Brickell Key is home to Naoe, one of the city's most elusive eateries. And although the Japanese restaurant serves delicious food, it doesn't exactly scream neighborhood joint.
The Island Bistro is hoping to fill that gap.
The restaurant opened in September, offering Panther Coffee and freshly-baked goods. But now it has a new leader: Steven Rojas, a Michelin star-rated chef that recently ran the kitchen at George's in Midtown.
Short Order was invited to try Rojas' new menu and chat about his latest offerings.
As the Island Bistro's Director of Operations, Rojas overlooks the restaurant's kitchen, marketing, branding, and more.
"It's a completely different experience for me," he says. "I've been in the kitchen for the past 15 years. Once a plate went out, that was it for me. Now I'm responsible for everything. It's definitely challenging but exciting."
Rojas' steamed artichoke, drenched in homemade tartar sauce ($11).
Rojas is also focusing on his new menu: "From now until the end of the year we'll be trying things out. I want this to be a traditional French restaurant, but not pretentious -- just good, simple food that people want to eat in a place where they feel like home."
In his steak tartar, Rojas combines minced filet mignon, capers, pickles, shallots, and an egg yolk in its shell ($20).
Shrimp pil-pil ($17) is sauteed in garlic, crushed red pepper, and olive oil. It's got just the right amount of kick.
This extremely generous portion of mussels ($22) soaks in a spicy tomato sauce. They're served alongside a basket of French fries.
The Island Bistro serves Panther Coffee, and they also rub their steaks with the locally-roasted java. The NY strip steak ($33) features a 12-ounce cut of meat that's been coasted in espresso and grilled to medium-rare.
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