If you are looking for a kind of late 1950s, early 60s glamour, it's hard to beat Eden Roc Resort, Miami on the upper "Golden Mile" of Miami Beach. Though just a short cab ride, it feels a world away from the thumpety-thump of South Beach where the party scene is inescapable. The $200 million renovation has the place feeling fresh and modern with a cool and shimmery color palate, and nods to a time when it was the resort of choice for entertainers like Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Lena Horne, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Elizabeth Taylor.
The property has multiple pools and a great view of the ocean, but not a lot of choices when it comes to dining. Fortunately, I found the new restaurant there, 1500 Degrees, to be absolutely wonderful. Hell's Kitchen fans will recognize the name of the chef, Paula DaSilva, a past contestant on the show who was named one of the "Top 40 under 40" by Gold Coast magazine and "Best Celebrity Chef" by Broward/Palm Beach New Times.
To be honest, it was hard for me to get excited about yet another steakhouse. But 1500 Degrees is described as a "farm to table" steakhouse, which was good news for me because it means you can easily make a meal out of small plates and appetizers.
First up was the local Florida Wahoo ceviche ($13). Ceviche can be found on many Miami menus, but this one was really outstanding. It had the right balance of peppers, cilantro, onions and lime. It managed to be refreshing and savory at the same time.
I don't know if the Pork Belly Tacos with Housemade Kimchee ($7) are always on the menu, but they should be. Shatteringly crunchy morsels with melting bites of pork and juicy kimchee are a mouthwatering treat! I suppose an order of 4 is meant to be shared, but I gobbled them all up myself.
The spiciest dish I tried was the White Water Clams with Chorizo, Peppers and Aji Amarillo Pepper Broth ($15). Chewy nubs of Spanish chorizo and lots of garlic and peppers flavor the clams and the luscious broth. It was a generous portion and I will not soon forget it. The tangy broth was so good I used a spoon to get every last drop.
So as you can see, I didn't even bother ordering steak. I have no idea how the steak is, but am happy that the other dishes were by no means an afterthought. Prices are a what you would expect to find in a hotel, a bit on the high side, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
I was a guest of Eden Roc and 1500 Degrees.
–Amy Sherman of Cooking with Amy
Photo credits: Top: Brett Hufziger. Lower right: Amy Sherman.