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JUNE 2018

KOBE BEEF The World’s Best




Madrid Tapas y Vinos


Nusret with Alex Forster


I have been asked by many of our readers why I always write such positive reviews about the restaurants in every issue. The reason is very simple. I believe in the old adage “if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all”. Have I had bad experiences while dining out for Gourmet Pleasures? The answer is a resounding yes, but my mission is to guide you to the best places to enjoy a meal. The Gourmet Pleasures website and magazine is not supported by ad revenue, but by my love of good food. If I’ve had a bad experience I’d rather forget about it and move on. Life is too short to focus on the negative. Speaking of best places, last week I revisited Hakkasan, a Gourmet Pleasures top ten restaurant. I had the pleasure of meeting with Ryan Wolf, the manager of this Miami Beach location, and presented him with our award plague. We could not leave without eating. As always, the food, service and ambiance was excellent! This month’s article “Good food - Bad Company” was written by my senior editor, Ellen Rosenfeld. How many of you can relate to its subject matter? I know I can. To all the Dads out there, Happy Father’s Day. I hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Gourmet Pleasures.

Rene Buroz CEO/Founder

Content: 2 HEAD TO HEAD:




Good food Vs. Bad company ZUMA

Where to eat when cycling in KB Nusret with Alex Forster


Bartenders and Mixologists



Gastronomy and Social Media

Kobe beef

16 CULTURAL CORNER: Madrid Tapas y Vinos

FOUNDER/CEO Gourmet Pleasures Rene Buroz (2018) Editor in Chief/ Creative Design Margie Castro Senior Editor: Ellen Rosenfeld Assosiate editor: Oswaldo Pisfil PHOTOGRAPHY GP Photography @ReneGourmet @DroneProductions

CONTRIBUTORS Gabriela Morales Alex Forster Hillarin Soto Matt Wagner Lili Tique PUBLISHED BY Stage Wynwood LLC 2018 Head Office: 350 S. Miami Ave Ste. A Miami, Fl. 33130

FOR OTHER ENQUIRIES, PLEASE VISIT: © Copyright 2018 Gourmet Pleasures. All rights reserved. While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein. @GourmetPleasures



Head to Head

Good food vs. bad company

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By Ellen Rosenfeld

he other day I was speaking with a friend of mine and he told me that he had dinner the night before with a client. They had gone to a restaurant that we had dined in together very recently and where we had enjoyed a fabulous meal. Everything was delicious and there was one particular dish that “blew our minds”. My friend told me how disappointed he was with this latest meal, including the dish we absolutely loved. I then remembered a conversation that we had the week before, in which my friend voiced his displeasure with another meal at another of our favorite restaurants. He had dined there with the same client. It took me only a moment to make the connection. Was it the food or was it the company? Granted, restaurants can be inconsistent at times but it seemed rather coincidental that on the two occasions my friend dined with this person the food was sub par. This really started me thinking about how much our choice of company can affect our enjoyment of an experience, such as a meal at a restaurant. When we review a restaurant we are influenced by the atmosphere, but isn’t part of the atmosphere the people we are with. When you are with people you enjoy you tend to be happy. Many articles have been written about how our senses can alter our happiness but can’t it also be the other way around. When we are happy maybe our food tastes better. And if we are unhappy, or bored, maybe a good meal suffers. I don’t know if this is something you can prove and it is definitely beyond my skill set. What I do know is this, if you have enjoyed a restaurant in the past and then have a bad experience, maybe you should give them another chance. It may not have been their fault.

our choice of company “can affect our enjoyment of an experience ”


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ZUMA By @ReneGourmet

In the heart of downtown Miami is the Japanese restaurant Zuma. Its unmistakable style fuses with the authentic flavors of Japanese food but with the latest trends in world cuisine.


Where Art and Food Meet


he environment is fun, energetic and elegant, all at the same time. This is a fashionable dining spot where everyone goes to see and be seen. If you dine there you may see Jlo, Pitbull, Miss Universe Ximena Navarrete or one of the Kardashians sitting at a nearby table. Our first indication that we were about to have a memorable meal was the service. Zuma does not believe in anything but perfection. The service is impeccable. The waitstaff is very knowledgeable about the menu, the ingredients in each dish, and warn about any possible allergies. They are quick to anticipate your any need. Presentation is also paramount to Zuma. The food is picture perfect and is served on exquisite and colorful 6 |

platters, many handmade in Japan, some costing as much as $500.00. On our recent visit, Gourmet Pleasures began with drinks. Zuma boasts of one of the best Sake lists available including one, biwa no choju, which is brewed exclusively for them. They also have an excellent wine and cocktail menu. Our favorite cocktail was the Passion Fruit Martini. Zuma’s menu is extensive with seasonal dishes, soup and salads, seafood, sushi, meat and dessert. Their main method of cooking is the robata (actual Japanese name is robatayaki) which is similar to barbecue. Items are cooked at varying speeds over hot charcoal adding a spectacular taste to the food. We ordered a wide variety of dishes that we shared at our waiter’s

suggestion. For appetizers, we enjoyed the Fried Soft Shell crab with mizuna and wasabi mayo, presented in crunchy and creamy halves with that touch of wasabi at the end. We also found the Watercress Salad with avocado, wasabi and cucumber very refreshing. The Tuna and Salmon Tartare was one of our favorites This was different from the traditional preparation, as Zuma presents it in the form of a very soft pasta, subtly seasoned. If you wish, you can spread it on some crackers for a delightful variation. It should almost be mandatory to order the Kurobuta pork belly skewers with yuzu mustard miso. It is soft and juicy and loaded with flavor. We added fresh shaved truffles to the rice hot pot with mushrooms

and Japanese vegetables. It was similar in creaminess to a risotto and the mushrooms were enhanced by the amazing black truffles. Another mandatory dish, in our opinion, is the King Crab with ponzu lime butter. This is a work of art. The thickness of the sauce with the acidic touch of the ponzu combine perfectly with the texture of the shellfish. Gourmet Pleasures could not resist the grilled scallops with pickled plum and shiso and mentaiko butter. The magic of the butter and the flavor of the charcoal from the robata contributed beautifully to the strong but very delicious and succulent flavor. If you are a meat lover, Zuma offers several options from skirt steak to the decedent wagyu tomahawk steak with fresh truffles. Please do not miss desserts no matter how full you are. They are enticing and unique. We were very impressed by the yuzu and key lime meringue pie. This is far from your usual key lime pie. The yuzu is a fruit that tastes like a mixture of lime and grapefruit and it adds the perfect citrus flavor. Gourmet Pleasures could not leave without ordering Zuma’s famous Chocolate Fondant with the name of the restaurant decorating the top. The atmosphere, service and quality of the food at Zuma is A+. All of these reasons make Zuma one of our top 10 restaurants in Miami deserving of our “Gourmet Pleasures” Award.


270 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 33131 (305) 577-0277 @ZumaMiami JUNE 2018 GOURMET PLEASURES | 7

Bartenders and Mixologists By @ReneGourmet

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hile some of us always order the same old boring cocktail everytime we go to a bar or restaurant, there are those who enjoy trying out new and exotic creations. Often times we are left wishing we knew the exact recipe so that we could create the drink at home. Behind each of these perfect concoctions is one or more bartenders or mixologists working their magic at the bar. The job of a bartender appears to be an easy and fun job that anyone could do, but in reality that is not so. Like many careers, bartending requires an education. A person hoping to get a good job as a bartender should attend an academy of bartending. There, a group of professionals will provide them with the necessary tools and knowledge to prepare all of the universal cocktails and, in addition, how to treat the customers they serve. These courses usually have a duration of about one month with classes Monday through Friday for at least 5 hours per day. Of course, there are bartenders that have not attended these courses, but in today’s world in order to a get good job at an upscale location, a certificate from a professional academy is a necessity. Good bartenders develop their own styles and are often very secretive about their cocktail recipes. There was a South Florida restaurant that I ate at often that served the most fantastic watermelon martini. Although I didn’t sit at the bar, the bartender could always tell when I was there simply by the amount of watermelon martini orders he got. After many years dining there I finally dared to approach the bartender and ask for the recipe. I guess he like my persuasive style and generous encouragement (tip) because now this is one of the favorite drinks of my friends when they visit my home.

Ingredients: 60 ml (2 oz) Vodka 30 ml (1 oz) Watermelon Pucker Schnapps Splash of Triple Sec Garnish: Small piece of fresh watermelon Directions: 1. Fill cocktail shaker with ice cubes until 2/3 full 2. Add first three ingredients and shake well until shaker becomes frosted and water droplets appear on outside 3. Strain and pour into chilled martini glass 4. Garnish with fresh watermelon 5. Enjoy!



the hottest meat in today’s marketplace By @ReneGourmet

Meat lovers are always looking for delicious options to please their palates. When it comes to red meat you definitely get what you pay for. It is well known that the United States Department of Agriculture rates beef at different grades depending on factors such as tenderness, juiciness and flavor. These grades are USDA Prime, USDA Choice and USDA Select. The grade of the beef determines what you, as the consumer, will pay in a store or restaurant. More about this in a later issue.


he highest quality of beef available in the world today is Kobe Beef. This is beef from the Tajima strain of Japanese Black cattle raised in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture. They are raised according to strict rules set by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association. This beef is known for its exceptional flavor highlighted by its extreme tenderness due to its marbling. Marbling is the intermingling and dispersion of intramuscular fat. Kobe Beef is so soft you can cut it with a fork. Kobe Beef should not be confused with Wagyu which is becoming increasingly popular on restaurant menus. Immediately after slaughter, the cattle is tested for so- called “mad cow disease” (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). If the cow proves disease proof the following requirements must be met before it can be sold as Kobe Beef. The cattle must have been born in the Hyogo Prefecture and have pure Tajima lineage. It must be a virgin cow or a bullock (castrated bulls) and must be raised to maturity. The cattle must be slaughtered in a slaughterhouse certified by the prefecture. The use of the carcass must be greater than 69% and weigh less than 470 kg. The marbling index must be between 6 and 12. 12 |


sually Japanese restaurants that serve Kobe Beef are given a Chrysanthemum shaped stamp or seal to display, as the Chrysanthemum is the national flower of Japan. The beef is marked with this same seal and is delivered to the restaurant with a certificate of authenticity accompanied by the snout of the “cow” and an identification number also bearing the Chrysanthemum seal.

The Difference between Wagyu and Kobe. As was mentioned before, many restaurants worldwide now offer Wagyu Beef on their menu. This can be very confusing for the average consumer and may lead to people paying for something that they assume is Kobe Beef but isn’t. Let’s start by noting that Wagyu roughly translates to “Japanese cattle”. There are four breeds that qualify as Wagyu, namely Japanese Black, Japanese Shorthorn, Japanese Brown and Japanese Polled. Only the Japanese Black that meet all the aforementioned criteria can be called Kobe Beef. So in practice, how can a restaurant patron avoid being cheated. Well, one of the more forceful methods is to ask to see the certificate of authenticity with the traditional Chrysanthemum stamp and the weight and date of issue plus the snout of the animal. Also extreme would be to ask to see the seal on the actual piece of beef, Remember, Wagyu can be cheaper than Kobe increasing the restaurant’s profit. But in my opinion, the key to determining what you are actually being served is the marbling of the meat. You can respectfully asked to see the raw cut you are ordering before it is cooked. This way you can see the distribution of fat throughout the meat. The more fat you see, the greater chance it is true Kobe Beef. Genuine Kobe Beef will have a much whiter color than a normal cut of beef. JUNE 2018 GOURMET PLEASURES | 13

What Makes Kobe Beef the World’s Best?


t is important to know that much of the intramuscular fat in Kobe Beef is unsaturated fat. Although, we have been taught to believe that fat is not good for your health, unsaturated fat actually lowers your overall cholesterol by lowering the bad fat and increasing the good fat. Kobe beef also has high levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 and Omega-6 are essential for good health and are not naturally produced by the body and must be obtained through diet. I recently had the good fortune to dine at Beef Mikaku in the city of Kyoto, Japan. I tasted two different cuts of Kobe beef prepared in Teppanyaki style. The marbling was incredible; the color of the meat practically white. The beef melted in my mouth, almost like cotton candy, I was able to speak with the chef who told me he was the third generation of his family to work in this restaurant. He gave me a tour of the kitchen and showed me the certificate of authenticity of the Kobe beef I had dined on. If you are wondering about the price, all I can say is this was not an inexpensive experience. 150 grams (approximately 5.2 ounces) of this beef cost $155.00. For those meat lovers who have not had the opportunity to taste this delicacy, you must add this to your “bucket� list.

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The Black Tajima-ushi produce this highlyprized meat (kobe beef).


Pimientos agridulces con queso de cabra

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Cultural Corner

Madrid Tapas y Vinos

By @ReneGourmet


urprisingly, there is not an abundance of Spanish restaurants in South Florida. There are many Spanish “style” dining establishments, but few that serve truly authentic Spanish cuisine. We wanted to find a place that made us feel like we were in Spain and we found that at Madrid Tapas y Vinos. Located on Le Jeune Road, this is a small, but romantic spot. We visited it on a Sunday evening and the first thing we noticed was the live Spanish music and the extraordinary atmosphere. We were greeted by a waiter of Spanish nationality who made excellent food recommendtions.To start, we ordered several tapas. Popular throughout Spain, tapas are small appetizers or snacks. The first item we sampled was Pincho Tortilla. This was a potato omelette loaded with texture. We then had the ham croquettes which were creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. While we were enjoying

our refreshing Sangria, our waiter appeared with the Chistorra Flambeada, sweet Spanish sausage on “fire”. They were ignited at our table which really impressed us. The Gambas al Ajillo ( garlic shrimp ) and the Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician style octopus) were both delicious. For our main dish, we had the Paella de Marisco which had jumbo shrimp, calamari, green beans and red peppers. The rice was absolutely perfect and the chef was very generous with the shrimp and calamari, The flavor was perfect. Our dessert was the Tocinillo del Cielo. This was a type of creamy flan on a bed of shredded coconut, an ideal way to end this very enjoyable meal. Madrid Tapas y Vinos will make you forget you are in South Florida. Reservations are suggested, especially on the weekends. JUNE 2018 GOURMET PLEASURES | 17

FIND THEM AT 525 NW 42nd Ave, Miami, FL 33126 (786) 391-2471

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Introducing our Awards This month, we had the pleasure of presenting Hakkasan with the Gourmet Pleasures Award for being one of the top ten restaurants in Miami. Congrats from our team!!

Follow Us!

@GourmetPleasures GourmetPleasuresMagazine @GourmetPMag JUNE 2018 GOURMET PLEASURES |19

Where to Eat when Cycling in Key Biscayne


he City of Key Biscayne in South Florida is a paradise for cyclists. From the toll entrance to the end of the Island, you can clearly see the dedicated bike lanes where thousands of biking enthusiasts ride each year. This scenic location is truly a mecca for those who like bike riding, but where can all of these athletes go to recharge their energy? Key Biscayne is the home to over 50 dining options, but not all are suited to the schedule and needs of cyclists. We want to give you our recommendations. The Argentinian restaurant Patagonia Nahuen is located in the Square Plaza, 260 Crandon Boulevard. It is easily accessible to bike riders and its schedule is convenient for those “rolling” in the morning hours. Their menu offers a wide variety of empanadas, including the exceptional four cheese, chorizo and corn and chicken. They also prepare excellent hot or cold sandwiches, wraps, and salads. Their coffee is always fresh and they are known for their homemade pastries. Another dining options is The Golden Hog located 20|

at 91 Harbor Drive. This is an upscale local market that has been in business since 1995, with a large selection of sandwiches and bakery items. Their menu varies daily, but we recommend that you try one of their natural juices, a healthy choice to replenish vitamins and minerals. The “Green Hog” is a mix of spinach, kale, celery, cucumber, parsley, pineapple, ginger and orange. The “Green Detox” combines spinach, kale, celery, cucumber, parsley, ginger and lemon. And the “Vita Bliss” is a heavenly concoction of mango, strawberry, papaya, banana and orange. For those of you who want to be close to the water and enjoy a spectacular view, we recommend Boater’s Grill located at 1200 Crandon Boulevard. This is at the end of the island inside of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and, again, easily accessible. It is a beautifully landscaped rustic spot. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they have a good variety of menu options. We recently feasted on their delicious fried fish and tostones. Key Biscayne is definitely a great destination for cyclists who enjoy good food.

By @ReneGourmet JUNE 2018 GOURMET PLEASURES |21

Critic for a Night

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NUSRET With aLEXander forster


By @ReneGourmet

his month’s “Critic for a Night” is Alexander Forster. Alexander is a seasoned financial profession with many years of experience advising both international and domestic clients. He has trained and worked for some of the most important and reputable financial institutions in the USA. He is an avid world traveler and loves learning about other cultures. But most importantly, he knows and appreciates good food. GP/ One word describe the evening at Nusret. Alex/ Unforgettable GP/ What did you order? Alex/ We tried many different meats, such as: Lokum, Fillet Mignon Bonfile, Nusret Burger, Nusret Kobe. GP/ What did you think of the menu? Alex/ I was clear this was a steak restaurant so the menu reflected the type of restaurant. I thought it was very thorough in regards to the many dishes available to choose. GP/ What was your favorite dish? Alex/ Everything I tried was excellent, so it was very difficult to select a particular one. I have to say the burgers were superb! GP/ How was the service? Alex/ Excellent, bar none. GP/ Did the prices match the quality? Alex/ Yes, I have to say that they did GP/ Would you return to the restaurant? Alex/ Yes, I would return and I would also recommended to others GP/ You are a banker, Do you think this restaurant is a good investment? Alex/ Well, I would have to take a look at the numbers first before I can give you a sound answer, cash flow, income statement, balance sheet, as a starter. I would tell you, it is a good place to take high end clients. GP/ Would you loan the chef money to open up a new restaurant? Alex/ Traditional restaurant have been known risky investments, especially if they have less than 5 years of a track record. It seems Nusret has created a worldwide successful franchise; again, I would have to see the numbers and do the due diligence and underwriting to determine extending credit for expansion. GP/ Any final thoughts? Alex/ While visiting the restaurant I liked the fact that Nusret himself was visiting the tables and doing a show while he cut the pieces of meat, closing with his now famous salt sprinkling signature. And of course, followed by a group photo.


Gastronomy and Social Media By @ReneGourmet 24 |

Gourmet Diary

The world of gastronomy (​the practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food.) has been dramatically transformed by the advancement of social media. Social media allows us to share photos, videos and comments with our families, friends and followers and a lot of what we share is about food. No longer do we have to talk, either in person or on the phone, or read a letter or email, to hear about a restaurant’s food. Social media allows us to share our friends’ experiences,whether they’re sitting down to a gourmet meal, walking down the street licking a delicious looking cone from an artisan ice cream parlor or trying to decide which decadent donut they want to order at the “hottest” new spot in town. And all of these shared moments can happen almost instantaneously. When we think about the beginning of social media, most people think of Facebook, but in fact the first site debuted 6 years earlier. It was called Six Degrees. Facebook was launched in 2003, originally as a way for Harvard University students to get to know each other and join clubs and fraternities. It quickly grew because of its ease of use and its “like” button. Today over 1 billion people use the site daily. Then in 2006, the world was introduced to Twitter. The “real game changer” came in 2007 and 2008 with the creation of the IOS and Android operating system which are used primarily in mobile devices such as smartphones

and tablets. This made it possible to have your social media immediately available to you no matter where you were. And with the development of Instagram and Snapchat all of your favorite pictures and videos could be shared. The Pew Research Center, which is a nonpartisan American “fact tank” that provides information on social issues, public opinion and demographic trends, has been tracking the American public’s use of social media since 2005. According to their site,currently 69% of the American population use social media. That is approximately 7 out of every 10 America. The days of a critic’s review determining the success or failure of a restaurant are a thing of the past. We can now see pictures of what our friends are eating and read their remarks. There are numerous online sites for reading other people’s evaluations of an establishment’s quality of food, the ambiance, service and cleanliness. And best of all, we not only have words we have pictures. This keeps chefs “on their toes” Every dish leaving the kitchen has to be perfect because millions of people can see it for themselves and if we like what we see we can make dinner reservations instantly .on our mobile devices. Classic food will most certainly be around forever and talented new chefs are always creating fabulous new dishes and cooking techniques. Thanks to social media the world of gastronomy is at our fingertips..........literally.


Gourmet pleasures june 2018  
Gourmet pleasures june 2018