I almost made a mistake. I was going to skip Joe’s Stone Crab on a recent trip to Miami, despite many people recommending the place.
- I ate at the Joe’s in Vegas and did not like it a while back. I thought they were the same company.
- They don’t take reservations and I was told they always had a huge line.
As for #1, a quick Google search revealed that they are not the same company. The one in Vegas is “Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab”. I believe they have a supply relationship however.
As for #2, while dining at Bazaar, we were introduced to someone who worked the door at lunch and asked us to come by. With all issues solved, we went for lunch and I am glad we did.
We went around opening time and saw the gentleman from the night before. We were promptly seated. The restaurant was not fully busy yet. All the staff are dressed in elegant black tie. Our server came by and explained the menu. He provided fantastic service throughout the meal.
After consulting with our server, we ordered 6 oysters to start, followed by 2 orders of jumbo claws and a Caesar salad. The recommendation by the server was completely accurate. We finished the meal at just the point where diminishing marginal utility set in for the crabs (an economic theory that with each successive consumption of something, you will get less enjoyment from it – in other words, the first bite is the best!).
The meal started with some bread.
…and then the oysters. The vinaigrette was VERY tasty. My only complaint was that the oysters were not detached from the shell properly which made them difficult to slurp.
Then came the main event.
These crabs claws exceeded my expectations.
- These are the perfect food. The shells come off very easily
- You get huge meaty pieces of meat to dip then bite
- They are wonderfully sweet and savory; I liked the mayo dip with a bit of lime juice
- They are sustainable. Only harvested from October 15 – May 15 each year, one claw is taken from each crab and then thrown back. The claws grow back. If you go outside of the season, I believe the claws will be frozen or the place may be shut down.
The Caesar salad was good too. The dressing was very close to the classic recipe.
For dessert, we had the Key Lime Pie. A must in Florida. We learned that the recipe has not been altered for over 40 years, except when the person making it passed away, and did not write down the recipe! The staff took a few days to re-create it. It was good. Not too sweet or tart.
After lunch we were given a tour and short history lesson of this amazing restaurant. Apparently, it is the, or one of the highest grossing restaurants in the USA. $46 million a year. It is still owned and run by the same family. The crab is shipped all over the world. Here is a picture of the original:
…and their 100 year anniversary art by a local artist.
Overall, the service was perfect and the food was delicious. The history of the place and crabs made the experience even better. I would definitely return. 9.5/10
*TIP: South Pointe Park is a short walk from the restaurant. Perfect for a nice walk after your meal. You can get views of downtown, the water, and stroll the boardwalk to the southern start of South Beach.