When seasoned restaurateur/chef/caterer Ken Lyon made plans for his new restaurant at Miami Beach’s historic Bath Club, he let the space guide his gourmet vision. The 1920s-era building features an intimate 55-seat dining room—with a low, coffered-wood ceiling and terrazzo floors— which struck Lyon as being distinctly “Americana.” Inspired by the site’s inherent cottage-like vibe and his own background growing up in New England, The Cape Cod Room felt like a natural fit. The vision here is about as different as can be from Fratelli Lyon, his smash-hit modern Italian eatery in the Miami Design District, serving fresh, simply prepared fish and seafood from all over the Northeast: Nantucket scallops, belly clams from Ipswich, Wellfleet oysters and Maine lobster are presented alongside what he calls “real good old New England, Yankee things,” such as Indian pudding, Cape Cod quahog chowder, lobster potpie and Provence-Town seafood stew. “New England isn’t really known as a great source of cuisine—it’s known as a great source of seafood,” says Lyon, who has also owned and operated Lyon + Lyon catering company for more than a decade. “We’re filtering that traditional style of cooking through the lens of what we’ve learned over the years, incorporating French technique and modern, contemporary sensibilities.”

Snowbird bath: “The Bath Club space is more cozy than chic, more intimate than urban. The more I thought about it, The Bath Club is very American, and has been around for a long time. In its heyday, it was filled with winter residents who lived in New York and Boston. The Northeast has always had a very strong tie to South Florida.”

Restaurant retrospective: “‘Retro dining’ is a big thing now. In New York, this means putting a restaurant in a building with a lot of history, and instead of gutting it and making its interiors modern, it’s about using the existing architecture and style. I thought about The Bath Club space and how it was used in the ’20s—in Miami, that’s ancient! I thought about the New England-New York connection, the Hamptons, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod and Maine. We’re sourcing a lot of our fish directly from those areas, so it made sense and all came together.”

Raw, shucks: “Sourcing is key. We have Nantucket scallops, which are the tiniest, sweetest things you’ve ever had in your life. Unlike what’s known as a bay scallop, Nantuckets are shucked by hand, raw, and shipped. Other, more inexpensive scallops are mechanically harvested: They come out of the shell using some kind of pressure steam and physical shaking, so there’s no hand involved. Nantuckets are shucked to order as they’re pulled out of the water.”

Absolute mollusks: “Our Wellfleet oysters are phenomenal. They have a saline flavor and brininess to them, like a good oyster should. They’re mild to slightly strong, buttery and just so lovely. ”

Sumptuous steamers: “We’re getting our clams direct from Ipswich, Massachusetts. We serve steamers, which are soft-shell clams often referred to as ‘piss clams,’ because they squirt when you pull them out of the mud. We serve them steamed in beer and herbs with drawn butter and toast points. They’re just delicious.”

TOP IMAGE: Ken Lyon

BOTTOM IMAGE: The clamshell salt amd pepper cellars play off the New England motif

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