Offering beautiful views of sparkling Biscayne Bay and an unparalleled level of service, Azul at Mandarin Oriental, Miami has been an acclaimed mainstay of South Florida’s dining scene since December 2000.  Named one of Forbes Travel Guide’s “Five-Star Restaurants” for three consecutive years, Azul recently appointed Benjamin Murray as chef de cuisine and this month, Murray unveils an inspired new menu of modern American cuisine with Asian influences as fresh and provocative as the restaurant itself.


Chef Murray’s exciting new Snacks ($4-$11) section offers an intriguing selection of seasonal modern bites providing a tantalizing glimpse into the gastronomic experience ahead. Smoky BBQ Eel with Japanese Worcestershire is brightened with lemon and the herbaceous shiso leaf, and creamy Buttered Popcorn Polenta is presented with Saint Andre cheese.


Starters ($17-$28) provide a sense of the chef’s skill at beautifully layering flavors and textures.  New menu items include a delicious Alaskan King Crab, served with umeboshi butter, Asian pear, star fruit, and Thai Basil.  This vibrant, refreshing dish is the perfect representation of Murray’s style.  With one bite, the diner is treated to myriad of flavors.  Charred Octopus is served with orange, pumpkin seed gremolata, squash, fermented bean and lime, and Beef Tartare provides a whimsical composition of ingredients – smoke, snow, egg jam and potato skin.


Murray’s passion for unique quality ingredients is evident in his Entrée ($36-$65) options.  Grilled short rib is glazed in sesame and served with black garlic, Swiss chard, tamarind and lemon balm. Tender Pekin Duck is served with beet, chanterelle, celery, and roasted onion jus, and perfectly pan-seared Sea Scallops are served with bone marrow, Japanese eggplant, seaweed, miso and radish.


A host of decadent new Sweet Endings ($14-$16) are also available, to include Nashi Pear Mousse and Coffee Cream with almond chocolate daquois and bourbon ice cream, and Marbled Hazelnut Praline with cocoa volcanic earth and passion fruit gel.


Azul is located at Mandarin Oriental, Miami, 500 Brickell Key Drive.  Dinner is served from 7 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.  Reservations are suggested at

(305) 913-8358.  Valet parking; all major credit cards accepted.