Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Tantalize Miami - 50 Shades of Sexiness

Miami is known for taking things to a whole new level. We mix food, cocktails and passion as easily as we do peanut butter, jelly and a touch of foie gras. It's no wonder the recently opened Tantalize Miami fits right into the Miami Beach scene, smack in the middle of trendy 330 Lincoln Road.

Tantalize Miami First Floor

The first thing you think of when you walk into the two-story, seductive space, is "Wait...does Christian Grey own this spot? And if he does, where can I grab a blindfold and join him?" Tantalize Miami's decor is inspired by classic Neo-Baroque dinner theatre, and evolves into a visual representation of damask patterns, sparkling chandeliers, over-sized mirrors and rich hues of gold, deep red and jet black. The velvety textures and sultry lighting set the stage for the alluring entertainment guests enjoy while indulging in the tantalizing cuisine and libations.

Tantalize Miami Second Floor

The goal is huge. Tantalize Miami promises to take guests on a multisensory adventure that combines world-class food, creative cocktails and interactive sensual entertainment, all set to an eclectic soundtrack of jazz, soul, electro swing, alternative and dance music. Through the use of blindfolds, and other visual stimulation, guests are transported to a sophisticated atmosphere that touches upon both the playful and the mysterious; allowing the imagination to take over for a couple hours. I know my date walked out of there with a smile on his face and quite excited about going out with me again. (Of course, I like to think that's because of my physical attributes and charming personality.)

I'm sure my date is thinking about me right now 

James Beard Award Semifinalist, Chef Horacio Rivadero, has taken the helm as Executive Chef at Tantalize Miami, bringing his culinary passion and vast experience in Pan Latin, Spanish and Caribbean cuisine to the exciting spot. His past accolades include being named as Food and Wine Magazine's "Best New Chef for the Gulf Region" in 2012, and becoming a semifinalist in 2014 for the coveted James Beard Award for the "Best Chef South" category. It's no wonder then that my favorite part of the entire adventure was indeed the gastronomical portion of it. I loved the way Rivadero put together a variety of multicultural flavors to bring sheer pleasure to the palate.

Our evening started off with a cocktail called The Temptress; a sweet and fruity concoction of  St. George Terrior Gin, Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur, Aperol and Fresh Lemon Juice. We looked at the evening's  menu and decided to order the Wagyu Sirloin Beef Tartar and the Bacalaito Fritters. The beef tartar was amazing, prepared with horseradish, scallions, crispy shallots and baby sweet cornichons, then topped with a sunny side up quail egg and Hungarian paprika, and served with a stack of toast points. The codfish fritters were just as tasty, made with the right amount of seasoning and a pleasant texture. The Caribbean staple was served with heirloom tomatoes, bits of avocado, Vidalia onions, boquerones and oregano leaves. The presentation of both of these dishes was very appealing.

Wagyu Sirloin Beef Tartar

Bacalaito Fritters

Seeing as there was one more appetizer featured on the menu, and it was a salad, we decided to try it as well. We were both hungry and everything was so good so far, that we figured, why not? The salad is called B&B, and it consists of strawberries, roasted red and yellow beets, lettuce, and goat cheese mousse, drizzled with balsamic glaze and strawberry vinaigrette. It was a light, refreshing explosion of sweet and savory tastes we enjoyed putting in our mouths.


Next up were the entrees. In between burlesque dancing and seductive music, we temporarily forgot we hadn't ordered yet. After looking through the choices for the night, we went for a fish and a meat. I chose the Cobia and my date picked the Cuban Boxer. They were both good choices but I have to tell you, of the two, I was blown away with his pork dish. The Cuban Boxer was a juicy and tender serving of braised pork shoulder, served with yuca bathed in a flavorful mojo, sitting over a pool of black bean puree, then crowned with a colorful pickled cabbage salad. Wow. It was mind blowing. One of those toe-curling, eye-rolling experiences you want to bring home to mother. The Cobia was tasty as well, just not as fireworks-setting as the pork, and it was served with a garnish of chorizo and plantain gremolata, atop a bed of hearts of palm escabeche, balsamic glazed roasted plantains and brussel sprouts. The whole masterpiece was then drizzled with clam mojo.

Cuban Boxer


After basking in the aphrodisiac ambiance with a bit more entertainment , we ordered dessert. We chose the Quinoa Coconut Pudding and the Flan de Chocolate. Can you guess which one was mine? The pudding was a creative dish, served with lucuma ice-cream and toasted coconut. My favorite though, was the chocolate flan, which was enhanced with some raspberry coulis and a side of sweet "Morir Sonando" ice cream.

Quinoa Coconut Pudding

Flan de Chocolate

Personally, I thought Tantalize Miami was a fun, delicious spot to go on a date and enjoy a very Miamiesque kind of evening. The food was superb, the cocktail was enticing, and the entertainment was out-of-the-box. For more information, visit their website here.

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