An early dinner at one of the best oyster & seafood bars in Miami: Mignonette, the Uptown location.
I’ve always been a big fan of Danny Serfer…
If you open Uber Eats on my iPhone, his restaurant, “Blue Collar”, is the first thing that pops up. I love that place, including the fact that it’s attached to a somewhat shady hotel. You can’t beat the food, though, it’s freaking genius and when I drive by on the weekends, there’s a line snaking around the building for brunch. It’s got major food moxie and Miami loves it.
Danny’s not only a great chef, he REALLY knows food. Anything that comes out of his kitchen is made with thought-provoking creativity and an innate sensibility. What’s more, he does it without all the snobbery that typically comes along with the “foodie culture” in South Florida.
In other words, he doesn’t look down on people like me who don’t have a full grasp on all the cheeses in the world or where pink peppercorn is grown, which sometimes is in the grassy area of the parking lot at his latest restaurant, Mignonette (the Uptown location.) It’s a special place that reminds me of something you’d see in Brooklyn or even Manhattan’s west side.
The 40’s-style diner car (which has been some sort of greasy spoon since the 80’s) has been easily re-purposed into a seafood lover’s paradise, with tiled floors, cushy booths and a long bar that reaches all the way across the dining room. Its rotating seafood menu is on a nostalgic marquee above the kitchen and features what’s fresh for the day. More specifically, oysters.
From the raw bar, I started #Spotlight with a dozen West Coasters from Washington Sate (served with fresh lemon, cocktail & mignonette sauce.) Though smaller than East Coast oysters, they’re just as tasty. The fluted shells make for a sweeter, plumper meat.
Our server paired the platter with a delicious white wine from France (Sancerre from the Loire valley.) I also tried it with some champagne (Voirin-Jumel Brut.) A girl can never go wrong with bubbly and oysters.
One of the best appetizers at Mignonette Uptown is the Buffalo Scallops. Not only is it beautifully plated (with gorgonzola, crisp chicken skin and hot sauce,) it tastes phenomenal.
It’s the first dish my photographer, James and I, have actually fought over since starting the blog (and we’ve been doing this awhile.) For the record, James doesn’t even like scallops, but apparently, he’s a changed man. #UltimateFoodCompliment
The popular appetizer is perfect when paired with a super-light Muscadet (Domaine Des Trois Toits.) Don’t worry if you don’t know your way around a wine menu; the servers are extremely helpful with suggestions.
If you have more of a savory palette, like I do, Smoked Oysters served with creme fraiche, housemade jalapeño hot sauce and baked saltines won’t disappoint. A sip or two of the 2015 Tabalas Creek, Patelin de Tablas Blanc, will bring out the salty, smoked-filled goodness. 😊
I’ve heard through the “food vine” Mignonette’s Lobster Roll (dripped in drawn butter, served on a Portuguese roll with a heaping pile of fries) is the BEST thing on the menu and for the record, I agree. How good is it? Put it this way, it’s now on my “dead woman walking” food list. I tried it with a Banshee 2016 Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast. Hmmm…Lord have mercy! I can’t wait to go back for more (wine & lobster.)
If you love fresh fish, there’s always a special of the day or you can go with a mainstay like Faroe Island Salmon, served with yummy orzo in a saffron broth. For this dish, we switched to a light Chinon Cabernet.
If you’re more adventurous and like trying a bit of everything, the Fish Stew (Bouillabaisse) is loaded with shrimp, clams, mussels, octopus and white fish. Julia Child would be proud; it was one of the late iconic chef’s favorite plates and tough to make. And good news: you can pair it with pretty much any drink.
Last but not least, you won’t forget to eat your veggies after you taste Mignonette’s famous herbivore dish. You choose four greens and/or starches from a diverse list, creating your own plate geared toward personal taste and/or diet restrictions.
I had beets with blue cheese and hazelnuts, roasted cauliflower, charred sweet potatoes and grilled asparagus. I’m not one to go on about vegetables, but they really are the bomb-dot-com. I prefer meat, but these were surprisingly delicious.
And, drumroll please….
Pastry Chef Devin Braddock treated James and I to her amazing Valrhona Chocolate Hazelnut Pie, snuggled into something called: Devin’s Magic shell (it’s served with malted ice cream.) It was WOW x2. A close second? Her extra moist Red Velvet Cake. #HeavenInMyMouth
For me, Mignonette Uptown is a no-brainer when it comes to really fresh, high quality seafood served in a laid-back, unpretentious atmosphere. Plus, it’s not every day one gets to break bread (or in this case, crack a shell or shuck an oyster) in a really cool retro diner car and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things. Cheers!
13951 Biscayne Boulevard
North Miami Beach, Florida 33181
Lunch ~ Monday-Sunday 11:30am-3pm
Dinner ~ Sunday-Thursday 5:30pm-10pm, Friday & Saturday 5:30pm-11pm
*Worth mentioning — Mignonette Uptown’s amazing Happy Hour which is daily 5:30-7pm & 10pm until close. You get 25 percent off all bottles of wine and oysters start at $1 (bar seating only.)