8/5/19 - 5 minute read
By: Alicia Rinaldi
You probably didn’t know this waterfront restaurant/lounge existed, but you’ll be glad you do now! The Deck at Island Gardens is on Watson Island on the way from Downtown to South Beach - just a $5-10 Uber from the Brickell area.
If you like magestic sunsets, megayachts, mesmerizing city views, and of course delectable drinks & dishes, what’s not to like here? Out of all the restaurants in the 305, The Deck has one of the best views of Downtown Miami, not to mention that it’s home to the first deep-water super-yacht marina of its capacity in the Western Hemisphere, housing vessels reaching 500 plus feet in length.
And if you like Instagram, you’re in luck. I recommend you go during golden hour for the most breathtaking sunset shots. Don’t forget to use portrait mode!
But enough about the ambiance. Let’s get to why we’re really here—the FOOD!
“For our showcase of Miami Spice we highlight the chef’s favorite items in full portion entree sizes,” The Deck’s General Manager, Jerry, told me. “While other restaurants may cut down the portion size for the Miami Spice menu, we are serving entree portion sizes. It’s an incredible value.”
If you’re new to Miami, let me tell you about Miami Spice. The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) holds Miami Spice every every August & September as a way to attract visitors to Miami for the hot summer months and encourage locals to try new restaurants.
Miami Spice is when Miami’s best restaurants offer a fixed-price menu with lunch for $23 and dinner for $39. Included in that is an appetizer, entree, and dessert, which is a total steal!
Miami Spice Menu
The Deck is participating in Miami Spice for the first time EVER, so for those of you who love exploring your city and trying new places, now’s the perfect time! I don’t think you could go wrong ordering anything here, but here's what we got.
The Agean salad is a mixture of all of my favorite mediterranean salad ingredients, so that was a no-brainer. And octopus comes out awesome in Instagram pictures, so we ordered that too 😂 They did not disappoint. The salad was nice and fresh, and the octopus was the perfect texture and had a nice, subtle charred flavor that I'm still thinking about as I write this...
The Agean: Tomato, cucumber, kalamata olives, peppers, feta cheese, raw onion, parsley, and extra virgin olive oil
Grilled Octopus: served in a sizzling skillet with salmoriglio sauce and lemon
The Pear Ravioli is their most common dish (and it’s vegetarian!), but we were feeling the other 2. For most people Lamb is very hit or miss, but this lamb is out of the ballpark (It’s not too lamb-y if you know what I mean)! The Branzino is also HUGE, served butterflied and de-boned, and it’s as smooth as butter!
Herb Marinated Lamb Chops - with fresh oregano and rosemary, extra virgin olive oil, homemade fries
Whole Deboned Branzino - with Mediterranean chimi-churri, fresh parsley, lemon wedge
DESSERT: I have to be honest - I always go for the chocolate thing on the dessert menu, but it was nice to be pushed out of my comfort zone. I forgot how much I liked bread pudding. It’s cut into triangles, so it’s more of a cakey texture than pudding per-se, with a tangy raspberry sauce. If you’re trying to pro-long that swim suit bod, the fruit is a great option too--it’s so sweet and flavorful.
Assorted fresh fruits - fruit bowl with watermelon, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries
Bread pudding - with raspberry puree drops and chocolate shavings
And an espresso martini recommended by Jerry was a perfect ending to a perfect meal!
Don’t forget — we’re giving away a Miami Spice dinner for 2 to The Deck at Island Gardens on our Instagram! Enter for your chance to win before we announce the winner on August 9th.
Overall, I HIGHLY recommend Miami Spice at The Deck—even if you don’t win our giveaway, it’s a totally worthwhile spot to check out for a date, special occasion, or evening with friends. BTW, don’t forget the bug spray. You’re welcome.
Shoutout to Jerry for being cool with an on-the-spot interview, our excellent waitress Summer, and the hostess with the mostess Judy for an incredible experience!