Fall-ing for Wine

Fall-ing for Wine

As the weather starts to slightly change in South Florida, the hot balmy days are traded for sunny breezy ones.  I start looking at wines that not only refresh and revive my palate, but wines that have a more intense, richer feel to them and some that might even challenge the way I drink them. While everyone in the northern states dusts off their winter jackets and warm clothing, we in Florida, find the perfect weather to hang out outside

Bourbon Heritage Month Dinner at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar Miami Beach

September is Bourbon Heritage Month, and we celebrated with a curated dinner menu by our amazing Corporate Chef Patrick Rebholz and paired his dishes with crafted cocktails courtesy of our Corporate Beverage Director Josh Holliday and Sazerac.  

Our dinner started with a cocktail reception with a Green Tea and Honeydew welcome cocktail, light bites, and transitioned over to a seated 6-course dinner with bourbon pairings.  


Yardbird at the James Beard House

50 Eggs presented a seven course dinner to showcase Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at the James Beard House on October 7, 2015.

CREDITS
John Kunkel, Owner
Cristian Cuevas, Executive Chef
Daniel Toral, Beverage Director
Vivian Chang, Pastry Chef

THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS
This menu is in celebration of our local farmers; Joyce Farms, NC; Lake Meadows Farm, FL; Mary’s Ranch, FL; Pine Island, FL; Surry Farms, VA; Anson Mills, SC; Paradise Farms, FL; Miami Smoker’s, FL.

Our Wine friends at Maisons Marques and Domaines, Augustan Wine Imports, Spire Collection, and Wilson Daniels

All China was generously donated by our partners at R.W. Smith & Co and Churchill China.

Cookbook Roundup

Gone are the days of boring, instructional cookbooks. The modern cookbook offers more than just pictures and text: it allows chefs to tell their story. Most of our favorite cookbooks from 2014 are tributes to ingredients, odes to local cuisine, and opportunities to reveal coveted recipes. With beautiful, high-res photos depicting chefs preserving herbs in their basic forms, manipulating vegetables into powders, and transforming proteins with decadent, slow-cooked sauces, these cookbooks are pieces of art.


1. Dominique Ansel, The Secret Recipes

2014 was the year of the cronut. This magical half-croissant, half-donut phenomenon swept the nation and had throngs of people lined up outside Ansel’s bakery. This book offers an adapted version of the previously top-secret cronut recipe for home cooks that will have your friends, family, and strangers lining up outside your house.  A foreword by Daniel Boulud, extensive essays by Dominique, and a brief intro provides insight into the “modern day Willy Wonka’s” background and culinary journey. The book is a more challenging, sweet-centric version of Bouchon Bakery and is organized into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced recipes (with the cronut falling under the Advanced section).  Follow the Modernist Cuisine-esque photos and start with something basic like Mini Madelines before venturing into Dominique’s signature, and personal favorite, Kouign Amann, or the Perfect Egg Sandwich on homemade brioche.


2. Sean Brock, Heritage

Undoubtedly the most anticipated cookbook of the year, Brock’s ingredient-driven recipes truly represent the best of southern cuisine.   With chapters like “The Garden,” “The Mill,” “The Pasture,” and “The Creek and the Sea,” this book is Brock’s loving tribute to the land and ingredients. Recipes like Carrots Braised and Glazed in Carrot Juice and Tennessee Foie Gras with Country Ham, Strawberry-Meyer Lemon Jam, and Heirloom Johnnycakes represent the upscale twists on true southern food that Brock is known for. Heritage is a must-have addition to anyone’s cookbook collection (if you can find it).


3. Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty More

Another incredible, highly anticipated cookbook from the London-based Ottolenghi. The table of contents, separated by cooking method (Steamed, Blanched, Simmered, Braised, etc.) showcases the various techniques he utilizes to amplify his insanely delicious, vegetable-driven dishes.  Recipes like Yogurt and Kaffir Lime Leaf Spread, Globe Artichoke and Mozzarella with Candied Lemon, and Grilled Banana Bread with Tahini and Honeycomb will satisfy even the most fervent carnivore in your life. The colorful photos depicting fresh, bountiful dishes make my heart jump with excitement to get in the kitchen and start cooking. What more could you want from a cookbook?


4. Margarita Carrillo Arronte, Mexico: The Cookbook

This visually stunning, comprehensive guide to authentic Mexican cuisine features over 600 recipes. Although the author instructs readers to “[c]ook the simpler dishes first. . . and then challenge yourself with the more elaborate ones”, you’ll want to pour through the entire book, cover to cover, the second you get it. Favorite recipes include Scallop Ceviche, Chicken Tinga Tostadas, Tres Leches, and 40 different salsa variations. This book demonstrates that the depth of Mexican food far exceeds chips and guac (although there’s an incredibly refined recipe for that), and takes the whole sweet, spicy, smokey thing to another level with a dozen mole recipes, including the deeply flavorful pistachio mole.


5. Cortney Burns and Nicolaus Balla, Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes

With 150 pages devoted to drying, curing and pickling techniques to essentially create your own pantry, this book is not for the faint at heart.  Although the recipes themselves are not extremely complicated and no chemical compounds are required, some dishes call for complex ingredients explained earlier in the book that may take days to prepare (like sauerkraut, fermented yogurt, pickled turnips, sprouted rye bread).  This book is definitely for the DIY chef who enjoys breaking down ingredients to their simplest form in order to transform them into something far more elevated. Their signature Kale Salad with tahini, kale, yogurt, yogurt powder and crumbled sprouted rye bread is a perfect example. The chefs’ knack for Eastern European flavors shines through as the book presents unique ingredients in a palatable way for home cooks.


6. Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune

If you’ve read “Blood, Bones & Butter”, you’re certainly familiar with the no-nonsense, headstrong chef and author. Unlike Hamilton’s novel, you may find difficulty navigating recipes and relating to anecdotes if you have not worked in a restaurant kitchen. Hamilton provides no hand holding, only offers of half-hearted apologies for time-intensive, daunting recipes: “I know this one is a bitch to prep. Sorry.” Recipes like Pastrami Duck Breast with Small Rye Omelette and Monkfish Liver with Warm Buttered Toast likely won’t woo the home cook, but that was never her intention. This book invites you into Prune’s kitchen and assumes you are ready to work the line.  In her Giant Frico recipe (aka Parmesan wafers), she instructs readers to “[t]ry to get it right, though, on the first shot”  Yes, chef. If you choose accept the Prune challenge, you will be rewarded with restaurant-quality dishes and a newfound appreciation for perfect knife skills, respecting ingredients, and no mistakes.


7. Marcus Samuelsson, The Recipes I Cook at Home

Recipes, trivia and playlists grace the pages of this anecdotal cookbook from the chef that transformed the Harlem dining scene. Whether you’re whipping up Bacon Biscuits with Jalapeno Scrambled Eggs & Grilled Corn to Salt-n-Pepa’s “Push It” or learning how to pickle beets and toast spices, this borderline folksy book is more fun than instructive compared to the other books on this list. The playful vibe lends itself to casual dishes that don’t include hours of prep or obscure ingredients, making it perfect for, well, cooking at home.

Food Porn Friday: Swine Southern’s Burnt Ends

These unsuspecting, meaty nuggets are one of the must-try dishes on the Swine menu. Half burnt ends, half creamy cornbread, the composed plate resembles a ying-yang, which is actually quite fitting. The creamy cornbread is the ying to the crispy Angus beef’s yang. You bite into the burnt end and the crust gives way to this melt-in-your-mouth brisket, which have been braised, smoked, fried and coated in a tangy mesquite BBQ sauce. You think “how could this get any better?” Then you dip your fork into the cornbread, which has been liquified through a whipped cream canister, and get a hint of sweet cornmeal taste without the characteristic grittiness. The light airy, gravity-defying texture borders between foam and a cloud, with a slight crunch from the toasted corn nuts sprinkled on top. While this dish is large enough (and rich enough) to share, it is quite addictive, so you may think twice before asking for two forks.

Behind the Bar: The Ultimate Bloody Mary Bar

A proper Bloody Mary is a thing of beauty. Tangy, cold tomato juice mixed with vodka, topped with pickled accoutrements and finished with a bright, green celery stick. And that’s just the beginning. We chatted with our resident cocktail expert, Rob Ortenzio, on how to set up the best DIY Bloody Mary bar at your next brunch gathering.

Rule #1: Start with a good foundation. Unlike a good martini, we want you to stir, not shake, your Bloody Mary. If you’re making your own base, use high quality tomato juice. If you are short on time, go ahead and enhance a bottled mix with fresh ingredients. Spice up the mix by adding BBQ sauce for tang, or chopped cilantro for a fresh kick. If you really want to kick it up, concoct your mix in advance, give it a good stir, and let the different flavors marinate overnight.

Rule #2: Get Creative. The variations are endless, ranging from classic cracked black pepper, horseradish and lemon wedges to upgraded pickled jalapenos, candied bacon strips, and Sriracha. Set up a generous DIY buffet for guests to design their own cocktails. Along with the staples, offer a Slim Jim swizzle stick to replace celery. Line up different hot sauces, ranging from mild to burn-your-mouth hot. Rim glasses with Old Bay seasoning or a mixture of smoked paprika and kosher salt. Plate up cheese cubes, cured meat, and pickled vegetables. Stock multiple vodka brands to let guests truly customize their cocktail.

Rule #3: Stack the skewer. Once your Bloody Mary bar is up and running, we recommend stuffing your glass to the brim with tasty trimmings. A Bloody Mary is basically a pre-brunch appetizer. The only thing more delicious than a mixture of tomato juice and vodka is an overflowing glass of bite-sized cheese cubes. Heck, toss a fresh oyster in for good measure. Or, if you are crazy like us, throw a piece of fried chicken on top.

Recipes (serving: one pitcher):

The Classic:

  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 3 tbs celery salt (for rim)
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 2 tbs freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 2 tsp freshly grated horseradish (or 3 teaspoon prepared horseradish)
  • vodka
  • 1 celery stick (for garnish)

Place celery salt in a shallow dish. Rub a lemon wedge around the rim of the glass. Dip rim in celery salt. Place lemon wedge on rim of glass and fill the glass with ice. Add all ingredients (except vodka) into pitcher and stir. Let sit overnight. When ready to serve, pour into an ice-filled glass. Add one ounce of vodka and top with celery stick.

Banzai Mary:

  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs wasabi
  • 1 tbs of prepared horseradish
  • 12 dashes of habanero vinegar
  • black pepper
  • vodka
  • spicy pickled green beans (for garnish)

Combine soy sauce and wasabi. Add soy/wasabi mixture to pitcher of tomato juice and incorporate remaining ingredients (except vodka). Stir well. When ready to serve, pour into an ice-filled glass. Add one ounce of vodka and top with spicy pickled green beans.

Southern Twist:

  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tbs olive juice
  • 2 tbs Tabasco
  • ½ bunch cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs of prepared horseradish
  • 2 tbs of molasses BBQ sauce (or A-1 sauce)
  • candied bacon (for garnish)
  • vodka

Mix all ingredients (except vodka) in a large pitcher. Let chill overnight. Fill each glass with ice,  add one ounce of vodka to each glass, then fill with the Bloody Mary mix. Top with candied bacon.

Summer Wine Pairings by Daniel Toral


Summer is so close, we can already smell the grills firing up and Florida tomatoes ripe for picking.  50 Eggs’ Wine Director Daniel Toral is kicking off summer with six wine pairings for his favorite seasonal dishes.  Daniel loves classical pairings with a twist on on unique wineries and blends. Check out his pairing pics below.


1. Lobster Rolls

One of my ultimate lobster roll pairings is a white burgundy. I love the richness of chardonnay balanced with the intense, mineral qualities that burgundy offers. I recommend looking for the Bret Brothers, Macon-Uchizy in southern Burgundy (or any bottling from them) they make beautiful, elegant wines. If you feel like splurging, look for Hirsch Vineyards Chardonnay, from Sonoma. They offer a lighter style of chardonnay that is a total show stopper.


2. Oysters

When it comes to oysters, I can only think of the most classic and simple of all pairings: Muscadet & Oysters. Look for Chateau de la Ragotiere, a great value that is vibrant and refreshing. This wine is bone-dry, acidic and has a hint of citrus and saltiness, which works perfect with the brininess of the oyster.


3. Burgers

I would totally drink Syrah with a burger, and I would chill it, slightly. Look for Wilde Farms, in the Sonoma Coast, a colder climate Syrah that offers a meaty, fruity flavor with notes of blackberries and a hint of wild herbs. It is a bold, peppery wine and is totally delicious with a juicy burger.


4. BBQ food

When BBQ-ing, you want to drink a wine that is going to be versatile and work with all the flavors. I tend to pick a lighter red and chill it because it is hot by the grill! I like Gamay with BBQ, and Brick House in the Willamette Valley makes one of the best ones in the USA. Flavors like cranberry, pomegranate & orange rinds come to mind. This wine pairs really well with grilled steak and buttered grilled corn. It is also delicious on its own.


5. Grilled Peaches

Riesling! I would drink a drier, richer style from Austria, Prager’s Federspiel ‘Steinriegl’ from the Wachau region.  This wine is so versatile with food. You may even want to grind some black pepper on top of your peaches to balance the sweetness and add a savory, spicy kick.


6. Fresh Tomato Salad

Rosé and tomatoes go perfectly together. In particular, the Lagrein Rose from Alois Lageder, in Italy’s Alto-Adige. This is a wine with a very clean palate that is reminiscent of tart raspberries and lychees, with a very dry finish.  It picks up the sweetness in the tomatoes and balances their acidity, while still letting the flavor of the fruit shine through.