As changes are brewing at the Blue Piano, we thought it would be a good time to pay homage to the amazing food produced time and time again by Chef Cesar Zapata. Blue Piano quickly became our favorite restaurant in Miami, and we are interested to see what lies in store for it, and Cesar.
The last time we ate at Blue Piano was during their Swirl 101 wine and food pairing. For $18, three wines paired with three bites (a steal). The theme for the night? Chilled Reds. Yes, slightly cold red wine. Although it seems taboo to most to drink red wine anything less than room temperature, Aniece, wine-expert extraordinaire, showed us that this just ain’t so.
Before we embarked on the red wine journey, we sampled the Riesling Punch. Sitting innocently atop the bar, the bowl of punch was so pretty we couldn’t resist trying it. Riesling, perfect mini-cubes of watermelon, elderflower syrup, honey, and tarragon mixed together to make one of the most refreshing drinks summer has ever seen. It just sounds pretty, doesn’t it? Do try to replicate this at home, even if the Summer of Riesling is technically over.
The First Pairing: Terres Dorees “L’Ancien” Beaujolais Vielle Vignes. We described this wine as woody, full-bodied, and almost bacon-y. It was served with grilled asparagus, cured country ham, fried scallions, preserved lemon, sherry vinegar, and a perfect fried egg. Shari doesn’t love egg yolk; I don’t love asparagus. However, Shari was paying an awful lot of attention to the yolk and I ate more asparagus than anyone at the table – it was that good. Cesar, where were you when my Mom was trying to get me to eat vegetables 10 years ago? She could’ve used you.
The Second Pairing: Beaujolais, Fr, 2009 Weingut Kunstler Spatburgunder, Rheingau, Ger, 2008. A German pinot noir, it had hints of fresh strawberries, bing cherries, and raspberries. “Dances on your tongue” is one phrase that was used to describe this wine. Although it’s a screw cap bottle, we learned that this has nothing to do with the quality of the wine, and you don’t need to deal with an annoying cork. Double win. It was served with the star of the night, a perfect ricotta fritter with foie gras emulsion, fresh fig, maple, and olive oil powder. Star of the night may be an understatement – this was Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
The Third Pairing: Feudi di San Nicola Primitivo, Puglia, It, 2007. A big, bold, juicy wine. It was served with pulled pork sliders on potato buns, with house-made potato chips and a subtle slaw. We personally felt that these sliders were superior to the full-sized pulled pork sandwich on the regular menu. Perhaps something to do with the potato chip to sandwich ratio. To test this theory, the kitchen sent out the big boy. Yupp, just as we suspected. These sliders are better.
We couldn’t leave without having some of our favorites, and a new menu item. The Croque Madame, PB&J&Bacon, and the very recommended (thank you Josh Mosley) ‘McLovin’ (chorizo sausage, runny egg, english muffin, house made chicarrones). An $18/person dinner turned into a $58/person dinner, but hey, that’s what happens when the food is just too good to resist.