Monday, November 26, 2012

Iron Side Cafe

I have to admit I was very curious about trying out a small restaurant
located in the Little River Business District of Miami. It was the brainchild of Fernando Nascimento and Chef Nuno Grullon, both  formerly a part of Metro Organic Bistro. Located at 7600 NE 4th Court, on the Upper East Side, it's all about organic produce and grass fed beef at Iron Side Cafe.  Everything from the wine, to the food, to the eclectic surroundings reflect the laid back, natural feel of the place.

It was this fusion that initially caught my eye and my appetite. Their locally sourced menu changes according to what's in season. Owner/Chef Nuno Grullon, a Bronx native of Dominican descent, began learning the ropes early in his career from celebrity chefs such as Michelle Bernstein and David Kolotkin. His philosophy has always been rooted in the belief that organic, natural foods are the way to go, and he prepares them in a flavorful, innovative way. Combine this belief with Nascimento's Brazilian background, and my taste buds were in for a healthy, tasty carnival.

The area around the restaurant is primarily comprised of offices and studios for designers, architects and artists. The train tracks run parallel about a block down to the west and there aren't any other eateries in the immediate area, although Biscayne Boulevard is very close. As we parked, I wasn't sure what to expect but the minute we set foot inside, I was transfixed. The restaurant has two indoor, quaint areas; one with a communal table and the other with a counter across from where Chef Nuno works his magic. To the right of the communal table, there is a modern couch and a low table holding design books and magazines. I immediately got the feel of a warm loft; somewhere you can go relax and unwind in a bohemian ambiance  The decor included warm candles, guitars and contemporary furniture. It was an ecclectic mix that made you feel welcome and we loved it.

Outside, a terrace area with a romantic dining table and several couches, sat ready for conversation in the dim lighting. It was a picturesque setting where the surrounding greenery blended the indoors with the outdoors. The relaxing music played softly in the background, completing the mood and smoothly transitioning us into the weekend on this cool Friday night.

Casa L'Angel Red Wine

Spicy Tuna Tartare
Close-up of Crostini with Tartare
As I perused the menu, I learned from Nascimento that Iron Side Cafe has been open for lunch for about a year, and started serving dinner three months ago. While the lunch menu primarily offers gourmet sandwiches, salads and pizzas, the dinner menu showcases a combination of Nuno's and Nascimento's favorite dishes over the years. Looking forward to sampling an organic wine, I started off with a glass of Casa L'Angel, a red wine made with a blend of Spanish grapes. It had a sweet taste and a smooth finish. There were quite a few plates I wanted to start off with and after some serious soul searching, I narrowed it down to their Spicy Tuna Tartare (you know I can't resist) and a special of the evening: Chilled Avocado Soup with Pancetta. The Spicy Tuna Tartare was perfectly  prepared with Yellowfin Tuna, Red Onion, Capers and a Spicy Lemon Dressing that had intense flavor. It was served with Crostini and the yolk of a Quail Egg. Phenomenal! We mixed the egg with the tuna and just closed our eyes to enjoy the moment. The Chilled Avocado Soup was creamy and tasty, and the bits of Pancetta gave it an additional texture that brought it to a whole new level.

Chilled Avocado Soup with Pancetta
Before telling you about the entrees we had, I have to interject and tell you about their Organic Garden   Salad, made with Mixed Organic Baby Greens, Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes, Organic Portabella and Avocado. It's not only a delight for the sense of taste, but also for the sense of sight! A true work of art! The produce was fresh, the avocado was beautiful and the presentation spoke volumes of Chef Nuno's culinary passion.

Organic Garden Salad

Grass Fed Cut of the Day
Pork Chop
Next came the entrees.  I was really excited about trying The Grass Fed Cut of the Day, which was a New York Steak, and the Pork Chop. They were both juicy and packed with flavor. The steak was tender and lean, with a rich taste that pleased the palate. The pork chop was grilled and topped with Garlic Confit, and caramelized apples. It was served with a delicious Potato Salad and Organic Baby Arugula. We enjoyed the variety of flavors combined in the dish.

Chocolate Truffle Cake
As a sweet ending to this fabulous meal, we ordered the housemade Chocolate Truffle Cake, a flourless cake with a layer of walnuts on the bottom. Not quite a mousse, and not quite a cake, it was so creamy and thick, I couldn't stop licking my spoon. Next time, I probably won't share!

We really enjoyed our dinner at Iron Side Cafe and I am looking forward to a return trip soon to try their lunch. Stop by and treat yourself to this healthy, amazing experience, while you relax. If you're in the mood for some good tunes, come in on a Saturday night where they offer  live music or a DJ along with their great food. For more information, you can contact Iron Side Cafe at 305-759-0551 or visit them online at

Iron Side Cafe on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Glad you discovered Iron Side Cafe. It is truly a gem. If you see banana bread pudding, you gotta have it, drooly.