seafood paella

Recently, a couple members of the Hungry Crew joined me in checking out one of Miami’s seafood hotspots, Rincon Escondido Tapas, located at 2697 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33137. Rincon serves traditional Spanish and Argentinean cuisine in a tapas style and has quite the reputation for their seafood paella.

THE RESTAURANT

Rincon has the classic “hole-in-the-wall” appeal. Everyone knows that hole-in-the-wall restaurants have the best eats. Outside, there is seating on a raised concrete patio. Inside, Rincon is cozy, with small tables clustered about that can be rearranged depending on the size of your party. It also had an eclectic décor. Rincon is perfect for casual dining, no reservation is necessary, unless you want to order Rincon’s most popular dish: the paella. It’s a good idea to call ahead if you want to order that dish. All of their food is made to order and the paella – which comes with either chicken or seafood – takes about an hour to prepare.

THE FOOD

seafood pallea
The paella is a must try at Rincon, but call ahead if you and your party don’t want to wait for this dish. It takes about an hour to prepare. Photo: Rincon 

Rincon’s seafood paella (“Paella de Mariscos”) is a traditional paella with shrimp, squid, mussels, and clams. One order typically feeds two people, but the Hungry Crew and I ate to contentment and had leftovers – which tasted even better the next day. The presentation of the dish was mouthwatering, the aroma was delicious. It was flavorful, but a bit salty. Luckily, we each had a glass of white wine sangria to cleanse our pallets.

While waiting for our seafood paella, we indulged in some tapas. We ordered the grilled squid (Chipirones a la Plancha), cod fish croquettes (Croquetas de Bacalao), and sautéed garlic shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo).

Before the tapas arrived at our table, the owner served us a small bowl of potato salad as a starter. I usually don’t like potato salad that isn’t made by my mother, but Rincon’s potato salad was tasty. It was well seasoned and not overly creamy.

As we were finishing the potato salad, the grilled squid arrived with warm bread on the side. The grilled squid was not big on flavor. However, the oil based sauce that it was served in was delicious with the bread. Next came the codfish croquettes and OMG they were fantastic! The four pieces were just enough to wet our pallets. Shortly before the seafood paella came out, the sautéed garlic shrimp arrived with more warm bread, it was delicious. The shrimp was well seasoned and perfectly cooked with a kick of spice.

 

Grilled squid served in a buttery lemon sauce.

We ended our meal on a sweet note with flan–a creamy custard dessert popular in Spain. It was divine. The flan’s consistency was perfect and was not overly sweet.

BOTTOM LINE

Overall, I would give Rincon Escondido a rating of four out of five shrimp. It’s a great place to enjoy scrumptious seafood in Miami while hanging out with friends or a casual date night.

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Since I was a little girl, I’ve always wondered about the restaurant off the FDR titled The Water Club. I always drove by it, thinking about how big the tabs are there and how beautiful it must look inside. Dreams came true when I went here for dinner and words couldn’t describe how it felt to go off the road and pull up to this huge boat made into a dining room. I wondered if membership to the club really did have it’s privileges.

It did. The staff was so kind to us and I could tell they were trained to take the extra time to provide exceptional customer service. Though our waiter was less attentive than I’d like, he seemed to know the menu better than expected and adhered to all of our needs. For starters, I had the Crab Bisque which consisted of the crab and croutons in the bowl first and the bisque added right after. It was a amazing texture battle on my tastebuds and I had a feeling my entree would be better.

steak

I ordered the sweet diver scallops with pasta, which were big and juicy as I hoped they would be. Even after I decided to take most of it home, I realized they allowed you to take your bottle of wine home too. Not to mention, the filet mignon is to die for. Maybe the restaurant of your dreams is only a cab ride away too.

water club

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Skate Wing 1

Have you ever read an item on a menu and didn’t know exactly what it was but you ordered it anyway? That’s what I ended up doing at Ed’s Chowder House. Luckily I’m not allergic to anything, so I have the luxury of ordering whatever I want from the menu without needing Benadryl or an EpiPen in my purse.

Interior Ed's Chowder House
Source: Ed’s Chowder House Facebook

The pristine white decor at Ed’s Chowder House  for brunch, immediately made me feel like I was sailing off the coast of New England. The walls were lined with photos from harbors and sandy beachfronts. I had to keep going with the nautical theme by ordering seafood. So when the waiter clarified that “seared skate wing” was fish, I didn’t think twice about it, I just ordered it. It was presented so beautifully that I literally didn’t want to touch it. The skate wing was polished with melted leeks, crushed potatoes, and herb butter. Skate wing has a naturally flaky texture that allows it to just melt right in your mouth. It was a tad salty for my liking but I still enjoyed it.

Skate Wing 1

Months later I was telling someone how much I liked skate wing and they said, “Eww, you eat stingray!” I was thoroughly confused and explained, “No I had skate fish.” The person then laughed at the fact that I had no clue what skate fish really is and I have been ranting about this dish without the facts. He told me to do a Google Search on skate fish. Man, was I disgusted when I saw those images! Everything creeped me out, especially the face, it looked too humanistic. Do you see at the top the little eyes and lips? How gross is that? but this experience was unintentionally fearless and I loved it.

Skate Fish
Source: National Geographic

 

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FFB Pretzels
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I thought that moving from New York to Washington D.C. would still have an endless supply of restaurants to wander into for quality cuisine. While walking around Georgetown, I found Farmers Fishers Bakers and thought it would be a great place to eat since it was on the water and had a lot of traffic. It had a nautical vibe, good lighting, and waiters dressed like farmers which was interesting.

FFB Interior
Source: Farmers Fishers Bakers Facebook Page

The menu included a wide selection of food as the name of the restaurant implies. A variety from farmers, fishermen, and bakers. My boyfriend ordered calamari pizza because it sounded like a great combination of two amazing dishes. I instantly thought this would be perfect and went for seafood jambalaya because I love anything with shrimp in it. When our plates were brought to the table, his order was mistaken for just plain calamari. After we told the waiter it was incorrect, the manager came out to give her sincerest apologies, told us the calamari is free, and an order of complimentary pretzels will be right out.

FFB Calamari

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FFB Pretzels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bread was warm, soft, and came with plenty of dipping sauces to satisfy all of your taste buds: Pimento Cheese, BBQ Mustard, and Onion Dip. I was excited until I bit into the bread and felt pounds of salt in my mouth, there was no amount of raking off that could make it better, the saltiness was overwhelming and the sauces didn’t help. But what could I expect from a pretzel

with tons of salt on it? So I moved on to the calamari and salt was the main ingredient once again. It was my first time ever refusing to eat calamari, usually I can kill a whole order of by myself.

FFB Jambalaya

FFB Calamari Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the salty calamari, I was ready to be saved by my main course! I just knew the jambalaya would lift my spirits, but instead I was disappointed once again. The jambalaya was not only salty but also extremely greasy. Farmers Fishers Bakers tried to master multiple cuisines but ended up not living up to my expectations at all. When you try to be good at everything, you end up not being good at anything.

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Lure Fish Bar shrimp

Lure Fish Bar was on the NYC Restaurant Week list and it’s so much of a Gem, it’s almost too good to be on that list.

The menu they offered for the week was appealing and I was so excited to be meeting my sweetheart there for dinner on a Friday Night, not to mention, restaurant week was coming to an end so we had to do this right. Imagine the awe I was in because the place looks like the inside of a boat. You have to walk down steps to get inside and the windows are above you. The key to this though, is that the windows are in circular shapes, as a boat would be, and the entire set up looks as such. You know I love me a cute spot to eat. What I may love more than that is a great drink, and the strawberry mojito I had was just that.

Lure Fish Bar Mojito

We started the night with the shrimp tempura that had a spicy mayo on it. The batter, if it even was a batter, was very light and really allowed me to taste the shrimp despite the condiments. We also got to try the salmon tartar which was delicate yet delightful, once you get past the somewhat mushy texture.

Lure Fish Bar shrimp

Lure Fish Bar Salmon Tarte

I am much more of a Salmon girl myself, however, I decided to do the Cod that evening. The cod came with a honey glaze. It was very soft, made fresh and had a good chew to it. The lentils complimented the dish even though I was skeptical about them at first. There still happened to be salmon at my table which was just as delicate at the tartar and had a great pop of flavors.

Lure Fish Bar Cod fish

Lure Fish Bar Salmon

The chocolate molten cake had some salted caramel ice cream to accompany it, along with caramelized popcorn and chocolate pudding to fill it. I went for the raspberry and chocolate pot, my favorite mix of all things sweet. It was like having a mousse in a bowl but a more liquid texture and hints of tart all around.

Lure Fish Bar Molten Cake

Lure Fish Bar Dessert

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cocktail city crab

I almost forgot I went to City Crab and Seafood and I had been wanting to eat here since the last restaurant week but I just couldn’t find the time.

I started with the mussels; awesome sauce and a garlic crostini to accompany them. Not what I’m used to but of course, I ate it anyway (save your judgement). Well-cooked mussels are important! But the secret is in the sauce. So for drinks, I had the Heartbreaker *insert smug look here*. It was raspberry vodka, pineapple juice, and some other stuff that makes it tasty.

cocktail city crab

I also had crab stuffed lobster with corn on the cob, delicious but overwhelming. I love crab meat and it was well seasoned, well made, and a great add-on to this beautiful lobster.

lobster city crab

The cheesecake was thick in texture and made for two to indulge in. Really can’t complain about City Crab and Seafood . It was a very decent meal and I’d go back for their Mac and Cheese.

cheesecake city crab

 

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