If youre a follower of Miamis ever-evolving gastronomic scene, youve likely been to at least one of Claudio Giordanos ventures. From La Bussola in Coral Gables, the acclaimed Italian gem he opened in the 1980s and managed for 15 years, to Altamare on South Beach, his ode to fresh, local seafood which he still runs, Giordano is one of the areas most lauded, longtime restaurateurs, an expert in creating deliciously luxurious dining experiences. So it may come as a surprise to some that his newest venturethe just-opened TIKL Raw Bar & Grill on Brickell Avenueis a decidedly more casual affair. The dining scene has changed, admits the Italian-born transplant. People are looking for a more relaxed experience.
Enter Giordanos partner, chef Simon Stojanovic, the former sous-chef at the famous Michaels Genuine whose been at the helm of Altamares kitchen for three years and whos now shifted to TIKL to introduce a new menu and concept. It will be centered around many different plates of food rather than a three-course dinner, Stojanovic says. You can try six or seven smaller dishes and share them with your friends. For me, as a chef, thats a good thing because youll be experiencing more.
SAUTEED WHITE SHRIMPThis shrimp dish is on TIKL's new menu but Chef Stojanovic shared the recipe with INDULGE.1 lb white shrimp
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons of canola
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
1/2 lb shishito peppers
2 scallions, sliced thin on a bias
Handful of cilantro
Zest of 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to tasteShell and devein the shrimp leaving the tail and head on. Set aside. Heat a large sauté pan and, when hot, add the butter and oil. Add shrimp, garlic and peppers and season to taste. Make sure all the shrimp are in contact with the pan. Cook the shrimp and peppers for about 2 minutes on each side. Then add scallion, cilantro and lime zest over the shrimp. Toss in the pan a couple of times and serve. Makes 3 to 4 servings.
The experience hes referring to might include any or all of the following: a duck egg poached in a most trendy way (slowly, at 144 degrees Fahrenheit for nearly an hour, yielding an egg thats somewhere between raw and perfectly creamy) sitting atop a smooth veal rillette; a carpaccio of hogfish, the local fish thats surfacing on many a high-end menu these days; or something, anything, cooked ever so briefly on Stojanovics favorite new toy, the Japanese robata grill, which imparts a distinct, subtle smokiness on anything it touches. Like a good father of many dishes, Stojanovic says he cant pick a favoriteI love them allbut confesses he had the hardest time figuring out how to adapt the octopus starter from Altamare to this new menu. Its the most popular dish there so we knew we wanted to bring it here, but in a different way, he says. Its been a challenge to change something thats already so good. But we did it. Another adjustment for the restaurant duo: focusing on value. While its certainly feasible to go to TIKL and drop $300 for dinner and drinks, we also wanted to make it so you could come, sit at the bar, have lunch and get out for $40, Giordano said.
Giordano is certainly up for the challenge; after all, this is a man whose hobbies include blue water spear fishing. You jump into 3,000 feet of water in the open sea and with your spear try to catch whatever comes up, he explains, getting excited. Yes, there are sharks. But you just push them away. What he wont be pushing away, of course, is any of the 1,300 people who work in the building where TIKL is located. That, he says, should make a nice lunch crowd. BCW
TIKL Raw Bar & Grill, 1450 Brickell Avenue, Suite 110, Miami; 305-372-0620; tiklrestaurant.com