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Nemo’s redux and more

February 11, 2014

All the way back in February 1997–an age when you’re talking about South Beach, and I am–Laura and I were invited to a dinner the evening before I was to give a presentation to a group of clients of the Ernst & Young Miami office. (I was an international tax partner at E&Y at the time.)

The partner who was hosting the meeting picked us up in his Volvo outside the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Miami (which was across the street from the E&Y Miami office) and drove across the MacArthur Causeway to the Beach, turning right at the end of the causeway and wending his way through a neighborhood that at the time seemed a bit rundown. The area was unfamiliar to him (and might as well have been another planet to us) and it took a few minutes to find the restaurant. When he did, he parked on the street around the corner and I recall Laura being concerned as to whether he really wanted to leave his car there.

The evening turned out to be delightful. There were perhaps eight or 10 or us and we sat at a table outside in a beautiful courtyard dominated by a what I thought was a cypress tree–not bad for February, this DC-based boy thought!–and had an excellent, seafood-centric dinner.

Roll forward to November 1999. Laura and I had just moved into our first condo at the Yacht Club at Portofino, one of the first new highrises in the soon-to-be-incredibly-hot South of Fifth/South Pointe neighborhood.  Tired and elated, at dinnertime we walked toward an area a few blocks away where, we had been told, there were a few restaurants. The neighborhood was still just a bit run down and we decided to walk up First Street in the middle of the road, rather than on the sidewalk. At the corner of First and Collins, we saw the lights of what appeared to be a restaurant, turned the corner, and, OMG!, it was the same place we had eaten on that February 1997 evening!

The restaurant was called Nemo’s and it became the place we walked to for dinner each evening after we arrived in Miami from DC. Over the next five  years, we dined there probably close to 100 times. Over time, though, after the owner opened the fab Prime 112 a block away and then Prime Italian, things went a bit downhill at the somewhat neglected Nemo’s. No worries, really, as dozens of excellent restaurants had opened in South Beach by then.

But now, after several years in which the space lay empty and a brief stint as an upscale-ish Mexican restaurant, Nemo’s has been resurrected by its original owner as Prime Fish!

Circles-and roundabouts, everything old is new again, whatever. Laura and I had dinner there last Friday, their first night open for business, and we had a wonderful time, both reliving “old” times and enjoying the new. The space and the menu have been updated, but the feeling’s the same and the food is still excellent. There were even fireworks midway through the evening–probably courtesy of a party at the nearby Nikki Beach Club–to welcome Nemo’s…er, Prime Fish, into the world.

And lest I forget, as for Carina Quintana, fear not, I continue to write and recently finished the first draft of her new adventure, the fifth, which is called Loose Canon. Watch for it in the next couple of months.

And if you (and your friends and neighbors and colleagues!) have not yet read any of the other Carina books, please do. Late Boomer, Roomer Has It, White Tie & Tales and Dead On A Rival are all there waiting for you to enjoy!


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  1. Robert permalink

    Looking forwArd to dining at PF on 03/01!!! 🙂 BTW: Very nice post.

    Robert Gittess


  2. Ira permalink

    Love the series and glad to see your onto Loose Canaon.. Love your writing

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