Mediterranean heritage meets Miami glamor at Award of Excellence winner Tur Kitchen in Coral Gables, Fla., not far from the University of Miami and the historic Venetian Pool. Here, executive chef Christian Chirino pulls inspiration from Italian, Greek, Turkish and North African cooking to create a lively and welcoming dining experience.
With a focus on sustainability, Chirino’s contemporary-cuisine menu incorporates responsibly sourced, seasonal Florida produce, meat and seafood into the culinary traditions of this vibrant region. Among the starters are a selection of pides, Turkish breads stuffed with items such as braised lamb, mushrooms or shrimp. Roasted root vegetables are juxtaposed with zingy clementines and silky labneh, and delicately shaped, duck magret with kofta-style duck confit meatballs is served over cauliflower puree with a cocoa nib jus. Snapper tartare is rolled into thinly sliced cucumbers, then topped with a generous scoop of caviar and drizzled with green goddess juice (after all, it is Miami).
No tour of Mediterranean cuisine would be complete without wine, of course, and wine director Luca Delogu’s eclectic list focuses on selections from across the European region, particularly family-owned wineries and those that adhere to sustainable, organic and biodynamic practices. A wide range of wineries have a home on this 178-label list, from Antinori in Italy and Marqués de Murrieta in Spain to Château Musar in Lebanon and a sprinkling of less-familiar names from Armenia, Greece, Sardinia and Turkey.
Tur also offers eight- and 13-course tasting menus with suggested wine pairings, as well as a lunchtime “Mediterranean Spice” menu of three courses for $39, served Monday through Friday. For those who want to reach into their own cellars, Tur welcomes guests to bring their own bottles for lunch and dinner, Sunday through Thursday, and for lunch on Fridays. (The corkage fee is $45 for two bottles.)