Chef Danny Serfer’s North Miami Beach Gem is Heating Up with New Offerings
In operation for decades, North Miami Beach’s Gourmet Diner was a dining mainstay. It was only fitting that Danny Serfer, the chef/restaurateur behind some of Miami’s most beloved restaurants – Blue Collar and Mignonette – would take over the iconic space after it moved. “I always loved the look, feel and location of the Diner,” says Serfer, whose craveable, soulful and approachable cooking is deeply rooted in classic Americana. “North Miami Beach is my ‘hood so I loved the idea of bringing something new there.” Opened just five months ago, Mignonette Uptown is that “something new” and like the Diner before it, is becoming a gourmet neighborhood haunt with a spirit all its own. Now, with summer upon us, Serfer is giving his neighbors more than a few reasons to step through Uptown’s classic diner-style front doors.
First on deck is Serfer’s Cruise Ship Special steering guests through a four-course pre-set menu available during dinner service Sunday to Thursday. “I’ve never been on a cruise so I’m just guessing, but this sounds like the perfect menu to get you back to sipping cocktails on the deck,” Serfer says. “Miami is a huge port city. Whether locals or tourists flying in to catch the boat, everyone knows what to expect from cruise ship dining. I’m offering the same style menu but doing it right.” Priced at $39 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity, the line-up starts with fresh Snow Crab Cocktail, topped with Worcestershire aioli and lemon; followed by the Caesar Salad with Parmigiano Reggiano, and grilled sourdough croutons; and diner’s choice of Faroe Island Salmon or Prime Rib for the main course. Board-ering on a sugar-high, guests can choose from Serfer’s wildly popular Butterscotch Heath Bar Bread Pudding topped with cayenne whipped cream or the Nutella Milkshake with candied hazelnut and chocolate streusel for a sweet finish to a meal fit for a captain’s table.
Weekender’s can pop into Uptown for Serfer’s take on America’s favorite weekend repast – brunch. “This brunch menu has a little bit of everything; some Mignonette, some McDonald’s breakfast, some Blue Collar and some serious sweets,” Serfer says. “We work very hard to make sure each restaurant has its own identity and Uptown’s brunch is a standout.” The menu, which is served Saturday and Sunday from 11:30AM to 3:00PM, includes a selection of egg-xcellent cold, savory, shared and sweet dishes. Brunch-goer’s can have it their way with the Latke Benedict with poached egg and hollandaise ($6); or kick it up a notch and have it Clawed with Maine lobster ($7), Pinched with crab ($5), Koshered with lox ($5) or Fancied with caviar ($9). Diners can’t go wrong with the Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs topped with red eye gravy ($19) or the Soft Scrambled Eggs Plain with bacon & American cheese ($14), or make it Fancy ($19), with truffles, caviar and gruyere. Uptown Towers perfect for sharing include The Break-Fast Tower ($49) featuring Durham Tracklement’s smoked salmon, house smoked sable, fish dip, capers, tomatoes, red onion and three locally sourced bagels; and the Blue Collar Tower ($75) -12 oysters, 6 clams, snow crab, shrimp & crab cocktail. Savory meets sweet treat with the French Fried Chicken Toast ($16), brioche bread, dipped in egg batter, crisped up a la plancha, stuffed with chicken fingers and drizzled with miso-maple syrup. It wouldn’t be brunch in Miami without a refreshing selection of essential brunch-booze. In addition to the classic mimosa ($11), Uptown offers a Fancy Mimosa ($13) with blood orange; and the BroMosa ($13) with champagne, OJ and Bell’s Oberon Wheat Ale.
A go-to destination to wind down after work, Happy Hour at Uptown features a playful lineup of libations and bites, available nightly from 5:30PM to 7:00PM and returning for a second round with Late Night Happy Hour from 9:30PM-close. Drink specials feature a variety of beers priced at $3; wines by the glass priced at $5 and 25% off all bottles. Along with these affordable pours, Uptown is serving some delectable small plates including a rotating selection of $1 oysters and .75 cent raw clams; Oysters Rockefeller ($2) with herbs, pernod, and parmesan; and BBQ Octopus ($9) served with pickled peppers and coleslaw. Rounding out the Happy Hour offerings, the Uptown Value Meal – available at the bar only for an unbeatable $17 – includes the Uptown Burger, fries, and a milkshake.
North Miami Beach’s dining scene just got a whole lot sweeter with a fresh variety of unique desserts by Pastry Chef Devin Braddock who complements Serfer’s savory with an assortment of delicacies. A protégé of one-of-a-kind pastry pro Chef Hedy Goldsmith, Braddock brings a broad knowledge of gourmet desserts and nine years of experience in the industry.
As corporate pastry chef for all of Serfer’s concepts, she aims to please with creative, decadent treats showcased in a classic diner-style rotating display. Sugar-fiends will have the opportunity to choose from an array of options including Devin’s Daily Pie ($9) which changes weekly; the rich Valrhona Chocolate Cake ($9) with Nutella, hazelnut, and toffee; Warm Cookies ($7) with Valrhona chocolate chunk and peanuts; and Braddock’s personal favorite, the banana, miso, salted caramel Milkshake ($7) to name a few. “Since the restaurant is housed in a former diner space, our desserts definitely pay homage to classic American items but each with a modern twist,” says Braddock.
Mignonette Uptown is located at 13951 Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami Beach. Lunch is served Monday through Sunday, Noon to 3:30PM; dinner is served Sunday through Thursday from 5:30PM to 10:00PM, and Friday and Saturday from 5:30PM to 11:00PM. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11:30AM to 3:00PM. Happy Hour is Monday through Sunday, 5:30PM to 7:00PM & Late Night from 9:30PM to close.
Telephone: (305) 705-2159; www.MignonetteMiami.com.