Saturday, August 25, 2012

Soyka (Miami, FL)

I had the pleasure last week of visiting some family in Miami for a (very) short time, arriving in Florida at about 9am on Thursday, and leaving at 9pm on Friday.  In that time, however, I had the opportunity to eat at four restaurants, ranging from good to great.  Two of these were with my grandparents and cousin, and two were with my cousin and uncle.  During July and August, many restaurants in Miami are offering a "Miami Spice" menu, which is a three course prix-fixe menu, with a few options for each course.

Soyka, which was our lunch choice on Thursday, features a mix of American and Italian influenced flavors, from the classic cobb salad to fiocchi alle pere, at fairly reasonable prices.  The atmosphere is friendly, a little "stuffy," maybe, but welcoming in general.  It's close enough to downtown that we were surrounded by bankers and lawyers when the restaurant started to fill up, but it never felt like we were underdressed for not being in business clothes.  The food itself was tasty, with my grandparents each getting a "California Omelette," featuring bacon, avocado (which was apparently lacking, since my grandmother asked me at one point "wasn't this supposed to have avocado?"), and monterey jack cheese.  Both enjoyed it, but my grandfather vastly preferred the salad that came with it, which was a simple, but exceptionally fresh looking, garden salad.  My grandmother had sweet potato fries as a side with her omelette, at my cousin's recommendation, but I was disappointed; while they were fairly crisp for sweet potato fries, they lacked salt, and thus flavor.  Well made, but not well seasoned.

That same description would work for the fried calamari that my cousin and I each got as appetizers; very well made, with the right texture and a nicely crisp, but not brittle crust, but lacking in salt and seasonings.  The marinara sauce it came with was fantastic though, and added a nice slightly sweet, slightly acidic flavor that was necessary.  My cousin and I also both ordered the fiocchi alle pere, a tortelloni like stuffed pasta with pear, ricotta, and mascarpone, in a thick, heavy parmesan cream sauce.  The sauce itself, while delicious, was a little too heavy for my taste, and by the end of the entree I was wiping as much sauce off each piece of pasta as I could.  The pasta itself was good, I suspect homemade, and soft but not mushy; I couldn't really taste the pasta itself because of the heaviness of the sauce, so I can't say if it had the right flavors or not.  The filling was incredible, sharp, tangy, sweet, and the little pieces of pear had just the right amount of crunch left to add a bit of "tooth" to the dish.  I would love to have it again, but with a sauce that doesn't overwhelm quite so much.

Despite the heaviness of the entree, and the fact that I was stuffed, I eagerly awaited my dessert, the "sticky date pudding" with a warm toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream.  This was remarkable; not too sweet, with a lovely, puffy, airy texture, tasting slightly of date, but not hugely so.  The toffee sauce was good, but a little oversweet for me (not that that's too hard), and the vanilla ice cream was delicious.  My cousin had the brownie dessert, which also came with ice cream.  She raved about it, as did my grandfather, who tried a bite (or two...he's diabetic and not supposed to eat much in the way of sweets, but we let him try it, and he managed to sneak a second bite before we could stop him; at 94 he's still all about the food!) and had a grin on his face that stretched ear to ear.

The food was good, but the service was really great.   As I said, my grandfather is 94, and my grandmother is 86, and neither are in the best shape.  The wait staff was very accomodating, holding doors for us on the way in and out as my cousin and I helped our grandparents in and out of the restaurant, and even providing a pair of reading glasses for my grandmother since she forgot hers.  In fact, they had a box of several pairs for her to choose from!  That kind of thing is very much appreciated, and was the sort of service that was repeated the next day for lunch as well.


Check us out on Facebook!

No comments:

Post a Comment