If someone asked you to describe your ideal brunch, your answer would probably involve eggs, oysters, charcuterie, and French toast.
Oh, and of course, booze.
Well, beginning this Sunday, the River Seafood & Oyster Bar will serve all of the above.
There will also be a smorgasbord -- an oversize wooden board topped with enough food to feed four to six people. It includes jamón serrano; manchego cheese with carrot salad and honeycomb; marinated olives; rabbit pâté with cornichons, whole-grain mustard, and pickled onion relish; crab salad ravigote; bacalao croquettes with saffron aioli; and much more. This "starter" will set your group back $90.
You can also expect fire-roasted oysters with sofrito butter, manchego, and chorizo ($12); mascarpone-stuffed French toast with caramelized apples, maple butter, and homemade whipped cream ($12); crabcake Benedict with spinach ($18); a cheddar omelet topped with a crawfish étouffée; and a lobster omelet with goat chesse and home fries.
There will also be a drink special: unlimited mimosas or bloody marys for $30.
We recently spoke with executive chef David Bracha about the new menu and his favorite brunches around town.
Short Order: Why wait this long to bring brunch to the River Seafood & Oyster Bar when it has been such a success at your other restaurant, Oak Tavern?
David Bracha: When we opened Oak Tavern, I knew we'd have brunch right from the start because our clientele was different than at the River. The Design District already had an established brunch scene -- people come from Miami Beach and the neighborhood. It just made sense.
The River has always been about power lunch, happy hour, and of course, dinner. For many years, you could say it was a downtown business crowd. But the whole Brickell area has evolved, and now so many people live nearby, hang out, and dine in the area that I think brunch is going to do really well there.
Can we expect any items from Oak Tavern's brunch to cross over to the River? Or vice versa?
Absolutely. I think the smorgasbord plate is inspired by the charcuterie that we have been doing at Oak Tavern since we opened. And Oak Tavern has a lot more oysters than it did when we started -- we even have an oyster happy hour now, just like we do at the River, based on popular demand!
What will be different?
There is a lot more seafood on the River's brunch menu -- things like the lobster omelet and fish 'n' grits. Of course, you can still get traditional eggs, pancakes, etc., but I have to respect the restaurant's culinary footprint -- fresh seafood and oysters.
What's your favorite brunch spot in Miami?
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Dim sum at Tropical Chinese. I just went a few weeks ago for the first time in a while, and it was great as always.
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