It seems as if though Danny Serfer, the man who brought us Blue Collar and made the city of Miami want to eat our veggies, along with food blogger and partner Ryan Roman from Miamirankings.com have begun an oyster revolution. In just the couple of months that Mignonette — an oyster bar in Edgewater — has been open, plans of two additional oyster concepts have been announced. Mignonette, however, stands alone in its category, which can best be described as elegantly simple and effortlessly chic. “ We like to say fucking fancy,” says Serfer.
The 60-seater perched on an unassuming corner in Edgewater across a cemetery sparkles like a pearl in a murky ocean. Originally a 1930’s gas station, the façades been closed off with windows that invite patrons to get a peek into the retro modern interior where New Orleans meets Key West. A sea foam and white marquee acts as the focal point and highlights the day’s bivalve offerings — East Coast on the right, West Coast on the left. You can either go the raw route or take your oysters Rockefeller or Bienville style. Baked with rock shrimp, bacon, mushrooms and brandy, the Bienville are unlike any other in the city.
“We will always have a minimum of eight oysters daily,” says Serfer, whose oyster shucking skills are something to be envious of. “Shucking the perfect oyster is all about precisions and tact.” He would know, as in just eight weeks Mignonette’s broken open close to 30,000 of them. While bivalves are certainly their biggest draw, they aren’t the only menu item worth slurping.
“I’d regret if anyone came here and left without having the prime rib or the South African lobster tails.” Serfer, whose dad’s side of the family hails from South Africa, grew up on the foreign crustacean. “They blow Maine lobster out of the water, and at twenty-nine dollars it’s a steel.” If you want your serving between bread, the lobster roll fills a perfectly buttered Portuguese roll with the succulent meat. As for that prime rib, the almost rare and juicy cut comes in a pool of Blue Collar’s popular jus and with a potato rosti guaranteed to make you fall in love with rosti.
Moving over to the fancier side of things, a caviar fragment of the menu offers Kaluga, Russian Osetra and Siberian Sturgeon. Seafood towers crown tables, although you can have individual appetizer portions of chilled king crab and peel and eat Florida wild shrimp (a must). Deviled eggs get an upgrade with Maine lobster and smoked paprika. On the flip side, your choice of popcorn goes beyond the typical shrimp and into clam, conch, or oyster territory. But perhaps the most unexpected surprise on the menu are the warm croissants with lobster butter and mango jam. We wish this were Mignonetter’s bread service and precursor to the entire meal. And don’t forget to eat your veggies, which not to be confused with Blue Collar greens.
“Nothing we do here we do there or vice versa. We want it to be two separate entities.” For that, Serfer’s offering roasted cauliflower, rainbow chard with preserved lemon and salt, and hericot vert. Completely unrelated to veggies but listed in the vedge section of the menu, the chilled macaroni and pimento cheese is an example of how Mignonette is setting itself apart from the city’s rampant offerings of the popular dish.
The wine list has been curated by 50 Eggs former beverage director Allegra Angelo, and is broken down in a myriad of ways, from color and style to the type of food it pairs with, place it comes from and price point. “All wines are repeated to make it easier for customers to navigate and choose accordingly,” says Roman. Should you want some fizz, craft beer and champagne pair with anything on Mignonette’s menu just as well, but particularly the oysters.
“The perfect oyster should slide off the half shelf and requires no effort from the eater other than slurping it,” says Serfer. “We do all the work. You reap the rewards.”