Many people still think of Miami Beach as the bright lights and art deco buildings along Ocean Drive, or the luxury hotels along Collins Ave. Yes, there are many many restaurants up and down Ocean and Collins, but sometimes just a block or two off these main streets some of the best dining can be found. Sweet Liberty Food and Drink, 27 Restaurant and Macchialina are all spots not to be missed and to add to this list, just under a year ago, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill opened in the Plymouth Hotel on 21st street and Liberty just across from the Bass Museum.
Located inside this hip boutique hotel, Blue Ribbon offers a relaxed and casual vibe and has quickly become one of my favorite spots on Miami Beach. Seating can be had in either the main dining room with a long sushi bar, outside poolside or upstairs in a loft-like dining room. The Miami outpost of famed NYC Blue Ribbon offers some of the most creative and delicious sushi, sashimi, rolls and Asian specialties in Miami. The chefs & owners, Eric and Bruce Bromberg and Toshi Ueki have created an oasis that locals and visitors have been flocking to. Prices are reasonable, fish is fresh and beautifully prepared and service well trained and very pleasant.
Seated in the main dining room, we were able to watch the half-dozen plus sushi chefs at the brightly lit sushi bar preparing the many options which include pre-selected or customized assortment platters and rolls. Every seat at the sushi bar was taken with what looked like mostly local sushi fans stopping in for a relaxed dinner.
The menu is extensive and includes a daily insert of specials. On the night of our visit, it included Pan Seared Scallops, Ahi Sashimi and Pork Belly & Foie Gras Skewers.
We selected mostly from the Appetizer section, as so many sounded delicious including, Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Shumai, Amberjack Usuzukuri sashimi, and Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna.
The Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna rivals most anything I have had in Miami as the best bite in Miami. The rice is almost chewy in texture, and topped with spicy tuna tartare, a sliver of ripe avocado and eel sauce. It can easily be shared (although you may not want to) and is not to be missed.
We also enjoyed the Crispy Brussels sprouts, which unlike many other versions are crisp almost like chips and not smothered in sweet soy sauce which can make them soggy.
The Amberjack Usuzukuri was fresh and topped with just the right amount of yuzu pepper to add a little spice. The Pork Shumai were good, although the accompanying sauce was a bit salty for our liking -- ask for the gyoza sauce if you like a little kick!
The main dishes include a large variety of sushi including over a dozen vegetable rolls, rolls and sushi and sashimi platters, all freshly prepared by the talented sushi chefs.
We selected the Spicy Crab Roll, the hot pot of Vegetable Fried Rice (although Blue Ribbon GM, Amie lamented after that we had not ordered the oxtail fried rice…next visit!) and as a departure from sushi, the Bromberg brothers famous Blue Ribbon fried chicken with wasabi honey sauce.
The fried rice (we ordered a half portion which is plenty for two persons) was chock full of vegetables and served topped with a crispy poached farm egg on top.
And that fried chicken… hot and crispy, it was delicious, and the wasabi honey dipping sauce provided just the right amount of sweet and spicy to the perfectly crunchy battered chicken.
Blue Ribbon's menu offers many more landlubber options as well including Grilled Ribeye, Half Roasted Chicken and Filet Mignon, and more traditional seafood options like Salmon Teriyaki and Miso-Marinated Black Cod, but it is the fresh sushi and sashimi and that fried chicken that offer up reasonably priced sure fire hits.
The Plymouth Hotel also offers a full breakfast featuring Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken and Pancakes or for lunch, Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken Wings, if you just can’t wait for dinner.
The Plymouth Hotel
336 21st St.