As you ascend the staircase, round the corner, and lay eyes on the solar flare of chandeliers that is Delilah, you will certainly feel like you have arrived at some grand occasion. And as you watch tuxedoed servers carry silver platters of chicken tenders, french fries, and pigs in a blanket, you will wonder if that occasion is the launch party of Forbes’ new 12 Under 12 issue.
Dinner at Brickell’s Delilah is an odd blur of pre- and postpubescent nostalgia. They serve food for children inside a dining room that wants to feel familiar to grandparents—all within a clubstaurant atmosphere that can only appeal to an adult. But if you have a high tolerance for absurdity and can resist the urge to Kool-Aid Man it right through the wall at the sight of $27 chicken tenders, you might have fun here.
It would be harder to make fun of Delilah if some of the more ridiculous dishes on their American menu were impressive to those over the age of 13. But those chicken tenders, a signature dish, are literally just four chicken tenders plated like Lincoln Logs. Thankfully they can cook a steak and make a martini like adults, so dedicate your money to that and skip anything else on the menu that calls to your inner child.
The emphasis here is no doubt on the atmosphere. And there are areas where Delilah rises above Miami’s see-and-be-seen restaurant pack. Once you’re actually seated—and that may take a while—service is fast and effusive. Live music adds a cinematic quality to dinner, and the ’20s-sounding jazzy covers of modern pop hits encapsulate the overall theme of the restaurant pretty perfectly. But Delilah also suffers from predictable clubstaurant shortcomings: hideously overpriced food, chaos at the host stand, and a forced nostalgia that never quite pulls you out of the present. These kinds of restaurants often treat their customers like children, distracting them from such shortcomings with shiny objects. At least at Delilah, that arrangement feels more upfront.
A whole $27 for four chicken tenders is so egregious that morbid curiosity alone will propel you to order these. But don’t. They are four incredibly just-OK (and not particularly crispy) chicken tenders with dipping sauces that taste like they’re from the nearest McDonald’s. Trust your instincts on this one.
Pigs In A Blanket
These pigs are incredibly small, and yet the blanket still isn’t big enough to cover them. Maybe that's why they hit the table a little cold. You’ve had better versions while watching sports at a friend's house.
This is one of the more adult options from the appetizer section, and also one of the better. It’s a small portion but a solid ceviche that comes with crispy yuca chips.
Even though it’s on the dinner menu, this is dessert. It’s like carrot cake in the form of casserole. It’s good if you have a sweet tooth, but we feel like you should know this information before pairing it with a steak.
Wagyu New York Strip
Here’s something Delilah can do: steak. It’s a safe order that doesn’t feel like an absolute rip-off—although, at $120 for 16 ounces, we certainly wouldn’t call it cheap. Nonetheless, it’s prepared simply, cooked to your preferred temperature, and your table will happily consume it.