Friday, May 22, 2015

Siena Tavern - A Brunch You're Going To Love

It's the most wonderful meal of the weekend. Or at least a really, really good one. Brunch makes you feel sunny and cheerful and let's face it, Mimosas and Bloody Marys are a big part of it. I scouted out places to take the family out to for brunch and decided on Siena Tavern in Miami Beach, located at the old China Grill spot on 404 Washington Avenue.

Siena Tavern Miami

I happen to have a soft spot for this place because its owner/chef Fabio Viviani (you might know him from Top Chef and from his frequent guest appearances on shows like Good Morning America and The Chew) is quite the charismatic fellow. He's funny, extremely talented, and downright nice (not too hard on the eyes either). You can check out my interview with him prior to the opening of Siena Tavern here and a piece I did on Fabio and Bertolli Olive Oil during the SOBEWFF in 2014 here.

Smoked Salmon Board

Anyway, Siena Tavern has become a popular hotspot in South Beach since it opened and they have recently started serving brunch. The menu is extensive and contains many of the signature favorites the restaurant is known for, along with some traditional brunch staples. We started off with their Smoked Salmon Board, served with tomato, red onions, capers, cucumbers, cream cheese and their signature crispy dough. Now before I go any further, I have to tell you this dough is insane. It just melts in your mouth and makes you want to beg for more. The funny thing is, Viviani stumbled upon it by accident. It's one of those things where he was making pizza dough, stuff happened and poof, we got something that will make us cry out in pure ecstatic pleasure. Yes, it's that good.

We also ordered the Coccoli, which is an Antipasti consisting of, you guessed it, more of that crispy dough, creamy stracchino cheese, flavorful prosciutto di parma, and truffle honey. The sweet and savory combination of textures was amazing and I loved tasting the bold flavor of the prosciutto with the mild and delicate cheese  It's no wonder I have a thing for Italians...

Lobster Hash

Next we ordered the Lobster Hash and the Crispy Mortadella Eggs Benedict. The Lobster Hash was a true explosion of rich flavors that made its presence known. From the caramelized vegetables and house cured pancetta to the perfectly poached egg on top drizzled with truffle hollandaise, it was priceless. I couldn't stop eating it. Of course, I also wanted to bite into the Eggs Benedict, which were prepared with their own creative spin. At first I thought I was living my very own Dr. Seuss fantasy with a dish of Green Eggs and Ham, but then I realized it was more of a Chef Viviani experience with poached eggs topped with pesto hollandaise, sitting over crispy mortadella on a toasted brioche. Oh I like green eggs and ham, I do like them, Foodaholic I am.

Crispy Mortadella Eggs Benedict
Sticky Parmesan Potatoes

We decided to order a side dish to go with our eggs, and the one that stood out most for us was the Sticky Parmesan Potatoes. They were just begging us to bite into them with all that cheesy flavor. And of course, what's brunch without waffles? So we ordered a plate of Caramelized Waffles, served with fresh berries, nutella butter (that's right) and thick maple syrup.

Caramelized Waffles
You know me and my sweet tooth. So the waffles were a great start to satiate it but after looking at a plate of Monkeybread, I knew it was going to be one of those days. When I say Monkeybread, I want you to think sticky, heavenly, pull-apart, completely unadulterated pleasure on a plate, bathed in hazelnut cream, caramel and pieces of  candied hazelnuts. I could say more but I'm drooling a bit and quite honestly, there are people around me.


There was one more sweet adventure I had to try and that was some of their Bombolini, or warm, Italian doughnuts. Fabio's version is fun and decadent, served at the table with three little bottles containing fillings you can squeeze into your Bombolini: whisky caramel, chocolate hazelnut and raspberry chianti. My favorite was the chocolate hazelnut, but then again, you probably already knew that.


If you're planning to indulge in a nice brunch this weekend, you should definitely check out Siena Tavern. Go early, because valet parking does get full and it is a holiday weekend and Miami Beach, but the gastronomic experience will be well worth the trip. For more information, visit them online here.

Siena Tavern on Urbanspoon

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