Few things are more "Miami" than dining alfresco with unobstructed views of passing and parked megayachts. At the Deck at Island Gardens (888 MacArthur Cswy., Miami), Sundays are reserved for an opulent brunch buffet, which gives way to a swanky sunset party often carrying late into the evening.
With views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami, the restaurant caters to diners both on land and sea. But don't worry: Owning a luxury boat isn't required to dine.
"Our brunch guests enjoy sitting in the cabanas with their food while taking in views of some of the largest yachts in the Northern Hemisphere," executive chef Alfredo Alvarez says.
The Deck's brunch is buffet-style, which Alvarez believes is the best way to give diners a well-rounded experience of the restaurant's menu and vibe.
"When regular customers come in for brunch, they are getting a taste of both worlds," he says. "I've also managed to put my own classic Turkish spin on it too."
Priced at $65 per person, brunch offers six stations stocked with a variety of hot and cold plates. At the breakfast station, find omelets and chocolate chip pancakes, but at the carving station, expect hearty cuts of rib eye, as well as lamb and chicken kebabs. There's also a raw bar packed with oysters, lobster tails, shrimp, and caviar.
For something light, visit the mezze station, which offers an assortment of Mediterranean small plates, including hummus and tzatziki sauces to pair with fresh breads. Find a hint of Italy through a variety of pastas, such as pear Gorgonzola black truffle ravioli and shrimp asparagus ravioli.
"This is not your ordinary Sunday-brunch outing," Alvarez says. "While most may think of Sunday brunch as a generic experience, our brunch is thoughtfully created to capture the unique flavors of our Turkish- and Mediterranean-inspired menu."
Around 6 p.m., brunch transitions into an "Ibiza-style" party, the chef says, where an onsite DJ is paired with flowing booze and an à la carte menu of small plates. If you get lucky, you might see a celebrity; Patrick Schwarzenegger, Dennis Rodman, and Scottie Pippen have all been spotted here.
"Many guests stay throughout the day and into our weekly Sunday-night party," Alvarez says. "That's where they are able to get the full effect of our Sunday-night ambiance."
Brunch runs Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., and the sunset party goes from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. For more information, visit islandgardens.com.
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