But recently, something changed. In October, Jason Pringle -- previously of the Michelin-starred Café Boulud in New York -- took the reins as DB Bistro's new executive chef.
Short Order spoke with him about his big move to Miami and what he has in store for the restaurant.
Short Order: How do you like Miami so far?
Jason Pringle: This is my first time in Miami, and so far it's great. I went for a run on the beach the first morning I arrived, which made me feel like a local. I finally had a chance to see the surrounding neighborhoods on Sunday, which gave me a better prospective of what's out there.
Do you have any changes in store for the menu at DB Bistro?
We made some changes to the menu and I have a few more planned. I will continue to make changes so that our menu always showcases the highest quality products available during each season.
What's your take on the food scene in Miami?
Miami is becoming more and more of a draw for high-end dining, and that's exciting to see. I haven't been here that long, but I'm eager to find the local gems -- those places you just don't learn about unless you live here.
What's your favorite menu item at DB?
I'm very excited about the duck that I'm putting on the menu. It's glazed with maple and bourbon, seasoned with sassafras, and served with sweet potato. Then there are the classics that are always comforting, like the burger filled with short rib and foie gras. The crab with celery root and apple is another favorite of mine.
You worked in both New York and San Francisco before moving to Miami. Do you miss them? What would you say are the differences, food-wise, among the three cities?
San Francisco is where I'm from, so I miss the home aspect of it. But mostly I miss the freshness of the produce. It's a real joy to go to the local market and base my menus around food grown by people I know on a first-name basis. I do that as much as possible everywhere I go, but San Francisco is truly unique in that aspect.
New York is different from any other city because of the competitive edge you need to survive in a restaurant. You have to strive every day to do things better than anyone else. But that's a drive -- an ethic really -- that I take wherever I go. It's an ethic I try to foster in my cooks and everyone I work with. I hope to bring the best aspects of San Francisco and New York to Miami. Miami has really welcomed me with open arms, and I want to honor that by making the best food possible.
What about the differences when it comes to diners?
In San Francisco and New York, people are looking for food that's new and exciting. Both towns foster ingenuity in other aspects of life, and people want that from the dining experience as well. So far, I think the same rules apply here in Miami. The fare is just a bit lighter due to the climate.
Name one kitchen utensil you couldn't live without.
A Vita-Prep [blender]. I use it all day long.
Name one ingredient you couldn't live without.
Salt. It's in everything.
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What do you hope to accomplish at DB?
I'd like to bring the local food scene to the restaurant. There's a special joy in cooking for one's neighbors, and I want it to be a place where locals return again and again.
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