Today we leave, but not till this evening.
Its been a great trip. We didn’t do as much as we thought we would — no sightseeing, for example — but didn’t stay in our hotel the whole time either.
Last night we were invited to a business dinner with some folks that John has been talking with since he started going to conventions. They have been giving him great advice about what to do and where to go . . . and last night we got into a serious discussion about potential business alignments that seemed pretty exciting. It wasn’t exactly the romantic evening I vaguely thought we might have, but John did buy me a red rose from a street seller. :-)
Monday saw us having a lot of seafood. We had lunch at Grillfish — just a few blocks down from our hotel. It was recommended to us by the concierge as a ‘casual dining’ option. At $30/plate I don’t agree with the casual descriptor. But the food was very good and the wine-by-the-glass list excellent. We shared a plate of tender calamari, lightly (very lightly!) breaded and cooked just through. Delicious, but needed a touch of lemon and salt to really stand out. Then John had a good Ceasar Salad. For our main, I enjoyed my grilled red snapper. It was done perfectly, and the fish was very fresh. The side of corn on the cob was clearly out of season, however, and really could have been a number of other vegetables. John had a really good surf and turf– superb grilled shrimp with a nice cut of filet mignon.
We sat by the pool (finally) for awhile afterwards, in the shade and read and watched the beautiful people. At sunset we returned to our room and changed for dinner at Blue Door Fish at the Delano Hotel.
The Delano Hotel is a gorgeous Art Deco piece, that has been updated for a modern sensibility. The lobby is a unique indoor/outdoor environment, ending in a bar and opening onto the restaurant terrace. Blue Door Fish is incredibly detailed with Art Deco sensibility. The tall walls are velvet and linen, with silver floor lamps, and a judicious use of crystal on tables to reflect the light exquisitely. (It reminded us both of Joel Rubuchon.) Here’s a link to a pic: http://www.delano-hotel.com/en-us/#/explore/?id=/delano-miami-blue-door-fish/. Our table was the two-top to the right of that silver and glass candle collection in the center of the room.
The food was lovely. I started with Cravocat — lump crab meat with avocado, surrounded by a red pepper coulis. It was very tasty, but a little creamier than I expected, and so rich I couldn’t finish it. John had scallops and told me they were incredible. Cooked through, but still tender, drizzled with a brown butter sauce on a puree of butternut squash. We thought it was like having spring and fall in one dish. For my main, I had the Homard Banana — roasted maine lobster, caramelized banana with a brown butter, cilantro-lime sauce. John had the shrimp — a Piedmontese risotto which means it came in a saffron-based bouillabaisse sauce. Although I thought my sauce was too rich and heavy, the sweetness of the lobster was intensified and the entire dish was incredible. John’s shrimp was also incredible. We both agreed that it was the most perfect risotto we’d ever had.
Yesterday’s lunch was off-site again: we went to Jerry’s Famous Deli, just down the street. http://www.jerrysfamousdeli.com/cgi-bin/cNc/showPage.plx?db=jerrysmenu&pid=35:Miami. Established in 1978, but feeling more like 1928, Jerry’s is a 24-hour diner in the best sense. Full bar, ice cream shop, and serious deli. I had a pastrami on pumpernickel, a sandwich I haven’t had since I left New York. It was sooooo good! No condiments, just a lot (!!!!) of meat, sliced paper thin, on good bread. Perfect. And seriously the best pastrami I’ve ever had — even in New York. John had a meatball hero, and tells me it was delicious. A good balance of sauce and cheese on golf ball-sized meat in a plain sliced french roll.
We had a nice walk after that, and some quiet time in the room. I’d been out in the sun that morning, just for an hour, but I didn’t use sunscreen and I’m burned. Bright pink. Doesn’t hurt (thank goodness), but it doesn’t look great.
Dinner was at Prime 112, apparently one of the hottest restaurants in Miami. I found it ‘ok’. (We were with a group, on someone else’s tab.)No appetizers, we all ordered steak, except one swordfish. We had sauteed spinach, hash browns, and onion rings as our sides. We sat outside because it was quieter, but it was still very noisy. My filet was good. Just good, not great. The spinach was a bit overdone, and the has browns over-salt and butter-ed. The onion rings were ridiculously good. I found the service to be exceptionally slow, and the restaurant layout poorly-designed. The desserts were huge — cheesecake, a snicker’s pie, chocolate cookies, and creme brulee with peppermint brownies. Everyone raved about them, but none were finished. Too much food.
Today we’re having a nice breakfast (together!) and then a stroll on the beach, I think. We need to check out by 12:30, and then it’ll be lunch and head for the airport. I’m really glad I came, and I’m looking forward to future visits.