The who: James Beard award-winning Chef José Andrés launches Bazaar Mar, his second Miami restaurant and sixth project with sbe. Like his Bazaar at the SLS South Beach this restaurant takes its cues from Spanish tapas-style dining but here there is more emphasis on fish and seafood.
The space: A trippy nautical dining room by design superstar Philippe Starck. Hand-painted blue and white tiles depicting mermaids and proclaiming the greatness of José Andrés, white chairs and couches, marble tables and oversized pendant lighting set the stage for the tank-to-table dining.
The dishes: Seafood-focused with a nod to Miami and Caribbean influences. There’s a full raw bar available and caviar as well as carnivorous delicacies sucha as Iberico ham. Prices are as lavish as the setting with small plates $8-$26 and mains $22-$65.
The raw bar comprises exotic offerings such as abalone sashimi, uni cones and geoduck. There’s also a “bagel and lox” made with Russ & Daughters smoked salmon, air bread, cream cheese, and pickled onions while the cobia ceviche is plated like perfect rose and garnished with a scoop of frozen leche de tigre, nasturtium leaf, sweet potato, and corn nuts. The “California funnel cake” brings a fried nori dough cake topped with cucumber, crab and avocado and the “Po’ Boy Jose” is a riff on the classic seafood sandwich with a steamed brioche stuffed with oyster stew and fried baby squid.
Bacalao croquettes are now joined on the menu by lobster croquettes — served in the Bazaar’s signature clear plastic high-top sneakers of course. In a nod to sustainability there is lion fish available, dramatically presented whole, breaded and fried. A whole lobster is also lavishly presented with melted Thai butter and ginger.
Desserts keep the whimsical feeling going with the Paloma Postre made with tequila-grapefruit ice, vanilla custard and caramelized peanuts, and a pineapple raspado with condensed milk and fennel frond.
Bottom line: Chef José Andrés branches out to the mainland with this glittering seafood temple.
1300 S. Miami Ave., Miami