Miami Foodie

Rusty Pelican

Posted on: March 16, 2009

Define annoyance. Annoyance is driving up and down Rickenbacker Causeway 3 times, having to pay the same toll booth lady ALL 3 times, who CLEARLY recognizes you from less than 5 minutes ago.

Rusty Pelican - Key Biscayne, FL

Rusty Pelican - Key Biscayne, FL

We were in search of the Rusty Pelican in Key Biscayne, an off-the-beaten-path seafood restaurant that we had read rave reviews about, but at this time cursed it’s location and dismal signage.

The Rusty Pelican View

The Rusty Pelican View

Our bellyaching ceased once we entered the main dining room… we were immediately enthralled by the sparkling panoramic view of Miami. The Rusty Pelican is to Miami what the Waters Edge is to Manhattan, an amazing restaurant located adjacent to the city skyline.

When not eating, we were captivated by the shimmering neon skyline backdrop. The city felt grand, a perspective of Miami that I had not experienced before.

After ordering our drinks, the waiter brought us the most addicting breadbasket ever: thinly sliced pieces of Italian bread, toasted with butter and sprinkled with melted cheddar cheese, flavors perfectly melding together. Just like Pringles, “once you pop, you can’t stop”… and we didn’t… until the fried calamari appetizer was served.

The fried calamari was cooked PERFECTLY… tender, not chewy, the batter crisp and light, and served with a chipotle mayo, slightly spicy and beautifully complementing. My only suggestion would be to make the dip spicier, but that is a personal preference. Needless to say, we had already nominated this restaurant our favorite before the main courses had even arrived.

The wine was flowing when our main courses made it to the scene… I admit that I expected lower quality than what was served. Many restaurants in New York with great locations skimp on quality, but this was not the case. My two friends ordered Lobster Tails stuffed with crab meat… perfectly cooked, ample portions, deliciously seasoned, there was not one complaint about the dish from any of us… Perfect!

I ordered the Spicy Lobster and Crab Pasta – Lobster and Crab sauteed in a spicy lobster brandy sauce with prosciutto and parmesan cheese, over penne rigate. The dish was delicious as well, topped with shredded real crab meat, chunks of lobster blended into the pasta. Enticing, spiced beautifully, and again an oversized portion.

My other friend, who ached for scallops the entire weekend, satisfied her craving with the Shrimp and Scallop Scampi, served over a bed of fettuccine. A basic dish that is somewhat difficult to ruin, the scallops and shrimp were a good size and seasoned well.

This restaurant was truly amazing, the ambiance unparalleled. For the hours we were there, we felt like we were in a different world. There is nothing I appreciate more in a dining experience than feeling like I am on a journey, far from the everyday norm. The Rusty Pelican is definitely in my top 5 favorites of Miami restaurants.


Rusty Pelican
3201 Rickenbacker Cswy
Key Biscayne, FL 33149
(305) 361-3818


1 Response to "Rusty Pelican"

Great view.. glad you had a good time!

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