Help! A Miami Virgin Needs Excellent Reccomendation for New Years!
L.A. girl heads east for a SoBe New Year's!
Can you help a dedicated chowhound dine well? We'll be in South Beach for 4 days, including New Year's Eve. We were hoping for great Cuban, some high end, some low end, and a fun spot with delicious food for New Year's Eve (Blue Door? Nemo?). And I'm really torn about Joe's Stone Crab - yea or nay? Please help!
Thank you! Thank you!
p.s. We're also visiting my boyfriend's parents in Boca Raton...
Well, I am back from the coldest winter ever recorded in Miami! But it was sunny and beautiful anyway, with lots of great people watching! Even for an L.A. girl cruising through the Delano was an experience in excess!
Anyhoo, down to business: my favorite thing food-wise was the Yuca fries at Versailles on Calle Ocho. They were perfectly fried and crunchy without being super greasy, and they were served super-hot. The tangy cilantro dipping sauce made my toes curl with delight! Yum! I think Little Havana's Versailles may just win over L.A.'s Versailles - although the restaurants seem very similar in style.
The rest of our stops were kind of scene-y, not very Chowhoundish, I must admit. The food at Yuca was okay, but seemed over priced for how it actually tasted. And we actually had some divine goodies at Bambu - melt in your mouth rock shrimp, delightful asparagus tempura, and excellent tuna roll. The regular sushi was okay, but not as substantial and juicily fresh as I like.
In Palm Beach we had a very loud lunch at Bice, since the hostess at Taboo was acting like she just came back from freebasing in the ladies room and was not writing anyone's name in the reservation book. I don't think I've ever seen so many furs and diamonds and Lily Pulitzer anywhere, espcially at lunch time. At Bice I had a very nice and simple spinach and hearts of palm salad with goat cheese. And they have this almond nougat cream with caramel concoction for dessert which is out of this world.
In Boca Raton, we had dinner at Addison's, where the most transcendent thing was a awesome key lime tart. One of the entrees was also particularly delicious: sea bass on a rice and vegetable cake. The sweet silky smoothness of the soy ginger sea bass was perfectly complimented by the salty and crispy rice cake.
But hands down, those Yuca fries win. I will always dream of them!! Now that I'm home, though, it's back to the Hollywood diet!!! Ha-ha!
Julia, as I've said on another board, we've got lots of Cuban and Joe's Stone Crab advice all over this board, plus tons more chow tips than you could ever begin to exhaust. Take a look through, and come back with specific questions.
As for new year's...this solution isn't for everybody, but one route would be to just sort of HANG OUT on calle ocho, go from place to place, party Cubano. Look around, be outgoing, make it spontaneous. Be a partyhound.
re: Jim Leff
Careful with Calle Ocho, there are some places you would not want to be stuck in in the middle of the night. I'm in my fourth year at UM, and the opportunities for chowhounds in Miami are endless. Versailles, as our fellow chowhound recommended, looks beautiful from the outside, though I've never been. A word about Joe's: they don't take reservations, ever. On a normal weekend night, a short wait is 2.5 hours. If you want the highest of high-end, you must go to The China Grill, on 4th St. in South Beach (huge building with rainbow-colored lights). If you can't bear the wait for Joe's, excellent seafood may be had on Key Biscayne, just south of downtown on US 1 off Rickenbacker Causeway, at either Sunday's (to your right) or Rusty Pelican (on the left). Both are absolutely lovely, and their food is legendary. If you want low-end, fabulous Cuban food, drive along Calle Ocho (8th St.) or LeJeune (42nd Ave.) and eat in any place with the word "cafeteria" in the title. Trust me on this one. :-) Happy eating!