Our Main Squeeze: Florida Citrus Season!

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To learn Florida’s certain faults, tune in to a Weekend Update or Jon Stewart episode; to learn Florida’s certain merits, visit one of our restaurants right now. Florida citrus season is upon us, and like Seth Meyers, is irresistible. Here’s how it’s finding its way into each of our restaurants.

Pixie tangerines are sliced on everything from crudo to radish salad at MGFD, “What do pixie tangerines taste like?” I asked chef Bradley Herron. I assure you explanation points aren’t lightly spent by Brad.

Delicious! Lots of acid, balanced though, and juicy. I’m salivating just talking about it. And we’re getting minneolas. Cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine. [Googles it] Named after Minneola, Florida apparently, also called Honey Bell.

The thought of mornings with freshly squeezed honey bell sends me to the bar, where bartender Jason Denisiewicz was mixing up the Blood Orange Market Special of the day with Solerno liqueur, Double Cross vodka, blood orange juice, ginger lemon grass soda and purple thai basil. Tasty and pretty. Bravo Jay.

At Harry’s, kitchen manager Steve Martin has citrus sunshine shining on an agrodolce salad special with grapefruit, lemon, and orange segments, shaved fennel, red onion, goat cheese, local honey and citrus vinaigrette. The other sides of those segments ended up in a pot turning into grapefruit, lemon and orange marmalade “How do you make marmalade?” I asked.

I took the grapefruit, orange and lemon peels, triple blanched them to get out the bitterness, and then candied them with sugar, vinegar and salt. Finally, into the Robot Coupe (restaurant grade food processor) and turned it into marmalade. Hold on…He returned with the grapefruit and orange marmalades on demitasse spoons. Oh yeah, chili flakes.

Talk about well balanced. Sweet, tart, and spicy. Not my grandma’s orange marmalade. Nor Hedy Goldsmith’s. Hedy and her team are rolling Grapefruit Hungarian Short Bread out of the MGFD pastry station, along with recent ice creams and sorbets: orange creamsicle, screwdriver and lemon ice.

The Cypress Room couldn’t have come at a better time for its Florida Citrus Chess Pie. With orange, grapefruit and Meyer lemon juice, buttermilk, roasted white chocolate, huckleberry, tarragon  and dried zest of cuties to garnish (cross between a sweet orange and Chinese mandarin) Hedy, didn’t miss a thing on this one.

Enjoy the slideshow and let us know what citrus you see popping up around the design district @MGFD_MIA.

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