Taste Of The Town: Orno Is Farm-To-Table Fare With Vegetables and Herbs Grown From Chef Niven Patel's Own Farm
CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) -- Orno, located in the Thesis Hotel in Coral Gables is a large, elegant restaurant with a huge open-air kitchen. It's co-owned by Chef Niven Patel, who was named Best New Chef of 2020 by Food and Wine Magazine.
It's the ultimate in farm-to-table concept. Chef Patel sources more than 35 varieties of fruits and vegetables grown on his own farm in Homestead called Rancho Patel.
"We have 2 acres. We grow a mixed variety of stuff," Patel explained. "So every day, we bring different vegetables and herbs to the restaurant and then we kind of figure it out, right now is when the magic happens."
Chef Patel, who also is a chef/partner in Mamey, the other restaurant in the same hotel, made his mark in Miami at his very popular Indian restaurant called Ghee Indian Kitchen in South Miami.
The menu at Orno is New American Cuisine. A reflection, he said, of years working in other restaurants.
"It's like America. Very melting pot. For us, we don't like the restrictions of a specific genre of food. We just come in and if the lamb chop speaks middle eastern to us then that's what we do," he said.
Speaking of lamb chops, CBS4's Lisa Petrillo and chef Patel start their tasting with his coriander crusted lamb chops cooked on a wood grill seasoned with dates, molasses and herbs.
"I've never tasted so much flavor on everything. The sweet from the dates is excellent on top. They are perfectly cooked and so tender with a little bit of a kick. Sweet and savory," said Petrillo.
A side dish is grilled beans from his farm that are unlike any other.
"Those beans are very special because no one here in Miami has them. No farmer grows the Romano beans here," he explained.
"That's the beauty in it, that it's from your farm," said Petrillo. "They are so fresh, not a store-bought feeling and I don't know what you seasoned it with but they're delicious."
"It's a shallot vinaigrette," he explained.
They also devoured Orno's famous homemade pita with zaatar on top, paired with green chickpea hummus.
"On top is eggplant from our farm that has a little bit of balsamic and roasted garlic in it," said he said.
"It's got so much flavor so much texture and the lemon. I love that little hint of lemon on top, so fresh," said Petrillo.
Finally, it was time for the meant-to-be-shared, fall off the bones, whole grilled Branzino topped with a fennel sofrito.
"This is really one of the best branzino's I've had. It's completely moist and tender and the fennel on top gives it a whole other flavor," said Petrillo.
"It's one of my favorite things on the menu," said he said proudly.
Orno is open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner.
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