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#101 DanielK

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

It used to be hard to get a table here in season, with no reservations, and a quietly palmed $20 to the maitre'd was the way to get seated in less than an hour. But it's been more than a decade since I've been.



#102 Mark Dedrick

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:18 PM

We went for lunch, since I hadn't planned on going, and our evenings were booked by the time we decided to go.  From what I understand it is still quite busy at dinner, and given how big it is, was quite pretty close to full on Friday for lunch.  Lot's of business lunches taking place around us.


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#103 Rovers2000

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:54 AM

I'm in Miami this weekend and plan on trying Yardbird and some others mentioned up thread.

However I'm on my own today without a car in Coral Gables until about 4. Any recommendations on places for lunch that might be walkable? Or a cab ride away?

Thanks!

Dave

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#104 Rhone1998

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 08:41 PM

Easily the best meal of our recent trip was at Barceloneta, which is associated with, and just next door to, the older Pubbelly. With the exception of a few rice dishes, which we didn't try but which sounded great, it's mostly "small plates", though the portions were actually quite generous and two of us made a very nice meal out of five of them--

* Gambas con Chocolate -- langoustines, sherry, garlic, chocolate picada; sounds strange, but it didn't really have any distinct chocolate taste. This was five large langoustines in rich, garlicky, creamy (though I don't think there is cream here) sauce. Delicious and the highlight of the meal.
* Barceloneta Pulpo a Feira -- octopus, fingerling potato foam, pimenton, chorizo, tomato confit; extremely tasty, but the octopus and chorizo which underlie this dish would have shone brighter if they hadn't been smothered in the (unnecessary, IMO) potato foam.
* Tuetano de Ternera -- bone marrow, maitake escabeche, ciabata toast, fine herbs; awesome
* Caracoles a la Llauna -- escargot, rabbit sausage, parsley, butter; I liked this even though it was my least favorite dish of the night. A half dozen escargot in a traditional pan, each topped with a piece of sausage and a quarter-sized piece of puff pastry. Each taken together as a single bite worked, but the escargot were tiny.
* Octopus tentacle a la plancha; a large tentacle, perfectly grilled so it was tender but with a good char, and the thinnest pieces were pleasantly crunch. Simple but delicious.

Service was by committee, but was friendly, super enthusiastic, and efficient. Washed down with a couple glasses of cava, this was a terrific meal and we can't wait to return on our next trip to Miami.

The previous night we had been to Yardbird, which we liked, but didn't love. Nothing was bad, but nothing bowled us over either. As an example, the fried chicken was very tasty, but the skin wasn't crispy. Seemed kind of like a cardinal sin for a place like this. Loved the shrimp and grits, though.

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#105 DonRocks

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 10:59 PM

Pretty amazing news: Clayton Miller, formerly of Trummer's on Main in Clifton, Virginia, is now Chef at Yardbird.


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#106 The Delicious

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 09:23 AM

We'll be heading down there next week, staying on Lincoln Road. Any recs for that road/area for when we don't want to stray too far from the hotel?



#107 Mark Dedrick

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 10:48 AM

We'll be heading down there next week, staying on Lincoln Road. Any recs for that road/area for when we don't want to stray too far from the hotel?

Yardbird is quite close. If you're in to cocktails, Regent Cocktail Club in the Gael is fantastic. If you're willing to take a short cab ride I'd strongly recommend Pubbelly. 


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#108 Rhone1998

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 11:37 AM

We'll be heading down there next week, staying on Lincoln Road. Any recs for that road/area for when we don't want to stray too far from the hotel?

 

Most of the places on the pedestrian mall part of Lincoln Rd. seem really touristy and are probably to be avoided.  On the far eastern end of the road right by the CVS there's a little hole in the wall Cuban takeout place that is a good stop for a quick coffee in the morning.  (They also have some steam table Cuban lunch items...roast pork, plantains, etc.  My one experience with lunch there was sort of meh.)


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#109 The Delicious

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 01:04 PM

Great times, and food, were had in South Beach. A brief recap:

1. Dilido Beach Club: After a tiring first day, we decided to have a casual meal at our hotel. This place is located outside by the "boardwalk" and has great views of the ocean beyond. We went in thinking we'd have nothing more than a serviceable meal, but both the food and service was outstanding. We started with an order of their duet of ceviche. It was two large portions, one shrimp and one cuttle fish (iirc), both delicious. Main dishes included Caesar Salad, Shrimp Flatbread, Pan-seared Salmon. Everything tasted incredibly fresh, and the salads were among the best we've ever had.

2. Barton G the Restaurant: We've been here on past trips, really enjoyed it then, and thought our traveling companions would also have fun (not to mention enjoy a good meal) with their wild presentations. When describing these presentations, they can sound trite or tacky, but in person they're really neat, and I enjoy seeing what they come up with. Or maybe I'm trite and tacky! I also think the food is spectacular. We started with the Voodoo Shrimp (dry ice provides steaming volcano effect!) and the Lobster PopTarts (served in retro toaster), and followed it up with pasta, steak, short ribs, and salmon. Prices were higher than I remembered, but the portions were huge, and everyone left stuffed and immensely satisfied. The pasta was freshly made, and very light. The short ribs were a huge chunk of fall-apart-on-your-fork meat, and the steak was nicely seasoned and perfectly cooked. We finished with a piece of bread pudding, that was yummy, if not outrageously priced ($30 iirc). 

3. Puerto Sagua: Solid, traditional Cuban food served in a relaxed, casual diner setting. Their yucca fries puts local versions (read: those consumed at Peruvian chicken places) to shame. Plump, golden fried, yet soft and tender on the inside...this is what yucca fries were meant to taste like, not the tough stringy versions I usually have. The picadillo was very flavorful, tho I was surprised when the waitress didn't understand i wanted it served "a caballo", which i've been told, by Cubans, that it is common and traditional. After a decade of Spanish classes and a stint living in Spain, I'm certain it wasn't my accent. Anyway, a quick explanation in English and I got my egg. There's a reason this place is mentioned on all the boards.

4. Barceloneta: Some of the best tapas I've ever had...Croquetas, Calamari, Bravas, Pimientos, Manchengo, Shrimp, and more! The only negative was how quickly everything came out. We had at least 10 items and were in and out of there in under an hour. Would have liked to slow down and savor it more. It was our one night out without the kid or in-laws, and we ended up beating them back to the hotel. Yikes! Still, a delicious meal with no missteps.

5. Front Porch Cafe: An excellent breakfast stop serving some of the best home fries i've ever had...cooked hard and scrambled with onion. If you're looking for a breakfast option, this place should make your short list.

6. Carrabas: Sometimes you just want something familiar, and easy, and we have a 2-yr old, and wait a minute...I don't have to defend myself to you people. The truth is, I love Carrabas and was happy to go. Go eat the Spedino di Mare and tell me it's not yummy...I dare you! Great bread and dipping sauce. A hearty portion of mussels, the sauce begging to be lapped up with that warm-from-the-oven bread. A well-dressed Caesar Salad. Attentive, accommodating, kind service. No regrets here.

7. 5 Napkin Grill: Good burger, good fries, good onion rings, just not nearly worth the money at $15 a burger.

 

We also had lunch in Ft. Lauderdale at:

8. Mangos: Started with their Famous (!) Snow Crab Bisque, and while I'd never heard of it before then, it really was excellent. The Chicken Puff pie was a large portion topped by a huge puff pastry, very tasty, and dividable between two people...or at least by one adult and one 2-yr old. Sandwiches and salads were all solid, if not spectacular.

 

OK, I think that about covers it.


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#110 Mark Dedrick

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:44 AM

Was in Miami two weeks ago for a long weekend. A couple of quick notes:

 

Barceloneta - We quite liked it. Reminded me of a bit more casual/more hip Estadio.  Food was uniformly fantastic. They have booze, not just wine and beer like the neighboring Pubbelly.

 

Versailles - Really enjoyed this, great Cuban food and a cool atmosphere. We went here after a quick trip to Miami Jai Alai, which was also fantastic.

 

Regent Cocktail Club - Continue to love this spot. Great drinks, cool atmosphere.

 

Bazaar - This was a huge hit with our group. We ordered a ton of food, and there were no misses in the bunch. And while expensive, it isn't as expensive as we were expecting (nor as expensive as you would think looking at the Ferraris parked out front). 

 

Pubbelly - I don't think I'll do a trip to Miami without stopping at Pubbelly.

 

Yardbird - We hit Yardbird for brunch with the three remaining folks from our contingent. We ordered shrimp and grits, fried chicken, chocolate chip pancakes with bananas and "peanut butter", a cheddar cheese waffle, and a bacon maple bar. It was way too much food, but it was absolutely glorious.


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#111 Mark Dedrick

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 01:08 PM

Due to both price and schedule, we ended up spending a night in Miami en route both to and from the Bahamas this past weekend. Of our two hotels, price being equal, I'd choose the Surfcomber every time over the Shore Club. Both were nice, but I like the rooms, the relaxed atmosphere, and the staff at the Surfcomber much more. They've also completely revamped their bar over the past couple of years, and it is now has a wonderfully inventive cocktail list, as well as great bartenders. 

 

This time around we went back to Bazaar, as I had been but my wife had not. It was still good, although not nearly as good as the last time I was there. Still an excellent meal, and everything we had was very good.

 

New to both of us this time around was 1826, which apparently opened just three months ago. We went on the recommendation of a friend of mine, and we had a fantastic meal. While I get tired of hearing "We have a unique concept, our dishes are meant to be shared" at every restaurant I go to, other than the intro the service was fantastic. Our waiter made some wonderful suggestions and recommendations, and even stopped us near the end of the meal to see if we wanted to drop one of the two courses we had still coming (which we did as we had eaten a lot at that point). The sommelier was tremendous, and unlike in many places in Miami didn't just immediately steer us towards the highest priced wines on the list. I'd recommend it.


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