has revamped its menu, leaving only three classic dishes behind.
Don't worry. Their "biskits" -- recently named best in America by Food & Wine -- are still available.
In his new take, chef Cesar Zapata combines Houston, Texas, with a 1930s steak-house motif. The Federal recently invited Short Order to sample its new offerings, which are divided into four categories: Pescatarian Pleasures, Veggie-Friendly, Meatlovers' Delight, and Federal Classics.
The scallops Rockefeller ($7 each) featured jumbo diver scallops, creamed spinach, "biskit" crumbs, and Parmesan cheese. This dish was perfectly cooked and absolutely decadent.
The golden baby conch salad ($12) was refined and inspired by Florida. It paired charred oranges, black olives, and fresh palm hearts with avocado. It married two of our favorite South Beach salads in a beautiful way: the conch salad at Tap Tap and the royal hearts of palm carpaccio at Florida Cookery. The result: a new contender for our top favorite salad.
We also enjoyed the truffled egg with buttered dumplings ($12). Another option is the macaroni and cheese ($8) with pumpkin, poblano, and chipotle "bizkit" crumbs.
The steak tartare ($14) was our kind of dish. It arrived in a closed mason jar with homemade potato chips on the side. When you unscrew the lid, smoke fills the air. Then you dig in for quail egg yolk, capers, shallots, and roasted poblanos.
The bananas foster foie gras is offered as either an appetizer or dessert ($17). That sounds like the ultimate dessert to us.
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SHOW ME HOW
The waitress flambéed our foie and bananas. How can you go wrong with foie, brioche, caramelized bananas, vanilla mascarpone, and rum?
If you want to sample the new menu, the Federal is offering a chef's tasting of four courses for $33.
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