A large part of the success story at Wish, the haute dining haven designed by Todd Oldham at The Hotel of South Beach, has been its ongoing evolution in the kitchen. Celebrating ten years of excellence in December of 2008, the restaurant has called some of the country’s top toques “chef,” garnered accolades in Food & Wine and Esquire and consistent rave reviews for its cuisine and service. Currently at the helm is Chef Marco Ferraro, the talent behind the restaurant’s beautifully-executed, vibrant, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. And, to celebrate the restaurant’s decade of excellence, Oldham recently returned again to create a stunning new look for Wish.
“Wish is unlike any other restaurant in South Florida, and after ten years in operation we continue our commitment to excellence in food and beverage, design, service, and value, and our commitment to our customer remains paramount,” says owner Jessica Goldman-Srebnick, who collaborated with Oldham on Wish’s new look and headed the national chef search that found Ferraro in July 2008.
Born in Calabria, Italy, Ferraro describes his food as “fresh, seasonal, light and vibrant,” a succinct and apt description but one that belies the depth of soul found in his cooking, which is rooted in contemporary American cuisine with eclectic global touches. Trained both overseas and in the kitchens of greats, such as icon Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Ferraro’s food is ingredient oriented and technically complex without being overly conceptual. “You don’t need an abundance of ingredients to make a dish work,” says Ferraro. “Simplicity has always worked best for me. With great technique, that casts a spotlight on the finest ingredients, you can’t go wrong.”
Alluring appetizers include Ferraro’s take on a classic – gazpacho. Made with the freshest heirloom tomatoes, this chunky, delicious variation – poured tableside – includes a salad of diced tomato, watermelon, cucumber and house-made croutons. Like many of Ferraro’s creations, texturally, the dish’s components play off one another with layered flavors unfolding with each taste. Equally amazing is the poached seafood. Calamari, clams, mussels and shrimp are slow poached to ultimate tenderness in a mason jar, which remains sealed until serving; then the aromatic crustaceans are poured onto a sidecar of white corn polenta. The whimsical new foie gras is perfectly seared and served with almond crumbs – lending nuttiness and a textural note – and paired with blueberry compote, wasabi and white chocolate. Maine lobster ravioli is re-imagined as a trio of luscious “packages” more akin to super-sized wontons than traditional ravioli. Dressed with green peas, pickled radish and cardamon-yuzu foam, the dish is destined to be a hit. Grilled and sliced skirt steak is served with a charred bean salad, tomato, avocado and a bright chili dressing.
Entrees are equally provocative. A Kurobuta pork chop is oven-roasted and served with a parsley puree and luscious stuffed eggplant. Fish dishes range from a new pan seared wild salmon with herbed bulgur wheat salad, red onion, celery, yellow bell pepper and garlic chips to oven roasted swordfish with baby zucchini, fennel, patty pan squash, and tomato compote. Crispy skinned organic chicken is accompanied by a kumquat compote, jicama, cucumber, Marcona almonds and Kaffir lime-lemongrass syrup. Meat options include grilled beef tenderloin with braised short rib, Fresno chili and carrot confit and pan seared prime New York strip with red bliss potatoes, cippolini onion, blue cheese and radicchio.
801 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139