The Place: Built in 1958 and designed by Norman Giller, the Carillon resort was a playground for the rat pack that once sported a bell tower. Thyme restaurant opened in November 2015 in the former Grill at Canyon Ranch. A large, smooth wood mobile with polished slices of geode dangles, dividing a main dining room done in neutral and natural wood tones from the open kitchen. There is also seating by windows with ocean views and a patio with wicker furniture overlooking the beach cabana.
The History: Executive chef Fritz Zwahlen grew up in Bern, Switzerland, where he went to culinary school and did an apprenticeship starting as a pot washer and worked his way up. He also learned to cook from his mother, who as a chef in Austria reported to work at 4 a.m. each day to start the wood fire. He left in 1985 and went to Banff, Canada, to work at a Swiss-Italian restaurant in the Rocky Mountains, then went to Norway and worked for the Viking Sky cruise line. Next he worked at various restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania and then moved on to Aman resorts in the Philippines; he also spent 10 years at the Amanyara resort in the Turks and Caicos islands. He came to Miami a year ago to open Thyme and hired Denevin Miranda as chef de cuisine.
The Food: There is a breakfast buffet except on Sunday, when there’s brunch. All the seafood is sustainable, and they serve grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats, with the menu changing seasonally. The lunch and dinner menus are different; a recent lunch featured baby spinach salad with seared scallops; raw vegan tacos with nut “cheese,” avocado and pico de gallo; green mango salad with shrimp, hearts of palm and tomato strips, cilantro and Asian dressing; and Thai wraps with strips of mango, Napa cabbage and carrots in a collard leaf served with tamarind dip. At lunch or dinner try the Indonesian-spiced grouper fillet with Asian vegetables and house-made spicy sambal sauce. Dinner also offers duck confit tart with cherries, apricots and greens; ramp risotto made with carnaroli rice that cooks up creamy with chanterelle mushrooms; Malaysian beef rendang braised in coconut milk with kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass and ginger; steamed snapper with black rice and dashi ponzu; and Thai green curry with pumpkin, eggplant and taro with a choice of protein. Dessert brings mint “snow” made from maltodextrin starch on top of chocolate mousse with a ball of chocolate-covered mint ice cream.
You Didn’t Know This: The name Thyme is a pun on the Carillon’s symbolic meaning — chimes of a clock tower that turn the hands of time — a motif found throughout the property via massive functioning clocks on the top of two of the towers as well as Roman numeral reflections cast on the side of the building before the sun sets every day. These elements intend to evoke a sense of timelessness; the herb is featured in many dishes.
If You Go
Place: Thyme at the Carillion Miami Beach
Address: 6801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Hours: Breakfast, 7-11 a.m.; lunch Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; dinner nightly, 5:30-10 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Prices: Breakfast buffet, $31; starters, $12-$16; sandwiches, $16-$18; mains, $24-$38; sides, $7
FYI: Wine, beer and cocktails