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Water Club - 163rd/ICW - Detailed Report

s
scscr Jun 13, 2010 06:49 AM

We took our friend's boat to the new Water Club where 163rd meets the ICW in North Miami/Sunny Isles. The space is the old Shooters restaurant and is huge. We entered from the dock which included free docking and dock master services. You can park your boat here for both Water Club and Racks. The outdoor portion is huge and we saw a sign that outdoor capacity is over 500 people. There is a swimming pool, lounge chairs, an outdoor bar and many covered tables on the deck. There are also 4-5 enormous projection TV's on the wall and plasma's surround the bar area. There was no misting system or ceiling fans that we noticed outside, so we ate inside with the A/C. Inside was large as well, but was broken up somewhat so it did not feel like it was a big empty space. There was an indoor bar with plasmas, a lounge area with glassed in wine and congac cellar and a glassed in kitchen along the wall from the main entrance.

The menu features Oysters, a variety of apps, soup and salads, sandwhiches and burgers. Entrees included a little of everything (fish, pasta, chicken, pork) and several steaks. All entrees were less than $20 with the exception of the steaks which were $30-$35. The special for the day was a $35 surf and turf with 16oz bone in ribeye and 6oz lobster tails.

We ordered the antipasto, a large mixed seafood platter and grilled shrimp skewers. The antipasto was three dishes of a white bean salad, mixed salami and olives and burrata w/ tomato. The shrimp was 6, one bite shrimp on a skewer over an asian slaw. The seafood platter included 3 oysters, 3 clams, 3 shrimp and 3 lobster tail. The lobster tail and shrimp tasted like they were previosly frozen, the clams were salty and the condiments were a little bland. The oyster I had was good and fresh. The other two apps were good and I liked the white bean salad and slaw. The burrata tasted more like regular mozz than the burrata I am used to.

For mains, we ordered a pork chop, snapper filet, seared tuna and seafood pasta. I tried all of them except the pasta and they were all pretty tasty. The bone in pork chop was brined, cooked to order and served over a mashed potato with rabe and truffle oil. They may have forgot the truffle oil as I did not taste any, but it didn't really matter as it was seasoned and cooked well. The snapper was two yellowtail filets over couscous (or maybe quinoa). My bite of this was nice with perfectly cooked filet, interesting couscous and a suttle curry sauce. The tuna, cooked to order as well, had a great sauce and was pretty tasty. It was a little unusual that they served it with two skewers done the middle of a large tuna steak, but it didn't hinder the taste of the fish. We all enjoyed our dinners.

Dessert offered a selection including Key Lime Pie, a warm doughnut, sorbet and ice cream, a chocolate tort and a pudding cake. We ordered the tort, they were out and gave us the pudding cake instead. It was rich and pretty good as well.

Our server was new and not that great (a little nervous, didn't know a few things about menu items and slow on a few things) but overall the service was good from the manager, hostess and waitstaff.

The bill for 4 was $220 including at 2-3 cocktails and 4-5 glasses of wine. I thought the prices were incredibly fair for what we got in return, although the wine and oysters were a little overpriced relative to the rest of the menu.

My general impression is that for such a large space, the experience was pretty good. Food quality was below gourmet but well above factory food and in gerneral a great value. Overall, we were very happy and I am thrilled to have an option for boaters in North Miami, other than Shuckers. We will be there throughout the summer for post boating dinner and mid-boating lunch. Next time, I won't order the raw platter and might get a selection of Oysters instead. I'm looking forward to trying a few of the sandwiches and we will be back soon.

  1. Icantread Jun 16, 2010 01:36 PM

    I've been a few times and will agree that the food there is very good, and the value is spot on (Don't get any ideas on raising 'em!). Service was (verrrrry) spotty one of the times I went, but if they stick to that formula of ambiance/quality/execution they might just have THE quintessential casual Miami dining spot.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Icantread
      d
      dlgc Aug 26, 2010 12:26 PM

      Since Talula has closed we decided that a trip to the water club was in order, bad idea!

      We were seated and given three menus, one regular, one spice and one of the evenings specials.

      We started with the steamed clams and mussels. The clams were tough and almost inedible, and the mussels were dried out and tasteless.

      We then had a chopped salad that was sent back twice, once because the dressing was on it and we had asked for the dressing on the side. The second time because the salad was dripping wet from the dressing having been washed off. Not a good sign for things to come!

      The fish that was ordered as a main was snapper which was over cooked, dry and again without and seasoning or taste.

      This is a huge restaurant that was so empty we should have known better and gone elsewhere. They really need to fix what is going on in the kitchen or they will certainly not make it through the season. We had high hopes for this restaurant as we alwasys enjoyed our meals at Talula.

      -----
      Talula's Cafe'
      3045 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306

      1. re: dlgc
        HabaneroJane Aug 27, 2010 08:02 AM

        Oh it's a shame. It's not going to make it. We were there and it was dead. Completely empty on a Thursday night at 8 p.m. and then at 10 p.m. when we left. That massive space. Our food was lukewarm, mediocre and forgettable. it's not inexpensive if you think about what you're getting. service was good and frank was in the kitchen but wow, what a shame. i dont think it's long for this world.

    2. s
      scscr Jun 15, 2010 02:20 PM

      Went back for lunch. Had the club w/ fries and friend had the hangover burger. Both were great and the service was excellent. The chef, Andrea Curto-Randazzo was there and the rumor has it that she will be on Iron Chef soon.

      2 Replies
      1. re: scscr
        Frodnesor Jun 15, 2010 02:30 PM

        She is a contestant on the upcoming season of Top Chef (on Bravo, starts airing tomorrow) ->
        http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/bio/a...

        I've not heard anything about Iron Chef.

        1. re: Frodnesor
          s
          scscr Jun 15, 2010 06:53 PM

          We were told like they weren't allowed to say anything from one of the staff who pointed her out along with one of the owners. They said it was not public knowledge (it is now!)

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