Our last stop in Miami was to a New York classic – Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne. So does this count as Miami or New York if it is a chain? We’ll have to head uptown and try db Bistro Moderne to find out! Or not. For those of you who read our disappointing write up on Boulud Sud, you’ll know we are in no rush to hit another Danielle restaurant uptown.
Nor were we that hot on going in Miami, but it was our last night and it was a 4 minute walk from our hotel, The Viceroy in Brickell. Because we were seeking a casual meal, I booked the lounge area for the ‘Happy Hour’ from 5-7 pm. We went to eat at 6pm. But we’d had plenty of sun at the pool and were feeling like a good happy hour! And the menu delivered. Drinks were actually discounted, although the food menu was filled with regular priced items from the full menu. And that included the famous db burger for $34 a pop. Which, of course, we decided we should try. Did it stand up to the burger at Minetta Tavern? Do any of them really stand up to their price tags? At any rate, db is in the top 5 Miami restaurants. And far be it from us to not go check that out. Maybe we’ve been missing it all this time in NYC!
db Bistro Moderne is located in the new JWMarriott Marquis in Miami. The lounge area has soaring ceilings and leather lounge chairs for chic cocktail drinkers. There is a 4 walled wine cooler with a ‘Chef’s Table’ in the center, which looks pretty cool. We chose to sit at the bar, which had standard height chairs, but the bartenders were a few feet lower. It was a great place to eat a meal. The staff was all quite knowledgeable on not only cocktails, but the food menu. As of course they should be if employed by Daniel!
For whatever it is worth, the cocktails are about 1/2 price during happy hour. Specialty cocktails are $8-$10, draught beers $6-$8, bottled beers $5-$8, wines $6-$7, and a few top shelf liquors are $6-$7. And such Happy Hour reservations do not exist on the NYC website. I decided on the White Cosmopolitan, which came with a novel round ice cube with an edible orchid inside. Steve had a Summer Buzz for $8 which was topped with aromatic lavender. Both drinks were very sweet, perhaps geared to the ladies.
Smirnoff Vodka, White Cranberry, Lime
New Amsterdam Gin, Spicy Ginger Shrub, Honey Lemongrass Syrup
So true to form, we started with raw bar. Shocker, every meal we had in Miami began with Gulf Shrimp so why not do it again? Each and every one was different from the last in size, texture, appearance, presentation and dipping sauce flavor. These were among the top, although Sugarcane was the big standout.
We also decided the Peruvian Ceviche sounded interesting. Again, when in Rome, right? This was the standout ceviche of our trip. The flavors were delicate, the portion was just right, and the fish impeccably fresh. The plantain was a nice touch as well.
And from there we dove into the burger. Of course we shared. It is not as large as it looks. It is rather round, like a meatball, to give it more girth. It was stuffed with braised short ribs, foie gras and black truffle. Amazingly, the stuffing had zero flavor! The burger was nicely rare. Juicy. Worth $34? Nah. They asked if we wanted traditional fries or ‘souffléd’. They said thinly cut chips are dropped in oil and they puff up with air inside. Cool. We’ll take those. Unfortunately, the result tastes a bit oily but they were great dipped in sauce. And by the way, in NYC the burger is $32!
THE ORIGINAL db BURGER
Pommes Frites or Pommes Soufflees
That was pretty much it for us! We were now full and ready to head back to the hotel. We just stopped by the hotel bar, Eos, for a night cap and went back to our room to pack. Our flight was leaving in the morning. 5 days in Miami is plenty. We hit just about every good restaurant in town and got some great sun at the Viceroy’s pool, the largest in the US. And except for the 4th of July when everyone was off, we pretty much had it to ourselves given the season. Check out Miami in our Travel section to see the complete rundown.
255 Biscayne Boulevard @ the JWMarriott Marquis – Miami – Brickell