Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sunday Dinner at The H Restaurant Sunny Isles

We had a great dinner on Sunday. My folks were staying in Sunny Isles Sunday night so my dad could get to an early meeting Monday morning. We decided to join them for our normal Sunday dinner but this time we went out. They made reservations at The H Restaurant on 174th and Collins Ave.

The H Restaurant is a small French place that has been open a short time but they hit a home run in food and service. The restaurant is roomy with an open kitchen. You can see bursts of flames leaping out of the skillets and men in chef’s coats busily plating food. The TV over the bar was tune to Americas Funniest Home Videos. It would have been nice to be off then tuned to something that distracted you when your eye caught a baby throwing up, or someone getting kicked in the crotch.

It was quite empty on a Sunday night so reservations were not necessary, but Open Table points are always nice to receive. We sat down to a basket of warm bread and individually wrapped pads of butter. It is a huge waste to put out ramekins of butter, but the presentation is so much better than the aluminum wrapped hard butter pucks. We ordered a bottle of their Italian Pinot Grigio and the French Platter as an appetizer. The French Platter was huge and delicious, filled with a large selection of cheeses, fruit, and charcuterie that made me hungry for what was soon to come. When the meal arrived 3 of the dishes came out while we waited for the 4th. I do like it when all the dinners come out at the same time so that there is not that awkwardness of “do I wait, or can I start”, but we waited and the 4th came out quickly.

I ordered the braised duck that was slow cooked in a port orange sauce and was served with fresh mashed potatoes and 2 pieces of asparagus. The duck was perfectly cooked and the meat peeled right off the bone. It was flavored perfectly. The mashed potatoes had a little lump to them so you knew that they were not out of a box. They were flavored with and had a hint of garlic and herb but nothing overpowering.

My dad ordered the frogs legs that were “fresh from the everglades”. I have no idea if they actually procured the legs from the end of a gig stick but they were fresh. People who say the frogs legs “taste like chicken” have either never eaten frog’s legs, or never eaten chicken. Frogs legs have a little hint of chicken but remind me more of a good sea bass with a chicken bone going through it. The legs were sautéed in garlic, butter and white wine and were served with a potato salad that I did not get the chance to taste but looked good. Mom and Carole both ordered fish, mom went for the Grilled Ahi Tuna, medium. She went a little more well-done then I would like, but she said that it tasted great. I actually took the rest home with me and was supposed to give it to her but I forgot. Sorry mom!

Carole had the Snapper en Papillote. The presentation of the fish wrapped in parchment paper was impressive, and as she opened it, the steam that escaped smelled delicious. The fish was flaky, cooked perfectly and tasted as good as it smelled. Her dish came with sliced potatoes that I could have sworn were cooked in bacon or duck fat. They were salty and crispy and I would have bet that the flavor could have only come from animal grease. I asked the chef and he said that they were just cooked in peanut oil, salt, and pepper. Whatever his trick is, he wasn’t going to tell.

We knew we were going to walk over to Epicure and pick up pastries so we skipped dessert. The bill for the 4 of us was under $200 including tip. If yo are in Sunny Isles or looking for a great French restaurant I would highly recommend this place. Reservations are probably more necessary on Fridays and Saturdays but it never hurts to make one. Parking can be an issue; we scored a spot right up front out of luck so that was nice. If you are looking for an inexpensive romantic dinner for two, my suggestion would be a bottle of whatever wine you want, the French platter and then order one entree to split. Trust me, it is more than enough and you will be well under $100.
The H Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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