Thursday, December 1, 2011
My Miami Sushi Detox at NAOE
After a gargantuan Thanksgiving dinner at the Yardbird, I felt that a sushi detox was mandatory to expunge my body (shall I say my not so sexy back?) from the buttermilk biscuits and the pumpkin pie of the eve.
It was all the more urgent that everywhere I look, I could see young (but mainly not so young) chicks whose fat-free bodies were taunting my cute little rolls of fat.
Sensitive to my complaints, my man booked a table at NAOE. He told me :"We must try this restaurant. I read so many great reviews!"
I could not believe it: my man, usually as enthusiastic about sushi as an oyster, was actually thrilled by the perspective of savoring raw fish.
8.30 p.m.. We grab a cab.
Destination: Sunny Isles Boulevard.
I will spare you the details of the journey, but let's just say that after getting lost we eventually arrived... at a dark parking lot... nearby a... strip-club.
We got out of the car. No restaurant. We decided to investigate the area and, after a few minutes (an eternity for my poor feet perched on high heels), we saw it or at least we spotted the name we were looking for. But where was the entrance?
My beloved Einstein then suggested to check closely the parking lot. Genius! There it was.
A short bearded man was standing at the back door and cheerfully welcomed us before getting us into the lair of Chef Kevin Cory. The place, though tiny and unpretentious, was very elegant. The dark colors on the walls gave the venue coziness and elegance.
We were led to the counter, our table for the night, from were we could see the master, a man of discreet appearance, already at work. He was slicing the horse mackerel that he would serve to his guests later on.
I was impressed by the Chef's dexterity. How many fingers would have I lost just to cut a fish slice? This horrific bloody vision was suddenly interrupted by the jolly voice of Wendy, our greeter for the night, who gave us a sake list and introduced us what was to come.
Tough choice, but we managed to pick a little bottle of chilled sake which really felt like ice cream, but was definitely more heady. We were then enjoying the moment when the arrival of a loud couple broke the spell. Lucky us! They sat right next to us... at the counter.
Annoyed by M. and Mrs. Bla bla bla, I grew a little bit impatient and could no longer wait for the food to come so that they would eat and zip it.
Eventually, the food was served. Beautifully arranged in a bento box were home made egg tofu topped with uni, a rice dish with mushrooms, a bowl containing "the" horse mackerel along with leaves and freshly grated wasabi (I taught that the wasabi was a sweet potato... No comment!) and a bowl carrying monkfish liver served with a marinated sea snail. The Chef had also prepared a nice and surprisingly tasty soup to top it all.
I was conquered, although I must confess that I did not have the guts to eat the sea snail. Just the sight of it made my stomach dance the cha cha cha. My man, on the other hand, after a long internal monologue with his belly, purely and simply gobbled it up.
After this food statement, it could only be a gustative festival. The sushi master offered his guests a variety of savorous sushi, made with salmon, Portuguese octopus, Japanese sardine and Boston squid. Our test buds were tickled and our stomach, enchanted.
I almost forgot M. and Mrs. Vulgarity!
As a matter of fact, even if the sushi were small, our paunches were full really quickly. To our great despair, we had to surrender before the Japanese sea urchin was served.
In order to ease the digestion, Wendy brought us a refreshing fruit salad. Nicely dressed, this salad had also a peculiar taste. Our nice waitress explained to us that the latter was due to a secret ingredient (quite unexpected and do not count on me to reveal you what it is) added to the salad to enhance the sweetness of the fruits. So poetic.
But the apotheosis came with the ice cream which ended our gastronomic odyssey. I still feel its caramel butter fudge taste. But guess what ? It was not a caramel butter fudge ice cream. Wendy gave us a clue. The mysterious ingredient had been served with all the dishes. Brilliant, how could this be ? As a reward, Wendy and the bearded man from the beginning offered me a second round of ice cream.
Now, it is your turn to guess and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
PS: Thank you to the NAOE crew for this special moment.