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“Top Chef” winner Jeremy Ford sprouts his wings at Stubborn Seed.


Cuisine

Open
Dinner nightly, Brunch Sun.
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Stubborn Seed, Miami Beach, FL

Stubborn Seed Restaurant Review

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About the chef & restaurant: Jeremy Ford won Bravo’s “Top Chef” in season 13. At the time, he was right hand man to Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the ritzy Matador Room. The Florida-born chef also spent time in Los Angeles, specifically under the tutelage of Ludo Lefebvre. Such mentors prepared and formulated his style of cookery, which is best summed up as simply complex. When you're cooking for a packed house of 70, this can be a tough job to accomplish, but Ford and his team do it with precision and gusto, not to mention in front of those watching through the oversize glass window giving anyone dining a peek into the kitchen. The restaurant is outfitted with black lacquered tables and bold graffiti, giving it a dark industrial undertone that you might expect to find in a place like Wynwood rather than in South of Fifth.

About the food & cocktails: Cocktails are worthy of a round (or two) and like the food, excel both in terms of execution and presentation. Try the Dessert Daisy, which mixes tequila, beet, orange bell pepper, habanero shrub and lime. The concoction is finished with a habanero dust for good measure. As for comestibles, your best option is to let Ford steer the ship and opt into the chef's eight-course tasting menu ($125). Not only is it a bang for your buck, but also your palate. If you'd like to go the regular route, standouts include wahoo doused in fermented chili and buttermilk and crowned with kombu, sea grape and Asian pear; and a cracker-like lavash topped with rich chicken liver mousse spiked with bourbon and finished with chili jam. Highs are really high, such as with the warm celery root with crackling maitake, mustard froth, herbs and blossoms, as well as the smoked foie gras with crunchy Marcona almonds, Homestead boniato tortellini and spiced quince. Lows are nonexistent; even our least favorite dish, a slowly cooked snapper, was ideally cooked. Better is the roasted king salmon with caper sofrito and smoky pork. Leave plenty of room for Dallas Wynne's sweet finish in the form of corn Pavlovas and snickerdoodle cookies filled with her take on Nutella.

About the wine: If you're going to accompany your meal with wine, go for the fuller bodied varietals. Anything less falls flat next to Ford's food.





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