Chilled King Salmon on Grapefruit

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Local Businesses Redefine Bar Food

Published January 16th, 2019 by Kaido

hamachi with grapefruit ponzu sauce

Biscayne Times

Written By Geoffrey Anderson Jr. And Dianne Rubin, BT Contributors

What comes to mind when you hear the term “bar food”? Most likely, the words conjure up thoughts of nachos, wings, and burgers. No surprise there — just about every sports bar has some version of these that’s great for sharing with friends and watching a big game.

hamachi with grapefruit ponzu sauce

Kaido’s hamachi with grapefruit ponzu sauce. Photo by Juan Fernando Ayora

But some watering holes in Miami are turning the definition of bar food on its head. At these places, the food gets as much attention as the cocktails. Guests no longer have to settle for fried fare and other selections that would make a cardiologist wince. A quality meal is well within reach.

One place that’s upping the bar food game: Jaguar Sun (230 NE 4th St., 786-860-2422), which we also mentioned in last month’s column. This establishment inside the lobby of downtown’s X Miami Apartments features a long list of “patio pounders” and craft cocktails, many of which contain spirits not normally found on menus around these parts. Also not typically found on South Florida bar menus are dishes like country ham, ’nduja toast, and blue crab campanelle. Pasta paired with a stiff drink? Count us in.

Foodies feeling fancier can make their way to Kaido (151 NE 41 St., Unit 217, 786-409-5591), the new Design District lounge from Alter’s Brad Kilgore. The James Beard-nominated chef has put together an Asian-inspired menu that’s ideal for getting a group together over top-notch libations. Items like the Nikkei octopus, Nurungi rice cake, lemongrass duck sausage, and Thai bass are substantial and approachable; the menu descriptions here might be overwhelming for some guests, but being curious pays off.

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