Nothing says seafood like an oyster. And with Miami’s madness over mollusks hitting its peak, there are heaps of fresh crustaceans procured from coast to coast to keep up with the demand. Here are our top five picks for the city’s best spots for shellfish.
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
This popular Design District destination redid its beloved bar last fall, adding in a 25-seat, U-shaped mahogany raw bar. But if you ask us, it’s more like a stage for a wonderful culinary production where you can watch oysters being shucked just seconds before they’re served. Some of our preferred headliners on the menu: Island Creek Oysters’ wellfleet and moon shoals, and some choice bivalves from Washington state’s Hama Hama Company.
Loews Miami Beach Hotel
At this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star treasure’s Lure Fishbar, the daily selection features a mix of East Coast (New York bluepoint) and West Coast (Washington state’s Kumamoto and British Columbia’s Kusshi). Lure is also known for its uniquely dressed oysters that come with an array of housemade specialty sauces, such as jalapeño ponzu, fresh wasabi leaf and lemon, pineapple salsa, and shallot mignonette. And now that cocktail concept space The Rum Line has been added to the property mix, we see many nights of Boat Shoes (Kappa pisco, Manzanilla sherry, amontillado sherry, raspberry preserves, lemon) and Wianno oyster pairings in our future.
Visit this pearl of an oyster bar and seafood eatery in Edgewater for a sample of Big Easy-meets-Old Florida epicurean excitement. While there is plenty to capture your eye on the menu, you can’t go wrong at lunch with the oyster loaf sandwich made with fried oysters and a side of sweet potato wedges with ancho chile. Or drop in for happy hour at this neighborhood favorite, where oysters in their more traditional form are picked and presented every weekday from a rotating selection.
The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami
Throw back a fresh, succulent sucker, with the ocean as your backdrop, at this Four-Star hotel’s signature restaurant, Bistro Bal Harbour. Oysters top Bistro’s homey, seafood-centric American menu, coming by way of half-shells from the Atlantic and the Pacific, as well as the occasional European variety during special occasions like Valentine’s Day. Offerings change seasonally, of course. The most recent scene-stealer: raw Wianno oysters and dried kumquat drizzled with ginger simple syrup.
The River Seafood and Oyster Bar
Known for its hand-shucked selections, The River Seafood and Oyster Bar has been a downtown darling for more than a decade. The professional set gathers around the bustling cocktail bar nightly for the legendary happy hour (4:30 to 7 p.m.). Even if you can’t make it for half-price oysters and wine bargains during those choice times, you’ll always find fried and fire-roasted oysters at dinner. One delicious side note: This after-work mainstay will move into fresh new digs along the Miami River sometime in 2015.