Cantina La Veinte 1 Year Anniversary Celebration
I keep talking about how this isn’t your typical Mexican restaurant, well, here’s a perfect example: at the anniversary celebration the kitchen focused on showcasing something that you rarely see in Mexican restaurants and that you wouldn’t really correlate with tacos or overstuffed burritos: seafood. That’s right, in case you weren’t aware, Mexico has coasts! Cantina’s chefs made sure to flex their culinary muscle when showing off their sea fare and it was on par with any other Miami seafood specialists. They have plenty of turf on the menu with succulent sounding dishes like Chamorro which is a pork shank confit with serrano chile, cilantro, and chopped onion and even the typical staples like Queso Fundido that you can have with mushrooms, a poblano chile slice and zucchini flowers even. The ‘surf’ portion of the menu was absolutely worth mentioning since it didn’t disappoint.
The crowd favorite was the Dobladitas De Jaiba which is basically soft shelled crab served in a romantically spicy Jalapeño sauce. I of course, am allergic and in order to bring you pictures of more than just this dish, could not try it. Everyone raved over it so when you try it be sure to let me know if it lives up to the hype I kept
having everyone rub in my face hearing about.
A pleasant surprise on the menu was the Ceviche de Atún. I liked seeing Cantina’s attempt of a more traditionally Peruvian dish and they did it excellently. I was sure to ‘take one for the team’ as it were, since I had about half a dozen of these just make sure I could make a fair and balanced assessment of how delicious it was. I might have to go back for more.
Guests at the celebration kept hunting servers down to grab more of the Aguachile de Palmito which was Hawaiian heart of palm with fresh lime juice, cilantro, serrano chile, cucumber, avocado and olive oil. So basically a ceviche of sorts made of heart of palm with a little spicy kick to it. This is on the regular menu so be sure to ask your server for this dish when you go.
For the land lovers, Cantina’s offerings are no chumps. Sopes Con Pollo are a personal favorite of mine because its a dish that gives you more in each bite. Imagine a tortilla topped with juicy shredded chicken, black beans, tomatillo and tomato sauce, and some delicious queso fresco. Now imagine that delicious mouthful of flavors sits atop a fluffier, thicker ‘tortilla’. Hand-Made corn masa replaces the tortilla and upgrades it to sope status.
Panuchos De Cochinita (Yucatan Style) are a lot like sopes except these guys are stuffed with black beans. The panuchos are then topped with shredded pork that has been marinated in achiote for 48 hours and and pickled red onions. I like to think of these as Cantina La Veinte’s answer to the pulled pork sandwich. You won’t be able to order just one plate of these.
Ok, are you sitting down for this one? Pay attention, what you see above is a dish called Gorditas De Chicharron Prensado. That just sounds majestic doesn’t it? Here you have crispy (deep fried but don’t think about that right now) hand rolled corn masa stuffed with pig skin, chopped onion and cilantro, topped with Mexican sour cream and Oaxaca cheese. Come on, that’s just beautiful. These are sinfully delicious and should be your group’s ‘go to’ order.
It was a great celebration all around and the food was delicious. I was left wanting more and so I’m looking forward to returning. I can’t wait to try some of the other dishes on the menu. When in Brickell, make sure to stop by Cantina La Veinte with a bunch of your friends or that special someone. You can thank me later. Cantina La Veinte is located in the Ikon building at 495 Brickell Ave. in Miami. They are open most nights ’til midnight and 1 am on Friday and Saturday.