Happy Independence Day! We’re currently in flight, our way back from a wonderful weekend in Miami with our friends! In case you missed it, we had a blast exploring South Beach including some spa time, sailing, boardwalk run, and discovering local cuisine.
Joe’s is a Miami institution. For 98 years it has been the restaurant of choice for celebrities, tourists, foodies, and locals alike. Known for the best stone crabs in the country and wonderful service, it truly is a dining experience.
To this day, Joe’s Stone Crab doesn’t accept reservations. Therefore, they make sure that the wait is part of the experience. A large mahogany bar greets thirsty patrons while relaxing jazz plays in the background. We loved the jazz and the fact that even though it was packed with patient patrons, you could still hear each other speak in the crowded bar area.
Our group started with a round of cocktails, including vodka Diet Cokes and vodka martinis.
True to their word, our wait was around 30 minutes which flew by due to great conversation and people watching. You truly see all types at Joe’s ranging from bachelorette parties, locals, and people who are still dressed in their Hawaiian print bathing suits and t-shirts.
We were escorted through the front dining room towards their second dining area, each of which were huge. Both rooms were filled with tables covered in green and white check tablecloths.
Luckily we were with another couple who liked to experiment and was open to sharing all dishes across the table. We elected to stage the meal in 4 courses. A raw bar course, an appetizer course, an entree course, and dessert. We rarely order dessert at restaurants but one of their signatures items is their famous Joe’s Key Lime Pie!
Shrimp cocktails don’t usually excite us, but Michael was craving shrimp. We were surprised that Joe’s was able to elevate something as simple as shrimp cocktail by cooking and presenting the shrimp perfectly. These were some of the best shrimp we’ve ever had; firm, cold, and juicy!
Next we enjoyed a half dozen Blue Pointe oysters, fresh from their raw bar.
It turns out that the appetizer we chose to share was large enough to feed an army. When the waiter brought the popcorn lobster appetizer to our table, each of our jaws dropped. This platter was filled to the brim with popcorn sized lobster bits, deep fried in cornmeal goodness.
Certainly a vacation delicacy, these little morsels were divine and perfectly accompanied with Joe’s signature honey mustard and blue cheese sauces. It was so delicious and the light batter didn’t overpower the tender lobster tail chunks.
Our stomachs full and mouths happy, we asked the waiter to give us a break before our next course just so we could find room for the famous crab.
Thirty minutes later, we were presented with five gorgeous stone crabs claws. This was the perfect amount of crab for four people who were already feeling full. They were delicious and tender a always, especially the knuckle meat. I’d also like to note that since it isn’t currently stone crab season, these were “fresh frozen” crab claw. We were nervous at first but they were delicious and you would never know they weren’t fresh.
Last but not least, was the famous key lime pie. While I am not a key lime pie expert, I am a graham cracker crust lover and this was amazing. The pie filling was creamy and thick but not too tart, the crust was buttery and the perfect thickness, and the cream was homemade. They even share their recipe, which I’m looking forward to making for our next picnic or dinner party!
Thank you Joe’s Stone Crab for a dinner that lived up to our expectations while not being too touristy or over the top!