If you want to see Jhaneal do something, tell her that she can’t:
For as long as I’ve known Jhaneal, she has always aspired to be an actress. I remember being eight years old telling everyone that I wanted to be a pediatrician (because who didn’t want to be a doctor when they grew up). However, Jhaneal always had dreams of flashing paparazzi lights and red carpet premiers. So it came as no surprise when she told me that she was quitting midway through completing her degree at Broward College to pursue a degree in acting at the New York Film Academy; she was finally taking steps to make her dreams a reality. Her Snapchat and Instagram stories were full of lavish lunches, afternoon breaks on the beach, and rooftop views from her classroom, which would make all her followers jealous. Yet, nobody saw the long nights spent filming, learning scripts, and studying to hone her craft. She did it all and somehow managed to maintain the highest GPA in her class, graduating as valedictorian. Her drive and determination are like none other. I often wish I had as much zeal as her. I applaud anyone who has a dream and seeks to follow it through. Jhaneal, you are the real MVP!
To celebrate such a grand accomplishment, Jhaneal decided to celebrate with a graduation dinner with her closest friends at Rusty Pelican. Ironically, this is the same restaurant Jovan took me to commemorate my college graduation and also where I hosted his 25th birthday dinner. It’s safe to say I love this restaurant. She did an excellent job in choosing a venue – if I do say so myself.
Rusty Pelican: 3201 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
Ambiance: 5 out of 5
Located right over the Rickenbacker Causeway, Rusty Pelican offers fine dining with a front-row view of the beautiful Miami Skyline. The restaurant allows for indoor and outdoor seating, and whether you prefer one over the other, you will still gain the full dining experience. With a patio deck located outside, you can choose to dine near the water with the Miami Skyline as your backdrop. However, if you don’t enjoy the smell of saltwater and wind in your hair, you can opt to sit indoors. The walls have been replaced with windows, so you still have the luxury of the scenic view, now paired with dim lighting and upscale decor. The atmosphere is so grand that I have even witnessed a few weddings at the venue in their private ballrooms. Rusty Pelican is the perfect place to host a dinner or go on a romantic date. Trust me when I say that the view alone is enough reason to give it a try.
Menu: 4.5 out of 5 ($$$ a la carte entrees range from $35-$50)
The menu is a tad pricey, but the view is priceless. As you can see in my previous reviews, like every restaurant in Miami, dining can be a little pricey. However, if you want something nice, you have to be willing to pay for it. Rusty Pelican recently upgraded their menu, which was a pleasant surprise. In the past, I’ve ordered the pork chops, whole snapper, and filet minion, all of which were delicious. This time instead of trying something new, I stuck to what I knew and ordered the steak. The portions are large, so you’ll get your money’s worth, and of course, as an upscale restaurant would have it, the menu is a la carte. The side dishes are pretty large, so if you and another member of your party want the same side dish, I recommend getting one and splitting it.
Also, if you’re feeling romantic, Rusty Pelican offers a unique sunset dining experience where guests can get a scenic view of the sun setting over the Miami skyline while enjoying their exclusive menu for the evening. I’ve never been, but I’m adding this to my “things to do” list.
**Side note: If you plan to host a dinner and want to bring your own cake, Rusty Pelican does allow you to do so. HOWEVER, they do charge a cutting fee of $8 per person (yes, they charge you an extra fee to cut your own cake), so if you are thinking about bringing in a dessert, do so at your own risk.**
Attire: Business Casual
Like any upscale restaurant, I recommend going a little fancy, but not over the top. The three times I’ve gone, I’ve worn three different looks. Jeans and a nice blouse with heels are always perfect. However, if you want to wear a nice pair of sandals or flats pairs with a cute top, that is perfectly fine as well. I’ve included a few pics of the times I visited Rusty Pelican below. Also, I got a lot of compliments/ questions on where I got my red jumpsuit. I purchased it from Forever 21! They never fail when I’m looking for a last-minute outfit.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
I have been to this restaurant three times, and I genuinely don’t have a complaint. If you’re looking for a great night out on the town with family, friends, or even your boo, I recommend trying Rusty Pelican. If you decide to give it a try, let me know. As always – enjoy!
Jhaneal, congrats again on such a momentous occasion! I am so proud of you. You have a dream, and you’re sticking to it, with no plan b’s necessary, because I know to plan a will follow through. Nothing worth having comes overnight, and you’ve proven that you’re willing to work for it. I can’t wait to attend my first red carpet event! Love you!