Go to Seasalt and Pepper for the View, but Not the Food

Categories: Review

SeasaltAndPepperOctopus.jpg
billwisserphoto.com
Octopus a la Plancha.
A leggy, tan woman wearing a white halter top struts along a worn wooden dock overlooking the Miami River. Her lips curl to smile as she passes a glistening champagne bucket dripping with condensation and tables piled with cracked stone crab claws. A doe-eyed hostess escorts the woman and her husband, sporting white linen shorts and a rose gold Audemars Piguet, to a thick wooden table surrounded by heavy leather-and-wood chairs.

In the distance, a sleek, 60-foot pleasure cruiser lazes up the river. Deck hands scurry to tie up lines as a pastel-clad family gathers on the stern. As the boat docks, a deckhand's head begins bobbing to the beat of the restaurant's thumping techno. It doesn't take long, however, for the growl of the massive engines to overpower the nightclub anthem.

Diners furrow their brows. Is this a fine restaurant or a boatyard?

See also: Seasalt and Pepper Owners, Investors Battle for Control of Riverside Hot Spot

SeasaltAndPepperView.jpg
billwisserphoto.com
Looking out onto the Miami River from Seasalt and Pepper.
Compared to its far less glitzy neighbors -- Garcia's Seafood Grille and Casablanca Fish Market -- the airy, 250-seat Seasalt and Pepper looks like an effort at gentrification. When it was barely a month old, Jay Z and Beyoncé, as well as Gloria and Emilio Estefan, showed up the same night. DJ Bob Sinclar, actor Ryan Phillippe, and Khloé Kardashian have been spotted at its nearly impossible-to-reserve tables.

Perhaps it was co-owner Carlos Miranda's longstanding friendship with the Estefans and a handful of ladies from The Real Housewives of Miami that helped attract the glitz. Miranda, a real estate developer who has worked for Starwood, Hilton, and the Mandarin Oriental, partnered with Stephane Dupoux, designer of Nikki Beach and Paris' legendary Buddha Bar, to create a chic and expensive-looking space that's also effortlessly casual.

Seasalt's stark-white entryway is framed by glistening marble tile, white wood slats, and an oversize black-and-white photo of nude, reclining women. During an early Saturday brunch, when dozens of the oak-topped tables sat empty on the riverside patio, guests were asked to wait "just a moment" by a hostess standing behind a long mahogany table decorated with a vase of white tiger lilies. "Feel free to grab a drink at the bar," said another hostess, tall and slender with pouty lips.

See also: Photos of Seasalt and Pepper

A mere hour later, a phalanx of men wearing gold-framed aviator sunglasses and white linen shirts unbuttoned down to their stomachs stood at the shaded, stone-topped bar. Some seemed to relish the wait, as though a lengthier impasse would lead to a better meal.

Others were less enthusiastic, and multiple guests harangued sharply dressed managers about waits that stretched more than an hour past the appointed time.

Location Info

Seasalt and Pepper

422 NW River Dr., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
44 comments
charlotte_pillay
charlotte_pillay

The food was actually pretty good,... considering we waited OVER AN HOUR for appetizers!! Perhaps I was just a tad bit hungry! View was awesome& restaurant decor very nice. Got half our bill comped, but only because I told the manager I was not paying for it& told her what I was willing to pay for the ridiculous experience.

Jeanine Rodriguez
Jeanine Rodriguez

figured this foofy place would eventually get called out lol

Raul Rovira
Raul Rovira

May I suggest an alternative title?..."All looks, no cook: SS&P is a spendy vortex of douche-tastcial proportions"

Roxy Ocon
Roxy Ocon

Bryan Cardona Jeanine Rodriguez

Yanessa Escandell Rivera
Yanessa Escandell Rivera

Paty Damera such potential to be an amazing restaurant, but their terrible reviews and high prices make them a NO, oh well, maybe something better will open in their space soon lol

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..............the results on YELP are similar with half of the eighty-eight (88) responses rating this place one-or-two star and with the prices high $$$$ there is no excuse

there is a logical reason,  however = the place is meant to be a tourist trap rip-oFF!

after all the visiting patrons are a "captive audience" who go home after their trip and when they return next "season" this place will have changed hands which is why at the end of each season scores of restaurants close and "new" ones open in september / october just in time to screw the next wave of unsuspecting visitors.

it's how the MIAMI restaurant / bar scene ROLLs !

bartender
bartender

Mirandas are drunk and drug addicts.

This place will soon will be shut down by DEA...food stinks and over priced....

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

It's seafood, how bad can it be ? There aren't but a few ways to cook it, there aren't but a few sauces to flavor it with ?

Art Kunhardt
Art Kunhardt

this article has to be written by the ex partner that suing the place... I ve been there and the people that are spending money there dont give a rats ass what the new times thinks. it's a big money crowd... they can careless if your broke ass complains. if your broke go eat at garcia's or casablancas. this place is for the uber rich. and will never close. tbats the whole point of the law suit. ... greed...

Gabriel Veg
Gabriel Veg

You guys specialize in hate. Losers.

Chris Schaaff
Chris Schaaff

I knew that place was gonna suck ass. Fucking food in miami sucks a donkey dick!

guest
guest

this place is the epitome of miami tackiness. gauche, new money trash.

Eddie Ortiz
Eddie Ortiz

I saw a multicolor terd float by one time. It was pretty cool actually

Joseph Mazon
Joseph Mazon

Uhmm, Interesting, Ok, guys and girls, I'll go try it. Let's see what I THINK, If the food is crap, I'll be sure to tell you. If its good, I'll tell you that as well However, the 'snotty" bit at the door is not going to play with me at ALL. I'm French, nobody is snottier than we French :) NOBODY, so ONE HINT of attitude at the door and this place will get panned so bad online it will need to close in a week. Can't wait to visit!

Vinny Delgado
Vinny Delgado

Craig Chester don't try and glorify the view with some photoshop I frequent the Miami river a lot it doesn't look as good as you portray it in that picture

Luis Hernandez
Luis Hernandez

Garcia's Seafood is right down the street, it's been there for some 30 odd years and it's better food.

Iliana Alonso-Garcia
Iliana Alonso-Garcia

pretentious staff, overpriced food, unexceptional view & misguided patrons, why would anyone go there?

tony.jones30
tony.jones30

Really New times you send Zachary to review this place?  He is more prepared for side of the road dining, something with wheels.  You know he went in with a negative attitude, more in line with a Yelper than a real honest critic.  ...Oh they only went 4 times to my tabl...that is terrible?  They didn't discuss prices with me at the table when I accepted better quality shrimp, shocking me when I was up-charged.  They paid attention to the rich people and not me....  Those are the worst of Yelp type comments.  The whole review reads like Yelp.  


I went once on the Wednesday and the place was packed for the two hours I was there.  Never an empty seat. I was surprised actually how much they are trying to give good service.  Think of any other place in Miami in the past that is this hot this busy and the service.  It looks like they are trying to change that image IMHO.  The food was average at best but was not bad to the point of never going back for the food.  The menu is all over the place and seems to tilt towards casseroles for some reason.  For what it is I think its a good step forward in this type of showy dining.  Food needs work yes but is not to be written off at this point.  Juvia on the other hand sucks and should close.  

Stefanie Resciniti
Stefanie Resciniti

I have heard good and bad things about this place. I don't mind paying extra for exceptional food, but spending a lot of money for subpar food isn't something I'd like to do. Looks beautiful though.

mikkimauss
mikkimauss

A good PR stunt and a nice view. The place as a restaurant is a failure, just like Juvia. Expensive stuff just to pay an expensive rent. They will be both gone within the year. 

Craig Chester
Craig Chester

Vinny Delgado: This view. Taken from Casablanca, which I'd rather eat at anyhow.

Alvaro Disartmedia
Alvaro Disartmedia

A nice view and a good PR Agency that put it in magazines and blogs; people going once and not coming back. Period.

Vita Vitalis
Vita Vitalis

I visited for my birthday bland food horrid service... I'll never ever never pick this place over Garcias

Rick Bear O'Connell
Rick Bear O'Connell

I wish all the gentrifiers would go back to whwre they came from. Let Miami be what it was. A cool place to live and play. Sad whats its become with over priced food and wanna be's...

Tony Prieto
Tony Prieto

With all the internal lawsuits, they'll be closed within the year.

Michael del Vice
Michael del Vice

The calamari was good..but too expensive. The $45 devil down the river drink sucked ass..Booooo

Alvaro_miami
Alvaro_miami

@mikkimauss  I agree... good PR and now some "dress code" issues on the news. I just gave them a second chance 2 days ago and it failed again in food and service. BTW I don't agree with you on Juvia though. 

Alvaro_miami
Alvaro_miami

Garcias and Casablanca have the service they are missing... 

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