Seawell Fish n' Oyster is set to debut in late spring as part of the South Beach hotel's extensive renovation. The restaurant will boast a nautical theme complemented by an outdoor lounge and patio area that can be used for communal dining.
Seawell executive chef Julian Garriga will lead the culinary team. With more than a decade of South Florida experience, including a tenure at Area 31 and Macchialina, the chef says his fare will always pay tribute to the Magic City.
"I'm a Miami guy, and my cuisine will always have a great touch of this city in every dish somehow," Garriga says. "It is very difficult not to incorporate the ingredients and culture that surround me and the restaurant. But I am also very fortunate to have traveled all over the nation. I know and love American food. Every dish will reflect the region where its ingredients hail from."
A good example will be Garriga's Scotch egg. The dish will include a traditional soft boiled egg cradled in a crisp golden sourdough panko crust, resembling a small crunchy fritter, served alongside a spicy house-made rock shrimp sausage.
"What makes our Scotch egg special is the use of local seafood. We'll be using rock shrimp rather than pork sausage," Garriga explains. "Not many people do a Scotch egg with seafood. It’s a great representation of our focus on American seafood."
Other American/Miami takes include poutine made with house-cut fries topped with a creamy gravy, queso fundido, and lobster.
Seawell Fish n’ Oyster will also offer a few nonseafood items, including a burger made with a house blend of short rib, brisket, and chuck, and a bucket of Southern-style fried chicken served with house hot sauce and local honey. Prices have yet to be determined.
Scheduled to open before the restaurant debuts, Minnow Bar will be led by local veteran bartender Chris Resnick, formerly of Lure Fishbar and Regent Cocktail Club. Gin will take center stage at the unique bar, specializing in clear spirits. Guests will be able to choose from various gins, each hand-selected by Resnick.
"Gin is such a lovely and versatile spirit with one of the widest ranges of flavor presentation, mostly due to its lack of restrictions as far as how it has to be mixed," Resnick says. "It’s got a strong flavor that amazingly plays well with almost any other ingredient. We will offer a well-rounded and healthy list of gins featuring the usual brands, alongside really outstanding smaller companies such as Dorothy Parker out of New York and one of my recent favorites, Bobby’s Gin from Holland."
One cocktail Resnick is most excited about has been dubbed the Rey Mambo, a blend of blanco tequila, black pepper, house-made mango shrub, fresh lime juice, and basil. Shaken and served with a basil leaf, the refreshing drink pays tribute to one of Florida’s most popular and populous fruits, the mango.
Seawell Fish n' Oyster and Minnow Bar. 660 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-534-9600; anglershotelmiami.com. Opening spring 2018.