Throughout my book, Food Lovers’ Guide to Miami & Fort Lauderdale, I talk about restaurants and bars with views like this; some venues nail the food and beverage and others miss the mark but with a view like this, if the food is subpar just having a beer and taking in a sight like this can’t be all that bad; every place has its redeeming quality. I’ve made no secret of the fact that waterfront/waterview locales are my favorite haunts and lunch at DiLido [Beach Club] is no exception and having Andrew Balick as the Chef de Cuisine doesn’t hurt either.
DiLido is not SOBE glitz and glam but more classic style Miami Beach glamorous, think 1950′s, Rat Pack, Jackie Gleason era. DiLido is understated, even for The Ritz Carlton brand, this is probably why it’s as successful as it is. The ocean view truly is breathtaking and serene; I found it to be a welcomed escape in the middle of the week, even if it was just for a short time.
Paula, our server was as delightful as they come, efficient and charming. Paula likes her job and does it with great pride. It’s not easy being a server and it’s not easy to find one who enjoys it either so when you do it truly brings the entire dining experience full circle.
We did the sharing of plates so we could try multiple items on the menu. The menu is not over-thought or over done it reflects the style of the beachfront restaurant with a compilation of seafood, salads, and small plates of Mediterranean inspired dishes. Paula recommended we start with the local grouper and shrimp ceviche ($16), the yellowfin tuna tiradito and queen conch and the falafel and garlic hummus. These items alone make up a perfect lunch for two, light, flavorful and memorable. The ceviche was WOW! with its citrus and salt combination, I’m still thinking about it. If you’re not a fan of tang and zest you won’t like this dish. It’s one of those dishes that will wake up your sleepy tastebuds. The ceviche was made with avocado, roasted butternut squash and garnished with cornnuts.
The yellowfin tuna tiradito and queen conch ($17) was sublime. It’s a simple dish with simple ingredients that work in harmony.
The housemade falafel and garlic hummus ($9) is garnished with roasted peppers and marinated olives. Not everyone can “do” falafel. It seems to be one of those dishes, like scallops, some chefs just don’t know how to prepare it and it ends up being a huge fail, not Andrew Balick, his falafel is spot on. The garnish added great ancillary flavors to the overall dish.
We really should have stopped here with all this food as it was enough; but no, we had to press on; we both ordered the Greek Salad ($16) one with grilled chicken (+$6) and one with shrimp (+$8). The portions were huge. I didn’t finish my salad but then again I ate most of the ceviche. The salad was a typical salad but sometimes you just need a salad and sitting ocean front it just seemed like the right thing to order. A surprise, the salad is garnished with crispy garbanzo beans, the fantastic crunchy fried kind. Fried/salad makes the wonderful world of food go-round.
The Ritz Carlton South Beach One Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Florida 33139