By David Minsky
By Nicole Danna
By Sara Ventiera
By Candace West
By Emily Dabau
By Doug Fairall
By Candace West
By Laine Doss
The truth is, though, that the most exciting dishes are already on the menu. Coconut crab dip, a starter, comprised shredded crab mixed with coconut cream and what tasted like the sting of cayenne pepper; scoop this up with homemade cottage fries for proper textural contrast. The Cajun shrimp appetizer, a little less zingy despite the implication of its name, was three huge prawns, lightly grilled and set down on wilted, garlic-flavored spinach, surrounded by a cooling pool of peach salsa. Delicious.
Main courses really grabbed our attention, not just for their superb presentation but also for their size. Lamb chops, the priciest dish, featured four large mustard-brushed chops fencing in a mountain of vanilla-infused mashed sweet potatoes, plus another side dish of grilled zucchini and summer squash. At $26 it was frankly a bargain in the current fine-dining climate. A large New York strip with a port wine sauce, encrusted with caramelized onions and surrounded by a double dip of corn-and sweet potato hash, also had a generous serving of the grilled vegetables. Despite the tastiness of this dish, it was impossible to finish.
The chef also excels at fish preparations, most of which are accompanied by the same side dishes: wasabi mashed potatoes and the garlicky wilted spinach. A fillet of snapper in a beurre blanc, though it could have been boned more carefully, was wonderfully aromatic and light, crunchy with pine nuts. Tuna steak, seared with sesame seeds, made for a heartier meal but also a refreshing one, since the fish was served ruby-rare. The only quibble we had was with a fillet of grouper, which had been cooked too long on the skin side, resulting in some overbrowned and dried-out flesh.
If there's one piece of advice I would give Nevis, it's not to bow to the peer pressure of behaving like neighboring eateries Shooters and Charley's Crab. We have enough glandular-oriented hangouts on this stretch of the Intracoastal. And as far as the club music goes, we have plenty of supper lounges, too, such as nearby Hot Chocolates and Christopher's. What we really need on this piece of property is the fine-dining restaurant Nevis could be. And from what I saw, despite some barflies and potential clubbers, Nevis displays promise, especially in the culinary department. Were its promise to be fulfilled in atmosphere as well, I for one would be more than willing to wait for the place to grow up.