Bostonian visiting South Florida
- Salbert Jan 15, 2007 02:02 PM
Interested in local favorites. Would like recommendations for Seafood, Sushi, Cuban Food and interesting bars...Thanks!
It takes a solid two hours to drive from West Palm Beach to Coral Gables, and a half hour or more to drive from the coast to the western suburbs. South Florida's pretty big.
It would help to know what town or neighborhood you'll be staying in. ;)
Sorry, I should have said we will be staying in Sunny Isles. Really, we are interested in chowhound's favorites, not just the types of foods we listed. We are willing to travel. Also, we'll be in town for the superbowl, so sports themes are welcome as well. We would be happy to recpirocate with recommendations in Boston if you guys get tired of all the sunshine.
check out my post in the best dishes in florida thread. For most of my recs, you will be travelling south as that is my area of expertise...
In the Sunny Isles area specifically is Timo, which many have said is good. I haven't been there myself, though I'm looking forward to trying it on a weekend getaway to Trump Sonesta in April. Definitely do a search for South Beach or Miami recs. Lots of good restaurants. if you get to Coral Gables, my favorite is Ortanique on Miracle Mile.
In Sunny Isles there are some interesting options. There is now a large Russian population with Russian delis and restaurants. One which we like is Lula's Kebobs in the RK shopping center at 180th and Collins. Terrific borscht and chicken soup with pelmenis. There is a Cuban joint, Tropical, in the strip center just north of 163rd. Good sandwiches and cafe con leche. We like the Manhattan Bakery,also in the strip mall at 180sth Street. They are from Caracas and make sandwiches besides delicious baked goods. Also good empanadas. Timo is high end New American. Good service and food. Next to Timo is a unique South Florida spot. Bissaleh Cafe is a kosher Yemenite place so it is closed Friday night and Saturday until sundown. Fabulous Israeli dips platter with unique bread called lafa. Very interesting burekas and bissales with various filling. It is a dairy restaurant so no meat. If you leave Sunny Isles Beach, try La Estancia on Biscayne Blvd. at about 180th St. It is a cafe and market from Buenos Aires. Just the place to try Havannets. Also on 123rd Street east of Biscayne is a local hangout, Il Piccolo. You will not see any tourists there. The chef is from French Morroco and most of the wait staff speaks French. Great salads and sandwiches. Large portions and fair prices. Try to avoid the many tourist traps of Miami. Get out and explore. Miami does have interesting food choices.
Timo is one of my local favorites and is right there in Sunny Isles - excellent food, very good service.
Rascal House is a Miami landmark (Jewish-style deli) on Collins around 170th which will be gone soon to make room for another condo.
There is a fantastic Japanese tapas place called Yakko-San on Dixie Highway just north of 163rd St. They do great sashimi but no sushi (though there is a take-out sushi place w/ same owners right next door)
If you go south towards Bal Harbour and Surfside, Cafe Ragazzi does very nice Italian - small place, usually a wait.
For a sampling of Miami's South American influences beyond Cuban, go a little further south to Normandy Shores area (71st St on the Beach) - there's a decent Argentine steakhouse (Vacas Gordas), and also El Rey de Chivito, a place that does a special Uruguayan sandwich which is basically death on a bun - sliced steak, ham, cheese, bacon, mayo, fried egg, lettuce, tomato ... greasy and good. There's also a nice Greek place (Ouzo's) and decent Thai (Tamarind) (although I like Siam Bayshore a little further across the causeway better).
If you're willing to travel, look for posts on South Beach or Coral Gables, Miami's two main restaurant meccas - should be lots of information.
If you're in Sunny Isles, then you could also head north (take Federal Hwy) to Hollywood. Definitely do a search, but off the top of my head I recommend: Michael's Kitchen, Argentango, Sushi Blues (great Japanese, cooked and sushi), Hollywood Vine for a fun wine bar before dinner. I hear Christina Wan's is also good for Chinese.
I was in the area for the Superbowl a few weeks ago, and I stayed in Sunny Isles. The first night we went to the Gourmet Diner, which was outstanding. Great French food served in a Diner atmosphere. It was also the best service we found our entire trip. Captain Jim's was great for fresh seafood, but they don't make cerviche anymore. For that, we went to a place in Coconut Grove that was outstanding. I wish I could remember the name. How did your trip go?
Jaguar was the place in Coconut Grove--- DELICIOUS--- good service too! Gourmet Diner has the best French Food I've had (including NY and Boston).