It seems like every year there is a new belle of the ball when it comes to ethnic cuisines. First it was Spanish, then Peruvian, and now, could it be Uruguayan? It does if you’re taking cues from hot new projects like EAST, Miami, which boasts Quinto La Huella, the first international outpost of Uruguay’s top restaurant, Parador La Huella. Although the country is more famous for borrowing dishes from nearby countries like Argentina and Chile than it’s own groundbreaking dishes, it does offer up clean cuisine and top quality meat and seafood grilled to a tee.
The Argentinian asado involves the art of grilling beef over charcoal, giving it a smoky flavor Americans are pretty familiar with. The difference? The meat. Quinto uses beef from Uruguay, which is famously 100% grass-fed, unlike most American beef. In fact, a lot of the grass-fed beef sold in the US comes from Uruguay, which has a tradition of high livestock standards and has summer and spring year round, making grass always available to cattle.
Additionally, concerned customers don’t have to worry about growth hormones, inappropriate use of antibiotics or other proteins passing Uruguayan cow’s lips. They are simply not permitted. To perfectly prepare this amazing meat, the restaurant boasts no less than three wood-burning fires going at all times, augmenting Executive Chef Nano Crespo’s splendid dishes. Other dishes are wood-fired as well, including rack of lamb, game hen, grilled vegetables, pizza and fish.
Look for Entrecôte, Arroz Negro, and lots of fish, like hake, a la Plancha. In addition to these classics, Quinto has sushi. It’s not particularly Uruguayan, but it is authentic to the original restaurant in Uruguay that does indeed serve high-quality sushi.
EAST, Miami’s General Manager, Laurent Fraticelli, noted the popularity of the sushi. “People love to eat it as a snack, or an appetizer,” he said of items from the sushi menu, which include a roll topped with caviar. and many with fresh salmon.
Photos by Eric Wolfinger