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Truluck’s Seafood, Steak, and Crab House, Miami
777 Brickell Ave. Miami, FL 33131, 305-579-0035
 Seafood at Truluck’s is not only impeccably fresh and well-prepared;
it also adheres to a policy of environmental responsibility. A win-win...

 

 
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by Jana Soelner Danger

Seafood at Truluck’s on Brickell is fresh, simply prepared, and simply wonderful. Steaks are also memorable. The seafood chain, which has locations in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Texas and California, opened its Miami restaurant in October.

To supply its locations with Florida stone crabs, Truluck’s operates its own fleet of crabbing boats at fisheries on the isle of Capri just outside of Naples. It also flies in other types of crab and seafood from around the globe, so guests can count on getting whatever is seasonal and fresh --somewhere.

 Environmental commitment

Seafood at Truluck’s is not only impeccably fresh and well-prepared; it also adheres to a policy of environmental responsibility. The company is committed to offering only sustainable species, to never serve those that are over-fished or endangered, and to follow all Ocean Conservancy Guidelines.

Meats served at Truluck’s are antibiotic- and hormone-free, purchased from environmentally sustainable, family-owned farms and ranches where animals are raised humanely and traditionally, and are fed only vegetarian diets. All these are important considerations to those who feel concern for where the foods they eat actually come from.

Chic interior

Marble flooring, rich mahogany millwork, textured walls and cove lighting give the restaurant’s interior a sophisticated, classic ambience. In the lounge, a long onyx bar and high-topped tables offer seating for those who wish to listen to the live piano music.

One wall features a glassed-in display of the restaurant’s extensive wine collection. The main list offers 100 selections by the glass, while a pricier cellar list is available only by the bottle.

In the dining room, comfortable red leather banquettes, well-spaced tables, and crisp white cloths add to the classic feel, while glass accent pillars filled with flowers provide a touch of whimsy.

Starters

Immediately after you are seated, a server pours Truluck’s own filtered, aerated water rather than ask if you want an expensive bottled version. Warm bread and sweet butter also arrive quickly.

We began our meal with the hot ‘n’ crunchy shrimp ($14). It was a delicious dish, and the portion was large enough so it could probably serve as an entrée. Four jumbo-sized shrimp were coated with very crispy cornflake crumbs laced with chili peppers. The coating was just hot enough to give bite to the fresh, firm shrimp without overpowering their delicate flavor. A jalapeno and mango sauce combined sweetness with more spice, and a dollop of tartar sauce on top of each shrimp finished the dish.

Crab and shrimp rangoons ($12) were also very good. The crispy wontons were nicely filled with a flavorful mix of seafood, with just enough cream cheese to hold it together and provide a bit of sweetness. Thai chili sauce was a spicy accompaniment, while cucumbers offered a cooling contrast.

On an earlier visit to Truluck’s in Fort Lauderdale, we had the crab cake ($16), which was also a winner. The thick, moist and generously-sized cake was virtually all crab, with little or no visible breading except for a topping of crispy crumbs.

Other starters include ceviche ($12), tuna tartar ($19), warm goat cheese ($9), calamari ($13), oysters Rockefeller ($18), and shrimp cocktail ($16). A chilled seafood tower ($28 for two, $56 for four) features oysters, shrimp, stone crab, and blue crab.

Entrees

The star of the evening was fresh golden king crab (market price), which comes from the Aleutian Islands off Alaska. It is available fresh for only two or three weeks a year, but it is worth waiting for. The meat was buttery smooth, with a rich, yet delicate flavor, and totally without the annoying saltiness that is often present in frozen crab legs. It was simply superb, and would surely delight any lover of seafood.

South African lobster tail (market price), served out of the shell for easy access, was simply broiled and brushed with lemon and garlic butter. The succulent meat was fresh tasting and quite delicious.

Both dishes included garlicky Parmesan mashed potatoes and colorful, crisp-tender fresh asparagus, grilled and seasoned with smoked olive oil and lemon.

On an earlier visit to Truluck’s Fort Lauderdale location, we tried the cioppino ($26), a rich, mildly spicy stew that was a mix of fresh tomatoes, fish, calamari, mussels, crab and shrimp, simmered with white wine and seasoned with basil, oregano, and rosemary. It was a hearty, homestyle and tasty dish.

A few of the other entrees are trout amandine ($22), Scottish salmon béarnaise ($34), Florida black grouper ($28), miso-glazed MSC certified seabass ($33), and New York ($42), ribeye ($45), and filet ($33) steaks.

 Desserts

At some restaurants, desserts ($8-$13) are more of an afterthought, but not at Truluck’s. All are made on the premises, and all are large enough to be comfortably shared. Don’t go home without having one.

The chocolate malt cake is outstanding; dark, rich and very moist layers are iced with thick fudge frosting. There is also a carrot cake version.

A chocolate sack, also good, though not as good as the chocolate malt cake. A hard chocolate wrapper was filled with vanilla pound cake and fresh berries laced with Gran Marnier and topped with sweet whipped cream. Other choices are mud and key lime pies. 

We have eaten several times at Truluck’s, both in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, and every meal we have had has been memorable. It is nice not only to be confident about the quality of the fare, but also to be reassured that it is environmentally friendly. It is definitely a win-win.

 

 

Truluck’s Seafood, Steak, and Crab House
 777 Brickell Ave. Miami, FL 33131
305-579-0035

Hours: lunch 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; dinner 5-10 p.m. Sun.-Thu., till 11 p.m. Fri. & Sat.

Liquor: Full bar; 100 wines offered by the glass; cellar list available by the bottle

Ambience: Classic

Prices: appetizers $9-$56; entrees $23-$42 (fresh crab & lobster at market prices); desserts $8-$13

Cards: All major