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Behind the Line: Gibraltar on Grove Isle

Outside at Gibraltar on Biscayne Bay
Outside at Gibraltar on Biscayne Bay
photos by Jacob Katel

Gibraltar on Grove Isle is one of the sexiest dinner joints in Miami. Set on a romantic island floating in Biscayne Bay just a stone's throw from South Bayshore Drive, the location has seen more weddings than a Vegas chapel.

Last Friday, Short Order spent a couple of hours in the kitchen at the new incarnation of the old Baleen space. The kitchen is headed by chef Jeff O'Neill, who is in charge of all the culinary operations on the property, including the regular menu, room service, bar, pool, and members-only menus.

O'NeillĀ has been featured on Oprah, and his pear chutney turkey burger is one of the most downloaded recipes on her website. You can order it yourself and see why people like it so much. The CIA-trained chef is a welcome addition to the property. Dr. Cathi Sawyer of Hartford, Connecticut, on vacation in Miami, said, "This is phenomenal. We come here every day."

Here's an inside look at the place.

Behind the Line: Gibraltar on Grove Isle
The bar.
Behind the line.
Behind the line.
From about ten feet up.
From about ten feet up.
Hand-rolled garganelli with asparagus, tomatoes, peas, and Asiago cheese.
Hand-rolled garganelli with asparagus, tomatoes, peas, and Asiago cheese.
Georgia honeycomb.
Georgia honeycomb.
Iced regional oysters: spiced mignonette, crunchy pineapple, and pink pepper.
Iced regional oysters: spiced mignonette, crunchy pineapple, and pink pepper.
Mushrooms on deck.
Mushrooms on deck.
king salmon crudo.
king salmon crudo.
Chef Jeff O'Neill inspects a plate before sending it out.
Chef Jeff O'Neill inspects a plate before sending it out.
Line cook Katrina Romero holds up a piece of trout.
Line cook Katrina Romero holds up a piece of trout.
Bread-crusted diver scallops with lemon pasta pearls and saffron mussel broth.
Bread-crusted diver scallops with lemon pasta pearls and saffron mussel broth.
Hanging pots.
Hanging pots.
Get familiar.
Get familiar.
Chicken salad.
Chicken salad.
Executive sous chef Scott Downs at work.
Executive sous chef Scott Downs at work.
House-pickled mustard seeds.
House-pickled mustard seeds.
Burger, bacon.
Burger, bacon.
Sweet water trout with lemon pine quinoa, tomato compote, and shellfish sauce.
Sweet water trout with lemon pine quinoa, tomato compote, and shellfish sauce.
Don't know, but it looks awesome.
Don't know, but it looks awesome.
Baked Atlantic cod with creamy jasmine rice, red miso, and white ginger broth.
Baked Atlantic cod with creamy jasmine rice, red miso, and white ginger broth.
Coating prosciutto with olive oil.
Coating prosciutto with olive oil.
Prosciutto, Gorgonzola, and lardo with savannah honeycomb, pickled onions, and crisp rye.
Prosciutto, Gorgonzola, and lardo with savannah honeycomb, pickled onions, and crisp rye.
Just hanging out.
Just hanging out.
Shrimp salad.
Shrimp salad.
Salmon season.
Salmon season.
Cherie
Cherie
Kitchen at work.
Kitchen at work.
Freder Tropnas makes bacon-wrapped dates.
Freder Tropnas makes bacon-wrapped dates.
Burger and fries.
Burger and fries.
Notorious key lime pie with salted graham crust and vanilla whip.
Notorious key lime pie with salted graham crust and vanilla whip.
Warm chocolate fudge brownie with frozen coconut milk and tarragon.
Warm chocolate fudge brownie with frozen coconut milk and tarragon.
Chef Jeff O'Neill.
Chef Jeff O'Neill.

Thanks go to Chef Jeff, executive sous chef Scott Downs, "grill guy" Eddie Johnson, saucier Todd Allen -- who says, "I love food. I came all the way from New Jersey to work for this guy" -- line cook Carlos Mesa, line cook Katrina Romero, "all-around guy" Paul Cantrell, kitchen staffer Fredner Tropnas, and everybody else on the property.


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