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Rickenbacker Fish Company - Closed

3301 Rickenbacker Causeway Key Biscayne, FL 33149 | Key Biscayne | 305-361-0040

Location Description:

The warm, handsome dining room is defined by large picture windows lined with slots of dark wooden blinds and shiny, laminated tabletops set closely together atop light grey carpeting. A view of Biscayne Bay is visible during the daylight hours from the outdoor deck, although most of the vistas are blocked by boatyards. The selection of starters (most $10 to $13) is fairly standard for a seafood house (steamed mussels and clams, fried calamari, ceviche in a martini glass), if a bit short on raw-bar picks (just clams and Blue Point oysters on the half shell and peel-and-eat shrimp). Other appetizer choices such as bacon-wrapped shrimp with mango barbecue glaze and coconut-battered shrimp with orange marmalade seem a bit overwrought. A crab cake of lump blackfin came lightly breaded and pan-fried, with a mustard/horseradish bite to the otherwise mellow flavor. Disk-shaped conch fritters were moist and imbued with pleasing shellfish flavor, but the "homemade sauce" (ketchup and mayonnaise) certainly didn't enhance. Entrées are, as one would expect, mostly seafood, and the fish we sampled was undeniably fresh (all but one range from $24 to $27). But unlike many fish houses, there is no option for straightforward grilling or frying of items (although the staff will surely do so if asked nicely). Composed plates include grilled mahi mahi filet blackened and capped with pineapple salsa, crab-encrusted salmon pooled in pineapple beurre blanc, and wasabi-coated tuna with balsamic glaze and pickled ginger. The owners proudly tout their focus on serving "the freshest locally sourced fish," and rightly so: The sweetness of a recently hooked fish is easily discerned. But when buried under such garish garnishing, the pristine product may as well have been imported from Disneyland. There are, to be fair, a few simple preparations. Chilean sea bass comes steamed, although this fish is in danger of extinction and seems a strange menu choice by those who would boast of sustainability. Oven-roasted snapper is served straight-up with a lemon butter sauce. And whole yellowtail snapper is deep-fried and plated with soggy rice pilaf and a thin, seafood-based tomato sauce. An impeccably smooth crême brulèe with crystalline caramelized crust ends things on a bright note. Rickenbacker Fish Company encompasses a small market section where you can pick up seafood to cook at home. This might not be a bad idea, because freshness of fish is Rickenbacker's strong suit. Cooking and serving, not so much.

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  • Cuisine(s): American, Seafood
  • Hours: Sun 12pm-10pm, Mon-Thu 12pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-12am
  • Price: $$$
  • Serving: Dinner, Lunch
  • Alcohol: Full bar
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Parking: Lot Available
  • Payment Types: All Major Credit Cards
  • Features: Kid Friendly, Patio/Sidewalk Dining, Private Party, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible

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    The Rickenbacker Fish Company opened to modest fanfare in December of 2010. Located just a stone crabs throw away from Rusty Pelican, the Rickenbacker was disappointing cuisine-wise; it...
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    The first surprise at Rickenbacker Fish Company Restaurant and Market was the pack of barking, teeth-baring dogs that welcomed us as we exited our cars in the self-parking lot by the...
  • Short Order: Restaurant Reviews
    A little bait just to get you hooked on next week's Cafe review:The fish we sampled was undeniably fresh...Composed plates include grilled mahi fillet, blackened and capped with pineapple...