Slow Food Miami celebrated the life of Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini last night with a dinner at the soon-to-open Fratelli Lyon in the Design District. The restaurant, which owner Kenneth Lyon of Lyon & Lyon caterers said was conceived as a sort of front porch for Driade — the design store that houses it — will open in about one month.
We started off with antipasti — different types of bruschetta, olives, breads and cheeses — during a reception before dinner. Fratelli Lyon is housed in a modern and somewhat industrial-looking space, which still has a few sections unfinished. It’s surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, has stainless steel counters and shelves, and modern, clean-lined furniture from — where else — Driade.
While we mingled, Lyon and chef Brian Morales went to work preparing the first course. The restaurant will serve authentic regional Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner, Lyon said. The idea, he added, is for the food not to be over-the-top or pretentious.
Our dinner featured five courses, all of which the manager told us will be part of Fratelli Lyon’s menu. We started off with pan-fried sole served with cipolline agrodolce (sweet and sour cipollini onions), toasted pine nuts and golden raisins. This was my favorite course for its mix of sweet, salt and sour flavors. Next, a risotto Milanese with slowly braised veal. The veal was very tender and had a rich, deep flavor.
We followed that course with roasted poussin (Cornish game hen) with “suffocated” Swiss chard. I’m not entirely sure about the preparation of the chard but it was delicious. Then, each table was served an artisan cheese course to share that included taleggio, percorino toscano and gorgonzola served with walnuts, dried apricots and bread. And to end, budino al cioccolato, a pudding-type chocolate served with an espresso mascarpone cream and almond biscotti. The chocolate was a bit too rich for me, especially after all that food, but I was happy eating the espresso mascarpone cream on its own.
I must add that the staff was incredibly organized and knowledgeable, which is a pleasant surprise in Miami. Though last night was a set dinner for everyone, I’d say that if this served as a preview of what to expect of the restaurant, we may be in for a treat.
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