Tudor House, the new Geoffrey Zakarian restaurant at the Dream Hotel South Beach, opened to much fanfare and anticipation. With executive chef Jamie DeRosa behind the burner and Zakarian's wife Margaret a frequent presence at the "modern gastro café," much was expected of the food and service.
Short Order was invited to sample some Tudor House fare as a prequel to Miami Spice. Though we didn't dine on Spice-exclusive offerings, we did sample many items on the Spice menu, including the grilled branzino and organic buttermilk fried chicken entrées.
The strawberry shortcake and homemade "Oreo" cookies we enjoyed are also featured on Tudor House's Miami Spice menu. By the way, Short Order's Lee Klein noted Tudor House as a "great" Miami Spice offering on Miami Beach.
The meal itself was memorable for the food, service and ambiance. If details make a restaurant, consider the oversize ceiling fans on the porch (making dining alfresco delightful even in the oppressive Miami Beach heat), a server who described the menu items with the knowledge of a CIA graduate, and whimsical touches such as the old-fashioned bottle of coffee-hazelnut milk that accompanies the house-made "Oreo" cookies.
As for the food: Let's start with the soft warm pretzel nuggets that are offered in lieu of bread. Served with a red wine mustard for dipping, were a welcome change from the usual basket.
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A poached tuna in a jar ($14) arrived with pickled vegetables and toasted baguette slices. The saltiness of the poached fish matched well with the picked veggies and buttered toast.
You might not think about ordering the fried chicken ($23) at a place known for lamb belly and grouper cheeks. Please reconsider, because this chicken is moist and juicy. The secret is in the preparation (the chicken is souvs-vide before its fried).
Tudor House makes a great new addition to the South Beach scene and is most certainly Miami Spice-worthy.