The Dining Room.
If I were posting this at Eat It, Miami, I would give the Dining Room an "Eat It." But I'm not posting it there. Because this is MY blog, and even though sometimes when I'm drunkenly posting, I accidentally post my posts on Eat It, before realizing it and deleting the posts, and putting them here, because I'm so rusty and out of practice from blogging, I don't feel that my posts live up to the quality demanded by Colin, Eat It's stern-but-fair proprietor.
And even though I'm only starting this post, I can tell it's going to take me a while to get down to brass tacks - I'm a little unfocused right now, even though I had nary a sip of booze (more on that immediately below).
That said, The Dining Room, in the 400 block of Washington Avenue, was delightful. Their menu is small-but-tasty. Lots of fish on it (fish isn't really my thing. at all.) and since I'm not eating carbs (because I'm trying to be less fat [it's working!]) my menu options dwindled down to three sexy possibilities.
It's here that I'll point out that I was with my gorgeous and recently-married friend, Lauren. Lauren loves the "shout-outs" so I fully expect to receive an email tomorrow from her, with lots of exclamation points. We were both stinky from working out, but we threw clean clothes on, and gave ourselves whores'-baths, so we looked respectable enough to be...eating on the Street on Washington Avenue.
Backhanded compliment time - there's a noticeable lack of urine smell outside on Washington on that block. Love-Hate must not be doing well. (Rimshot!)
No, but really, the place is small - I daresay their outside seating is bigger than the dining room, which is dominated by a huge chandelier...and that's really all I noticed about the decor. But I didn't need fancy decor, as I already had a view of the shuttered Harrison's, and Lauren's radiant face. (Lotsa exclamation points, LDoy.)
We got three things. I got the crispy braised pork (!!!) Lauren got the filet mignon churrasco, and we split a side order of brussels sprouts. Our waiter told us that we got the best things on the menu. I agree. Actually, I got the best thing, Lauren got the second best thing, and the sprouts were kick ass, too.
First, they brought out bread (sigh) with truffle butter (yum!) and sweet n' spicy pickle rounds. I'm a sucker for pickles, and these guys sure were tasty... especially when gobbled down with truffle butter. What? Like you've never put butter on a pickle before... Riiight.
The pork seemed to be braised belly, from which a good deal of the fat had been rendered out, served on top of a cidery green paste, with sweet (radish? apple?) slaw on top, and dabs of white bean puree. It. Was. Awesome. Sweet, and savory and crunchy and cool, and hot, and the white bean puree was like mashed potatoes (WHICH I MISS SO MUCH.)
Lauren's churrasco was a spiral cut filet mignon (tender!) served with chimmichurri on top, with a quartered yellow tomato, served with rings of fiery chile. I've never had tenderer churrasco in my life. The chile rings were suuuuuper spiiiiicy.
The brussels sprouts were served shredded with...toasted cashews, I believe? They were really good.
We joined the clean plate club, and I chided my dinner date for eating TOO MUCH OF MY WHITE BEAN PUREE.
My water glass was never empty for long (I was drinking like a camel. Lauren started to get concerned, like I might have diabetes or something, but I had just done yoga before I ate so I was thirsty.) and the service was attentive.
The waiter was a tad chatty, but we just chalked it up to our not used to nice people, and we decided we were probably in the wrong for not wanting to engage in prolonged conversation. Also, I mean... we're nice... but our niceness has been tempered by living in Miami for 10 years. (Yikes.) (I'm using a lot of parentheticals today, aren't I?)
The bill came to about $90, which wasn't the cheapest meal, but I absolutely didn't feel ripped off paying half of that plus tip that for an entree and a side of brussels sprouts (and tapwater), which must say something about the quality of the food.
All in all, there was very little I'd change about the place. Which is saying something. I love to complain. Check it out.