NYC Foodie Looking for Good Eats in SoBe/Miami
I'm heading down to Miami in a couple of weeks and want to know the best spots for grabbing authentic cuban food (black beans, porkchops, etc), the best spots for excellent cocktails (similar to Milk & Honey in NYC if possible) and just overall good spots to check out (seafood, nuevo latino, etc). I don't really care about how hip or of the moment a place is, I'm just looking for some serious good food. Any advice/tips? :-)
Thank you in advance!
For cocktails try the bar at the South Beach Ritz-Carlton's David Bouley Evolution-the drinks guy came down from NYC with Bouley, makes his own bitters and infusions, only uses fresh juices, etc. Also likes to set things on fire. Great company and very funny-I was there 2 months ago, so hopefully nothing's changed. He made some celebratory champagne cocktails for my wife's birthday that were amazing.
Nothing like Milk & Honey here. Considering how easily accessible fresh and exotic fruit juices are you'd think someone would do something focusing on the cocktail.
South Beach has been well covered. If you want Cuban you probably need to venture into Miami proper. Las Culebrinas is a favorite, but it's a little out of the way. As far as seafood goes there's no one place that everyone heads for seafood. That being said, Table 8 does a great job of focusing on local product.
You've gotten some good suggestions.
Great! Thank you! I'm going to have a car so I'm totally into driving if a place is worth the trip. I'm disappointed to hear that there aren't any great cocktail bars in Miami/SoBe. Is there any place I could go for a good, strong mojito? :-)
I'll definitely try to check out all of the places you guys listed. Is there any spot I could go for a good, hearty breakfast/brunch? I've seen some other posts that recommend the Biltmore, but in the same sentence they say the food is just ok. Is there a better spot to try?
Tap Tap does a good mojito but most bars in SoBe will do a decent rendition these days. I'd suggest any of the hotel bars in the refurbished Art Deco buildings toward the north end of Collins (i.e., the Raleigh, Delano, Sagamore) as nice places to have a drink.
Front Porch on Ocean Drive is good for breakfast (pancakes especially) and is one of the few places on Ocean Drive worth eating at. I also like IceBox (Lincoln Road) and Cafeteria (Lincoln Road) for breakfast too. Talula does a pretty elaborate Sunday brunch but I haven't been since they lost their pastry chef, which could have a big impact.
I am a big mojito junkie, and really like the mojitos at Touch on Lincoln Road. They use 10 Cane Rum (it's a darker rum) and sugar cane sticks, and also have some excellent but pricey aged rum mojitos. My favorite is the berry mojito, it has fresh berries muddled in the bottom of the glass (instead of being flavored with a cheap flavored liquor).
I've also seen a lot of praise for the Tap Tap mojitos on these boards, but have not tried them myself.
Second Las Culebrinas! Yes, it is out of the way a bit, but it is in the Calle Ocho, will you will find what you're looking for. If you're in that area, you can always venture a bit West to the north-west corner of Flagler and 57th ave. Go at lunch time. There are different vendors in this tiny market-like picnic setting serving all kinds of Latin fare and fresh tropical juices, including fresh coconuts with staw for sipping the nectar/water. It helps to know some basic Spanish.
Cannot think of any "serious" bars in SoBe of the type you're contemplating, though I'm more of a wino than a cocktail guy in the first place (not that I can think of any great SoBe wine bar either for that matter). I happen to like the bar at Emeril's and think they make a nice drink.
Probably the tops on Nuevo Latino is OLA which is now at the Sanctuary Hotel. It's moved around a couple times and I haven't been at the new spot but had several very good meals when it was on Biscayne Blvd. For more local influence (both style and ingredients, not exclusviely latino), I think the best places on the Beach are Talula (23rd St. off Collins) and Mark's (in the Nash Hotel at 11th & Collins). Neither are particularly sceney.
I second Sardinia which I first tried only this past weekend and really enjoyed, and also Mr. Chu's for dim sum and Graziano's for upscale Argentine parrillada.
Off SoBe, I would add:
Timo - Sunny Isles (170th & Collins) - varied, somewhat mediterranean-influenced menu, excellent execution, pleasant place, one of my local favorites.
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink (Design District) - again, a varied menu, several smaller dishes, and done very well. Has been very busy, will probably need a reservation. Look for posts here w/ pretty extensive commentary.
In sobe I would go to
Puerto Sagua for cuban
Tap Tap (Hatian) has the worlds best mojitos and has solid food
El Chalan - peruvian
Try the dim sum @ Mr. Chu's for lunch btw. I would love to hear a comparison between chinatown NY and Chu. I think it holds its own.
Sardinia is great sardinian food
Liberty is my favorite argentinian steakouse on the beach
Las olas cafe has the worlds best pinapple and watermelon fruit juices
Tuscan Steak has great cocktails and is one of my favorite restaurants
Talula and Table 8 are probably the two best overall restaurants in sobe at the moment. Table 8 is a scene whereas talula is not, but they are similar priced.
Going off the beach. If you have a car...
Graziano's on bird rd is a must
River Oyster bar has the best ribs I ever had - and has awesome ceviche
Not an expert in off the beach cuban, so I will let others step in
Francesco's is about as good peruvian as you can get.
If you decide to tell us where you are going, I might be able to offer dish suggestions.