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Rickenbacker Fish Company Flounders; Sustain Scores 3 Stars

After braving barking dogs to get there, Lee Klein checks out the Rickenbacker Fish Company, a "warm, handsome room defined by large picture windows," but not so much with water views because "the bay isn't visible from indoors, and most of the outside seats on the wood party deck face boat yards." But about the food. Crab cake was "plump," conch fritters "were moist and imbued with pleasing shellfish flavor," clam chowder tasted an awful lot like potato chowder" and missing clams." Klein buys the whole "locally sourced fish" thing when he tastes a "recently hooked" snapper, but the garnishing is "garish," reducing the fish to something that "may as well have been imported from Disneyland." Service, however, was "horrible." Bottom line: "freshness of fish is Rickenbacker's strong suit. Cooking and serving, not so much." [MNT]

Victoria Pesce Elliott calls Midtown Miami "a sort of Williamsburg for Miami," where one of her "favorite newcomers is Sustain, where ingredients are front and center." VPE also says Sustain is also known as "Michael's Junior, and it does pay homage to Michael Schwartz's Design District mecca with its daily printed menu of local bounty, from heirloom tomato salads to wood-roasted whole fish." The best things on the menu, she says, "are those that keep with the mission statement" of, yep, locally sourced ingredients. What worked? Ricotta-topped pork and beef meatballs, the 50 mile salad, "a melange of Miami's best," "a bowl of perky baby black mussels," "Beautifully roasted half chicken,"and more. What didn't? Beef fettucine "with a flabby texture," and "a shortage of by-the-glass pours." End result? Three stars.[]

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