Ocean Drive's Last Great Hope

New chef brings tasty, creative cuisine to 1220 at the Tides

For dessert a key lime cannoli was a creative take on both the Florida and Italian classics: a caramelized coconut tuile wrap outside; tart, airy lime mousse inside. The plate came drizzled with raspberry syrup and garnished with fresh berries as well as a mound of intense mango sorbet that would have been more interesting had there been even a hint of the ginger it allegedly contained. Still it was good.

But not so good was the Florida lobster tail at a second dinner. Though an accompanying salad of watercress, oranges, pickled onion slivers, and fennel was nicely dressed, the lobster tail itself was overgrilled to leathery desiccation. The taste was less like lobster than like charcoal lighter.

Calamari with prosciutto, roasted peppers, kalamata olives, and frisée was worse. The prosciutto was unpleasantly thick and salty. The olives were unpleasantly strong and salty. The soggy lettuce, drowning in dressing, had been rendered even more sadly limp by the heat of the grilled (not battered) calamari mountain on top. And the squid itself was rubbery hard as a Superball and supremely slimy.

Lovely setting, talented chef, fresh seafood, but 
uneven results
Jonathan Postal
Lovely setting, talented chef, fresh seafood, but uneven results

Location Info

Map

The 1220 Bar

1220 Ocean Dr
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Brunch

Region: South Beach

Details

Open daily for breakfast (7:00 to 11:00 a.m.), lunch (11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.), and dinner (6:00 p.m. to midnight). Call 305-604-5130.
1220 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach

Then ... surprise! Sea scallops, sweet and tender specimens with a lovely caramelized exterior, were so wonderful the dish could have come from a different kitchen. The bacon-dotted shellfish came atop a mound of still-crunchy wilted spinach, the whole dressed with a subtly sweet blood orange vinaigrette that married the flavors superbly.

It seemed a shame, perusing Ocean Drive's commercial strip from the beach after three of four visits, that less interesting eateries buzzed while the tables on 1220's perfect people-watching porch were half empty. The cuisine's concept is there. With more consistent execution (and perhaps a more reasonably priced wine list), the joint could be jumping.

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