Late Brunch at Ariete
Miami Spice 2016 is here! Super excited cos a list of curated restaurants are offering 3 course meals for under $39. We booked a late 2pm lunch at Ariete, only to arrive to realise, they don't do Miami Spice menu offerings on weekends. They have a special brunch menu on Sundays.
The OpenTable app was really confusing to be honest. Firstly it is the only way to book a Miami Spice listed restaurant. Not very intuitive at all. For example, there was no map on the app to show you nearby spots. Not even a list by distance. It's quite annoying especially when you are trying to find out which restaurant is listed on Miami Spice and which of those are nearby. Near impossible.
So anyway, after arriving and getting over our disappointment, we decided, let's just have brunch. It can't be far from decent. However, because we were late (brunch finishes at 3pm), some of the offerings on the menu (which we wanted!) were sold out! The Duck Preparada (duck confit!), Lobster Roll(!!) and the Bagel & Lox (pastrami salmon, squid ink bagel and soft boiled eggs!!!) were out. Not allowing ourselves to be devastated, we soldier on.
We ordered the Eggs Anyway, Benedict and the French Toast Sticks. Pretty standard brunch choices.
The star was the Benedict - a simple pair of gruyere biscuits topped with a chorizo sausage patty and poached egg, hollandaise and sprinkled with a generous smother of papitas (shoe string potato chips). The combination was excellent. The biscuit was perfectly soft and goes so well with the juicy chorizo with the perfectly poached egg (yes, runny yolk) and juct enough hollandaise. This is a Benedict that does not overpower with sauce. Every element is just right. I can't even begin to describe this anymore. Every cliche food description was at the tip of my tongue. The paptias added a nice crunchy element to the dish. Simply satisfying.
We can't say the same for the Eggs Anyway. Maybe it was the chef's bad day. We asked for scrambled eggs and it arrived overcooked like an omelette. Very, very disappointed. We could have sent it back but, we were too hungry to bother. The rest of the elements on the plate were just plain lacklustre. The thick cut bacon was a nice touch but severely burnt. The sausage patties were ok. The buns were the only saving grace. Can't believe how much disappointment can be had in one single dish. I mean, getting eggs right should be a basic thing.
However, all is not lost. It's usually a good idea to share a sweet plate to finish. We were really taken by the simplicity and elegance of the French Toast Sticks. They arrived looking gorgeously generous. We love generous. 4 thick slab sticks of french brioche goodness drizzled with just enough condensed milk to be soaked heavy and light at the same time. Cinnamon sugary crunchy on the outside, each bite was just rewarding.
In spite of our disappointment at 1/3 of our brunch, we would come back again at some stage. Mostly because we want to try the duck, lobster and salmon that we missed out on. And - the indoor ambience was intriguing. There's an underground private dining area with lounge seats and a wine cellar!
But this time, perhaps dinner.
Ariete is at 3540 Main Highway, Miami, FL 33133