Stubborn Seed: A Great First Impression

On the intersection of Washington Avenue and 1st Street in Miami Beach, Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford has set up shop with his first post-Matador Room venture: Stubborn Seed. It’s the first of two restaurants we can expect from the nationally renowned chef and Grove Bay Hospitality (the team behind Glass & Vine and other local favorites).

The South of Fifth space that once housed Tiramesu has been transformed into an inviting showcase for Chef Ford’s masterful menu, which lives up to its goal of taking honest ingredients and elevating them to a whole new level. Diners are in for a treat.

If you follow Chef Ford or Stubborn Seed on social media, then you know the plates look great. But looks aren’t everything when it comes to food: We’ve been disappointed by many a dish that looked amazing but lacked any other positive qualities. Thankfully, Stubborn Seed succeeds where others fail: You can tell that just as much thought went into the flavors as it did into the plating.

Oyster (radish, thai chili mignonette) and Lavash (chicken liver mousse, smoked chili jam), for example, aren’t foods that look very appetizing on their own. But with Chef Ford’s added touches of color, their usual dull earth tones become parts of a larger and more pleasing canvas (and they taste awesome, too). This emphasis on color is something you’ll see throughout your meal.

Our recommendation: Do the tasting menu. You’ll get the favorites on the menu as well as a few off-menu surprises.The if-you-only-eat-one-thing-eat-this Pommes Soufflées with caviar, creme fraiche and egg yolk are absolutely stunning in taste and presentation, and the Hawaiian Crab and Corn Beignets with celery root remoulade and shaved black truffle make for a substantial and standout bite. Items like Hawaiian Kajiki and Smoked Foie Gras will also help whet your appetite for the main courses.

In our case, those main courses included an incredible Slowly Cooked Snapper (Poblano cucumber lime, littleneck clams, bitter lettuce “butter) and a succulent Braised Short Rib with royal trumpet mushrooms. Both left us satisfied and not overly full, which was ideal since pastry god Dallas Wynne (ex-Ariete) let us try a number of her creations: Spiced Stout Guinness Cake, Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies, Chocolate Croustillant and Corn Pavlova. Even if you’re full, you need to at least make room for the cookies. They melt in your mouth and are dangerously addictive; no diet is safe around them.

Complementing all this food is a cocktail program that encourages interactivity. For instance, the DIY Silver Dollar Old Fashioned gives guests the chance to be their own mixologist. In the case of the Negroni A La Ford, your server will torch a passion fruit marshmallow so you can record the fun. And that’s what Stubborn Seed is all about: fun. Chef Ford and his team are able to elevate food in an deliciously fascinating way that still keeps it approachable for any guest and any palate. Take one bite of that tasting menu, and you’ll see what we mean.

Stubborn Seed is located at 101 Washington Avenue on Miami Beach. For hours of operation and more information, please visit their official website or call 786-322-5211.