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I Can’t Speak or Read Spanish… But I Sure Can Eat It

I Can’t Speak or Read Spanish… But I Sure Can Eat It

Food & People

Miami… a mystical land of beautiful beaches, exotic cars, and enough silicone to become the new tech capital of the world. It’s also a town full of culture, which pours over into the city’s restaurant scene. I was invited in to Novecento Midtown, an Argentinean-Bistro style restaurant with various locations not just in the Miami area, but in Argentina, Uruguay, and Mexico as well. And although I can’t understand half of what their menu says (to me, Picada Criolla sounds like the villainess in a 1980’s Telenovela series), I certainly understand phenomenal Latin fare – and that is what Novecento offers.

Every month, Novecento Midtown chooses 2 different wines (a white and a red), and offers them at half price on Tuesdays. Being a red gal, I chose the November red selection, an Argento Reserva Cabernet Franc, which I happily guzzled all night, but not before sampling one of their signature cocktails. I was immediately intrigued by the Scottish Lemonade, a mix of Dewars 12 yrs scotch whisky, apple juice, basil leaves, and fresh lemon juice. The cocktail was SO refreshing, and I’m pretty sold on making some side money opening up my own lemonade stand and serving this. Beyonce’s Lemonade got NOTHING on this (oh goodness, here come the bee emojis….)
I’m a sucker for a good ceviche, so one of the first dishes ordered was the Ceviche Con Tostones (that means “Ceviche with Tostones” – see, I’m learning). The ceviche is a blend of fish marinated in lime juice & jalapeños, red peppers, avocado, red onions, and served with a side of green plantains. Just looking at the picture, you can see how incredibly fresh the ingredients are. It was so good, and not a bite was left untouched.

Another dish we could not do without was the Pulpo a la Plancha – grilled octopus served with  prosciutto, potato confit, paprika, aioli, and mache greens. Octopus + prosciutto + potato = party in my mouth. A perfect char on the octopus plus a perfect consistency (firm but not too rubbery) equals a perfectly cooked octopus, and it was happily and savagely devoured completely.

A dish that randomly caught my eye was the Grilled Hearts of Palm Salad. I say randomly because I’m not a huge fan of hearts of palm; I can usually only a eat a few bites before I get sick of the taste. I don’t know if it was the hip ambience or maybe the fact that I was already on my third glass of wine, but I was feeling frisky and ready to explore – so hearts of palm it was. The salad is also served with avocado, tomato, watercress, baby carrots, and salsa golf dressing (the Latin version of Thousand Island), and as you can see from the picture, the ingredients were once again beautifully fresh. The fact that the hearts of palm were grilled made the taste that much more interesting; the char on them definitely made me want much more than a few bites!

On to the main show! We selected one of the specials of the night that sounded to die for, the Risotto Negro, which quite literally translates to “Black Risotto,” because this risotto was made with squid ink. Before those of you who have never tried squid ink pasta start saying “EWWwwww” in whatever language you speak, let me tell you: don’t knock it ’til you try it! There’s honestly not a huge flavor difference; if anything, the flavor is just enhanced. This particular squid ink risotto was served alongside the whole sea: mussels, squid, octopus and shrimp. Chowing down, I definitely felt like the Queen of the Sea.

We also ordered the Mahi Mahi a la Plancha, a beautifully cooked piece of Pan seared mahi-mahi served with lemon- caper sauce. To be honest, the presentation isn’t much to look at, but who cares when the taste is so good. I love me some capers, and they paired well with the simply and beautifully cooked fish. The mahi is supposed to come with sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes, but of course I chose to sub them for….

GORGONZOLA TRUFFLE FRIES!!! Did you get that? Should I say it slower? Goooorrrrrgonazoooollllllaaaaaa Trrrrrruuuuufffffllllleeeee Frrrrrriiiiiiieeeeeessssss. Yaaaaaassssss. Only the video below can explain my reaction:

In any language, these fries are THE BEST! And yes, me and my E.P.I.C. (Eating Partner In Crime), Shaina from Take A Bite Out Of Boca totally destroyed them along with everything else, see us below:

There was one more thing to be taken care of: dessert. We settled (what a dumb word, as if we’re really settling for something…) on the Todo Chocolate, a warm chocolate lava cake with Belgium chocolate ganache. It was the perfect sweet bite to end a perfectly sweet night.

So my Spanish may not consist of more than “Donde esta los baños?” and of course, “Tacos,” BUT, what I DID learn, is that Novecento is the bomb. For out-of-this-world Latin fare, you can’t beat it! For a girl who loves French fries, I sure did get down with the Latin ones!

***I received complimentary noms in exchange for this post, however, you cannot bribe me with food, so all opinions are my own.

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