Josh Capon at his new Lure Fishbar at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.
Executive chef and partner Josh Capon recently docked a second outpost of his New York-favorite Lure Fishbar at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Here, the celebrated industry veteran talks serious seafood, Miami’s allure and how he’s hooking South Florida foodies.
How did Miami reel you in?
We felt Miami was a rare opportunity. The brand is very compatible with the Loews Miami Beach Hotel and Miami and South Beach. We’re fun, we’re upscale, we’re sophisticated. The restaurant is in the old Emeril [Lagasse] spot, which is very special to me for a lot of reasons. Emeril really paved the way for so many of us. He’s been a mentor to me and someone I’ve looked up to in the industry for a very long time.
Thoughts on Miami’s current restaurant scene?
The restaurant scene is blowing up! I’m really impressed with what’s going on.
What are you bringing to Miami’s seafood offerings?
Where can you go in Miami and get a great two-pound lobster? To me, whether you live in Miami or you’re vacationing in Miami, you crave seafood. You’re by the water, you want to eat healthy, and you want to eat fish. We do a high end program that’s approachable on many levels; we always let the product speak for itself. We want locals, transients, [and] regulars a couple of times a week. We’re going to make sure that there are some flavors that you crave and you want to come back for.
Can we expect more of a Florida influence?
We’re definitely going to add local fish on the menu. Grouper, local pompano, fresh Florida shrimp, any local stuff that I can get my hands on. Definitely Floridian influences here and there; there’s a little Cuban, a little Spanish.
Any standout dishes?
One of my favorite dishes I do is a whole grilled dorade, which is flown in from the Mediterranean. We debone the fish, marinate it with some fresh herbs, and just serve it off the grill with half of a grilled lemon. It’s a perfect grilled fish. For me, it’s very important that when somebody looks at the menu, it’s not, “What do [I] want to have?,” it’s, “Oh my god, what am I not going to have?”
What’s been your most supernal epicurean experience?
When I was traveling and working throughout Italy and Spain, seeing the different species of fish coming out of the waters with literally a different skeletal structure than most of the flat fish I’d seen. But the flavors were out of this world.
You’ll be spending more time between here and New York. How do you like Miami?
It’s a fun, lively, hip, sophisticated town. What’s there not to like about Miami? Loews Miami Beach Hotel, 1601 Collins Ave., 305-695-4550; lurefishbar.com