Food News

New Times Pairings 2011 Winners Announced

Terrific weather, a great turnout, and delicious eats marked last night's New Times Pairings at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

Without further delay, we are pleased to announce the winners for Best Overall, Most Unique Dish, Most Decadent Dish, and Best Sweet.

Best Overall
Bimini Boatyard
Caribbean escolar
Escolar is a white tuna that chef Michael Bennett says is "a rich fish, richer than salmon, that's great as sushi and terrific on the grill." The chef uses a Caribbean rub of pink and green crushed peppercorns and cocoa powder --"a tribute to Incans"-- then blankets the fish in a white Bordeaux and hazelnut liqueur beurre blanc. His acidic condiment to contrast with the richness of the fish is a papaya and pineapple kimchee. The final touch is a "tobacco" onion  garnish (dressed with flour and chili powder) for crunch. "The fish and kimchee is a yin and yang on the palate," said Bennett. Caribbean escolar on tonight's menu for $15.

Second Place
Sette Bello
Escarole, beans and cervelatta
A humble balanced dish made with chicken stock, escarole, white beans, and a standout pork sausage.

Third Place
Sea Level
Old Bay and lime rock shrimp

Turns out the local offering of rock shrimp lightly dressed secured third place and a double win for the Marriott Harbor Beach Hotel, which also houses 3030 Ocean (see below).

Most Unique
Yolo Restaurant
Steamed Pork Buns
A glutenous bun showcased a slice of pork, pickles, and a fish sauce-spiked slaw.

Most Decadent
3030 Ocean
Squash shooter with spicy rock shrimp
A fall favorite in a shot glass is garnished with a dollop of creme fraiche, a bite of local shrimp and paired with Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale, apropos for the season.

Best Sweet

The Gelato Shoppe
Guinness ice cream
As it turns out, chocolate and Guinness make a terrific pair. Though less creamy than the hazelnut gelato from the same store, the main ingredient won over the judges.

Check out the evening's slideshow here.

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart