One of the ironies of living in Miami is there are very few waterfront restaurants. There are even fewer places where you can pull up by boat. Though the Miami River has several waterfront dining options, the view is more warehouse chic than bayfront posh.
Nevertheless, Short Order was recently invited aboard a friend's Sea Ray for dinner. The sunset boat ride from South Beach was stunning, with a pink hue hitting the water as the sun went down. We decided to stop at Casablanca Seafood Bar & Grill for dinner.
It was easy enough to pull up; one of the waiters even helped us tie up the boat. Later, we realized all of the waiters pull double-duty in one way or another at this casual seafood eatery. Within seconds, we were seated outside, nibbling on complimentary fish dip and sipping a free shot of chilled white wine.
The whole meal went quickly. Never have I felt so rushed
at a restaurant. Our waiter was running from table to table in
Roadrunner style. He was covering about ten tables, half of which were
inside the restaurant. And he was sweating. Profusely. All of the
waiters were sweating, which is not so attractive for someone serving food.
grouper ceviche came out at breakneck speed, too. It was a tasty blend of
citrus-marinated local grouper with cilantro, aji amarillo sauce, and
roast corn. We also ordered the grouper steak and flame-grilled
langoustines (which were overcooked and really tough). The fish is superfresh here, though, because the owners, the Sanchez family, have been
fishing for three generations. They opened the restaurant in 2007.
Plus Casablanca has nightly specials, and because it was Wednesday, we
were offered all-you-can-eat free oysters.
we hadn't made a dent in our second glass of wine by the time our check
arrived via our still-sweating waiter. The meal, all told, was ordered,
served, and cleared within 30 minutes. Which is great if you are in a
rush. That's not so fabulous if you want to enjoy the dining
experience. The boat ride over actually took longer than dinner.
while the food was excellent (minus the overcooked langoustines) and
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the freebies were greatly appreciated, the vibe was too frantic. Slow down, guys.
Casablanca Seafood Bar &
400 NW North River Dr., Miami