Let’s get right to it: You need to visit River Yacht Club. The colorful maritime space is worth checking out for the decor alone — it’s beautiful on a sunny day — but the real draw here is the food. While we lamented the loss of Finnegan’s River at first, River Yacht Club has made it a distant memory. In other words, what we’re trying to say is that River Yacht Club is awesome.
Don’t let the name throw you off. To eat here, you do not need 1) a yacht or 2) a membership (both help, however). Each season, the waterfront destination on the Miami River commissions chefs to devise a new menu. Most recently, Alex Chang (formerly of Vagabond Restaurant & Bar in MiMo) put together a seasonal menu that continues his streak of mouthwatering fare.
First things first, though: drinks. Since much of River Yacht Club is outside, you’re going to want to cool off with something from their extensive beverage list. Go with The Waterfront (appropriate), which combines Avion Silver, watermelon water, fennel, lime and habanero bitters. Together, those elements make for a refreshing drink that still has a bit of a bite to it.
Another option is the RYC Rosé Wine Popsicle, which is both Instagram-worthy and palate-worthy. There’s nothing quite like eating an alcoholic Popsicle in good company with one of the best waterfront views in Miami. Heaven on earth, indeed.
With drink — or Popsicle — in hand, it’s time to dive right into the menu. Start with the tuna tataki (yuzu vinaigrette, avocado and quinoa) and prepare yourself for an onslaught of flavor. This light dish is the perfect precursor for our favorite appetizer: Thai-style ribeye carpaccio. With crispy shallot, key lime vinaigrette and herbs, this dish is good from the moment it hits your lips. It looks beautiful, smells great and tastes amazing. We can’t recommend it enough.
For entrees, we chose the grilled jumbo shrimp and the half-roasted Peruvian chicken because we’ve heard so many good things. Jumbo shrimp is an understatement. These enormous (and tasty) crustaceans will definitely fill you up; we also couldn’t get enough of the plate’s tiny tomatoes. Romesco, almond and tomato salsa rounded out the memorable dish.
Nothing compared to the chicken, though. Moist, juicy and oh so flavorful, this plate needs a permanent spot on the menu. “You have to get the chicken,” everyone said. We echo those sentiments. If you only order one item off the menu, it’s this. You don’t want this chicken — you NEED this chicken.
Save room for dessert. That’s an order and not a suggestion. The Baba au Rhum sundae is a monster and will have you reaching for your camera in no time. But although it looks like you’re about to consume 5,000 calories and hate yourself, only that first part is true. It’s surprisingly not super rich or heavy — we could easily eat more than one — and the jalapeño-infused pineapple adds a whole other dimension to the dish. For those who prefer decadence, though, there’s a chocolate fudge with vanilla ice cream that’s just as good.
This was our first time at River Yacht Club, and it definitely won’t be our last. As River Yacht Club continues to bring in incredible chefs and create just-as-incredible menus, we’ll be keeping a close eye on this place — and so should you.
River Yacht Club is located at 401 SW 3rd Ave in Brickell. For hours of operation and more information, visit their official website or call 305-200-5716.