The who: New York chef Josh Capon, chairman of Loews Hotels Jonathan Tisch and restaurateurs John McDonald and Joshua Pickard bring their SoHo seafood joint to South Beach with Lure Fishbar.
The room: Located in the former Emeril’s space in the St Moritz building of the Loews Miami Beach, this seductively preppy restaurant with its retro yacht interior might make you forget you’re docked at a hotel restaurant. From the white leather booths to the gleaming, glass-enclosed raw bar to the thick navy and white-striped carpeting, the vibe is plush.
The bar: A polished, high-gloss wooden slab overseen by drink master Robert Ferrara (Swine), who stocks the cocktail menu with fresh-pressed juices and exotic mixers like chili-coffee tincture and Earl Grey tea foam.
The seafood towers: Plentiful, with four varieties of oysters – two East Coast and two West Coast – littleneck clams, Maryland lump crab meat, mussels escabeche and Maine lobster. The “garnished oysters” are bathed in dressings such as pineapple salsa and jalapeño ponzu.
The setup: There are raw bar, crudo and sushi bar offerings, as well as appetizers and entrees that focus on surf and turf. Prices are as posh as the setting with apps averaging $18 and mains in the $30-$40 range. Dinner starts with scallion-Cheddar biscuits and butter. Then come starters like the crispy Blue Point oysters, spicy tuna tartar on crispy rice and Maine lobster spring rolls.
The Lure house roll is shrimp tempura topped with spicy tuna, while the dragon roll is stuffed with eel and topped with avocado.
Mains include a whole grilled dorade, red snapper with a mild red curry and king salmon with chanterelle mushrooms. Signature items include the seared jalapeño sirloin with jasmine rice, sautéed jalapeños, mushrooms and teriyaki and the classic lobster roll. There’s also the Bash Style Burger, winner of the Burger Bash at the New York Wine and Food Festival.
Desserts include a devil’s food cake with raspberry sauce, traditional Key lime pie and the “Pot of Gold,” made with banana custard, peanuts and caramelized bananas.
The bottom line: An upscale New York seafood spot proffers plenty of fresh catch and something for landlubbers, too.