By Gina Woods

oysterThe only New England-inspired concept restaurant in South Beach, Izzy’s Fish & Oyster – by esteemed chef/restaurateur Jamies Derosa – is now open at 423 Washington Avenue.

“We wanted to bring a taste of New England to Miami,” said Derosa. “My wife, Amy, is from Rhode Island where seafood is a part of everyday life. We treat our guests with fresh oysters from New England, lobster from Maine (don’t miss our lobster rolls!), steamers from Rhode Island and, of course, an amazing clam chowda,’ thin, light but very flavorful.”

Oyster Bar Dreams
Izzy’s Fish & Oyster is the namesake of Derosa’s young daughter Isabela. When she was 6 weeks old, the family drove from Florida up the coast to New England – a trip that inspired their dream to open an oyster bar in Miami Beach. “I want our guests to feel as if they’re transported to the Cape or Vineyard for the summer,” said Derosa. “When you walk in, you shouldn’t feel as if you’re in Miami Beach, but instead like you’re visiting your favorite lobster shack or oyster bar from a more simple time period in Nantucket.”

Does little Izzy like to eat at Izzy’s? You betcha. “She loves the whoopie pies,” Derosa said.”Izzy has many food allergies – peanuts, soy, dairy; so she loves ceviche, vegetables, shrimp and chicken nuggets that we prepare allergy friendly. We enjoy having children and families here. We even bring Izzy’s old coloring books, crayons, markers and Play-Doh so everyone feels right at home.”

“I can personally attest to that,” said Robin Jay, Editor in Chief of Opulence. “We brought our family to Izzy’s to celebrate my husband’s birthday. Our 9-year-old son had so much fun dressing his oysters with marinades that he asked if he could have more for dessert – and whether he, too, could have his next birthday party here. That says volumes!”

The menu design at Izzy’s is a culmination of Chef de Cuisine, William Crandall and Derosa. Together, they spent months on research, testing and traveling through Boston and Maine for inspiration. “During one of our trips through Maine, we fell in love with the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth. They had an amazing rhubarb pie, and since we’re familiar with strawberry season in Miami, we had to have this as part of our menu. It’s a simple pie, with fresh pie dough, beautiful Florida strawberries and softly whipped cream.”

“Don’t let the simple description fool you,” said Jay. “The whimsical-looking homemade miniature pies were decadently prepared with fresh, tiny wild strawberries and the flakiest of pastry crusts – phenomenal.”

151023_Izzys_0145The New England Look
The petit, airy 40-seat interior space welcomes with grey stone-tiled floors, antique tin and reclaimed wood ceilings, metal mesh suggestive of lobster traps, plush leather banquettes and even fish-shaped ceramic water pitchers that gurgle to surprise guests when servers pour their drinking water. Two oversized windows illuminate the sweeping mural by Claudio Picasso featuring an octopus that drifts across the white-washed brick walls. A gleaming raw bar harboring the fresh catches of the day also echoes the sounds of oysters being shucked and prepared in that moment. If you haven’t yet visited Izzy’s, it’s about ‘shucking time’ that you stop by!