Where's Ulrich?

Hot Chocolates' top chef pops up in North Miami Beach

People are often surprised to hear that I don't know where every chef in the tri-county area goes when he leaves his current post. Yes, my radar is out there, and it's always on. But I'm not psychic. Usually the reason I do know where some beloved toque has absconded to is because of a thoughtfully worded press release. And sometimes I just get lucky, as I did recently when I stumbled into a new venture called Martini's Bistro-Bar (17850 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach, 305-931-0262). The place is run by Ulrich Koepf (and partners), the chef who had unexpectedly impressed me with his eclectic concoctions at the erstwhile Hot Chocolates supper club in Fort Lauderdale. I know I wasn't the only one to wonder where he'd pop up next. And even though it's in Miami, I've done the drive, and it's close enough to the Broward County line to make diners feel like they're still on friendly -- and fondly remembered -- turf.
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Jen Karetnick is an award-winning dining critic, food-travel writer, and author of the books Ice Cube Tray Recipes, Mango, and The 500 Hidden Secrets of Miami.
Contact: Jen Karetnick