Tunu Puri and Executuve Chef Philippe Ruiz raise the bar with their new upscale restaurant, Lippi.
LIPPI Brickell's Best New Restaurant · Brickell
Lippi is a New American dining experience. Influenced by the Mediterranean region and a social sharing concept, Lippi's extensive menu is an inclination towards genuine dishes that highlight organic and high quality ingredients.
Tunu Puri and chef Philippe Ruiz raise the bar with their new upscale restaurant Lippi. Named after high Renaissance Italian painter Filippo Lippi, this Mediterranean influenced, New American restaurant of the same name is the apogee of fine dining in South Florida.
After 18 months of planning and 5 months of construction, Tunu Puri (Zuma Miami investor/partner), and chef Philippe Ruiz (formerly of Palm D'Or chef) opened the doors to the 5,000 Sq Ft restaurant in early September. Located on the ground floor of the Brickell World Plaza, Lippi is a study in sophistication, elegance, exceptional staff and imaginative cuisine.
The dining room is flanked on two sides by the outside terrace and walled in floor to ceiling glass, high vaulted ceilings and long velvet, upholstered bench seating. Hanging overhead are two massive chandeliers that add a sense of opulence to the already elegant setting. We were told that the owner had a very specific vision for Lippi and based the restaurant after his favorite areas of the Mediterranean, even going so far as to take senior management and chefs with him for a first hand experience.
As we entered through the glass doors we were immediately greeted by a knowledgeable and friendly hostess who promptly showed us to our table.
We walked past the huge bar (more on that later) and were seated with a view of the marbled, open air, crudo station so we could see all the action as the chefs work in focused attention to detail. Offering both indoor and outdoor seating for 210, Lippi is both impressive and elegant, yet still inviting an intimate.
Our waiter Ryan was friendly and knowledgeable about every aspect of the menu. The extensive wine list has over 350 new and old world vines. The owner, Tunu Puri is a scotch aficionado and the extensive (two full pages) selection of single malt scotch’s is remarkable. Interested in a Macallan select from the 12, 15 or 30 year old....and that’s just the beginning.
The discovery menu is priced at three tiers $75, $95, $125 and features a wide selection of menu items. I would highly recommend this option for the first time diner. Sommelier Daniel Toral (formerly of The Setai & Sustain) lead us through the wine menu and suggested 3 perfect wines to pair with our Discovery menu.
Sommelier Daniel recommended that we start with a dry Hungarian white wine from Kiralyudvar winery (which means king’s court). This wine is perfectly dry and balanced with a nose of summer flowers, peaches and herbal notes. This was to be paired with our first dish the Homemade Foie Gras Terrine.
Two perfect slivers of Foie Gras is served over a tropical fruit chutney that in turn sits on spiced brioche. The sweetness of the chutney paired well with the rich buttery taste and creamy texture of the Foie gras.
Next up, a selection of Crudos including, Silver Weakfish Ceviche, Octopus Carpaccio, Tuna Tartar, Cured Hamachi and Lobster roll.
Silver Weakfish Ceviche, corn panna cotta, purple potato foam, plantain chips Octopus Carpaccio, potato confit, smoked paprika, lemon oil vinaigrette. This is an outstanding dish with black olive pate and smoked paprika adding a spicy, but balanced kick to the tender octopus.
Cured Hamachi, trout roe, ají amarillo, seaweed. The Aji amarillo (literally yellow chili) again adds an unexpected depth of flavor to this dish Tuna Tartar, ponzu sauce, mustard oil, wakame (sea mustard) Lobster roll, enoki, ginger, mint curry aioli.
Our next wine was a Domaine André Perret Condrieu, Rhone valley 2011. This elegant white wine has a full floral bouquet with citrus, peach, apricot notes.
Next up, Maine Lobster Ravioli. The Lobster ravioli was served in a lobster, tomato bisque. A rich delicious foam covered the dish with every bite providing a wonderfully complex, combination of flavors and texture. The airiness of the tomato foam and the flavors it provided to the dish was pure heaven.
Next we tried the Sea Breem with served with a crispy skin on the top of an eggplant caviar, roasted tomato lemon confit, and chicken Au jus. The Sea Breem was flaky, slightly sweet and perfectly cooked. The citrus in the lemon balances the slight bitterness of the eggplant. The crispy skin also adds a delicious texture that plays off the creamy eggplant caviar.
This was followed by the NY Strip Steak. Again this was perfect medium rare and served with two sides (ordered seperately), mushroom risotto and wild vegetables. The steak was served already sliced but still retained it's succulent juices and tender texture. Well seasoned and served with roasted garlic and a housemade blend of spices.
Mushroom Risotto and roasted vegetables.
We wrapped up our meal with dessert. Chef Sarah Thompson (formely of the Four Seasons Miami) treated us to a mango, passion fruit sorbet with dehydrated pineapple canoli and exotic fruit chutney. Delicious, light, refreshing tapioca, and pineapple is a great South Florida summer treat and a perfect end to an amazing dinner.
It is now just over a month since Lippi opened their doors and raised the bar on elegant, fine dining in South Florida. As John Wodden once said "It's the little details that are vital" and the owners of Lippi understand this concept. From the knowledgable, attentive staff to the exquisite refinement of Chef Ruiz's menu, the grandest of chandeliers all the way down to the Fink water pitchers, Lippi is a Study in Sophistication and may quite possibly be South Florida's best new restaurant.