By Sara Liss
The goods: The Ritz-Carlton South Beach revamps its in-house restaurant and expands its outdoor patio seating in the form of Bistro One LR, a Latin-influenced brasserie. The swank Morris Lapidus-designed hotel retains its period charm with a supper-club style dining room that incorporates modern upgrades. The airy, mezzanine-level eatery boasts plush upholstered booths, a wine showcase, shimmering curtains and floor-to-ceiling windows framing views of the pool patio. The outdoor patio has expanded to include more shade during the day and cushioned St. Tropez-like seating.
The grub: Americana’s upscale comfort food has been traded in for contemporary bistro fare with Latin and French influences. Executive chef Thomas Connell (Hotel Arts in Barcelona) constructs a menu of classics mingling global flavors and spices. Prices are in keeping with the posh environs; most mains are in the $30 range except for an $18 asparagus and mushroom risotto with porcini cream. Seafood takes center stage with a monkfish osso buco accompanied by a watercress risotto, a halibut with sweet corn gratin and a seared grouper accented with preserved lemon and tomato. Meat lovers will appreciate the various cuts available, including a 12-ounce rib eye and a half rack of Colorado lamb. A grapefruit-glazed duck and a foie gras roasted spring chicken round out the lavish offerings. Sides like polenta onion rings and lobster mashed potatoes are mini-meals.
The verdict: With stylish outdoor seating and opulent cuisine, Bistro One LR will attract comfort-loving epicureans and well-coiffed gourmands.
Bistro One LR, 1 Lincoln Rd., South Beach; 786.276.4000