We did the south beach "thing" on a day when traffic was snarled to a halt and it took us an hour to go 5 miles. We walked the beach searching for the ubiquitous "south beach" vibe and, on a monday in March, just didn't quite see what all the fuss was about. I'll give South Beach another try soon but we were tipped off to a quaint little spot on a little island right off the coast of South beach called the Lido at the Standard Hotel. We had explicit directions but still had trouble finding the hotel... until we realized it was tucked back just a wee bit with the sign upside down. It's their "schtick" so to speak - the upside down sign.
Walking into the hotel is like walking into a zen-yoga oasis. We wandered through the lobby to the walkway out back passing little cabanas and hammocks where people were relaxing, chanting "Om... " and generally chilling out. The restaurant is all the way back on the water and to one side you can see the west side of South Beach and to the other side we could see downtown Miami. We were there at an odd time, 3:00ish on a Monday afternoon. The staff was in a meeting but someone came to help us right away. The view was fantastic, the vibe was amazing, and I could see how, on a friday night, this could be a hip, rocking spot. It oozed "south miami" to me in all my imaginations and preconceived notions.
We had beers - but they were out of my husband's favorite so he had to settle for his second favorite. No big deal as far as we were concerned, they were still stocking for the week. We ordered baby artichoke frites, shaved brussel sprouts and tempura battered avocado. As our waitress walked away I threw out an additional request for a half dozen oysters on the half shell. The baby artichokes were good, the shaved brussel sprouts were okay, but the tempura battered avocado was something I can't even explain. It doesn't sound that complicated, right? But i've never had such a decadent item. Oh, yowza, it was delish. The oysters never came and i accept responsibility for throwing the order at the waitress as she walked away. If we'd been hungrier I would've reminded them about the oysters but we were just having a lazy drink on a lazy monday watching the lazy sun sink lower in the sky. I definitely recommend this funky oasis but be sure to valet park the car as what you think is restaurant parking is actually residential parking and they tow very very quickly.
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