The goods: Mediterraneo is the latest high-end restaurant to grace Brickell’s burgeoning restaurant scene. Located in the sleek new Jade on Brickell building, the ocean-themed space is a handsome spot for a power lunch, with a $15 three-course wallet-friendly deal.
Ambience: Daytime is the best time to dine at Mediterraneo – when sunlight fills the airy space. At night, tacky blue lighting casts an unappetizing azure glow over the food and surroundings, making the place feel a bit like a Ukaranian night club. The dining room is decked out in mod turquoise chairs, a glass enclosed wine cellar and cushy brown leather couches giving it a polished feel.
The grub: Latin-inspired Mediterranean cuisine. Venezuela-born chef Thierry Matamoros helms the kitchen, turning out dishes that will appeal to the local South American clientele. Prices are high: starters average $9, mains hover in the $30 range. Begin with one of six ceviches – ranging from a tuna with miso and cilantro oil to jumbo shrimp with lime and coconut vinegar. Peruvian influences continue with starters like the “causita,” an orb of mashed potatoes with avocado salsa. The black bean humus is a light starter that comes with too-thick pita chips. Mains include a classic paella, a whole snapper baked in a sea salt crust and filet of escolar seasoned with black octopus salt. Desserts play it safe with crème brulee and pana cotta topped with fruit.
Verdict: Stick to daytime for best atmosphere & prices at this Brickell outpost.