Le Sirenuse at the Surf Club

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Christine Michaels at Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar

You've heard of "Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams".  Welcome to my new hideaway. A Champagne hideaway.  My new escape from the urban beat of south beach or rustling of downtown.  It's Le Sirenuse a champagne bar and restaurant in Miami Beach.

I discovered this gem on Instagram this past summer. The second I saw it was in Miami Beach, I knew that would be the location for my next birthday celebration.

I could not believe this place existed, a hidden gem.  A blend of Mediterranean, Moroccan, and island living.  The white walls and arches, contrasted by dark wooden beam vault ceiling with intricate woodwork, the giant palm frond wicker back chairs, and mosaic tile of South Spain or North Africa.  It had an airy island feel, exuding a subtle wealth reminding me of upper echelon Brits in colonial India or Caribbean islands.  This was magical. This would become my new special place.

Florida blogger

What made it more amazing was the history and then the food. The past and the present.

Soon I learned this was the original Surf Club, a private club for the wealthy in the 1930's.  Guests ranging from Gary Cooper, Frank Sinatra, The Rat Pack, Douglas MacArthur, Winston Churchill, the Duke & Duchess of Windsor, and Elizabeth Taylor, visited the Surf Club.  It was tire tycoon Harvey Firestone that opened it in Gatsby-ish flair on New Year's Eve in the Depression.  Speaking of extravagant, in its heyday, one would find kayaks in the pool, liquor on the beach during Prohibition, black tie boxing dinners, and even tables all made of ice for themed galas.

Feeling like we stepped into a black and white movie film of the 1930s

The exterior surprisingly is insignificant in detail. No doubt not to draw attention to guests.  So it was easy to miss the building and drive passed it.  Just another white building in a sea of concrete hotels and condos. No colorful garden or impressive sign like the iconic Eden Roc.  Upon entering, it was a different world. Tropical, cool, artistic, inviting

Four Seasons Hotel Miami Beach
Christine Michaels at the grand hallway entrance of the former Surf Club 

Hotelier Antonio Sersale  is acclaimed for the Le Sirenuse Resort in Positano, Italy and the Miami location is his first venture in the U.S.

It is this bar that caught my attention on Instagram. The emerald green white marble top bar with gold accent.

Miami Beach restaurant
Le Sirenuse bar, Four Seasons Miami Beach
Formerly the ballroom of the Surf Club called "Peacock Alley"

The food follows its Italian Neopolitan roots but adapts to Miami ingredients.  The Chef also hails from Positano. Both owner and chef considered Miami refined but informal, like Positano.  Recalling my visit to the Amalfi coast, I have to agree.

For Brunch in October on Saturday it was not busy yet we did need a reservation.  The best time to visit Miami is October, early November, the off season before the madness of tourist season.  We had the place to ourselves practically that the waiter was so delighted to have a group of local ladies.  Looking around there were a few other customers and one large corporate group visiting.

The tables were set with fine linens and hand blown glasses from Venetian Carlo Moretti. I call the color,  Mediterranean blue.

For the slower season, even though Miami Spice ended in September, Le Sirenuse offered their own Summer Fare.  A three course brunch for $45 and a flight of wine for an  additional $25.  Their dinner preset menu was $130 for five courses.

The winner surprisingly was the  Halibut which easily won high praise over the Chilean Seabass.  Perhaps due to the fact the former was much more plump than the seabass which came out thinner and not as flavorful. Side dishes of zucchini with parmesan was a hit.

It was the wine pairing that really impressed me.  Fine selection and offering with the preset lunch menu. Oh and dessert.  Very happy with the lemon sponge cake.

The food was very enjoyable and would definitely return for more Champagne and Birthday wishes.
Here's to wishes coming true!

Lemon spongy cake --light and delicious!


Christine blows birthday candle

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