A new, improved Red Fish Grill is slated to open in December with chef Adrianne Calvo leading the kitchen.
The waterfront eatery, located inside Matheson Hammock Park, shuttered after Hurricane Irma hit Miami in September 2017, when heavy flooding left extensive damage to the restaurant's coral structure. Since then, Miami-Dade County, which operates the park, had been pondering resurrecting the iconic establishment with a redesign and new chef at the helm. The planning process was finalized early this year, and once the renovation is completed, the restaurant will reopen as Red Fish by Chef Adrianne.
Although Calvo keeps busy at her white-tablecloth spot Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar and her newly opened fine-casual concept Cracked by Chef Adrianne in South Miami, she tells New Times she looks forward to running her first waterfront concept. "Red Fish means a lot to the community, a place where so many memories were made," she says. "We want to wake it up, make it something unique while respecting its historical significance and coral rock structure."
On the shore of Biscayne Bay, the county-owned coral structure housing Red Fish dates back to the 1930s, when it was used as a beach bathhouse. Like its original dining iteration, which debuted in 1996 under the owners of the Coral Gables steakhouse Christy's, the new restaurant will also serve as a scenic venue for weddings and other events.
Augusto Gutierrez of BTWN, the design agency behind the project, says the beauty and uniqueness of the historic structure were preserved, but the project aimed to enhance the design to better fit its surroundings. "The original eatery was a functional space, but there was no relation between the interior design and its surroundings," he says. "We wanted to re-create a whole new experience, and the water and green scenery gave us the perfect canvas to incorporate organic elements and a nature-inspired color palette. The new design is a perfect mix between Chef Adrianne’s signature style and Red Fish as everyone knows and loves it to be."
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The restaurant will serve lunch, dinner, and a Sunday brunch. The menu of New American-style seafood dishes took months to devise, Calvo says. The list of traditional fish-house classics enhanced by global influences begins with 14 seafood-based starters, including littleneck clams with fried garlic and sofrito broth ($24); bay scallops on the half shell ($24) with mango, chili, and citrus vinaigrette; and jumbo lump crab cakes ($21) served with Dijonnaise, sliced green apple, and peach; and market-priced offerings from a new oyster and tuna bar.
Main course include fish and chips, with pan-seared sea bass, caviar fries, and caper cream sauce ($40); shrimp and grits, with creamy cheddar cheese grits with Tasso ham and crispy onions ($35); and “not seafood” entrées such as buttermilk-brined fried chicken with hot honey and lemon ($35) and a 28-ounce porterhouse steak served with truffle au jus and crispy onions ($85).
Red Fish guests will be able to choose from nine desserts, such as brown butter white chocolate croissant bread pudding with vanilla ice cream ($16) and a Nutella-swirled skillet brownie with ice cream and salted caramel ($17) .
Red Fish by Chef Adrianne. 9610 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables; 305-668-8788; redfishmiami.com. Opening December 2019.