For close to a decade, Altamare has been a Miami Beach dining mainstay, a locals’ favorite and must-try destination for serious foodies and the “culinary adventurous.” The restaurant which opened in 2002 had to move to a larger space - at the western-most end of Lincoln Rd in 2010 - just to accommodate demand. Veteran restaurateur Claudio Giordano has created the perfect combination of masterfully executed cuisine, unfussy but elegant service and a warm, welcoming ambiance. At the helm of Altamare’s kitchen is executive chef Simon Stojanovic, an under-the-radar rising star talent who has been wowing diners since February 2010. Now, to deliciously usher in the New Year, Stojanovic has unveiled an array of new dishes.
In sync with the restaurant’s seafood-focus – the term ‘hook-to-table’ applies nicely when scanning menu options, most of which are made exclusively with local products. The new items are right at home along with signature dishes, such as Chef Simon’s pan seared local hogfish with exotic mushroom in uni sauce and sunchoke chips; grilled cobia served on a bed of Swank Farms watercress salad mixed with Teena’s Pride heirloom tomato, local avocado and arugula dressing; and grilled octopus with warm farro, chorizo, grilled lemon and smoked paprika aioli. New items include:
· tripletail ceviche with blood orange and Asian pear
· yellowjack crudo with yuzu juice miso salt, fresh wasabi and Australian finger lime
· seafood sausage with a pink peppercorn sauce
· local golden tile with Teena's Pride heirloom tomato gazpacho and herb oil
· pan seared local flounder with roasted butternut squash sauce, Micheal Borek baby carrots and Swank Farms micro herb salad.
With an ever-changing menu that incorporates seasonal and sustainable ingredients, new earth-bound menu options encompass a grilled pork belly with house pickled baby carrots and fennel with kaffir lime zest.
Altamare’s 120-seat cozy, casually-elegant design comes compliments of Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque, the designer behind South Beach’s Shore Club and Mynt. The restaurant features an inviting bar and an open-kitchen; a private dining room accommodating 24 guests offers a comfortable option for those seeking to entertain a larger group. Just recently, iconic Hollywood star Robert Redford dined at the restaurant and like many of Altamare’s celeb guests, opted for the room which is, among those in-the-know, considered one of the best spots for a private soiree on the Beach.
Sommelier Tomaso Galdo, formerly of Casa Tua, curates Altamare’s award-winning wine list. Rounding out the culinary team is pastry chef Michelle Cabrera, the talent behind Altamare’s sweeter side. Mouthwatering treasures include lemon and kalamansi tart with strawberry basil sorbet and toasted almond strudel as well as vanilla crème fraiche panna cotta with pineapple gelee and herb sorbet.
The coming year will bring more surprises than just new menu items. Slated to open in the spring 2012, Claudio, Chef Simon Stojanovic and Altamare general manager Frank Scottolini will expand over the bridge to Brickell’s bustling restaurant and nightlife district with TIKL. TIKL will serve creative, foodie-friendly small plates in a cool, unpretentious setting.
Altamare is located at 1233 Lincoln Road on Miami Beach. The restaurant serves dinner nightly starting at 5 p.m. Ample metered and municipal parking is available. Valet is available Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Telephone: (305) 532-3061. www.altamarerestaurant.com