Friday, August 9, 2013

Box Park (CLOSED)

Back in February, I promised you I'd let you know as soon as Part 2 of the trio of gastronomic and thirst-quenching fun became a reality at the Axis Condominium Building in Brickell. As promised, I am excited to let you know that Box Park, located at 1111 S.W. 1st Avenue, is now open and serving up a respectable mouthful of their tag line "Food Unfiltered" philosophy.

The bar features a nice selection of original cocktails

Walking in to the cozy, relaxed space, I noticed the focus is immediately drawn to the spacious, open kitchen in the back. Executive Chef Matt Hinckley uses locally sourced ingredients to create his farm-to-table favorites. He receives much of his inspiration from his extensive travels, and the global influence of his experiences can be tasted in his dishes. Box Park participates in a unique restaurant certification and consulting program called SPE, born from the Latin phrase Sanitas Per Escam, which literally means "Health Through Food". It is designed to enhance the nutritional quality of meals without compromising taste. Developed by both chefs and dieticians, SPE works with restaurants and chefs to develop delicious dishes that promote healthy living, through the use of grains, fruits and vegetables, quality protein and healthy fats. It's a great concept because unfortunately, we usually associate healthy eating with bland food. This program bridges the gap by ensuring the specific ingredient combinations are not only nutritious, but also pleasing to the palate.

Behold the Boxmopolitan and the Saketini
After this bit of information, I got to sample a wide variety of the menu items offered at Box Park, many of which are classified under the SPE program, and let me tell you, clean-plate living can be a reality for a foodaholic like me. The dishes were tasty, satisfying and interestingly presented. But instead of rambling on and on, let me take you through them in this festival of foodporn, and show you a few of my favorites.

Kumamoto Oysters served with Pickle Juice Mignonette
Brickell Pickles - Out-of-season local vegetables

Kimchi- consisting of house-fermented cabbage, carrot,
scallion, chili, ginger and garlic **

Smoked Octopus- One of my top picks served with
horseradish mustard, pickled onion and saltines

Citrus-Cured Yellowjack - Refreshing ceviche with scallion,
cilantro, sweet potato, aji amarilo and chulpe **

Fried Alligator - Another popular favorite - they were
crispy, well-seasoned and served with datil pepper sauce

Duck Liver Pate - My #1 dish of the night - the creamy
delight was served with smoked peach jam on a charred bread

Bone Marrow - served with parsley, capers, red onion, chervil,
lemon, and charred bread

Their selection of  bread changes daily and is served with flax
seed dukkah and evoo

Goose Rillette - a nice treat served with cornichons, caperberries,
homebrew mustard and charred bread

Box Park Charcuterie - They offer a vast selection including
Whipped Lardo, Coppa, Piquante, Duck Prosciutto, Chorizo,
Wild Boar Finocchiona, Saucisson Sec and Amberjack Jerky

Mediterranean Salad - Light and refreshing, it is a medley of
romaine, red pepper, olives, red onion, cucumber, chick peas,
pepperoncini, and mint, topped with feta and drizzled with red
wine vinaigrette **

Watermelon and Crispy Pork Belly - Bam! I had dreams with
this one!

Chilled Beets - Orange, scallion, living yogurt, mint, saffron
dukkah, and harissa vinaigrette

Ancient Grain Salad - Changes daily and it's downright
irresistible. You can choose to add a farm egg, rock shrimp
or duck ham for an additional price **

Florida Mango & Burrata - Need I say more? Sweet and
salty colorful explosion with basil, evoo and chili salt

Pan-Seared Yellowjack with swiss chard, fennel and
muhammara **

Grilled Bison Shortrib  served with kale and polenta in
mouth-watering game jus

Margherita Pizza  with San Marzano Tomato, Mozzarella and
Basil - Or choose from the Herbivore, Carnivore, and
Omnivore!

BBQ Rabbit Wings - Loved the sweet and savory flavor
served with pickled okra and chives

Mango Tart Dessert - Spiced Custard, mango, passion
fruit and lime

Daily Sorbets - Creamy and light

Are you hungry yet? If you're adventurous like me, they have an option on the menu called "Just send food" where for a fixed price, the chef will send out a selection of dishes to try. You can even choose to have it with or without a wine or beer pairing. For more information on Box Park, visit their website at http://boxparkmiami.com/.

** SPE

Box Park on Urbanspoon

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