There's a lot of hard work behind Tongue & Cheek's whimsical demeanor. Chef and owner Jamie DeRosa first fell in love with cooking making paella with his grandmother and beloved childhood mixing spoon. He grew up into a culinary career, finding an early mentor in James Beard Award winner Allen Susser. He brushed up against other famous names working with iconic chef Wolfgang Puck and at Spago in Beverly Hills and Fat Duck in England. Now, DeRosa's made his own home in what the Miami NewTimes sums up as "a neighborhood restaurant with a mishmash of pristine and playful food."
That translates into beef short rib with smoked pineapple at dinner, corn dogs with beer mustard during happy hour, and eggs with whiskey-aged cheddar during weekend brunch. Of course, you can also get your booze in more concentrated form. Mixologist Leo Holtzman's daring cocktails are frequent guest stars in newspaper and magazine food sections, and his bar holds not only top-shelf spirits but also savory ingredients such as cilantro, hot peppers, and dill.
Tongue & Cheek picked up a spot on Huffington Post's and Florida Trend's lists of hottest new Miami restaurants upon opening, but it continues to evolve?sometimes with the help of other chefs, during Kitchen Collab events that let guests taste the fusion of major talents. Whatever's going on, whitewashed rough stone and wood-clad pillars frame a room ideal for seeing and being seen, while funky artwork and lively music keep the energy high and the restaurant from being mistaken for a food museum.