The Dutch: American Comfort Arrives in Miami via NYC [CLOSED]

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Ribs Miami

Since homegrown Miami chefs seem to have trouble capturing the imagination of cosmopolitan tourists and even some locals, carpetbagging New York restaurateurs have opened South Florida outposts of restaurants like Shake Shack, Scarpetta, Mercadito, Il Mulino and more, scooping up Miami market share by the bushel. Enterprising chef Andrew Carmellini, best known for Locanda Verde and A Voce, opened the first location of The Dutch in SoHo just last spring, and he expanded The Dutch to the W South Beach right before my arrival, debuting on November 14 in the former home of De Soleil. This turned out to be my favorite meal of the seven-day trip.

The long, lean space features white and grey-blue brick walls, light fixtures hanging from pulleys, and a stainless steel bar backed by mirrored menus with spirits divided by Whiskey, Brandy, Gin, and Tequila, plus coasters sporting fish, crab and citrus. Another mirror touts Coffee and Bakery options, with corresponding items on pedestals like rock candy, coconut cookies and Key lime pound cake. A third menu indicates an Oyster Room. Any “room” with stone crab claws, count me in.

Coffee Miami
The Dutch coffee bar has a Nuova Simonelli two-group espresso machine and Stumptown coffee.

Coffee Miami
A barista named Crystal made me a cortadito ($4.50) during my short wait for friends. It arrived with plentiful foam and two sugars, in a style typical of Calle Ocho, or Havana. This Cuban-style espresso drink was way too sweet for me, and the bean quality almost seemed beside the point.

Coffee Miami
She pulled me a straight, double shot of espresso, which was a pretty good representation of Stumptown’s Hair Bender blend, balancing bright with bitter.

Cornbread Miami
My friend Ben and his girlfriend arrived, we took seats at a proper table, and commenced laying waste to as much of the menu as three people could, beginning with a complimentary loaf of chipotle-spiked, mildly sweet, scallion-flecked cornbread, served with honey-whipped butter.

Comfort Food Miami
One of Ben’s favorite plates from his meals at Locanda Verde is the Sheep’s Milk Ricotta ($14), which Carmellini approximated on South Beach. They source fluffy ricotta from nearby Homestead and season with olive oil, herbs and crusty grilled bread.

Ribs Miami
The Asian White Boy Ribs ($15) spoke to me from the menu, but no words were necessary once they arrived on a wood plank. The fall-off-the-bone-spare ribs sported a savory sauce crafted from hoisin, black bean and more. The finishing touches were sesame seeds and shaved scallions.

Cubano Miami
Carmellini has historically found success with French and Italian food, but The Dutch has allowed him to show more range. For instance, his Cuban Sandwich ($15) rates with some of the more classic versions in Miami or L.A., with juicy slices of mojo-rubbed pork, rosy ham, melted cheese, tart pickles and mustard on soft, pressed-until-crusty bread.

Fried Chicken Miami
They fry the lunch-only Hot Fried Chicken ($19) in Canola oil to form a crisp crust before coating the browned skin with pimenton and cayenne, which wasn’t as spicy a combo as it sounded. The chicken was juicy, but they could have dialed down the amount of spice and batter. A linen napkin also hosted a dish of spicy slaw involving punchy pepperoncini pickling liquid, red onion, cilantro, carrot and crisp cabbage, along with a pair of soft, lightly glazed honey butter biscuits.

Hot Sauce Miami
They bottle their own sauces in house, including a steak sauce and vinegary hot sauce.

Comfort Food Miami
Pappardelle ($18) was an A Voce carry-over, with rich lamb ragu and creamy sheep’s milk ricotta blanketing ribbons of mint-accented pasta.

Comfort Food Miami
Roasted Brussels Sprouts ($7) proved irresistible, with a cast iron dish hosting meaty thick-cut bacon, breadcrumbs and halved Brussels.

Pie Miami
Pastry chef Josh Gripper makes pies for The Dutch, including my personal favorite, Salted Lime, a tornado of sweet, tart and savory, with a crunchy Graham cracker crust, lime zest, cascading whipped cream, guava sorbet and sweet, tangy passion fruit sauce.

Pie Miami
Seasonal blueberry sported a crisp crust, sweet, plump berries, supple streusel, and a scoop of tart lemon ginger ice cream set on more streusel.

When people think of Miami, globally inspired comfort food doesn’t instantly come to mind, but Miami’s becoming an increasingly cosmopolitan city, and Andrew Carmellini just might be one of the chefs to capitalize on the influx of flavors and cultures. Early returns indicate he should be.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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