Ah, on a hot September midday the coolness and delicious musky fragrance that one is enveloped with upon crossing the threshold of the 1 Hotel and Homes South Beach is the equivalent of stepping into an oasis after a long trek in the desert. And that was just from getting off the car and waiting for the valet. The heat and I do not get along. Walk across the lobby, past the elevators that transport you up to either the hotel or residence side of the complex and you arrive at Tom Colicchio’s Beachcraft. His sustainable style is ideally suited to the high-tech back-to-nature vibe of the property. The restaurant’s executive chef Michael Fiorello is introducing a new brunch menu. After nestling at our table and sipping from a thick, foamy, strong and delicious cappuccino we took a peak at the buffet spread. A well-orchestrated display of proteins and carbohydrates, color and sensuality representative of Colicchio’s penchant for farm-to-table freshness by working with South Florida purveyors Swank Farms, Florida Fresh Meat Co., Local Roots and Cods & Capers.
There were tempting-looking waffles with several accompaniments, potatoes, bacon and sausages. The bread station displayed the typical array from bagels to croissants made by Zak the Baker, another of their all-natural suppliers. The salad bar offered different options that would benefit from better lighting.
Although Sunday brunch begins at 12:30 and we arrived at 1:00 neither the creamy polenta nor the chef’s gumbo was at an acceptable temperature. Could it be that the team needs to iron out the kinks? If you like ceviche, the Snapper Ceviche ($8 supplement) made it worth the trip. Fresh cubes of fish were table-side marinated in a perfect blend of passion fruit, lemon and onion juice with thinly sliced jalapeño and red peppers. This was a simple, elegant and delicious combination with just the right kick.
It merits mentioning the excellent service by Douglas and Luis, Venezuelan and Peruvian imports that enriched our Sunday with their graceful and expedient manner. The dessert offerings left us blasé in particular the blueberry peach cobbler; if I had to select a winner it would be the Bananas Fosters Bread Pudding but if you are a doughnut lover the Maple Bacon Donuts with a hint of Chantilly cream hidden might be the final sweet morsel of your choice.
Lillet Me Down ($14) is a lovely option for a refreshing drink. And by the way, if your are allergic to the heat like me, stay away from sitting by the back door where there is a constant heat draft as folks going in and out forget to close it.
Overall, it was a pleasant experience that will entice my return for their scrumptious ceviche and delicious handcrafted cocktails among other specialties. Beachcraft offers a Miami Spice prixe fixe $39 dinner menu nightly through September 30.