Food and Drink
The family-style Bentley’s (82779 Overseas Hwy., 305/664-9094, 4–10 p.m. daily, main courses from $18) is a good choice for fresh local seafood (try the “dolphin in the weeds,” a baked, breaded mahimahi steak served atop creamed spinach and a crab, shrimp, and artichoke stuffing) as well as steaks and raw-bar fare. For the freshest local seafood, you can even bring in your own catch for them to cook in any of their signature styles.
Despite its French-sounding name, Pierre’s (81600 Overseas Hwy., 305/664-3225, 5–10 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 5–11 p.m. Fri.–Sat., main courses from $29) does not serve a strictly French menu. The preparations of fresh local seafood—for instance, a hogfish meunière or sea scallops served with veal jus—are distinctly continental. These dishes are accented by a smattering of Asian-inspired plates (tempura lobster, waygu beef, and daikon salad) and more traditional fare like grilled tuna and braised beef short ribs. Everything is served in the classically elegant atmosphere of a gorgeous two-story colonial-era building with wraparound verandas and marvelous sunset water views. Meals here are pricey, and reservations are essential.
Located on the same property as its sister restaurant, Pierre’s, Morada Bay Beach Cafe (81600 Overseas Hwy., 305/664-0604, 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri.–Sat., lunch from $12, dinner from $24) is a little more casual, although certainly not cheap. Traditional Italian, Caribbean, and American fare is the order of the day here, with dishes like veal piccata, filet mignon, broiled lobster, and coconut-crusted yellowtail snapper. Morada Bay is a nice choice for a classy lunch, with sandwiches and a limited selection of entrées for about half the price of dinner. While a $12 fish taco is few people’s idea of an economical lunch, the beautiful island-style atmosphere and top-notch kitchen combine for a great experience.
Those looking for an even more straightforward selection of sandwiches and seafood should head for the casual Caribbean-style Island Grill 11 a.m.–1 a.m. Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–2 a.m. Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–midnight Sun., main courses from $9). The food here is pretty standard, but the festive decor and friendly atmosphere make it a fine place to attempt one of their “Big Kahuna Burgers” (a half pound of meat topped with bacon, pineapple, cheddar cheese, and hot sauce).
Somewhat incongruous for this laid-back island is the presence of Braza Lena (83413 Overseas Hwy., 305/664-4940, 5–10 p.m. Tues.–Sun., churrascaria service $41.95), a Brazilian-influenced steakhouse that serves up meat churrascaria-style. Waiters bring forth skewers of freshly grilled meats—everything from skirt steak and bacon-wrapped filet mignon to chicken hearts and lamb chops—from the kitchen in a protein parade that only stops when you ask them to. There’s a salad bar as well, should your cholesterol guilt begin to take hold.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition