Friday, August 14, 2015

The River Oyster Bar in Brickell

Even though Miami Spice is the mantra most of Miami's foodies are chanting now,  I like to sneak in a full menu review in the mix as well. After all, sometimes a girl has got to weigh all her options and play the field, right? Wait..I'm straying away from the food...Focus Maria Focus.

Anyway, I had been in the mood for some oysters for a while, so I decided to venture out to Brickell and visit one of the best places to find the freshest ones: The River Oyster Bar, located at 650 South Miami Avenue. The River has been around for a while, over 10 years to be exact, and it has seen many changes take place in the booming neighborhood. If you're familiar with the area, then you know it has been going through extensive construction and alterations, which made the future of this popular restaurant a bit uncertain. There was talk of it moving to a different building, rumors it would be adjacent to the Miami River, and everyone wondered what was going to happen to The River.

There is always an awesome selection of fresh oysters
to choose from

Well, as fate would have it, David Bracha, The River's chef/owner, and his partners, kept the restaurant going amidst all the surrounding turbulence, and the most recent development is that they are going to stay right where they are for at least another three years. That is great news for The River's fans and all those who see the neighborhood spot as a home away from home.

Photo courtesy of The River Oyster Bar

Not only are they staying, but they are completely remodeling the place and adding some new dishes to the already exciting menu. Some of these dishes will be signature favorites from Bracha's sister restaurant, Oak Tavern, which recently closed. So of course, to celebrate, I put on some heels and headed over to The River to quench my craving for oysters and a few other things. To start, some of the treats we gave our tastebuds (besides the oysters) were the Crab Cake, covered in horseradish aioli and corn salad and the Tuna Poke. What can I tell you about the tuna poke? The fact I didn't speak to my dining companion for a few minutes while I tasted, chewed and swallowed, was telling enough. It was prepared with seaweed, avocado and then bathed in sweet soy. Fantastic.

Crab Cake

Tuna Poke

We also decided to share the Crispy Skin Snapper Filet, which sounded very interesting. The fish was served with an avocado-tomato salad and plantain chips. It was colorful, light and integrated a nice mix of flavors at once. As I was getting ready to put the menu down, one of the side dishes  jumped out at me, so I figured what the heck? There's always the gym tomorrow. It was the Fried Crab Brown Rice, and our server, who was extremely helpful and quite handsome too, said it was one of his favorites. That's all I needed to hear. Bring on the carbs.... I didn't regret it though. It was that good.

Crispy Skin Snapper Filet
Fried Crab Brown Rice

You didn't think I was going to finish this adventure without having dessert, did you? We went two different routes. We ordered their Cheese Platter and their Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake. The Cheese Platter was nice, consisting of some bread, sweet fixings and a generous portion of queso. But it was the Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake, another recommendation from our cute waiter, that was insane. It was one of those experiences that brings a smile to your face and stays with you, even as you wake up the following morning. You know what I'm talking about right? You have to order it when you come here. You'll remember me when you smile.

Cheese Platter

Sticky Toffee

For more information on The River Oyster Bar, or to make reservations, visit their website, or call them at 305-530-1915.

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