South Beach Wine & Food Festival

SBWFF 2011: Dim Sum & Disco Takes A Dive

Anytime you have plates of Asian cuisine prepared by Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger), Richard Hales (Sakaya Kitchen), Gregory Yu (Tropical Chinese), Joe Ng (Red Farm, N.Y.), the chefs from China Grill and Asia de Cuba, and Setai's host chef David Werly, you're going to have plenty of fine fare to eat. Add cool cocktails and the great Setai indoor/outdoor setting, and the party can't be bad. But last night's Dim Sum Disco was dramatically downsized from last year's affair, which many agree was the best party of SBWFF 2010.

Here's a comparison:

>Last year: World-class mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim was on hand making amazing sake cocktails.

This year: No Abou-Ganim. Less of a sake presence.

Last year: Tim Cushman of Boston's o ya put out a stunning salmon tataki ngiri with torched tomato, onion aioli, and smoked salt.

This year: No o ya.

Last year: Island Creek Oysters, from Duxbury Bay, Massachusetts, had a huge and inexhaustible oyster display.<

This year: Nope. No oysters, from Island Creek or elsewhere.

Last year: Giant dessert station outdoors.

This year: No giant dessert station indoors or out.

Last year: A giddy crowd danced and partied until the 2 a.m. closing. A host of the festival's best chefs dropped by late and joined in the fun.

This year: No dancing, no chef presence, and at 1:30 a.m. most of the food stations were closed, the indoor room was empty, the party was over.

As for disco, well, that took a dive long ago.

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Miami New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past decade, and the world's indisputable master of disguise.
Contact: Lee Klein