What an experience! The Bizarre by Jose Andres will knock your socks off, leave you completely transfixed (almost beyond speaking words) and saying to yourself, I need to go back to Miami whether by air, sea, or land for THAT meal. From the enormous octopus chandelier hanging from the ceiling to the tableside liquid nitrogen ‘cloud covered’ Caipirinha frozen shots to the giant plastic shoe that accompanies the croquettes, ‘The Bizarre’ is not only a fantastic restaurant, but also quite the show unlike any other.
The ambiance of this unique establishment is so rare and unique, you’re left wondering ‘where am I’? It’s as if you are Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Although the decor can be described as upscale, fancy, and sensual, there’s a definite underlying fantasy theme that is portrayed. The walls are painted to look like massive bookshelves that go from the ceiling to the floor, strange and unique pictures are displayed promptly on the walls, (such as the black and white ‘medusa’), and funky rugs outline the floor. Furthermore, the restaurant has an open layout, which will have you passing each table salivating as you stare at everyone’s dishes, wondering what the heck everyone is eating! To make things even crazier, there’s a large chef’s plating area in the main dining hall where chefs can be seen putting fishing touches on dishes. It’s sensory overload to say the least!
Off to the side of the main dining area, there’s a beautiful lounge area that looks a cross between a wealthy 1960’s house with wooden paneling on the ceiling and walls and funky yellow lounge chairs and an upscale hotel. It’s quite glamorous and charming.
Furthermore, in typical Miami fashion, there is also a stunning outdoor patio area. Once outside you’ll understand why this place gets so crowded on weekend evenings. The outdoor multicolored wicker chairs surround marble tables, which are outlined by comfortable couches overlooking the hotel pool behind it. Welcome to paradise everyone!
Okay, enough about the ambiance, we all know the food and cocktails are what you really came here for! Well, the menu offers so many options from so many countries around the world, it’s hard to decide where to start! There’s an Asian fusion section, a Spanish tapas section and some award winning gastronomic starters that contain an eclectic mix of ingredients you never would ever pair together. There are so many amazing options to choose, it’s hard to figure out where to start! Luckily, the wait staff is excellent at making recommendations! We asked Jason, our chef, to go with some chef’s selections and he did not disappoint!
Some favorites included:
The blue cheese sandwich. Between the ‘frozen’ blue cheese, the uniquely tasting walnut crackers and the marmalade on top. This one is quite the flavor explosion!
Baby peaches: One word. Whew. You will never try anything like this again. The flavor of the fresh creamy burrata cheese combined with the sweetness of the green baby peaches, and buttery and crunchy flavor of the hazelnuts, you are in for a big treat with this one!
Dragon fruit ceviche. This one is a bit of a staple at Bizarre. You will likely see this fruit on just about everyone’s table. It’s a light, flavorful tuna ceviche made with dragon fruit and contains wonderful fruity foam on top. It’s sweet, fresh, and very flavorful!
Octopus Romesco: An interesting take on grilled octopus. The dish is combined with seaweed salad, potatoes, delicious oven roasted tomatoes and hazelnuts. The octopus is cooked just right and pairs very well with the lightly roasted potatoes!
Keuh Pai Ti: Another staple of The Bizarre! These delightful Singapore bites come four to a plate and you are instructed to put the entire thing in your mouth in one bite. It’s a exceptional combination of shrimp, nuts, and a little bit of spice. It certainly make me want to book a trip to Singapore!
Croquettes de pollo: If you order this dish, people are bound to ask you what the heck you ordered and why the hell it came in a plastic shoe. Trust me. You get four lightly fried ‘doughy’ and cheesy croquettes. It’s worth ordering for the pictures and the attention!
Salmon en Papillote: The fish comes out in an oven acceptable ‘plastic bag’ and the waiter cuts it open with massive scissors. When the plastic is opened, the bag exudes the heat (heated at 450 degrees) and moisture that kept the dish so moist and well seasoned while cooked. The fish is then plated with tons of rum based sauce to accompany it and quinoa tossed on top. Lots of flavor going on here!
Brussel Sprouts: The chef really got creative with this one. Gone are the roasted brussel sprouts and in comes the fruity flavors of lemon, apricots, grapes and plantain chips. The plantain chips underneath were a texture paradox of crunchy meets soft and fluffy from the lemon ‘air’. A perfect dish for the warm Miami temps!
Key lime pie deconstructed: It’s like constructing your own dessert! You take a little cream add some graham cracker and foam and put the whole thing in your mouth to see what you end up with. You’re the chef here! It’s one fun way to eat dessert, that’s for sure!
Other must have’s…pics don’t even do it justice!
Japanese taco – This is a mouth orgasm if I ever had one. Whew. The grilled eel combined wih the wasabi, cucumber and sisho…wow. It has a very buttery flavor combined with the crunchy, freshness of the cucumber.
Caviar cones – It’s caviar, need I say more?
One can’t forget the cocktails now…!
You’ll find nearly everyone in the restaurant will order the LN2 Caipirinha. This is because it’s made table side with a side of intense fog and clouds and viola! a mini super boozy Caipirinha slushie is made! This is a MUST! You’ll be warned that the cocktail is strong, but it’s only about the size of a shot, so I trust you can handle it!
Passion Fruit Up: if there was a cocktail that was created for South Beach, this would be it. It’s rum based and full of ‘passion’, as well as passion fruit. You’ll order three before you even know it!