Jump to content

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 139
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Cocktails These are going to almost all be in Miami Beach based on one ridiculous evening of drinking that got a bit out of hand. Keep in mind that cocktails in Miami beach will be $15+ so can get e

Similar as above, these are roughly in order of my preference within their group. I've starred those that I'd seek out. Restaurants Wynwood * Kush - Great burgers, great beer list. If you're out

A few thoughts from our recent visit: Cocktails Regent Cocktail Club - Currently closed for renovations. Should be open in the fall, but not sure when.  Sweet Liberty - I really enjoy t

Posted Images

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple weeks ago, our annual winter getaway took us to Miami this year.  With two toddlers in tow, fine dining is rarely an option.  And often on vacation these days, after a day of activities, take-out is often a preferable option.  And we had to have some Cuban food while we were down there.... which brings me to El Palacio de los Jugos and specifically the Flagler Street location.  Wow... absolute lifesaver for the trip.  Yes, it's pre-prepared hot food that you order over the counter.... the seating available is just picnic tables.... don't let the looks deceive you.  Separate counters for seafood, meats, juices, and sandwiches/soups.  Lechon Asado with three sides.... basically filling your std 9" styrofoam container with over 2 lbs of food $11.  Grouper also with three sides $9.50.  Rice with seafood $6 (yes also filling a styrofoam container to the brim).  The Lechon Asado was outstanding... add in some black beans and rice and plantains.... very nice.  The fish was nicely flavored.  The rice with seafood was not spectacular (just good), but the price can't be beat.  and just 3 blocks from our hotel.  we did not but should have tried the juices.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tip. We had lunch here today, with 4 adults and a toddler. Ropa Vieja, black beans and rice, and plantains in one container, and I think your estimate of 2 lbs. is way under--it was unreal how much food this was. We also did Chicharrons. Delicious and sinful. The fish fillet was solid, but we made the mistake of getting fried rice and realized after that it was Chinese fried rice. Eh. But other than that, this place was pretty amazing. After dinner I tried to get some desserts to go, but 1 PM on Sunday is a major lunch rush, and couldn't wait (the toddler thing). We'll be back.

And we had to have some Cuban food while we were down there.... which brings me to El Palacio de los Jugos and specifically the Flagler Street location.  Wow... absolute lifesaver for the trip.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I need help figuring out the best special occasion restaurant in Miami for this weekend. Any suggestions? Price is not a concern, just want great food.

I don't know how realistic it is to get reservations there on short notice, but the food at NAOE is spectacular.  Sometimes I still think about our dinner there from four years ago.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I should have been more specific, as that concept sounds perfect for us pretty much any other time, but I have a pregnant wife in tow so sushi is going to be a non-starter.

I got reservations at Hakkassan based on a recommendation from a friend.  Is it worth it?  If not, any other (prego-friendly) recommendations?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Will be in Miami Sunday night with my sister for just that one night.  Staying at the Raleigh.  Where should we dine?

So far looking at Barceloneta, Yardbird, Restaurant Michael Schwartz, and Bazaar but open to other suggestions.  It is restaurant week, and all of these except Yardbird are participating with a $39 dinner deal.  We are late 30s, early 40s, and don't see each other much, so we want somewhere fun, and tasty.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Will be in Miami Sunday night with my sister for just that one night.  Staying at the Raleigh.  Where should we dine?

So far looking at Barceloneta, Yardbird, Restaurant Michael Schwartz, and Bazaar but open to other suggestions.  It is restaurant week, and all of these except Yardbird are participating with a $39 dinner deal.  We are late 30s, early 40s, and don't see each other much, so we want somewhere fun, and tasty.

Pubbelly is by far my favorite spot that I've eaten at in Miami. It consistently fantastic. That would be my suggestion, although Barceloneta and Yardbird area also both great. We also had a very good meal at 27, which is the new restaurant from the Broken Shaker folks.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

No Floridian orders stone crabs in a restaurant. They're just too damned expensive with the markups. When I'm home, I get them from Fish Peddler. They do a great job in steaming and cracking so all you have to do is separate the meat from the shells and dip in butter or mustard sauce. A pound a person is all you need.

That said, the crop the last couple of years has been awful, and prices are crazy.

Unless you go to Monty's for happy hour.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been busy and putting off writing about some of the spots we visited last month on our trip to Miami and Key West. So sorry for the brevity, but I wanted to at least get something down.

Bazi - We loved Maccialina last time we were in Miami, and as a result we decided to have dinner at their new place, Bazi, this time around. Eh. Everything was good, but nothing particularly blew us away.

Rum Line - This is basically the outdoor bar at the Loew's in South Beach. I didn't know that when we were trying to find it, which made it a bit of a challenge, as that hotel is massive. It's a really good bar (even though it would end up being the second best rum-based bar starting with the word "rum" that we visited on this trip). Great rum selection, inventive cocktails, and bartenders who know what they're doing. It was raining off and on when we were there, which meant that almost nobody was there and some of the charms of the place were off limits, but we'll definitely be back.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎6‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 10:58 AM, Mark Dedrick said:

Anybody been recently and have any good recommendations? We're headed down for the weekend later this summer. 

Where did you end up?  We're headed back later this fall and likely to try Alter for the first time. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We mostly did a tour of our old favorites. Pubbelly continues to be my favorite restaurant in Miami, and it did not disappoint on this trip. This time, however, we were seated in the Pubbelly Sushi restaurant, although they were serving both menus. I'm not sure if this is how they normally operate or not. 

Michael's Genuine Food and Drink - It had been a few years since I'd eaten here, and the last time I went I was a little disappointed. This time around, however, it was a fantastic meal. Everything was really great. 

Pao by Paul Qui - This is a new restaurant in the completely absurdly over the top Faena hotel. Our table looked out over the $17 million gold-plated mammoth skeleton, and we walked by a statue of a partially flayed unicorn to get there. It was probably the "best" meal that we had on the entire trip, but it was way, way too expensive in my opinion. You couldn't get a bottle of wine for less than $100. We particularly enjoyed the Kinilaw, the East Side King Fried Chicken, and the Smoked Shortrib Asado. 

Broken Shaker - Great cocktails in a super relaxed vibe. I'm a big fan of this place.

Regent Cocktail Club - Equally great cocktails. 

Taquiza - We'll get lunch here at least once per trip. It's in the part of South Beach where we like to stay, the tacos are really good, the chips are incredible, they have a good beer list and it's affordable. 

Le Sandwicherie - We'd never been here before, but it was fantastic. We got the SOBE Club (Turkey, Brie and Avocado) and the Italian (ham, salami, prosciutto and provolone). Both were really good. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I just realized that I've been to Miami a few times since I last posted in this thread. Taquiza unfortunately lost their lease and are closed. Earlier this year we had perhaps our finest meal in Miami at Alter in Wynnwood, which is a neighborhood I hadn't spent any time in before that visit.  We also had a great time at the J Wakefield Brewery, who we've experienced before from their collaborations with 3 Stars here in DC. Also in Wynnwood, we had a fun lunch at 1-800-LUCKY, which is a food hall with a number of different vendors serving different types of Asian food, as well as a record store and two different bars. 

Habitat, which comes from the Pubbelly folks, is solid, but my favorite non-Pubbelly restaurant in Miami Beach these days is Stubborn Seed, from Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford. I've eaten there twice, and both time's it's been fantastic. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎9‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 5:46 PM, Mark Dedrick said:

I just realized that I've been to Miami a few times since I last posted in this thread. Taquiza unfortunately lost their lease and are closed. Earlier this year we had perhaps our finest meal in Miami at Alter in Wynnwood, which is a neighborhood I hadn't spent any time in before that visit.  We also had a great time at the J Wakefield Brewery, who we've experienced before from their collaborations with 3 Stars here in DC. Also in Wynnwood, we had a fun lunch at 1-800-LUCKY, which is a food hall with a number of different vendors serving different types of Asian food, as well as a record store and two different bars. 

Habitat, which comes from the Pubbelly folks, is solid, but my favorite non-Pubbelly restaurant in Miami Beach these days is Stubborn Seed, from Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford. I've eaten there twice, and both time's it's been fantastic. 

Mark, any more detail on Stubborn Seed?  Your post is the first I've seen it, but wow sounds amazing

Also curious if you or anyone else here has been to Francis Mallman's Los Fuegos at the Faena.  I was fascinated by him from his episode on Chef's Table, but haven't had an excuse to go yet.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/8/2019 at 1:38 PM, youngfood said:

Mark, any more detail on Stubborn Seed?  Your post is the first I've seen it, but wow sounds amazing

I'm going off of memory, so my details won't be quite as sharp. I ate there once with me and my wife, and then a second time with three friends. It's plates designed for sharing (of course, because every place is), but you could easily turn it into an appetizer-entree spot. There are about four larger, entree-sized plates, and then eight or so smaller offerings. Also, unlike a lot of spots like this, after you order they'll course things out for you, so you don't have the all too common problem of every plate showing up at the same time, or you getting your steak before the crudo shows up.Or at least that was our experience with two different servers. Service is also wonderful.

I don't remember what exactly I had, and I know that they change their menu frequently so the webpage isn't super helpful. The chicken dish on the menu, with truffle butter, brussels sprouts, and gnocchi sounds like what we had, and seem to remember it being mentioned as a signature dish for the restaurant. It was fantastic. But really everything was good. I'd happily go back. 

Sorry I can't provide more detail, my memory isn't what it once was!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/10/2019 at 3:32 PM, Mark Dedrick said:

I'm going off of memory, so my details won't be quite as sharp. I ate there once with me and my wife, and then a second time with three friends. It's plates designed for sharing (of course, because every place is), but you could easily turn it into an appetizer-entree spot. There are about four larger, entree-sized plates, and then eight or so smaller offerings. Also, unlike a lot of spots like this, after you order they'll course things out for you, so you don't have the all too common problem of every plate showing up at the same time, or you getting your steak before the crudo shows up.Or at least that was our experience with two different servers. Service is also wonderful.

I don't remember what exactly I had, and I know that they change their menu frequently so the webpage isn't super helpful. The chicken dish on the menu, with truffle butter, brussels sprouts, and gnocchi sounds like what we had, and seem to remember it being mentioned as a signature dish for the restaurant. It was fantastic. But really everything was good. I'd happily go back. 

Sorry I can't provide more detail, my memory isn't what it once was!

And now that I've been, I hearty concur!  Stubborn Seed might be my favorite of many very good to great restaurants in Miami.  I not only think it's outstanding for Miami Beach, but would gladly return there and add it to our rotation if it were in D.C.  Mark's sums it up well, the menu is interesting, but not large.  They are more committed to the sharing concept than most and push the sending dishes when they are ready and not necessarily as courses, but I like that and am glad to have tried most of their menu last night.  And the service was more precise and personal than I'm used to in Miami.  If you're going to Miami Beach and looking for a delicious meal out, I highly recommend trying Stubborn Seed.  

And, if you're nearby at the southern tip of Miami Beach, Cibo wine bar is a nice place for a glass of wine.  New to me, they have a happy hour of half-priced glasses of wine and cocktails prior to 7 pm.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hubby and I went to Miami for a long weekend.  We landed Thursday morning.  We stayed at the Royal Palm, which was fine- the beach and pool service was pretty awful, except for one guy, although for me it is cursed (I found out in that same hotel tower my Dad died, but I thought we had booked the Palms, and Hubby had forgotten about that and booked Royal Palms, I always get the mixed up).  We wanted to go to Jerry's Deli, but alas it is now Senor Frogs (so sad) so we went to Sushi Samba as it wasn't far and we knew it was decent and by that time we were a little depressed over the whole Jerry's thing.  We then checked out the Perez, and that was fun.  That night we had reservations at Stubborn Seed.  That was a spectacular meal, thank all for the recommendation.  The cocktails were incredibly fresh tasting and well balanced, they put herbs on top so they just smelled so earthy in a good way, but it didn't make them taste weird.  The oysters were fun and had all sorts of different flavors that commented one another.  We had two crudos, both were really phenomenal.  We accidentally got more oysters, for which we didn't mind.  We then had the big bowl of greens, which proves anything is awesome when covered in Parmesan cheese and lemon.  Lastly we had the whole snapper, which had a strange sauce you mixed with a puree that was delicious and made me want to mop it up with bread.  I really can't describe the flavors in the dishes that made them so good.  They had a lot of acid, but balanced it well with little flavors that you could taste individually, but also rounded out well together.

The next morning is when our garage at home flooded and we got an emergency call from our renter in our MIL suite.  After that we needed pure comfort, and to get out of our reality, so we walked down to Puerto Sagua.  Hubby got a large Cuban sandwich and I got Ropa Veija, with a side of fried yuca and we shared while deciding what to do.  The Ropa Veija was really good, but the table behind us had fish in a really amazing smelling sauce that made me a little jealous.  Hubby's sandwich was good.  It was a nice stress free zone for a moment.  After lots of calls, a visit from my SIL to the house to let service people in we decided to stay, so we went to the beach and drank some frozen drinks.  Will post more later, but everything is ok, it could have been worse, things are being solved...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Friday night I hadn't made reservations, so we headed over to Wynwood, and boy that was fun.  We loved the scene there with all the street art, clubs and bars and interesting scene.  We had really good cocktails at Bakan, margarita, mojito with sparkling soda and another with passionfruit juice, and a couple different things for Hubby, which would have probably made a good dinner spot too, the food that came out all looked good, and I liked the interior of the restaurant.  The bartenders though- they made this joint.  We talked to them and they were just crazy fun, high energy and it just really made us feel a lot better than we had.  We ordered queso fundido with chorizo and it came with homemade blue tortillas.  I am not sure how they kept the tortillas so moist and pliable, but kept together, that is something I have trouble with making them at home.  After tasting these, I decided I need to work on my technique at home.  Suffice it to say good tortillas, and you really can't screw up cheese melted in a small cast iron skillet with chorizo and some herbs, and they did not.

We then went to 1-800-Lucky and this was fun too.  (It made me wish the block had a cool open air area (if only they would take over the K-mart and bust open the middle to be a glass courtyard)) We liked the DJ, and we got drinks and steamed bao and char sui buns.  I dream of steam tables filled with little bamboo baskets like this, so I was happy.  Hubby did not get the blow up unicorn of ice cream, but we saw some millenials digging in.  We were excited to get out of South Beach and over here for a night as it was Spring Break and just a little younger than we felt, but in Wynwood we didn't feel old and we didn't feel young, so I guess it was about right.

Saturday we rented Citi Bikes (darn the seat is hard in those things, I didn't learn this until after two days having a very sore rear) and rode the ocean front for a while.  We checked out some North Beach places that we might check out in the future.  I wish I had made brunch reservations at 27 Restaurant, but we just didn't think about it.  We ended up at Abuela's getting ginormous sandwiches filled with meat and cheese.  I had the roasted pork with mojo sauce, and it could have used at least double the mojo, or mojo to dip it down into, so instead I doused it in hot sauce.  The meat was good, bread was good, it was just dry.  Hubby got some monster of meat, he liked it.  But I felt like this place was trying to be a cool Cuban place, but lacked real depth in the menu and etc.  We should have gone to 27 or Byblos.  Live and learn.  

That evening after some horrible pool service at the hotel, we should have triple ordered drink orders if they wouldn't have all gotten too warm, we went to Mare Mio.  This is the chef from Alta Mare's new restaurant and Hubby loved Alta Mare so we went to check it out.  Service was just lovely with one of the longtime servers from Alta Mare, who was super professional and just everything you want a server to be.  I ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Bastianich, I had never had this type of wine before, but really enjoyed it.  I might actually find what it was on their wine list and seek it out.  It was a light, but interesting, acidic but not overpowering white that went really well with seafood.  We started with shrimp cocktail, and the shrimp were really good.  We then split the arugula salad which was just perfectly balanced between greens and light sauce and a few beets some goat cheese.  Hubby got the seafood pasta which was good, but if we did it over again, I would have asked for it with a white wine sauce, instead of red sauce (the clam pasta was white, but Hubby isn't a huge clam person and wanted the mixed seafood).  I had the mixed grill.  I think the octopus there is tremendous, one of the most tender octopus I have eaten.  If I didn't have the comparison of Fiola Mare's grilled calamari, I would say theirs was very good, but I will say it was good, it was not Fiola Mare good.  The fish was super fresh.  And it was all good, the grill platter at Fiola Mare was just better, and that kind of sat in my mind.  I wish I could have re-ordered and gotten one of his handmade pastas, or the squid ink risotto.  I like this restaurant, it just had small areas it could improve.  And if I had never been to Fiola Mare, I think I would have thought it was better.  I also just think I could have ordered better.  

We then got drinks at the Delano (where we got engaged)  it was a bit sad to walk in and have no Blue Door restaurant. But we had drinks at the pool, and it was fun, service was good, I may have gotten close to my line of being drunk, so we walked the couple doors back to our hotel.

Sunday I needed to put something nice in my body and eat some breakfast.  We went to El Palais de Jugos for some liquid replenishment.  While there we couldn't resist getting a sampler of empanadas- pollo, carne, jamon y queso and spinach.  All the food in there smelled delicious, I wish I had room for more food at this time.  We then biked up to The Bass.  We saw a very weird exhibit, and then the coolest exhibit of little hairy creatures, and beaded objets, which I just adored.  We also really enjoyed some of the exhibits upstairs.  We were going to do a later lunner at 27 Restaurant, but we just weren't hungry.  So we ended back at the hotel in the sun for a few hours.  I finished my book and we really wanted to dinner before Hubby had to take off at Byblos.  Unfortunately they didn't open until 6:00 and he needed to leave for his flight at 6:30 (he had to bump his flight up to get home for the garage restorations) and I didn't want to say screw you Hubby for going and taking care of the house, you can eat and I will eat here later.  So instead we ended up at the Mexican restaurant on Espanola Way.  I can't even remember the name, it was fine for a Chevy's or Uncle Julio's type experience, but don't waste your time there, it just was not far from our hotel and open when we needed it to be.

Next time I would like to try a few of the places we missed.  I am hoping my next trip doesn't involve hearing a close loved one has died, or that my house is flooding... 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been travelling to Miami for the last couple months, so figured I'd at least stop by and give some recommendations. All are listed in general order of 'goodness' within their group.

Breweries
Wynwood
J Wakefield - The grand daddy of breweries in the area. The owner is renowed for being a bit of an ass, but I don't think I've ever seen him there and the bartenders are generally very nice. Pretty easily the best brewery in Miami proper. They'll have flights of most of their beers (they'll usually have a stout or two that are 10oz pours only, no flights). The inside is Star Wars themed and on Wednesday nights (when I tend to be there) they alternate between boardgame nights and arcade fighter nights. They'll almost always have a mix of sours, stouts, IPAs, and a mix of other styles.
Concrete Beach - Fine alternative to J Wakefield if you want to go somewhere else but don't want to hit up an ABInBev brewery. They have a fairly wide range of beers, but don't remember seeing anyhing particularly dark on my visit.

Doral
M.I.A. - A pretty varied beer list, with multiple sour, IPA, stout, brown, and pale options with other styles as well. Solid all around brewery, definitely worth hitting up if you're in the Doral area. The food is really solid as well.
Tripping Animals - Another brewery that's worth hitting if you're around Doral. Focuses mostly on Berliner Weisse (a light sour, typically fruity) and IPAs.

Ft Lauderdale
3 Sons - On part with J Wakefield. Focuses mainly on IPAs, stouts, and sours. Puts out some really awesome beer (particularly if those are styles you prefer). Also has great pizza.
Invasive Species - Wide range of beers including a couple lagers on my visit (including a Japanese rice lager) and a saison (a style not all that common in South Florida for some reason).
Funky Buddha - They produce a number of 'off-the-wall' beers, like a maple bacon porter and a french toast stout. They also are distributed probably the most of anyone in Miami/Ft Lauderdale. Solid food options available as well.

Other breweries
Maybe visit these if you're looking for something to do and happen to be standing right next door?
Wynwood (in Wynwood)
Veza Sur (Wynwood)
The Tank (Doral)
Biscayne Bay (Doral)

Beer Stores
Boxelder - Great draft list in Wynwood that offers a number of hard-to-find beers typically and is well curated.
Union - Another place with a great draft list in Little Havanna.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Similar as above, these are roughly in order of my preference within their group. I've starred those that I'd seek out.

Restaurants
Wynwood
* Kush - Great burgers, great beer list. If you're out drinking in Wynwood, this is a great place to end (or start) the evening.
* Coyo Taco - Great taco place right near J Wakefield. Everything I've had here has been great. Has Nopales (grilled cactus) and Hongos (with huitlacoche as well) tacos, which I haven't seen a ton of places. They also have a ton of other options like Al Pastor, Carne Asada, Cochinita Pibil, etc.
Beaker & Gray - Shared plate concept with really good cocktails. Really enjoyed the food here. The cheeseburger croquettes were quite good, really everything we had was but those are what I remember the best.
Enriqueta's - Not really Wynwood (its between Wynwood and the bay), but close enough. Cuban diner that we had to wait to get a table for. Simple, homestyle Cuban food. Really enjoyed this place. Only open for breakfast and lunch.
BND Burger - The burger was quite good (not as good as Kush's). There's a bouncer to get by, which isn't awesome. But its also connected to a club (separate entrance) which can be either good or bad based on your preference :)

Little Havana
* Old's Havana - Great option for Cuban. Ropa Vieja was the best I've had, and the black beans were great as well.
* Azucar - Great place for ice cream with cuban-inspired flavors (and some non-cuban inspired flavors as well). Across the street from Old's.
El Pub - Mostly a sandwich place, they make a perfectly serviceable cubano and its derivatives (medianoche, croquetta preperada, especial, etc). Its a block away from Old's, so unless you want a sandwich, go to Old's (which might also have better sandwiches, but I haven't had a sandwich at Old's)

Miami Beach
** Stubborn Seed - Best restaurant I've been to in Miami. By a pretty long way. We had the 8 course tasting menu as well as the wine pairing and cocktails. My wife wasn't inspired by anything on the cocktail menu so asked for the bartender to come up with something gin-based and he did a great job. We were able to get a reservation day of, but I'm not sure that's normal and this was during the week not the weekend. I don't remember a ton of what was on the menu, but I remember every single course being very good and also not being hungry after dinner. It's certainly not cheap, but the skill and quality is absolutely showcased.
* OLA - Latin place in north South Beach (some might even call in Mid Beach). If you go here, make sure you're going to the right place (in the Gates Hotel) as its moved somewhat recently and something list its old address. The Fire & Ice ceviche really showed off the Cobia, which was nice as it wasn't a fish I'm overly familiar with. I don't remember exactly what we had for entrees (pretty sure at least one was a special), but remember thinking they were quite good. For dessert we had the Chocolate Cigar (which they're known for), which was cute while still being tasty. Seating out back is outside and right on the river/canal.

Azabu - In the Stanton. Yes, a hotel restaurant. Though, its a Miami Beach outpost of a NY Michelin star restaurant. I tried the fish collar (a new experience for me), maki, and robata. All very good. 
Pubbelly - Sushi with a solid sake and beer list. There's another one in Brickell City Center. Had a roll or two (including the butter krab roll) and some robata. I bit expensive for what it is... But its Miami Beach.
La Sandwicherie - A walk-up counter sandwich place that's open until 4am. Had to check it out myself. Very good sandwiches (I had the Italian) and milkshakes. There's another one in Brickell.
Lobster Shack - Casual place for lobster rolls. If you're in the area, its a solid option. Wouldn't go out of my way for it.

Brickell
* La Centrale - This is really three (or more?) restaurants in City Center. The bottom floor is Mercato, the second floor is Osteria (I think, can't remember), and the top floor is Enoteca. The first floor is further split into a Cafe and a Pizza & Pasta place while the second floor is further split into Stagniole, Pesce, and Carne, with a gelateria (Venchi) right outside. Enoteca is 1 restaurant, a wine bar. So there's somewhere between 3 and 7 restaurants, plus 3 bars. I've barely scratched the surface here having only eaten here once. The Papperdelle in the Pizza & Pasta area was quite good with a Tuscan sausage (the sausage itself in the sauce was a bit overcooked).
Tacology - Top floor of City Center. Really solid tacos and options for mezcal/tequila. The line can be kind of a problem, but as a singleton I had no problem being seated immediately.
Boulud Sud Miami - Went here for a happy hours picked up by work. Everything was very good, but I wasn't picking up the bill, so that might have tempered my opinion.
* B Bistro & Bakery - We went here right after getting off a cruise and actually got here before the bistro was open (but the bakery was open). We started with a couple bakery items and a coffee and then ordered a couple brunch items. Can't remember what exactly they were (and the menu online isn't jogging my memory), but they weren't the 'typical' brunch items and showed some imagination and were quite good. Unfortunately the service here got nonexistent at the end of the meal and it took a solid 30 minutes to get the bill after we were done. I'm hoping that was just a waiter have an off day as opposed to a systemic issue.
Graziano's - Argentinian steak restaurant. Definitely good. I went with work people after a happy hour... so don't remember a ton about it other than the steaks were cooked well and of good quality.
* Crazy About You - The food is perfectly fine (even quite good). But the reason you go here is because its one of the few restaurants directly on the bay. The views are pretty awesome
Truluck's - Steak and seafood. Its good, but it didn't strike me as 'Miami', whatever that means. Perfectly good option for an upscale place for those that live in Miami, wouldn't be my choice if I were visiting.

Various
La Carreta - Local chain of cuban food. Exactly what you'd think it is. Maybe not as good as some places, but I've quite enjoyed every time I've been and have tried a the chicken chicharrones, ropa vieja, meatloaf, and croquettes. Solid option.

Other options (solid options, but not as good as those above, but still worth looking at potentially)
Alter (Wynwood) - Only in the 'Other' section as I haven't personally been there. Heard really good things though!
Melinda's (Wynwood) - Another place I haven't been but really want to. Have heard awesome reviews of the mezcal selection. They aren't open Mon-Wed though which are the nights I'm in town...
Butcher Shop (Wynwood)
SuViche (various)
CVI.CHE 105 (various)
American Social (Brickell) - Fine, just kinda not special

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cocktails
These are going to almost all be in Miami Beach based on one ridiculous evening of drinking that got a bit out of hand. Keep in mind that cocktails in Miami beach will be $15+ so can get expensive quickly. On the other hand, there's some truly good cocktail places out there.

Miami Beach
Repour - Probably the cheapest drinks (don't lower your expectations too far, its still Miami Beach) and probably my favorite of the evening. Very laid back vibe next to the lobby of the Albion Hotel.
Regent Cocktail Club - The smallest cocktail list of the places we visited (though still with a full bar), but well made drinks. There was also live music that was quite good and was nice to sit and relax and listen to some music with a couple cocktails.
Sweet Liberty - Dimly lit, we sat at the far end of the bar and the bartender helped us immediately. Good cocktails, imaginative, and made well.

Brickell
Blackbird Ordinary - Solid place for a solid cocktail. Not sure what it's like on the weekends as some of the pictures definitely look different than what it was like during the week (very laid back)

Things to Do

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Wynwood Walls. Most of Wynwood is adorned with graffiti that is amazingly interesting to walk around and look at. And then there's the art exhibit called Wynwood Walls. Absolutely amazing. Graffiti artistry at its highest in a curated exhibit. Entrance is free. You could easily spend a couple hours here if you were so inclined. I think we spent a bit over an hour and it's one of my favorite parts of the city.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

A few thoughts from our recent visit:

Cocktails

Regent Cocktail Club - Currently closed for renovations. Should be open in the fall, but not sure when. 

Sweet Liberty - I really enjoy this spot. It's much more casual, and much cheaper than most spots in South Beach, but the drinks are great and the staff is incredible. 

Rose Bar - This bar, in the Delano, is basically my replacement for the Raleigh bar until that one re-opens. It feels very old school, and they do a good job making drinks. 

Food

Taquiza - It's back! They have moved across the street and maybe one block south of where they used to be located. They're now in a different hostel, and have a slightly expanded space including a full bar. But the tacos are equally delicious. 

Stubborn Seed - My favorite restaurant in Miami right now. Everything we had was delicious. Annoyingly they don't even try to keep their online menu close to current, but the Warm Celery Root was fantastic, with basically tempura maitake mushrooms. There was also a crudo of some sort that was delicious, and a suckling pig with carrots. Every dish I've gotten here has been great, beautifully plated, and with interesting textural differences. 

Byblos - I hadn't been here before. We had a very nice meal, and with good service. I won't be rushing back, but I would be happy returning. 

Pubbelly - I continue to love this place.

Yardbird - And this one. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Couple updates from me as well. I continue to go down to Miami weekly, but don't always go somewhere new as a lot of the time I like to swing by my favorites in Wynwood.

Restaurants

Taco Stand (Wynwood) - This is probably going to replace Coyo Taco for me as my taco option in Wynwood. The tacos are just as good, if not better, slightly cheaper I believe, and there aren't as many people. Its maybe a block to a block and a half away from Coyo Taco. The paletas also looked really good but I haven't indulged (yet).

Station 28 (Brickell) - This probably isn't a place I'd suggest someone visiting the city to seek out, but if you're in the area (Brickell, north of the river) for meetings, Station 28 is really solid. They have sandwiches, burgers, and plates, all with a latin flair. If I'm in the area (which is rare, but does happen), this is pretty much always my top option for lunch.

Chalan on the Beach (Miami Beach) - Not actually on the beach, though it is only a couple blocks away. I had the Papa a la Huancaina (boiled potatoes with a creamy yellow sauce and a hard-boiled egg, no idea exactly what the sauce was but it was delicious) and Lomo Saltado, then had the Lucuma Flan for dessert. Lucuma is a fruit that I'd never heard of or had experience with. Wikipedia says it can taste kind of like sweet potato, maple syrup, or butterscotch. I think I kind of tasted all three. This isn't a particularly fancy place, but most of the fancy places in South Beach are expensive and this place isn't. And its more authentic than the places on Ocean Drive.

Versailles (west Little Havana) - Supposedly the original Cubano. Not sure if I believe it or not, but it was a good Cubano. Tons and tons (and tons) of seating. Not sure its worth going this far west though instead of sticking closer to the main part of Little Havana and going somewhere like Old's instead.

Bakan (Wynwood) - On the trendy vs tasty scale that you always have to consider in Miami, especially in areas like Wynwood and South Beach, this is probably a little closer to the trendy side. But the queso fundido was solid and they have a great selection of tequila and mezcals if that's your thing (its mine).

Quality Meats (South Beach) - Want to drop a ton of money on some steak? This is your place. The options for steak wasn't actually all that large (for example, I don't believe there's a non-bone-in ribeye). But it was definitely quality meat, well-prepared. I was in fairly late, about 45 minutes before close (which I can't remember if its 10 or 11 during the week), but not a person said a thing about me showing up late, not that I'd expect any one to at a nice restaurant. I knew I was there close to closing, but don't normally dawdle all that much when I'm eating alone anyway, so left right around closing time, with a couple tables still remaining. Not sure if I'll be back or not, but that's mainly a cost thing instead of a quality thing, it was quite good.

Breweries

Bousa Brewing (Little River)- Just... no. I honestly don't understand how this place is in business. Its difficult to find, parking is weird, and the beer was pretty bad.

LauderAle (Ft Lauderdale- Minutes away from the airport (as is 3 Sons). The beer was okay. I've only been once (today actually, on my way to the airport) and only had one flight. I'll probably be back again to try out another flight or two to give it a better chance. There certainly have a wider range of beer styles represented than 3 Sons does, but what 3 Sons has is made to a higher standard.

 

Places on my to-do list that I think are probably pretty good but I haven't made it to yet:

Yardbirds (South Beach) - every time I'm in the area something else happens to catch my eye

Migonette (between Wynwood and Brickell) - I walk by often on my way to Wynwood and it looks good... just hasn't quite pulled me in as opposed to one of the Wynwood restaurants

Joe's Stone Crab (South Beach) - couple blocks from a hotel I stay at somewhat frequently and its supposed to be the place to go to get Stone Crab. Even saw it referenced in a Billionaires episode I was watching last week. But for the price I'm pretty certain I'd rather just go to Stubborn Seed. 

Bazaar by Jose Andres (South Beach) - Its a bit out of the way from where I'm normally at, but do want to get here. Doesn't look cheap.

Anywhere outside of Wynwood, Little Havana, and South Beach - These are the main areas I hit, but I know there's other places out there.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently on a bit of a whirlwind going away tour as next week will be my last in Miami.

 

Kyu - I haven't eaten everywhere in Wynwood,  but of the places I have, this is the best. If you order the tasting menu you will NOT leave hungry. And I'm a big guy... but very high quality stuff. The smoked hamachi sushi and truffle gyoza were highlights. As honestly was the king crab fried rice. And the crafted cocktails.

 

Beat Culture - one of the newer brewery/restaurants,  on the SW side of the airport. Met the brewer/owner a couple times and just seems like a good guy. And the beer/food is very solid. They make their own hot sauce and the brewery lineup is all the way from mead and cider to stouts.

Unseen Creatures  - teh new hotness for breweries. Oh, but they're also awesome.  Great sours, solid stouts and IPAs. So far anyway. Just like Lincoln's beard, parking is a bit questionable so make sure where you park isn't a towaway zone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We spent several days down in Miami last week.  Turned out it was also the South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF) weekend, fortunately we didn't run into any Food Network stars.

Miami Beach/Mid Beach Area

Shepherd Artisan Coffee - Coffee shop/cafe along an unassuming Collins Ave shopping strip, a block from the beach.  Good coffee, pastries, and to go sandwiches (lunch on the beach!).  And certainly better than the Starbucks across the street.  Since this was close to our Airbnb, we ended up going here for coffee and pastries three times.

27 Restaurant and Bar - Packed on a Thursday night at around 9:30pm.  We managed to walk in and grab a couple of seats in the loungey upstairs bar area, with lots of low slung chairs, sofas, and tables.  Excellent Patacon (mashed fried plantains) with avocado, annatto oil and sumac onion.  Good Yucca fries with a preserved lemon mojo.  The Cauliflower with pistachio pesto and parmesan was ok. 

Traymore by Michael Schwartz - We were looking for a spot for a late afternoon cocktail and not finding much.  We stumbled across Traymore located in the Como Metropolitan Hotel.  The restaurant has a nice outdoor sitting area/garden along the bike path.  From 4pm-8pm the bar offers half price cocktails, so the $16-$17 drinks were suddenly quite reasonable.  Food and drinks have a South Asian twist and I went with a riff on a Pimm's Cup.  Pretty tasty after a day on the beach.   

South Beach

Planta - Trendy plant based menu at the southern tip of South Beach.  Croquettes of cashew mozzarella, hearts of palm. mushroom bacon and ranch dressing were very tasty.  The black bean queso with chips was solid if a bit one note.  Spicy tuna made from compressed watermelon made for a delicious maki roll.  The Planta Burger with fries was a dead ringer in taste and look to a Quarter Pounder with Cheese.  The Chicken Fried Mushrooms were a let down, more batter than mushroom.  Planta was solid, but several notches below Fancy Radish. 

Wynwood

Bakan - Hipster Mexican with house made blue corn tortillas.  Enjoyable guacamole and chips.  Very good ceviche Bakan tostadas.  And we enjoyed the quesadillas stuffed with zucchini flower, poblano, corn, epazote, and asadero cheese.  Very drinkable mule style cocktail made with mezcal.  This place has a sceney vibe, but we enjoyed the meal.  

Little Havana 

Doce Provisions - Neighborhood Modern Cuban with Asian influences.  Inside has a store front vibe and outside is an inviting courtyard.  Obviously, pick the courtyard.  An artist friend took us here for a late lunch, and we are glad she did.  Best food of the trip.  We split several different plates.  Crispy Brussels with cauliflower, bacon and sweet soy, read as every trendy of-the-moment ingredient thrown together on a plate, but excellent.  Burrata Cheese toast with mango marmalade and shoyu lemon dressing was very good with a nice large creamy ball of burrata and a scattering of greens.  Shrimp fufu was delicious. And the Lechon Asado Buns with sour orange-achiote, aji amarillo and grilled pineapple confit was excellent, the best dish of the trip.  A light, refreshing mojito rounded out the meal.  We considered coming back here for a second meal, but ran out of time.

Versailles - After lunch at Doce Provisions, the artist friend said we had to check out Versailles, so we did.  We stopped in the bakery for coffee and dessert, good sweet cafe con leche and mini-alfejores.  We decided we would stop in the next day for a late-lunch, heading to the airport meal and it seemed like the appropriate way to end our trip.  Versailles sits on the edge of local institution meets tourist trap, after all, it has trademarked "The World's Most Famous Cuban Restaurant".  However, its history is legit, apparently hosting many Cuban exile dissidents and is still a must-do on the local political circuit.  The restaurant is massive and despite always having a line, most waits are usually fairly short.  At 4pm on a Saturday, we waited about 15 minutes for a table. I had to have the Cubano, which was very good, but could have used a touch more mustard and pickles.  The gf went with the mahi-mahi sandwich and proclaimed it delicious.  We also had some very good fried sweet plantains.  All washed down with a tasty mojito and a cafe con leche to go. 

And it was off to the airport, fat and full.     

  

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...