Meaghan

Miami, FL

121 posts in this topic

Joe's Stone Crabs, of course! Though stone crab season doesn't actually open until October 15th...

Being a native South Floridian, Joes is a must stop during every visit in season. Awesome stone crabs and Manhattan clam chowder. The wait can be ridiculous as they don't take reservations. If the maitre'd knows you it definitely speeds up the process.

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Being a native South Floridian, Joes is a must stop during every visit in season.  Awesome stone crabs and Manhattan clam chowder. The wait can be ridiculous as they don't take reservations. If the maitre'd knows you it definitely speeds up the process.

A strategically placed $20 makes you instant best friends with the maitre'd at Joe's.

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If you go to the Delano, go out by the pool, it is beautiful. Though, the drinks we had there were terrible. We had some small plates of food, which was good (better then our drinks) though expensive.

a MUCH better bit of advice, try:

Tap Tap

819 Fifth Street

305.672.2898

It is a very cool Hatian restaurant, slightly off the South Beach strip. Very good, very reasonable. MUCH better drinks and food then the Delano, and a 1/4 of the price! Big portion, and great drinks. We had their version of the Mojito, and it was the best one we had in Miami. Setting is very funky, with bright color, miss matched chairs, etc. There was live music the night we went and it was really a blast.

Cheers.

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Maybe we should rename the thread "Miami")

Here are some recent food and drink highlights:

In the Brickell Village neighborhood, The River Oyster Bar is a casual gem with a nice breath of metropolitan. The oysters are right up there with the best I've ever had, the service was on the ball--our server knew the menu inside out and was efficient, yet very friendly.

Here's a look at the menu (click me!)

I had the frisee with the calamari, the short ribs, a variety of raw oysters, and my friend had the grilled skirt steak. All very nice and reasonably priced.

For those of you heading that way, they have a happy hour from 4:30-7 p.m. every day, featuring half price oysters and drink specials. And they were recognized this year by Wine Spectator, so you're bound to find something that suits your taste.

For a cheap lunch or dinner on Lincoln Road that's less catered for the tourist's palate, check out Le Bon for the mussels and some decent Belgian beer. In my experience, it's best to stick to the mussels; I had an excellent oriental preparation with coconut milk and the like and also tried their signature pot, which was much more mild, but the bacon in it worked somehow.

Last night I had dinner at Vix at Hotel Victor

(busy menu)

and drinks later at the new Setai Hotel

All I can say is that tandooori ovens and ambiance are big in South Beach. Gotta catch the plane, but I'll go into more detail later. I felt like a puppet at Vix and wasn't wowed at all, but honestly didn't expect much--I was just there to have fun.

Just because...

Here are some pictures from The Setail, where I did not eat, but with this looksee, you can almost feel the Las Vegasness of the place.

post-26-1128875912_thumb.jpg A Setai bartender uses a ladder to access all the overpriced booze.

post-26-1128876178_thumb.jpg Mmmmm.

post-26-1128876250_thumb.jpg Champagne and Caviar Bar, I believe.

post-26-1128876419_thumb.jpg Pastry station.

post-26-1128876499_thumb.jpg

The beautiful and couchy courtyard where I downed a few martinis, an expense the same as one-way airfare from Dulles (if you're not careful <hiccup>)

One last thing, Miami (or maybe it's just Dade County) is a city like many, where restaurants automatically add 18% gratuity (no mater how small the party), and it's up to you to adjust accordingly. So, you've always gotta look hard at your check...

Edited by Meaghan

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Prime One Twelve

This place is amazing! I went there in May with my S.O. We had the Prime One Twelve Signature Salad (HUGE), the Porterhouse for 2 with Truffle Butter, loaded Salt Baked Potato, and Creamed Corn. The food is amazing, rich, juicy, and plentiful. Supposedly it is a star sighting restaurant (Jamie Fox and Salma Hayek has been seen(. The service was impeccable the atmosphere gets pretty lively once all the tables were seated. I guess one thing I didn't like about the place was that it was really loud.

Most definitely a place to go when you are in South Beach

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Prime One Twelve

This place is amazing! I went there in May with my S.O. We had the Prime One Twelve Signature Salad (HUGE), the Porterhouse for 2 with Truffle Butter, loaded Salt Baked Potato, and Creamed Corn. The food is amazing, rich, juicy, and plentiful. Supposedly it is a star sighting restaurant (Jamie Fox and Salma Hayek has been seen(. The service was impeccable the atmosphere gets pretty lively once all the tables were seated. I guess one thing I didn't like about the place was that it was really loud.

Most definitely a place to go when you are in South Beach

Actually, I heard the exact same thing from some locals, there seems to be a lot of buzz. It was merely my own mood that deterred me, but I'm glad to hear it's worth the trip. It's also right down the street from Joe's in case you're vacillating.

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Joe's Stone Crab is expensive. Because almost everything in South Florida is casual there are three top end restaurants which you should consider: Chef Allen's, Norman's and Mark's South Beach which is Mark Militello's restaurant-he is considered by some to be Florida's greatest chef. The first two, Allen Susser and Norman Van Aken have either been nominated for a Beard award or won a Beard award (Van Aken) while Militello-if he is in the kitchen-has the capability of delivering the dinner of a lifetime. Neither Chef Allen's or Norman's are near South Beach (Mark's is) but are "worth a journey" to Aventura or Coral Gables.

If you can get in and he is there, go to Mark's. You'll have a memory. I should also add that all three of these are enormously popular and difficult to get into. All three are on the level of, say, Citronelle. But, again, you could go dressy casual.

Edited by Joe H

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Cafeteria

560 Lincoln Rd.

Miami Beach

305.672.3663

Went there for brunch. Their Chicken and Waffles were amazing. The fried chicken did not have too much batter on it but crunchy and perfectly seasoned. The meat was moist and tender. The waffles were just right and the maple syrup au jus was light adding a delightful subtle compliment to the waffles and the chicken. I was dipping the fried chicken into the maple syrup. With it's contemporary decor and situated in main shopping area, it's a great place to people watch and enjoy the South Beach style.

For dessert? Head up to the gellateria nearby, forgot the name but you will know which one I'm talking about because it's bustling with customers.

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Cafeteria and Sushi Samba are both from NYC, and I had been to Cafeteria already.

I like Sushi Samba for what it is, and I like how much sake they have on the menu and all the imaginative and tasty cocktails they have. I actually did end up going there one day last week and had a fine snack and two awesome Mangomentas.

Mangomenta  10.00

Finlandia Mango, muddled shiso, orange liqueur, fresh lime juice & splash of orange juice. :lol:

Edited by Meaghan

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Joe's Stone Crab is expensive.  Because almost everything in South Florida is casual there are three top end restaurants which you should consider:  Chef Allen's, Norman's and Mark's South Beach which is Mark Militello's restaurant-he is considered by some to be Florida's greatest chef.  The first two, Allen Susser and Norman Van Aken have either been nominated for a Beard award or won a Beard award (Van Aken) while Militello-if he is in the kitchen-has the capability of delivering the dinner of a lifetime.  Neither Chef Allen's or Norman's are near South Beach (Mark's is) but are "worth a journey" to Aventura or Coral Gables. 

If you can get in and he is there, go to Mark's.  You'll have a memory.  I should also add that all three of these are enormously popular and difficult to get into.  All three are on the level of, say, Citronelle.  But, again, you could go dressy casual.

I agree with Joe that Mark's is solid. I haven't been to Chef Allen's in years though, but I hear it still gets consistant praise.

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If you go to the Delano, go out by the pool, it is beautiful.  Though, the drinks we had there were terrible.  We had some small plates of food, which was good (better then our drinks) though expensive.

i don't think i said the drinks were good, but my goodness, the interior of that hotel is beautiful that i think it's worth just walking around. plus, the hotel is in this book.

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I thought Lario's was suprisingly good for a celeb owned restaurant. The garlic chicken I had was to die for. It was very tender and had the right amount sauce.

Mango's- for great mohitos

Avalon- supposedly the best Key Lime Pie. However I liked, Joe's key lime pie because it had the graham cracker crust.

Joe's is great. If you don't want to eat it at the restaurant, they have the take out option. We did takeout and ate right in the market to the side of the restaurant. Their baked tomatoes with cheese and spinach was to die for. Sides are really big servings. They are also known for their lyonnaise potatoes, but I thought it was just okay.

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Actually, I heard the exact same thing from some locals, there seems to be a lot of buzz. It was merely my own mood that deterred me, but I'm glad to hear it's worth the trip. It's also right down the street from Joe's in case you're vacillating.

Recently there myself. The food was outstanding (from the appetizers through desserts). The scene was just as good (and as entertaining). While we had to wait for past our reservation by a half hour so, the bar was great and so was the service.

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S and S Diner is a throwback-sitting across from a cemetary, on a seedy stretch of NE 2nd Ave, you step back in time for a real diner lunch. While construction cranes hover everywhere like enormous birds of prey, this corner landmark goes about its business with a staff and kitchen that seems to have been frozen in time, although which time is long forgotten. Soon it too will succumb, as a developer has bought the property-plans for the new development include S&S, but we shall see. Plenty of free parking in the back, and as you walk past the open door to the kitchen, the aroma that seeps out the screen door is a familiar one-gravy. Once inside, the horseshoe counter, with about 15 seats, surrounds an afternoon telanovela, starring 'Tina Turner' and 'Shakira', two waitresses that make their running commentaries an alternative entertainment to the TV. The crowd is decidedly mixed-in every way. Rich, poor, suits, artists, young, old, black, white, etc, etc. But the food is the same every day: comforting. You like meatloaf, they got meatloaf-I don't ordinarily order meatloaf, but it looked so good and I needed something to pour that gravy over. The liver and onions were fresh-creamy and well-textured, not cooked to death. Also, the salad is fresh and crunchy, dressed with S&S's homemade salad dressing, which is made with BEEF STOCK-YEAH!

However, the king of the menu is the 'shank'-done perfectly, served in its stewed cooking juices over nicely done yellow rice, plus two sides-two nites later I had an upscale version of this which was 'Osso Bucco' over saffron risotto with a big slab of butter and parm on top-very delicious, but certainly not any more deeply satisfying than S&S's version. Diner prices help-that shank was like $6.99, icluding mashed potatoes and a salad. Throw in some strong black coffee served in a thick ceramic mug, and you are ready to go back out and move some earth. You will be eating a late dinner tonight!

Open 'til 6PM-NE 2nd Ave at 20th St

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I was back at The Royal Bavarian Schitzel Haus last Monday for happy hour and had some gigantic German beers and a plate of suasages. There was an amazingly interesting crowd at the bar, not your typical Miami scene, but still somehow VERY Miami. The chef, Alex Richter, was behind the bar, telling tales, and I was reminded of a Christmas Eve dinner my wife and I ate there 2 Xmases ago, which I posted elsewhere. Begging your indulgence, I am reposting it here in anticipation of the coming Christmas.

There is nothing like a Christmas Eve goose dinner, and nowhere better to celebrate Christmas than in sunny Miami FLA. All thoughts of the North Pole drift away on the warm ocean breezes, and the palm trees sway along Biscayne Bay, where some sailboats are sliding under the raised drawbridge. They say that people in Miami don’t mind waiting in traffic for the boats to glide under the drawbridges, because everyone imagines that someday that will be them sailing by.

In a small restaurant just off the water, if you look around and listen to the languages being spoken, you might be surprised, since this is Miami, NOT to hear Spanish, but German and Turkish. It’s as if Miami were a small German town near the water; and the aromas from the kitchen and the big black beers on the bar complete the illusion. It doesn’t hurt that the owner and chef, Alex Richter, is a hearty man, big and bald, and charmingly gap-toothed, a la Schwarzenegger, who stands behind the bar in his packed, yet comfortable, place, and chats amiably with friends and neighbors who sit at or near the bar. “Tesekur Ederim,” he waves to an older babushka-wearing woman, who is visiting from Turkey. Her daughter, Tuva, is the waitress here, and, as Mr. Richter waves his thanks, she explains that she hasn’t seen her mother in five years. A nice Christmas reunion.

My wife and I happen to be lucky enough to live around the corner from The Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus, but it is the kind of place you must seek out, whatever the location. You are not going to leave the ‘Haus hungry, or thirsty, and you will remember your visit as warm and toasty, even if the weather outside is not ‘frightful!’ The special Christmas Eve menu included a “Portion of fresh crisp oven roasted Goose”, and we are lucky to get the last ‘portion’. It is a huge leg attached to a piece of breast (goose breasts don’t have an awful lot of meat), and it is the kind of thing that, even though it is as big as your forearm, you know that at some point you will have to pick it up and eat directly from the bone. When I do this halfway through the meal, the leg almost snaps off the breast (I swear my hands are15 inches apart holding this thing), and I envision it flying through the air and smacking a gentleman at the bar across the face. He must have seen it coming, too, because he flinched and ducked when the bones snapped. But let me start at the beginning, and of course that means the sausage.

It is inconceivable not to start your meal with sausage, and Chef Richter makes his own. The ‘Original “Munich Weisswurst” with sweet Mustard’, is an unusually subtle, pale sausage, whose deep flavor is countered by its smooth texture. A tiny, tiny, dab of sweet mustard is almost more than this juicy wurst needs to disappear, and it is pleasantly light on the stomach. This is followed by a salad of winter greens dressed with warm goat cheese, which is a crunchy palate-cleanser. But the animal awaits.

Sourcing goose in Miami is not the easiest thing to do, and Chef Richter gets his from up north. In fact, as he told me, his meaty and plump geese come from Pennsylvania, and are provided by none other than the Amish! I had previously been unaware of a ‘Miami-Amish connection’. Obviously you can’t just pick up the phone and order. The chef sends a letter to a neighbor of the family who raise the geese. The neighbor contacts the farmer, and he let’s the Chef know when the geese are ready. When Chef Richter had a Mother’s Day special of goose, the spring birds were a little skinny, so he is very happy with the plump winter birds he received for Christmas.

The goose is roasted and served with red cabbage, reduced pan juices, and a potato dumpling the size of a lacrosse ball. All of the flavors are complementary, and, again, everything is substantial, but unexpectedly light. Even the dumpling, which is savory and flavorful, and the cabbage, red and semi-crunchy, have distinct flavors and textures. The goose is perfect, smelling of the oven and the farm; the leg moist and wild, with the meat attached to the bone the most succulent of all, demanding the aforementioned liftoff. It is not easy to gnaw on a goose leg in a crowded restaurant without losing your dignity, but it was essential, and worth it, my face smeared with goose fat, the King of Fat. Luckily, you are provided with a large and thick cloth napkin. All of this was washed down with a black German beer in a huge stein.

The other entrée on the special menu was a baked seafood-stuffed salmon fillet, served with fresh vegetables and mashed potatoes. While not heavenly like the goose, it was nice to have something to eat while I waited for my wife to pass the plate with the bird back to me.

There was a dessert and traditional Bavarian Gluehwein, a hot, spiced wine served in a festive mug, but by this time we had had our fill, and the desserts were graciously wrapped to go. The festive atmosphere and warm-hearted welcome stayed with us, and reminded us of our own Christmas party the night before, where we served traditional Venezuelan treats like pan de jamon and hallacas, and drank the Puerto Rican Christmas drink Coquito. World’s apart, but just around the corner

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Surprised nobody's mentioned any Cuban places. Check out Versailles first, which is something of an institution.
Tell me more, por favor. I'm flying to Miami tomorrow, staying at the Shore Club. I also have a meeting in Coral Gables so if there's anything good there, let me know.

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Tell me more, por favor. I'm flying to Miami tomorrow, staying at the Shore Club. I also have a meeting in Coral Gables so if there's anything good there, let me know.

You can't beat the Cuban pork sandwich at Versailles. And the name says it all about the atmosphere--mirrors abound. You will find that almost all of the customers speak Spanish, but if you don't, it doesn't matter. I have never been to old Havana, but I can imagine a place like Versailles would have fit right in.

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I just got back from Miami yesterday, stayed in Gables. If you want Cuban food, try Havana Harry. It is right on Lejeune across from the Merrick Center. I also like Las Culebrinas in Coconut Grove. If you want really cheap Cuban Fritas (Cuban hamburger made with chorizo), try El Rey de las Fritas. Various locations throughout Miami.

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