Love lobster? Lobster Bar Sea Grille, a new entry to Miami’s upscale restaurants, offers the top of the line blue hard shell crustacean from Nova Scotia, no fewer than nine ways and up to 4 pounds. Think everything from ceviche, a chili variety and with pasta, to lightly fried, steamed, stuffed, surf and turf, and in a seafood tower. Whole fresh fish, too, that you can choose from the display on ice, the skin glistening with freshness, and USDA prime steaks. All of this in an ambiance that evokes the Oyster Bar in New York City’s Grand Central Station with its white subway tiles, arched ceilings, mahogany walls and art deco inspired chandeliers. A most welcome addition to the Magic City’s dining scene and the place for lobster Miami.
Lobster Bar Sea Grille is part of the successful Buckhead Life Restaurant Group which owns and operates 13 restaurants. They know their business, and it shows in the friendly and professional service, the wait staff in crisply starched white vests with aprons and black pants, and quality of the food.
Be sure to have a drink first at the U-shaped white Carrara marble bar that overlooks the restaurant and lends itself to meeting new people, a good option if you’re dining alone. The menu is ideal for having a light bite as well as a full dinner. For instance, if you wanted a light meal and to have the lobster, the chili lobster is one pound of meat in a mild spicy chili butter sauce resting on buttered toast that soaks up the luscious goodness. That, with a glass of wine and possibly a side dish or the Greek salad, and you’ll eat very well. Or opt for the lobster morsels lightly fried with Greek honey mustard aioli.
In my book the Greeks and Spaniards really know their fish the best, and so not surprising that Buckhead Group’s Greek Founder and CEO, Pano Karatassos, made an all out commitment to both variety and quality of the fish. Unique and welcome is the description of where each fish is from, along with its texture (e.g.firm, tender, lean, high fat) and taste (e.g. medium flavor, sweet, mild, etc). This is a perfect place to try new kinds of fish for those who seldom deviate from salmon or possibly grouper. Whole fish are grilled and basted with lemon, oregano and Greek E.V. olive oil, and fileted tableside. Another section is devoted to their composed seafood entries which is fish or shellfish with sauce, glazes, and/or accompaniments.
Meat lovers won’t be disappointed with a large choice of steaks, chops, and a welcome classic that has all but disappeared from menus — filet mignon au poivre that’s served in a brandy cream, then pepper crusted, with mushrooms and potato confit. There’s also a wide choice of steak enhancements – different sauces. In the wide selection of sides are two that are not to be missed: the OMG delicious creamless corn mash, like a corn puree simply made with butter, salt, pepper and lime juice, and the crunchy blistered shishito peppers given a zip with sesame flavor, lime sea salt and lime.
Dessert favorites are all here, from chocolate molten cake and crème brulee to profiteroles and baba au rhum. The signature offering is the tropical pavlova, a crisp meringue that you crack open to find soft creamy passion fruit mousse, and passion fruit sorbet.
Starters average in the high tens. Whole fish for two is market priced per pound. The current price for whole fish is $42 per pound. Lobsters are also market priced by the pound. The current market price is $38 per pound. Steaks start at $42 (8 oz filet mignon); sides $11 and desserts $12.
A glass of wine (6-ounce pour) starts at $12 and bottles start at $38.
Lobster Bar Sea Grille, 404 Washington Avenue, T.(35-377-2675). It is open for dinner seven days a week. Valet parking is $10. In the fall they will be opening for lunch.