Dinner Lab Miami Now Open for Adventurous Foodies

Dining in a Boxing Gym


There is a severe crisis afflicting the affluent and dedicated foodies of our country — they are running out of new places to eat!! Fear not, because the Dinner Lab has opened and has now come to Miami to alleviate this existential catastrophe.

“The Dinner Lab is a membership-based social dining experiment that unites undiscovered chefs with adventurous diners who are looking for something different from the traditional restaurant experience. Whether it happens on the roof of an abandoned building, the floor of a paper mill, or inside a motorcycle dealership….Our events bring together a group of interesting strangers around a common table to share cuisine crafted by up-and-coming chefs from all over the country. We don’t dictate what our chefs cook, but instead give them a platform to tell a story through the menu – recipes that speak to their background or heritage, ingredients they are passionate about, or completely new dishes they have been experimenting with on days away from the restaurant.”


We adore this idea and were very excited to try it. After all, an open mind and adventurous spirit are the keys to discovering new delicacies. We embarked upon our Lab experience on Valentine’s Night for the “Tough Love” themed dinner at Matt Baiamonte’s Boxing Clubin Wynwood. It was quite interesting to dine and imbibe in a locale where people usually shed blood, sweat and tears considering those juices are usually reserved for restaurant kitchens. Thankfully, the intoxicating scent of BO (Body Odor) was not present, replaced instead with the mouth-watering aromas of the fare being prepared. The lab has a 30 minute cocktail hour preceding dinner where, wine, beer, and mixed drinks were graciously served. The ginger beer and rum concoctions were quite tasty.


There were about seven tables for our time slot filled with food-loving strangers to choose from. We were astutely drawn to the one with a fabulous gay and lesbian couple. There is something tantalizing about dining with strangers who share your bravery and openness. It turned out to be tremendously fun. The meal opened with a several little treats served one by one including a great baked pear with a mysterious curry cream, a crostini with tomato and basil and a superbly seasoned oyster.


First course - Grilled Cremini with toasted goat cheese gnudi and bechamel. This dish emitted a magnificent saliva inducing scent. Gnudi made with ricotta and a bit of flour leaving behind a dumpling also known as “naked ravioli“ ravioli filling without the pasta resulting in a dumpling-like delight. If you like gnocchi, chances are you’ll be a fan of gnudi, too.  The cremini mushrooms (immature portabella mushrooms) were succulent and had a deep decadent taste that balanced well with fluffy lightness of the the goat cheese gnudi.


Second course – Cuttlefish Carbonara with bacon, scallion, Parmesan foam and quail eggs. This was a truly creatively delicious spin on carbonara. The flavor was sublime and the mix of the crunchy bacon and Parmesan foam with quail egg created a savory orgy of textures thats were a joy to swirl in your mouth. It was tongues down the paramount dish of the night.




Third course - Confit Hanger with sweet potato carrot puree, and roast pepper relish. This dish had a lot of potential, but fell flat on its face like a boxer facing Mohammed Ali in his prime. The steak was ridiculously well done with a spicy and sweet potato carrot purée that left the palate confused.




Fourth course – Gallette De Cochon with pork galce, cauliflower purée and poached mustard seeds.  The crispy crust pulled pork with stellar cauliflower puree was pretty delicious. The cauliflower puree was so smooth, you couldn’t believe it wasn’t potato.




Fifth course – Truffle Duo with hazelnut, almond, white chocolate truffle, raspberry sorbet, shortbread cookie and dark chocolate ganache. This dessert plate was split in two with marvelous on one side and dessert confusion on the other. The white truffle ball over the dark chocolate ganache was sublime. We could have eaten a baker’s dozen of them. Unfortunately,the overtly sour and harsh raspberry sorbet created havoc on the plate. It was so heinously tart and overpowering that we were uttelry bewildered about its plate presence. Thankfully, it was quarantined to one side so it did not contaminate the delectable truffle ball.




The motto of the Lab is “consistently inconsistent,” so some meals may be phenom and others not so much. While ours fell a little short of phenom, we still loved the experience and enjoyed trying these experimental dishes. We had an amazing time eating and drinking brand new food with cool, fun and hilarious strangers. We will gladly be a chef’s guinea pig again at the Dinner Lab again.