Art Basel is fast approaching, and with it come tourists, celebrities, and restaurants serving special dishes that mesh artistry and food.
LaMuse, nestled inside the Avant Gallery at the Kimpton Epic Hotel in downtown Miami, has launched a weekend dinner that includes an Anthony Bourdain risotto, a Frida Kahlo margarita, and a beef dish named for Marilyn Monroe.
What's sure to get the most tongues wagging, however, is the $5,000 gold lobster dinner.
If the price seems absurd, LaMuse owner Dmitry Prut explains the extravagant meal for two comes with a piece of art valued around $4,200, which makes the lobster dinner itself a mere $800.
Prut, who also owns the gallery where the café is located, says the dinner comes with an emoji sculpture by Ukrainian artist Lina Condes. "It's very Instagrammable. The love emoji is golden." Prut describes the meal as a lobster for two encrusted in and surrounded by edible gold, served with risotto and 24-karat gold leaf. "It's one of those very over-the-top dishes that's intended for indulging," he says. The dinner, which requires 48 hours' notice to prepare, also comes with a bottle of champagne.
Prut says social medial influencer Foodgod has covered the dish. "He's naturally been a fan of the gallery. He comes through and does his thing."
If $5,000 is too pricey, LaMuse offers other items on its "Art on a Plate" menu. Prut says he researched his favorite celebrities' preferred foods and created dishes inspired by them.
If you're wondering why there's no mention of an executive chef, that's because there is none, according to Prut. "It's more of a concept-driven restaurant," he says. "It's all about the experience and being surrounded by art. I love branding, so I'm hands-on with the kitchen when it comes to creating and branding dishes."
He then describes some of the dishes he has created (or branded). The Frank Sinatra My Way pasta ($19) includes artichoke hearts, lemon juice, and olive oil. "I'm a huge fan of Sinatra's," Prut says. "He loved pasta infused with lemon and artichoke."
There's also a dish named for America's iconic blond bombshell ($24): Beef à la Marilyn Monroe offers glazed beef with potato and carrot fondant, red wine–infused blueberries, and a blackberry wine sauce. "Marilyn loved beef and carrots and potatoes, so we concocted a dish named after her," Prut says.
Perhaps the most confusing dish is Greed, an homage to the late Anthony Bourdain featuring creamy risotto, pan-seared tiger shrimp, asparagus tips, and edible flowers ($25). Though Bourdain talked about a well-made risotto on his TV show No Reservations, the travel host, chef, and author was all about authentic experiences over flashy ones. Prut insists Greed is "a culinary tribute to one of the great foodies out there."
Wash down those entrées with a Frida margarita, Warhol's guava punch, or the Amazing Grace, a nod to Grace Jones, made with vodka, nitro cold brew, coffee liqueur, and chocolate bitters.
For dessert, the restaurant's Art Tart ($12) bears a stenciled image of Banksy's Boy Meets Girl. Prut says the gallery represents Banksy's work on the secondary market, though there's no word whether the artist approves of his piece's re-creation in a confection.
LaMuse also offers the Cotton Candy Cloud, featuring three layers of chocolate, caramelized hazelnuts, and cotton candy ($11).
Pruet calls dinner at LaMuse "artmosphere." "It's a cute name to describe what we're about," he says, "from the art on the walls to the plates to the glass."
Diners can eat in a gallery setting, surrounded by contemporary works from artists such as Skyler Grey, Linda Condes, and BNS.
The special "Art on a Plate" menu is available through the end of the year and is offered Thursday through Saturday evening. The café is also open for brunch and lunch daily.
LaMuse. 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; 305-400-0036; lamusecafe.com. Monday through Wednesday 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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