The goods: Mister Collins is the latest restaurant at the posh One Bal Harbour resort. The waterfront dining room pairs a neighborhood-friendly eclectic American menu with reasonable prices and generous portions of farm-to-table cooking. The new owners (formerly with Hillstone Restaurant Group, which operates Houston’s) are bringing a sense of down-home sophistication to this upscale setting.
Ambience: The spacious dining room features floor-to-ceiling views of the ocean and the busy Haulover inlet. Whitewashed walls and comfortable leather booths balance the grandeur of the setting and handsome hardwood floors have replaced stuffy carpeting. The best spot to dine is the outdoor patio (or View Bar), where salty breezes mingle with Haulover views and the bar’s loungey soundtrack.
The grub: Modern American. The menu is equally refined and down-to-earth. Prices are skewed to the weekly diner: starters are $9-$16, burgers and salads average $14 and mains can be had for less than $25. Draft beers (which include Dale’s Pale Ale and Native Lager) are $5.
Dinner starts with a basket of cheese biscuits and jalapeno cornbread, an appropriate segue to comfort food classics like guacamole with yucca chips and soft-baked pretzels with spicy mustard dipping sauce. There’s an effort to source locally – the heirloom tomato salad is made with Homestead produce and farmer’s market greens accompany the crab cake salad.
One can easily make a meal of the burgers which include a classic cheeseburger and a steak sandwich (pictured). The ahi tuna burger comes adorned with nori mayo and watercress while the “shroom” burger is a vegetarian-friendly option.
Mains include an impressively gigantic pork chop, a classic “brick” chicken and a ten-ounce filet. Hearty sides include battered and fried pickles, homemade potato chips and mac and cheese topped with crab.
The verdict: Modestly-priced American cuisine in one of the best waterfront spot in the city.