John and I are having a great time in Miami.
Oh, you want details?
Ok. Its 74* and it was a gorgeous, sunny morning. (It’s partly cloudy now, but we’ll be indoors for the rest of the day so it doesn’t matter.) We arrived Friday evening and John is working at a convention of Trial Lawyers. Its a working vacation — he works, and I’m on vacation. :-)
We’re at the Loew’s South Beach, which is very centrally located. Yesterday we went out in the afternoon and walked Lincoln Road, a planned pedestrian mall that is a hub of shopping and dining. It was very interesting — great for people watching. There were a lot of beautiful people, but not ‘the’ beautiful people, if you know what I mean, walking around. Many ethnic backgrounds and mixes, and they were lovely to behold.
We sat down at AltaMar, just a block past the western edge of the mall right as they opened at 5pm. John started with a cocktail from the bar (“I don’t drink, but I like a good cocktail. I prefer sweet and herbal to sour and bitter. Other than that, surprise me.”) and I had a glass of California sauvignon blanc. We had a grilled octopus on a bed of farro with choizo and chopped heirloom tomato (me) and a salad of bufalo mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes in a shallot vinaigrette. We didn’t share, but each thought we had a winner. Our main (I switched to an Argentinia malbec) was a duck leg confit (accompanied by sauteed chard and onion jam) and rock shrimp with pappardelle pasta, snow peas, and fresh asparagus. It was incredibly good. Both of them. For dessert John had a milk chocolate peanut butter semi freddo that was perfect: sweet, but not overly so, and exquisitely smooth.
It was a great start to our trip.
Today we went for brunch at the Ritz Carlton, which is just a block away. From 11am to 3:30pm every Sunday, the Ritz does brunch the way it should be: decadent, delicious, and dangerous for your diet. I started with cold gulf shrimp in a sherry vinaigrette, crab claws, fresh blueberries and fresh raspberries. The seafood was perfect: tender and sweetly flavorful, the berries perfectly ripe (such a treat in February!). John had a made to order omelet and fresh strawberries. He then tried the ebi (shrimp sushi) and we each tried a small plate of braised short rib over mushroom risotto. It was not warm enough, but the flavors were superb: deep and rich and intense. I went for a made to order omelet (done perfectly) with a couple of slices of artisan bread (raisin and walnut in whole grain) and John tried some of the cheeses and cured meats. We finished with a handful of desserts: cookies, mouse, lemon tartlet, and a snickers cheesecake. Just little bites, and most were overly sweet. I’d recommend the lemon tartlet and the chocolate ‘pie’ martini. (I meant it when I said decadent, by the way. We skipped the fresh berry pancakes, the tenderloin carving station, the caviar station, and the other 10 desserts. Bloody mary’s and vodka shots were on the house. And the mimosas were endless.) This was an expensive, but for the variety and the time we spent there, and the fact that it was 2 meals worth, ameliorates the cost.
Now John is back to work (an hour long meeting) and then we’re going to go work out for an hour . . . then . . . SUPER BOWL!!!!
Tomorrow we’ll be doing some sightseeing, and Tuesday, too. I’ll report again then.