Restaurant Reviews

Midtown Oyster Nails the Raw Bar but Misses in the Kitchen

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Inside Midtown Oyster Bar, which opened this past November, you'll find tawny, shovel-shaped Moon Shoals perfectly salted by frigid ocean waves. They're delicate, creamy, and best enjoyed with a splash of tangy, rosy mignonette. Larger and more assertively briny Rocky Nooks rest on flatter shells. Still, the shuckers here preserve the few drops of savory oyster liquor.

Just beyond the raw bar lies a pale space reminiscent of a weathered seaside cottage. Stainless-steel high-tops are lined up against a wall covered with glittering wire baskets filled with spent oyster shells. Pale-yellow lights covered by cracked lobster crates add a final touch.

The decor here is obvious, just as it is at Midtown Oyster's sister place, Salumeria 104. There, it's a temple of house-made charcuterie and pasta where whole hog legs are suspended in midair. Both are owned by the Miami-based Graspa Group, which is also behind Spris, Tiramesu, and the now-shuttered Van Dyke Café.

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Zachary Fagenson became the New Times Broward-Palm Beach restaurant critic in 2012 before taking up the post for Miami in 2014. He also works as a correspondent for Reuters.
Contact: Zachary Fagenson