Experience Seafood Delights and Lively Atmosphere at Joliet Miami Beach

The first thing you need to know about Joliet, the new restaurant in Miami Beach from Lost Boy & Co., is that it’s a place you go not only for the food but also for the fun. Don’t expect a sedate, upscale atmosphere. Expect a lively vibe with music and laughter—and, its owners hope, a lot of locals.

“You definitely know it’s a Lost Boy restaurant,” says Chris Hudnall of Lost Boy, the empire that includes the original Lost Boy Dry Goods; Tropezón, which serves Spanish-style tapas; the relaunch of the iconic Fox’s Lounge in South Miami; and two concepts at the recently renovated Mayfair House Hotel & Garden, Mayfair Grill and its rooftop café SipSip Calypso Rum Bar. “We don’t exactly have a formula, but it’s fun, funky, and vibey. The music isn’t background music. It’s stuff you tap your foot to as you eat.”

Don’t get us wrong: The food is important too. Inspired by sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy New Orleans cuisine, the 1,641-square-foot restaurant focuses on seafood. The menu from Chef Juan Garrido includes fish crudo, crab Louis, King Crab cocktail, smoked fish dip, oysters Juliet with braised collard green butter, barbecue prawns, rock shrimp po’ boy sandwiches, oysters, cornmeal-fried Florida yellowtail, and gumbo. You’ll also find platters to share, with whole broiled lobster or jambalaya (and even a grilled bone pork chop for the meat eaters among us).

“The lack of seafood here has always flabbergasted me,” Hudnall says. “When we were doing SipSip, I kept thinking: ‘We’re surrounded by water. We have a massive fishing community and some of the best seafood options in the country, and there’s nowhere to eat it.”

At Joliet, the new restaurant from Lost Boy & Co., expect New Orleans-inspired food—and a good time. Patrick Michael Chin

He says he and partner Randy Alonso were inspired by many of the restaurants they love in Austin, Texas. “We love it there, and we’re always saying, ‘I wish this was in Miami Beach!’” he says. “Every new restaurant now seems to be Italian or sushi, a lot of the same stuff, which is needed. But there wasn’t really a restaurant that was seafood-heavy in this fashion, at least not on the beach.”

New Orleans-style restaurants tend to make fun part of the mix, which meshes well with the Lost Boy ethos. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” Hudnall says. “We want people to have fun at our restaurants.”

Lost Boy also leans toward feeding locals, not tourists (though tourists are always welcome). With so many national brands infiltrating Miami and competing for upscale diners, laid-back spots for locals seem harder to come by. Hudnall sees Joliet as a place for neighbors from West Avenue and the Sunset Harbor area, even diners who live along Venetian Causeway.

Lost Boy has opened most of its new concepts in a compressed period of time, the past 12 to 14 months. SipSip and Mayfair Grill opened in September, and the reboot of Fox’s opened in July. Tropezón is only a year old, and future project Brother’s Keeper.

JOLIET 1209 17th St., Miami Beach

Hours: 5-10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday; 5-11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday

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