Step into the eclectic urban-cozy Fooq’s in downtown Miami, and it is like going down the rabbit hole into a world mixing Paris, Tehran and Miami. The 2-year-old restaurant was recently renovated with a waiting area for browsing books and colorful cushions. More important, it has a new executive chef and menu with more Persian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Moroccan fare, reflecting the family background of the owner, David Foulquier, who was recently named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
Start with These Dishes
Complimentary True Loaf bread triangles arrive with pickled peaches. It is served with feta-stuffed dates drizzled in balsamic vinegar, hummus garnished with fried chickpeas, or smoky eggplant dip made from roasted eggplant. The dips are perfect for smearing on lavash or Persian barbari flatbread brushed with duck fat, grilled then sprinkled with za’atar. The Persian salad is rainbow: shaved carrots, fennel, turmeric pickles and shreds of radicchio on a tangle of bitter frisee tossed in Dijon and Persian lime vinaigrette — with a seven-minute egg on the side. Or try locally made burrata on a large crostini, spread with with house tomato jam or honey glazed baby Brussels sprouts with sweet pickled peppadew pepper. Brunch was added with dishes like a weekly pork hash and bucatini carbonara.
Share These Dishes
Friends should share the weekly khoresh (Persian stew) over tahdig, the coveted crispy crust that forms on the bottom of a pot of rice made here in small cast iron pans. Or get the ghormeh sabzi (meaning “herbs in the garden”), a stew with chicken and kidney beans seasoned with dried lime and a blend of aromatic spices (dried rose petals, fresh tarragon, marjoram, dill, mint, basil) with a side of crispy rice and sour cherries. There’s also succulent braised lamb served with hummus and labneh sprinkled with smoked paprika and fresh dill. Fish of the day (often golden tile) brings fillets served on top of farro with roasted sunchokes. There’s also a kebab platter, bucatini all’amatriciana, steak frites, and a half roast chicken with potatoes, peppers and feta.
Save Room for Dessert
The dessert to order is the Persian Sundae. It’s served in a teacup with saffron, rosewater and pistachio gelato topped with whipped cream, chocolate pearls, pomegranate seeds and dried apricot and date bits.
What Makes It Special
Owner and sommelier David Foulquier created this unique ode to his French and Persian heritages and was just named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in the food and beverage category. Foulquier, nicknamed Fooq, grew up in Manhattan where he learned to host lavish feasts alongside his Iranian mother and grandmother. He honed those skills at the Florida International Chaplin School of Hospitality. Six months ago he hired Saul Ramos as Fooq’s third executive chef. Ramos, a native of Mexico, grew up in Chicago and loves experimenting with Persian spice blends — ideal for perfectly preparing Fooq’s Persian stew with crispy rice, his grandmother’s family recipe.
If you go
The place: Fooq’s
Address: 1035 North Miami Ave., Miami
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 6 :30 p.m.-11 p.m., Sunday brunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and dinner 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
Prices: Starters $13-$26, mains $20-$30, brunch items $12-$22