnaround from his last gig at AQ by Acqualina. There, the ritzy Sunny Isles Beach condo building seemed to squeeze the fanciful fare he was known for at the Forge into what was truly a glorified hotel bar.

Yet here in the Redland, the former Mango Gang member seems at ease, even giddy with his prospects. He took over the place’s culinary operations in late 2014. At the time, owner Peter Schnebly purchased an additional ten acres surrounding the property, bringing the total to 30. “In the mornings, I grab a coffee and just drive around the farm,” LoSasso says before we stop a pluck a couple of cotton-candy fruits from the tree.

Aside from some special events, the most noticeable change so far is the menu inside the winery.
There’s no trace of dishes like the green eggs and ham LoSasso toyed with at Acqualina. Instead, it’s straightforward Miami fare like a corvina ceviche ($15), awash in lime juice and served with thick, crisp yuca chips and a few kelpy leaves of Okinawa spinach. A pair of tacos is packed with savory pulled brisket and a welcome smear of lime-tinged yogurt that helps slice through the rich meat.

He’s rubbing whole yellowtail ($35) in an herbaceous, za’atar-like spice before roasting the skin to a pleasant crisp and serving it alongside a balanced blend of vinegar, agave, cumin, chili, and lemon.

Within a month, the plan is to bring in a waitstaff to offer sit-down service in a large thatched tiki hut out beyond the winery’s tasting room. Down the line, the plan is to add even more structures to the Redland property, which might include a bed and breakfast.
Today, however, LoSasso is trying to figure out what to do with the nearly 2,000 pounds of tomatoes hauled in from the fields. In an outdoor kitchen, cooks are jarring it into salsa and sauces. Inside, the ripe ones are finding their way onto every dish.

“We’re definitely going to end up giving some of them away,” he laughs.

For more follow Zach on Twitter or Instagram.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Zachary Fagenson became the New Times Broward-Palm Beach restaurant critic in 2012 before taking up the post for Miami in 2014. He also works as a correspondent for Reuters.
Contact: Zachary Fagenson