Bite into American eats at Vesper in the Shelborne, Miami Beach

 

Restaurant is entered via its kitchen, giving it a mafia-movie vibe.

vesper

Sara Liss

The goods: Vesper is a clandestine supper club serving upscale American standards in South Beach’s revamped Shelborne Hotel.

Ambience: Tucked away in the back of the hotel, Vesper is entered via its kitchen, giving it a mafia-movie vibe. The petite dining room feels like an underground gentlemen’s club with wood paneling, leather banquettes and black and white photos. A large patio offers al fresco seating with white couches, candlelight, ocean breezes and pool views.

The grub: American classics. Chef Frank Ferreiro (Prime Italian) creates a simple menu of generously portioned, upscale comfort food. Prices are on par with SoBe hotels -- starters $12-$16, mains $25-$52, sides $7-$9.

The gratis bread basket features house-made cornbread, cheese bread and ciabatta rolls. Begin with warm artichoke-spinach dip in a mini-casserole dish, colossal crab cocktail, a standard Caesar salad with sourdough croutons or the iceberg wedge with Nueske  bacon. Mains include a gargantuan platter of shrimp scampi over linguine, a shepherd’s pie with Kobe beef wagyu, grilled branzino bathed in a champagne lemon-butter sauce over roasted corn and a 12-ounce filet with black truffle or Gorgonzola butter.

Desserts include the diet-busting “zeppoli” fried oreos with chocolate dipping sauce, a platter of donuts accompanied by vanilla milkshake and Key lime cheesecake.

Verdict: An attractive patio and covert dining room provide the backdrop to upscale American dishes at the reborn Shelborne.

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