Miami Spice once again brought me out of my cave and into the world of fine dining. Biscayne Tavern is a swanky little restaurant and bar located inside the B2 Miami Downtown. The sign located on the outside of the restaurant makes it easy to spot, and there is quite a bit of metered parking across the way. They have been generating a lot of buzz with the large variety and quality of the food on their Miami Spice menu. With that in mind, I brought some friends along.
The chairs are some of the most comfortable I’ve had in a restaurant. I hear that they went through a recent remodel, which case it is definitely working for them. The view of Biscayne Blvd. parking from the windows is probably not ideal if you’re looking for ambiance, but it probably makes for great people-watching during peak hours. Our server was a tall gentleman with an impressively vast amount of knowledge of the restaurant’s large menu. This was a very good thing, because I like asking questions, and had plenty of them. After a while, our appetizers arrived.
The short rib sliders looked a bit unimpressive. The meat looked dry, but the first bite proved that it was anything but. Tender, juicy, and extra flavorful meat easily surrendered to my bite. They had the tiniest hint of a kick, which was probably the Chipotle mustard, and were served on a soft potato bread.
My friend’s blue crab cake sliders were also served on potato bread. These were also tasty. The pickled cucumbers really brightened up the richness of the crab cake, and the spicy remoulade was just enough sauce to accentuate the sliders without turning them into a goopy mess. Special mention also goes to the extra-crispy exterior of the crab cake patties.
According to our server, the braised pork shank has been the most popular Miami Spice entrée. When out came this prehistoric-looking hunk of meat, I could see why. While I contemplated how to tackle eating this, I dug my fork in and saw how absolutely tender the meat was. I didn’t even need to use my knife for this, because the meat easily and cleanly pulled off the bone. The pork shank had a sweet mango glaze. It was a bit too much sweet for me on the pork, but had a nice flavor. Under the pork was a bed of spaetzle, traditional German dumplings. They had a soft texture and a light, buttery flavor. Somehow, they tempered the heaviness of the pork. That was a surprise, since pasta is usually pretty heavy on its own. I couldn’t finish mine, but took the rest home for a late-evening snack. After all, I had to save room for dessert.
“Chef Will’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies” were another favorite, as the server pointed out. The two jumbo cookies are served with a carton of whole milk, which was a nice touch. The cookies didn’t look particularly spectacular to me, but I was pleasantly surprised that they were soft when I took a bite. The cookies are prepared with sea salt, so you have that hint of salty with the sweet of the cookie. I’m not a big fan of sweet and salty, as most of my friends know. However, my friend said it was the best chocolate chip cookie she’s ever had. I’ll tell you, though, that I was very glad for that carton of milk after one cookie. I wish more restaurants offered a glass of milk with dessert!
The seven-layer chocolate cake also made its way to our table. Although I only count six layers, not seven, I enjoyed this cake. It was moist and decadent, with an intense chocolate flavor. A few bites was enough, so it’s a good thing they brought out spoons for sharing. I kind of wish I had saved some of my milk for this.
My experience at Biscayne Tavern was a good one. The food does take a while to make it to your table, but the servers are constantly visiting your table to check on you. Even the manager passed by to greet us. If you’re looking for a restaurant that has a little something for everyone, Biscayne Tavern is a great place to go. Just make sure not to go with a time constraint.
For more information on Biscayne Tavern, visit their website at http://biscaynetavern.com/.