TRIO on the Bay is the brainchild of a trio of veterans with over 50 years of experience between them: Louie Spetrini, 25 years as a restaurateur and food & beverage professional; Gerry Kelly, “Miami’s Nightlife Impresario Extraordinaire,” for the past 16-years; and Chef Klime Kovaceski, 10 years at his well-remembered Crystal Café on Miami Beach.
It feels like another world as one enters the 23,000 sq ft. Trio on Biscayne Bay. The 200-seat dining room and the VIP suite with a state-of-the-art AV system and a bar that dispenses high octane drinks to throngs of twenty- and thirty-somethings on the prowl, open unto an outdoor patio overlooking the Bay with a waterfront bar, roaring fire pits shedding their glow over cozy rattan couches and armchairs, and a 2,000 sq. ft. open air dance floor flanked by cabanas.
We arrived at sunset. The iridescent light of the magical Miami sunsets played over the waves, gradually fading as night set into a glitter of lights which sprinkled the water with floating stars. Our waterside table, well attended by a professional waiter, was propitiously set to what I thought was going to be a pleasant if not great dinner.
After gaining recognition for his European cuisine at the then quaint Crystal Café which won him the Golden Spoon Award some years ago, Executive Chef Klime Kovaceski went on to a faster life and bigger things, developing menus for nighclub/restaurant concepts in Las Vegas, Gainesville, Orlando and other destinations. A concept which he brought back to Trio with the motto “Dine.Drink.Dance” .
The menu starts with Small Plates ($4 to $12), which the restaurant also serves at night until 3 a.m after the kitchen has closed and the amps are rising. It is an eclectic list of dishes ranging from French cheese plate, Mediterranean trio of hummus, tzatziki (yogurt sauce), roasted peppers salsa and pita chips, marinated olives, mini-skewers, shrimp cakes, pan seared scallops, garlicky baked escargots and “illegal bread” — a Greek-inspired dish of soggy baked phyllo stuffed with a medley of cheeses —, to a tangy pistachio-crusted goat cheese which was good over the accompanying toast but could have done without the hard, unripe tomatoes and the tasteless braised endives. It was lacking the announced white truffle oil.
Salads, pizzas and sandwiches
From the Farm Fresh Salads section of the menu ($5 to $12) came our arugula salad. The fresh mozzarella was the only item that could be enjoyed as the quasi-burnt caramelized cranberries and walnuts could not override a heavy hand in the pomegranate vinaigrette. Among other salads listed: the Trio House salad with romaine, hearts of palm, tomato, Granny Smith apples, mushrooms, candied pecans in house vinaigrette. While we didn’t try the burgers, we ordered a simple pizza Margherita (pizzas are $10 to $12). Perhaps the seaside humidity had a hand in the thin and pale crust collapsing under the runny tomatoes and mozzarella.
The signature entrées ($19 - $22) list skillet roasted organic free range chicken with balsamic butter glaze and fresh grilled corn, pecan-crusted trout, grilled butcher steak, roasted maple leaf duck and more. We ordered the pecan-crusted trout over roasted sweet potatoes, smoked bacon and spinach warm cider vinaigrette and the grilled butcher steak with demi-glace and truffled fries. The trout, a delicate fish by nature, was killed by an overdose of vinegar and the grilled meat slices were too hard to be absconded by the demi-glace. The sides (all $5) include sautéed spinach, Gruyère Mac & cheese, gnocchi in cheese sauce and mushroom risotto among others.
“From the Fire” ($19 - $25) come grilled meats and fish like the Land Sword: skewers of grilled filet mignon, lamb chop, pork, chicken, beef patty; or its seafaring counterpart: the Sea Sword with chunks of salmon, ahi tuna, mahi, prawns, scallops all grilled between red peppers and onions…
The Pastas and Risottos ($14 - $24) remain a query as we didn’t order any and so do desserts which the kitchen had not gotten around to make or bake at the time of this visit.
TRIO on the Bay is, like its three Ds motto indicates, a fun place to be, to which I would return for a chance to watch the sunset, with a good bottle of wine from the appealing and reasonably-priced wine list, or a cocktail. I’d skip a couple of D’s…