River Oyster Bar/Table 8 Reports (long)
A few weeks ago I asked you all where to dine in Miami. We are here now and I have 2 restaurants to report on so far!
Our first night we went to the River Oyster Bar. It started out great, and unfortunately went downhill from there. The apps were all delicious...I had the seafood ceviche, nice chunks of calamari, scallops, shrimp, etc in a spicy, limey marinade with a few pieces of sweet potato. My husband had the jamon serrano on crostini with melting tomatoes and a parsley celeriac salad, delicious. My daughter had a caesar salad, tasty with white anchovies, shredded radish and a parmesan frico. We were all very happy at that point. And then we waited and waited for our entrees, seeing other tables get theirs and almost finish. Finally the waiter came over and said they were coming. They did arrive shortly thereafter, but unfortunately mine was smoking hot while the other two were lukewarm. We assumed that mine had either been ruined or they made the wrong dish and had to remake it while the other two sat there cooling down. My daughter had the braised short ribs over "mac & cheese" which was decadently delicious. My husband had the seafood mixed grill, tuna, scallops and shrimp with 3 different dipping sauces and a kimchee salad. It was so spicy hot that he started sweating halfway through, and he usually quite enjoys spice. I had the halibut with asian vegetables in a fermented black bean sauce. It was also very spicy, and just got boring after a while. At that point we declined dessert and left, disappointed that it had started out so good...but we still really enjoyed the apps!
Last night we went to Table 8 and it was fantastic from start to finish. I started getting worried about going after rereading some posts here about long waits, dark rooms, etc, so we were very pleasantly surprised. The service was friendly, knowledgeable and perfect in every way. They did try to push the 32 oz porterhouse steak, but I remembered reading about it here (and the $100 price tag!) and we declined. I started with the heirloom tomato salad (also recommended here) and it was absolutely delicious...fresh torn croutons, 4 different kinds of tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, arugula and burrata cheese with a balsamic vinegar. My H had a haricot vert salad with duck prosciutto, tangerine and hazelnuts. D had the sweet pea soup with truffled creme fraiche and ham hocks, all very good. For entrees, she had the grilled baby chicken over short rib hash and cipollini jus, I had the striped bass over pea puree, sweet corn, marinated tomatoes and parmesan aioli. It was the first night on the menu for the bass, and it was incredibly good. H had the australian lamb, with eggplant caponata, chick peas, yogurt and peppers and those incredible marinated tomatoes. Since everything was so good, we ventured on to dessert. D got "chocolate, chocolate, chocolate", 3 small presentations of different chocolate desserts and H got the "not so" strawberry shortcake, also very good. I shared and we all had a cappucino.
Thanks so much for the recommendations, never would have gone there without it! Tonight is Chispa, I'll report back in!
Great report. I'm glad to hear too that Table 8 menu is already getting new items. I understand this was a real focus for the LA location, that the menu would change based on what's available and fresh. There are many local places that are good but which I've lost interest in because they never seem to update the menu.
It was one of those menus where there were about 6 apps I was deciding between because everything sounded so good! The one thing I have to say is that Table 8 was the strangest architectural layout I've seen in a while. They gave us 3 options when we got there...outside/outside, inside/outside, or inside/inside....the first was out on the deck on Ocean Drive, the second was this hangar-like nightclubby room that ran the length of the entire block, open on both ends so the wind was whipping through (and it was very very dark in there and most of the tables were couches with coffee tables which are very awkward to eat at). We chose inside/inside which was again a little odd in its configuration, but nice tables, well lit, etc. And I am still thinking about how good the food was!
The mixed grill at river oyster bar is very spicy. I love spicy food and i thought it was excessive, but still liked it.