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As we approached the new St. Regis Hotel in Bal Harbour for dinner at the J&G Grill, the exterior gave little indication to the luxury inside. The hallways are paneled in faceted mirrors cut like giant diamonds and guests walk on a quarry’s worth of hand-selected marble. As cold as glass and stone may sound, it’s shockingly warm and inviting, which may be the handiwork of the luxury hotel’s signature purple accents that are everywhere in subtle waves, from fabric choices to the St. Regis spotted purple orchid.
Perhaps the most welcoming and indeed the most beckoning aspect of the new hotel is the food. The J&G Grill overlooks the ocean (we learned that every room is an oceanfront room) and boasts a stellar menu by chef Richard Gras. Whitewall recently had the pleasure of taking a break from Art Basel Miami Beach madness and sat down for an actual meal, and what a meal it was.
Before opening the menu we ordered the black truffle pizza. It’s a signature dish at J&G and when it comes to truffles we don’t need our arms twisted. A heavenly mix of fontina and chopped black truffles with a tuft of frisée on top, the pizza is nearly perfection: earthy undertones of truffle intermingle with the savory salty cheese, the crust has fire-roasted crispiness to make it strong-flavored and yet light on the palate. We ordered an excellent Malbec and, following a simple, yet elegant green garden salad with a soy truffle vinaigrette, we decided on some dishes that ran an earthly gamut: Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar and pecans, filet mignon with wild mushrooms and guryère crèpes, and a lovely black cod with chantrelles and butternut squash broth. While everything was tasty and well-balanced, we especially enjoyed the mushrooms on both the mignon and cod dishes. With compliments to the chef, we ordered dessert (somehow, we managed): salted caramel ice cream with caramel popcorn and a decadent chocolate sauce. Like the truffle pizza, this dessert is not to be missed.
It should be mentioned that before we sat down to our belt-loosening meal, we sat for a snack and cocktail at the St. Regis Bar & Wine Vault. We sampled some sushi and sashimi from the new Asian menu and had a Bloody Sunrise, the Bar’s iteration of a Bloody Mary. The modern interpretation of the Bloody Mary, as it turns out, was invented at the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis in New York, and since then every St. Regis in the world has their version of the cocktail. In Bal Harbour, this means a key lime ice cube floating at the top, a nod to the state’s cherished citrus.
Miami can be a place of chaos and clamor, which of course is part of the appeal. But if you need to find an oasis, the St. Regis has an overwhelming calm and an understated luxury and at its heart is the J&G Grill.
Images courtesy of St. Regis Bal Harbour.