While not from the area, I recently went to Exit 1 while visiting a friend who lives in South Beach (coincidentally or not, the same friend who brought me to Route 9 a couple years ago). I'd never been to Key Biscayne and was impressed by the beauty and serenity of the island, and so the stage was set for a very different sort of evening than our prior nights in South Beach.
We arrived at the plush, country-club-feeling Towers of Key Biscayne (I think I saw tennis courts!), and headed for the restaurant. I was excited for the meal as my prior experience at Route 9 was incredible.
Anyhow, we had impeccable service all night: from the moment we arrived, we were greeted heartily by the owner, Jeremy (same guy I met at Route 9), and he seemed to remember me (or at least he pretended to). Either way, like Route 9, they strike the perfect balance between being comfortable and "homey", but not hokey or unprofessional. Service was attentive and polite.
The dishes are on the more modest size (similar to most European restaurants, NOT the average "American" restaurant like Cheesecake Factory). So, between the 2 of us, we ordered a bunch:
PEI MUSSELS Coconut-Curry Vinaigrette, Cucumber Salsa
HEIRLOOM BEET Red, Candy Striped, Pistachio Anglaise, Black Sesame Powder, Anise Vinaigrette
HOUSE SMOKED SALMON “Everything Crusted,” Pumpernickle, Borsin Panna Cotta, Carraway Seed, Dill
BLACK GROUPER Whipped Ponzu, Roasted Lemongrass Broth, Culantro Oil, Daikon, Carrot
FILET MIGNON Butter Basted, Mushroom Potato Puree, Veal Dumpling, Autumn Vegetables, Brown Butter Bordelaise
The food was fantastic. The preparations were unique, and it was clear that whomever was pumping it out in the kitchen knew what he was doing. I'd highly recommend this place especially to those looking to get out of Miami for the night as this experience is absolutely transporting on many levels.