Group dining in FLL/MIA in January
Still researching. Here's my original post.
I've gotten a little afriad of Chef Allen's because everything I've seen lately says that it's gone downhill.
So, here's my latest plan:
The majority of the group will fly in FLL arriving right before lunch on a Thursday. So, I'm thinking Shirttail Charlie's for lunch that first day then dinner at the hotel.
On Friday we'll drive up to Chima (which will be about a 30 minute drive from Sunny Isles Beach) We'll have rental cars. It'll be a hassle, but not the end of the world. Or alternatively, I could rent a van and driver to do away with the driving hassles. I would go to Texas de Brazil which is closer, but most of us live near one.
Saturday will be Italian night. I'll divide the group up so we can spend more one-on-one time with fewer people and send them to three different restaurants nearby. I'm thinking about
Prezzo (in Aventura, just reviewed in the paper
Sunday will be our last night there. I've decided to dump Chef Allen's and am thinking about North One 10. Wherever we go this last night, I'm planning to hire a limo, so transportation isn't a big deal.
We will be leaving on Monday late afternoon out of FLL. So I need something interesting for lunch.
What do you think about the current plan? Has anybody actually BEEN to Prezzo? What should I change? I'd love any hellp you can offer.
The indoor space of Talula is pleasant but will not knock your socks off. The outdoor space is quite nice (but my one time eating out there the service was lousy - could have just been a random bad night).
For a nice venue, one of my favorite spaces, and the food is also quite good, is Nemo, on the south end of South Beach. It's a block away from the ocean but not in the middle of all the Ocean Drive people-traffic, and there are several different spaces in the restaurant indoor and out which are quite nice, open kitchen, interesting, somewhat seafood-intensive menu. Would probably be a good choice for a group.
For Saturday, my 3 top suggestions for places close to Sunny Isles would be Timo, La Goulue, and Oishi Thai (around 150th & Biscayne) (all are within 5 miles). Oishi does Thai and sushi, but I actually haven't had the Thai food yet. The sushi/Japanese menu is quite interesting though because the chef did some time at Nobu and has taken many of the menu items with him, including some of the great Nobu dishes like the toro tartare, the spicy tempura shrimp, the "new style sashimi", etc. I am usually not a big fan of the [various Asian]/sushi places, but this one seems to work.
If you're into Italian, Cafe Ragazzi in Surfside (9500 Harding Ave.) is excellent. However I don't think they take reservations and there's always a wait.
For something different, there's a new, small, very charming Mexican place around 150th & Biscayne called Cheen Huaye that focuses on authentic Yucatan dishes. There's a thread here:
Okay, Prezzo's out. The reason I didn't include Casa de Angelo is because it's so far away from Sunny Isles Beach, and I don't want to drag that many people that far away.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to rent a van & driver for Friday night when we go to Chima to reduce travel hassles.
I want Saturday night dinner to be at 3 restaurants close to us. They don't have to be walking distance since we'll have rental cars. I thought it might be nice to have a theme and picked Italian because my dh has decided to run the Miami marathon the next day, and HE wants to eat pasta. I could go international and have one group do Italian, another group do French at La Goulou, and the third group do Cuban or asian?
On Sunday night we can schlep anywhere we want because riding around in the big, tacky limo will be part of the fun. I want to go some place that will be really pretty and have really interesting food, and not be too noisy.
Here's the lineup at this point:
Thursday lunch - Seafood on the river, near the airport
Thursday dinner - European/New American, at the hotel (no travel)
Friday dinner - Brazilian steakhouse, 1/2 hour away
Saturday dinner - Ethnic nearby, split into smaller groups
Sunday dinner - Something really wonderful in a beautiful venue, location isn't a big deal HELP
Monday lunch - Something on the beach? Maybe Sugar Reef? Need help here, too.
Thanks for all the help on this! It's kind of nerve-racking to try to please a big group and worry about logistics, etc.
North One Ten??? Not one of my favorites. Its not a pretty place and I am just not a fan so I would skip that one. If you will have the limos, I would really recommend Casa de Angelo in Fort Lauderdale. It is a lovely restaurant with superb food and service. Its my favorite for Italian. Its upscale and everyone I know loves it. The food is very fresh and there are always numerous specials. Personally, I'd go there for the Italian night as it is MUCH better than those you mentioned. There are several private rooms that could accomodate your entire party or you could separate at different tables. here's the link but it looks better in person:www.casa-d-angelo.com . For Sunday night, you might try Marks Las Olas,in FLL or Miami (there are 2 locations) but I like the Ft Laud one better. Marks has a large menu and nice service. Timo is pretty good, and I also like Prime 112 and Tuscan Steak on South Beach. Il Mulino is in Sunny Isles but is quite expensive so be forwarned. As far as lunch--that's when I would do Prezzo. It has good salads, pizza, etc. Have fun......
Wow, that's quite a lot of people-moving! It's been a while (couple years) since I've been to Prezzo, it's OK at best, and also usually very loud. You won't have a bad meal there, just unlikely it'll be anything you remember a week later.
I know people who absolutely love North 110. I have been a couple of times, and frankly just don't get what is so exciting - which is a real disappointment to me, because it's a place that SEEMS like it ought to be great. Just never done it for me. The place is also a little depressing, low-slung roof and dimly lit, even though they've really tried to spruce it up. I keep on meaning to try it again and give it another shot. Others may well have much more positive things to say about it.
It may not be ideal for your situation since I don't think they take reservations, but you may want to check out La Goulue in Bal Harbour. Bistro-style French, well-executed. I started a discussion here:
My favorite of the group you listed (and one of my favorites in SoFL) is Timo.