Cocktails & Spirits

AltaMare Introduces New Interior and Oyster-Heavy Happy Hour

With plenty of fish in the sea, options are plentiful -- finding that special catch is no easy task. Miami isn't lacking seafood restaurants, but there are some that keep themselves well hidden. Take AltaMare, the Italian-inspired "hook-to-table" seafood joint that's décor exudes an pretentious air but the food is down-to-earth, or in this case, sea.

AltaMare isn't new -- Claudio Giordano and wife Kaituska are celebrating a 12-year run. In 2010, they moved down the block into a bigger space due to the demand for Giordano's fresh daily specials and house-made pasta. Four years later, and for the first time ever, the restaurant is offering a happy hour. It's their way of celebrating their revamped dining room and one step closer to lunch service, which we hope AltaMare will one day brave.

See also: AltaMare is bigger, busier, and better than ever

AltaMare's summer nights start at 5 and go through 7 p.m., although the restaurant stays open later for dinner. Happy hour, which features $6 drinks, wine, and prosecco, can be had in AltaMare's bar or out in their terrace. Say you're parched after a day at the beach -- head over in your swimsuit and kick back some half-priced oysters while enjoying the summer breeze heat.

Sitting down with Giordano, it's impossible to not talk about fish. This man is as passionate about the sea as we are about food. His goal with AltaMare is to turn it into a place people think of when they think oysters. Blame it on the book he's currently reading -- The Big Oyster by Mark Kurlansky. "I want this to be the oyster place on the beach," Giordano said. "We will be enforcing the oyster, and as more people come so will more oysters. I want to have maybe ten different oysters, and then we'll see if there's room for more."

There are currently four on menu -- Kushi, Kumamoto, Blue Point and Beau Soleil -- and they range from $3 to $3.65 ($1.50 for happy hour). Giordano has also been consistently getting Malpeque oysters. Make sure to take advantage of the rocoto hot sauce that's imported from Peru -- it's unbelievably spicy. Also on the happy hour menu, a 12-oz fried snapper for $9 and fish and chips for ten bucks.

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Carla Torres found her inner gourmand voice while writing for Miami New Times in 2012. She has also worked with Travel & Leisure and Ocean Drive. She balances passions for wine, sweets, yoga, and kayaking.

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