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Nov 6, 2001 11:44 PM

South Beach

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I'm going to be in South Beach next weekend..2 couples..any suggestions? we'll be staying on 4th and car..I've been quite a few times and have always liked Nemos, Astor Place a few years ago, been to Tantra for drinks but never eaten..are these worth going to? Sat night we want to go out for fun atmosphere as much as good food..thinking of China Grill..thoughts? restaurants seem to come and go in south beach pretty quickly..any other thoughts...1 night we'll probably go expensive but moderate priced suggestions are also welcome. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Nemo's is still the bomb; best Sunday brunch buffet
    anywhere. And, of course, Joe's Stone Crab, the
    venerable favorite. Try some of the new places (of
    which there are many) and let us know.

    7 Replies
    1. re: ablarson

      I've become a fan of Joes Takeout..beat the long wait.

      1. re: 9lives
        Vital Information

        We always do a late lunch at Joe's. Not only is there no wait, but the room(s) themselve become more attractive without the hordes. And, a real big advantage of lunch, the Armand Salad - if you like garlic.

        The whole trick at Joe's, of course, is figuring out how to fill yourself without going broke on the stone crabs. That is where the salad comes in handy. Ms. VI and myself usually split it, and it goes a long way towards rounding out our appetites. On the same vein, we have always been partial to the fried oysters.

        Contray to various surveys, Joe's is one of the top ten resturants in the USA.

        Even though the key lime pie will satiate you for a while, there is a really good argentian ice cream place on the pedestrian mall (Lincoln Avenue). Sorry, I cannot rememeber the name of the place, but you can not miss it. It should tide you over until dinner


        1. re: Vital Information

          There's a Parmalat gelato place on Lincoln Road. . .is that the place you mean? Never tried it, but looked interesting. . .I prefer my milk the normal way, thanks. ;-)

          1. re: Denise K.

            The Parmalat is excellent. Maybe my favorite gelato I've ever had. The flavors turnover is high ensuring freshness. Mandorla, dulce de leche, all so good.

            1. re: iron frank

              Back to Joe's...lunch is the way to go. Except I love Martinis and its hard driving across the causeway after two. Anyway, you still need to get there around 12-ish for lunch. By 1 pm, its mobbed. And Fridays are the worst, every politician in town is there. Way to lose your appetite.
              Love the cold seafood platter...a sample of stone crabs, shrimp, oysters, etc.

              1. re: MiamiChow
                Vital Information

                Rememeber when the Joe's menu had the story about Craig Clairbone's late lunch, and it discussed his drinking of chablis with the stone crabs...

                Well, I agree that a martini is a better choice, but I have to say, for the record, that THE thing to drink at Joe's--one of those magical food beverage combo's like lamb and cab, beer and brats, cavier and vodka--is the classic daqueri and stone crabs. Try it.

                (thanks for reminding me of the name of the ice cream place)


                1. re: Vital Information

                  Thanks for the tip. I will try next time...but no straw so I don't look like a tourist (and endure an even longer wait!)

    2. Tantra is a lot of fun but I don't think the food is worth those prices, though it is very good and creative. Also, if you eat late, as we do, once the music is on and it turns into more of a 'club', it's so loud you can't talk across the table.

      If you are going to spend the money, I would suggest the Blue Door at the Delano Hotel. I think it's some of the best food in South Beach and a definite MUST. It's a totally different atmosphere though, so it depends on what you're looking for (Tantra - loud and energetic; Blue Door - hip yet gorgeous and elegant). The Delano itself is one of my favorite places to have a cocktail. Beautiful, airy, trendy lobby with the Rose Bar, or even better, the more casual bar outside by the pool on the sand. Go early, have a drink and people watch, and then enjoy dinner at the Blue Door.

      I too love Nemo's but for something different - the Pacific Time is exccellent, with a similar creative pan-asian fusion menu. (One caveat- I haven't been there in 2+ years and things change so much in Miami).

      I know China Grill has its detractors but it is one of my favorite restaurants and I always go there one night when I'm in Miami. I've never had a bad experience. It's fun, the energy is great, funky atmosphere, and I love the food. It's always delicious and consistent. Everything is sized to share so it's great for a group. I definitely recommend it. Some of my favorite dishes - Shanghai lobster served with ginger and crispy spinach, the ahi tempura, and the spicy Caesar salad.

      Some places I haven't been to, but have heard good things about - Wish, Norman's, and Marks on South Beach.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Rubee

        Just did a little checking on the info I gave you:

        Norman's isn't in South Beach, it's in Coral Gables (sorry).

        Also, this is interesting since I think you're from Boston also - I wondered where Michael Reidt (the chef from Bomboa)went after he won Food and Wine mag's Best New Chef. It looks like he went to Wish. Reviews are mixed on Citysearch:


        1. re: Rubee

          I knew the name Michael Reidt was very familiar. I checked out this board even tho I'll probably never be in Florida again and noticed our 9Lives looking for info. But does anyone know what made Reidt leave Bomboa after getting all that acclaim? I assumed it was something sordid like he had to go into rehab since it all happened so fast, but he's obviously doing pretty well in a much hipper city than Boston.

        2. re: Rubee

          Rubee..We seem to have very similar tastes..that was always my impression about Tantra. I love the Delano for drinks..haven't yet had dinner there..also like Pac Time and Wish..pre Michael Reidt. Everyone is arriving (from Boston) at different times so Sat night looks like the first night for a real sitdown meal..prob China Grill..try for Blue Door or Pac Time on Sunday. Nemos and Joes Stone Crab for lunches..Cuban sandwiches at Dave's for snacks..and long jogs in I can still fit in my bathing suit..:)

        3. Definitely check out Wish at The Hotel (8th & Collins, I think). Very good food, interesting fusion (not bad, in your face fusion) of local products, flavors and really well-executed. We had a large group there for a wedding and most are in the industry one way or another. Only one had a disappointing meal and that was over a few days and lots of good food and drink.

          1. Nemo and China Grill are both good, China Grill particularly for a crowd because everything is served family style. The Astor and Delano are nice places for drinks - also the Shore Club, especially the outdoor area if the weather is nice.

            For my money, the best gelato in Miami is at Dolce Vita (several locations including, I think, one down in SoFi near Joe's). I don't think Parmalat can hold a candle to it (and no accounting scandals either!)

            Mark's on South Beach has excellent food. It's pricey, and feels slightly less South Beach-y than other places because it's in a sort of odd (but classy) below-ground space, but I like it a lot.

            Norman's is in the Gables, not the Beach, and it seems that Norman Van Aken has sort of checked out of the place. Used to be very good but haven't been recently.

            Some people love Wish, others think it is silly. I've only been once and couldn't quite make up my mind.

            I went back to Pacific Time recently after having not been for several years and it was like a time warp - almost nothing has changed. For locals (at least this local), the place has grown sort of tired but if you've never been it may be a different story.

            There are several new restaurants that have opened up, unfortunately I can't personally comment on them all, as I haven't been to some yet:
            Fifty, which is in SoFi - website:
            8 1/2 at 8th and Washington -
            Vix at 11th & Ocean - (I did eat here and although the menu sounds great, I was underwhelmed by the food - good place for drinks though).
            Social Miami in the Sagamore Hotel is also getting talked up a bunch - exec. chef is Michelle Bernstein. I was underwhelmed by this as well, and like her other new place (Michy's on 69th and Biscayne Blvd.) better (although it has its detractors too).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Frodnesor

              Can anyone out there help me with pricing? I was wondering roughly how much a night at Talula's would cost, 2 people and wine. I just want to know what Im getting myself into before going. It might very be the kind of place that if you have to ask how much dinner is you cant afford it. But I thought I'd consult you guys anyways. Thanks in advance.

            2. The original comment has been removed