South Beach Trip Report
Hi. Just wanted to report on my quick South Beach weekend getaway. Did not rent a car so restricted my eating to South Beach. Also went with somebody who eats mostly vegetarian items so restaurant choices also reflected that as well.
Pizza Rustica -- I know this place is generally panned, but we went to the Washington Ave branch many years ago when we were poor students staying at the Clay Hotel and wanted to relive some memories. Got the blue cheese spinach and the fughi. It's good for what it is -- cheap, greasy and filling. Probably best as either a quick lunch or a late night snack after drinking.
Spris -- We shared a salad with baby arugula and pears and a carbonara pizza. I actually expected better from the reviews I read about the place. The pizza was way too salty with the copious amounts of pancetta and shavings or parmesan (or grano padano or whatever) it was. I just did a quick google search on that pizza. Ours had way more pancetta and cheese than the ones pictured. Guess the chef was in a heavy-handed mood that day. Salad was OK -- didn't really get the refrigerated pears in the dish.
Sardinia -- We shared the burrata with caponata and roasted cherry tomatoes for an appetizer. The burrata was delicious, but the caponata and tomoatoes were served straight from the fridge! Is that how they usually do it? I would have thought it should have been served at room temperature. The cold blunted the flavors. We got the tear drop pasta with braised lamb and the special of spaghetti with prawns and sea urchin. The spaghetti dish was really outstanding -- perfectly cooked and full of umami goodness. I'm going to try to replicate that at home.
Indomania -- Got the Sumatra rijstaffel. Delicious and would definitely go there again at some point. Huge amount of food -- we weren't close to finishing.
Bongos at airport -- Didn't have time to pick up dinner before our flight so had to eat at the airport. Ordered the cuban black bean soup beef steak with rice and beans. Better than expected. The cuban black bean soup was actually very good. The beef was really tough and difficult to eat. Our waitress/bartender had a great personality.
Books and Books Cafe -- eggplant, goat cheese and roasted red pepper sandwich; omelet with feta and watercress and home fries; good and very reasonably priced for what it is -- prime people-watching spot on Lincoln Road with food that is decent
Dilido Club -- We wanted to have one ocean-view meal so we picked this place. Got the burger with fries and greek salad with falafel balls. The greek salad was fine but the falafel was very weak -- tasted like pre-made mix falafel. The burger was just not that great -- overcooked and dry (even though the menu stated it was wagyu beef). It was a bit pricey as well. The view was nice, but wouldn't recommend it for the food. Books and Books had better food with lower prices.
Chalan on the Beach -- We got the aguadito mariscos which turned out to be seafood cilantro soup and vegetarian fried rice. Fried rice was a huge portion! The aguadito mariscos was actually the best thing I had the entire trip with the spaghetti from Sardinia being a close second. Really flavorful and satisfying.
Glad you enjoyed your trip. Being from nyc. I would not try eating pizza here. Sardinia often has a variant of the uni pasta as a special which they do well. I also like their Bottarga pasta dish on the menu. When they serve the uni pasta you can ask for Bottarga on it. It is an interesting contrast, though I am not sure I like it better than the straight uni as sometimes the Bottarga overpowers the Uni if there is too much of the Bottarga.
I agree with your thoughts on Indomania and need to get back there. I keep forgetting about that place.
I like chalan as well but never tried that dish. I will make an effort to do so. Chalan is a great value. I usually do the seafood fried rice, the aji chicken and the tripe when I am there.
Definitely hear you on the pizza. Also forgot to mention that Spris's crust was soggy.
Indomania is great, especially for NYers, as NYC lacks a good rijstaffel place. Love rijstaffels because you get such variety.
btw, do you live in NYC and Miami? I see you on both boards often.