History of Fisher Island
Fisher Island was named after Miami Beach developer, Carl Fisher, when he purchased the island from Dana A. Dorsey in the late 1900′s. In the years preceding, Carl Fisher’s path crossed with that of William K. Vanderbilt II, a frequent visitor to Miami. Fisher desired Vanderbilt’s 250-foot yacht, Eagle, and Vanderbilt favored Fisher’s island. “My island for your boat,” Fisher proposed; Vanderbilt accepted, and the legendary trade became history.
In 1935, Vanderbilt began building a $1.5 million private retreat on Fisher Island with a Mediterranean-style mansion. Vanderbilt surrounded his mansion with lush landscaping, gracious guest homes, tennis courts, and swimming pools.
After Vanderbilt’s death in 1944, ownership passed through many hands, but still kept the island a one-family retreat, until 1971.
From 1971, Fisher Island fell into the hands of many developers, and holding companies. In 1998 Fisher Island Holdings LLC was formed through a partnership of financiers and real estate developers. In 2007, Fisher Island Holdings LLC was sold to a European investment group who sought to return Fisher Island to its original grandeur to the tune of $60 million in restoration. In the summer of 2013, the Rebirth of Fisher Island was completed, and included a mindful restoration and renovation of the Vanderbilt mansion, hotel accommodations, golf course, tennis center, beach club, spa, and private marinas. Today’s Fisher Island [club] is equally exclusive as it is private, and represents one of the wealthiest zip codes in the United States.
Fisher Island Club – Today
Fisher Island Club is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and offers 15 luxury villas, cottages, and suites for the discerning traveler. Pricing for accommodations, depending on the time of year begin in the high hundreds for one night with additional amenity add-ons such as golf, spa treatments, yacht charters, meals, and airport transfers.
While fascinating, yes, Fisher Island Club is not as over-the-top as one would think, but more in line with the private and exclusive lifestyle of its residents and guests; and that is the intrigue of Fisher Island. As an invited guest, I had recently dinner at Fisher Island Club, and yes, the evening was as lovely as you’d imagine it to be, but it was the attention to detail that struck me most, it is undeniably second to none. As I mentioned previously, Fisher Island [club] represents one of the wealthiest zip codes in the nation, with that said, anything is obtainable, and price is not usually a factor, rather the focus is on exceptionality, privacy, and exclusivity. You will hear of resident/guest requests about flying in 10 kilos of Beluga caviar priced up to $5000 per kilo, over the top? Yes, but the Fisher Island lifestyle, more realistically can be looked at this way, a bottle of wine that costs $100 or a dinner for two that costs $200, for most, this would be special occasion, on Fisher Island, it is not uncommon to have that wine as a Monday night bottle or that $200 dinner as a weeknight dinner. It’s about comparing apples to apples. I don’t believe anyone is eating Beluga caviar every night of the week, and if they are, I certainly don’t want to see their cholesterol levels; they’re going to need their money to put the best cardiologist in the world on their payroll.
There are seven restaurants within Fisher Island Club and Executive Chef, Stephane Caporal, is responsible for all seven restaurants as well as responsible for creating all special event and catering menus and requests for events with up to 500 guests. Contrary to what you may think, the menus are straightforward and approachable, it’s the service at Fisher Island Club that is standout and pulls this lifestyle full circle. Our dinner was in the library at the Vanderbilt Mansion, a warm and inviting room overlooking the library terrace and marina.
The table setting was simplistically stunning, with fresh bright, daffodils arranged in glass bowls and vases that ran the length the table, picking up the glimmer from the flickering candles. To set the tone for the evening, an instrumental guitar player very subtly defined the relaxed yet refined ambiance.
The evening began with a Champagne reception
And dinner was comprised of six courses beginning with Kampachi Crudo with star fruit sorbet, wasabi-white soy, serrano peppers, beet leaves, orange marmalade, viola flowers and citrus begonia.
The salad course was Maine Lobster Salad with watermelon, citrus foam, florida oranges, lemon verbena leaves, nasturtium leaves, lucky sorrel, yuzu-shallot dressing
The appetizer was a Fried Organic Poached Egg with sauce aigrelette, shaved raw asparagus, osetra royal caviar and micro greens
The dual entrées were Root Beer Braised Short Rib with sweet potato sponge, pickled micro carrots, roasted peanut powder and root beer leaves and Applewood Smoked A5 Kobe Strip Loin with butter potatoes, bacon demi, and candied bacon
Completing the dinner was a soft meringue with coconut sorbet, raspberry and passion fruit gels and coconut snow.
Wines were enthusiastically paired and poured by Fisher Island Club’s resident sommelier, Esteban Arce, who after the dinner took us on a tour of the intimate wine room that houses boutique wines such as ROAR and Cristal, both of which are poured by the glass through wine access systems Coravin and Perlage, respectively.
For $60 you can have a glass of Cristal, [given the time of year] for eighteen times that amount you can reserve a Courtyard Studio, and for one night, live the Fisher Island experience.
Click here to view more photos from the dinner. Fisher Island Club One Fisher Island Drive Fisher Island, FL 33109 (305) 535-6000
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