Food Festivals

Our Favorite Dishes From New Times' Seventh Annual Pairings

Another year, another Pairings. Alas, New Times' annual foodie event has come and gone -- and what a night it was. Over 40 restaurants served up samples of some amazing food, paired with a fine wines and craft beer.

If you weren't able to attend South Florida's best foodie event at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts last night, we've got some highlights from the evening right here.

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An early glimpse of the menu had us excited to try Chima Brazilian Steakhouse's top sirloin; El Guanaco Taqueria's pupusa, a traditional Salvadoran dish that stuffs a handmade corn tortilla with a blend of cheese, cooked pork, and refried beans; and S3's chi-spiced pork belly with sour apple relish and brown butter, with carrot coulis.

A closer look revealed these three restaurants as best in show, however, thanks to artful presentations, top-nothch ingredients, and powerful flavorful combinations:

3. M.E.A.T. Eatery & Taproom

Although the name states otherwise -- and despite the fact that some of chef and owner George Patti's specialty dishes are pork and beef-based -- M.E.A.T Eatery & Taproom proved it's not all about the meat. The Boca Raton restaurant offered guests a sampling of a special seafood dish during Pairings: a lightly-dressed Maine lobster and shrimp salad accented with grilled corn.

See also: New Times' Seventh Annual Pairings (Slideshow)

2. Sea Level

Delivering a perfectly seared scallop takes time, patience, and skill. The line winding around the chef's table for Sea Level proved that -- even with hundreds of dishes to make -- the restaurant's day boat scallop dish was doing it right. A single scallop was served with a clementine-carrot butter sauce, herb oil, and accented with micro fennel.

1. Hardy Park Bistro

Downtown Fort Lauderdale's Hardy Park Bistro stole the show with its pork belly sandwich paired with a seared salmon quinoa and creamy panna cotta dessert. What more could you ask for?

Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.