Stubborn Seed

By: Dana Rozansky

While watching cooking shows like Top Chef can certainly be entertaining, I’m always a tad frustrated when I finish an episode. While I try to live vicariously through the judges’ kudos, it’s just not the same as actually tasting it myself. Sure, I can imagine how delicious it tastes, but wouldn’t it be better if I could have the satisfaction of giving these dishes a whirl?

Thanks to Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford, now I can. After making a name for himself on season 13, the chef decided to take his talents to South Beach and open his brand new venture, Stubborn Seed.

Located South of Fifth, Stubborn Seed is a low-key, unassuming new hot spot without any frills. It’s as if they knew the drinks and food would speak for themselves. And I can attest to the fact that they most certainly do.

In true Top Chef fashion, the bar is set quite high at Stubborn Seed. Everything from the service to the presentation to the taste is as impressive as I imagined it to be through my TV screen- and then some.

My love affair with Stubborn Seed first began with the cocktails. While I’m certainly no snob when it comes to drinks (as long as it has alcohol content, I’m game), I can definitely appreciate the extra thought and attention to detail that went into this cocktail menu. For the bourbon lovers, Stubborn Seed has a Silver Dollar Old Fashioned where you’ll receive all of the fixins’ to make your own old fashioned and play mixologist at your table. For those who are down to turn up the heat, I’d recommend the Negroni A La Ford, where you will literally roast a Passionfruit Marshmallow (yep, that’s apparently a thing) and then swirl it into your drink. Last but not least, Tequila lovers have got to try the Desert Daisy, where you’re encouraged to lick the outside of your glass. Don’t be shy people, this is just the beginning!

Now if you think those drinks are creative, the food certainly follows suit. This menu is unusual in the best way and each dish stands out- from the ingredients to the plating to the flavor. I was intrigued by the array of seasonal specialties and found myself peppering my waitress with questions, which she answered with a patience and expertise that deserves kudos- so big shout-out to Arianna! From beets and burrata to foie gras and celery root, each dish seemed to be better than the last. I was at the mercy of Arianna and she did not disappoint. Not only were these decorative, small plates easy on the eyes, but they packed a serious, flavorful punch too.

Below are just a few of the rotating menu items that won me over:

Jojo Tea Cured Cobia

Jojo Tea Cured Cobia

Charred Beets with lemon-garlic yogurt, pickled chili, blackberry and goat cheese sorbet

Charred Beets with lemon-garlic yogurt, pickled chili, blackberry and goat cheese sorbet

Smoked foie gras with quince pasta, marcona almonds and aged sherry vinegar

Smoked foie gras with quince pasta, marcona almonds and aged sherry vinegar

Umami Short Rib with trumpet mushrooms, carrot textures and miso mustard butter

Umami Short Rib with trumpet mushrooms, carrot textures and miso mustard butter

Wild Ora King Salmon with anson mills peas, caper sofrito, smokey pork and tomato-dill vinaigrette

Wild Ora King Salmon with anson mills peas, caper sofrito, smokey pork and tomato-dill vinaigrette

Last but not least, you have to try the snickerdoodle cookies for dessert. Yes, that’s an order.

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So next time you’re drooling in front of the TV watching Top Chef, I think you owe it to yourself to see what all of the hype is about at Stubborn Seed.