Unfortunately, people don't just stumble into DB Bistro Moderne. We say "unfortunately" because aside from the sleek yet simple Mad Men-esque décor, the Michael Mann view, and the engaging and knowledgeable staff, DB Bistro does not play around when it comes to food and drink.
Set inside the southeast corner of the JW Marriot Marquis in downtown Miami, DB Bistro Moderne is somewhat out of sight, even if you're looking for it. Though its location makes it more difficult for locals to happen upon it, it also adds to DB's allure.
Imagine sitting inside a quiet, street-level room, its wall-to-wall windows exposing the exterior landscape of surrounding skyscrapers, while you sip high-quality Scotch -- somehow removed and of this world at the same time. That's what DB offers.
While menu prices tend to be toward the higher end of the scale, the budget conscious can still enjoy the upscale vibe. Cocktails normally run between $12 and $15, but there is an affordable happy hour as well as a new pairing concept every Wednesday, when you can get a cocktail and an appetizer for only $15. We were invited to try the new pairings (pairings will change periodically) as well as the happy hour (review next week) and were given a recipe to share with Short Order readers.
Follow the jump for our take on the bistro's current pairings and for a cocktail recipe. Salud!
First we tried the "corpse reviver" cocktail with a mezze platter appetizer. The cocktail hits the taste buds hard at first but leaves a sweet aftertaste. Originally a hangover remedy, the corpse reviver mixes gin, Cocchi Americano (Italian version of aromatized wine), triple sec, and lime juice in a glass scented with Ridge Distillery's Absinthe Vert. The mezze platter brings hummus (adequate), tzatziki (excellent), and baba ghannouj (original and extraordinary), with fresh, house-made pita by pastry chef Jerome Maure, who is a master at his craft (and who also makes the bun for the DB slider, which pretty much equals perfection).
Next we tried the "smoked pigeon," which has also become my new favorite drink. Made with a smoky mezcal, lime, and house-made grapefruit soda, the smoked pigeon is extremely light, almost like a flavored water, yet still packs a mezcaline punch. The drink is paired with -- what else -- chicken wings. But they are not your ordinary chicken wings that are sauce-soaked until soggy. Trust us -- you have never tasted chicken wings like these. They boast crisp, crunchy exteriors (without breading) and a light, citrusy and barbecued taste. Their flavor and texture plus the refreshing yet strong cocktail make the smoked pigeon our favorite pairing.
The last pairing offered was the sazerac and slider. We learned the sazerac is considered the first American cocktail. It is brandy-based, and DB's version is made with Osocalis Alambic from California. It incorporates the floral aroma of absinthe along with the spice of Peychaud's and the added brightness of lemon bitters. You definitely sip a sazerac. If you're the whiskey, Scotch, and bourbon type, you'll love this cocktail, but if you're more the vodka, rum, fruity cocktail type, the taste will be unpleasantly strong. Now, without further ado, we introduce what is quite possibly the best slider in town, the DB Bistro slider, with Gruyère cheese, sautéed onions, tomato, lettuce, and American cocktail sauce. Quite honestly, this slider blew us away; even the bun was delicious. DB slider, perfection is thy name.
Management was kind enough to provide us with a recipe for the smoked pigeon.
The Smoked Pigeon (Cocktail)
2 oz. Ilegal mezcal
1 oz. grapefruit juice
1 oz. simple syrup
3 oz. soda water
1/2 oz. muddled lime
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Use a glass to muddle the lime; add ice. Pour measured grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and mezcal in with the ice and lime. Shake the cocktail; then add the soda water, shake the glass, and strain into desired glassware.
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