Casablanca on the Bay: Stunning Views, Underwhelming Dishes

Categories: First Bites
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Courtesy of Casablanca On The Bay

Casablanca Seafood Bar & Grill on the Miami River has been highly successful for more than 20 years, so it's almost surprising it took this long to open another location. Now the Doubletree Hilton near Biscayne Boulevard and the Venetian Causeway is home to Casablanca on the Bay, overlooking the Sea Isle Marina.

Expectations are high with two accomplished toques in the kitchen: chef Joaquin Perea, a Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts graduate who previously worked at the Fontainebleau, and chef de cuisine Wilbert Sauceda, who hails from Sra. Martinez. For now, though, the breathtaking space -- featuring indoor and outdoor seating areas, a 36-foot wraparound bar, and a spectacular view -- outshines the menu.

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Courtesy of Casablanca On The Bay

We tried several items from the list of options, which includes more than 50 dishes, from steaks and pork dishes to pastas and pizzas.

We started with a mediocre caprese salad ($10), consisting of nondescript mozzarella and equally inconspicuous tomatoes. A fish ceviche ($14) was also underwhelming.

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Courtesy of Casablanca On The Bay

Next came shrimp escargots ($12), served in an escargot dish with one full-size shrimp stuffed in each cavity and covered with a heavy umbrella of fontina cheese and herbs. This dish stood out from the pack. If you love shrimp and you love cheese, you will be in shrimp-cheese heaven.

Flatbread pizzas made the caprese salad a superstar by comparison. The dough was soggy and the crust somewhat burnt. You'd think the addition of a wood-fired oven to the space would mean more attention would be given to the pizza, but neither the short-rib flatbread ($12) nor the margarita flatbread ($12) was more than edible.

Location Info

Casablanca On The Bay

1717 N. Bayshore Drive, Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

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