Chow Down Grill has been serving Asian-inspired fare in Surfside for a little over a month but the restaurant has already created quite a bit of buzz. The small, cozy restaurant is the creation of Joshua Marcus, who formerly worked in the kitchens of BLT Steak and China Grill.
The menu is simple with four types of dumplings ($6 for four), a couple of salads, a Vietnamese-style sandwich with your choice of beef, chicken or fish and a couple of soups. Mains are yours to create. Choose one of three proteins - organic chicken, angus steak and shrimp - and match it with one of six sauce-veggie combos, like Mongolian barbecue sauce with broccolini, peppers and onion, or spicy Szechuan with white and green asparagus, peppers and almonds.
Marcus has taken care to use fresh meats and vegetables. If you sit
at the counter, you may catch staff rolling dough for dumplings and egg
rolls. Sauces are also prepared in house.
I enjoyed the shrimp,
fennel, corn filling inside the squid ink-colored dumpling though the
four to an order may have been better shared. Other choices include a
chicken basil dumpling; crispy crab Rangoon, spinach and mascarpone; and
a beef dumpling.
I followed with the Chow Dow Chop salad ($8), a fresh, crunchy,
filling medley of Napa cabbage, onion, cilantro, basil, carrot,
cucumber, radish, corn and mango dressed in a tasty chili-lime
vinaigrette that left my lips tingling and temporarily plumper.
because I was dining alone I didn't get a taste of nearly as much as I
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wanted to taste from Chow Down's menu. Still, my first bites were enough
to make me want to return.
Chow Down Grill
9517 Harding Avenue, Surfside