The Social Club, at Kimpton’s Surfcomber Miami South Beach Hotel, is launching an enticing new winter menu, beginning November 30, 2015, that is slated to draw locals and visitors to the restaurant’s artsy convivial vibe, and introduce an underrated, solid new talent to Miami’s vibrant dining scene.
Created by Virginia-born Executive Chef Blair Wilson, whose professional pedigree includes top restaurants in DC and around the South, The Social Club’s new winter menu beautifully marries Wilson’s strong southern background with the regional cuisine he’s grown to know and love. “My family has owned a house in the Florida Keys for years,” explains Wilson. “The drives down from DC became culinary voyages – Miami was always a stop for its exotic influences and tropical produce, and fishing with my dad in the Keys clued me into the bounty of fresh fish available.”
Determined to bring camaraderie back to dining, The Social Club embodies the notion of convivial dining with a comfy lounge atmosphere in the bustling art deco lobby; friendly, personable service; exceptional craft cocktails; and bold, approachable food, all meant to spark conversation, delight senses and satisfy cravings. Impressively pushing out a consistently delectable, well-rounded menu from a tiny kitchen located just off the restaurant, Wilson produces a fun and delicious milieu of locally-sourced and made-in-house treats.
Meat and seafood heavy Social Plates ($9-$18) include tender Cypress Creek Alligator, brined in buttermilk for 48-hours before lightly breading, perfectly frying and serving alongside charred Brussels sprouts, barbeque pecans, benne seeds and Paradise Farms honey; Charbroiled Oysters with absinthe, caramelized fennel, smoked bacon and parmesan bread crumbs; Wild Caught Calamari tossed with chunks of speck ham, roasted garlic, parmesan and cherry pepper aioli; 96 Hour St. Louis Ribs in sugar cane brine, sorghum-sesame glaze and jicama slaw; Deviled Crab Cake served with chicarrón, apple-celery root slaw and caper remoulade; a delectable Charred Octopus with pickled peppers, roasted olives and garlic-dill labneh; Slow Roasted Lamb Empanada with caramelized onion and harissa hot sauce; and Smoked Pork Belly Tacos topped with charred Brussels, roasted corn and chipotle honey. Vegetarian options include creamy Burrata with heirloom tomato, pickled onion, torn basil, jalapeno jam and Champagne vinaigrette; and Winter Park’s Blue Sunshine Salt Roasted Beets with toasted hazelnuts and blood orange curd.
Heartier Large Plates ($18-$36) such as: Whole Caribbean Red Snapper topped with pico de gallo, chorizo fried rice and black bean sauce; Crispy Florida Hen with bacon braised collard greens, sweet potato puree and habanero honey; a scrumptious Black Angus Burger topped with bourbon bacon jam, American cheese, house pickles, and sweet fire mayo; Fennel Dusted Cod drizzled with a coconut-lemongrass emulsion and served alongside roasted cauliflower and Israeli couscous; and a Cast Iron New York Strip with cured tomatoes, jalapeño Chimichurri, queso blanco and garlic foccacia, also delight. Sides ($8-$10) do not disappoint with options including Pimento Mac ‘N’ Cheese with brown butter garlic crumb; Chorizo Fried Rice with sweet peppers, cilantro and ancho chile; andCrispy Yucca with smoked chile pepper and garlic herb mayo dipping sauces.Desserts ($10-$11) include Homemade Ricotta Doughnuts with dulce de leche;Maple Croissant Bread Pudding with praline caramel, bbq pecans and vanilla gelato; and a classic Guinness Brownie Sundae with butterscotch, vanilla ice cream, black cherry and whipped cream.
A CIA graduate, Blair Wilson (35) joined the Kimpton family in February 2013 after several years of cooking in top kitchens throughout DC and the Southeast. Years earlier, the Virginia native fell into his life’s passion almost accidentally while working at a plantation and farm near his Alexandria home where he had to help pull off a large catering event that was short staffed. Wilson stepped up to the challenge, manning the kitchen, impressing his boss and ultimately falling in love with art. His affinity for Southern food and barbecue stems from deep within his roots, while his appreciation for fresh, local ingredients was embedded in him while working on the farm. The young chef has done stints at the Charleston Place Hotel in South Carolina, at Colorado’s Broadmoor Hotel, the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, and at Jackson 20 in Old Town Alexandria, among others. Trading colonial charm for Miami chispa, he joined The Social Club in late 2014 and has spent the last year truly acclimating himself to the vibrant South Beach culture, South Florida’s unique seasons, and the exotic flora and fauna now at his doorstep.
Created by The Social Club’s gifted in-house bartenders, cocktails are taken as seriously as the food and are meant to evoke and encourage the same idea of coming together to enjoy. The collection of expertly crafted, well-balanced cocktails utilizes top-quality local herbs, spices, house-made infusions, bitters and tonics. Offered at $13 a piece, difficult-to-choose options include the Negroni Diablo – mezcal, Lillet Rose, Campari, jalapeno-lime simple syrup and a salted rim; Light from a Dead Star – housemade lemon infused St. George gin, Thatcher’s cucumber, Pavan liqueur, grapefruit bitters, lemongrass, simple syrup and dill; This Twilight Garden – Deep Eddy grapefruit vodka, St. Germaine, lavender bitters, rosemary simple syrup, lemon and fresh beet juice; If I Was Your Vampire – housemade espresso bean infused Michter’s rye, Six Grapes port, chocolate bitters, Filthy cherry syrup, vanilla simple syrup and lemon; Sangre de Rio Grande – housemade tamarind infused Corralejo tequila, Ancho Eyes Chili Liqueur, Orgeat syrup, mole bitters, red bell pepper, cilantro and lime; and 28 Days Later – Ron Zacapa 23 rum, Flor de Cana silver rum, 10 Cane rum, Ron Carlos 151 rum, grapefruit, passion fruit, and grenadine. The Social Club hosts a daily Happy Hour, from 4-7 p.m. with a menu of $3-$7 Bar Bites, $5 microbrews and house wines, $7 classic cocktails, and Punch the Clock with house made pisco punch offered for $4 from 4-5 p.m., $5 from 5-6 p.m. and $6 from 6-7 p.m.
The 85-seat indoor/outdoor locale is located off the Surfcomber hotel’s stunning lobby and on the intimate veranda peering over Collins Avenue. The inviting interior, awash in warm grays and purples, neutral beige and amber and pops of vivid blue, magenta and green, combines comfort and functionality. Deep plum walls adorned with funky art and polished terrazzo flooring with area rugs set the foundation of the room, while long plush gray couches and floral upholstered chairs accompany simple wooden topped steel tables that can be arranged to accommodate small or large parties. A lounge seating area with a soft sofa, low slung steel tables and large gold-painted tree trunk end tables with silver lamps and oversized white candles, creates a chic den feel. The emerald tile-lined bar, housing six oversized sand colored barstools, is aptly lit with three hanging chandeliers of clear blown glass balls with amber light bulbs. An uplit dark wooden sculpture provides the back drop for the display of fine craft spirits and fresh herbs, fruits, tonics and bitters decorate the simple granite bar top.
Kimpton’s Surfcomber Miami is situated at the Atlantic Ocean’s edge along 200 feet of oceanfront property on historic Collins Avenue in the heart of Miami Beach’s Art Deco District. The hotel’s “backyard bliss” -inspired design makes for a distinctively relaxed atmosphere, while its pool deck, with full cabana service, offers some of Miami Beach’s best daylife—think nightlife under the gorgeous Florida sun. For reservations and information visit www.surfcomber.com or call (855) 523-5455 or 1-800-KIMPTON.
The Social Club, located at 1717 Collins Avenue at the Surfcomber hotel on South Beach serves a daily brunch from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., limited bar menu from 4-5 p.m.and dinner from 5-10 p.m. (11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays). Happy Hour is offered daily from 4-7 p.m. www.socialclubatsurfcomber.com Telephone: 305-604-1800