At Stubborn Seed, the new Miami Beach restaurant from “Top Chef” winner Jeremy Ford, edible flowers, whimsical dishware and billows of white smoke make for a theatrical dining experience.
“There are so many different themes, textures, flavors and visually stunning foods that we offer,” Ford says. “So far, we’ve received a great response from the neighborhood.”
Ford’s unique notion of dining, where simple ingredients are used to create palatable works of art, has been a long time in the making. For this, his first solo effort, Ford joined forces with Grove Bay Hospitality to bring his vision to life. Since opening in September, it has required an exceptional amount of energy to keep the menu innovative and in constant development, Ford says.
“It’s very tiring,” he says. “It’s a lot of mental and physical work with long hours and long days. But it’s all worth it in the end.”
The restaurant’s dimly lit, intimate dining room seats 70 with a view of Ford’s open kitchen. As patrons dine, they can experience a performance as white-clad chefs delicately prepare dishes.
Ford and his team, which includes longtime friend and chef Joe Mizzoni and pastry chef Dallas Wynee, who previously worked at Ariete in Coconut Grove, combine textures and flavors to create an ever-changing menu of seasonal plates.
Under the categories of raw, snacks, meats, fish and shellfish, and others, Stubborn Seed offers items a la carte or within a nine-course tasting menu, which takes between two to three hours to complete.
Some of the best-selling plates include JoJo Tea-cured snapper, presented inside a rocky-surfaced ceramic bowl with sorrel, celery, clementine and hearts of palm; warm celery root served with crunchy maitake mushroom alongside mustard espuma (foam) with fresh herbs and flower blossoms; herb-roasted wagyu accompanied with mustard butter; and smoked foie gras, in which a clear-glass top is lifted to release a cloud of smoke.
For dessert, Wynne offers a blend of decadence and comfort in the form of warm, chocolate-stuffed snickerdoodle cookies; stout cake served with ginger ice cream; and corn pavlova, which is corn custard garnished with white meringue.
Stubborn Seed’s dishes are priced between $15 and $25, on average. First-time diners might want to consider the tasting menu for about $100.
In the new year, the restaurant aims to start brunch service and additional dishes that incorporate citrus and preserved fruits, Ford says.
Stubborn Seed is the first of two spaces Ford will develop through his partnership with Grove Bay. The second—Afishionado, a seafood restaurant—will be in the Harbour, a multiuse project in Coconut Grove. Its opening date has not been announced.
Location: 101 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 6-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 6 p.m.-midnight
Contact: 786.322.5211; stubbornseed.com