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New York, New York
August 28, 2003
Don’t let the underwhelming exterior of this popular SoBe seafood restaurant fool you into thinking the inside is just as drab--it couldn’t be less so. This corner eatery’s two dining rooms are sufficiently out-of-sync to make you think the designer had an identity crisis while putting the lot together.
The first one you’ll see, on entering, boasts a Grecianesque wall fresco, a slew of ‘weathered’ Corinthian columns, and candles dripping with month-old wax for an overall feel that’s part Gothic, part rococo. The second, through an ersatz archway off the first, is dotted with antique cooking pots, fusty fencing swords, and heavy chandeliers--a look best described as "early 20th-century Austrian homestead." On the plus side, making sense of this bizarre pastiche will give you plenty to talk about over dinner.
And dinner, by Miami standards, is quite good.
Not surprisingly, given the name of the place, the main serving is fish, and there seem to be at least eight varieties (ranging from mahimahi to rainbow trout) to choose from on any given day. What’s on offer is simply listed on chalkboards hanging from the walls; all you have to do is choose the one you want, how you’d like it cooked (grilled, piccata, or marsala); and which side you’d like (pasta, salad, or corn). The simplicity of the food selection is a pleasant antidote to the complicated surroundings.
We opted for a calimari starter and grilled artichoke, followed by scallops piccata (for me), and grilled mahimahi (for my dining partner). Everything grilled was fantastic--light, cooked to perfection, and ample. The artichoke was our favorite dish of the lot: it came to the table cut in quarters, with burnt leaves that gave it a pleasant barbecued taste. My scallops were the only letdown: cooked in a piccata sauce (with garlic, tomato, and wine), the dish was heavier than it should have been.
Rounding off the experience was an affordable ($27) bottle of pinot grigio that came recommended by our waiter and which did, indeed, complement our fish quite nicely.
Overall, I’d recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for an uncomplicated and affordable seafood dinner in South Beach.
From journal SoBe It
February 2, 2001
From journal Eight days in heavenly South Beach