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Jan 8, 2007 07:29 AM

NY'ers trip to South Beach this month - need fellow chowhound help!

looking for help from fellow foodies! avoiding all the restaurants we have in NY (bond st, nobu, china grill, etc.) we have a $50 subsidy per dinner per person via work (we can cover the extra)- so far i've booked the following for dinner:

Nemo (sunday brunch)
we'll also be stopping in the joe's takeaway

does anyone have a preference between escopazzo and grazie? or does osteria del teatro reign supreme? (i sound like the iron chef host) i went there 5 years ago, so i'd prefer to try something new, but if people believe it is far superior to the other 2 italian, i will concede.

also, i need some suggestions for lunches, on the more economical side, to go to by myself. i guess i'm looking for bang for your buck, but good eats. people keep mentioning dave's cafe, but i can't find anything on the internet under that vague name. does anyone know where this is exactly? no san loco (we have in NY), i was thinking of checking out puerto sagua? any other suggestions? pizza doesn't particularly appeal to me, since we have all the pizza we need here in NY. looking for more authentic cuban, or awesome lunch places that i can dine alone and not feel weird.

any help is greatly appreciated!!!

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  1. I think esco is overrated. Grazie is good but lesser than Osteria. Osteria remains a cut above. Tuscan happens to be my second favorite italian on the beach btw...

    I don't love wish anymore. Only really liked it the first time I went years ago.

    Other Dinner suggestions

    Prime 112 - just don't get the steak (see my earlier posts on this subject)

    Tuscan Steak - Tuscan existed at one time in NYC, however, this version is MUCH better, so it doesn't count. I like social, unlike others but Tuscan is my favorite China Grille (mgmt company not the restaurant) concept.

    Marks - I'd do this over wish, but have not been in a while.

    Talula - One of my favorite restaurants in SOBE, would choose over Wish.

    Johnny V *just opened, never tried, but read anyway* - I am recommending this place because Johnny V used to be the head chef @ the astor, years ago and it was one of the best restaurants on the beach, but he left to Ft Lauderdale to start his own place, which I hear is great. Within the last few weeks, he is back at the astor as the owner of this restaurant. The first CH report on it was very positive. Definitely would do this ahead of Wish. I am going to try this place soon myself...

    Alta Mar - Very good seafood, but it has been a while.

    Sardinia - Very good sardinian place.

    Lunch Spots
    It is called David's Cafe btw and is good, either location. Lincon road is nicer.

    Puerto Sagua is the best cuban on the beach.

    El Chalan is peruvian and is exactly what you are looking for.

    A la Folie is very good, but easily matched in NY.

    Epicure - has a little cafe - the best tuna salad sandwich on earth. I took SOBE's (the poster's ) advice and got it with a kaiser roll and he has my eternal gratitude.

    There is a place on 6th and euclid that has good food and the best fruit drinks of all time. My favorites are either pinapple or watermellon, can't decide.

    Second mention fo Prime 112 - Yes this is a shocker, but you can get their awesome mac & cheese there for lunch. $10 but nice sized portion and it is my favorite mac & cheese anywhere.

    You can get awesome meatball heros @ Macaluso's

    Joe Allens - I know it exists in NYC, but supposedly ours is better :).

    Mr Chu's - Dim sum. I know you can get great Dim Sim in NY, but I find the Dim Sum here to be exceptional. I would be curious as to how a native NYC er rates it :).

    Tap Tap - hatian, I believe they are open for lunch now. Stick with chicken or fish mains here. They have the best Mojitos here btw....

    *Your Brunch Choices*
    I have been to Nemo and love it, but I would be remiss if I did not inform you of two other options that ***I have never tried, but have heard way too many great things about to ignore***. I encourage you to do more research on this subject by looking at the ones below.

    Ritz Carlton - *especially if you like champagne & mimosas*

    Note, as far as social goes, I like the place but not as much as the other dinner spots I mentioned. Social has the best people watching on friday and saturday though, if you care...Also, if you let us know what places you are thinking of going to (after getting our suggestions), I can drop some dish suggestions.

    1. thanks tpigeon!

      So I switched out Escopazzo dinner for Grazie (it also falls more under the stipend), and Wish for Talula, so any dinner rec's there are appreciated.

      We might still go to Social, so if you have any recs there, that would be helpful too.

      I think for lunch I will check out Puerto Sagua, David's (thanks for the correction, I was finally able to find it on the internet), Prime 112's mac n cheese, and if I have time I will also go by the dim sum at Mr. Chu's. How expensive is each plate (like steamed har gow, shrimp dumpling, as a measure)?

      We also might change our Nemo brunch to Talula - it is closer to the hotel. Does anyone have a preference regarding these 2?

      Thanks again for all the help! Any recs from other chowhounds also appreciated :)

      1. Mr. Chu's - I believe small plates are $3 and I believe Har Gau counts as a small plate. I am positive it is no more than $4.

        Grazie and Talula to me are "can't go wrong" places. I had not found anything in either that are exceptionally better than other dishes there and have had very good meals there.

        Social on the other hand...
        Chicken lollipops
        Skirt Steak
        Lamb Chops
        Tuna Tar Tar
        Devilled Eggs

        Their mac & cheese is very good but overpriced for the portion you get, so I don't recommend it. Not as good as P112's.

        Things not recommended @ social
        Tuna Watermellon Ceviche
        Lobster Skewers

        As far as lunch goes, I would choose between Puerto and David, then go to El Chalan which I like better than either place.

        1. I don't have a car, is there an easy way to get to El Chalan? or is cab my only option?

          1. El Chalan is on 16th and washington. Not sure why you would need a cab to go there.