Ceviche and Grille helps guests expand their palates with a spread of vibrant Peruvian ceviche, steaks, chicken, and fried fish. Much like Picasso’s food period, each dish is a delightful burst of color and flavor, with lime-garnished platters of shrimp ceviche, red sauce drizzled on fried fish fillets with yucas, and yellow Peruvian chili cheese slathered over shredded chicken. As they twirl forks into strands of buttery pasta or dig into strips of Angus beef, guests lounge on the open-air patio with a frosty Peruvian beer or Inca Cola in hand, or nestle into brightly colored booths in the dining room.
Chef Scott Fredel claims that his "true love is the ocean." It was this love that led him to work as a commercial fisherman while still in high school and eventually inspired him to compete in fishing tournaments across Florida. Running the kitchen at Pilar Restaurant & Full Bar, the Miami native combines his passion for seafood with the techniques he learned while attending the Culinary Institute of America. Fredel demonstrates his respect for both influences through simply prepared entrées that flaunt their ocean-fresh flavors while occasionally incorporating elegant Italian and Asian touches. Filets of salmon and yellow-fin tuna can arrive grilled and glazed with pomegranate molasses or shiitake-mushroom vinaigrette (respectively), but not before starters such as flash-fried calamari lay a proper foundation. The menus also feature pan-roasted servings of free-range chicken as well as paella with more seafood than the national aquarium of Atlantis. Capable of seating up to 90 guests, the dining room boasts a relaxed charm that led Hello Miami to call it "the 'Cheers' of North Miami." Recessed ceiling lights illuminate the rich wooden floors and artwork-lined walls while potted dragon plants add a verdant splash of color and an endless backup supply of leafy napkins.
Part seafood grill, part fish market, Don Camaron Seafood Grill Restaurant is completely dedicated to fresh fish. At the market, the knowledgeable staff assists guests with selections of domestic fish and crustaceans such as grouper, red snapper, and, when in season, Florida lobster and stone crabs. Likewise, the grill's chefs prepare a wide range of seafood-oriented dishes, ranging from shrimp alfredo to ceviche to salmon. For its presence at the Miami Marlins' stadium, Don Camaron's fruit of the sea has even been spotlighted by Forbes, the first fish to be lauded by the financial magazine since Jaws made $470 million at the box office.
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 historic Plaza de España in the heart of South Beach may be a slightly trendier spot now than it once was, but Flame Caffe & Grill combines the area's modern allure with the neighborhood's inviting past. According to Miami New Times, the eatery "brings casual elegance reminiscent of the old days of Lincoln Road when little cafés that peppered the sidewalk were places to chill with friends." Although local, wild-caught seafood may be the star on the menu, these fresh catches appear in dishes that draw inspiration from cuisines throughout the world. New Orleans–style seafood gumbo and smoked Kansas-style barbecue ribs demonstrate the chefs' commitment to familiar American classics. The rest of the menu includes options with international roots, such as salmon ceviche and pan-seared yellowfin-tuna steak with ginger-soy glaze and wasabi mashed potatoes. The dining room's concrete floors and stark-white chairs embrace an industrial-chic aesthetic befitting the neighborhood's trendy vibe. However, Flame Caffe & Grill's outdoor section gives guests the timeless indulgence of alfresco dining beneath a canopy of leafy green plants, sun umbrellas, and awnings.
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.