THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Mark's South Beach
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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Mark's South Beach Restaurant Review: This South Beach outpost of renowned local chef Mark Militello is located in the fashionable Hotel Nash, a trendy upscale boutique property that (like the restaurant) attracts a clientele to match. Militello is a pioneer when it comes to the South Florida culinary scene, having discovered some twenty years ago the bounty of desirable local ingredients the region has to offer. Chef Larry LaValley runs the kitchen now and strictly adheres to Mark's trademark style of innovative meals imbued with sophisticated and exotic imports. The ingredients have integrity: potatoes are fingerling, lentils are clay braised, tomatoes and beets are organic, the vinaigrette is made with aged sherry, and so on. Signature starters still impress, like tuna tartare with lemon grass oil and avocado, and cracked conch two ways---as ceviche, and scorched with vanilla rum. An entrée of black grouper finds an impeccably poached fish in sweet herb broth, with artichoke hash, and blue crab rémoulade. Militello doesn't shy away from beef like many of his South Florida peers, and tends to prepare meat a little more classically, a little less whimsically than his seafood. Prosciutto-wrapped veal tenderloin releases its flavorful juices into Parmesan risotto; pistachio-crusted rack of lamb is roasted to perfection and accompanied by braised endive, potato gratin, and a deep red wine reduction. Desserts by pastry chef Juan Villaparedes are as intensely flavored as the food, none more so than the Gianduja chocolate terrine with double chocolate sorbet. You might prefer to cool down your well-stimulated palate with any number of exotic sorbets, like sapote-margarita or mango-star anise. Five-course and dessert tasting menus are offered with pairings from a pricey, worldly-wise wine list. Service is solid if unspectacular, and the dining room as chic as a low-ceiling space can be.