Chef Brad Kilgore and his team at Alter—a New American restaurant in Wynwood—have recently earned earned the honor of being named the 2015’s Best Restaurant of the Year by the Miami Herald and Eater Miami. From upscale tasting menu dinners to affordable, $29 3-course prix fixe lunches, here are some dishes you need to try.
Vegetable & Herb Salad
Combining a whipped citron vinaigrette with the soft sweetness of Asian pear, it is as if you are eating a dessert rather than a salad. The subtle flavor is balanced by the saltiness of the shaved fennel and celery root, which add a nice crisp and rich finish
The crudo (raw fish) is a starter made with local wahoo or cobia. The intense tartness of the key lime curd is complemented by the gentler hibiscus ponzu, which is splattered on the dish like a Jackson Pollock. Green apple and raw, local tomatoes are added to round out the dish.
The come perfect—white throughout with lightly crisped, brown edges on the top and bottom. Chef Kilgore adds a radish leaf pesto made with tarragon and basil that explodes with a savory sharpness, and the mustard oil vinaigrette works with the scallops and the fresh, raw vegetables (watercress, radishes, and sunchoke) to create a light and playful bite.
Duck Leg Confit
The flavor of the duck leg confit (cooked slowly in its own fat) comes off like corned beef hash on steroids, especially with the mustard taste of the pearl onion kimchi. The showstopper, however, is the cashew condiment, which is made by separately frying mint, shallots, garlic, and ginger and then folding them into chopped cashews with some kaffir lime leaves.
This dish features layered yogurt and lychee panna cotta with a carrot-passion fruit sorbet. The intensity of the sour passionfruit is wrangled in by the sweet carrot to give a clean taste. In between the two, a layer is made by boiling pineapple skins Jamaican-style with sugar and lime juice, which is then blended and strained to create a mysteriously sweet and subtle clear gelatin. As his use of radish leaves in the scallop dish and the pineapple skins here show, Chef Kilgore has a passion for using every part of the plant.
This chocolate mousse is silky and topped with a chocolate streusel (crumbles) that will leave dessert-lovers speechless. As an added bonus, the mint ice cream carries through the sharpness of the mint leaf with rare precision.
cover image @altermiami