Hotel Dining Checks Out

The rest of the entrées don't make for all that alluring a read: veal osso buco with saffron risotto, mini-beef medallions, roasted potatoes, pizzaiola sauce, grilled giant tiger prawns, fennel and tomato salad. Lackluster descriptions don't mean anything in terms of how successful the food will be, but one might expect a few titillatingly unique ingredients sprinkled in, perhaps an intriguing import, grass-fed beef, or at least some local, organic produce. The closest Acqua comes to a stimulating side is the grappa-marinated apricots that embellish a breast of duck.

The dearth of exotic accouterments is compensated by surprisingly moderate prices: soups, salads, and appetizers run $7 to $11, pastas $13 to $18, main courses $21 to $32, and desserts $7. Of course, by the time you choose a bottle from the fairly priced, mostly American/Italian wine list, and top things off with a cup of coffee (or one of a wide selection of high-grade teas), your bill will reflect a night of fine dining. But these prices are still less than the other haughty hotel restaurants are charging.

Pastry chef Frank Monnier's delectable desserts would be a bargain at any price. My wife and I ordered a sampler for $15 that should have included mini portions of any four desserts on the menu. Evidently they were out of miniatures, so we were served a quartet of full-size renditions so delicious that the two of us experienced not a whit of difficulty finishing an intoxicating "napoleon" of dark chocolate ganache, hazelnut cream, and praline cake with divine lemon sorbet on the side; crackly and creamy passion fruit créme brùlée tented with giant tuille; milky, jiggly panna cotta with intensely fruity strawberry sorbet; and an outlandishly refreshing Campari granita in a martini glass with orange and grapefruit sections and a dollop of orange sorbet.

Beautiful room, first-rate service, terrific desserts, but not much in between
Jonathan Postal
Beautiful room, first-rate service, terrific desserts, but not much in between

Location Info

Map

Acqua

1435 Brickell Ave
Miami, FL 33131

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Brickell

Details

305-358-3535. Open daily. Breakfast Monday through Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., lunch Monday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., dinner nightly 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sunday brunch 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Four Seasons Hotel, 1435 Brickell Ave, Miami

We exited Acqua on a high note to be sure, but as I later lay awake waiting for my sugar levels to return to earth, images of Acqua's food weren't dancing in my head. I was obsessed instead with trying to recall the last time I'd had a really good duck l'orange.

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