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Michael Stavaridis

Juvia

Michael Stavaridis
Juvia sits on the penthouse level of the Herzog & de Meuron-designed building at 1111 Lincoln Rd. like a sparkling jewel set in concrete. After a brief elevator ride up, guests step into an open-air dining room with vertical gardens designed by Patrick Blanc and much of the rest of the space defined by nature. The indoor seating area is wrapped in windowed walls and offers a stunning panoramic vista of South Beach and beyond. The food has vision too. Best bets are among the crudos, tiraditos, ceviches, and nigiri-style plates: for instance, hamachi with a mildly spicy, citrus-accented espuma of yuzu kosho, or coins of cold-smoked scallops with bloody mary foam, a crisp round of pancetta, micro-celery sprouts, and a sprinkling of dried bonito flakes. Main plates are split between composed entrées and items grilled straightforwardly over diamond-hard binchotan coals. The latter group includes a beef tenderloin that proved the stuff of dreams -- assertively grilled, meltingly tender, and thoroughly delicious. Other entrées weren't as successful -- the kitchen crew still needs to work on execution. There are steeply priced deluxe menu items, but many entrées are under $30 and pricing is generally in line with other SoBe spots. It's a lovely place to grab a sunset cocktail, and a great place to dine too -- especially if you play it safe and stick to the starters.

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