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Organic Food, Fennel Salad and Boys

chic-pea cakes with avocado & butter bean salad

A very charming Criminal Defense Attorney introduced me to a curious little restaurant that I’ve grown devoted to, called Metro. It’s in a random Miami neighborhood – an unassuming venue hidden behind a long row of shrubbery, attached to a car wash called Karma, on a strip of Biscayne Boulevard in a section of Miami called Mimo. The CDA, chose Metro because it is fully organic, sustainable, green and they even compost. We liked this guy already (not to mention my soft spot for CDAs, as one of my BFF’s husband is one and one of my favorite cousins is a very well known one, and it’s always useful to have a CDA in your back pocket…). But back to Metro –

a perfect salad Nicoise

The CDA greeted me with a sweet smile and insisted we sit in the garden to hear the New Orleans-inspired blues duo that plays every weekend for brunch. The outside garden is lovely despite its close proximity to Biscayne Boulevard. The CDA had me laughing right away – quick wit, subtle Cheshire Cat grin. He was full of facts and information about Miami and, being a new girl here, I was happy to listen. We sipped mimosas made with freshly squeezed organic Florida orange juice. I don’t normally like mimosas but with fresh Florida organic orange juice, I could have drunk several of these. My salad Nicoise was perfectly prepared. I often use this dish as a benchmark of a restaurant’s ability to cook vegetarian food. It’s a dish that meat-lovers enjoy, as it’s substantial enough for a meal. All the Nicoise elements were present, with nothing fancy. The tuna was seared perfectly on the outside and pink on the inside and the haricots-verts still crisp and bright green. Metro’s sides are probably my favorite. The chef grills vegetables such as asparagus and big portabello caps, and makes a refreshing mayo-less Asian slaw that’s perfect for hot Miami afternoons.


the cozy banquettes inside Metro

I know I should be writing more about how scrumptious the food is and was, but I feel compelled to share how cool the owner David is. He’s the guy who could talk you into drinking his brand new organic-biodynamic beer even if you didn’t like beer. David and his wife raise the chickens that will be the egg providers for the restaurant, and even supply herbs and vegetables from their garden. He walks the talk. It’s comforting to know there are like minds in Miami. Not that I compost or have an herb garden. Yet. I’m getting there.

It was a sublime, slow afternoon filled with succulent slow food and lots of laughter. Needless to say, I’ve been back to Metro several times. The Salmon Carpaccio is my favorite and Chef Ricky was kind enough to share his recipe with me. As far as the CDA, I think I’ve shared enough already.

salmon carpaccio with the outrageous fennel salad

Salmon Carpaccio with herbed fennel salad 

Chef Ricky has no recipe for the Salmon Carpaccio so he passionately described his process, which was an experience in itself – his passion and precision and knowledge about herbs and vegetables is so refreshing. I would like to stage in his kitchen for a few weeks! I hope you now understand why I have become so profoundly fond of this place.

Note that the Fennel salad can easily stand on its own.

Salmon carpaccio

Freeze the salmon and slice thin slice thin
Top the salmon with a bit of  fleur de sel
Ground pepper
Olive oil
Lots of capers

The fennel salad –

Shave a whole fennel thinly with a mandoline or very sharp knife.
Toss well with the herbed dressing and let marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Herbed dressing

2T each – cilantro, parsley, chives (or any herb combination that you fancy)
1C olive oil
1/C white wine viniager
salt and pepper to taste