In addition to saying AltaMare has “the freshest fish in town,” South Beach Magazine, praised owner Claudio Gordano for creating a “menu that showcases the best catches from local fishing boats intermingled with classic Italian dishes.” Diners can watch every step of the preparation process, thanks to the restaurant’s open kitchen, where chefs batter local yellow-eye snapper and blanket it with cucumber crème fraîche, or lightly sear wahoo before plating it with baby artichokes and arugula.
Not to be outdone by the entrees, many of the desserts are creative takes on classic dishes: a “ceviche” swaps seafood for a mélange of tropical fruits swimming in citrus dressing, and the deconstructed tiramisu combines mascarpone mousse, ladyfingers, and shots of espresso and Bailey’s.
On a white tablecloth, bright red slices of tuna steal glances from everyone in the vicinity before a plate of king crab legs arrives to take over the show. Kone takes its culinary inspiration from the food of the Japanese immigrant community in Rio de Janeiro, resulting a seafood-driven menu that fuses colors, flavors, and ingredients from distant points of the globe. A typical meal here might open with lobster tempura maki or Gulf oysters served fresh on the half-shell. But it's hard to ignore the lengthy list of housemade pastas, from classic lasagna to gnocchi bolognese. As they dine on the open-air patio, diners mingle over mojitos and wine, taking in the surrounding ambiance of Espanola Way's palm-lined streets, the restaurant's charming cafe-style facade, and the distant wail of jealous seagulls.
The lunch menu's star starter is hot and sour popcorn shrimp served with Thai vinaigrette ($9). To whet an evening appetite, the dinner menu offers littleneck clams ($12) and soft shell crab ($13). Main courses, such as locally caught grouper ($24) and mahi ($22), are as fresh as a rapper buried in iceberg lettuce. An Indonesian-influenced skirt steak with shiitakes gets high marks ($22) and can cross other transnational borders with a side of Chinese eggplant with red curry ($7) or faro risotto ($8). For dessert, the difficulty of choosing between the drunken grape parfait ($8) and the blueberry meringue pie ($8) can be mitigated by ordering both or by kidnapping Oompa-Loompas to work in an abandoned chocolate factory.
Tutto's Mare chef Juca Oliveira draws on his own life experiences to craft his menu of international fusion cuisine. Inspired by his childhood in Brazil, he crafts escondidinho de camarão—shrimp creole layered with yucca mash and baked in a wood-burning oven. Drawing on his Italian culinary training, he simmers classic pastas such as al dente black linguine and gnocchi with wine-mushroom sauce. From the cosmopolitan culture of Miami—his home for more than 20 years—he borrows still more eclectic tastes, from Japanese miso to Peruvian spices. He also gathers seafood, fresh fish, and Cordon Bleu–trained mermaid sous chefs fresh from the ocean.
A thick white column supports the high ceiling of Tutto Mare's bright and airy dining room, filled with sleek black tables or cream-colored banquettes. Patrons may also opt to sit at additional outdoor tables or stay inside to pluck utensils from the food-themed graphic art on the walls.
The menu at Asa2 Steak and Seafood celebrates Miami's Latin ties, transporting patrons' palates to South America with dishes such as Argentinian-style vacio steaks, Cuban sirloins, and a Brazilian favorite, picanha, or untrimmed tri-tip steak. These savory cuts join seafood entrees ranging from pan-seared Chilean sea bass to whole snapper, all freshly reined in from the Southern Hemisphere's ocean in the sky. Asa2’s cooks incorporate ingredients from local farms whenever possible, pairing each feast with traditional Latin American sides such as fried yucca and sweet plantains.