It’s not always easy being the new kid in town. Especially when you are pretty, smart and used to getting what you want. The heavy accent doesn’t help. When Fuor d’Acqua tiptoed into South Beach this summer while all the cool kids were out of town, this sexy Italian import didn’t really didn’t make the splash it should have.
Fuor d’Acqua, literally “out of water” is part of the it crowd in its original location in Florence where it is a mecca for seafood lovers. Though it is stunningly beautiful with its rich marble floors, crisp white tablecloths and shimmery blue accents, so far it seems little appreciated at least on weeknights, except by a few loyal diners (mostly Italian speakers) who appear after 9 o’clock. The high prices including appetizer portions of pastas up to $30 could account for the cold shoulder, but the food is exquisitely, almost deceptively excellent. Much of it is imported, which accounts for the increased cost.
The menu is not your usual calamari and Caesar salad deal. In fact, it includes lots of more interesting and refined options including seared shrimp in a balsamic and peanut reduction or a carpaccio of prawns with strawberry sauce. Truthfully, it could use a good translator and editor to make things clear. For example, we ordered what was described as a lentil mousse, expecting an airy and light creation but found instead a hearty puree of lentils topped with snappy red shrimp imported from Sicily.
Ambience: The restaurant is vast, more like a nightclub than a place for a serious Italian dinner. It’s multiple dining rooms and magical, twinkling outdoor patio has been many places over the past several years but most memorably Sport Café in one of its incarnations. The space is a sea of cool white surfaces with whimsical details like large paintings of jellyfish, huge white mirrors and a sequin shark sculpture overseeing the whole affair.
What Didn't Work