Posted Feb. 26, 2013
By NICKY DIAZ
Hidden nine floors above the shops and eateries on Lincoln Road, Juvia creates an ambiance of its own among the typical South Beach first-string restaurants.
Rather than just trying to outdo its nearby competition, Juvia stays true to its name: The decor – consisting of purple and silver furniture as well as vine-covered walls – creates a tropical atmosphere. The interior’s window walls – which give visitors a view of Miami Beach and Lincoln Road – as well as the exterior’s retractable roof and foliage make for a natural setting.
The good news is the view isn’t the only thing that will make customers return to Juvia, which is celebrating its first anniversary this month. Ideal ambiance aside, the restaurant’s chefs know what they’re doing. The merging of French, Japanese and Peruvian cooking styles could make anyone hesitant. However, the combination makes for a flawless meal.
For groups, it’s best to order a few appetizers to share considering the small- to medium-sized portions. Combine the cold smoked sea scallop ($10) – served with bloody mary espuma (or foam) and pancetta, peppered with bonito flakes – and the beef bincho pincho, two skewers of brandy marinated tenderloin with a savory spicy kick. The Hawaiian hearts of palm salad ($18) or the salmon nashi will work as a lighter appetizer. There is also a cold bar, serving oysters, and a selection of salads and nigiri – two pieces per order – to choose from (ranging from $8 to $38).
When it comes to entrees, the options essentially boil down to the two choices that highlight the menu: fish or steak.
The black angus reserve tenderloin ($42) is perfect – juicy, tender and delectable. Paired with a side of mashed potatoes and a tasty Bearnaise sauce, the tenderloin is a delicious choice.
The main dishes can also be accompanied with jasmine rice, quinoa couscous, French fries, market mushrooms, baby vegetable cassoulet, candied sweet potatoes or a mixed green salad. In addition to Bearnaise, sauces include red onion shiso salsa, caramelized onion white soy, bordelaise, aji panka demi-glace, yuzu hollandaise and yuzu soy.
If seafood will satisfy your appetite, the Chilean sea bass ($35) is another excellent choice on the menu. Served with maple glazed eggplants and Hawaiian heart of palm, the dish is mouth-watering. The sea scallops plancha are delectable as well; the fresh trumpet royale scallops are accompanied by maitake and shitake mushrooms, sprinkled with garlic chips.
The main dishes also include bone-in rib eye, black angus reserve New York strip, tuna steak sashimi grade, Korean marinate short rib, salmon, Portobello, prawn, seared tuna, roasted chicken vadouvan, pan seared duck magret, milk fed pork confit, aji panka Colorado lamb chops and veal chop.
Take the same approach with desserts as you did with appetizers; the small portions make it easy to share several dishes, which is definitely not a bad thing considering the options: a brownie with coconut lime ice cream, coconut pound cake with vanilla custard and fresh apple, and hazelnut ravioli, made with citrus consommé and pomegranate sorbet.
The highlight of the dessert menu – which also includes several other options including a variation of key lime pie – is the cheesecake ($10), a deconstruction of the well-known dessert. Served in a bowl, strawberries and raspberry reduction fill up the bottom with pieces of graham cracker crust and a scoop of cream cheese ice cream on top.
Although the quality of the food is superb, the prices can be difficult to swallow. But it’s the price you have to pay for an amazing view and even better food. Bento boxes – featuring chicken, pork and beef – are offered during lunch, which can make for a less expensive meal.
For those who aren’t interested in large crowds, a reservation for lunch would be preferred.
Service is considerably better during lunch, considering the evenings are typically busy. However, the service is above average during both times. The interior’s bar and music can be overwhelming at night; though it’s not any different from the nightlight ambiance found at most South Beach restaurants.
- Address: 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach
- Parking: Several nearby garages are available, including the movie theater’s garage located at 1120 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach
- Phone number: 305-763-8272
- Reservations: Available and recommended
- Type of food: Fusion of French, Japanese and Peruvian cooking
- Pricing: $$$; credit cards are accepted
- Hours: Open everyday from noon to 3 p.m. for lunch; Open for dinner from 6 p.m. to midnight Sundays through Wednesdays and until 1 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays
- Food quality: 4/5 stars
- Service: 3.5/5 stars
- Decor/ambiance: 4.5/5 stars