New Times' Iron Fork Recap

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Jackie Sayet

Presidente flowed as Chef John Critchley laid the culinary smackdown on

Giancarla Bodini for the 2009 Iron Fork title.  Critchley's on a

winning streak, with his seafood-celebrating Area 31 having been

recently named one of Esquire magazine's best new restaurants this year.


focus, however, was the side show -- edible offerings of 40 South

Florida restaurants through which crowds weeded mowed.  Here are some


- Whisk's

fall-off-the-bone pork with golden honey cider barbecue sauce on a bed

of slaw with corn bread cube was a balanced bite.  Rumor has it,

brother-sister owners, Brendan and Kristin Connor are scouting for

bigger digs, still in Coral Gables.  We approve, as long as they find a

way to maintain the restaurant's intimate charm.

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Jackie Sayet
​- Urbanite Bistro's

bite of deer was upstaged by its tuna, masago, and

seaweed salad on crisp, asymmetrical wonton shards, both in

presentation and flavor. This seconds-worthy bite was enough to

encourage us to plan a visit to its Wynwood home.

- It was a pleasure to catch up with Chef Sean Brasel who manned his Meat Market booth

with class and panache, serving up tender slices of perfectly-cooked

skirt steak on a bed of frisee.  Brasel will be joining chefs Clay

Conely, Michael Bloise, and Michael Schwartz at the January 10 Dinner in Paradise at Paradise Farms in Homestead.

Jackie Sayet

Jackie Sayet
​- Managing the sweetness of tropical fruit-based sauces is no easy feat, so we were impressed by MiMo's Le Cafe and its nuggets of a halibut-style fish lightly dressed in mango.

Jackie Sayet
​- Gimme some more goat!  South Beach Haitian mainstay Tap Tap

may have scored our favorite dish of the night with its spicy goat,

served with a smile by General Manager Gary Sanon-Jules.  Its

finger-licking bone-on bites left lips tingling from a habanero-laced

vinegar sauce.

Jackie Sayet
​- Gordon Biersch showed up on its best behavior, labeling its Kobe burgers "American."  What a difference some newsprint makes.

Jackie Sayet
Au Pied de Cochon's macaron with duck mouse.

Jackie Sayet
Chef Allen's team presented shrimp salad profiterole while he emceed and judged the cooking competition.
Jackie Sayet
Jackie Sayet
Jackie Sayet

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