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Best Waterfront Dining Miami 2012 - Rusty Pelican

Rusty Pelican

Rusty Pelican

3201 Rickenbacker Causeway

Key Biscayne, FL 33149

305-361-3818

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After taking your seat at the Rusty Pelican, your mate will comment, "Wow, what a beautiful view." Your response? "The most beautiful view is the one I share with you." From this Virginia Key jewel, the Miami skyline beckons with a twinkle across Biscayne Bay. Let's face it: We all love a dazzling vista; even more so when water is involved. When we're sitting at a table filled with great food and drink, this fact is especially true. At Rusty Pelican, the outdoor tables are next to a dramatically lighted fire pit, and indoor seating is in a room brightened by a recent multimillion-dollar renovation. Chef Michael Gilligan's contemporary American menu highlights raw bar selections, sushi, crabcakes, tuna tacos, ceviche, tiraditos, a series of creative small plates (eel and foie gras; pork-belly-and-apple skewers), and main plates such as whole red snapper with crisply fried noodles, and poached duck breast with chanterelles and parsnip quenelles (appetizers and small plates range from $8 to $16, entrées $26 to $35). If you think it can't get any better than that, how about weekday happy hour (4 to 7 p.m.) with $3 beers; $5 well drinks and featured wines; $7 martinis, mojitos, and margaritas; $5 to $9 bar bites; and, of course, that priceless view.

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