There is a restaurant tucked away inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Brickell Key in Miami, Florida that encompasses the true meaning of exquisite dining. That restaurant is named Azul. Like its name connotates, during the day, the waters of Biscayne Bay reflect their turquoise blue colors in the Miami sunlight. After dark engulfs the area, a view of the enchanting lighted Miami skyline adds to the allure of this magical part of the world.
View off the Azul outdoor balcony overlooking the Miami skyline above.
Once we were seated, a courteous and efficient server introduced himself, welcomed us, and delivered flaky savory petite breads to our reserved table. One, a cornbread concoction laden with not-too-spicy jalapeno peppers enriched with a delicate sweetness. The other, a bakery style round crusty adaptation with a delicate texture on the inside.
After the baked items were devoured by us, we were each presented with a treat from the chef below…a soft Brioche rectangle remove of its outer crust then topped with just the essence of specific Asian-influenced vegetables, spicy brown mustard, a thin petite filet of freshly seared chilled halibut topped by an oval of watermelon radish and a touch of maple brown sugar.
Brioche With Seared Halibut and Japanese Vegetable Artistry
Next came an appetizer…below, a photo of the seared Ahi, in which each fold-over of fish houses a ball of cold watermelon, accompanied by a light sprinkling of Asian-style fresh vegetables for visual presentation, thin crisp Parmesan disks and an accompaniment of Asian mustard and a basil puree drizzle.
Seared Ahi Tuna With Parmesan Discs and Colorful Enhancements
Watermelon & Cucumber Puree
My husband chose the Brown Butter Poached Halibut with the Toasted Pita and Heirloom Tomato Salad, minted yogurt, brown butter cashews and Maine lobster.
Brown Butter Poached Halibut with Toasted Pita and Heirloom Tomato Salad, Minted Yogurt, Brown Butter Cashews and Maine Lobster
My selection, below, was the Risotto Di Maro, which consisted of fresh snapper, scallops, clams, mussels, calamari, saffron and peas…
Risotto Di Maro
Coincidentally, it was also my birthday. The Chef sent the below presentation out to aide in our celebration…
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Beachy hues with an artisan-style bar and dynamic views of Biscayne Bay from every window.
- FOOD / DRINK: Outstanding, amazing, and a great venue for celebrating a special occasion!
- LOCATION: Azul is located on the first floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel at 500 Brickell Key Drive in Miami, FL 33131.
- HOURS: Monday through Saturday for dinner 7 PM – 11 PM, and the bar is open from 6:30 PM to 11 PM.
- SERVICE / STAFF: Courteous, friendly and well-skilled in the art of serving patrons exquisite cuisine.
- PRICE / VALUE: Fair for the artistic cuisine we so thoroughly enjoyed.
- CORKAGE: No corkage allowed in Azul, however the extensive wine list and full bar can accommodate any of your libation requests.
- CONTACT INFO: Phone: (305) 913-8358, Website: www.mandarinoriental.com
- PARKING: We were staying in the hotel, so Valet had our vehicle in the hotel guest parking structure. However, valet can also take your car if you are just stopping in for dinner as well.
- TOTAL BILL: Though we spent over $250 including champagne and cocktails before we were seated at our window table, it was well worth the splurge. Especially since we were celebrating a special occasion!
* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.