Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners - 2008
They can laugh at our politics, they can laugh at our culture, they can laugh at our driving. But one thing visitors from more-established cities can't laugh about is our weather, especially when they're experiencing it over a tiki-torch-lit alfresco dinner consisting perhaps of cream-centered fresh burrata cheese with truffle vinaigrette-dressed haricots verts ($12), followed by seared local tuna with almond-spiked Catalan romesco sauce and herb salad ($18) at this sleek, breeze-cooled hotspot. Chef Mark Zeitouni's menu, featuring seasonal and organic ingredients, is divided roughly 50-50: half comprising simply grilled meats and seafood with mix-and-match sauces and sides, the other half consisting of the kitchen's mostly Mediterranean-inspired creations. These range from a vegan fritto misto of baby artichokes, shiitakes, and chickpea fries with egg-free garlic aioli ($10), to saffron-scented bouillabaisse ($26) or a fun trio of mini cheeseburgers ($16). Although dishes are mostly health-minded, anything one orders should be accompanied by a cone of the one purely sinful offering: thyme-and-sea-salt-sprinkled shoestring fries that could beat Belgium's best. There's also a pleasant indoor room with the same menu. But the spectacular waterfront outdoor setting is what takes this dining experience over-the-top, in only-in-Miami style.