Stiltsville Fish Bar: Dive In for local seafood dining

Stiltsville Miami Beach Deviled Eggs

Most people in Miami have never been to Stiltsville, the historic community of houses on stilts that sit a mile off Key Biscayne in Biscayne Bay.   Built in the 1930’s, Stiltsville is rumored to have hosted offshore gambling and many a scandalous celebrity party and provided much fodder for the gossip columnists.  Damaged extensively in decades of hurricanes, the Stiltsville Trust as part of Biscayne National Park was established in 2003 and protects the remaining 7 structures.

Lucky for us, Miami Beach has its own Stiltsville, the casual fish bar created by celeb chef couple, Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth.  Opened in early Fall in the food-centric Sunset Harbor, Stiltsville Fish Bar offers a bright, driftwood and seashell décor, and a fresh “right off the boat” seafood menu that brings a much needed local seafood focus to Miami. 

No Chilean sea bass, or Alaskan salmon flown in here.  Instead, the Daily Catch may include locally caught Tilefish, a flaky mild white fish, and Tripletail, a grilled firm, slightly sweet fish (also called poor man’s lobster). Each comes with a choice of sauces and sides.

On the evening we were there, the above fish were available as was a fresh 35 lb. Black Grouper, caught that day and proudly dissected before our eyes by Chef McInnis.

Chef Jeff McInnis Stiltsville Miami Beach

Starters are not to be missed.  We selected the Instagram favorite, “Green Eggs & Ham”, creamy green deviled eggs, topped with crispy bacon and pickled cucumber,

Stiltsville Miami Deviled Eggs

the Crispy Coconut Shrimp, skinny threads of kataifi wrapped large shrimp with a key lime dipping sauce, Seared Scallops with "mofongo",  and a Smoked local fish dip with herbed saltines.   

Stiltsville Miami Beach Crispy Coconut Shrimp

Both the deviled eggs and the smoked fish dip are also available at Stiltsville’s popular Happy Hour Monday-Friday 5-7 pm along with $5 beers, $6 wines and $7 cocktails.

All were delicious, and a perfect complement to our Caribbean influenced cocktails and crisp white wine.

We opted to try both of the local fish specials,( which BTW are not listed on the online menu, but you can call to inquire ) and they arrived perfectly prepared and our knowledgeable server suggested both the appropriate sauces and the sides. 

Stiltsville Miami Beach Tilefish Charred broccoli

The Tilefish came with a lemon butter sauce and the charred broccoli,

Stiltsville Miami Beach Tripletail with tostones

the Tripletail had a cilantro salsa verde as dipping and smashed potato tostones

The fish was so fresh and delicious with just a squeeze of lemon, that the side sauces were uniformly ignored by our group.

We felt we could not only order fish, since Stiltsville also offers landlubber items including a creamy Gnudi pasta and melted heirloom tomatoes, and Gremolata and Bone Marrow crusted NY Strip.  There is even a decadent Surf N Turf Burger, featuring butter poached lobster on top of a grilled beef burger.

Stiltsvile Miami Beach Fried Chicken Watermelon Pickle salad

But, knowing the background of the chefs, we all agreed that we had to order the Whole Fried Chicken. And it was everything we hoped it would be. Both crispy on the outside and tender inside it was topped with bay leaf and citrus seasoning, and came with an ample portion of a refreshing watermelon pickle salad.  And mini hand towels for our inevitable greasy fingers. 

Special note is made of a child-friendly menu, as we were with a 16-month-old who enjoyed chicken fingers and Goldfish crackers along with an order of Mac & Cheese. Crayons and a special menu for coloring were included.

Our meal ended with a vibrant and tart Key Lime pie topped with shredded coconut, which was obligingly packed "To Go". 

Stiltsville Fish Bar captures that Miami vibe providing a casual, relaxed, and welcoming neighborhood setting and delicious and creative food to match.  Stop by for Happy Hour and catch a Miami sunset over Biscayne Bay and you may find yourself lingering into dinner.

Stiltsville Fish Bar   

1787 Purdy Ave.

Miami Beach, FL

786 353 0477

stiltsville5.jpg

Photo Credit:  Stiltsville National Park image by Brian Call Photography

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Saturday Sweets: Basic Sugar Cookies for Holiday Baking

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I am a huge fan of Martha Stewart recipes, and this is one of my biggest go to recipes.  It’s so simple, even those with no baking skills at all can handle it.  Sugar cookies are a buttery classic that everyone loves. Enjoy your sugar cookies plain, or decorate them with icing or sprinkles to make them festive. Holiday cookies are fun and easy once you've picked up a few cookie cutters.

This recipe is a favorite of Martha's, who likes to add 1 tablespoon cognac alongside the egg and vanilla, after creaming together the butter and sugar.  Make a few batches and grab some Christmas sprinkles (and lots of newspaper to cover surfaces) and you’ve got a fun project to keep kids entertained or grab a few bottles of wine, some friends, and see where the night takes you and your cookies!

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Where to Eat in Miami. MIAbites Dining Guide

Clockwise from top left: Nobu, MyCeviche, MCKitchen, Proof, Byblos, Dizengoff

Clockwise from top left: Nobu, MyCeviche, MCKitchen, Proof, Byblos, Dizengoff

The Holiday season is upon us and everyone is always asking us, "Where should I eat in Miami?"  Here are some of MIAbites Contributors Best Bites for "am to pm" dining in and around Miami and Miami Beach.   Dinner reservations are strongly recommended and should be made in advance if possible.

All of the Miami Beach hotels have top restaurants and prices to match.  Jose Andres The Bazaar and Katsuya at the SLS South Beach, Scarpetta, StripSteak and PIzza Burger by Michael Mina and Hakkasan at The Fontainebleau , The Dutch and Mr. Chow at The W South Beach, Pao by Paul Qui and Los Fuegos at Faena and Jean Georges, The Matador Room at the EDITION, the newly relocated NOBU in the Nobu Hotel Eden Roc,  are all popular and top picks where chances are you will have a delicious albeit expensive meal. 

So by request, the MIAbites contributors put our heads together to flesh out the restaurant scene and to compile our suggestions for dining while in Miami.  

1.     Best of the City- Popular for consistent and well-prepared dining options and excellent service. These are the "sure-things" in town and priced accordingly.

2.    Hot Spots or Emerging- Opened in the last couple of years or so and are new hot spots to check out. Innovative and creative chefs abound. 

3.    Casual or Quick Bites- Lunch or more casual for dinner but fun places with good food.

4.    Coffee and Cocktails- Refueling before, during or after the beach or shopping. Or late night cocktails. Step out and try some new cocktails like Peruvian Pisco, Mezcal and Negronis. 

Reservations are probably mandatory and may require multiple calls to secure, so be prepared to be flexible with times and days.  HINT: Call directly as many restaurants will block out peak times online or have cancellations.

Where to Eat in Miami Seafood Steak Truffles

Best of Miami:

Design District/Midtown/Wynwood/MiMo:

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink- 130 NE 40th St, Miami, FL 33137
305 573-5550

MC Kitchen- 4141 Ne 2nd Ave., Suite 101a Miami, FL 33137 305 456-9948

Mandolin-4312 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137 305 576-6066

BlackBrick aka Midtown Chinese- 3451 NE 1st Avenue #103 Miami, FL 33137
305 573-8886

Blue Collar -Biscayne Inn, 6730 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138 305 756-0366

SUGARCANE Raw Bar & Grill – 3252 NE 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33137  786 369 -0353 

Miami Beach:

The Dutch - W Hotel 2201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 938-3111

Scarpetta – The Fontainebleau 4441 Collins Ave. Miami Beach, FL 33140 305 674- 4660

Hakkasan- The Fontainebleau 4441 Collins Ave. Miami Beach, FL 33140 786 276-1410

Casa Tua- 1700 James Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 673-1010

Prime 112- 112 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 532-8112

Red SteakHouse- 119 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 534-3688

Joe's Stone Crab- 11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139  305 673-0365

Pubbelly- 1418 20th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 532-7555

BLT Steak Miami- 1610 Collins Ave. Miami Beach, FL 33139  786 605 0819

Juvia- 1111 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 763-8272

Lure- The Loews 1601 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 695-4550

Macchialina- 820 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 534-2124

Milos- 730 1st St. Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 604-6800

Where to Eat Miami Oysters Seafood Charcuterie

Hot Spots or Emerging: 

Design District/Midtown/Wynwood/MiMo:

Alter- 223 NW 23rd Street, Miami, FL 33127 305 573 5996

Coyo Taco- 2300 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127 305 573-8228 and Brickell location at 999 Brickell Ave. 

Les Banh Amis- NEW -One of 7 new spots inside hot new Asian food hall, 1-800-Lucky at 137 NW 23rd St. Miami, FL 

Charcoal- Wynwood Yard- 82 NW 29th St. Miami  33127 786 646 2998

Fooqs- 1035 North Miami Avenue, Miami Fl, 33136  786 536-2749

KYU- 251 NW 25th St. Miami, FL 33127 786 577-0150

Mignonette- 210 NE 18th St, Miami, FL 33132  305 374-4635

Pinch Kitchen- 8601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138 305 631-2018

Miami Beach:

Byblos-  1545 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 508-5041

HabitatNEW- 1 Hotel 2395 Collins Ave. Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 604 6700

27 Restaurant in The Freehand Miami- 2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140

NaiYaRa- 1854 Bay Road Miami Beach FL 786 275 6005

Matador Room by Jeans George - The EDITION 2901 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140
786 257- 4600 

Stiltsville- NEW- 1787 Purdy Ave. Miami Beach, FL 786 353 0477

Stubborn Seed- NEW- 101 Washington Ave. Miami Beach, FL 786 322 5211

Best Miami Pastries Ceviche Tacos

Casual or Quick Bites:

Design District/Midtown/Wynwood/MiMo

Harry's Pizzeria3918 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33127 786 275-4963

Crumb on Parchment- 3930 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137 305  572-9444

Dizengoff- NEW250 NW 24th St. Miami, FL 33127 305 573 9292

ella cafe140 NE 39th Street #136, Miami, FL 33137  786  534-8177

Mercato- 4141 NE 2nd Ave #101a, Miami, FL 33137  305 456-9948

La Latina- 3509 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137 305 571-9655

Zak The Baker- 405 NW 26th St, Miami, FL 33127

Proof3328 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33127 786 536-9562

GLAM- NEW (Vegan) 3301 NE 1st St. Midtown Miami, FL 786 864- 0590

Miami Beach:

My Ceviche South Beach- 235 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 397-8710

La Sandwicherie- 229 14th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 532-8934

Taquiza-1506 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 748-6099

Puerto Sagua700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 305 673-1115

True Loaf Bakery- 1894 Bay Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139 786 216-7207

Market- The EDITION 2901 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140
786 257- 4600

Best Coffee and Cocktails in Miami Panther

Coffee and Cocktails- Hot coffee...even hotter cocktail bars!

Design District/Midtown/Wynwood/MiMo:

Panther Coffee- 2390 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127 305 677-3952

Miam Cafe & Boutique- 2750 NW 3rd Ave Suite 21, Miami, FL 33127 786 703-1451

Jugo Fresh- 1935 West Ave #102, Miami Beach, FL 33139 786 472-2552

Salty Donut- 50 NW 24th St. Suite 112 Miami FL 305 935 8126

The Anderson Bar- 709 NE 79th St, Miami FL 305 757 3368

Miami Beach:

Panther Coffee in Sunset Harbour- 1875 Purdy Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33139

Broken Shaker at The Freehand- 2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140 305 531-2727 

The Regent Cocktail Club at The Gale - 1690 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139  305 673-0199

Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company - 237 20th St. Miami Beach FL 33139 305 763 8217

We could go on and on… and each one of us has favorites that did not even make this list. 

There is also many top spots in downtown Miami like Edge Steak House in the Four Seasons La Mar at The Mandarin Oriental and Zuma, in the Epic Hotel, recent downtown and Brickell openings like and newer spots, Brava by Brad Kilgore and Fi'lia and Jose Andres Bazaar Mar in the new SLS Brickell, and MisterO1 for pizza.

And we haven't even touched on the emergence of both Coral Gables and Coconut Grove as excellent dining options. Basically great dining is just "around the corner"!