TheTerraces of Dadeland
There’s no need to ask for a peek into the kitchen when you visit Earls restaurant in Dadeland Mall. As you walk along the interior balcony on the second floor of the new restaurant wing, the glassed-in kitchen showcases about 20 chefs and line workers. That’s symbolic of how the Vancouver-based restaurant company places an emphasis on creations by chefs who travel the world for inspiration.
If you haven’t heard of Earls, which has more than 60 locations in Canada, it’s because the only U.S. outposts are in Denver, suburban Seattle and now Kendall. Their U.S. expansion plans include Washington DC in the fall. Earls has helped Dadeland create a hip new dining scene, which also includes celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace, Balans and Aoki Teppanyaki, which is run by the family of the late Benihana founder Rocky Aoki.
Earls is named after Leroy Earl Fuller and his son, Stanley Earl Fuller, who created a burger and beer joint about 30 years ago. The 8,500-square-foot restaurant has an airy corner location with 16-foot ceilings and sliding glass doors that open up to a 100-seat dining patio.
There’s a party soundtrack playing and modern décor with a light sculpture and cubic art work. Every Earls location has a signature art piece that is uniquely local.
Server Sol Milan, who has been with Earls for six years, moved down to Miami from Earls’ Seattle location. She is a poster child for the attention to detail that the restaurant chain touts – incredibly knowledgeable about the restaurant, the menu, and the Earls way. In fact, all of Earls’ chefs and managers come from other Earls throughout Canada to make sure that their high standards are met, training is spot on and the guest experience is uniquely Earls.
Earls bar menu is outstanding and affordable. The signature Old Fashioned is handcrafted with a generous pour of Maker’s Mark and root beer bitters. The raspberry mojito was a great twist on a local classic with its pink color and ribbon of puréed raspberry. The Bee’s Knees drink brought a smile to our faces with a glass resembling a honey bear squeeze bottle. It was made with Aviation Gin from Portland, Cointreau, fresh lemon, Angostura bitters and honey. The verdict? The perfect South Florida summer drink in these dog days of summer. They also have a very respectable wine list with many high-quality by-the-glass options. You can also expect a varied craft beer line including some locally sourced brews.
We loved the colorful presentation of our two appetizers. The Mediterranean calamari had tomatoes, Spanish olives and a Greek citrus yogurt. We enjoyed the creativity, plus the generous portion size and crispy crust. The biggest hit, though, was the Dynamite Shrimp+Mango Roll, which had Sriracha mayonnaise and a maple soy reduction. The dish was in perfect balance – not overly spicy and complemented nicely by the mango.
We shared a quartet of entrées, all of which were well prepared. The Jeera Chicken Curry, served with house made naan, was incredibly authentic. Our server, Sol, told us a wonderful story about how the Earls chefs had searched all over the world for the right spices for many of their dishes… and finally found what they were looking for to create the curry in their own backyard in Canada. Everyone loved the wok-fried noodles in the Hunan Kung Pao with shrimp, veggies, garlic, ginger, soy, and peanuts. It can be spiced up at your discretion with Thai bird peppers.
Earls has an extensive variety of steaks and we went with Sol’s recommendation of the Madagascar peppercorn tenderloin. It had an amazing demi-glace that we were sure was an all-day effort to make. It was accompanied by mashed potatoes and a wonderful corn dish with crumbled feta cheese. We paired the beef with a Stag’s Leap Petit Sirah by the glass, which was a perfect choice.
Our favorite entrée was found on the seasonal menu — north Pacific sablefish, also known as black cod. It had a delicious maple soy glaze and was served on a bed of spinach and mushrooms with soba noodles. The special touch was the dashi broth, which was served in a small cup and poured into the bowl. The fish was melt-in-your-mouth tender and perfectly cooked.
Earls has a short but very well executed dessert menu. Their deconstructed Key Lime pie is worthy of comparison to our favorite stone crab eatery. A can’t miss is the warm Chocolate Sticky Toffee Pudding, a warm chocolate cake drizzled with chocolate sauce and house made vanilla bean gelato served in a crispy toffee basket. Finally, we picked the fresh strawberry and blueberry shortcake off the seasonal menu. The shortcake was thinner and crispier than the traditional biscuit-like version and included a smooth cream cheese mousse. Executive Chef Luke Verkuylen suggested that we pair the frozen White Peach Bellini with the shortcake for the perfect finish to our meal.
When you are looking for a great dining experience in the Pinecrest zip code, Earls Kitchen + Bar should be on your short list.
Earl’s Kitchen + Bar
7535 N. Kendall Dr., Ste. 2510,