The Rusty Pelican: A Peek Inside The Refurbished Place; Michael Gilligan Interview, Part Two

Categories: Chef Interviews
rusty_exterior.jpg
Photo by Joni Williams
Exterior of the new Rusty Pelican.
They may have kept the old name, but everything else at the Rusty Pelican is new. And there isn't a tiki in sight.

The menu has been overhauled and now features trendy items like the ahi tuna taco, eel foie gras and duck-fat fried Australian lamb loin.

And the interior? It's just as on trend, in a New York City-meets-Miami kind of way. There are clean lines and sophisticated furnishings that manage not to compete with the restaurant's best asset: an ever-present and downright amazing water view.

old_rusty_exterior.jpg
The old Rusty Pelican used to live up to its name.
rusty_interior.jpg
Photo by Joni Williams
Seating consists of chairs or padded booths,tastefully done in a mix of muted jades, coppery browns and dark blond woods. There are gleaming glass enclosures for the booze, several low tables flanked with padded armless sofas and chairs, plus a long, polished wood bar with comfy high, padded and backed stools.There's even a waterfall at the entrance.

rusty_dining_room.jpg
Photo by Joni Williams
As with the food menu, the bar menu has changed. "We've added several new signature drinks," said floor manager Derek Scharadin, pointing out the lemon-raspberry "The Ricky" as an emerging favorite at Saturday's soft opening.

And like the cherry topping off the sundae, the top floor of the Rusty Pelican has also been totally redone. It consists of an enormous event room with a moveable dance floor that can easily accommodate 500 people and, Scharadin said, has already hosted 1,000, opening to a large outdoor area.. And the retractable ceiling means the good times will roll, rain or shine.

The end result is that The Rusty Pelican may be one of Miami's oldest restaurants. But with its multimillion dollar facelift now complete, it's safe to say it's also one of its newest in every way.

Reporting by Joni Williams

Click next for part two of our interview with chef Michael Gilligan...

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Rusty Pelican

3201 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL

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7 comments
gonzalo munoz
gonzalo munoz

Worst renovation ever!!! cant believe it....I am in shock.....very sad....I would like to know who is the responsible for this crime.

Libby
Libby

I grew up in Miami and we always went to Rusty Pelican for special occasion.  I liked the old tiki huts and the fire pits which were outside looking over Biscayne Bay and the city of Miami.  They had a salad made with small shrimp and a sweet dressing which was our favorite.  I guess you can't go home again.

bushephalus6
bushephalus6

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bushephalus6
bushephalus6

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Truthsayer
Truthsayer

I'll have to stop by there next time I head over to KB.

Agc5454
Agc5454

It looks like a Denny's restaurant in the inside...shoould've hept the original design or something similar....

kerry
kerry

I was there last friday for soft opening, food was mediocre and service was non existent.Its wedding factory ladys take number!!!!

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