Brother Jimmy’s BBQ has the taste and atmosphere of those memorable summer weekend barbeques that endures through every generation.
An original menu with the blessing of a southern kitchen, and cocktails to amplify any occasion, Brother Jimmy’s owner, Josh Lebowitz has had mouth-watering success with his Manhattan and Caribbean locations.
This past Tuesday, at Brother Jimmy’s Murray Hill restaurant, Lebowtiz and friends celebrated the publishing of Brother Jimmy’s BBQ cookbook. With the help of Bro Jimmy’s Executive Chef, Eva Pesantez, nightlife writer Sean Evans and the slightest bit of ghost writing by yours truly, this impressive handbook covers all the southern essentials.
When I heard that Chef Douglas Rodriguez was going to be sharing his kitchen with Celebrity chef Daniel Orr at the prestigious De Rodriguez Cuba restaurant on Thursday, November 17, I said “sign me up!” The event was appropriately named, Taste the Caribbean. The restaurant offered a delicious 4-course meal at the low price of $59 per person, and it most definitely did not disappoint. Ready for a chic night on South Beach, I drove to 1st and Ocean, expecting to find the restaurant prominently displayed. This gem of a restaurant has an entrance hidden within the Hilton hotel. We selected to sit outside with a view of the beautiful pool.
The charismatic and friendly waiters started us off with a wonderful piece of Colombian bread called pandebono, fried plantain chips, called mariquitas, with an exquisite salsa dip, and Callaloo & Black Eyed Pea Fritters with Papaya Banana Catsup. These Fritters came to me in waves of flavor. The first taste is a combination of delectable sweet and savory flavors, and just after you have swallowed, it gives you a slight kick to the taste buds. These starters were served to use while we waited for our first course: the Marinated Conch Ceviche.
This unique appetizer was simply phenomenal! Unfortunately, I do not have the words to describe it perfectly because my mouth could not stop eating it long enough to write down what I thought of it. This unique burst of flavors combined citrus with coconut milk. It was pure perfection and unlike anything I had ever tasted.
Our second course was the Island Fish Water. This soup was served to us by Chef Orr himself! We were presented with a bowl of mixed fish, vegetables, and citrus flavors. Chef Orr then poured the fish broth directly onto the interior ingredients allowing the flavors to steep right before your eyes. This soup was the “Mary Poppins bag” of soups. Every spoonful brought a different flavor to your mouth. One time the flavors included pieces of lemon, veggies and broth. Another time, the flavors were fish and cilantro.
Normally, I am not a “red meat” kind of girl, but the filet mignon that evening proved me wrong ten times over! Our entrée was a Jerk Rubbed Filet Mignon with Steamed Kale and Callaloo with Cornmeal Fungi. I ordered my meat medium well, and it was cooked to absolute perfection. The tender meat had a perfect marriage of flavors finishing with a buttery finish that, at the risk of sounding cliché, was “to die for.” When I tasted the sides, I found myself wondering for the millionth time why Callaloo is not a regular part of South Florida cuisine, having eaten it throughout my travels in the Caribbean.
At this point, I was too full for dessert, but when I remembered that the final course was a Warm Gateau of Coconut and Chocolate Dipped Caribbean Cashew Brittle with Coconut Sorbet, I simply had to make room. This elegantly presented dessert was a wonderful combination of cold and warm coconut flavors. The chocolate dipped cashew brittle was incredibly delicious.
Overall, the entire experience was amazing! When Chef Orr was not in the kitchen, he was frequently seen around the ambient restaurant, checking on his guests, and assuring that everything was up to par. The night, the food, and the restaurant were perfect! I look forward to recommending this place to anyone who wants a true “taste” of what Miami and South Beach culture and cuisine are like.
Genre: Dancehall/ R & B
As the sound of music is ever-changing, so are the faces. When artist Sean Paul appeared on the music scene, he definitely changed the face of dancehall music as we know it. Singer Ms. Triniti seems to have taken note of that and is stepping up to the plate to follow suit. Born to a Trinidadian father and an American mother, Triniti Bhaguandas decided to stick to her Caribbean heritage when it came to music.
Cuisine: Caribbean, Latin American
Pricing: Hot Cuban’s only $5.50
136 W. 46th St.
(between 6th and 7th Avenue)
New York, NY 10036
Rice and beans done right, and done cheap can be found at Margon. The menu varies daily, but some staples remain for a reason, like the Cuban sandwich, which has lunch goers of all sorts munching side-by-side in the tiny dinning room. The tasty trio of roast pork, ham, and salami, smeared with mayo, garlic, and Swiss cheese, is smashed and crisp-toasted until all the flavors blend harmoniously. While the sandwich is yummy, it is the rice and beans that keep the regulars coming back. Served with just about everything, Margon’s heaping plate of rice and rich, meaty beans, either red or inky black, can’t be missed.