Sunday night on the West side of South Beach…

Sunday night dinner, our two-day escape is coming to a close – Time to slow down and begin to ease back in to the real world, so with that we selected Asia De Cuba on the West Side of South Beach (part of The Hotel Mondrian) thinking, incorrectly this offbeat West Street location overlooking Biscayne Bay would be a nice break from the see-and-be-scene craziness of the Lincoln Drive and the trendy club venues from the last two nights.  We could not have been more wrong.  With the restaurant offing both inside and outside tables we opted for one in the fresh air with a great view of the setting sun as our backdrop and the city of Miami painted across on it. Biscayne Bay sparkling with the cities lights and separating the skyline from the catwalk  like atmosphere of the pool party unfolding in front of us.  Think Miami Vice meets Victoria Secret at a Sports Illustrated swim suit party with a Cuban hip-hop vibe.  This place is simply a jetsetters menu with its furnishings of British Colonial canopy chairs, tufted-leather bistro chairs and long massive marble banquet style tables with head chairs out of a Jetsons cartoon you know George Jetson, daughter Julie his boy Elroy and Jane his wife (anyone remember the dog’s name?).   I almost forgot about the food  with all the people watching. The Asian-Latino-Cubin menu was a bit pricey but set up as “family style” each serving was placed in the middle of the table to split.  We had a few opening plates including the Tunapica, a tuna tartare with Spanish olives, black currants and coconut in a soy-lime vinaigrette before diving head first into a two and half pound female Lobster Pad-Tai with coconut red curry.  If Maggie was not reading this I would use a word starting with a big “O” to describe this dish, a must for anyone who has the opportunity to visit Miami.  To cap it all off we indulged in a massive warm Asian pair bread pudding with creamy rum glaze poured over it table side.

Saturday night was Prime Italian an offshoot of Prime One Twelve acres the street. This stylish Italian restaurant was simply stellar on all aspects around the food, South Beach atmosphere, but be prepared to wait for your table even with a reservation, and I do mean wait.  The young high-heeled amazon’s who greeted you could only say “your table will be ready shortly”, I overheard someone asking about the restrooms and they responded with “your table will be ready shortly”, What time is it “your table will be ready shortly” – After 3 large Mojito’s and a beer at the bar we made our way to a table and a delicious oily gooey garlic bread, hot out of the oven and served with marinara. This was followed by a skyscraper of tomato and fresh incredible mozzarella .  For the main event I had a forgettable rice with short rips piled on top, not even close to Nonna’s rice – Alice had the winner Gnocci w/ Kobe beef ragu  – the only problem is I was drunk and stuffed – no problem – they packed it up for travel and I will be having it for lunch today, how cool is that?

Last point, Alice said when referring to one’s age you round and therefore we are 45 not even close to 50.  James Fredrick that makes you 60.  As I type this we are flying home, enjoying our inflight breakfast and both sporting a grin like the cat who ate the hamster cannery!

Next trip – Walt Disney, anyone want to trade a silk shirt for a fanny-pack?                                                                  


About JSH

There are more than 195 countries in the world by my count and I want to see them all before they all start to look the same – The United Nations has 192 members, but they do not recognized two independent countries, the Vatican City and Kosovo. U.S. Department of State recognizes 194 independent countries around the world, but their list has a political agenda and is missing Taiwan. All of this is without getting into the dozens of territories and colonies that are sometimes called “countries” such as Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Greenland, Palestine, Western Sahara, and even the components of the United Kingdom (such as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England) and without counting states and provinces like Texas and Montréal that think they are independent countries. No madder how you count or tag them they are changing, starting to look the same and losing a little bit of themself every day. I do not want to see the world through the eyes of Las Vegas or Disney, like reading the Cliff Notes of a Hemingway novel; you get the idea but miss the point! Life is short, but how long live is up to you…
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