When I moved to Miami, there were barely Mexican restaurants. Don’t ask me why, but I struggled because there were only one or two, 9 years ago.
Luckily, I got more options nowadays when during the weekends I want to close the kitchen and still be able to eat fresh and delicious...made with love and without any Tex-Mex influences. My favorite in that category is Cantina Beach and the Chef Adrés Parlange.
This restaurant is in en Key Biscayne; a very relaxing key that’s a bridge away from Miami’s Downtown. In this little corner inside the beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotel, you could relax eating beachfront in a very casual environment as you delight yourself with a margarita and choose between, who knows…40-50 different types of the best Tequilas and Mezcales from México. You’ll eat the yummiest Tacos al Pastor, Guacamole de Chicharrón, Flautas de pollo (Chicken flutes), impressive ceviches made of octopus, fish and shrimp (I believe they’re the best ones in Miami) and then, delicious seafood like huachinango al mojo (spectacular!), crawfish with cilantro rice; and from the earth, amazing Carnitas that fall off the bone only by ‘’wiping’’ them out with the warm corn tortilla. And don’t even mention the "sin" called: Queso Fundido with Oaxaca cheese and authentic Mexican Chorizo.
The restaurant can only sits 50 people under a tent (gazebo) in front of the sea, which invites you to spend a great time chilling with the sea breeze and the magic dawns. During the weekends, they have live music with acoustic guitar which is amazing while under the stars…uuuuffff… it gets even romantic!
The chef, my talented friend, Andrés Parlange…whom I owed this article since the loooongeest, is a pride of México. Andrés is native from Chiapas, and if you’re lucky to find him in the restaurant when you go, he’ll make your visit to Cantina and unforgettable one. But if you don’t get to see him, he surely is cooking for some celebrity that has visited him only to have him cook for them like Luis Miguel, Paulina Rubio and Shakira do. If there’s anything I love from Andrés is what I like to highlight from all my friends: how humble he is, his passion and the sympathy of seeing him among the tables, talking with all his faithful followers and pampering them one by one with his beautiful smile. By the way, he is always coming up with new recipes; you must try the moles! He made me taste them the last time I was there and they were a total religious experience!
Congratulations Andrés…a huge kiss to you and everyone your hotel staff for all the love and for always believing in my work!!
FPhotos by: Héctor O. Torres