Enter to find upright rows of speckled hog snapper, stone crabs and langoustines embedded in crushed ice at Fifi’s Seafood Restaurant. Located in the North Shore area of Miami Beach, the restaurant is a favorite of Michelin-star-rated chef Eric Ripert, who dines here while staying in Miami. Fifi’s new owner, Louisa Horta, is Cuban American, knew the former owners, Nelson and Fifi Sanchez, and kept the same casual vibe with the freshest seafood she can procure to keep it seafood central on this strip of Collins Avenue.
Start with These Dishes
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During stone crab season, which runs October to May, order the claws with lemon wedges and mustard sauce. Or get oysters on the half shell with cocktail sauce. At the time of our visit, we tried the ultra-clean-tasting kusshi from British Columbia and west coast Kumamoto, the petite aristocrat of oysters with firm flesh and a briny sweet taste. Mango tuna rolls consist of sushi-grade tuna wrapped around a strip of mango with cream cheese and crispy vermicelli with wasabi creme. There’s also seared scallops in creamy white truffle sauce with crispy elephant garlic and grilled langoustine tossed with garlic and olive oil. Non-seafood eaters can get the tomato “ceviche” marinated in a mix of tart floral yuzu, lime juice and ponzu with powdered miso and cilantro.
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Several entrees come in portions for two: mixed seafood paella or parrillada. There’s also frutti de mare pasta made with thin spaghetti with a combo of lobster, shrimp, scallops, calamari and mussels in a creamy sauce. Lobster and ricotta ravioli rest in a smooth tomato sauce with a touch of vodka and cream. The broiled, miso-marinated black cod (sablefish) has a rich mellow flavor. There’s also smoked salmon ravioli in white chocolate almond liqueur cream with toasted almonds that tastes like a savory dessert. Fried rice with shrimp, chicken and ham, and Florida lobster tail, is sauteed with mushrooms. Land items include Cuban-style chicken and rice with shallots and bell peppers, New York strip steak, Delmonico steak and a trio of Australian beef mini burgers.
Save Room for Dessert
The house-made flan with melted caramel and sliced toasted almonds is complimentary.
What Makes It Special
Some of the fish have only been out of the ocean a few hours, speared by a diver. You can’t get any fresher than that unless you catch it yourself. This is a charming neighborhood gem where those in the know go for fresh seafood, most locally sourced by Port Royale Trading Company, and the stone crabs are from Outclaws in Lake Park.
If You Go
Place: Fifi’s Seafood Restaurant
Address: 6934 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Hours: Noon-11 p.m. daily (until 11:30 Friday and Saturday)
Prices: Appetizers $6-$35, entrees $15-$30, stone crabs from $38-$65 a pound
F.Y.I. Wine and beer, parking in the rear
From last week ...
The Miami Herald omitted the Dec. 30 “If You Go” box for the Awash Ethiopian Restaurant. Here it is:
Place: Awash Ethiopian Restaurant
Address: 19934 NW Second Ave., Miami Gardens
Contact: 305-770-5100, awashmiami.com
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-midnight, Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Coffee ceremony is performed Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m.
Prices: Appetizers $4-$8, entrees $8.99-$14.99, platter for two $19.99, desserts $2.99