This has to have been one of the most entertaining restaurants I’ve been to. However, the over the top presentation plus the mediocre quality of the food just doesn’t add up to the exorbitant price. But it’s still worth 4 stars for the unique delivery and atmosphere. As long as you go on payday with low expectations for the food itself you will definitely have a good time. Although the restaurant appears to be very upscale, guest attire ranged from dressy to beach casual. Their liquid nitrogen cocktails come out “smoking” and are a great topic of conversation at the table, however they are going to set you back thee Hamiltons each. I passed on the $30 cocktail for two reasons: 1) I enjoy food way more than drinks and 2) Mojitos are free all night long at Deb’s Place.
So the group of us picked out a variety of entrees and sides. I got the Asian-Inspired Duck Confit and a side of the French Onion Soup. In retrospect the the best part of the meal (at least for me) was the time between ordering the food and getting the food. Why? Because that’s when we were free to watch everyone else get their food. You’d hear entire tables of people laugh and giggle as these, sometimes monstrous, contraptions would come out with the food. Steak might be served with a huge four foot fork sticking out of the serving “device” (too big to be called a plate). Huge lobster tails were delivered in an large lighthouse (with working interior light).
A ball of cotton candy so large it must require special training to get it to the table safely. We hooted and hollered along with everyone else and we watched in amazement as people took pictures of the dinner plates of random strangers. We even witnessed one patron, after receiving that huge ball of cotton candy offer some to everyone in shouting distance.
“This was the ultimate Instagram hunting ground.”
When my food arrived there was a life-sized legless duck made of wood sitting next to my entree. It took me a minute to get the joke. At least I can only assume that there is some intentionally dark (if not obscure) humor in presenting a legless wooden duck with a dish that centers around poached duck legs. My friend Deb got a fish dish which was served with a 3 or 4 foot fishing pole and hook attached to the plate. My buddy Neal got the lamb shank (served in a doggie bowl). Craig got the tuna and Michelle got the chicken (both of which were served on far less crazy plates).
So all this talk so far has been about the way the food was presented. And that’s probably because the actual food itself was just OK to above average. The french onion soup was nothing extraordinary – in fact I found the crouton to be “tough”. I actually had to resort to using a knife to cut it into pieces (instead of it simply pulling apart with a fork). The confit, itself, was a delicious. Who’d have ever thought about combining it with hoisin dipping sauce and stir fried vegetables?? It could have worked except, the way it’s served: the duck legs are sitting in a bowl on top of the veggies. So by the time I consumed the duck the veggies were just swimming in the fatty drippings. So in addition to the deep fried duck egg roll and the fatty confit I was left to finish with what seemed to be a fatty soup of vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, the flavor was good, but the meal was just very heavy and not well balanced. The portion sizes, though, were rather large.
So in summary: this place has definitely found their niche: plating and delivery. I would definitely recommend going and seeing it person, but I’d recommend you go and just get an appetizer or drink or dessert. Not only will you’ll be there long enough to see lots of fun dishes go by, but you can take comfort in the fact that you’re not missing out by watching others eat them.
Barton G, The Restaurant
1427 West Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Written by Robert Hudson