Restaurant Reviews

The District Serves the Best Lechón in Buena Vista

Page 3 of 3

The District is nestled in a budding strip off of NE Second Avenue, a neighborhood where the pavement is jagged, houses are quaint, and restaurants are small and warm.

Rivadero's dining room rivals Mandolin Aegean Bistro as the fanciest of the bunch. Surrounded by brick-lined walls are dainty flowers in vases, tea lights in mason jars, and a bar that's packed with an after-work crowd. Most nights, the rowdy din of Spanish words floats past the narrow front porch.

Rivadero's cooking evades traditionalism by adding one or two new elements to every dish. Ceviche is offered in three varieties: cobia, corvina, and a blend of octopus, clams, and crab. The corvina is cut into thick chunks, doused in yuzu-lime juice with red onions and yellow lantern chilies, and served beneath a scoop of grapefruit sorbet. Often, this icy pairing can feel contrived. In Rivadero's hands, though, the sorbet perfectly balances the ceviche's tart marinade.

For his tartare, the chef takes a similar approach. He prepares it with raw lamb, a sweeter meat than beef, but otherwise employs conservative flavors, including capers, mustard, shallots, and golden slabs of toast.

The District's desserts follow the same pattern. In a dessert dubbed "Black Magic," beneath a shiny glaze of chocolate ganache, rich semisweet chocolate mousse holds a surprise: chewy, homemade marshmallows. A sweet potato-vanilla bean drizzle is delectable. It might encourage you to swap sweet potatoes for graham crackers the next time you make s'mores.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Emily Codik