Sarsaparilla: Chefs McInnis and Booth bring "cart to table" cuisine to Miami
THIS JUST IN: Chefs Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth have partnered with Grove Bay Hospitality, the company behind Coconut Grove’s wildly-successful new restaurant, Glass & Vine for a new concept in early 2017 called Stiltsville Fish Bar; a two-story fish house and bar in Sunset Harbour in the former Joe Allen and Pubbelly Steak space (1787 Purdy Avenue). Inspired by McInnis’ childhood fishing off Florida’s panhandle and the pair’s love of simply prepared seafood (the kind served in quaint fish shacks dotting Florida’s coastline), Stiltsville Fish Bar will embrace classic seafood cookery and modern techniques, served with delicious Key West style drinks. Watch for more information on MIAbites.
The Sarsaparilla Club (and commonly pronounced SASparilla), the “cart to table” restaurant concept from Chefs Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth (of Yardbird and Gigi, and more recently Root & Bone in New York), recently opened in Miami Beach at the Shelborne Wyndham Hotel in the former Morimoto space.
With various culinary styles in their repertoire, such as Southern American and Asian, Chefs McInnis and Booth return to Miami to present some really interesting flavor combinations using farm fresh ingredients and the added element of table side, Dim Sum-like cart service.
The main menu is split into two sections which are Medium Plates, Sides, Salads and Large Plates and then a separate clipboard of three unique, table side, cart selections. When applicable, the farm from which ingredients are sourced are cited under each menu item.
From the main menu we tried the Roots & Soil which is a fun salad, served in a terracotta plant saucer with a base of crumbled pumpernickel bread (as the soil) baby tomatoes and carrots with a yummy yuzu cream.
Then, the much talked about Shrimp and Bacon stuffed hot wings, which were spicy and very good.
The Rock Shrimp Laksa from the Large Plate section had very well developed flavors in the curry and great ramen like egg noodles.
The Beet and Carrot Tartare was colorful and nicely enhanced with freshly made crispy potato chips
The three dim sum or tapas touting carts are presented throughout dinner and include some interesting items such as pumpkin soup, fresh steamed corn, house-made pork belly bacon buns, short rib dumplings and drunken deviled eggs.
As a beverage and craft cocktail specialist, I was really impressed with Sarsaparilla’s cocktail program for a few reasons but mainly that the blends were very well balanced – ie, not to sweet! The ‘Gunnaneedabiggerboat” included tequila, Allspice, fresh muddled pineapple and lime juice. The Last Thyme was gin, Luxardo (very very little), yellow Chartreuse fresh lime juice and scorched thyme.
And last but not least there is yet another cart rolling around the nautically inspired, indoor/outdoor dining room at Sarsaparilla which is full of fun desserts! The banana cream cake with a torched, peaked meringue completely surrounding is hard to pass up as was the Sarsaparilla Float!
One 18th Street
Miami Beach FL