Matheson Hammock Park and Beach is a special place in Miami, a park with a tiny beach that looks like an enchanted lagoon, bicycle paths, picnic tables, a lake with a sign that says “Do not feed the Alligators” and in the middle of this tropical setting, there is a restaurant called Red Fish Grill that used to be a former beach pavilion.
Three fat balls of conch fritters came topped with a micro-green salad and red onions. The fritters were accompanied by a basil-orange aioli that gave them a gentle citrus punch as you put them in your mouth. The micro-greens were delicate and added a subtle grassy note to this original way of serving conch fritters, which is a traditional and flavorful Bahamian recipe, now also popular all over Miami. They are also served with Tomato and ginger chutney but we did not try this version. They run at $11.00 for a satisfying portion of 3 fritters.
It is always such a delight to eat a massive hunk of meat, medium-rare is my favorite. This dish was really awesome, the meat perfectly seared and presented with smoked paprika shoestring potatoes, a baby aragula salad and a chimichurri emulsion. Chimichurri, originally from Argentina, is made with chopped fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. This version of chimichurri however, was emulsified, all the ingredients blended instead of lightly chopped. The resulting sauce still conserved all the flavors and spark and also made a great dip for the potatoes and salad.
This was a bit too sugary for me: a huge slab of flan served floating in a sea of caramel sauce and topped with coconut flakes. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious but I like my desserts tamer. Miss Issa on the other hand, devoured it in a blink of an eye.
This is quite an unusual location for a restaurant, inside a park. Red Fish Grill is open for dinner 7 days a week.
Please keep in mind that the items on the menu change, this is what we had when we visited. What can be guaranteed is an appetizing experience regardless of what you eat. Reserve an early dinner, sit on the patio and watch the glow of the sky after sunset: you will not be able to help but fall in love with this gem of a place.
By Contributor Writer and Photographer Brenda Benoit
9610 Old Cutler Road.