My dining companion's dish was more of a dazzler, a large, thick portion of salmon served in a champagne sauce topped with black and red caviar. After a delicate poaching, the moist fish flaked at the touch of a fork. The sauce tasted mostly of the fish's own juices, and did not overwhelm the slightly sweet salmon. As a crowning touch, the caviar was truly inspired. While the red added little more than a new texture and color to the dish, the black caviar and its juices seeped into the salmon and provided a salty zest.
Both our dishes were surrounded by a medley of colorful garnishes that made the white plates look like artists' palettes: small molds of forest-green parsley flan, which had a mousselike texture and the refreshing taste of the fresh herb; baby carrots and asparagus spears; polenta in the shape of stars; and small molds combining sauteed onions and red peppers.
After such wonderful meals we expected a truly grand finale. But the chocolate mousse cake with sabayon hit with a definitive thud. The mousse was heavy, the cake layer underneath tasted like an ordinary sponge cake and had not soaked up any of the of sabayon. When we ordered our entrees, the waiter had asked if we would like one of the many sweet souffles for dessert, and we declined. As we dealt with our nearly tasteless mousse cake, we saw some of those extravaganzas going to other diners, and it was obvious we'd made the wrong choice. Then again souffle is as good an excuse as any to return to
9561 E Bay Harbor Dr, Bay Harbor Islands; 866-8779. Hours: Daily from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.