Sunday, January 20, 2008

Celebrity Chefs Invade Green Market...

Michael Schwartz Got the Good Stuff

Dale (far left) and Dewey (right) LoSasso Got the Good Hot Sauce

Sandra Stefani (left) Got the Goodies...

Soft and Spongy....

When some of the top chefs in Miami are at your local Green Market, you know something exciting is happening. Dewey and Dale LoSasso were dishing out Indonesian Chicken Salad, and when I told them I was on a raw foods cleanse, they tried to tempt me with a crème brulee (I think it might have been lime), which the chef had just caramelized (the torch was at his right hand). They also serve espresso, and maybe one or two other items. They are a delightful and friendly couple, and appeared to be enjoying a great sunny day. Their commitment to the neighborhood is solid. I think they had to endure about three years of road construction right in front of their Biscayne Boulevard restaurant, North One10, one of my top three restaurants in Miami. An unusual thing about their place is that I have seen prices not only go up occasionally, but also go down. I think their mushroom risotto is one of the best mushroom dishes I've ever eaten, and also one of the best risottos I've ever eaten.

Across the way was Casa Toscana's Sandra Stefani, who has just started serving lunch at her Italian Market and Wine Store on Ne 2nd Ave. in Miami Shores. She had a great array of meats, cheeses, and breads, and pastas imported from Italy. Incidentally, I know she will tell you that she makes the best risotto in Miami. I admire her chutzpah, and I have to say it is amazing. Try it at her restaurant on the Boulevard on a cool evening, it will warm your belly.

Also spotted was Michael Schwartz, of Michael's Genuine. Had a nice chat with him about farm fresh double yolk eggs, which he was buying at the market. At $4.50/dozen, that's a lot cheaper than the $1 per egg I paid at Glaser's Organic Market in the Grove. I will say, though, that the One Dollar eggs were free-range 'organic' (whatever that means), albeit somewhat small. I ate them soft-boiled, sprinkled with a few crystals of lavender sea salt to get the most out of them. They were fresh and creamy, and if you haven't eaten a real farm fresh egg lately, for one or two dollars, they will bring you back to a time when your morning eggs had a deliciously distinct taste. I don't know what dish Chef Schwartz was planning for the eggs, but I wish I had had dinner reservations at Michael's last night.

But I had bought my own food, and the fat, round Italian eggplant, that the vendor said was sweet, and wouldn't need any salting, was beckoning. I prepared an amazing semi-raw foods dinner, eggplant parmigiana. I sliced the eggplant thinly, broiled it for about five minutes per side, then topped it with a raw tomato/basil sauce, and a creamy cheese made from pine nuts. I served a raw corn and mint salad on the side. I have to say, it was stupendous, and very sweet.

Day Six of the cleanse ended with trays of mini-burgers at the Standrard, and free booze, but Alex and I stuck to our Club Sodas and Bingo. We headed out at 11 PM, and people asked us where we were going 'after'. (In Miami everything happens 'after'.) Home, we replied, to everyone's utter disbelief.
Day Six of the Cleanse ended without incident.

Eggplant Parmigiana and Raw Corn and Mint Salad