Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Vintro Hotel & Kitchen - Fresh Flavors With a Lot of Charm

A couple of months ago, we were invited to a special party at the newest boutique hotel in South Beach, Vintro Hotel & Kitchen, to celebrate their being ranked one of the top 25 hotels in the U.S. by Trip Advisor's 2015 Traveler's Choice Awards. This prestigious award speaks volumes of the quality and service found at those spots that were recognized, because it is based on reviews and opinions from millions of travelers. So I put on my party dress and headed to South Beach for the occasion.

The hotel is quaint yet very Art Deco in style. It is located on 2216 Park Avenue, and while it is not directly adjacent to the water, it has shuttle service that will take you back and forth. Although the hotel kept a historical look about it, the rooms are fun and playful. I especially love the voyeuristic showers with invigorating showerheads in the suites facing straight into the bedroom. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? And the elevator is decorated in a real simple, yet cool fashion. The interior is wallpapered to look like a library so you don't know whether to step out, or start reading. 

I was so impressed with the overall trendy look of the place, I decided to come back a few weeks later to check out their restaurant. It is right off of the lobby, and also sports a very unique look, with a rustic charm that includes both vintage and retro accessories. The restaurant is managed by 2014 James Beard Award finalist Giorgio Bakastias (who also happens to be the Executive Chef). We sat down in a quiet spot and enjoyed the ambiance while we looked at the menu. I noticed immediately that most of the dishes have influences from the Mediterranean, with an inspiration of Latin flavors. The ingredients are locally sourced, and they follow a slow food movement in the preparation of their food.

Luis Antezana, the restaurant's Chef de Cuisine, was the chef onsite the evening of my visit. After a few bites of his creations, I immediately knew Antezana was very talented. The combination of flavors in each dish worked well, and the presentation was artistic.

We started the evening with Vintro Kitchen's Artisanal Bread and House Marinated Olives, along with a glass of champagne. It was an excellent way to begin the Mediterranean adventure. While looking at the menu, the first thing that jumped out at me were the Croquettes. The popular appetizer consisted of Goat Cheese, Prosciutto and Vegetable Croquettes. Now you know these little circular flavor bursts are my friends, so we ordered them to see Vintro's take on these delicacies.

Artisanal Breads and Hand Marinated Olives

Goat Cheese, Prosciutto and Vegetable Croquettes

From there on, we sampled a selection of appetizers that was to die for. From their tender Octopus to their fresh and tasty Tuna, we were in Mediterranean bliss.

The entree was no less impressive. We selected the Whole Fish of the Day, which happened to be Branzino, and that was a sight for sore eyes. Our wonderful waiter took out the bones for us tableside and we both loved the mild, flaky flavor of the fish.

For side dishes, we tried the Potato Wedges and the Fire Roasted Brussel Sprouts. I have to tell you the brussel sprouts were insanely good. Chef Antezana prepares them with honey and pistachios, which provides the palate with a pleasantly sweet and crunchy surprise. I could've taken a bag home to eat while I watch Netflix on the couch.

Dessert was sweet and light, consisting of a fruity Panna Cotta that left a smile on our face. It was smooth and refreshing, adding the perfect ending touch to the meal

The staff at Vintro Kitchen is unbelievable, and made us feel right at home from beginning to end. If you haven't paid this charming, friendly spot a visit, I recommend you do.

For more information, visit their website or for reservations, call 305-674-9200.

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1 comment:

  1. Looks like a great place with delicious food! Great post thanks