Area 31 @ Epic Hotel, Downtown Miami
I stopped in at Area 31 last night to meet some friends for happy hour. Turns out on Thursdays they do free specialty cocktails for ladies. Needless to say there was quite a bevy of Bettys in there last night. We had a few cocktails, a fritto misto consisting of delicately fried seafood with a fried caperberry, some swordfish croquetas, and the chef's plate charcuterie. I'm on a mission to not eat any fried food for the month of June and I stuck to it even though the misto and croquetas were calling me to dominate them. The chefs charcuterie was awesome with the standouts being foie gras "preserves", a spreadable foie that went on some crisp toast, and the chef's smoked tuna (crap, I'm 90% positive it was tuna) that had an insanely good smoke to it.
I was happy to see it was really busy at Area 31 because I think Chef Critchley is doing some great things there and being on the 16th floor of a hotel is tough. The only buzzkill is that you have to valet there and even when you get your ticket validated the charge is $12 (just went up $2!). I parked at a meter down the street at the Intercontinental out of spite. Cost me $6 and I got a little exercise from the 5 minute walk. Parking charges aside, definitely check this place out. I recently had dinner there with friends and chose the Chef's Sustainable Seafood Dinner consisting of multiple courses paired with wine. It was fantastic. More on that here:
270 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 33131