Russian Mob

Big, big Brisa Bistro is off to a decent start

A dining companion's Calypso salad was gratifyingly healthy but sounded better than it tasted. The marinated chicken breast had little of the zing expected from its jerk seasoning and, due to overlong grilling, no juiciness whatsoever. The poultry's bed of avocado, mango, tomatoes, cucumber, bacon, and lettuce turned out to be mostly lettuce and bacon. And a cilantro vinaigrette, which tasted slightly sweet and not at all of cilantro, had been applied too sparsely to either balance the bacon or make the daunting mountain of greens less tedious to tackle.

On Sundays, Brisa's $29.95 brunch for two, an all-you-can-eat buffet that is more Biltmore than bistro, is a phenomenal deal. For under $15 each, two diners can eat from a spread that includes a selection of smoked fish and fresh seafood, a salad bar (with both prepared and DIY salads), half a dozen hot entrées, a steam table, custom omelet and pasta stations, a carving board, a sushi/sashimi display, a breads and pastry table, and an extensive assortment of desserts -- plus unlimited sparkling wine.

True, the "champagne" is not French Pol Roger, but New York State J. Roget ($2-$4 retail). In gourmet terms, the meal was generally unimpressive. Prepared salads had a sameness (and the "crab salad" was surimi). Sashimi was absent from the sushi/sashimi display, and makis were mediocre. The smoked fish were uniformly salty, and the raw oysters were mushy Florida specimens, some of which smelled suspicious. By 1:00 p.m., the roasts at the carving station looked desiccated. But the custom omelets were good, as were many breads, some pastas, and some of the cold seafoods. And though the dessert assortment varied wildly in quality, one key lime item (not the tiny starchy tarts, but the tangy big pie) was terrific.

Brisa's Sunday brunch is heavy on the sweet stuff, but 
head right for the key lime pie
Jonathan Postal
Brisa's Sunday brunch is heavy on the sweet stuff, but head right for the key lime pie

Location Info

Map

Brisa Bistro

1601 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33137

Category: Restaurant > Caribbean

Region: Midtown/Wynwood/Design District

Details

Open daily 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. (breakfast), 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (lunch), 5:30 to 11:00 p.m. (dinner); Sunday brunch 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call 305-714-3680.
Radisson Hotel, 1601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

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So go early, make your "champagne" into a mimosa, choose selectively, and return for different fare if you've made a bad choice in your first go-round. In gourmand terms, the bistro's buffet would easily feed the Russian army.

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