Boston 'hound reporting on a 3 night trip to South Beach. 3 late twenties early thirties girls.
Social Miami at the Sagamore. Based on press/reviews, decided to check it out. Small plates concept. 8:30pm reservation, arrived on time and the place was empty. Didn't really fill up the whole time we were there. Atmosphere was typical Miami stark white - felt a little like we were eating in the hotel lobby. Waiter rushed the drinks/dinner orders, and encouraged us to order way more food than we needed. His description was that the plates were tiny and we needed at least 3 or 4 each. Can't even remember how many we ordered, some dishes he said we'd need 2 of! Totally unnecessary. Annoying, because every dish was delish - to name a few: tuna tartar, tuna ceviche, shrimp skewers, lobster skewers, kobe beef sliders, italian cheese with toast... thought the shrimp was way better than the lobster, liked the tuna tartar, not a fan of the tuna ceviche (it had watermellon?), italian cheese was soft and yummy, didn't try the burger but heard it was good. Wine by the glass was expensive, even for South Beach standards. The waiter tried to talk me into a $22 glass of chardonnay when I really just wanted the $11 glass of carneros chard. Would go back for the food, but not for a special night out and would be wiser about ordering less!
Cancelled Nemo reservation and decided to head to Touch. Friend in the business said Touch was amazing. Showed up for 9pm reservation thinking, based on the decor, that this was a cheesy tourist trap (fake palm trees everywhere, soft live r&b/jazz). Ended up having a great night. Everything - service, food, etc. was really amazing. Started by splitting with beet/goat cheese/artichoke salad, other friend had the ceviche special (said it was good). The flavors of my salad blended really well, altho the artichokes tasted a bit tart (said oil cured), but overall a colorful and well-balanced dish. Main course, split 2 entrees between 2 people - vegetarian dish (grilled tofu, parmesan? polenta, veggies) and mahi mahi with rock shrimp and quinoa. Other friend had the tuna steak. Both the veggie dish and the mahi mahi were creatively plated, well balanced in terms of taste/seasoning, and were perfectly prepared. Surprised to have such a pleasant experience. Entertainment started later on in the evening, ranged from belly dancing to fire dancing, and was very amusing. Actually this was the only night of the 3 we ended up opting for dessert - trio of chocolate mousses (yum) and molten chocolate cake (decadent). Ordered the mousse but they brought out the cake - told the waiter and he said to keep the cake and that the mousse would be comped as well. Nice recovery for a fairly benign mistake. Would recommend with the caveat of taking the decor/concept with a grain of salt, knowing now that there's real substance in the kitchen.
Blue Door at the Delano. Superb. Started with the scallop app., then had the salmon. Was very impressed with the overall service/presentation. Service was discreet, not in-your-face, but attentive. Scallop app. was excellent; the salmon really hit a high note. I'm usually unimpressed with salmon entrees, many times the fish is over-done and underseasoned. Salmon was served with veggies and some sort of melted cheese, just right. Blue Door is still holding strong.