By Lisa Cilli

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Welcome to The Continental, the fourth South Florida restaurant by famed restaurateur Stephen Starr who has over 45 eateries around the country.

The Continental is inspired by the original restaurant which is a much loved Philadelphia-based staple. Here on Miami Beach, it’s on the corner of 23rd and Collins Avenue. It has a retro yet modern vibe.

Executive chef Matthew Oetting is at the helm.

“The food took on a modern take from its original predecessors but certainly the vibe, which has always been a 50’s take on a diner feel, is still present here at The Continental,” said Oetting.

Seating is both outside and in and the food is just plain fun.

“It’s eclectic, it’s international cuisine. We pull dishes from all across the world. Some are Thai, some are American, some are inspired from Provence. Its global, global is the word,” said Oetting.

In the kitchen, chef Oetting busily massages his signature baby gem salad by hand, making sure each piece is coated with the crème fresh dressing. The salad is topped with fresh grilled peaches, pistachios, goat cheese and more.

“It’s the first peach I’ve had in a long time that is so fresh and good. The sear is delicious and the massaged dressing is delicious. This is a wonderful salad,” said CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo after her first bite.

Oh and lets not forget the fun cocktails. For instance one made with tequila, fresh pressed watermelon juice, spices, mint and topped with a plastic flamingo. It’s called “The Bump and Rind.”

“The Bump and Rind is smoky sweet and it’s cocktail hour somewhere,” joked Petrillo.

Back to the food.  Oetting next prepared the The Continental’s signature Philly Cheese Steak for Petrillo. It’s kind of an egg roll with thinly slice topped round meat, peppers, secret seasonings and, of course, American cheese.

“There is an unbelievable crunch on outside. The meat is super tender and the cheese softens it. This is amazing egg roll,” Petrillo said,

And finally The Summer Roll. It’s a traditional Vietnamese dish with lump crab, tuna, soba noodles and carrots in rice paper.

“The tuna is super fresh and the crab is soft and moist and crunchy with vegetables. The dipping sauce gives it a kick, it is totally fun,“ Petrillo said.

The Continental – modern, retro, interactive and fun.

The Continental is open seven days a week for dinner only and now also welcomes patrons for Sunday brunch.

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