South Florida is a melting pot of cultures, and there’s plenty of restaurants representing all different parts of the world. And tonight, we’re getting our Christmas feast with meals from around the world … ones that are actually being served right here, in our backyard.
Forget about gingerbread houses and peppermint this christmas — feast on this:
Chef William Crandall: “We’re encompassing a family-style like sharing feast of seven different types of seafood.”
Chef William Crandall from Izzy’s Fish & Oyster in Miami Beach is offering up a true Italian Christmas meal. The Feast of the Seven Fishes. You get seven types of fish, all for just $65 a person, or $100 per couple.
Chef William Crandall: “It’s an Italian tradition, kind of based out of the Catholic style, like you don’t eat meat the night before the holidays or on Saturdays. This tradition has gone back for many many years.”
And there’s more than just Italian flair offered in this Christmas meal.
Chef William Crandall: “We really wanted to focus on the style of New England concept we have at Izzy’s.”
They’re sticking with some of their classic dishes like oysters, and then there’s the Christmas only recipes. The big shebang?
Chef William Crandall: “This beautiful main lobster. It’s split in half, and then we take the meat out and then we stuff it back in with Maryland crab meat, with some Florida citrus and a dijon mustard butter sauce, and then it’s broiled so it just gets a little crispy on top.”
And it passes the taste test.
Andrea Fontana: “Everything tastes delicious. You just wanna keep eating.”
Not a fish eater? Chef Diego Oka from La Mar at the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell is cooking up this Peruvian staple.
Chef Diego Oka: “It’s a very traditional preparation.”
The hearty meal mixes meat and corn, and is full of flavor.
Chef Diego Oka: “You will try it and it’s very creamy, silky, salty, sweet — it’s delicious.”
Don’t just take his word for it.
Suzy Gil: “It’s sweet because of the corn, and then you have the savory because of the beef, so it’s a really nice combination.”
And you can say it’s somewhat of a Christmas miracle that chef is serving this one.
Chef Diego Oka: “We don’t have it here on the menu, we did it because it’s a special celebration.”
Over at PB Station in Downtown Miami, they’re serving up a Puerto Rican specialty for Christmas.
Chef Jose Mendin: “Pig. Pig in Puerto Rico is big.”
Chef Jose Mendin is putting the best of his island homeland on your plate.
Chef Jose Mendin: “We’re gonna have the baby pig. Gonna have the whole baby pig, the ten pounder, with the sides — the Puerto Rican sides.”
Those sides include mofongo, rice, beans, plantains and various sauces in which to dip your pork.
This dinner is more than a meal to Chef Jose — it’s a trip back home.
Chef Jose Mendin: “I want to take you back over there. I want to take you back, and I want to give you the flavors that I experienced when I was there, that I miss.”
Celebrating the season at PB Station is food for the heart and soul.
Isabel: “I think it’s fantastic. I think it’s a great mix and melting pot of food, and it fits in very well with Miami.”
FOR MORE INFO:
Izzy’s Fish & Oyster
423 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
500 Brickell Key Drive
Miami, Florida 33131
PB Station at The Langford Hotel
121 S.E. 1st St.
Miami, FL 33131
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