It was a tempestuous Miami evening, but that didn’t stop seasoned socials from checking out South Beach’s seductive new hot spot, De Rodriguez Ocean, from renowned Cuban chef Douglas Rodriguez. More than 600 elite locals made their way through the Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach hotel on Oct. 15 to get a fresh taste of De Rodriguez Ocean’s sustainable seafood. Chef Rodriguez’s famed Nuevo Latin cuisine gave guests a glimpse of the culinary surprises the restaurant has in store.
Designed by world-renowned firm RKIT, the restaurant is outfitted with wooden mermaids, a lobster tank, tropical plants, sexy dim lighting, dark-wood, marine blue, and marble bars, the upscale seafood shanty is Rodriguez’s third gem in a trio containing OLA and D. Rodriguez Cuba. Passed hors d’oeuvres from the menu, including tuna and watermelon ceviche, smoked Marlin tacos and lobster croquetas, awakened guest’s palettes with bold flavors from Chef Rodriguez’s signature ceviches, extensive raw bar and sustainable seafood options.
“If I can find purveyors who ensure the products we get are responsibly grown, fished, picked and so on then I’m doing what I can to not further damage the system. I can feel good about the food on the plate and so can my guests,” Rodriguez says in regards to his reasoning behind the sustainable options on the menu.
Aside from the inherent Latin flavor, the night was filled with vibrant festivities, Havana-esque cigar smoke, and worthy figures, including former Miami Heat player Ricky Davis, Miami Social’s Ariel Stein, hip-hop artist Noel Osborne, model and actress Liliana Gomez and a slew of fresh faces. With plenty of fruits of the sea, Chef Rodriguez’s newest venture also proffers an extensive cocktail list, making its beach-chic alfresco atmosphere the perfect late night scene. Guests mingled while sipping pours of De Rodriguez Ocean’s signature mojito and raspberry lemonade made with the new Chambord-flavored vodka. Embracing the exclusive South of Fifth neighborhood, De Rodriguez Ocean plans on launching a lineup of special nights in the coming season.
For the preceding hours of the day, De Rodriguez Ocean’s 200-seat restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining within steps of the Atlantic. Two full cocktail bars, one poolside; a 25-foot ceviche and raw bar, boasting more than 15 of Rodriguez’s award-winning ceviches as well as fresh oysters and shellfish; a wine room; and a combination of intimate indoor dining area and sunny beachfront oasis, make it ideal for a first date or Sunday brunch.
“With De Rodriguez Ocean we’re offering an incredible experience — a trifecta of food, drink, and entertainment,” Luke L’Heureux, director of operations, says. “After all of the preparations and anticipation, it was great to finally see the end result – our guests enjoying the De Rodriguez experience,” partner Michael Porter adds.
De Rodriguez Ocean is located at the Hilton Bentley Hotel at 101 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach and is open seven days a week; Sunday through Thursday from 6 to 11 p.m. and Friday though Saturday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. For reservations, call 305.673.3763, or visit www.derodriguezgroup.com for more information.