One of Palm Beach County's best-known restaurateurs has teamed up with one of Palm Beach County's best-known chefs to create a contemporary, Asian-esque eatery in the space once home to Noche restaurant-niteclub in Palm Beach Gardens.
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Carmine Giardini and chef John Belleme are the duo behind Umi Fishbar + Grill (2401 PGA Blvd., 561-472-7900), a striking space designed by Hollywood-based designer Karen Hanlon, who also did the eclectic rooms at LOLO and Racks Downtown Eatery + Tavern. An open kitchen and panoramic water views from its spot in the Harbor Financial Center mark the restaurant's design, while its food blends Asian, Latin and Spanish influences under the guidance of Belleme, previously top toque for Burt Rapoport's restaurants.
Belleme, chef de cuisine Frank Della Riva and sushi chef Mike Jin have crafted a menu aimed at both adventurous and more conservative diners, one that combines large and small plates with sushi, sashimi, a Western-style raw bar and the area's only robata grill, which slow-cooks everything from florida corn and oyster mushrooms to Blue Point oysters and beef short ribs over binchotan charcoal.
Other dishes include small plates like bacon-wrapped dates with Manchego cheese and Marcona almonds and wasabi-crusted yellowfin tuna, manly man plates like togarishi-roasted day-boat scallops and charred filet mignon, and a list of daily specials like Korean-style hangar steak (Monday) to Maine lobster curry (Saturday).
All the usual sushi and sashimi suspects are also available, as well as such wackymaki as First Love (eel, avocado, cream cheese, salmon, eel sauce) and Bahamas (tuna, salmon, tamago, avocado, spicy conch salad). Umi is open daily from 4 to 11 p.m., with happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m.