The kitchen disdains fire and instead opts for cured, preserved, and raw techniques. What it lacks in temperature it makes up for in flavor. Bar Crudo's razor clam ceviche packs cucumber, red peppers, and citrus into the bivalves' narrow shells. It's plopped over a mound of crushed ice. Scooping bits of clam with your fork, you might mock the gussied-up diners eating steaks across the street.
Even on Miami's coolest evenings, ceviche just makes more sense.
But if steak is what you want, you can get it raw here too. The carpaccio arrives covered with a bulky glass plate. Black tea smoke lingers beneath the crystal. When the server raises its cover, the fumes escape. The scent of apple wood clings to the meat like a delicate perfume.
Sure, it's gimmicky. But the carpaccio tastes lovely. Crowned with pickled carrots and black pepper, it goes down nicely with a cucumber-tarragon gin drink. At Bar Crudo, the emerald-tinged cocktail is proffered in a chilled coupe glass.
Sometimes, dinner here can feel like a never-ending parade of palate cleansers. The gazpacho, topped with daikon pickles and a tiny mound of cucumber sorbet, is acidic yet smooth. Its flavors lean toward the sweeter side, which didn't please my dining companions. Perhaps it was the wrong occasion. This vibrant tomato soup might work best after a warm afternoon on the sand.