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Miami Tastemakers: Why You Should Go To Julia and Henry's

(Image courtesy of me.)

Whenever you venture into the metropolis of Miami, you encounter restaurants serving both marketing gimmicks and ostentatious food. As a customer, you ponder the following questions: Who is the arbiter of taste? Is it the food critic writing for a high-end publication or the influencer posting for millions of faceless followers? What makes a place worthy of your taste? When I first walked into Julia and Henry’s in Downtown Miami, these questions buzzed around my head. On a humid September night, I took one of my mentors turned friend, Adam, to dinner at Miami’s newest food hall. And it did not disappoint.

(Image courtesy of me.)

As you walk into the building, you are greeted by an Art-Deco-inspired bar that crowns the room. You are surrounded by music as you journey through three distinct levels. Each storefront reflects the restaurant’s culinary tradition. As you walk around Julia and Henry’s, you begin to understand how Miami has transformed from mere city to a global center.

(Image courtesy of King Goose Hospitality.)

I began my culinary experience with Cicchetti. Cicchetti is the brainchild of Chef Eremita, who founded the restaurant La Buchetta in Florence. This restaurant specializes in Venetian tapas. I ate the Capri (Stracciatella cheese, confit tomatoes, arugula, & basil pesto) and Napoli (eggplant, buffalo mozzarella, confit tomatoes, & basil) bruschetta. At the same time, my friend ate the Verona (robiola cheese, salami, figs jam, & black pepper) and Bologna (mortadella, burrata, artichokes, & pistachio) tapas.

(Images courtesy of me.)

Afterward, we stopped at Amsterdam-inspired Papa, where Adam ordered the Smoky BBQ fries. Papa is a “gourmet French fry” storefront that serves “air-fried French fries with an endless array of sauce and topping variations”. In addition to being tasty, Papa’s team served the fries very fast.

(Image courtesy of me.)

After fries and bruschetta, we journeyed upstairs to Yabai for the handrolls. We split the Salmon Miso, Toro, and Avo-Shiso-Kyuri rolls. As we watched the chef effortlessly craft the sushi rolls, you felt transported to Tokyo’s Kabukchio district. Under neon signs, you see the chef flame torch salmon, dust sesame seeds, and combine ingredients to craft a Miami flavor profile to a Japanese art form.

(Video courtesy of me.)

We finished our dinner with José Mendín and Jorge Mijanos’ restaurant Hitchihaika (Japanese for hitchhiker) for Gyozas. I ate the Vegetarian gyoza, and Adam ate The Chicken Carbonna (stuffed with pancetta, garlic, heavy cream, and egg) gyoza. While eating the vegetarian dumplings, I was pleasantly surprised by its light texture and rich flavors. I had the chance to speak with the line cook who prepared the meal in front of us. She saw my face light up as I took each bite. At the end of the meal, I told her thank you for one of the highlights of the evening.

(Image courtesy of King Goose Hospitality.)

Dinner is never complete without dessert. Baklava Bakery synthesizes traditional Middle Eastern and global influences to create a unique dining experience. We split the Traditional Baklava and Candy Sushi. The Baklava was light and sweet, and the Candy Sushi provided a new twist to traditional Lebanese flavors.

(Image courtesy of me.)

What makes a restaurant worth your while? Is it the euphoria of the first bite or the feeling of being full and satisfied? What makes diners want to return to an establishment? At Julia and Henry’s, the answer is simple. Julia and Henry’s is where you can witness people loving what they do. Each person at each restaurant possesses such knowledge and passion about their food that it magically transfers to you as you take your first bite. Under the guidance of James Beard Award-winning chefs Tomas Kalia and Renzo Garibaldi and renowned culinary experts Michelle Bernstein, José Mendín, and Yann Couvreur, Julia and Henry’s metamorphizes from mere food hall to a reflection of Miami.

(Image courtesy of me.)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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