Elevated down home American comfort food nestled in the Motel Blu, smack dab in the 'wilds' of the little river section of Biscayne (right over the north edge of MiMo). Chef Kris Wessel got a 2009 James Beard nod for what he's doing here and it was well deserved.
What we had:
Half rack of sticky ribs with apple slaw--the ribs were sticky, sweet, tender and generous with caramelized smoky undertones; the apple slaw paid a bright, crisp complement to cut the fat.
Mac & cheese--the Mac & cheese was great. Not too greasy, not too heavy. A grown up and just right version. I think I detected a hint of bacon intermixed with the light cheesiness.
Mahi Mahi with sour orange butter sauce, Calabaza hash and spinach--this fish was something special. Tender, woodsmoky with just the right hits of sour and fat from the sauce. Chef Kris is a man after my own heart, as he serves potato hash with quite a few dishes. This potato and (light on the) Calabaza hash was just the right side. You also can't go wrong with fresh baby spinach.
Cute, cozy & somewhat haphazardly eclectic decor in reds & tans.
The music is always eclectic and always wonderful. The bartender plays iPod DJ and takes care to select great dining music. Tonight, we were treated to a truly great acoustic rendition of 'Light My Fire,' among other songs.
Good. It can't really help but be good inside, though. The dining room is tiny.
This is the first time we managed to make the long! Arduous! Walk! (note the sarcasm; we can almost see our domicile from Red Light) out here for dinner. Previously we have been for lunch (which was good if on the greasy side) and drinks (which were by far the best we've had in town. The bartender is fabulous).
4 out of 5 salamanders