Best Raw Bar Miami 2006 - The Champagne, Crustacean and Caviar Bar
The Setai hotel's Champagne, Crustacean and Caviar Bar is a raw bar. But it's a raw bar on steroids. The fruits de mer are here, albeit a more opulent selection than normal -- not one but two varieties of chilled lobster tail (Maine and Florida); crisp cold-water oysters ($5 each), such as sweet, delicate Kumamotos, buttery Malpeques, and Fanny Bays (a true aficionado's favorite, they are complex and saline, with a fruity finish); giant Johna crab claws ($7 each); and so on. But the menu moves on from there to a mini-Best of the West roundup of maximum luxury snacks from both land and sea. With occasional forays into the Eastern world, this feast includes artisan Italian and Spanish coldcuts and cheeses, Iranian caviar, and Balik -- smoked salmon of the tsars. Also offered are ultra-elegant cooked plates, including seared walnut/cranberry-crusted foie gras ($30), black truffle bruschetta ($36), and diver scallop tartare with sea urchin and caviar ($34). Prices here are breathtaking, but the kids didn't really want to go to grad school, anyway.