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First Taste of JB Kitchen & Bar

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According to the PR rep, Badrutt's wasn't attracting enough of a moneymaking crowd in the wee hours so they gave it a new name -- JB Kitchen & Bar -- changed over the concept, gave it a facelift, and brought in two chefs. Yep, two: one Peruvian and one classic American.

It seems our resident curmudgeon, Lee Klein, isn't too optimistic about the eats after a bad dining experience at Badrutt's, but this time two new chefs are behind the line, so perhaps they'll change his mind. The owners hoped the duo would produce better results and, after last night's sampling, it's pretty apparent that the theory may be spot on. Press folks (excepting Klein) and other insiders got to taste a whopping 23 courses, starting with a tangy tuna tiradito and ending with a flourless chocolate hazelnut cake that would give even the most sour critic sweet dreams.

While sipping on their watermelon-mint and pomegranate-yuzu

martinis, diners also cooed especially over the guacamole Angus burger

on brioche with spicy mayo, jumbo sea scallops in blood orange

vinaigrette with fennel, braised short rib sandwich with caramelized

onions and fontina cheese, and corvina a la nona (cracker-crusted fish

with edam cheese and red onions).

No,

customers won't miss the overpriced steaks or gratuitous pasta dishes.

But they may look in vain for the elevated VIP area. Alas, it is long

gone. Destroyed, actually, and replaced with open space and long,

pearly white padded banquettes.

The resto officially opens its doors today, February 5, for lunch and dinner so check it out and let us know what you think.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.