Tur Kitchen Opens In Coral Gables And More Miami Restaurant News
At the new Tur Kitchen in Coral Gables, chef Nelson J. Fernandez dishes out mediterranean cuisine his way.
“Everybody thinks that we are Turkish, but we are not,” says TuR Kitchen executive chef and co-owner Nelson J. Fernandez (a Colombia native). “We are a Mediterranean restaurant that uses dishes and ingredients from countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.” Turkish or not, Fernandez and his crew are doing something right, as his eatery has emerged as one of note in not-so-easy-to-please Coral Gables. Here, the chef tells us what diners can expect.
How did the concept for TuR Kitchen come about? It was an idea we had as a family; my wife, my mother-in-law, father-in-law and me. We wanted something simple and Mediterranean, but then we kept modifying the concept, and now it’s a modern, casual restaurant with flavors from all over the Mediterranean. How did you get the idea for the name? I wanted to call it TüR, which means spice in Turkish, but the diaeresis over the ‘u’ was causing trouble when it came to internet search issues, so we settled on just TuR, which is a wild goat from the Caucasus mountains. It symbolizes fertility, vitality and ceaseless energy. What was your approach to the menu? Everyday accessible ingredients with fine technique and a focus on presentation. Do you have a favorite dish? The braised lamb leg. The combination of flavors and the option of having it with bread and/or lettuce wraps really pleases me. What’s one dish diners might overlook and really shouldn’t? Our pork tenderloin, which was created for the TV show MasterChef Latino on Telemundo in which I had a guest appearance. It’s a Mediterranean-style dish that incorporates ingredients from seven different Latin countries. The end result is a combination of unique flavors with a Mediterranean twist. You say your restaurant is casual, but the approach to cooking is rather involved, isn’t it? Yes, you’re right. While I refer to the menu as casual, the dishes are actually quite intricate. Our vegetables are all sous-vide, cooked to a specific temperature; our cauliflower is cooked using three different methods, for instance, and that doesn’t include the sauce or garnish. I require my cooks to manipulate ingredients in order to maximize the look of the dish without compromising the integrity of the ingredient itself. What can we expect from the restaurant this spring? By March, we’ll be running on all gears. We should have a lunch menu Monday through Friday, a weekday happy hour with small bites and a Saturday brunch. 259 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables, 786.483.8014