November 22, 2014

Hog Wild
by Restaurant Editor Chris Sherman

The move to robust artisan food started 10 years ago when energetic British chefs rebelled against fancy fussy gourmet cooking and devoted themselves to elevating the humble foods of pubs and bars. Chefs in semi-tropical Florida facing a tough economic market soon followed with small places and small plates.

Call them gastropubs, gastrobars, gastrolounges — gastro-anything but “gourmet.”

The food is as carefully made as in any gourmet restaurant and more carefully sourced. This cuisine is heavily local — often with a strong Deep South accent — but it can also be as rustic as any peasant cuisine from Europe, Asia and the Americas, including Cuban and Spanish.

Not far off Miami’s Miracle Mile, chef Alberto Cabrera has opened Bread + Butter (pan con mantequilla) as the first Cuban gastropub, with bacon-wrapped plantains and his own pork-belly chicharonnes. A few blocks away, Bulla Gastrobar serves a packed house with suckling pig, authentic Bellota ham and cerveza sangria. [Go to Full Story...]

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Florida Trend restaurant editor Chris Sherman stuck his finger into Key lime pie 20 years ago. He has eaten his way up down and across Florida, tucking into grits, datil peppers, and medianoche sandwiches as well as the dishes of our grandest chefs, young and old. Florida sets a big and constantly changing table, so when you find a great new restaurant or have a grand meal, let Chris know. Ditto for those dinners that don't match the hype. He can't be everywhere... although he'd like to be. Share your thoughts with Chris.

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