Your Abuela's Meals, But With A Twist

Chef Edgar Leal split his childhood between New York City and his hometown of El Tigre in rural Venezuela. That mix of Manhattan sophistication and Latin American tradition produced Cacao, which has quickly become one of Miami's most popular restaurants. Owner Leal and wife Mariana Montero take the timeless dishes your abuela (grandmother) cooked, like seviche, tamales and bobo de camarao (shrimp in cassava and coconut-milk sauce), and "deconstruct them," as Leal says, into haute cuisine with a presentation that can be as much fun as Carnaval. They have coaxed surprisingly velvety textures and piquant tastes out of soups like black...

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