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Remember those 3 nights in Miami? A bit long

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Frodnesor asked that I do a post mortem - here it is!

It was hot Hot HOT and, to top it off, humid, but hey, it was hot at home too and home is nothing like Miami. I love where I live but Indiana is, well… Indiana.

After much debate we decided on Michaels Genuine, Talula and Chef Allen.
Loved Michaels Genuine
Loved Talula - our waiter Kevin really made the night.
Chef Allen fell down on us and we went to Marks Las Olas. Mini rant re: Chef Allen later.

Michaels Genuine was our favorite. We loved the menu! What a wonderful idea to have the menu as Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large and for more fun, Snacks.

And oh the snacks! We had the chicken liver pate on crostini with carmelized onions and the Black Mission fig with Campazola cheese crostini. Excellent snacks – I need snacks like this everyday. We thought there would be 2 of each but instead there were 4! These were truly wonderful, lots of pate and lots of cheese.

Because everything sounded so good and we had trouble deciding we ordered several of the "small" plates.
Crisp beef cheeks with whipped celeraic, celery salad and chocolate sauce - wow
Wood roasted vidalia onion with ground lamb and apricots - this is a wonderful winter dish. We have an upcoming Pinot dinner and I would love to bring this, recipe search is on.
House salad with monchego chees, serrano ham, champagne grapes and a lovely vinegrette
Crispy duck confit with chutney - the duck was great, the accompaniments had too much curry for my tastes.
The wood roasted pork shoulder with a huge bowl of cheese grits was a "large" plate - good, but either we were getting too full or we felt the previous dishes were better.
Banana Toffee panini with dulce de leche and a pitcher of chocolate sauce - yum!

Our wine was a Tandem Van der Kamp Vineyard 2004, Sonoma Mounain Pinot Noir recommended by our waiter and we loved it. Spot on with the dinner.

At Talula we did the 7 course tasting menu. Our waiter Kevin was so much fun, I think he was as excited as we were. He went back and spoke to the chef (Kyle from Auburn IN! A big shout out buddy!) and tried to influence him on our menu for the night.

We started with wahoo ceviche with flying fish roe, and a salad with avocado and mango. Very fresh and very enjoyable.
2nd - black grouper pan seared with gnocchi, tomato, crisp pancetta and thyme. Great with the Pinot Noir, really brought out the tomato flavor.
3rd - house made duck prociutto with butterscotch sauce and a peach & sprout salad (sorry I don't know what sort of sprouts), the duck was salty on its own and best with the butterscotch sauce.
4th - fois gras on brioche with salad with dried cherries - wow. This was the best fois gras we've had in forever!
5th - a risotto with Kobe pork - very, very good.
6th - Austrailian rack of lamb with portobella mushrooms, arugula, lavender polenta cake, cabernet sauce, garlic roasted tomato and reduced basalmic. This was Kevin's favorite entree and the one thing he wanted to be sure we had. I'm glad we did, the lamb was wonderful.
7th - pannacotta with cherries - Kelly (wine director) brought over Banfi Rosa Regale so that we could try it with the dessert.

We chose the Louis Latour Chassagne-Montrachet 2004 and the Beaux Freres 2005, Ribbon Ridge Oregon PInot Noir with some help from Kelly. We found the Pinot went better with many of the dishes than the white, but we're learning so thats okay. The only goof of the night (and it was a little one but none the less), was late in the evening when Kelly poured almost all the the Chassagne-Montrachet in our glasses with out checking to see if we wanted any more. Mr CF had intended to send that back to the kitchen, but after that there wasn't enough to do that. I mentioned it to Kevin and it didn't happen again, leaving the remaining Beaux Freres for Kevin - who shared it with everyone - he's a peach!

Chef Allen… mini rant time. I used their website to make the reservation and received an email confirmation. It did say that they would contact us further if there was an issue. We did not receive anything further and so assumed that all was well. Sunday we discovered at about 6:00 pm that all wasn’t well. They had a private function that evening and failed to inform us. Wednesday I received an email from them hoping that I had enjoyed my evening with them and if I would please fill out the survey I could have a complimentary glass of champagne on my next visit! Golly! I don’t think so...

So we went to Marks Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale and had a lovely evening. We had:
Dates stuffed with Crater Lake Oregonzola - like a savory Christmas cookie, dates were wrapped in phyllo and stuffed with a bit of the Oregonzola - really good.
A butter lettuce salad with Granny Smith apples, manchego and almonds - no butter lettuce - it was a mixed green salad - but very good.
For our entrees we had the homemade riccota meatball pizza w/provelone, and the
New York strip steak with roasted au gratin cauliflower, a mashed potato casserole sort of thing and grilled aspargus - steak had a great flavor but we are totally spoiled by our favorite steak place in IN, Petersons. Loved the au gratin cauliflower.
Desserts were a Brown Cow wtih choc chip cookies and a warm chocolate cake with pink peppercorn ice cream - the ice cream in the float was great!

Thanks to everyone who helped us make our choices. Our favorite was Michaels and we would definitely go back there and to Talula.

:-)

Dawn

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  1. Excellent report - glad to hear you enjoyed your visit, esp. Michael's and Talula (two of my favorites). I've been to Talula often but never done the tasting menu - interesting that (unless the regular menu's been updated quite a bit since my last visit) the tasting menu items appear to be completely different from the regular menu. The lamb dish sounds somewhat similar to a lavender rubbed venison loin they used to do that was fantastic.

    Sorry to hear of the Chef Allen snafu. Sounds like their reservation system could really use some work, and that their response to the issue was really lacking.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. We ate there on friday ordering a lot of snacks, small and large dishes. I really loved the beef cheek and the pork belly. The potato chips were a great snack as well. We also had the banana panini. Great dessert.

        My fiance and I ordered 7 dishes in total so they sent it out in 3 courses plus the dessert which was perfect. The service was really great. We ordered the butter lettuce salad and it came without avocado (but still delicious). After mentioning it in passing to the waiter, the manager came out and took it off the bill apologizing for the error.

        We had a really great time and would definately go again.