If you walk by Caviar Russe (right off the lobby of the Four Seasons Tower), you could easily mistake it for just another ritzy lobby bar instead of a one Michelin star restaurant import from NYC. A couple of decorative iron panels attempt to define the entrance. The openess of the space and the tables just outside of those panels can be misleading. Once inside, it’s clear this is the real deal; one that is ambitious enough to come to Miami and join the march towards a possible starred future. You know, in case the Michelin guide ever decides we aren’t as aloof as we seem and realizes we can be serious about fine dining. While I’m not holding my breath for that, I will give Caviar Russe props for delivering an impressive first dinner. Having worked at two of my long time favorite restaurants (The Modern & Catch), Chef David Valencia* brings plenty of knowledge to the table. Did I mention he also worked for Alain Ducasse?
White furniture, glistening gold accents, and a beautiful glass chandelier center the room. The staff takes great pride in offering a five star experience. I later learned that the team actually works without a full kitchen. The ingredients are prepared and served raw or sous-vide. As expected, the menu revolves around caviar. While there are different types of caviar available by the ounce, the type served with the courses is the mild and nutty Caspian Sea Classic Osetra.
What I tried:
HIT: The Caviar Caesar, Foie Gras, and the Steak Tartare impressed me the most. Paired with the classic caviar and warm bone marrow toast, the cool, rich and tender Steak Tartare easily stood out from the rest. At no point did the caviar overpower the dish. Not that I would object to caviar overpowering ANY dish, but I digress…The toast was a delicate, yet hearty addition.
MISS: The corkage fee. Bringing my wine in to dinner and paying a corkage fee is something I do on a weekly basis. However, the corkage fee here is $75 per bottle, making it the highest I’ve found in Miami so far. This time, I chose not to bring mine and order off the menu. The problem? They do not have a properly refrigerated cellar yet; the wine arrived at room temperature. Our waiter did go out of his way to make sure the wine we chose was chilled down to our preferred temperature rapidly. Given they are still very new, it’s forgiven…for now.
Because of its size, I’d say Caviar Russe is perfect for an intimate romantic dinner and for the serious gourmand. Must. Love. Caviar. Wishing them much success. Miami is NOT an easy nut to crack. Overall, I loved this restaurant and will be back again later this year.
- Update 9/04/2016 Chef Valencia is no longer with Caviar Russe.