A Fish Called Avalon Restaurant
Ocean Drive hosts many casual eateries and tropical drink spots offering views of the landmark properties and the sea, but few are as deeply satisfying as A Fish Called Avalon on the lobby level of the Avalon Hotel. This casually elegant seafood grill uses the freshest local products and provides the perfect backdrop for romantic dining with a view to the Atlantic Ocean. Whether you opt to sit on the breezy patio or tucked away indoors, expect professional service, delicious seafood and a well-edited wine list tailored to pair with the featured entrees.
The menu at A Fish Called Avalon offers guests a choice of sparkling fresh, seasonal dishes like chilled Alaska King Crab, Florida Stone Crab claws and tender Key West shrimp served on an icy plateau that’s truly dazzling. The chef crafts dishes that are grilled simply or kicked up with tropical flavors but no entree is spiced to overwhelm the fresh flavors of the sea. Try pan-roasted crab cakes, Key West yellowtail or the house signature Bang Bang Shrimp to discover the dishes that make the restaurant so popular. Landlubbers can select prime dry-aged steaks topped with spicy green peppercorn or horseradish sauce. At the end of a satisfying dinner, be sure to share some of the best Key Lime Pie in town and you’ll know you have tasted the essence of a fine Florida meal.
A Fish Called Avalon
700 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139
AltaMare is a popular South Beach sidewalk cafe which recently expanded operations to double its seating capacity thanks to new chef Simon Stojanovic who brought considerable firepower to the restaurant following a successful stint at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. While the still-evolving menu reflects a dedication to fresh local produce, organic meats and sustainable seafood, the Mediterranean flavors that attracted so many locals to the original restaurant seem bolder and brighter than ever.
Located on the residential west side of the city, AltaMare is two streets past the end of the busy Lincoln Road pedestrian mall which requires a sense of adventure to actually find the place. As counter-intuitive as it might seem to open a sidewalk cafe so far off the tourist track, owner Claudio Giordano’s original incarnation achieved great success in spite of the fact that it was little more than a few plastic tables lining the sidewalk outside an office supply shop.
The elegant new dining room by Columbian designer Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque (Latin Style) is a quantum leap away from the sidewalk shuffle with gleaming dark woods, audio/video lighting by AVLI, plus an exhibition kitchen and a chef’s table to showcase Stojanovic’s craft.
Start with a citrusy ceviche, a deftly composed salad, a rustic pasta and grilled octupus or gently seared fresh local grouper. Long considered a seafood spot, AltaMare’s expanded meat offerings are some of the best new additions to the menu. And while tiramisu may have passed its dessert heyday long ago, the reinvented version that caps off your meal is definitely worthy of a comeback.
1223 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean
Dining al fresco on South Beach is one of the many splendors of a Florida vacation, and few locations compare to the new temple of modern Latin cuisine, De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean, just launched by Chef Douglas Rodriguez at the Hilton Bentley Beach Hotel, which now incorporates the chef’s former De Rodriguez Cuba at the Astor Hotel. Open nightly for “Nuevo Latino” seafood and featuring a 25 foot ceviche and raw bar, guests can sit poolside or in the lovely dining salon facing the sea. De Rodriguez offers a sustainable seafood menu and an ocean-focused Sunday brunch at the 136-seat restaurant that’s all dark woods and serene white curtains at the southern tip of Ocean Drive.
De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean joins the chef’s roster of successful Latin restaurants on South Beach which includes the updated Latin fusion menu at OLA (Of Latin America) at the Sanctuary Hotel. The house signature dish is ceviche, a citrus marinated preparation of raw fish that is transformed in countless ways with innovative additions like watermelon, kumquat, Japanese yuzu and fresh basil. Unlike sashimi, the briny marinade used to flavor the tender fish actually “cooks” it without rendering the flesh firm or leathery as sometimes happens when seafood meets fire. The fish served up at the ceviche bar will change with the tides as will the cooked entrees prepared by Ocean’s nimble kitchen staff.
Ocean’s mixologists expertly prepare minty sweet Mojitos and “Naked Coladas,” rum marinated fresh pineapple paired with natural coconut water and topped with coconut flakes. The result will make you forget the foamy frozen pina colada forever! Starters of just-fried shrimp chicharones, smoked marlin tacos, and arugula salad wrapped in prosciutto pair nicely with the tropical drinks for a perfect poolside cocktail party served with a smile and bathed in the Atlantic Ocean breeze.
De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean
101 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL
Joe’s Stone Crab
Thank the family behind Joe’s every time you nibble on a stone crab. They were the ones who discovered how tasty these little crustaceans are back in 1921 when they threw a couple crabs into boiling water. Before then, no one thought that stone crabs were edible! The rest is glorious, delicious history, one in which has turned a before un-edible sea creature into one of Florida’s most famous delicacies.
For the past 93 years, no trip to Miami Beach has been complete without a visit to Joe’s Stone Crab. A landmark restaurant literally taking up an entire city block, Joe’s is a true family business, owned and operated by the descendants of the man who first threw the little crab into the boiling water. Despite the restaurants cavernous size, don’t expect getting a table to be an easy feat.
No reservations are accepted, so be prepared to wait for hours during stone crab season for a table. If you aren’t up for the wait, check out “Joe’s To Go” next door, where the signature stone crabs and then some are available without the lines.
Joe’s Stone Crab is located at 11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida, 33139. Phone:305.673.0365
Joe’s Takeout: 305.673.4611
Quinn’s Miami Beach Restaurant
On the tourist-ladden Ocean Drive where cuisine sometimes takes the back burner to people watching, Quinn’s offers breath of much-needed fresh air.
The mouth-watering cuisine is based in fresh fish and seafood fused with local produce and flavors, which is evident by one bite of Quinn’s signature appetizer—Bam! Bam! Shrimp ($12.75). Fresh Gulf Shrimp are marinated in 14 spices and palm sugar and served on a cool mojito mint sauce with Island Cucumber slaw. The dish is a refreshing blend of tastes native to our Sunshine State, and is representative of the whole menu.
Tucked away in the Art Deco classic Park Central Hotel, Quinn’s is the perfect spot to bring a large group to enjoy a fantastic dining experience while sitting on the patio and watch Miami Beach’s nightlife stroll by.
If you are not in the mood for a leisurely meal, feel free to stop by for a cocktail and a quick bite from the raw bar menu, which of course includes the Florida delicacy: Stone Crabs.
Quinn’s is located at 640 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida, 33139. Phone: 305.673.6400