Opened only a few weeks ago, Shikany has brought yet another new dining concept to Wynwood.
It is, however, a stark contrast to the rest of the still-gentrifying neighborhood. Housed in a completely renovated warehouse, the visually stunning restaurant offers global cuisine with modern techniques, including molecular tricks such as foams, dehydrated foods, and vanilla cotton candy.
The interior is modern yet attractive. A few simple but elegant chandeliers hang from the ceiling. One wall is decorated with a diamond-shaped architectural effect. Simple parsons tables are adorned with a single sprig of woody herbs in front of each seat. An open, marble-topped kitchen counter at the back of the restaurant matches the bar at the front. The warehouse is reminiscent of an art gallery.
The brainchild of executive chef/owner Michael Shikany, the menu incorporates a wide range of flavors from around the world, including France, Asia, Italy, and the United States. The goal is to incorporate traditional flavor combinations with new techniques, many of which fall under the molecular category.
With long, drawn-out lists of ingredients and menu descriptions, the fare sounds complicated, but it tastes familiar -- the aromas and flavors are not as intimidating as they seem.
Expect to see items such as interesting mousses, foams, injections, sous vides, and compressed produce. (Same goes for the cocktails.)
Plans are in the works for a Friday- and Saturday-night "degustation" menu in about a month (with one seating at a communal table beginning at 7 p.m.), but right now it's just the à la carte menu.
The menu ranges from small plates and apps to mains, with just a handful of options in each section.
Small plates include snack-size items, such as the o-toro tartare with pickled enoki, smoked char roe, green onion, kaffir ginger, sweet soy, and candied phyllo ($12). Try the panko-dusted fried oysters; they're served over chili ginger steak tartare with bacon tupelo honey gastrique and crispy chard ($10).
Apps include several tartares and a sous vide baby octopus with grilled green and white asparagus, crisp chorizo, squid ink aioli, cumin red chile watercress béarnaise, and almond snow ($18). It's served spread out over smears of the black aioli and bright-green béarnaise, which are painted on the plate.
The main portions of the menu feature mostly seafood with a couple of carnivorous options, such as maple-syrup-braised wild boar cheeks with bacon turnip, white Stilton apricot, and candied Meyer lemon thyme crème ($34).
Of all the dishes sampled, the scallops and sweetbreads was the winner. Tender scallops and crisp fried sweetbreads were served atop a streak of purple cauliflower paint next to what appeared to be a whisk topped with vanilla cotton candy -- it looks like whipped cream. As the server presented the dish, he poured a Licor 43 lemongrass beurre blanc over top. Not only was it visually impressive, but the flavors and textures also melded together seamlessly; it was sweet and savoy, crisp and soft.
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Executive pastry chef Jill Montinola follows through with dessert. The small selection offers items with multiple components. The pineapple cremeux includes a pistachio financier, garam masala, and Thai basil ice. The avocado mousse ($14) -- served in a perfect circle topped with a thin sheet of crisp rice, grapefruit sorbet with candied kumquat, and a black sesame sponge -- is far from a typical dessert. The tropical flavors blend together immaculately, but the sesame sponge is the highlight. The flavor is somewhat similar to tahini, but the texture is straight-up weird; it's really like a sponge.
Shikany is open Tuesday through Thursday from 6 to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 6 till 1 a.m.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.