Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gourmet Diner in Miami

Gourmet Diner

Being in the States Diners are not necessarily associated with gourmet, but wow, I was proven wrong this weekend while back in Miami.

I am just waiting to join the next ship up in Fort Lauderdale and after being a day in the office I had time to go shopping and have a bite to eat. This time I am staying in the Wyndham Hotel, which is basically next to the airport. All the other hotels were full so I had to go here. In general the hotel is not bad, but no comparison with the other hotels I usually stay. I had a lovely dinner last night, a steak with salad……which unfortunately did not agree with me for some reason and my tummy was not feeling well at all in the morning.

Never mind that, Bruno, the Corporate Executive Chef came to fetch me in the morning that we can go shopping a bit, just all the necessities one needs, tooth paste and so on, so off we went and I got everything I needed. Then we decided to have some lunch and Bruno saw this little diner called Gourmet Diner. So in we went and what a surprise we had. The diner runs since 1983 and the interior is so typical Diner, blue plastic chairs, simple interior. But then we saw the menu we were totally surprised with what we saw.

Fresh Artichoke with vinaigrette
Steamed Mussels
French Onion Soup
Brisket in jus
Snails in Garlic Butter
Snapper Provencale

Wow what a treat.

So we had an artichoke to share as a starter, plain and nice, we picked off the leaves and dunked them into the vinaigrette deeply in discussions about food, products, foie gras and cooking. Then we had a brisket sandwich with its own jus. What a treat to have the soft and tender braised brisket in the crunchy baguette, with melted cheese, wow. We dunked the sandwich in the jus and loved every bit, for me the best Diner I have been to (and there are quite a few of them.

The owner has to be from Europe, there is just too much lovely food there and I will for sure be back, inviting maybe Mike and Marilynn for a treat as they have always looked so well after me while here in Miami.

It is a little bit of a drive to get to this Diner, it is on Biscayne Boulevard driving north from the city centre, fairly close to Aventura Mall on the right side and yes, it is simply called Gourmet Diner, a real treat!!!!!!

But now a little recipe, let’s go a little gourmet too

Seafood on Saffron Risotto for 4 people

120 g (4 oz) Risotto rice
50 g (2 oz) Onions
15 ml (0.5 oz) Olive oil
60 ml (2 oz) White wine
300 ml (10 oz) Chicken stock
1 g (0.05 oz) Saffron
60 g (3 oz) Butter
30 g (1 oz) Parmesan, grated

Cut the onions in fine cubes
Heat the olive oil to medium heat, add the onions.
Shallow fry till translucent, then add risotto rice.
Again fry till nearly translucent, but no color.
Add white wine and saffron, simmer, stirring all the times
Then add chicken stock and simmer uncovered till rice is al dente. You might have to add a little more chicken stock, depending on the rice.
Add ice cold butter and parmesan just before serving
Season to taste

8 ea Scallops
8 ea Prawns
8 ea Mussels
120 g (4 oz) Snapper
120 g (4 oz) Eggplant
90 g (3 oz) Cherry tomatoes
Olive oil

Cut the eggplant in cubes, half the cherry tomatoes.
Fry the eggplant in olive oil till tender, season to taste, add the cherry tomatoes at the very end to avoid them getting too soft.
Fry all the seafood, season to taste.

Place the risotto in deep bowls and top with the seafood.
Top with the fried eggplant.
Next Blog will be about the new ship I am on, the Equinox, a dream of a ship, so much I can already tell you!

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