Jarrod Verbiak, DB Bistro Moderne

When DB Bistro Moderne opened last year in the JW Marriott Marquis Miami, it was more than proof of the Brickell corridor’s rising popularity; it was the legitimization of the city’s culinary scene as a whole. Miami’s homegrown talents continue to develop enough buzz to make it attractive to upper-echelon international chefs like Daniel Boulud, the head of New York’s legendary Daniel. Although Boulud opened his Palm Beach restaurant, Café Boulud, in 2003, this latest addition to his empire is his first in Miami, and unsurprisingly skews younger and hipper.

At the helm of its kitchen is executive chef Jarrod Verbiak. The Daniel alum quickly absorbed his mentor’s precise, classical techniques. “My first week as an intern in the kitchen at Daniel in New York was spent on the canapé station. I was preparing to send out a dish I had devised myself. Daniel came up behind me, took one look at my work, and basically barked at the top of his lungs, ‘Zero, zero, zero cooking decisions are to be made by you—ever! This is not your restaurant!’” he remembers. “It was a shock, but boy was he right. Ten years after that wake-up call, I’m his executive chef at DB Bistro Moderne, and now constantly creating menu items. I’ve earned his confidence, but there isn’t a dish I put on the menu where I don’t recall that first fiasco.”

Verbiak’s creations do Boulud’s philosophy proper justice, adding local touches (Florida ingredients such as Palmetto Creek Farms pork, and flavors like moules-frites spiced with cilantro) to the acclaimed chef’s trademark precision and refinement.

Of course, certain long-standing Daniel favorites appear as well, like the original DB Burger. The decadent creation involves sirloin, short ribs, foie gras, black truffle, and not much modesty. “Clearly this is a chef’s burger, from the freshly ground beef, to the stuffing of slow, red wine-braised short ribs, to the center nugget of roasted foie gras, to the house-made toasted Parmesan bun,” Verbiak says. “This is a trick you shouldn’t try at home.” JW Marriott Marquis Miami, 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-421-8800

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