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Driftwood Room

The roasted eggplant dip at Driftwood Room, the new restaurant at the revamped Nautilus South Beach Hotel, arrives packed inside a charred zucchini. Diners have two options: Plunge the accompanying pita slices into the tangy eggplant, or cut right into the zucchini and enjoy two tasty vegetables in one bite, sans bread. Such was the intention of the eatery's executive chef, Alexandra "Alex" Guarnaschelli, who willingly admits she has a hard time eating just one piece of pita. The Iron Chef's goal at her second eatery (the first being Butter in Manhattan) is to highlight Florida's natural bounty of ingredients while ensuring the cuisine is in harmony with the hotel's beachy, Mediterranean vibe. Refreshingly, Driftwood Room does have the least celebrity vibe of the many restaurants helmed by TV-famous chefs in Miami Beach. The prices are also reasonable considering its location. However, if Guarnaschelli wants this spot to be truly embraced by locals, there's much work to be done. A good starting point would be less concentration on fussy cooking methods and de-emphasizing the use of lemon and vinegar — a recurring issue in many dishes.