Foodie Find: The Deck at Island Gardens
The scenic masterpiece is serving a brunch to excite all the senses.
The Deck at Island Gardens could simply operate as a scenic masterpiece, with its endless views of Biscayne Bay and a line of mega yachts docked and dazzling. But rather, the fine dining establishment has set up a Sunday extravaganza touching all senses including the sound of live music, the taste of culinary temptations, and – with the breeze and the water lapping its salty spray to the air, sight and the smell of sea you can practically touch.
Start with a champagne or a cocktail. The menu includes a selection from the “garden” such as a Passion-ista made from cachaca, passion fruit puree, lemon juice, rose water and edible rose pedals. or the El Marinero with gin, basil, muddled cucumber, lime juice and soda water. The Islander is Rum Brugal 1888, coconut sorbet, mint, pineapple juice and lime juice. There’s also a large selection of white wine – including the popular Santa Margherita – red wines, such as the St Francis Merlot and champagne, including Veuve Clicquot Brut.
The revamped brunch experience takes diners though the most decadent of courses, beginning with treasures from the ocean. An oversized offering of oysters – both east and west coast – and shrimp on ice is served alongside octopus ceviche shooters and smoked salmon. There are also to start assorted breads in baskets, some sliced thick and others baked with tomatoes, oil and herbs into focaccia. Pile a few slices on a plate with jam, butters and salads, such as an artichoke, quinoa. Or cheeses, such as brie, sharp cheddar and slices of creamy, hot quiche with a buttery crust.
For pasta – there’s pasta! – the cacio e pepe station features an enormous wheel of parmesan in which the garlic, sauce and pasta meet to create a creamy sensation. But don’t miss the omelets, because those can be stuffed with anything under the sun – literally, the stations are so outside you’ll need your sunglasses while making your selections. There’s grilled salmon and filet to be enjoyed with roasted mushrooms and grilled vegetables, sweet potatoes and crispy fried ones. And a colossal dish of paella the chef begins to prepare that morning, when its packed with seafood, rice and traditional spices. Dessert is decadent, with a forever changing display of fruits, honeycomb, granola and yogurt alongside pear and almond tarts, brownies, strawberry shortcake, tea cakes, macaroons, banana breads and marble coffee cakes – and made in house.
Brett Graff is SocialMiami.com’s managing editor and has been a journalist covering money, people and power for over 20 years. Graff contributes to national media outlets including Reuters, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Maxim, and the PBS show, Nightly Business Report. A former U.S. government economist, her nationally syndicated column The Home Economist is first published in The Miami Herald and then on the Tribune Content Agency, where it’s available to over 400 publications nationwide. She is broadcast weekly on two iHeartRadio news shows and is the author of “Not Buying It: Stop Overspending & Start Raising Happier, Healthier, More Successful Kids,” a parenting guide for people who might be tempted to buy their children the very obstacles they’re trying to avoid.