The River Seafood & Oyster Bar
650 S. Miami Ave.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love seafood. I also happen to really enjoy the surprise dinner date nights that my husband occasionally plans for us. I was in luck a few weeks back, when he swept me up on a Friday night and took me to one of Brickell’s hottest restaurants, The River Seafood & Oyster Bar. The place coincidentally (or not!) also topped my Miami restaurant wish list, so I was pleasantly surprised — to say the least — with his pick.
With an upscale yet inviting atmosphere, a lively bar scene and sizeable cocktail menu, one might be enticed to only spend happy hour at The River — but I would strongly encourage you to stay for dinner. Sure, we enjoyed a couple glasses of Chardonnay and IPAs during our visit, but the insanely fresh and superbly executed seafood definitely served as the highlight of our evening.
We started off with a mouthwatering array of raw oysters, a platter of four different types from all over the globe — Coromandel from New Zealand, Penn Cove from Washington state, Maine’s Little Island, and the well-known Blue Points of New York. Kenny favored the Coromandel, while the salty yet sweet flavors of Little Island pleased my palate.
Our entrees came in the form of bacon-wrapped cobia (for Kenny, $25), which was barbecued and served atop creamed corn and crispy leeks. I splurged and thoroughly savored the whole yellowtail snapper ($32). Its fried “Chinese-style” preparation packed in ginger, soy, lime, and accompanying Asian veggies. I can safely say it was hands-down the most scrumptious dish I’ve eaten so far while living in Miami.
Add in a heaping side dish of blue crab fried brown rice ($10), complete with chunks of luscious crab and crunchy rice. Not to mention an enormous piece of five-layer coconut cake, in all its creamy, sweet glory. OK, if we’re being completely honest here … I will admit that our dining experience at The River lands among the top meals I’ve relished not only in Miami, but anywhere in the world.