>I eat, I see, I conquer


Sometimes I just sit back and say, “I love my job.” What I do really relies on what I know in the South Florida market, and one of the big things to know is food and restaurants. I eat, I see and I conquer. As my college buddy Bryan used to say, I would dominate food. (I hold the record among my friends for eating 55 wings – to the bone, mind you – in one sitting.)

This past week I was saturated with the need to know about restaurants. I visited three South Florida restaurants with three distinct menus – Market 17, Michelle Bernstein’s at The Omphoy and China Grill. I can’t eat like I used to, so my domination wasn’t what it used to be.

Here’s my rundown of the three restaurants:

Market 17: Fresh, fresh, fresh. Its whole schtick is “farm-to-table” fresh, as if the farmers literally grab the produce and veggies straight from their terrace and deliver them right to your table.
  • the menu changes daily; whatever’s delivered is what’s prepared
  • portions come either in small (to share or for someone who doesn’t want to dominate) or large plates
  • I’d make a recommendation, but the menu changes so I can’t accurately say what I had last week would be on your menu the day you go
  • there’s dining in the dark: a unique concept where you literally eat in the dark, which is said to enhance your sense of taste
(Note: I forgot to put my memory card in the camera, so sadly no blurry pictures to share of Market 17).

China Grill: For anyone who thinks Chinese food is only broccoli and noodles, you are wrong. China Grill, located at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina Hotel, trumps that notion and creates dishes that are fused with Asian flavors. I used to hate sushi – I didn’t like rice (I know, oxymoron: I’m Asian and I don’t like rice) – but China Grill totally changed my mind.

Sushi!! Tuna napolean, sashimi, Havana rolls (with caviar!) and a kaleidoscope roll

Three types of salads (from left): caesar salad with wonton and roasted cashew, calamari salad with lime miso dressing, and Confucius salad with sesame oil vinaigrette

Four of the remaining six beef and scallion dumplings with watercress salad (don’t worry, those four were devoured soon after this shot was taken)

Curry miso black cod

NY strip with a haystack of fries and szechuan sauce

Mashed potatoes with lobster (it doesn’t get better than that!)

Bananas in a box (they must have known I was coming because they chose a dessert that wasn’t too sweet for me… awesome)

Michelle Bernstein’s at The Omphoy: If there’s a reason why Michelle Bernstein’s a James Beard Award winner, then it’s spelled out right inside this restaurant. The chic, modern restaurant is a welcomed addition Palm Beach island’s old-fashion feel.

Stacked stone crab over quinoa tabouleh over avocado and doused with smoked water

Poached octopus

What’s left of my John Dory dish

Angel food cake with biscotti, whipped cream and pineapple

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