Twelve months after opening its doors on 23rd Street in Miami Beach, KLIMA Restaurant and Bar – a culinary concept inspired by contemporary gastronomy from Barcelona – has introduced a unique and rare flavor ingredient to its signature seafood dishes, bringing a pioneering methodology in freshwater fare that pays tribute to the dawn of contemporary Spanish cuisine. KLIMA also introduces a series of new entrées, an extensive Tapas menu and exquisite dessert items, all of which reinforce the epicurean philosophy of eclectic simplicity that KLIMA is widely revered for.
Miami’s most experimental and innovative kitchen has perfected an ingredient now being used on some of the new fish and clam dishes at KLIMA – Plankton. Plankton is a microscopic “Spice of the Sea” used by only a select few of today’s most creative chefs as a way to embellish the flavor of the ocean in to a variety of seafood dishes. Phytoplankton comes as a freeze-dried green powder from an aquaculture farm in Spain as a marine algal species known as Tetraselmi Chuii and Nannochloropsis Gaditana that lives in freshwater. The former is described as an ocean plant flavor, while the second is considered more fishy. On its own, the smell of Phytoplankton is intense. Just a tiny pinch of the green powder brings a burst of ocean aroma. KLIMA uses Phytoplankton as an ingredient to cook its Sea Bass, Hamachi (Yellow Tail) Tiradito and Clam dishes. When cooking the Sea Bass, the fish is marinated with the Phytoplankton (mixed with oil and water) for six hours before being placed in to a vacuum-sealed bag. It is then boiled in water at no more than 62 degrees for 20 minutes using the “Sous Vide” cooking technique traditionally adopted in Spain – using low temperatures. The Sea Bass is then put in to the oven for one minute and removed before an additional coating of the Phytoplankton mix is brushed on to give it a shiny glaze. For the Hamachi and Clam dishes, the Phytoplankton ingredient is added to the plates as a final garnish to bring out a bold and distinctive ocean flavor.
Phytoplankton caught on in the culinary world thanks in part to the Spanish chef Ángel León. When looking for new ways to incorporate the flavors of the ocean into dishes at his Michelin-starred restaurant Aponiente, León figured out how to harness flavors from Phytoplankton in his kitchen. León has worked with algal biologists to develop a method for growing different species of phytoplankton in a lab, with each species having it’s own unique flavor profile.
Executive Chef Ilde Ferrer and his team at KLIMA deliver an eclectic menu of seasonal fish, seafood, meats and pasta dishes conceived using a contemporary approach to western Mediterranean cuisine. Popular favorites from the Tapas and Raw Bar selection include Tuna Toast($19), Jamon & Egg ($17), 5 Jotas Iberian Ham ($22/40) and Hamachi (Yellow Tail) Tiradito with Plankton ($20) as the signature dishes. A new addition includes the “Josper” Spanish Octopus ($18). The Fennel Carpaccio ($15) remains a signature favorite on the salad menu, whereas the Idiazabal Cheese Ravioli ($25) has been added as a new signature dish on the pasta menu. Favorite Iberian Cuts of meat straight from the “Josper” Charcoal Oven include NC Cheshire Pork Ribs ($28) and the Shoulder Tenderloin (Pluma Ibérica) ($36), which is a recent addition along with the Neck Loin ($49). From the fish menu, the Chilean Sea Bass with Plankton ($39) has been added to the menu’s signature plates, together with the Branzino ($31) – two seasonal dishes harvested fresh from Florida’s waters.
KLIMA has created a new Tapas bar menu that guests can enjoy on the go or over drinks with friends when a full dinner reservation is not required but small bites are preferred. Tapas bar menu items include Salchichón Iberico ($6), Lomo Iberico (cured Pork Loin) ($6), Queso Manchego 12 meses($5), Croquetas 5 Jotas (with Iberian Ham) ($2 each), Tuna Crudo (crispy Tortilla, Chipotle, Leeks and Lime) ($5 each) and Kumamoto Oysters (with Ceviche Sauce/Ponzu Sauce and Salmon Roe) ($4 each).
A unique choice of seven desserts have been created by the resident pastry chef, with favorites that include the Nutella Brownie ($12), Torrija (caramelized brioche, Greek Yoghurt ice cream) ($12) and Passion Fruit Crema ($11). To complete the meal, KLIMA offers a Regional Spanish Cheese Board ($20) that includes Manchego, La Peral Blue, Payoyo and Idiazabal – considered to be the only cheese selection of its kind in Miami.
Select meats on the menu at KLIMA Restaurant and Bar are cooked to perfection in the Josper Oven– a unique charcoal filled oven from Spain that is especially created to grill meats evenly and with a perfect tenderness, resulting in a taste similar to that of an outdoor barbeque. The Josper Oven at KLIMA is only one of two currently being used in South Florida.
“Soft Woods” is the theme of the interior design for KLIMA Restaurant and Bar with inspirations coming from Brazil, Mexico, Sweden, Peru and Spain. Thin slates of beige wood that have been dried and aged for six-months are packed across the ceiling of the front of the restaurant, providing an impressive initial focal point when entering the property. A comfortable lounge area, situated upon entering the restaurant, features relaxing chairs and built-in sofas adjacent to wooden and rustic cast-iron candle-lit coffee tables that creates an inviting space for happy hour cocktails or after-dinner drinks. Modern-day artwork selected and imported by both founders are placed throughout the property, accentuated by a suspended centerpiece placed adjacent to the main dining area that is imaginatively sculpted by carved metal letters to resemble the silhouette of a human-like figure. The art piece entitled “Tel Aviv Man XVI” by Jaume Plensa from Barcelona, is a curious addition to the restaurant’s décor, in addition to a painting of a Spanish Bullfighter, entitled “Matador” by Miguel Macaya and nine effervescent blocks of color that form a piece of untitled artwork by Manolo Ballesteros, also from Spain. In addition to the restaurant’s main menu offered for indoor or outdoor patio dining, KLIMA’s sleek bar area offers patrons a tailored menu of small tapas plates designed for sharing and to accompany the extensive list of wines, beers and cocktails.
The varnished floor of the restaurant’s main dining area is a natural oak throughout, while dining tables are combined with a tropical red wood. A select number of larger dining tables are of a premium quality black or brown tinted marble, also imported from Barcelona. Separating the bar area from the main dining room is an alluring stretch of intimate tables designed for two, with comfortable couch seating set against a tall wooden bookshelf containing the restaurant’s own collection of ornaments, models and sexually provocative books. Colorful rugs are strategically placed to compliment the wooden finishes, giving the restaurant a cozy and homely vibe. As one passes through towards the main dining area, a subtle image of ocean waves can be seen on the wall opposite the bookshelves, among which surfers are featured within the entire length of the 14-foot photograph. Around the corner, on the far wall of the spacious dining area, hangs a large horizontal mirror behind a series of elaborately designed hanging black spot lamps that also forms an artistic centerpiece unto itself.
The outdoor sub-tropical pérgola (veranda) includes marble dining tables and cane ceiling sections, some of which are transparent to allow views of the star-lit sky. Trailing foliage, potted plants and outdoor greenery climb the iron metal framework towards the indoor dining room, creating a harmonious contrast between the two areas. Lighting fixtures with hanging lampshades shaped into beehive-like wooden spheres and cylinders create an outdoor glow above colorful rugs. Heavy floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors gives diners the option for complete outdoor privacy from neighboring guests and an unobstructed view of the indoor dining area.
The culinary vision for KLIMA reflects the roots of the founders, Pablo Fernández-Valdés and Yago Giner, while combining the very best in local ingredients sourced from premium South Florida suppliers.
KLIMA Restaurant and Bar is located at 210 23rd Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139, and is open for daily dinner reservations from 6:00 p.m. by calling 786.453.2779 or by emailing Reservations@klimamiami.com. For more information, visit www.klimamiami.com and follow the conversation using @klimamiami and #klimamiami