Passion fruit-milk chocolate cake with banana-passion fruit sorbet
Mackerel eschabèche, fromage de chèvre au poivre and Swiss chard barbajuan
Special wine room table for eight
Roasted loin of lamb with sheep’s milk yogurt and lamb jus
The dining room at db Bistro Moderne
The highly anticipated db Bistro Moderne—the contemporary French-American dining concept from renowned chef Daniel Boulud—has made its debut in one of the chicest new spots downtown, the JW Marriott Marquis Miami hotel.
OCEAN DRIVE: Who are your culinary mentors, and how have they influenced you today?
DANIEL BOULUD: Whether in my cooking or my approach as a restaurateur, I’ve been influenced by those I cooked for early on, beginning with Gerard Nandron. I did my first apprenticeship in his Michelin two-star restaurant in Lyon when I was 14. Mr. and Mrs. Nandron took care of their staff like a family. The chefs who really taught me were Georges Blanc, Michel Guérard and Roger Vergé.
What made you decide to bring db Bistro Moderne to downtown Miami? Is it different from your New York and Vancouver outposts?
db Bistro has a very urban energy that suits downtown, like its Manhattan counterpart just off Times Square. Our partnership with Ricardo Glas and the new JW Marriott Marquis was also a good fit. This new db Bistro has the soul of the original but with some twists. The bar and lounge space and soaring ceilings are a luxury we don’t have in New York. The wine room, where you can host a dinner for eight, is very sexy. If you’ve been to the original, you’ll recognize about 60 percent of the menu. The balance is dishes new to Miami. We need the freedom to create spontaneously, with Jarrod adapting local flavor, ingredients and seasonality.
db Bistro is widely recognized for the original db Burger (top sirloin, red-wine-braised short ribs and, for the Royale version, black truffles). What makes a good burger?
The right blend of beef cuts—I’m not telling!—including the right amount of richness, all freshly ground. Also, a good sear and housemade garnishes, including the bun. The db Burger is really my French tribute to a great American classic. But it’s hardly traditional—more of a dish within a dish.
What are some of your other favorite menu items?
I love the classics, such as a perfectly tender-on-the-inside-and-crispy-on-the-outside duck confit, a hearty coq au vin or a boeuf aux carrottes that melts in your mouth.
Tell us about your Miami chef, Jarrod Verbiak.
Jarrod is originally from Cleveland, with Eastern European roots and a love of good food. He came to Daniel in New York right out of the Culinary Institute of America, and did his externship with us almost nine years ago. I’ve promoted him through four of my restaurants since then. From New York to Palm Beach, Las Vegas and even Beijing, he has proven himself determined, talented, consistent and a good leader.
Your wine list, quite appropriately, has a focus on French offerings.
It’s no surprise that we favor French. But here in Miami, sommelier John Mayfield has also really sought out wonderful Argentine and Chilean wines. We wanted his cellar to offer discoveries that are also great values, so you’ll find bottles starting at $25.
What do you make for yourself at home?
Usually something cooked long and slow, a falling-off-the-bone dish that creates its own sauce and can be cooked in one pot. I devoted my book Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine to this kind of homey cooking. In winter I like a paleron de boeuf braised in red wine with bacon, or a delicious pork shoulder braised in Guinness with dried cherries.