Friday night dinner at the chic and sophisticated “Artisan Beach House” — with a killer view and a glamorous oceanesque atmosphere.
I’ve always loved the north edge of Bal Harbour, the exact spot where the bay and ocean intertwine like old friends. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Miami.
Even the rock jetty has a part of my heart, as I once lived in the neighborhood. I used to walk there every morning, getting some much needed “outdoor” exercise. I’m locked in a TV studio all day, so I always relish my time outside.
On my daily outings, I used to daydream that something special would open shop in the area: a stylish place where I could watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand while enjoying dinner.
Well, sometimes, dreams do come true…
The “Artisan Beach House Restaurant & Lounge” — helmed by Executive Chef, Paula Dasilva — has boldly claimed my favorite spot in the Magic City and it couldn’t be more perfect. The light and airy eatery is snuggled into ‘The Ritz-Carlton’ also known as “One Bal Harbour.”
If you’ve never seen this part of Miami before, it should definitely be on your South Florida bucket list. It’s exquisite and now, it has a restaurant to match its beach-y seaside glamour, which I experienced in all its glory on a busy Friday night…
I started Spotlight with a “French 75” — a cognac drink (with hints of banana liqueur, spicy simple syrup, lemon and sparkling wine), it went done smooth and eazzzzy. Speaking of, the “Gin Fizz” does, too. It’s also a real looker, making it hard not to snap a pic to post on social media. Along with dry gin, thyme and lime, it’s made with aquafaba soda, which gives it that fabulous frothy finish.
If you’re more of a whiskey-slash-bourbon lover, their “Old Fashioned” is one of the best I’ve had (made with Japanese Whiskey, ginger vanilla syrup, black lemon bitters and aromatic bitters). One swig and you’ll be transported to a dimly lit bar in New York City. With one hand on your drink and an eye on the door, you’ll be ready for a night of mystery in the city that never sleeps. I digress…😎
As far as food, the menu is interesting and diverse, inspired by different cultures and peppered with as much local ingredients as possible…
The “Housemade Lonza, Coppa & Rabbit” (served with seasonal jam, artisanal cheese & bread) is an impressive and beautiful Charcuterie spread. I loved the salty flavors paired with the sweet jam.
If you’re an “Octopus” lover (which is a big trend in food right now,) you’ll die over this dish. It’s succulent and tender; served in a yummy cilantro sauce with vadouvan carrots and yogurt.
My two favorite dishes of the night: “Bacalao Croquettes” & “Clams & Mussels”. OMG, the croquettes are divine little balls of heaven served on preserved lemon mayonnaise with pickled okra. The clams and mussels are a bowl of succulent goodness (served in a minty salsa verde sauce.) The charred bread that comes with the bowl is perfect for dunking or soaking. Mmmm… can’t wait to have it again.
If meat is your thang, the “Lamb Chops” are ridiculously good, served with fava beans, english peas and mint. I had it with a side of charred spicy garlic Broccolini, which I highly recommend.
Cleansing one’s palette is a must, especially when faced with a “Chocolate Martini” 😋 and it was only a brief hint of things to come.
Hello, “Salted Caramel Panna Cotta,” where have you been my whole life? Made with caramel popcorn, chocolate and caramel cream and served in a mini mason jar, you’ll be beyond smitten.
And last, but not least: a delicious twist on a local favorite, “Churros” served with Nutella and coffee ice cream. You’ll be powerless when that first sugary fried breadstick hits your lips; good thing there’s an entire basket of them.
The “Artisan Beach House” is a stylish place where I can watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand while enjoying dinner (without daydreaming) and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things.
Artisan Beach House inside the Ritz-Carlton
10295 Collins Ave.
Bal Harbour, FL 33154
Monday – Sunday 6am-11pm
Happy Hour is daily 4pm-7pm