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  1. #1
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    Default Restaurant recommendations for 2 nights in SoBe needed!! Thanks!!

    Hi,

    I'll be down in Miami with my boyfriend for his birthday in mid-June and wanted to get some restaurant suggestions. We're in our early 30's and going to be staying in the Ritz Carlton South Beach and won't be renting a car so it would be great to find some places that are walking distance from the hotel (are taxis easy to come by? if so then forget the walking distance requirement).


    Some background:
    We're coming in on a friday afternoon and leaving on a sunday so we'll have two nights. I was thinking of a steakhouse for the night of his birthday and have made reservations at Red. Are there any other suggestions for good steakhouses or was Red a good choice? I know Smith and Wollensky and Gotham Grill are both highly recommended on this board but we're from NYC and I just can't talk myself into going to a restaurant in Miami that we could easily go to at home. I've also considered Prime112 but I really don't like the sound of an hour + wait for a table with reservations and I'd rather not have his birthday night be stressful...thoughts?


    For the other night, I was thinking of maybe Wish, Ola, Michael's Genuine or The Restaurant at the Setai. I know the latter has gotten some bad reviews but it just looks so pretty on the website! I'd prefer somewhere with a Miami vibe and good food. He's more into the trendy atmosphere so if there are any other suggestions of good trendy restaurants that would be helpful. How is Tantra? The premise sounds interesting....


    Thanks so much in advance!

  2. #2
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Hey Lily, Welcome to Miami Beach411

    You're staying in South Beach, which is small so you can walk to a few places and take a cab to the rest. There are tons of cabs in SoBe so getting one won't be a problem.

    I wouldn't go to Red for a special birthday dinner. The food is great, although I preferred the side dishes to the steak-the brussel sprouts are amazing! I went on a Thursday or Friday at 9 (prime sobe dinner time) and the place was deserted. When I'm going out to a nice dinner, I like a buzzing atmosphere with lots of people.

    Prime 112- It has the buzzing atmosphere, the interior decor is beautiful, but my food was too oily. (Everything-the steak, the spinach) The thing I did like about Prime 112 is the wide selection of sauces for your steak. I had the chairascurro and it was excellent. The fries were great too.

    My picks for the bday dinner would be Gotham Steak or Smith & Wolensky, even though you can go in NY. Both of them have excellent steak. Choose Gotham Steak if you want a trendy restaurant with live music and a beautiful crowd. If you go the best tables are downstairs with a view of the kitchen. They have excellent cosmos and truffle fries.

    And yes, you can go to S&W in NY. But can you have fresh stone crab claws as an appitizer while sitting outside right on the bay with gorgeous views? No. There are only about 10 tables on the water so make a reservation if you can.

    The Setai is seriously overpriced. I would only go back for the shrimp stir fry noodles which were excellent or to have a drink at the bar. The decor is beautiful, indoors or out..very tranquil.

    I've never been to Wish but I'm meaning to try it. You won't go wrong with Ola or Michael's Genuine. That's a tough decision, they're both incredible-it's a tie.

  3. #3
    Preferred Member nefrocatracho's Avatar
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    Hi Lily

    Personally I would recommend Ola one night. It's a Miami original, the Chef was one of the innovators of Nuevo Latino cuisine. We loved our dinner there and have been planning on a return visit soon. It's in a quaint hotel. Despite being very busy the hostess, who looked like she stepped out of an issue of Vogue, was very friendly and got us seated quickly. The food was excellent, the price expensive of course. Overall outstanding dinner

    I have not been to Michael's yet but it's also a Miami original and gets rave reviews. It is in the Design District which would be an area to check out if you wanted to see a different part of Miami

  4. #4
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi LilyC, welcome to the forums!

    The Ritz is a beautiful property. I think you'll enjoy it!

    Michael's Genuine is great but you'll need to take a cab ride across the causeway and into the mainland. You're probably looking at about $50 total. There are plenty of places to eat on the beach.

    I concur with Sungal that even though S & W is a chain, the dining experience here is quite unique. The restaurant is actually located on the shipping cut (not the bay) right at the edge of the Atlantic, facing glamorous Fisher Island. The tables sungal is referring to are set right next to the newly paved and very romantic walk in South Pointe Park. If you cannot dine here, at least check it out for cocktails and appetizers at the outdoor bar around 4ish, that's when the cruise ships go by. It's quite a site.

    I recently dined at Scarpetta inside the Fountainbleau Hotel and really enjoyed it. I know this a sister restaurant to a NY version, but you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the beach from the terrace while you dine. (There just aren't that many waterfront dining places on Miami Beach and there's something to be said about overlooking the ocean when you dine.) Our party sampled a braised short rib and prime aged sirloin of beef that was quite mouth watering. I also had the best fresh mackerel crudo I've ever tasted. Their pastas are fresh and homemade; I really loved the duck and foie gras ravioli. They also have old school Italian cocktails that you don't find in other restaurants. Try the San Remo -- it's quite refreshing.

    After or before dinner, you can stroll on the boardwalk/path or beach right behind the hotel.

    Let us know where you decide to eat and bon appetit!

  5. #5
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Oh, off topic, but ... right below the Ritz there is a nice little cozy Piano Lounge. It's very low-key, at least when I've been there. If you want a nice spot to sit close and enjoy a drink without all the drama of a packed bar or club, I recommend it.

  6. #6
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Oh, I forgot to answer your question about Tantra -- the food is great and the atmosphere interesting with the sultry decor, but I'd still pick a waterfront dining experience for at least once of your culinary adventures.

  7. #7
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Don't let a quick cab ride get in the way of eating at Michael's Genuine. Check out the menus of Ola and MG and see ehat looks good..also see where you can get a table. I think at this point I'm crumbling and giving my vote to Ola.

    I highly recommend getting a bunch of ceviches and appatizers, and sharing a main dish. The ceviches and the bread were the best part! Plus you clearly want to try food you can't have in NY and you can't get food like Ola in NY.

    If you guys are big foodies (and will just do Red or Prime 112), I'd just skip the steakhouse and go to Ola and Michael's Genuine.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    A couple of other suggestions: If money is no object, Barton G (1427 West Ave) is a sensory experience not to be missed. Also, Cafe Papillon (530 Lincoln Road) offers a romantic sidewalk setting and sumptuous Parisian fare amid the energy of South Beach's most popular pedestrian thoroughfare. While you're on Lincoln Road, another place to check out is the Van Dyke Cafe at 846 Lincoln, which also has plenty of outdoor seating. Don't let the name "cafe" throw you off -- they have some excellent entrees. I remember loving the ahi tuna...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Restaurant recommendations for 2 nights in SoBe needed!! Thanks!!

    Thanks so much for the recommendations all! They are all very very helpful!

    I don't think I mentioned it in my first post but this whole weekend is a surprise and as such, I'm choosing all of the restaurants on my own so it's great to have all of your input!

    Right now I think I'm leaning towards Ola for the first night and S&W the second night as being able to eat outside with a view of the water sounds lovely. Gotham Grill and Scarpetta sound awesome too so if we don't end up eating as S&W, I'll make sure that we at least stop there for drinks and apps...

    Ok now comes the fun part of calling these places up and trying to get a prime time reservation on a Friday/Saturday night!

  10. #10
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Two to consider

    I just had a great dinner at the new "Forge." This is a miami beach landmark (midbeach) redone. Very nice.

    I adore Prime 112. Classic southbeach, showbiz, photo-op HQ. I like the food and service. Some say the food is to heavy and the service is condenscending. I have not experienced that and consider it one of my favorite places. Nevertheless, I can see how one could get a less than favoriable experience there. But I really like it.

  11. #11
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Restaurant recommendations for 2 nights in SoBe needed!! Thanks!!

    Quote Originally Posted by LilyC View Post
    Thanks so much for the recommendations all! They are all very very helpful!

    I don't think I mentioned it in my first post but this whole weekend is a surprise and as such, I'm choosing all of the restaurants on my own so it's great to have all of your input!

    Right now I think I'm leaning towards Ola for the first night and S&W the second night as being able to eat outside with a view of the water sounds lovely. Gotham Grill and Scarpetta sound awesome too so if we don't end up eating as S&W, I'll make sure that we at least stop there for drinks and apps...

    Ok now comes the fun part of calling these places up and trying to get a prime time reservation on a Friday/Saturday night!
    Good luck and be sure to come back here and let us know all about your experience!

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