Edge

Grass is an epicurean delight merged with haughty service

If you are a member of the trendier-than-thou crowd (or of you think you are), you’ll feel right at home at the Design District’s newest restaurant-cum-lounge, monosyllable-named spot called Grass.

Once past the muscled bouncers and black velvet ropes guarding the otherwise unassuming entrance (reservations required), the space itself is quite decadent. A grass-thatched, pitched roof covers a central lounge area in the otherwise uncovered space. The larger booths have their own pitched roofs, inspiring a feeling closer to Polynesia than downtown Miami. The tables are of dark woods, lit by candles that fill the space with a yellow glow. The lounge area, filling half the restaurant, has low couches and tables, again of dark wood, while grass grows in planters on some of the tables and on the bar.

My dining companion and I arrived at precisely the time of our reservation and were directed to wait at the bar for our table. We enjoyed a cocktail and waited. Now, some wait for a table is understandable, but to be made to wait 45 minutes past the time of our reservation was not, especially as the restaurant seemed empty and I could see many open tables. In fact, the couple waiting next to us at the bar grew tired and annoyed at the wait, and left.

While we hung around (and waited, and waited), we enjoyed a live DJ spinning ambient house. Grass attempts to be both a restaurant and a lounge, with the kitchen closing at midnight, but the lounge open till three. My companion remarked that this would be a better experience if we had come only to lounge.

The crowd was typical Miami see-and-be-seen; waif-thin models hanging off the arms of too-tanned, potbellied middle-aged men old enough to be their fathers, an assortment of hipsters, well-dressed and groomed; these folks fit in here at Grass as they would at B.E.D., or Nobu, or any of Miami’s uber-trendy hotspot-of-the-moment places. The bartender told me to come for Happy Hour on Fridays from 5 to 8 p.m.

When we were (finally) seated, the menus were presented with small reading lights and four sections: appetizers, salads, ceviches and main courses-all Asian-fusion cuisine. I started off with the Lemongrass Coconut Roast Pumpkin Soup, which was spicy, but the flavors combined were each so subtle that they overwhelmed each other. My companion chose the Merida Ceviche, and here was an outstanding choice. The fish was very fresh, combined in perfect proportion with avocado, red Bermuda onion, and other vegetables. The presentation was colorful and inviting, with crisp wonton-skin crackers.

For our main course, I ordered a Shitake and Edemame Bean Risotto.
This was prepared with truffle oil, and served with a furikake parmesan
waffle placed on top. Here too I questioned the chef’s choice of ingredients. The flavors of the mushrooms and the soybeans were undetectable because of the richness of the truffle oil. As a fan of truffles however, I enjoyed my truffle-flavored risotto.

My companion chose a salmon steak, prepared with a ginger sauce, and served with asparagus. This was delicious-the salmon a generous portion, flaky and moist, with crisp asparagus. Other items on the menu that we wanted to try included Cumin-seared Beef Tenderloin served with Jerusalem artichokes, rostoi potatoes and an Aji panko sauce. Also sounding yummy was a Shitake Ginger Lamb Ossobucco.

The ambience more than made up for any minor culinary disappointment, and I didn’t mind spending the $7 – $15 per appetizer, nor the $15 – $30 per entr

April 8, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami coach Mark Richt apparently is a fan of President Teddy Roosevelt’s — or at leas ...

If there was one freshman the Miami Hurricanes knew would have to help entering the season, Brevin J ...

Not only has Gerald Willis been one of the best stories of the Miami Hurricanes’ season, he has also ...

The Miami Hurricanes started the season No. 8 nationally in both major polls. Now, they’re nowhere t ...

With a bye week on the horizon, the meager University of Miami offense has nearly two weeks to attem ...

Fareed Zakaria, a CNN host, journalist and author, tells UM students that global pressures are makin ...

The program, in which UM students mentor high school students, aims to get first generation students ...

Dr. Ralph Sacco, a top neurologist and researcher at the University of Miami Miller School of Medici ...

U.S. Congresswoman and Chairman Emerita of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ileana Ros-Lehtine ...

Nearly 400 students participate in the National Gandhi Day of Service, the largest annual service da ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team improved to 10-5, 6-2 in the ACC, with a 3-0 sweep of Boston Co ...

The Miami women's tennis team closed the Bedford Cup with a perfect day, winning each match in ...

"In The Pool" is a series highlighting the University of Miami swimming & diving stude ...

Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, the University of Miami soccer team earned a, 1-1, draw ...

The Hurricanes fell in their ACC road opener to the Virginia Cavaliers. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.