The Driftwood Room is the work of New York Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, the Food Network Star Chef of Butter Restaurant and the China Grill. Located in the newly renovated and restored Nautilus South Beach at 1825 Collins Avenue, the restaurant is quite attractive, but weather permitting I suggest dining on the large terrace. It has that beach inspired feel and reminded me of St. Bart’s.

The restaurant is quite attractive, but weather permitting I suggest dining on the large terrace. It has that beach inspired feel and reminded me of St. Bart’s. The terrace is lit by wicker fixtures and it creates a lovely atmosphere.

Unfortunately the room was half empty, and this is at the beginning of high season in Miami.
The cuisine is Mediterranean inspired with local Florida ingredients. The menu weighs heavier on seafood but there are a few meat choices. For once we didn’t have to do “sharing” plates, hallelujah!! We opted for the roasted eggplant dip which was served in a large zucchini boat and served with grilled pita. We also tried the Burrata Caprese with mustard seed, basil and balsamic sherry. The tomatoes were not very good, they were served cold and under ripe. That dish was underwhelming. For our mains I had the Cold Water Lobster and baby spinach on a butter and coconut sauce. The best part is they cooked the lobster, and removed it from its shell, then placed it back inside the shell and all the work was done for you. The Spinach was way too salty and the lobster which was tasty, could have been a little more tender.

My husband for some reason chose the St. Bart’s Style Ribs, even though this really is more of a seafood restaurant. He made the correct choice because they were excellent, dry rubbed, fall off the bone ribs. The sauce had brown sugar, apple cider, cumin, and chili. They also pre-cut them so there was no fuss and no muss.

We got sides of crispy Brussels Sprouts in a balsamic glaze and wonderful frites in a garlic, saffron aioli.

We tried the creamsicle ice cream sandwich in between a crisp ginger cookie. It would have been better if served tempered.

The menu was simple and understated, it had a casual beachside elegance.

Happy dining,
Shanea

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