Wednesday, September 26, 2012

1500° at the Eden Roc Renaissance Hotel - Dessert for Dinner

1500 Degrees
Elegant and Chic Decor
You know how your parents always told you you couldn't have any dessert until you finished all of your dinner? Like me, you probably sat there and fantasized about what life would be like if there were no dinner, but just dessert. I lived out my dream recently by having a "Dessert for Dinner" adventure at 1500°, located at 4525 Collins Avenue in the Eden Roc Renaissance Hotel in Miami Beach. Featuring Pastry Chef Sole Nizzero's inventive desserts, it was the kind of night you wish would repeat itself over and over just like the one Bill Murray had on Groundhog Day.

Talented Chef Paula Da Silva

Assortment of Chutneys
Fresh fruit and cheese platter
1500° opened its doors in October 2010 and features creative, seasonal cuisine, following a farm-to-table approach. Using only the freshest local ingredients under the direction of award-winning Executive Chef Paul DaSilva, artisan dishes are carefully prepared, offering delicious flavor combinations that provoke the senses. Although I was embarking on a mind-blowing journey of sweetness overload, the evening started with some canapes, fruits and cheese tastings paired with housemade chutneys. 

Creating some tasty dishes

Tuna Poke on a Wonton Crisp
Grilled Watermelon & Ham Roll
The salty prelude of the night was so incredibly good, it was difficult not to overindulge. The chutneys were perfect and paired well with the variety of hard and soft cheeses. There was also a basket of housemade Lavash that was fresh and tasty. Unable to restrain myself, two canapes kept me casually strolling back to the table: the Tuna Poke on a Wonton Crisp and the Grilled Watermelon and Ham Roll. Amazing! The tuna was skillfully cut and seasoned with soy, pickled cucumber, toasted rice pearls, and sriracha aioli to create an exotic, refreshing bite that was addicting. The Grilled Watermelon and Ham Roll had a kick to it that said "Go ahead, I dare you to take another" and I just love a challenge. It was divine; combining the salty taste of prosciutto with the sweet flavor of fruit.

Pastry Chef Sole Nizzero

Banana Cream Pie
Coconut Rum Batida
Fast forwarding to Pastry Chef Sole Nizzero's Sugar Fest, the fun began with a Banana Cream Pie with Dulce de Leche Ice-Cream and Milk Crumb, paired with a Coconut Rum Batida. The room went silent as we put the first spoonful into our mouths. It was creamy and rich; the milk crumb giving it an extra texture that was fun and blended well with the cool dulce de leche ice-cream. The Coconut Rum batida was a great pairing that cleansed the palate and balanced the flavors. All the spectacular cocktails were created by mixologist Rafa Dulanto.

Roasted Figs with Corn Cake
Fig Bourbon Martini
The next treat was the Roasted Figs with Corn Cake, Goat Cheese Cream and Balsamic Ice-Cream, paired with my favorite drink of the night, Fig Bourbon and Roasted Maple Syrup Martini. Pastry Chef Sole Nizzero's creativity was busting at the seams with this one. The unexpected union of the roasted figs with the corn cake enticed the palate while the subtle taste of the ice-cream contributed a unique depth of flavor to the dessert. It all came together with the aromatic martini that brought a modern take to a timeless classic.

Learning about the decadent feast we were enjoying 

Benton's Bacon Doughnuts
Ice-Cream Float
My heart was racing and I couldn't stop smiling as I thought about how exciting this dinner was; continuous courses of desserts, now that's heaven on earth.  I looked down at my next sinful delight. It was one I had been anxiously awaiting: Benton's Bacon Doughnuts With White Chocolate Guinness Sauce, paired with Guinness and Chocolate Hazelnut Ice-Cream Float. Oh that combination of sweet and salty, creamy and crispy is something I cannot resist! And who thinks of white chocolate guinness sauce? Pastry Chef Sole Nizzero, that's who! I loved it. The bacon was bold and smoky while the doughnut was airy and light. Opposites definitely attracted here. The Guinness and Chocolate Hazelnut Ice-Cream Float was decadent and rich and the Guinness gave it a strong, unexpected taste.

Olive Oil and Yogurt Panna Cotta
Basil Limoncello Granita
For some reason, the Toys R Us song kept playing in my mind. I don't know if it was the whole "I don't want to grow up" part that was awakened by all these inspiring desserts or the "More Desserts More Drinks Oh Boy" lyrics I rewrote, but I definitely didn't want this adventure to end. Next, we were served the Olive Oil and Yogurt Panna Cotta With Tomato Jam, paired with a Basil Limoncello Granita. As you can see in the picture, the colorful presentation of this dessert was gorgeous; a true work of art. It had a smooth and creamy texture, and the tomato jam gave it a well-balanced medley of flavors that made the taste buds dance. The Basil Limoncello was whimsical and refreshing and served as an excellent palate cleanser. I could visualize myself drinking it as I lounged by the Eden Roc pool.

S'mores in a Jar and
Sweet Potato Ice-Cream Sandwich
Coffee and Assorted Liqueurs
Sadly, it was time for the last pairing. Everything was phenomenal up to this point, but I believe this was the moment we had all been waiting for; the star of the show; the grand finale: S'mores In A Jar. Let me elaborate. Imagine homemade toasted marshmallows, smoked chocolate peanut butter and graham cracker ice-cream joined together in sweet harmony. I don't remember much conversation during the moments we first dipped into this decadent masterpiece; just a series of happy moans. Next to it, sat a Sweet Potato Ice-Cream Sandwich made with a ginger cookie, pecan dust and toffee caramel. Outrageous! It was served with coffee and a shot of Kahlua and Bailey's. What an enchanted way to finalize this creative and original adventure.

The Amazing Team at 1500 and the happy dessert fanatics

Throughout our meal, the service we received from the team at 1500° was outstanding. They truly transmit their passion and dedication for what they do and Pastry Chef Sole Nizzero is a culinary gem. Two of these desserts are currently being offered on their menu: the Banana Cream Pie and Benton's Bacon Doughnuts, while the others may be available soon. If you haven't had a chance to visit 1500° at the Eden Roc, I highly encourage you to do so. I am very excited to be returning real soon for a dinner experience, and I can't wait to see what other gastronomical surprises they have in store. For more information on 1500°, you can contact them at  305-674-5594 or visit them online at

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1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Really nice blog... After seeing this images, i am eager to stay in Eden Roc Renaissance Hotel and have a dinner.......