There is something primal about the sound of meat sizzling over an open fire. Something visceral about seeing golden fat drip off fresh meat onto crackling embers.
Just inside the door of Graziano's restaurant in Coral Gables, an asador brazier burns specially imported quebracho wood behind a glass wall. Its upright steel spikes skewer whole chickens, and generous cuts of beef and lamb that rotate slowly over a traditional Argentine style grill. Savoring the sight of the slow roasting meats and vegetables, I am transported back to Las Lilas restaurant in the Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires.
A juicy slice of Bife de Choriso (New York strip steak) dipped in chimicurri is heaven on a fork. The meat is not aged. No marinade is used. What you taste is fresh beef that aborbs its flavor and fragrance from the grilling process. Everything is made from scratch. Brie comes from France; stilton from England. Desserts and breads are made in house. For the vegetarian, there is a selection of salads and vegetables. Papas a la provensal - steak fries sauteed with garlic, parsley and white wine, is a house specialty.
Thirsty? Ruby red walls of the dining room are lined with over 3,000 bottles of wine; many imported from Argentina, South Africa, Italy and California.
Graziano's is a family business begun over 18 years ago as a meat market and small gourmet butcher shop by its founder, Leo Graziano. It has now expanded to 3 restaurants in the greater Miami region.
Enjoy the cuisine of Argentina in Florida, and skip the 11 hour flight .