The Best of Miami Spice 2012, Part Three
|Rusty Pelican's sea bass ceviche is on the Spice menu.|
All you can ask from a restaurant during Spice season is to offer a representative sampling of the regular menu -- and that includes stuff that isn't necessarily the cheapest items available. Rusty Pelican's five appetizer choices include many of the restaurant signatures, like empanadas of duck confit, foie gras, and goat cheese; sea bass ceviche; and sea bass/salmon croquetas. Main courses are shrimp, mussels, and little neck clams en papillote with lobster broth; sauteed local black sea bass with asparagus, basmati rice, and cinnamon broth; roasted organic chicken with sides; and braised Australian lamb shank with bacon-potato hash. The four desserts include key lime pie, mango cheesecake covered in milk chocolate, coconut panna cotta with pasion fruit gelee and berries, or a café con leche/cookies-and-cream ice cream combo. Plus you get the view. Not available for Saturday dinner.
This menu offers more intricate accompaniments than the other Fontainebleau properties. For primi piatti, a swordfish bresaol comes with cara cara oranges and black garlic. Panzanella salad is spruced up with pickled onions (and heirloom tomatoes, natch). Braised short ribs of beef with farro risotto sure sounds like a satisfying start to a meal, as does creamy polenta with a fricasse of truffled mushrooms. Main piatti brings the very famous spaghetti with tomato & basil; yellow tail snapper with eggplant caponatina, mussels and tomato guazzetto; oven roasted chicken with smoked corn spaetzle; or porchetta with cannelini beans. Those sound good even if you think guazzetto is a character from Pinocchio. Dessert offers chocolate terrine with toffee ice cream, Nutella and raspberries; coconut panna cotta with caramelized pineapple and guava "soup"; or a mascarpone custard with mango salad and sorbe.
This restaurant is so geared to tourists that locals often forget it exists. The Spice menu might be just the reminder you need. The "Aprhodisiac Beauty Cuisine" offers choice of sea bass ceviche; crab/rock shrimp cakes; veal pelmeni (dumpling) with creamy truffle-harissa sauce and Paradise Farms pea shoots; and a "Love Apple", which is a layered Caprese salad with Laura Chenel goat cheese in place of mozzarella. For main course, diners can select a surf and turf of butter-poached Caribbean lobster and grilled Angus rib eye steak with yellow curry cream. Or a seafood hot pot, or chicken tikka, or salmon pinwheels with black Thai rice. Desserts are determined daily by the chef. That's a fine selection of dishes -- plus it might improve your looks and sex life. Not too shabby for $39.
Looks like they're practically putting up the whole menu to choose from: eight starters and nine entrees. The former includes pulled pork Bolognese with pasta, a seaffod terrine of scallops and shrimp, and a stew of Little Neck clams. Entrees on the weekly-changing menu include tuna loin; coq au vin; pork loin with apple/sundried tomato stuffing; meatloaf; short ribs; and more. For dessert, it's a choice between apple strudel with ice cream or any of three signature soufflés: Grand Marnier, bittersweet chocolate, or hazelnut. That's the way to do it.