By Melanie Galarce
The restaurant at the famed Raleigh Hotel on South Beach lets you indulge in a modern American menu that’s, in part, inspired by the rich history of the hotel. Defined by its Art Deco style, the hotel feels like you’ve stepped back in time offering the nostalgia of the ’20s with a modern twist that feels cool and relevant. The Restaurant at The Raleigh (1775 Collins Ave, Miami Beach) does an excellent job at complementing the iconic vibe and lush feel of this legendary hotel.
I’m not gonna lie, I was a little intimidated to eat at Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s Driftwood Room. I’d eaten in celebrity chef-helmed restaurants before, but never dined on the dishes of an Iron Chef or a Chopped judge. I’ve been a fan of hers for a while, but she’s always kind of scared me a little bit. Her TV persona is that of a chef who is never one to mince words or hold back in expressing her opinion. Maybe I thought that all of this perceived hardness would transfer over to her cooking and that it would be too much for me? In any case, once I set foot in the stunning outdoor terrace, I immediately felt at ease and ready for the elegant yet relaxed dinner that awaited.