My first impression when I came for brunch was great. Everything about it: food, service and ambience. But when I came back for dinner, I was even more impressed. What makes a great restaurant? Ask the guys at the Federal!
Nothing more inviting than good lighting and I don’t mean bright lighting. It’s an essential element in the ambience of a restaurant and while you don’t want to be squinting to read the menu by a tiny candle light, you don’t want to feel like your dining in a dental office either. Lovely outdoor string lights and indoor soft table ones invite you to explore one of the most exciting menus in Miami.
This time, I had some friends visiting from Spain whom I did not want to disappoint. I didn’t want them to badmouth American cuisine as Europeans usually do ” oh you guys eat mostly burgers and fries! Blah, blah, blah….I had to prove them wrong which is exactly why I chose Southern.
We started with the Federal classics: a Jumbo Buttermilk Biscuit glazed with apple honey and sea salt for $6.00, the amazing Jar O’duck made with duck confit rillette( a variation of pâté), charred marshmallow fluff and candied sweet potato for $12.00. This one was a real treat served with delicious homemade bread. The Buffalo Style Pig Wing for $7.00 was interesting: made of pork instead of chicken in a tangy sauce accompanied by a creamy blue cheese dressing…a little spicy for some but delicious nonetheless. That was just the beginning!
We followed with the Surf and Turf Jambalaya for $22.00. According to the Paella connoisseurs at the table, it was outstanding! Chock full of gulf seafood, smoked chicken and Andouille sausage, this dish was an impressive southern treat for this group of Valencianos. For a light touch, we added the Heirloom Florida Tomato Salad for $12.00. A lovely bowl of garden goodness: avocado, shallots, hearts of palm, puff amaranth and Harpke family farm sprouts sprinkled with a good dose of queso fresco. Along came some Country Corn Cakes dotted with plenty of salmon caviar, herb crème fraiche and lemon zest for $14.00.
To top off this southern feast, we had to have desert. The Bourbon Bread Pudding made with Krispy cream doughnuts were pretty good. In spite of its rich ingredients, it turned out to be quite light and the Panacotta Shortcake was a cloud of fluffy deliciousness topped with fresh strawberries and a good sprinkle of crunchy biscuit crumbs.
No complaints here, not one! I was sure my mission to impress my friends was successful as I heard my friend Pilar say : “They’ve got to open one of these in Madrid!”
5132 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33137 -Tel. 305 758 9559