After hours on the phone with a very nice American Express concierge (Nicole), I was able to score reservations to this unique, drive-thru event, held on March 18th in Downtown Miami. Ten of the best chefs in Miami prepared small dishes to sample, in the safety and comfort of your own car. We arrived on time, had to wait about 10 minutes and then were flagged in to enter. Four cars at a time, in two entrances, were allowed, and each car had the same server the entire time.
First, our temperatures were taken, with a non-contact thermomater, then we were asked our choice of still or sparkling water and handed a bag with different brochures, including one describing all the dishes and recipes for them. You were supposed to be able to download music to accompany the different courses, but I couldn’t get it to work and no one could tell me how to resolve the problem. I just gave up and there was live music playing anyway, so it didn’t matter much.
A long wooden tray was handed to us, along with bamboo cutlery in a little pack and then the courses started. Of course, the first courses stand out more in my memory because, as I ate I got less hungry and the dishes started to blend together. The first course was a Strawberry Gazpacho with a Shrimp skewer by NIU Kitchen. I liked it, Zeke didn’t. The second course was three different vegan sushis from Planta. I didn’t expect to like it but I did! Especially the Torched & Pressed Miso Truffle Sushi. Delectable!
I’m not going to go through all the courses, but I will give you my top three. The Paellla Croquetas by Cafe La Trove (Michelle Bernstein) were very tasty and she is known for her croquetas, but when I looked at the recipe list and saw mussels involved, I stopped eating after the first bite. I’m extremely allergic to mussels and didn’t want to take a chance of projectile vomiting, especially all over Zeke’s car, while I still had seven more courses to go.
One of the courses- Papillote of Langoustine by L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon– didn’t appear at all. In its place was a Foie Gras Royale, Parmesan Blanc-manger, Essence of Maury “Vielles Vignes, served in a plastic cup. No, I don’t know what any of that is either (except the foie gras). It was very rich and decadent, but needed something to crunch with it, like a cracker.
So… my favorite dish was Indian Spiced Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower Raisin Amchar (a Trinidadian spice) by Balloo. It came topped with microgreens, a creamy sauce was underneath and a sprinkling of spices rained down on the whole shebang; it was flavorful, juicy and delicious. The Amchar Salad, with roasted cauliflower, golden raisins, cilantro, onion, pepper and spices was a perfect complement to the chicken thighs.
Second and Third Place was a tie between Harry’s Mushroom Pizza by Harry’s Pizzeria (Michael Schwartz) and Meatballs and Tomato Sauce by Carbone Miami. Dishes at the Resy Drive-Thru Event were served in a plastic box. I was surprised at how well Harry’s Mushroom Pizza held up in the plastic box, which has a tendency to steam food items. But, the crust was still crunchy on this wood fired King Oyster mushroom pizza which came with fontina cheese, black truffle crema and carmelized onions. The flavors tantalized the old taste buds and I ate the whole thing.
The Meatballs by Carbone Miami, a newly opened red sauce Italian restaurant in Miami Beach, came three to an order. They were packed with flavor, delectable and were garnished with salty shavings of Parmigano-reggiano. I ate one and took the rest home. They were just as delicious the next day when I had them for lunch, possibly more so because I wasn’t semi-stuffed. The other positive about this dish is it’s the only one of all the recipes I would attempt to make at home.
As for the desserts, the Yuzu Key Lime Sando by Pubbelly Sushi was absolutely addictive. The tart key lime and yuzu juice cut the richness of the condensed milk and heavy cream in the semifreddo. This was piped onto a graham cracker, which was topped with meringue and another graham cracker to make this amazing Ice Cream sandwich, with rainbow sprinkles coating the sides. I couldn’t stop eating it and ate the whole thing! After 10 courses! Well, 9 and a half.
There was music, tents, dancers and blow up balloons of donuts, hamburgers and meatballs, creating a festive atmosphere in the midst of the parking lot where the Miami Herald building used to be. As we left, we were directed to what looked like a disco car wash, with flames and smoke, a neon sign reading “The Eat is On” and girls dressed in white jumpsuits dancing. Once inside, an interior of Pepto Bismal pink dripping entrance, opened up to a gold room with gold curtains, gold disco balls and gold dressed dancers handing out gold bags. This was all to hammer home (not too subtly) that this Resy Drive-Thru was a Gold American Express event. Inside the bag was a donut from The Salty Donut, specially made for this event.
It was a Rose and Strawberry Donut, with 24 hour Brioche filled with strawberry jelly, dipped in rose champagne glaze, topped with gold-dusted meringue, dark chocolate curls, gold chocolate pearls and 24 Karat gold leaf. It was just as stunning to look at as it was amazing to eat. But I didn’t eat it that night. I split it the next morning with Wyatt for breakfast. Just what I needed for breakfast after a ten course meal!
While I really enjoyed the Resy Drive-Thru event and it was a fun and different way to experience dishes from some of Miami’s Top Chefs, I still prefer going out to dinner, sitting down at a table and enjoying a glass of wine with friends for a delicious meal. The other downside to the event was that our car smelled like ten different courses of food the next morning. I rolled the windows down to air it out, but it took days for the lingering scents to vanish. But definitely less time than it will take to lose the pounds I put on that night!
Here’s the Meatball recipe from Carbone.
Up Next: My experience with the Asparagus tart recipe that’s sweeping the internet.