Blue Door Fish Revisited

New chef, new owners;  The  chic and funky restaurant is poised for a new era

The Delano Hotel, Collins and 17th, South Beach , 305.674.6400


































by   Simone Zarmati Diament 

Sean Bernal – former executive chef/partner at Oceanaire on Brickell – is the new Executive Chef at the Blue Door restaurant at the jazzy Hotel Delano in Miami Beach. But this is not the only change. The restaurant now belongs entirely to the Morgan Hotel Group — who also owns the Mondrian, the Shore Club and the Delano in Miami Beach — which purchased its share from China Grill Management and has retained consulting Chef Claude Troisgros only until the end of this year.

The 500 candles vintage Kalmar glass chandelier reflecting in the Venetian mirrored room draped in flowing white sheaths is shedding a romantic glow on a menu which, basically, has not yet changed. The French-Brazilian dishes like Thon Thon, Crabavocat, Homard Banana and Boeuf Gorgonzola are still there including the classic and Mediterranean dishes, primarily fish and shellfish, which, for Chef Sean Bernal, who is famous for his love and passion for the ocean, is god sent.

What has changed though, according to sous-chef William Milian – formerly of Abokado, is the quality of the fish and seafood.  “Sean has a good knowledge of what fish is best at what time of the year. From Alaskan salmon to oysters, everything is seasonal and at its best,” says Chef Milian.

“He’s brought with him the top suppliers,” explained Restaurant Manager Steve Turk — formerly of Azul at the Mandarin Oriental Miami. Steve insisted that we try the oysters. “People are amazed at the oysters, “  he said. “Every day, Chef Sean gets the best of the pick. Before he came, it was Blue Point or Kumemoto, now we get three or four varieties from the West and East Coasts.” Indeed, they were so succulent with just a dash of lemon that we never even tasted the accompanying mignonette or cocktail sauces.

“Better seafood vendors mean better quality of fish and seafood,” Chef Sean insists. “My focus is fish and what I can do to enhance it, to highlight the taste, the freshness, not to mask it.”  Other than bringing his suppliers, and considering the set menu, Chef Sean has brought some changes to the table in the guise of specials that still fit the French/Mediterranean style but introduces Island-style touches  like swordfish au poivre with Peruvian corn, ceviches and anticuchos (typical Peruvian spicy street foods).  “I’m bringing in local fish like wahoo, different types of snapper, hogfish, whole or grilled with picklies -  a spicy Haitian side dish,” he muses.

“Taking control of the entire restaurant operation is a real challenge,” says Chef Sean, especially when I know that two years from now there will be a José Andrés Restaurant next door .

In the meantime,  a fabulously tender Caramelized Octopus with garlic, shallots and Dijon mustard is served with a black olive potato salad ($15); Scallops a la Plancha with brown butter sauce, garlic, lemon, parsley and pine nuts ($18.  Our Red Snapper was simply  grilled with an Antiboise sauce of tomato, black olives, capers, anchovy & basil, with bok choy studded with garlic chips ($28);  there is Shrimp over risotto with a  saffron bouillabaisse-style sauce ($34), to name a few. The fish, shellfish, and meats are also available simply prepared grilled, a la plancha with a choice of sauces.

Desserts are Troigros’ classics, with an ethereal  île flottante, a weightless cloud of egg white floating in sauce anglaise and weighed down with roasted almond slivers and rivulets of caramel sauce; a lacy cheese cake topped with red fruit compote; a Key lime pie Troisgros style. Favorites like the Dulce de Leche crêpes, fried and laced with sauce anglaise are still on the menu and going strong.

Blue Door Fish is open for dinner from 7pm to 11:30pm daily, breakfast from 7am to 11:30pm and lunch from 11:30am to 4pm. Breakfast and lunch will continue to be served as part of Blue Door Breakfast and Plat Bleu Lunch, but will also feature selected items from Blue Door Fish. 

The Blue Door weekend brunch menu will also be expanded with additional à-la-carte menu items, Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm.

Blue Door fish at The Delano Hotel, Collins and 17th, South Beach   305.674.6400