CVLTVRA: A Mediterranean Twist on Latin Food
The people in Miami are from diverse backgrounds. If you stop a person in Miami and ask them where their family is from, it would be unlikely that their list would stop at one country. The people and visitors to Miami are from all walks of life and their heritage comes from all across the globe. As a result, CVLTVRA, a Latin restaurant fused with Mediterranean influences is the perfect destination for lunch or dinner in Miami. Sebastian La Rocca is the Chef and owner of CVLTVRA. The restaurant embodies the fresh ingredients found in a market and translates all of Rocca's trips, experiences, and memories onto every guests' plate.
When my husband and I first heard of CVLTVRA, I didn't know how to pronounce the name or imagine what kind of food would be served there. However, we quickly realized that if you replace the two "v"s with a "u," you'll get pretty close. CVLTVRA is located on Biscayne Road, in the ME hotel. It's a contemporary in style and the staff are extremely hospitable.
We started off with drinks. I ordered "La Mula Brava" and my husband ordered "El Tico." "La Mula Brava" is CVLTVRA's version of a Moscow Mule. However, it has Bicardi, tumeric ginger beer, lime, and orange bitters. It's the most unique version of a moscow mule that I have ever had. It tasted like the Russian aspects of the mule were detained and a Caribbean flare was added. It was so light and refreshing. It's my "go-to" drink now; my Miami "La Mula Brava." Whenever my husband and I go out, he is pretty predictable. He usually orders the Old Fashion or he gets the house Cabernet. Since I don't like either of his choices, he knows that he never has to share his drink with me. Well...until now! My husband ordered "EL Tico," and this is CVLTVRA's take on the Old Fashion. I'm not sure what magical wand was passed over this glass, but it was the best Old Fashion that my husband and I have ever tasted. I should of known when his drink came with a chocolate stick that it was going to be memorable. A restaurant that makes great drinks always gets me excited because if they hired the right mixologist, then that usually gives me hope that that the chef must be amazing too.
All of the entrees at CVLTVRA are served in a tapas fashion. So, the guests get the opportunity to browse the menu and order a few meals that meet their fancy. We started with the "Avocado Hummus." It is served with yucca arepas, cojita cheese, and pistachio. I've never heard of this dish and I was hooked from the first bite. An arepa is a type of bread, in this dish it appeared like a roll and it was served with a dish of avocado hummus and cheese. The warm, perfectly baked arepa mixed with the creamy avocado and its toppings was a perfect start to the food journey that we were about to embark. Forget about biscuits and gravy, the "Avocado Hummus" has swept in with a Latin presence. You have to try it!
Then, we tried the "Burrata." It is served with orange, mint cream, coriander seeds, and toasted almonds. It's a delicate appetizer with lots of flavor.
Our next entree was the "King Crab." It's a large, meaty king crab leg that sits on a sea of chilled lettuce soup with avocado, shallots, and cucumber. It was unique, savory, and just perfect! My husband and I don't usually like octopus, but we were open to trying the "Grilled Octopus." It is served with braised beans, roasted tomato, curry and orange sauce, and pangrattato. Surprisingly, I didn't mind it and it was my husband devoured the entree. He said it was the best octopus dish that he ever had.
Our last entree was a true work of art. The "Diced Tuna" looked like it should of been on a canvas. It is served with smashed avocado, toasted cumin mayo, and and sea urchin. The freshness is uncanny. It is such a unique blend of flavors. If you love avocado, you may want to start packing your bags and move in to CVLTVRA.
We ended our dinner with Coconut Ginger Rice Pudding and the Chocolate Marquis. The Coconut Ginger Pudding is a light ending to a meal full of so many vast flavors. I really enjoyed this treat, especially the tiny pops of hidden pears. The Chocolate Marquise is served with rich chocolate with dulce de leche pears, greek yogurt, orange zest, and cocoa nibs. The chocolate was a little too rich for me, but I loved the cocoa nibs, I might even be addicted! I made sure to eat each one.
Meet the Chef: Chef Sebastian Rocco is not new to the culinary world by far. He is a world renowned chef that has left his footprints in so many sectors. He has hosted a Costa Rican television show, cooked along side other renowned chefs, and he was a chef at the Four Seasons in Costa Rica and Club Europea in Argentina.
Would I recommend it: Absolutely! I can't wait to go back to try some other dishes. It was so refreshing to taste such high quality food, with extremely fresh ingredients in such a unique presentation. I was impressed from start to finish. Take a date, a friend, your family, or anyone that can really enjoy impeccable food.
1100 Biscayne Boulevard Miami, FL
Call 305-808-3507 for more information.