The Continental Brings Retro-Chic Cuisine to South Beach

Restaurateur Stephen Starr has done it again at his newest South Florida restaurant, The Continental. The new space is inspired by the original Continental Restaurant + Martini Bar, his popular Philadelphia staple that happens to be celebrating its 20th anniversary this month.

Starr is no stranger to the South Florida culinary scene owning and operating Steak 954, Makoto and Verde, along with several other restaurants in the northeast. For his newest restaurant, it features a menu filled with inventive twists on classic dishes created by The Continental’s executive chef Matthew Oetting, who most recently was executive chef of Starr’s Caffe Storico in New York City and we got to try plenty of them.

We started with the Softshell Crab Bao Buns topped with spicy mayo and slaw; the Cheesesteak Eggroll stuffed with cherry peppers, American cheese and Siracha ketchup, a clear nod to the restaurant’s Philly roots and the much talked about Foie Gras & Pancakes, which was the fanciest take of a “Egg McMuffin” we’ve ever seen made with foie gras, egg, hollandaise, bacon, cheese, maple syrup and all sandwiched on griddle cake “buns.” Then we moved on to the Chinese Specialities and Vegetable portions where we tasted the Miami Rice made with laughing bird shrimp and pineapples; Roasted Heirloom Carrots made with Greek yogurt, ginger, honey and crispy quinoa and the Beet Carpaccio with fresh ricotta, wasabi, elderflower, shisho and pumpernickel.

For the larger, entree-style dishes favorites of the table included the Lettuce Wraps made with Korean BBQ Skirt Steak, traditional pickles and garnishes; Korean Fried Chicken served with a spicy soy-garlic lacquer and the Rad Na filled with chow fun noodles, chicken, peanuts and crisp romaine.

The modern-retro vibe extends to the space as well. The space designed by Shawn Hausman Design makes you feel like you’re in the Los Angeles during the Mad Men era, featuring a mix of bold primary colors, soft wood tones and vintage and custom-designed furniture and fixtures.

The cocktail menu keeps with the throwback feel of The Continental with a tiki-filled assortment of beverages created by two of our favorite bartenders, Ben Potts and Gui  Jarosky. Three of stand-out drinks were Dominicana Old Fashioned made with Dominican rum stirred with cinnamon infused coconut water; the Bump & Rind made with tequila and smokey mezcal, fresh melon, mint and all-spice and the Melolo Swizzle made with Martinique coconut rum, midori, banane du Bresil, pineapple and fresh basil.

The Continental is now open for dinner daily, with lunch and brunch coming soon. Until you can make it in to try for yourself check out the tasty pictures below.

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