It’s been almost seven years since the Mondrian opened and tantalized us with the magical, Marcel Wanders-designed space. Even the restaurant brought a bit of West Coast cool with Asia de Cuba. But in the years since A de C’s closing, the food and beverage at the hotel has been solid but unmemorable. Now owner Keith Menin and Morgans Hotel Group have launched a whole new concept, and for the first time since its opening, a whole new look.
The white palette of the previous restaurants has been replaced with the woods, washed out denims and fishing-village rope that lends a much warmer feel, and gives customers a hint at what’s on the menu: Mediterranean cuisine. Chefs include Morgans Corporate Executive Chef Tien Ho (Momofuku, Best New Chef Food & Wine) and La Savina’s Chef de Cuisine Gabriel Cruz, who have come up with a cohesive menu of crudos, salads, mains and delectable desserts.
Crudos are light: like the scallop served with yuzu, jicama and pickled onion. The starters are stellar. A beet salad could have served as the textbook example of how a beet salad with greens should be. The Charcuterie Board was on point, with high-quality meats and toast that die-hard Jamon Iberico snobs will love. Ditto the Cheese Board that had a unique and delicious Humbolt Fog goat’s milk cheese in the mix.
Mains are served up “steak-house” style, with all side dishes being a la carte. Our favorites include the lamb kabobs and the 24-ounce Neiman Ranch grass-fed ribeye served up with Valencia Rice — essentially a risotto with kale, tomato and a heavy dose of parmesan. All the chargrilled fish served in a classic “a la parilla” style is perfect, especially for eating on the terrace by the salty air of the Biscayne Bay.
The biggest surprise on the menu is a dessert made of puff pastry, with bananas, dates, powdered sugar and vanilla ice cream on top. They had us at “pastry.”