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Mar 19, 2007 06:55 PM

South Beach with Wife first timer

Got a weekend coming up in May and going to take the wife to South Beach. Would like a few choices for breakfast, lunch and a really nice dinner preferably on the street to catch the "sights" and drinks/fun later - does not have to be cheap but I ain't Tom Cruise either. Just something to say we experienced it. Both the wrong side of 40 (who cares right, but don't want it to be a 20 something's club scene please. Thank you in advance

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  1. Front Porch, Ice Box, Balans, Cafeteria for breakfast

    Lunch - Ice Box, Cafeteria - hamburger, mac & cheese, rest is inconsistent, Pasha, Pizza Rustica on lincoln rd, Paninoteca

    Dinner - Sushi Samba (expensive), Pacific Time (more expensive), perhaps Quattro (most expensive) and not as good as pacific time. Sushi Samba is my first choice given what you are looking for. Quattro is more hip than Pacific Time.

    Drinks -- friday happy hour @ Smith & Wollensky - other days, go to segafredo, vodka/gin & tonics/sodas are by far the best bargains there.

    4 Replies
    1. re: tpigeon

      All very good recommendations.

      I might add Big Pink for breakfast.
      Cafeteria can be good for lunch or dinner as well as breakfast, but is somewhat hit & miss b/c of the extensive menu.
      Mr. Chu's (8th & Washington) does good dim sum for lunch.
      All of TP's dinner suggestions are on Lincoln Road which is good thinking, can sit outside and get in some people-watching at the same time. I'd add, at a lower price point than those listed, Le Bon (Belgian) and Rosinella (Italian).
      You should walk Ocean Drive as well but there's not much good eating along there. Only exception I can think of is Table 8 at the north end in the Regent Hotel, which I've only been to once but was quite good. Also a nice place to have a drink.

      1. re: Frodnesor

        Le Bon is a good suggestion, but Rosinella is a bit too far east on lincoln for ideal people watching (not that it is bad, it just is not as good as the other places).

        Table 8 is about as expensive as quattro and there is no street side seating, but there is good, though somewhat limited people watching. That all being said, it is amongst the best places to eat in Sobe.

        1. re: tpigeon

          Table 8 has street side tables. They are outdoors along Ocean.

          1. re: scscr

            they are overlooking the street but not on the street like sushi samba or front porch

    2. Hubby and I were in South Beach about three weeks ago for the third time. We had an excellent dinner at OLA (which stands for Of Latin America). Expensive, but the atmosphere was nice and food was unusual. Look around the hotel--Sanctuary--that the restaurant is in--very unusual too. We also liked Oriente alot on Ocean Drive, in addition to the other restaurants listed on this topic. We had also returned to Ice Box for dinner and thought it was just ok, and no atmosphere. I tried the German chocolate cake that gets rave reviews and didn't think it was extraordinary.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Mayner

        Ola is expensive and it is indoors. I like it though. Bananna bread pudding is the best dessert @ ice box btw.

        1. re: tpigeon

          Banana bread pudding sounds wonderful. I will try it on our next trip down,hopefully soon!

        2. re: Mayner

          what did you eat at OLA if you don't mind me asking and happen to remember?

          1. re: netmover

            (I know you weren't asking me, but...) We used to go to Ola regularly when it was on Biscayne, only went once when they first moved to the beach (to the Savoy Hotel) and the space was so disappointingly sterile and bland it really felt like they had sort of lost their mojo. Haven't been since they moved again to Sanctuary.

            Having said that, I don't believe the menu has changed much. The ceviches are excellent (though a bit expensive, esp. if you get a sampler), with several different types of fish each prepared a different way. Of the entrees, my favorite is a duck "two ways" with a seared breast accompanied by a very pungent escabeche-type sauce (the vinegary note a little weird but not bad), and a "raspado" which is almost like a sort of baked rice dish w/ duck confit, raisins & pine nuts, where the rice gets a little crispy. The roast pork was disappointing when I had it.

            Now that they've moved from the depressing Savoy location I ought to try again.

            1. re: netmover

              We shared a Cerviche--don't remember which one but it was very good (although we had never had it before so I can't compare); "mystery meatballs"--very delicious; I had the Crispy Pork which was recommended by our waiter--I liked it alot, but I'm really not a pork eater and probably could have ordered something more to my liking (my mistake); hubby had the Fish of the Day which was prepared with sauteed spinach and calamari, mussels, and some other things. Very tasty and fresh. He had mojitos and I had some kind of zowie pink drink with Passion in the name that was excellent. We didn't have dessert--I like to stop at Ghiradelli's on our walk back up Lincoln. Ola is definitely on our "return to" list!

              1. re: Mayner

                one of my absolute favorite dishes anywhere is their plantain crusted mahi served in two puddles 1 a cold tomato escabeche, the other a hot shreaded osso bucco.! the pork was so-so. the new space is nice.