Miami Living Magazine

Aaron Diaz

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Page 148 of 189

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill "A great welcome makes a merry feast" Words by Lucero Uribe Photo credit: Steve Hill "Irasshaimase!" Talk about making an entrance. It was like the interjection glided over the diners' chatter, turning their heads with its passing ring: all eyes on the newbies. As I sat down, drinking in the scene–wooden doors, onyx bricks, red floral-graphic-like booths–my learned intuition knew this was a most cultivated welcome. And then a very Shakespearian thought–or maybe a desire– tapped into my expectant consciousness: "A great welcome makes a merry feast." Bruce and Eric Bromberg did it right. They dotted the i's and crossed the t's and managed to hatch a brilliant gastronomic project. Blue Ribbon Restaurants was founded in 1992 and since then it has expanded to more than 20 different restaurants and concepts in NYC, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. A few years later, it's finally Miami's turn to have a taste. Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill found its niche in the newly restored Plymouth Hotel, which is probably the best-kept secret in South Beach: it has the flair, but not the bustling crowds. And that's what I loved most about it (as I'm sure many do, too). After walking through Collins Park–which is quaint as can be–I found myself admiring the rounded Art Deco façade, with its narrow-slit windows and cutting edge attitude, and trying not to be too overcome by the charming porch swing and neon sign (I have a closeted fetish for everything vintage). Earth tones and bulky furniture reminiscent of the era greeted me on my way in. And then the bar snagged my attention. Oh the bar! A semi-circular treasure that screams 1940s Miami, bamboo and palm trees wallpaper included. My table was ready upon arrival, so the hostess led my guest and me into the cozy dining room while she bellowed the traditional "Irasshaimase!" Low lighting makes for a warm ambience; however, a luminous glow at the back of the room pours over the entire space. It's the revered sushi bar, vibrating beneath its own personal spotlight, as if to underline its greatness. After all, this is where the magic happens. Surely, an experience all in itself, but I had to leave the counter-seating for next time.

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