We booked car service with Valley Coach of North Andover for the 4 of us to be picked up at our house at 6:45. The car service was a little late and when it showed up it wasn't the right car. Apparently something happened to the original car and we were left with an SUV that seated 3 plus luggage. Our friend Tom took a leisurely ride while resting on the floor. I wrote an email explaining the situation and asked that the return pick up would be better suited. I'll write more about our return pick up later but I did want to state that Valley Coach of North Andover got back to us appropriately and on the return trip informed us that there wouldn't be a charge for the mix up. Excellent customer service!
After checking in for our flight and headed to the nearest Starbucks for some beverages. We were the first to board our flight and the seats were roomy and the service was friendly. However, on the 757 from Boston to Miami it's an older plane, no individual tv's, and you are unable to tell them if you have a food allergy. Needless to say with my dairy allergy the only thing they were able to offer me was fruit (I'll be offered a lot of fruit all through Miami and the cruise as well...grrrr).
We landed in Miami and hopped in a cab to the South Beach Marriott. It was still pretty early so we correctly assumed that our room wouldn't be ready. The hotel held our bags for us and we headed out for some lunch. Sadly it was a cloudy, windy, and cold day in Miami so that meant the beach was out.
The four of us decided on Joe's Stone Crab. The restaurant was extremely busy and by the time we got done the lunch service was over and so I think the service suffered a bit. We enjoyed the shrimp cocktail, stone crabs, nicoise salad, ribs, and lobster blt. The shrimp were a bit over cooked for my taste but everything else was delicious and seasoned beautifully.
After lunch we headed back to the South Beach Marriott and our room was ready. Before heading up the room the staff offered us a complimentary Mojito. That is the way to start a vacation!! We decided to share a room since it was just one night and the room was perfectly appointed. The room was bright, airy, and modern with two full size beds, a view of the ocean (no balcony but did have a sliding window), counter top, chair, coffee maker, refrigerator, shower, and large bathroom.
My friend Robyn and I decided to go walk up Collins Ave and do some shopping while the guys hung out and got some beers. After noticing the time we hurried up and ran back to the hotel to get ready for dinner at Zuma.
270 biscayne boulevard way
miami, florida 33131
We ended up enjoying 14 courses of food sadly I got too wrapped up in the food to remember to always take pictures. Our 1st course was sea bass sashimi - simple and unadorned making it a beautiful bite. Our 2nd course was beef carpaccio with black truffles - luxurious and tender. Our 3rd course was scallop tartare - bright and with a hint of herbs. Our 4th course was lobster tempura - piping hot and crispy but could have used a hint of brightness. Our 5th course was Kurobuta pork belly - this dish was seasoned well but the top part of the skewer was dry while the rich fat was only at the bottom. Our 6th course was King Crab with ponzu lime butter - naturally I can't speak about this dish but the others enjoyed it. Our 7th course was a sushi platter with Wagyu beef, fatty tuna, sea bass, and salmon - refreshing and had hints of heat from wasabi. Our 8th course was a rice hot pot with mushrooms - warming and comforting. Our 9th course was lobster miso soup - the lobster was rich and the broth was warm and spicy. It reminded me of lobster fra diavola. Our 10th course was baby artichoke with a truffle dressing - good but definitely not a memorable dish. Our 11th course was foie gras - what really made this dish was the accompaniment of umeboshi plums. The salty sweet plums paired beautifully. Our 12th course was Wagyu beef with a variety of sauces - the beef was tender and cooked perfectly. Our 13th course was a type of fresh corn popcorn ball - I wish I wasn't completely stuffed at this point because these were amazing. Crunch, savory, salty, and sweet from the fresh corn, an amazing bite. Our 14th course was dessert. This consists of a dessert tower if you will. It came with a banana cake, a chocolate caramel lava cake, a coconut cake, and a layered dish plus a variety of exotic fruits (Lychee and Rambutan being my favs) and finally a variety of ice creams and sorbets.
Before we dined at Zuma we read a review that said enjoy everything and don't look at the bill. We were very prepared and with all this food, drinks, and gratuity the check was still shockingly large. We paid our bill and stumbled out to a cab and proceeded to complain how full but satisfied we were! If you are looking to completely splurge I highly recommend the prix fixe however you definitely don't need to pay the highest prices to have a terrific meal with amazing food and great service.