Tuesday, September 25, 2012

experiment #27.5 - cobaya 1500°

Another experiment completed, this time with Chef Paula DaSilva of 1500° restaurant at the Eden Roc Hotel on Miami Beach. For most of the dinner we had moonlit ocean views on the back terrace, until raindrops drove us inside. Fortunately, the crispy-skinned suckling pig porchetta made it inside before getting wet.

Here's the menu for the night, which followed a "Last Meal" theme with "final requests" from Chef DaSilva as well as her sous chefs Adrienne Grenier and Tony Velazquez:

Mini In-n-Out Burgers
Pork Belly Tacos with Kimchee
Bacalao Fritters with Roasted Garlic Aioli
Bacon and Egg Custards
Grilled Bread with Ricotta and Mandarinquat Marmalade
"Sparkling Sangria"

On the Table
House Smoked Duck Breast
House Made Sausage
Mortadella, Salami, Prosciutto
Pan con Tomate
Pickled Veggies
Cured Olives
"Bacon Bloody Mary"

On the Light Side
Tomato and Burrata Salad with Herbs
Grilled Santa Barbara Spot Prawns with Old Bay and Lemon
Sashimi of Wahoo with Spicy Green Papaya Slaw and Soy Vinaigrette
"Passion Pisco Sour"

Mid-Night Snacks
Crispy Confit Chicken Wings with Red Hot Aioli
Beef Enchiladas with Avocado Salsa and Cotija
Pasta Carbonara with Benton's Bacon
"Roasted Jalapeño Blackberry Margarita"

Give Us More
Whole Roasted Branzino with Lemon, Roasted Potatoes, Virgin Oil
Rotisserie Chicken with Chorizo Rice and Black Beans
Crispy Suckling Porchetta with Greens, Crispy Yucca and Salsa Verde
Braised Short Ribs with Pommes Purée, Crispy Onions and Charred Scallions
"Bourbon Arnold Palmer"

Sweet Tooth
Basil Limoncello Granita
Olive Oil Panna Cotta with Macerated Berries
Fresh Spiced Doughnuts
Ice Cream Sandwiches
Pierre Robert Black Truffle Cheese
"Captain Crunch White Russian Milkshake"

Many thanks to Chef DaSilva and all of her crew in the kitchen and the dining room at 1500°; and, as always, to all of the guinea pigs whose ongoing support makes these experiments possible.

4525 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL

Monday, September 10, 2012

experiment #27.5 - 9/24/12

No, it's not a repeat experiment - we're doing a new experiment, we just needed to fix the numbers. Here is the info:

Quick Details:
Date: Monday September 24, 2012
Price: $99 plus optional $30 wine pairing (inclusive of tax & tip)
Start time: likely 7:00pm

We will be doing a drawing for seats from all requests received over the first 48 hours, with additional requests filled, if possible, in the order they're received.

Please send an email to request seats, and let us know how many you're requesting (please email using the "contact the underground" link on this page).

You will be advised by Friday September 14 if your request has been confirmed. You'll then need to book your seats by noon on Wednesday September 19, or we may need to release them to the waitlist to ensure all spots are filled.

We have limited seating and while we try to accomodate everyone who is interested, that is usually not possible - most events are filled very quickly. We may need to limit seat requests to 2 per person - if you'd like more, let us know and we'll keep track of a "wish list" and fill if possible.

When your seat request has been confirmed, please book it using the PayPal link which will be set up on this page. Please do not book unless and until you've received a confirmation. When you do receive the confirmation, please book your seats through PayPal promptly. There will be a short window of time to book before seats need to be released back to the waitlist to make sure they're filled.

Confirmed and paid-up attendees will receive an e-mail the day before the event, confirming the location and other details.

A brief, but important, refresher course on the whole Cobaya thing: there is no "menu". There are no choices. You'll be eating what the chef chooses to make for the night. If you have food related allergies, strict dietary requirements, religious restrictions; are salt sensitive, vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan; don't like your meat cooked medium rare, or are pregnant: this meal is probably not for you. Do not expect white-glove service. Don't ask for your sauce on the side. Just come and enjoy.

Plus some legalese: please note that if you're requesting a spot, you understand that any food or beverages you consume are at your own risk, that you voluntarily assume any and all risks, known and unknown, and voluntarily release the organizers of the event from any claims, including personal injury and wrongful death, resulting in any manner from your participation in this event, whether caused by negligence or otherwise. Hopefully it won't come to that.

Look forward to seeing you there. As always, thank you for your support.


cobaya #27.5

the history of cobaya

It was almost exactly three years ago that three guys who knew each other mostly through Chowhound - Chowfather, Blind Mind and Frodnesor - were standing in front of a local restaurant, waiting for the valet to bring our cars around, and started talking about the "underground dinner" phenomenon that we had all been reading about. The conversation quickly turned from "Why isn't this happening in Miami?" to "Why don't we make it happen?" And pretty much like that, Cobaya was born.

Our first dinner was with chef Andrea Curto of the sadly now-closed restaurant Talula on Miami Beach. Since then we've done a total of 26 events over the past three years (the numbering system has been a bit skewed - counting is apparently not a strong suit for certain of us - and it turns out that Experiment #27, which was just concluded, really should have been called Experiment #26; we will try to figure out how to correct the numbering system when the next event is announced, which will be Monday morning). Each time, the guiding principle has remained the same: to get talented chefs to cook great, interesting, creative meals for an audience of adventurous, open-minded diners.

Over at Blind Tastes, BM put together a great summary of "The History of Cobaya" which is definitely worth a read to get a little perspective on what we've been trying to do. And stay tuned tomorrow morning for another event announcement.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

experiment #27 - Cobaya St. Regis with Chefs Richard Gras and Antonio Bachour

Another experiment concluded successfully. Leading the experiment this time were Chefs Richard Gras (J&G Grill Chef de Cuisine), Antonio Bachour (Executive Pastry Chef), and Jordi Valles (Executive Chef) at the St. Regis hotel in Bal Harbour. They and all their team at the St. Regis put together a great dinner for our guinea pigs - you can check out the Chowfather's recap, this one at Food For Thought, and still another from one of our guests at Befuddled Brain.

Here is the full menu:

Red Beet Gazpacho "Explosion," Lemon Thyme Pound Cake

Frozen Foie Gras Pearls, Concord Grape Sponge, Vanilla Gel, Chives

Compressed Melon Salad, Heirloom Tomatoes, Fava Bean, Iberico Ham Gelée, Marcona Almonds, Micro Mache

Deconstructed "Guacamole," Popping Corn, and Micro Cilantro

Hawaiian Tuna Carpaccio, Mango, Yuzu, Ginger, Sea Vegetables, Guajillo Chile Oil

Maine Lobster Flan, Sea Urchin, Pickled Cucamelon, Preserved Lemon, Olive Oil Marmalade

"Smoked" Linguine Pasta, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Farmer Jones Carrots, Toasted Pistachio, Orange, and Chervil

Crispy Poached Egg infused with Basil, Baby Squash, Cabernet Gastrique, Florida Caviar

Slow Cooked Swordfish, Heirloom Beans, Hammock Hollow Tomatoes, Cherry Olive Broth

Braised Heritage Pork Cheek, "Buche" Bartolo Style, Chicharrones, Celery Root Purée and Glazed Pearl Onions

"Berries and Cream"

Nitro "Coco," Passion Fruit Custard, and Mango "Caviar"

Lemon Raspberry Spiral

Microwave Milk Chocolate Sponge Cake, Nutella Ganache, Caramelized White Chocolate Powder, Banana Yogurt Sorbet, Bitter Orange

Petit Fours
Bacon Macarons
Guava Marshmallow
Mini Key Lime Tart

Many thanks to Chefs Richard, Antonio and Jordi, to the whole team at the St. Regis, and as always most of all to the guinea pigs whose continuing support makes these events possible.

J&G Grill
9703 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour