Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Jamie DeRosa’s second venture in Miami Beach’s vibrant South of Fifth neighborhood, Izzy’s Fish & Oyster, opened September 30. Located at 423 Washington Avenue, the cozy, laid-back restaurant offers genuine New England fare.
“It was important for me to create a space that gives diners a chance to casually meet and connect with one another through the verve, tradition, and excitement that lives within New England and its cuisine,” DeRosa says. “With trips to this region representing a large part of my childhood’s food culture, the menu will introduce dishes and ways of cooking that are familiar to this landscape. Beyond the kitchen, everything from the design to the hospitality will be committed to transcending the guest. For some, it will be reminiscent of similar memories along the coast and, for others, a first sense of quintessential New England right here in Miami Beach.”
The restaurant’s décor celebrates the spirit and nostalgia of the seaside shacks that dot the coast, juxtaposed with the casual sophistication of Miami Beach. The small, airy 40-seat interior space welcomes with grey stone-tiled floors, antique tin and reclaimed wood ceilings, ornate details of metal mesh suggestive of lobster traps, and plush leather banquettes. Two oversized windows distribute natural light into every corner of the dining room and illuminate the accents of teal, chartreuse, coral, and navy blue throughout the space as well as the sweeping mural by Claudio Picasso featuring an octopus that drifts across the white-washed brick walls upon entry. A gleaming raw bar harboring the fresh catches of the day also echoes the sounds of oysters being shucked and prepared in that moment, with a full vantage point of the action from the sleek, 15-seat white marble bar.
The 20-seat outdoor cafe is ideal for enjoying a dozen or two of the restaurant’s fresh bivalves al fresco. To pair, Izzy’s Fish & Oyster offers a curated beverage program by mixologist Maxwell Parisefeaturing classic and spirit-forward cocktails, local microbrews, and approachable wines.
Alongside executive chef/partner DeRosa is chef de cuisine William Crandall, who maintains the fresh, simple, and focused menu direction while enhancing the natural sweet, salty, grassy, and briny flavors of the seafood.
This approach is especially applied to the Raw Barselection, which presents six ever-changing varietals of east coast oysters exclusively from Island Creek Oysters in support of its Farm & Foundation [$19 for half dozen; $36 for a dozen]. Guests will have the option to savor the plump delicacies in their natural state or paired with one of the restaurant’s inspired mignonettes. Additional items include Clams with lemon salsa [$8, eight per order]; Ceviche with chili, cilantro, and citrus [$14]; and PEI Mussels bruschetta-style with white balsamic [$8, eight per order]. The Bay Hopper, a shareable shellfish
platter provides [four each] oysters, clams, mussels and shrimp with blue crab salad, and half a lobster [$55].
The menu offerings are defined by way of Starters, From The Basket, Maines, and Port & Starboard Sides. Signatures, both traditional and creative, include an indulgent “Maine Lobster Roll” available in a hot preparation with lobster butter or cold with lobster mayo [$24]; New England Clam Chowder with potato, leeks, and oyster crackers [$12] and Golden Potato Gnocchi with oysters, American caviar and fresh herbs [$24]. Additional highlights include a Sugar Snap Salad with grana padano, mint, and Champagne vinaigrette with Marcona almonds [$10]; Fried Clam Bellies with bread and butter-pickled vegetables and lemon [$22]; and a Crab Salad BLT [$21]. Sides are a must including the Parker House Rolls with buttah [$6] and Johnny Cakes with local honey [$10] have the option to be topped with American caviar [market price].
Three dessert options include Classic Whoopies [$7], made with a marshmallow fluff filling; a slice of Boston Cream Pie [$9] with vanilla, citrus, dark rum, and chocolate ganache; and Grandma Celia’s Lemon Meringue Pie [$10].
In addition to dinner, a daily Island Creek Happy Hourfrom 5 to 7 p.m. will begin early October and offer half off chef’s selection of oysters; $10 Juicy Lucy Burger; $6 waffle fries or old bay onion rings; $10 Salty Dog fisherman’s basket of fried clams, cod, oysters, onion rings, and fries; $8-$10 snacks including the restaurant’s daily selections of “Ceviche” and “Fish Dip.” Happy Hour drink specials include $5 draft beer, $6 select wines by the glass, and $8 signature cocktails.