Compared to Palm Beach, Miami takes itself far less seriously. The Magic City's nightlife scene is rich with pantomime; even its classiest eateries are so puffed full of humid air you could float Star Island away on the fumes. But what Bernstein managed to do - first as chef at Azul, and then at her trademark Upper East Side kitchen, Michy's - is cut through all that. The local girl with the affinity for croquetas and offal struck at the pearlescent core of what Miami really is - one of the many reasons she was nominated for a James Beard Award three times before winning Best Chef in the South in 2008. Her food is simple and confident, borrowed from Latin culture and a soul food heritage and inspired by the bounty of land and sea. It's the culinary equivalent of a cafecito during one of Florida's brilliant orange-red sunsets. To eat a dish of her duck confit or melting short ribs or white gazpacho, is to gaze into her easy smile framed with tightly curled hair and drift away.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Order Up: Michelle Bernstein's at the Omphoy
November 24, 2009 | 7:00am|
This week in Dish we take a closer look at the newest restaurant from Miami's own James Beard magnet, Michelle Bernstein. Michelle Bernstein's at the Omphoy is the Latin-Jewish chef's Palm Beach answer to Michy's; a restaurant that showcases the best of Bernstein's simple, soul-drenched cookery. The review is now live. And here's an excerpt: