Palmeiras Beach Club, located a quarter mile off Coconut Grove at 4 Grove Isle Drive, opens today with a myriad Mediterranean-inspired dining options from former Seasalt and Pepper chef Alfredo Alvarez. The eatery will feature indoor and outdoor seating, a 20-seat private dining room, and a menu highlighting Spanish, French, Italian and Greek influence.
"The island has always had a special place in my heart, as it’s where I signed my first restaurant deal, Giacosa in Coral Gables, back in the day," Alvarez says. "As soon as I revisited Grove Isle, I was hooked in a magical and emotional way and knew I wanted to be a part of the restaurant concept."
The property, conceptualized by Sami Kohen and Jacques Wulffaert who partnered with Grove Isle's developers Eddy Avila, Hector Fernandez, and Jorge Pinto, includes a private-dining Perrier-Jouët Chef’s Table experience, a Patron tequila lounge, and a bay-front restaurant helmed by Alvarez and Abraham Silva, his chef de cuisine.
"I hand selected Silva for Palmeiras," Alvarez says. "We had a great working relationship when we both opened Seasalt and Pepper, and I knew together we could do something very special here."
Alvarez says the dining options at Palmeiras resemble stylish harbor restaurants in St. Tropez that serve casual, Mediterranean-style dishes to both an early and late-night dining crowd. Alvarez wanted to create a dining experience fusing that relaxed setting with high-quality cuisine.
"The main dining room will offer a more “see and be seen” experience," Alvarez says. "Located off the main dining room is the Perrier-Jouët Chef’s Table with the design and atmosphere of the Belle Époque or French golden age when joie de vivre or joy of living was the reigning mood. With the outdoor Taittinger Lounge and Beach Club, we wanted to create a unique sunset scene in Miami. The Café del Mar style of music will set the ideal tone for chilling out."
Dishes in the main dining room include seared sepia with caramelized baby artichokes, feta cheese, mint tabbouleh, tomato confit, chorizo, and piquillo peppers; a selection of Fruit de Mer, featuring seasonal oysters, poached wild African shrimp, steamed half Maine lobster, Alaska king crab legs, and stone crabs, priced individually or in a traditional seafood tower South of France-style; and Mediterranean turbot with tomatillo sauce, fennel, snow peas, pearl onion, tomato confit, carrots, and sturgeon caviar;
An array of homemade pastas including Alvarez’ carciofo raviolone, filled with ricotta, flashed baby artichokes, tomato, sage, and finished with lemon; and his tagliolini en brodo, in rich Reggiano broth, with arugula, crisp lardon, thyme, parmesan, and garlic chips will be offered too. For something sweet, try the chocolate feast with Valrhona crust, black and white ganache, chocolate soil, Grand Marnier ice cream, candied pecans, and blood orange coulis.
"I have incorporated my favorite dishes from my travels and training across Europe and brought them here," Alvarez says. "From the main dining room menu, the Mediterranean turbot is a must try. I created the dish to match the views, mellow waves and purple skies in Miami."
Forgo the dining room to eat in a more relaxed setting outside in the pool and beach area. Casual bites include crispy Moroccan artichokes with cilantro dressing, piquillo peppers, and shallot confit; quinoa salad with tomato, black olive, piquillo peppers, shallot confit, mache, and haricot vert; and a Wagyu burger with pickled onions, arugula, brie cheese, and house made ketchup.
Palmeiras Beach Club will be open seven days a week. For more information, visit palmeirasbeachclub.com.
Follow Clarissa Buch on Twitter.