If you happen to crave smoked fish dip, fried shrimp, or sugar-dusted beignets, swing by Stiltsville Fish Bar in Sunset Harbour for a midday meal. The upscale seafood shack, owned by Top Chef couple Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth, opens for lunch at 11:30 a.m.
Served Monday through Friday till 4 p.m., lunch offers an assortment of sweet and savory seafood and Southern-inspired items, similar to the restaurant's dinner and brunch menus.
"We're really trying to throw some ammunition at our daytime programming," McInnis says. "Besides lunch, we've brought in a band during brunch and have created an enormous happy-hour menu. Our evenings get really jammed, so we're looking to give people a few more reasons to check us out during the day."
Some of the restaurant's best-selling plates appear on the lunch menu, including the sweet corn spoon bread, loaded with buttermilk cream, scallions, and butter-poached lobster ($10 to $13); smoked fish dip made with cherrywood-smoked local catch, house pickles, and thyme and served with a handful of saltines ($9); and McInnis' famed fried chicken, seasoned with bay leaves and citrus and served with pickled watermelon salad and hot sauce ($19).
Then there are new additions, such as a surf-and-turf basket, filled with bay-leaf-and-lime-crusted fried chicken and spicy fish wings ($14), and "today's catch," a choice of blackened, lemon-roasted, or fried fish drizzled with "boggy bayou" aioli and served on a toasted French baguette with green kohlrabi slaw ($14).
"We want to be the best neighborhood restaurant possible," McInnis says. "We've got a young, energetic, and health-focused crowd here. Although we all want to eat a fried-oyster po'boy, sometimes we need something healthier."
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That's where Stiltsville's "Skinny Mermaid" menu comes in. It's filled with lower-calorie items such as vegan salads, small plates, and lettuce wraps. Highlights include the hammock salad, a mix of grapefruit, hearts of palm, avocado, local tomatoes, and butter crunch lettuce ($9/$15); and a smoked fish salad lettuce wrap po'boy filled with wood-smoked, roasted, and chilled local catch, lettuce, tomato, and house-made pickles ($14).
"While our regular menu has plenty of healthy options, we wanted to take the guesswork out of healthy dining," Booth says. "If you are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, watching your carb or protein intake, we've now got you covered."
For dessert, the restaurant offers sugar-dusted beignets with chicory coffee and blood orange anglaise ($9); key lime pie made with toasted coconut, key lime custard, and whipped cream ($9); warm blueberry pie with a cornmeal crust and lemon basil ice cream ($12); and a banana cream pie served in a jar with a chocolate wafer and toffee sauce ($10).
Stiltsville Fish Bar. 1787 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach; 786-353-0477; stiltsvillefishbar.com. Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.