Dining in South Florida is a perfect time to stray away from your tried and trues and taste something completely different. With top chefs at every corner crafting new and fresh combos, South Florida is the ideal place to ditch the burger and get out of your comfort zone. Seafood is the type of dish people usually love or loathe. Here are six dishes sure to make you switch teams if you really don't like seafood.
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437 Washington Ave / Website
Visit Miami’s historic SoFi neighborhood and dine at Fratelli La Bufala. Known as Miami’s first Neapolitan pizzeria, Fratelli La Bufala has been serving up authentic Neapolitan fare since 2005. The menu features South Italian staples from plates of pasta to seafood; one must enjoy a combination. Fratelli’s signature Seafood Risotto ($30) will open anyone’s eyes to the fresh flavors of this soft risotto slathered in a tomato base and paired with a packed portion of squid, shrimp, and mussels. This dish is a guaranteed pleasant surprise.
309 23rd St. / Website
Get whisked away to the French Riviera at Miami Beach’s elegant European dinner club Villa Azur. Villa Azur offers the best selections the Mediterranean has to offer. Those reluctant to the palate of the sea haven’t tried the succulent Dover Sole Meunière ($85), a fileted whole fish with capers, lemon, and brown butter. Need extra swaying? Try the Whole Branzino ($75) prepared tableside paired with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette, roasted tomatoes, and a lemon crown.
1666 Lenox Ave / Website
Chotto Matte is where innovation and delicious dishes meet as guests make discoveries at every corner of its unique menu. Chotto Matte blends genuine Japanese techniques with Peruvian flavors to create an unforgettable meal. This fine and dynamic dining experience feature everything from robata-grilled meats to organic vegetables. Erase your seafood hesitations with their vast sushi and sashimi menu, where the Yellowtail “Nikkei Sashimi” ($21) is the star. Made with yellowtail, cherry tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, and yuzu truffle soy, to pass on this dish’s bold spice and savor would be no less than a crime.
701 S Miami Ave / Website
Transport yourself to Bangkok at EST. 33 Thai Craft Brewery & Kitchen with a menu that harmoniously combines Thai tradition with American barbeque’s classic tastes and techniques. It’s time for the seafood skeptics to come out of their shells and relish in the crispy Red Curry Crab Croquettes ($16), four savory deep-fried croquettes stuffed with crab and seasoned with spiced red curry sauce. Treat yourself with a pairing of one of EST. 33’s house brews, like the celebrated 33 Pale Ale ($7).
3067 Grand Ave / Website
Be prepared to stop saying you’re “not a fan of seafood” after a visit to Jaguar Restaurant in Coconut Grove. Jaguar’s iconic Ceviches are offered in 9 different styles that play on the authentic flavor of Latin-American cuisine. Don’t leave without trying the “Mexicano” - corvina, tomato, red onion,jalapeño, cilantro & lime and the “Vuelve a La Vida”– shrimp, calamari, octopus & corvina in spicy tomato sauce. Known for their premium quality meals, Jaguar Restaurant will leave you wanting more!
1350 S. Dixie Highway / Website
Chef Niven Patel will change any non-seafood lover’s mind with his infamous Sunray Clam Bucatini dish at Orno. Made with fermented peppers, lemon, and chives, the dish's crown jewel is the rare sunray venus clams. Toss aside any preconceptions, as these clams are a rarity in South Florida. Chef Niven aimed to source these clams typically found in Italy and serve them to his guests. Get the best of both worlds as this savory item is served with pasta. To enjoy this idyllic meal, top off this wonderful dish with a glass of wine.
Photography by: Courtesy Cloris Ying/Unsplash, Jaguar, Orno At THesis Hotel, EST.33 Thai Craft Brewery & Kitchen, Chotto Matte, Villa Azur Miami Beach, Fratelli La Bufala