If you have passed Key Biscayne’s legendary Rusty Pelican and have missed the over-flowing parking areas, have no fear. The local culinary institution most famous for its extraordinary Sunday brunch is simply closed for remodeling until November 2011. Although, I shouldn’t use the word simple in the same sentence as The Rusty Pelican – the remodeling they are undergoing is to the tune of a serious $6 million.
I had the pleasure of attending the grand closing affair at the restaurant earlier this month- a special Monday evening buffet in honor of Independence Day.
General Manager and Rusty backbone, Peter Knezevic, organized the dedicated staff to present an evening to remind restaurant-goers what great service, great food, and great history is all about (our server let us know she has been with the restaurant for a staggering 25 years). Seafood and other Rusty specialties filled each room and the alfresco dining spaces – everything from mussels and clams to pulled pork and steak.
In the spirit of The Fourth of July, the restaurant set up a special station on the upstairs balcony for a selection of more typical holiday fare – think: hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs. The dessert station took up an entire corner of a room and featured a chocolate fountain as a highlight with delectable treats like marshmallows and ladyfingers for dipping.
After hours of dining, drinking, and dancing to live cover bands, the festivities went to a more serious beat with a moving tribute and send-off to The Rusty Pelican by The City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, who regaled the crowd with most touching stories about the famous restaurant and Miami over the years. Immediately after, the crowd was instructed to get on to the terrace or grab a close window seat to witness awe-inspiring views of fireworks from The City of Miami Beach, The City of Miami, and The Village of Key Biscayne.
3201 Rickenbacker Causeway Key Biscayne, FL 33149 305.361.3818
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Photo Credits: forums.miamibeach411.com, http://mls-photos.diversesolutions.com, blogs.gonomad.com