Long awaited trip to this great waterside bar- The Lido Restaurant and Bayside Grill (Venetian Causeway)

I spent my first two years of Miami going for runs and walks across the Venetian Causeway a lot of nights. So I had been by the Standard Hotel and Spa many times but never knew too much of what was going on inside of it. Then one of my friends visited their waterside bar- the Lido Restaurant and Bayside Grill- and said it was awesome! As some of you guys know I love me some waterside bars (Monty’s, Whiskey Joe’s, Scotty’s, R.I.P. Shuckers)- give me alcohol and a view of the water and I go to a super happy place. Unfortunately it took until the week before my friend and his fiancee move to NYC for us to finally make a visit together!

The parking around the Lido is restricted neighborhood parking so it’s either valet or there is public parking along Purdy Ave (and then you can walk a few minutes across the bridge). Then the bar is out back. Along the way to the bar you pass the rooms (which all open to a long outdoor corridor hidden by white sheets from the main path) and the “relaxing” areas, which have hammocks and a garden. The bar and restaurant are on a long and pretty wide deck next to the pool and looking north into Biscayne Bay. Unfortunately it was a sort of gray day (one of those days leading up to Rainapocolypse July 2013 here in Miami), but it still was a great spot and of course probably can’t be beat on a beautiful sunny day. There’s two parts- the sit-down restaurant and then the bar section, which also has some shorter tables and chairs, and is where we sat.

I noticed sangria on the menu and so we decided to get a pitcher to share. It was really good- sweet, fruity, and refreshing. There also was food available and what was great is that the menu designated what was gluten-free. I was a little bit hungry, but didn’t want one of the full entrees. My eyes zoomed in on the tator tots, which came with a side of aioli. My friends also got an order of the tzatziki. The tator tots came out a bit different than I was expecting. They were like squares of potatoes. However they tasted like chunks of crispy latkes so I was a big, big fan!

It was a quick visit, but I’m putting the Lido on my go-to list. Their brunch menu looks really good and I’d like to go back to try more of the food. Certainly have to check it out when the weather is better! It’ll be a great spot to take visitors to get on the water for drinks. It’s chilled, laidback, and has some great water views!

UPDATE: A friend was in town and she designs hotel and restaurant interiors. She in fact worked on one of the Standards in New York. She really wanted to visit the Standard here in Miami and see her mentor’s work. The repeat visit made me appreciate and love the space a lot more. However it made me appreciate the food significantly less.

I think this time there were more umbrellas up over the tables and this made it feel more intimate. My previous visit it just seemed a lot more open. Sort of just like one big deck. Going at sunset also made me appreciate the views and space a lot more (the last time was also a little grey so that might have something to do with it). The twinkling lights as it became darker also added to a great atmosphere. It was also cool to hear from my friend what she could point out as her mentor’s touch. Thumbs up to the space!

Unfortunately the food this time wasn’t super impressive and the service was definitely not super. I got a turkey burger and it was pretty bland. I think all turkey burgers (store bought, frozen, restaurant) have the potential to taste the same without the right seasoning. This burger didn’t have much seasoning and tasted no different than one I could buy and cook myself. For the price ($19) I was not impressed. I did again like the tator tots though, which were almost like latke chunks. My friend got the burrata salad and vegetable plate. Similarly it wasn’t bad, but she wasn’t impressed, especially at the price. The service also left a lot to be desired and there was a lot of waiting around for water and our check. I came away feeling the Lido is overpriced and the food is only so-so unfortunately… Maybe will be back for the space, but probably for drinks and not a meal.

Lido Restaurant and Bar at the Standard Hotel and Spa- 40 Island Ave Miami Beach, FL

http://standardhotels.com/spa-miami-beach/food-drink/lido-restaurant-bayside-grill

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Standard Hotel and Spa

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The Lido at sunset

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Turkey cheeseburger and tator tots

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Vegetable plate

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