First look: Kitchen 305

Firecracker Cappellini.
Firecracker Cappellini.

The Goods: Once known as Michael’s Kitchen, the chef-driven outpost of Hollywood toque Michael Blum, the restaurant at the Newport Beachside Hotel and Resort in Sunny Isles is now reborn as Kitchen 305. Chef Kelly Sheehan (Johnny V’s South Beach) is now running the kitchen and while Blum is no longer in charge, the restaurant still employs the populist chef’s flair for grandiose presentation and playful plating, offering whimsical takes on familiar fare. The spacious restaurant features groovy lighting, a frenetic open kitchen and an eight-person chef’s table. Semi-private dining areas in the back evoke Philippe Starck-esque touches with chain-link curtains, neo-Victorian framed mirrors and boudoir seating. A massive flat screen TV flanks one end of the neon-lit bar. The restaurant is busy on the weekend, when their Saturday night “Entree” party features a $24 three-course chef’s menu along with $75 Grey Goose bottle service, music courtesy of live DJs and a buzzing bar scene.

The Grub: Flamboyant presentations of American and Pan Asian staples. Portions are generous and prices are in keeping with the resort environs; starters range from $9-$14, mains $16-$30. A starter of ahi “tunatinis” will get you drunk on fish with three martini glasses heaped with the raw fish prepared three ways, while the “we got the beet” salad is a composition of music-note shaped beets, mixed greens and pecan-crusted goat cheese. Playful dishes include the “Meet the potatoes” filet mignon medallions adorned with name tags and seared bluefin tuna presented on a wooden palette with a paintbrush for dipping in wasabi, curry reduction and ponzu. Sides include comfort food vittles like creamed spinach, mac and cheese and truffled french fries. Dining room theatrics are exemplified with desserts like the “cotton candy celebration,” a tower of frosted pink fit for a theme park. Less showy toothsome creations include the mini key lime bundt cakes and warm apple pie.

The Verdict: Those looking for culinary hijinks will get a kick out of Kitchen 305’s mischievous menu. North Dade nightlife hounds have embraced the restaurant’s supper club atmosphere.

Kitchen 305, 16701 Collins Ave.; 305-949-1300