Tudor House is a recent addition to the South Beach dining scene helmed by newly-minted Iron Chef America Geoffrey Zakarian and executive chef Jamie Derosa. Tudor House is located in the ground floor of the Dream Hotel (once the Tudor House Hotel), and serves “casual” (casual for Zakarian) American fare – breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, room service and beach bites to go.
What We Had
Pretzel bread with port and red wine mustard – this was the ‘table bite’ and one of the best things we ate all evening. The mustard was awesome, and the bites were perfectly dense.
French Onion Dip with House Made Chips – This rendition is the polar opposite of Michael’s Genuine – refined, melted onions with vinegar and maybe a dollop of butter. The dip was great (though Michael’s Genuine is still our favorite there), but the chips were greasier than we would have liked.
English Pea Soup with Lime Marshmallows – This dish was good but strangely clunky – a velvety base of peas, cream, chicken stock and white pepper came topped with almost as-cool-as-they-sound lime marshmallows and pea tendrils, as well as with unappealing thyme sticks & peppercorn chunks. Minus the clunky sticks & pepper bombs, this dish was good. The lime marshmallows didn’t have the bright zesty pop I had expected, lending more of a subtle flavor and semi-textural component.
White Corn Angnolotti with Burgundy Black Truffles – This dish was small in serving size, clocking a half dozen very al dente pasta pillows with delicate cheese filling, a sweet on the verge of salty cream sauce, shaved asparagus, truffle shavings, basil leaves and pecorino. Despite the small serving size and almost too salty sauce, I liked this dish. I’m a sucker for truffle, and while I would have liked more truffle hit (the pecorino, basil and sauce drowned the truffle punch out), it was still a good dish.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Gingered Slaw – Crazy good chicken skin, juicy chicken meat and a great dilled ranch – this was a great dish. The slaw was bright and crisp, acting as a nice palate cleanser.
Where my pasta dish was on the diminutive side, this dish was huge. I had half a meal; this was a meal and a half, with 3 pieces of chicken (2 dark and 1 white).
Moscow Mule – Russian standard vodka with ginger beer & lime juice. This was a nice cocktail, and large. Not to mention, it was served in a really cool copper mug.
We also had some after dinner dessert amuse bouches, including a white chocolate lollipop, the best flan I’ve ever eaten (seriously. I had zero idea flan could be this good), and a milk chocolate/cocoa nib truffle that was knock-your-socks-off.
We ate our meal in the huge but cozy outdoor dining space. The outdoor dining space is like a very large lanai, with modern teak seating, glass tables and romantic lighting. A nice spot for a meal and screened from the street by large planter boxes.
Great service. We were the first table in for dinner service (6:00 p.m.), so the restaurant wasn’t terribly busy when we arrived. Our server was personable, warm, and enthusiastic about what he was serving. A great first impression.
As far as Food Network Personality chef restaurants go, this one fares better than average. The restaurant is still new, so I’m sure they are still ‘working the bugs out’ as it were, but the meal wasn’t bad. Not as top notch as we had hoped based on the type of food fresh in our minds from The Next Iron Chef (we followed closely, rooting for Zakarian to win), but it wasn’t bad. We will definitely have to visit again. Way better than fellow Iron Cheffer Bobby Flay’s MESA.
My DH wants to rate Tudor House 3.5 for value for money – namely for the portion size of my pasta vs. its price. I argue that even though the pasta was pricey, it had white truffle shavings, wasn’t as expensive as Scarpetta’s non-truffled spaghetti (although volume-wise, it was smaller). I think Tudor House warrants a 3.75 or even a 4 (mainly because the chicken was excellent and the rest of the meal had so much promise).