Friday, September 26, 2008
Grass Restaurant and Lounge, Design District
I always forget how much I like Grass. In fact, sometimes I forget entirely that the place exists. I guess because it's hidden behind a wall on a quiet stretch of 40th St. in the Design District. But whenever I go, I really enjoy the experience, from the al fresco seating to the to the well-executed food. In fact, I think the decor at Grass is one the most innovative in Miami. There's no real "interior" as the whole restaurant is outdoors, the only shelter coming from a tikki hut covering the bar and some tables. The rest is exposed to the breezy Miami night (or, if it's not so breezy, lots of giant industrial fans),candlelit tables and surrounded with lush foliage. They even take the whole 'grass' theme a bit too far in the bathroom. (Trust me, you wonder how many chia pets gave thier lives to line the stalls.) But we can forgive those decor faux pas when it comes to a pristine goat cheese salad made with phyllo-crusted cheese crumbles, tart cherry tomatoes and soy-balsamic-dressed arugula.
Or another fine starter consisting of a tuna and salmon ceviche spiced with grapefruit and mint, incredibly refreshing. The plantain crisps, though a bit too thick, were perfect for scooping up the fish and provided nice crunchy contrast.
The grass-fed rib eye was a lovely specimen of perfectly-cooked carnivorous bounty while the ginger-lime marinated mahi mahi with couscous and mango-curry sauce gave the meaty fish just enough spice to keep things exciting. The atmosphere is low-key until about 10:30 Friday and Saturday nights when the space transforms more into a lounge/club with bottle service and dancing. But up until then, it's the ideal spot to sip a cool white wine and chat with your date. The restaurant is participating in Miami Spice, so you can grab a relaxing meal there this weekend, before the season officially kicks in and while we still have the city to ourselves.
28 NE 40th St, Design District,(305) 573-3355.