Tur Kitchen: Best Mediterranean Restaurant
When Luis and Evelyn Villanueva decided to open a Mediterranean restaurant, they envisioned a casual place that could potentially grow into multiple locations. But just before opening Tur (stylized TUR) Kitchen in late 2020, they changed course, bringing a fine-dining concept with a plethora of Med-kissed cuisine to Coral Gables. Chef Nelson Fernandez — the man behind much of today's menu — died earlier this year, but his passion lives on through the dishes at Tur, named for the wild goat of the Caucasus. Executive chef Christian Chirino's team continues where Fernandez left off, creating a flurry of dishes that take diners on a gastronomic journey along the coasts of Spain, France, Italy, and Greece to Morocco, Turkey, Israel, and the Middle East. Ingredients are painstakingly sourced to emulate the most authentic flavors: Cauliflower arrives from Syria, prawns are sourced in Italy, and even chickpeas come from Egypt. Twice a week, the restaurant receives fresh turbot from the waters off the coast of Spain that's then roasted whole. The menu abounds with region-specific recipes: The Wagyu tartare is a French tradition, while "Chicken Moruno," served with an airy, vanilla-infused celery root purée, is a popular Moroccan-style dish, and the braised leg of lamb is cooked the way you'd find it in the Middle East. From Turkey comes a list of pides — canoe-shaped flatbreads stuffed with ingredients such as braised lamb, cremini mushrooms, goat cheese, and curry oil.