Two of the trendier restaurants in Miami (for now), Sra. Martinez and Sugar Cane Raw Bar & Grill, have made their names with tapas-oriented fare, a concept I first encountered at a bar in Madrid muchos eons ago and fell in love with instantly. It’s a simple premise: many small plates to savor in lieu of the traditional appetizer/main course/dessert routine, making the gastronomic experience infinitely more adventurous. Initially (and essentially) glorified snacks, tapas have evolved into a culinary niche of increasing sophistication (McDonald’s meets Per Se!) And with that sophistication come eateries that are now as expensive as any in the haute-cuisine category. Four baby portions at an average $8–$10 each equals a pretty pricey entree at any upscale restaurant, so I imagine these establishments have healthy profit margins. Sra. Martinez, with the renowned Michelle Bernstein (doyenne of the Miami foodie scene) at the helm, is the more creative of the two; Sugar Cane mixes it up with a raw bar (sushi, sashimi, etc.)—and unexpectedly terrific torrejas for dessert. (Now there’s an idea: tapas dessert bars…)

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