There are plenty of gorgeous restaurants in Miami that are just fine with serving bad-to-mediocre food because they know their view is that good. It’s kind of like how an arena can charge you $1,000 for a beer and a bad hotdog. You came to watch the game, and it just happens to be going on during lunch.
We would probably still come to Amara if it was one of those places because its uninterrupted front-row view of Biscayne Bay is just that pretty. On a sunny day, it might just be the nicest place to eat in the whole city. Even the indoor seating, which you might have to settle for if it’s very crowded, has an okay view of the water. And while that’s no doubt the main attraction here, the food at Amara is good - and their ceviche, smoked fish dip, and whole grilled snapper are all things we would happily eat in a windowless room.
There are still things we don’t exactly love about Amara - like the surprisingly high likelihood that your dinner will be interrupted by a proposal or the way this place can start to feel a bit like a day club outside when the rosé is flowing on the weekend. But dwelling on these flaws feels like complaining about a $12 beer when you have front row seats to see LeBron James do his thing.
If you think little balls of soft, warm yuca filled with pockets of parmesan cheese is a good way to start a meal, we have good news. We agree. And even though we think these could use about 17 percent more cheese, you should still order them.
The arroz verde is a good thing to have on the table, because the cilantro rice will go well with just about anything else you order. Also, it comes to the table piping hot with an egg yolk you get to mix up with the rice, pumpkin seeds, herbs, and crispy onions.
The grouper is sitting in a coconut milk leche de tigre, which (along with the toasted corn) adds a nice sweetness to the dish. But the thing that shines most on the plate are the tender chunks of grouper - just as it should be.
If you’re trying to keep the tab low and just share a few small plates, you don’t need to order this. But if you’re trying to have a big dinner, this is a good thing to have on the table. The snapper is flaky and tender - just beware of the many tiny bones hiding inside when you enthusiastically dig into it.
Whether you’re a fan of coconut cake or huge desserts that are easy to share even with aggressive dessert people, this is a great way to end the meal.