I’m open to including guest reviews on occasion. This was written by my son, Tim, and his girlfriend, Mariana, who live in Miami.
Catharsis in Miami offers a dining experience once a month in which guests are blind folded. Each month the menu changes. The experience, however, always consists of a six course tasting and wine pairing. Each course brings the diner new flavors, smells, and challenges.
Before arriving I had concerns about how I was supposed to eat without spilling and how I was supposed to find the food. The first course was a mango and feta salad with spinach, arugula, and tomato confit with a house made vinaigrette. I have no idea when the plate arrived at the table, nor how long it was there before I found it, but while sliding my hand across the table in search of food a plate seemed to magically appear. I then had to find my fork, but thankfully this was significantly easier because I had taken a mental picture of the table arrangement before the dining began. Once, I finally found my plate again I had no idea what was on it until I put my finger in the salad. To eat the salad, and the rest of my meal, I used my fingers to scoop it onto my fork. I used the fork to skewer tomatoes and spinach. The salad was amazing: a balanced flavor between the bitterness of the arugula and spinach with the sweetness of the mango. Once finished just as magically as the plate appeared it vanished. Between courses there was time to talk and the wine. The meal started with a white wine and eventually moved to a red, both were good but thankfully Catharsis was one of those places where the real star was the food. The wine was a concern for me throughout the night anyway. I worried I would spill or knock the glass over.
The second course was a zucchini and lemon béchamel empanada, and it was back to wondering when the plate would arrive. I kept running my hand over the table searching for it. The empanada was among my favorites of the evening. It was very creamy and rich, and while it was clear that it was fried it wasn’t extremely greasy. The next course provided a bit of a scare. My girlfriend is a pescetarian (eats only fish), and she had informed the staff about her dietary needs. Nonetheless, when you can’t see what you’re eating it can be a bit nerve racking. She could not figure out the flavors of the second course. However, the staff immediately put her fears at rest letting her know that her cannelloni was stuffed with spinach. My cannelloni was stuffed with spinach, chicken, and ricotta. I don’t know how the chicken was cooked but it did not taste like chicken albeit it was still good. The fourth course was a corvina with a sundried tomato crust on top of mashed sweet potatoes, with reduced balsamic sauce. This was another one of my favorites as well as my girlfriend’s. The corvina is a fish I have never had, but it didn’t have a strong fish taste and with the sundried tomato crust it was very good. The mashed sweet potatoes had just the right creaminess without being overly sweet.
Following the corvina came a BBQ pork with champagne risotto, and my girlfriend got some sweet potato ravioli… or so we think. This was definitely my favorite dish of the night. The pork was tender and the sauce wasn’t overpowering, it gave that sweet tangy flavor customary of BBQ but still allowed you to taste the natural pork flavors. The champagne risotto was incredible as well.
For desert, a coconut custard with toasted coconut flakes was served. This was interesting. The flavor was good but I had become used to warm/hot foods so that when it came to a cool custard I was caught by surprise. Also, the soft smooth almost mushy feel mixed with hard bits from the toasted flakes made it even more interesting. After eating about half the custard blindfolded the lights began to come on and I ate the remainder of my custard able to see. Between finding the plate at the beginning of each course and trying to figure out what we were eating the whole experience was pretty interesting, but the food was amazing. It was also fun guessing what was in the food and playing hide and seek with the plates. If given the chance to do something like this again I would probably go for it.
Unfortunately, it’s kind of hard to take a picture when you can’t see what you are trying to capture.
1644 Southwest 8th St.