By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Uchi Miami is one of Wynwood’s newest hotspots and the first for the Hai Restaurant Group in Florida.

Uchi is one of the best-known sushi restaurants across the country, which began with the original and very popular Uchi Austin.

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There’s also Uchi Dallas, Uchi Denver, Uchi Houston and now Uchi Miami.

Chef du Cuisine Dina Butterfield has worked at all of them and is happy to call this one home.

“You are the Uchi woman!” CBS4’S Lisa Petrillo jokingly said to Butterfield.

“I am the Uchi woman,” Butterfield said.

“I have been very fortunate, even if it was for a short period of time, to work in all of the restaurants that we have.”

Inside, the design is sophisticated with organic elements, warm colors in a modern design and unique artwork.

Outside is green and lush, with a backdrop of a colorful graffiti art wall that ties in well with what the word “uchi” means.

Art wall at Uchi Miami (CBS4)

“Uchi means home, which is one of the biggest parts of what we want to project to people when they come and dine with us,” she said,

As for the food?

“We do have a lot of traditional Japanese things that we do, which is mostly on the sushi bar, but we’ve also been able to get a little and expanded and use different cultures to participate in our menus,” Butterfield said.

Subarashi cocktail from Uchi Miami (CBS4)

Petrillo’s tasting starts with a sip of Uchi’s refreshing cocktails. Hers is a tequila-based drink called Subarashi, also offered at happy hour.

Then it’s time for sushi pieces.

First, Golden Eye Snapper topped with Shiso salt.

Golden Eye Snapper topped with Shiso salt from Uchi Miami. (CBS4)

Chef Butterfield instructs Petrillo to take it by hand and flip it upside down to taste the seasoned fish first.

“I’m just going to tell you that the flip worked because I absolutely felt the entire fish, I felt that salt on the top,” said Petrillo.

“Yes, so if that’s the first thing that you taste, it balances all the flavors out, said Butterfield.

Petrillo noticed there is no soy sauce on the table.

“Do you need soy sauce?” asked Butterfield.

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“I do not need soy sauce and I taste a little lime zest in there and salt. It doesn’t need anything. The fresh fish speaks for itself,” said Petrillo.

Bluefin Akami Crudo from Uchi Miami (CBS4)

Next, Bluefin Akami Crudo. It’s a bluefin tuna, aji amarillo sauce, pumpkin granola, blood orange segments and cilantro oil.

“It’s so delicious. The sauce is perfect, it has a little bit of heat and it’s a melt in your mouth tuna,” Petrillo said.

Finally, Uchi’s Maine lobster served with green tomatoes, morel mushrooms and snow peas.

Uchi’s Maine lobster served with green tomatoes, morel mushrooms and snow peas. (CBS4)

“Sometimes the simplest things are the best. It just tastes so clean and smooth with a little acidity, but then it’s not too much acidity and the lobster gives it a sweet flavor,” said Petrillo.

Uchi Miami is open seven days a week, dinner only. For more info: www.uchimiami.com

If you want to try Uchi Miami’s Lobster recipe at home, check it out here.

Green Tomato Tea Ingredients: Yields 5 quarts

  • 211 oz. Green tomato (washed & quartered)
  • 2 oz. Garlic
  • 1 ea. Fennel
  • 4 oz. Ginger (peeled & washed)
  • 3 ½ oz. Salt
  • 1 sprig Thyme
  • 1 oz. Basil
  • 3 Jalapeños (washed, no stem)
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 White onion (peeled & washed)
  • 1 qt. White wine
  • 1 ¼ qt. Water
  • 1 oz. Sushi Zu

Green Tomato Tea Directions:

Place all the items except for the sushi zu in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then foil. Make sure the seal is super tight for all the juices to stay inside. Then place the bowl and hard steam it for 3 hours in a water bath. Once cooked, strain and separate the solids from the liquid. Then blend the remaining solids and strain. Ice down all the way, then season with sushi zu and salt as needed. Set aside.

Pickled Green Tomato Ingredients:

  • 4 Green Tomatoes
  • ½ cup Pickle Liquid

Pickled Green Tomato Directions:

  • Slice the tomatoes on a sharp mandoline, 1mm thickness, and then compress with the pickle liquid.
  • Set aside.

Final Ingredients:

  • One Whole Maine Lobster
  • 4 Snap Peas
  • 6 each Morels
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 Drops of Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz. Green Tomato Tea
  • 4 each Pickled Green Tomatoes
  • ½ tsp Vadouvan Spice

For garnish: Basil or Olive Oil and Pea Tendrils.

Final Directions:

Boil water and pour boiling water over lobster, and cover. Keep the tail in a covered container with boiling water for 8 ½ minutes and claws for 10 minutes. Then ice down. Season the cooked lobster with salt and a few drops of lemon juice.

In a sauté pan add butter, then add the snap peas and morels.

Place cooked snow peas and morels on the bottom of the plate, top with lobster, pickled green tomatoes and the green tomato tea. You can garnish with basil or olive oil and pea tendrils.

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Lisa Petrillo