MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Located in the heart of Sunset Harbor on South Beach is Stiltsville Fish Bar, in the heart of Sunset Harbor on South Beach is a charming neighborhood eatery, making you feel as your about to set off on an adventure at sea.
Stiltsville is owned by two executive chefs who happen to be life partners as well, Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth.
“We met 8 years ago after I moved from Australia to Miami. We were friend and co-workers, and the magic happened 4 years ago,” said Janine.
Well, for me, the magic happened the minute I saw her but it took me a long time to have courage,” said Jeff.
The couple works hard side-by-side daily and has two small children at home.
“It’s fantastic. I think we definitely have moments but over the years we’ve learned how to work together and be in a relationship at the same time,” said Janine.
The concept is clear. It’s a locally sourced seafood-driven menu. Something Jeff knows well coming from the Florida Panhandle.
“This snapper is a local beautiful yellowtail and I’m dredging him in lots of herbs and spices in here. Then, we’re going to drop him into this beautiful fryer,” Jeff said while preparing the fish.
“So, we are all local fish, all local seafood. We have these amazing fishermen that bring us fish in the mornings and we don’t basically turn away anything. We want to showcase the fish you don’t see normally here in Miami,” Janine said.
Janine plates the smoked fish dip with local catch house pickles and buttered toasted saltines.
“It’s like pull up a chair and I can munch on this all day it’s so smooth and creamy,” said CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo after tasting the dip.
They taste Janine’s super fresh blood orange snapper ceviche.
And then it’s Jeff’s out of this world crispy whole snapper.
“Whenever you cook the fish close to the bone it restrains a lot more moisture,” he said.
“It’s really moist and tender,” said Petrillo.
“It has a lot more flavor that way,” explained Jeff.
Janine’s Crispy Coconut Shrimp wrapped in what’s looks like phyllo dough and flash fried is a dessert in itself, but according to Petrillo no dessert tops their Banana Cream Pie with fresh vanilla custard and topped with a chocolate wafer.
“That’s the best banana cream pie I’ve ever had and I love banana cream pie,” said Petrillo
“That makes me happy,” said Janine.
Jeff and Janine are this year’s celebrity chefs of the Orange Bowl Wine and Food Celebration presented by Florida Blue taking place Friday night at the Broward County Convention Center.
It features 30 of South Florida’s top restaurants benefiting Make A Wish Southern Florida and Special Olympics Florida and The Orange Bowl Leadership Academy.
Lisa Petrillo will emcee the evening.
Stiltsville Fish Bar is opened 7 days week lunch and dinner and brunch on weekends.