Miami - The River Oyster Bar
I love oysters and would love to go down there on a Saturday for their happy hour specials. Are the oysters really good? Is it worth a drive from Coconut Creek? Is it hard to get into at happy hour?
Also, has anyone been to their Oyster Fest? The last one was Nov 2006. What do they do at it? There's little or no info on them or this event.
River Oyster Bar has long been one of my personal "blind spots" among local restaurants I've been meaning to try but never got to. This became even more of a glaring omission when I figured out that the chef, David Bracha's, resume includes the kitchens at "411" (we're going back a long time, now, but this was a great restaurant in the space at 4th & Washington now occupied by "Jason's at the Harrison," albeit apparently with Jason no longer the chef) and then Fishbone Grill (also now gone). Indeed, both places had a fantastic crabcake dish with a smokehouse almond tartar sauce. I always assumed Fishbone had knocked off the 411 dish, then figured out years later that it was the same chef. Anyway ...
I finally got to ROB for lunch today. Doh! It was really good. For old farts like me, this is the old Fishbone space on the opposite corner of the block from Tobacco Road on Miami Avenue, but it's definitely been spruced up and looks much nicer. Much of the space is taken up by a sizable bar (only fitting) with several tables off to the side.
I started with an app of fire-roasted oysters (maybe $8-10), followed by a spaghetti w/ sea urchin roe and crab ($18). The oysters were great - three fatties, topped w/ some ancho-flavored cream, a circle of chorizo, and manchego cheese, and run under the broiler (or maybe popped on a grill) just enough to melt the topping and heat the oyster through. Good stuff.
I was a bit surprised to see something as exotic as sea urchin roe on the menu (not sure if they change the menu daily or if this is the regular menu), but happy nonetheless. Even happier when the dish came out - while many places will often chintz on luxe items like sea urchin and crab, this dish was lavished with both - several orbs of bright orange uni, as well as a generous portion of nice sweet big-lump crabmeat. A little lemon and red chili to bring out the flavors. Awesome.
They also had a prix fixe lunch for $20 which had a choice of 3 apps, 3 mains, and a couple desserts.
Valet parking was $2, and they'll wash your car (and do a good job!) for $15.
Definitely makes my recommended list.
Tried River Oyster Bar couple of weeks ago. Will definitely visit again for the BBQ, oysters, and the amazing ceviche (still not better than Francesco's IMO). However, I have to say the entrees were lacking...big time. Bland and generic. The monkfish paella was a disaster. I felt so bad for our friend who ordered it! But if it is oysters you are searching for... ;-)
We often hit the River at lunchtime. I just wanted to offer the caveat that Happy Hour might be a weeknight thing. I will check next time for you or you can call 305-530-1915
Monday-Friday Lunch 11:30 am - 5:00 pm
Monday-Thursday Dinner: 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Friday Dinner 6:00 pm - 12:00 midnight
Saturday Dinner 5:30 pm to 12:00 midnight
Now Open Sundays!
Happy Hour 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Dinner 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm
The River Oyster Bar
650 South Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 33130
Free parking behind the restaurant (with security)
I think that parking is only free if you get there before a certain time. At least thats the way it used to be. I remember one time I was 15 mins after that time and got charged $5 or something... Maybe things have changed though? I havent been over there or to Tobacco Road for awhile.