I find myself developing an inferiority complex as I notice the trend of all the best dining spots cropping up in Coconut Grove, Brickell, or Coral Gables. Is it too much to ask for some culinary love in North Miami? 

Case in point, I recently had the pleasure of dining at yet another new establishment in Coconut Grove called Sereia, located at 3540 Main Highway, next to Ariete Restaurant. Sereia means Mermaid in Portuguese. Designed by Bishop Design, Sereia boasts indoor and outdoor seating, with elegant cream fabric booths, high tops, a crudo bar, and a tasteful teal couch that seems to be the colour d’jour of the year. The intricately laid marble floor and lovely hanging light fixtures add to its allure.

The female staff dressed in blue and white striped shirts paired with dark pants, sneakers, and dark attire for gentlemen contribute to the maritime ambiance. This modern seafood-centric restaurant draws inspiration from Portugal and the Iberian coast while celebrating its proximity to our own Atlantic waters.

At the helm is Michelin-starred executive chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, renowned for his 2-star Michelin restaurant Alma in Lisbon, in partnership with the Sault Hospitality group. Chef de cuisine Miguel Messens has an impressive resume, including the 3-star French Laundry in Napa, the 3-star Arzak in San Sebastián, and the 2-star Quintonil in Mexico City (ranked 9th on the world’s best restaurant list). I can ensure you will be in good hands.

Despite the inconvenience of driving in traffic for over an hour, Sereia’s beautifully designed space and array of Portuguese coastal seafood dishes make the journey worthwhile. From the exquisite Maine scallop crudo with tomato water, crispy capers, and Osetra caviar to a delightful snapper tartare with avocado and ginger dressing, the restaurant offers a diverse menu to tantalize the taste buds. Even meat lovers aren’t left out, with options like red wine braised beef cheeks with celery purée.

The desserts, crafted by pastry chef Alicia Montalvo, (formerly from The Michelin-starred Tambourine Room), are equally outstanding, featuring delights such as a superb rice pudding with orange sorbet, crispy rice, and caramel sauce, along with her unique take on a Basque cheesecake, wrapped in phyllo and served with pineapple sorbet and a Parmesan tuille.

While the distance from Miami may be daunting, the sheer pleasure of such a delicious meal at Sereia unquestionably justifies the journey. Recommended.

Happy dining,



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