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Review

Karli Evans

Navé

$$$$
Written by
Karli Evans

Some foods work so well together that it feels like they should be legally required to be within 50 feet of each other at all times. Seafood and pasta is that kind of combination, but unlike peanut butter and jelly, or peanut butter and chocolate, or peanut butter and anything it touches, it’s an easy one to mess up.

Thankfully, Navé nails the great seafood/pasta partnership like no one else in Miami - rather than just tossing a watery linguine with clams on the menu because statistics say one out of three people will order it. And this Coconut Grove restaurant serves dishes that make a hell of a case for why these two foods should always operate under the same roof.

Karli Evans

To have the best meal possible here, you should try to get a little of both on the table, and if you are in even the slightest lasagna mood, go for theirs. The creamy layers are stuffed with just the right amount of tender lamb and the whole thing is sitting in a beautiful green spinach bechamel. The crispy snapper milanese is so great that even though it’s the size of a kite, you will desperately wish there was much more. They also have seafood towers good for big groups who want to try at least five different animals from the ocean. But even if the only thing you eat all night is the uni from the raw bar with slices of brioche toast, you will still walk out of here recommending this place to anyone you can corner in the office kitchen the next day.

Most of the dishes are certainly worthy of a special occasion, which Navé works great for. It’s the kind of restaurant for nights when you want to pretend like your dad doesn’t still do your taxes - and it’s great for those slightly important occasions when a wrinkled paper menu or cocktails heavy on sexual puns aren’t the vibe you’re looking for. The crisp, white dining room feels like a spa or a fancy medical facility for patients who have been prescribed uni rigatoni or some damn good crab toast. It’s sophisticated, but not stuffy. You can still split a clam pizza with the table, or order from the raw bar with a pencil and checklist, and eat with your hands. And when you’ve finished your last bite, you too will be ready to sign the petition for seafood and pasta to enter into a legally binding partnership.

Food Rundown

Karli Evans
Gnocco Fritto

Fried bread, thinly sliced mortadella, whipped lardo, and parmesan cheese. These are four good things, and in news that shouldn’t shock anyone, they are delicious together on the same plate.

Karli Evans
Uni

The uni from the raw bar comes in three or six-ounce portions - but what really makes this dish are the slices of toasted, buttered brioche they give you to make your own uni toast, which is now the only way we want to consume uni ever again. A three-ounce serving will cost somewhere around $50 depending on market price and should be enough for three people.

Karli Evans
Clam Pizza

The pizzas here are thin and a good appetizer if you’ve got a hungry group. The clam version isn’t a bad choice at all - just use the half a lemon it comes with very generously. The citrus really helps the clams, garlic, and mozzarella work together.

Karli Evans
Snapper Milanese

We know most milanese aren’t done with fish, but this dish will make you think the milanese was designed specifically for this purpose. The breading is so crunchy and the fish inside is as perfect as we’ve ever tasted snapper. The tomato compote on top is a welcome bonus and you will be too distracted by this wonderful slab of fried fish to pay much attention to the arugula salad on the side.

Karli Evans
Lasagna

Even though it looks a little postmodern thanks to the green bechamel, this lasagna is pretty straightforward. The braised lamb between the layers might get a little heavy if you’re eating this by yourself, but it still tastes so good that you’ll finish the whole thing.

Rigatoni

Make sure to really mix this up because you’ll want to get the uni spread out nice and evenly so you get it in every bite.

Bucatini

The clams kind of get lost in the bucatini - and there was a little too much oil in the whole thing and not quite enough lemon. We didn’t spit this out or anything, but you can skip it.

Karli Evans
Warm Crab Toast

We would honestly eat plain slices of the house bread and be pretty happy, but we’ll also admit it’s much better with a pile of peekytoe crab on top. This comes cut in half, so it’s a good appetizer for two.

Karli Evans
Blood Orange Tart

This is a good dessert option for people who don’t like chocolate and people who ate way too much at dinner. The flaky tart is sweet but light enough to make you not regret taking that last bite.

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