Friday, January 25, 2008

Lunch at River Oyster Bar

First time at River Oyster Bar, to try their new prix-fixe lunch. Three courses for $20. Selections include dishes off the regular menu with the options changing daily. We had:
snapper tartar topped with wasabi tobiko in a sauce of yuzu juice and tamari (above), corvino ceviche marinated in chilies, cilantro, lime juice and Peruvian corn (the highlight of my day. Why don't we see more of this wonderful giant kernel on Miami menus?),

grilled tuna salad with arugula and grilled vegetables, tuna taco platter that came with sides of feta cheese, guacamole, roasted red peppers, salsa and an impressively fiery hot sauce. Yes, we both got tuna, sometimes you're just in a tuna mood. (This was before the whole mercury scare article came out).

The standout was the corvino ceviche which was so wonderfully tangy and elevated by the Peruvian corn that it was gobbled up amidst fork jabs. The snapper tartar won for its beautiful presentation and pleasantly snappy tobiko, whose wasabi provided color, but not much fire. Its accompanying yuzu-tamari sauce provided a necessary floral, citrusy kick. The grilled vegetables and tuna came together well aided by a lemon-thyme dressing and peppery arugula. The taco plate was a great deal of food, and for those who like dipping and tasting (that'd be me) it was a nice way to do lunch.
The dining room at the River Oyster Bar is classically handsome and urbane, like a polo player. And it's a bit New England-y too with its grand semi-circular wood bar, wooden plank floors and airy oyster-house feel. During the day with sunlight streaming through the glass-paned doors it's downright sophisticated.
And for dessert? Macadamia nut sundae with vanilla ice cream, macadamia nut cookies, rum-marinated cherries and a dark chocolate pecan tart.

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