South Beach just got even cheekier. Over in the South of Fifth neighborhood, collaborators Jamie DeRosa and Michael Reginbogin are reconstructing our notions of what constitutes a contemporary American dish.
“Tongue & Cheek to me is whimsical, it’s fun,” explains DeRosa. “We have a play on words on a lot of things. We have a pudding pop on the menu that’s a popsicle. It started out as a chocolate popsicle and someone said, ‘This is better than a Bill Cosby pudding pop.’ And that became the name.”
Other mouthfuls on the menu include a Beef Cheek burger that arrives sans the usual trappings (no lettuce, no tomato). “No frills, no thrills,” as DeRosa says. Of course, DeRosa and his team are serving up plenty of cheek and tongue variations, including a poutine.
Even the cocktail names are creative. Try a Bourbon for Apples, with bourbon-soaked apple ice cubes floating in a cooling concoction, or the strawberry-and-gin-based Walking Dead (DeRosa is a fan of the AMC television hit). Like any good South Beach establishment, Tongue & Cheek also features a molecular margarita with an overflowing liquid nitrogen preparation.
“I think the name and the ambiance and the more welcoming vibe that you get when you come into Tongue & Cheek matches the food,” DeRosa explains. “For us it was important to have art and music and food and service be one.” It’s all in an effort to keep Tongue & Cheek a neighborhood hangout that appeals to locals. For instance, every day at 5 p.m., guests can sit down for a family-style meal of comfort-food morsels like grilled cheese and hoagies. It’s Tongue & Cheek’s way of giving back to the community.
Check out the video above to get a glimpse of the restaurant’s witty art by local Miamian Claudio Picasso and hear what’s on the daily-rotating family meal menu. Then stop in and grab a seat at the snack bar serving nostalgic bottled sodas and made-to-order small plates presented in old-school cafeteria trays. They have tongues wagging.