Mignonette

mignonett4Mignonette, named after the famous oyster sauce, this raw bar and seafood eatery is full of creative surprises. A genuinely good place to eat fresh fish in Miami.

A cool combination of a diner and a European café, this charming, yet understated, restaurant caught my eye as I drove down quiet and mostly deserted 2nd avenue. I loved the sound of it – Mignonette, and I’m always in the mood for seafood so I stopped in to give it a try.

As I took a look at the menu, I wondered why would they offer croissants as an appetizer? Well, because they’re homemade and served warm with a chunky lobster butter and a scrumptious serving of mango jam for $ 8. These are real buttery and flaky croissants that melt in your mouth with nothing on them, imagine adding bits of lobster? Delicious! I could’ve had ten of them but I wanted to save room for some other interesting items on the menu. There was a long list of fish choices like red fish, grouper, snapper as well as shrimp, scallops, oysters and clams. They’re sandwich selection includes the traditional Louisiana Po Boy made with chicken, conch or shrimp, as well as other old time favorites like the lobster roll. A nice assortment of salads and veggies make for great sides .mignonoett5

Chowing down the croissant got me in the mood for more lobster, and nothing could satisfy my craving as much as their soup of the day – lobster bisque served with a garnish of Spain’s famous Pata Negra ham which added a light touch of saltiness to this silky bowl of seafood goodness.

I then ordered some fantastic crispy skin snapper served with sweet potato fries seasoned with ancho chile for $23, a rather large fillet crispy on the outside and tender and flaky on the inside. I also tried the fried clam Po’ Boy on a Portuguese roll that came with a nice portion of sautéed rainbow chard, a healthy and delicious side. The clams were juicy and tender, just like the ones I use to have back in Rhode Island. So glad to find another great place for seafood in Miami! You’d think we’d have plenty, but not really.

Mignonettemignonette6

210 NE 18th Street

Miami, FL

305 374-4635

Miami, FL 33132

http://www.mignonettemiami.com

Azenhas Do Mar – Sintra, Portugal

clamsretouchedRight outside one of Portugal’s most enchanting towns – Sintra-  stands Azenhas Do Mar  on the rocky Atlantic coast. A big fish sign welcomes you into what feels almost like a boathouse hanging from a cliff. Wooden ceilings and enormous windows surround you with a breathtaking spectacle of   waves that  gently beat against the rocks.  This, combined with the  soothing nautical atmosphere of whitewashed wooden chairs and white linens, makes for  the perfect setting to relax and enjoy a good “seafarer’s ” meal.

azbreadA menu consisting of mostly fish and seafood, as well as a few meat choices, was no surprise but the attention to detail in the presentation and the service certainly was. As we sat down, the waiter kindly placed on our table a small platter with olives and local cheese, as well as  a basket of warm crusty bread. Soon after, we were poured some lovely chilled Alvarinho wine as we were offered to look at  the menu.

From a cornucopia of  fresh oysters, barnacles, octopus, shrimp, lobster and, of course, cod fish, I gave into my weakness for clams. These  famous  amêijoas á Bulhão Pato did not disappoint. The name is a tribute to a 19th century Portuguese poet named Raimundo António Bulhão Pato who was very much a gourmand.

azsignThese perfectly  cooked small  clams are served in a succulent broth made with white wine, garlic, fresh coriander and lemon. Some of the most flavorful ones I have ever tried and it’s  certainly no coincidence that this dish is considered one of the seven wonders of  Portuguese gastronomy. 

The hilly trip along the coast was worth every minute, not just for the sights, but for the chance to taste this fantastic dish.                        azocean

 

azenhasdomarRestaurante Piscina Azenhas do Mar
Azenhas do Mar 2705-104
Colares – Sintra

P (+351) 219 280 739
azenhas-do-mar@sapo.pt