Izzy's Fish and Oyster to Open End of July

Izzy's Fish and Oyster has set the date. The small seafood restaurant and oyster bar will open at 423 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach the end of July, just in time for the start of Miami Spice. 

Chef/owner Jamie DeRosa and chef de cuisine William Crandall are working on the finishing touches of the menu, which includes two different lobster rolls influenced by two very different New England sensibilities. 

The two chefs took a road trip from Massachusetts to Maine in search of the best seafood. It was there they found the inspiration for one of Izzy's soon-to-be signature dishes. DeRosa explains, "I wanted to introduce William to New England and immerse him in the culture. We drove up to Portland, Maine to meet up with Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley from Eventide Oyster Co. 

"They do this lobster roll on a Korean steamed bun. They cook the lobster in brown butter. It's a small sandwich, probably about a quarter of a lobster, but the buttery flavor and the softness of the steamed bun inspired us to do our own version with lobster bearnaise."

Izzy's warm lobster roll is rich, buttery, and elegant. The sweet meat of one entire pound-and-a-quarter lobster rests on a toasted classic roll from Old School Bakery in Delray Beach. Izzy's will also serve a more traditional cold lobster roll, still using an entire lobster and the same toasted roll. If you're having a difficult time trying to decide which to eat first, think of them as night and day — literally. The cold lobster roll and a pint of craft beer is a chill post-beach lunch, while the richer warm meal would make a wonderful dinner, paired with a glass or two of a crisp wine.

The lobsters are sourced from Pangea Shellfish in Boston. The company, with headquarters next to Harpoon Brewery, harvests fresh, not tanked, lobsters. The company, which also has its own oyster farm, specializes in locally-sourced New England seafood. 

Izzy's will also feature raw bar items, including a good variety of oysters, and other New England seafood favorites like cod, fish & chips, and clam bellies. 

With the opening of Izzy's coinciding with Miami Spice, DeRosa and Crandall have decided to embrace the opportunity with a full-on approach to the two-month long dining program. Chef de cuisine Crandall sees Miami Spice as a great way to introduce the restaurant to local diners. "Every single dish we're doing on the Spice menu is something that's on the regular menu. Hopefully, by the time Spuce is over, we'll have run through the entire menu. This gives people the opportunity to try every dish. Every single week, we'll change the Spice menu around. That's exciting for us as chefs, because we get to work with something new all the time."

DeRosa also sees Spice as a great way to get feedback from customers as to what's working on the new menu. "We want people to try the clam bellies or the cod — things that are actually on our menu. From a chef's perspective, that gives us feedback from customers and gives us an opportunity to test the market. We'll be able to gauge what's working and we can see the home runs and things that don't move as fast."

Izzy's Fish and Oyster Bar will be open for lunch and dinner. Stay tuned for an exact opening date.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss