You regular readers know that seafood restaurants are a frequent topic here, most recently my list of 12 top picks in Miami. But no list would be complete without a look at Prime Fish, 1000 Collins Avenue, (t.305-532-4550) part of the restaurant group that includes the wildly successful Prime 112 and Prime Italian. A recent visit there revealed that the similarities of the menu of the three are apparent — high quality ingredients, prime steaks with optional sauces, numerous side dishes, large portions (they call them “family style”), what “open table” would call “energetic noise level”, dreamy desserts and dreamy prices (as in very high if you don’t share). The distinctive part of the menu includes a large list of “fish on a plate” — sauteed, grilled or blackened; raw bar including East and West Coast Oysters; and Poke — Hawaiian preparation of big eye tuna, wild salmon, and octopus as well as hamachi. There are also not-your-usual dishes they call “chef’s compositions” ranging from swordfish schnitzel with fried egg, broccolini and crispy capers; and Alaskan king crab lasagna to jumbo shrimp and cheddar grits with ham and stewed tomatoes; and Asian inspired fish dishes. I promise you will not be at a loss to find something you like.
Chef Todd Zimmer, a Fort Lauderdale native, has been one of the Prime family for a number of years so he’s schooled in their approach, and also happens to be an avid fisherman. He knows his stuff. We told him the way we like to eat and followed his suggestions. Our appetizer was the King Crab Louis with bibb lettuce, avocado, heirloom tomatoes and 1000 Island dressing. It’s a perfect salad for a ladies lunch (they’ll be opening soon for lunch). We followed that with a whole hog snapper simply grilled which tasted right off the boat. Our sole side was the slow roasted cauliflower with bitter lemon, butter, coriander and a melange of nuts, though others including five cheese truffle MAC, rum baked sweet plantains, and brussel sprouts with butter and balsamic vinegar, rosemary, golden raisins, bacon and pine nuts greatly appealed. We were saving up for what the chef calls the “shock-and-awe” desserts. They appealed to the children in us — chocolate and peanut butter cup cheesecake with a cupcake on top and warm chocolate pudding smores with bourbon popcorn brittle (the brittle was to die for).
The decor is what you’d find in an upscale Charleston Low Country fish house — tile floors, dark wooden tables and chairs with an open kitchen, and small yet inviting bar. There’s also seating outside.
Simple fish dishes range from $25 to $45 for the whole fish. Sides are $13. Appetizers range from $16 to $32 and desserts are $15.
Photography by William Oberheiser