Mediterraneo at Jade Brickell: A New Neighborhood Hangout

"It feels like an aquarium." That's what Thierry Matamoros, executive chef at Mediterraneo Brickell wants you to say when dining at his restaurant located in Jade residential tower on Brickell Bay Drive. The blue lights, clean lines, fluid walls, and blue back-lit bar set the stage for a romantic meal or after-work cocktails. Add to that several large paintings custom-made in shades of blue by Ecuadorian artist Elger Aragundi, and you find yourself in a soothing escape away from the hustle and bustle of Brickell.

Matamoros is a classically trained chef with several years under his belt working at some of the finer restaurants in New Orleans and his home country of Venezuela. His cooking experience has run the gamut from French to German to Italian. At Mediterraneo, Matamoros is turning his focus to seafood and fresh Med ingredients -- food he has been perfecting over the years through his catering business. The menu offers a wide selection of ceviches, tapas, and seafood dishes such as whole red snapper baked in salt ($29), seafood paella ($23), and grilled white tuna "escolar" ($27). Tapas and ceviches are offered in single servings or in sampling plates, making them ideal for indecisive diners and sharing. The restaurant offers free Wi-Fi and a sizable outdoor area, and is welcoming to kids and pets, as well as those who want to enjoy a $14.95 three-course executive lunch.

Mediterraneo Brickell
At Jade Brickell
1331 Brickell Bay Dr., Miami