Traymore executive chef Jonathan Lane is a heavy duty seafood fan. He highlights it whenever he can on his menu at the newly opened restaurant in the lobby of the serenely cool Metropolitan by COMO Hotel in Miami Beach. We’re talking a seasonal selection of fish prepared any which way: chilled, wood grilled, fried and roasted. We talked to Lane, who worked his way up the ranks at the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
You have lived and worked all over — Dallas, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York. How is Florida different in terms of the food?
I’ve found that in every city the cuisine is different. In Texas and Vegas, for example, you’ll find that seafood is not that popular, but Florida offers an amazing amount of interesting and amazing product, ranging from shrimp and crab fresh from the local waters, to an eclectic selection of Latin food.
How do you enjoying living here? Where do you dine out?
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Tropical weather is the way I have to go. Although I’ve experienced some brutal winters in Kansas growing up, I’ve always enjoyed warmer weather. My regular haunts are Macchialina, Lucali, Siam Rice Thai & Sushi and Zak the Baker. Each of these places I love because you can roll in and dine alone or with friends. Either way, they are all well worth trying.
What is a typical day like for you?
It varies throughout the week, depending on what is going on within the hotel. I’ll come in mid-morning for breakfast, then work the lunch service and develop new menu items with my team. In the afternoon I’ll prep the fish and mise en place while organizing for evening service. Mid-afternoons are concentrated on ordering produce and meats and speaking with vendors. I’ll have a short break and then work my way in to dinner service and hopefully be home by 10:30 or 11 p.m.
What are some recent food trends?
I really see simplicity with strong flavors dominating — using more and more great product that we can get out of Homestead. But the trend of simplicity with strong but clean flavors is the direction I’m going.
Baby back ribs from Kansas City!
What else is going at Traymore besides food?
The Traymore “Gin Bar” just launched its happy hour offering reduced beers, wines by the glass and all of signature gin cocktails at $10. There are more than 40 premium imported gins from around the world, with an especially crafted cocktail menu by resident head mixologist Jack Araque. Bar bites, too.
Lane will cohost the “Retro Feast Dinner” during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival 7 p.m. on Feb. 19. Tickets: sobefest.com