Ten reasons why Maison d'Azur is the catch of the year:
1. Whelks and periwinkles, which are so unique in these parts they really should count as two reasons. The former are conchlike in texture, the "winkles" teeny and sweet.
2. It is located in the Anglers Resort, which in the Thirties was one of South Beach's first Mediterranean-revival hotels and today is as stunning and romantic a setting for dinner as one could hope to find.
3. DJ Bruno Saläun from Saint-Tropez. Does your favorite fish joint have a DJ? From Saint-Tropez? Didn't think so.
4. Dover sole, John Dory, Tasmanian ocean trout, rouget, sardines, and all manner of Mediterranean seafood specialties (swimming a wide price range of $32 to $72, with some rarities costing more).
5. Seven sauces to choose from to accompany your fish.
6. The big three caviars, from $195 to $450 an ounce.
7. Shellfish platters plied with prawns, crab legs, oysters, champagne/caviar shooters, and langoustines imported from Brittany (six for $65).
8. Soupe de poisson Marseillaise, a saffron-scented fish chowder that alone is worth dining here for.
9. A flawless steak frites with béarnaise — it should be noted that Maison is referred to as a seafood brasserie.
10. Seventy-five distinctive wines and champagnes, suave service, and the creamiest crème brûlée in town.