Area 31 Gets a New Chef and Menu

High above Downtown Miami, Area 31 at Kimpton EPIC Hotel is serving up sustainable seafood and other tasty fare day in and day out. The restaurant recently welcomed a new chef — Alex Olivier — who’s brought flavors and techniques from his world travels to the 305. The result: all-around excellent food that pairs beautifully with the restaurant’s skyline view.

The South African chef has added his personal flourishes to the menu, which emphasizes fresh sea fare. Items like the Ceviche Trio — mixed ceviche, classic ceviche and fried ceviche — and the Gravlax (tequila salmon ftw) are both flavorful dishes that do their job of exciting your palate for what’s to come. And what’s to come is magical.

One taste of the Caribbean Snapper (a must), and you’ll be hard-pressed not to devour the entire plate immediately. Despite our impulses, we savored every bite of that super-fresh filet and its accompanying cauliflower couscous. The Fisherman Stew, a generous shellfish creation, is ideal for sharing with a table; get a scoop or two before everyone ends up fighting over the last bite. Other hearty options include Pasta Blankets and an assortment of meat options including Australian Lamb Chops. Should you want a side dish, we recommend the Roasted Heirloom Carrots — the sweetness from the maple pecans is addicting.

Because the mains are so large here, you’re probably going to opt for just coffee instead of dessert. Those with a sweet tooth, though, can choose from Chocolate Lava Cake/Soufflé and other decadent selections. Having been to Area 31 only for special events, our first actual dinner here was impressive. If the restaurant hasn’t been on your radar, it definitely should be now.

Area 31 is located at 270 Biscayne Blvd Way inside the EPIC Hotel in Downtown. For hours of operation and other information, visit their official website or call 305-424-5234.