Rusty Pelican Restaurant Review

The iconic Rusty Pelican went through a $9 million renovation that has been transformed into a sexy spot with THE BEST waterfront view in Miami!  Every room has spectacular water views.  Looking at the Yachts docked on the side make you feel like you’re on holiday in St. Tropez!  The spacious outdoor patio has gorgeous views of the Miami skyline, perfect for sunset Happy Hours and dining under the stars. There aren’t many great waterfront restaurants in Miami even though we are surrounded by water, so we’re lucky to have this.  Rusty Pelican is located on Key Biscayne, an island off the mainland of Miami, so you feel like you’re going on a holiday.

Yachts docked looks like St. Tropez

The menu is Modern American, so it’s interesting that there’s a British chef running the restaurant!  Chef Michael Gilligan has that cheeky sense of British humor which he also applies to his food and he does a nice job of it.

Sea Bass ceviche, choclo, aji amarillo, soy yuzu dressing

So far, I’ve been to Happy Hour and lunch so I got the full experience of Chef Gilligan’s style.  And I can tell you I like his style, he’s playful and creative.  One of my favorites is a cute presentation of Sea Bass ceviche in a tin can with its lid open, and sits on a bed of ice.  That in itself was enough for me to give it a 9 out of 10.  Sea Bass is such a rich fish so it requires ingredients that complement it.  I liked the sweetness from the sweet potatoes, crunch from the Peruvian choclo (corn) and spiciness from fresh red chillies & Aji amarillo (South American yellow chilli pepper), ummm.  Every bite was refreshing and light. A great first course to ‘open the palate.’

I so enjoyed Chef Gilligan’s humor, creativity and unique style to food that makes this waterfront restaurant such a pleasure to dine at.

Chef Michael Gilligan, Happy Hour with American Chacuterie platter

Lobster Bouillabaisse poured tableside with melange of seafood, toasted corn and roasted tomatoes

Lobster Bouillabaisse was another playful dish.  The bisque was poured tableside into a dish filled with a melange of seafood, roasted tomatoes and toasted corn relish.  I got the waiter to pour slowly so I could get this shot. It was such a colorful and delightful dish.

Cocktail, have to ID this, oops

I’m not a huge drinker but must admit their cocktails were pretty intoxicating and beautifully presented. The Rusty Spice is watermelon and ginger with tequila, srirachi and fresh lime juice, all went down well with everything we ate. I can’t figure out what cocktail is the photo, need to ID this and let you know, oops.

Eel Foie Gras Tostone with gelee soy truffle glaze

The Eel & Fois Gras on tostone was gorgeous and a very creative dish! The ice wine ‘gelee’ soy truffle glaze was like a sprinkling of delicate glass jewels. It’s not a dish you could eat often because it’s so rich, but it was a palate pleaser and so extraordinary.

Chocolate Sabotage, no need to describe!

Rusty Pelican in a Fifty's style decor


Rusty Pelican


Disclosure: my lunch was complimentary but that doesn’t sway my judgement.
Rusty Pelican on Urbanspoon



2 Responses to Rusty Pelican Restaurant Review
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