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3 nights in Miami


Mr CF and I are heading to north Miami for a business conference next weekend and while our days will be taken by meetings, 2 of our nights are free.

I've been checking the boards for recommendations and based on what I've read I think we are going to try Timo one night but I'm trying to narrow down the last choice.

It seems that most of the restaurants we might be interested in are in South Beach, which seems like a long way from where we are staying (Turnberry Isle Resort), and as such I want to be sure I'm making a good choice.

I'm thinking of: Talula, Michaels or Marks Las Olas. I also saw Lola's on Harrison - I think it's close to the hotel but the menu has a small wine list.

Any help will be appreciated!


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  1. Michael's kitchen has closed and will reopen at the end of the year in sunny isles

    2 Replies
    1. re: westwood3

      CF may have been thinking of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in Miami Design District and if so was thinking wisely. If you're in Miami you can do Mark's South Beach in the Nash Hotel instead of going up to Fort Lauderdale, though from Turnberry it's probably equidistant.

      For an extended discussion of how best to spend 3 days/nights in Miami, see this post which faced the same dilemna:

      Particularly if you're in Aventura area I would add Timo to your list of places to consider. It's in Sunny Isles (the beachside north/south equivalent to Aventura on the mainland) and they do nicely executed, somewhat mediterranean influenced food with a menu that changes often.

      Can check website here ->
      and sample menu here (will take a couple extra clicks) ->

      1. re: Frodnesor

        Thanks Frodnesor!

        I was thinking of Michael's Genuine Food and Drink.

        Mark's South Beach in the Nash Hotel is actually closer than the one in Fort Lauderdale, to my surprise.

        Thanks also for the links, both from the previous post and Timo's website. When I tried to follow an earlier link you posted for them - it was expired.

        I appreciate the help!

    2. Talula and Marks are great choices. Not sure what Michael's place you're talking about. Table 8, tuscan steak house, nemo, prime 112, nobu - if you have never been would also be great choices given the places you have chosen already.

      3 Replies
      1. re: tpigeon

        Ugh -- had the WORST experience at Table 8. Awful, awful service coupled with mediocre food. I've talked to a lot of people that have had similar -- even the hotel staff agreed with us. You can't go wrong with Nemo, and Michael's is my new Miami favorite, but Table 8 is deeply skippable.

        1. re: Miamian

          I have to politely disagree with your review of Table 8. My waiter was fantastic, on top of everything, great recommendations, and he did not push any extra food on us even when we asked him to. The salad was delicious, the steak and fish were both cooked perfectly. The panna cotta was great, as were the specialty cocktails. The waiting to be seated is annoying, but the service was so good that it earned a 30% gratuity from our party.

          1. re: mikek

            I have to agree with mikek. We have had great meals there always with good service. And yes, waiting to be seated even though you have a reservation is extremely annoying, but if you know it beforehand it doesn't make it so bad.

      2. OLA & OPA

        OLA = SOBE

        1. Just wanted to second Westwood3 post about Michael's Genuine Food & Drink. I ate there tonight and had a fabulous meal and great service. If you're up for a drive I'd go there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nutella

            If you are willing to travel, I'd do either Michael's Genuine, Talula, Osteria del Teatro, or Tuscan Steak. I really like Prime 112 (also in SoBe) but the wait (even with a reservation can be daunting). Personally, I would skip Lola's (although I gave it a good review awhile back) simply because it is in a different class and still up-and- coming. You might consider Morton's for steak and such as it is in Aventura and within close proximity. So as to be clear, there are two Mark's Restaurants. One is in South Beach and the other is on Las Olas Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale. Both are very good. If you would consider going to a restaurant that does not take reservations but is well located for you in Sunny Isles/Surfside (just down the road from where you are staying) try Cafe Rigazzi. It is italian and the food is extrmemly good and fresh.

          2. If you want to stay close to Turnberry, I would second Timo and also consider Chef Allen. He doesn't get a lot of love on the board but he does a solid job. I recently attended a wine dinner there and every course was excellent. I think the wine list is posted online. Check it out. It's down the block from Tberry.

            Yakko-San is another great option in the area. You can see the menu on the restaurantelite link above.

            Chef Allen's
            19088 NE 29th Ave., Aventura, FL 33180

            3 Replies
            1. re: Sobe

              We finally went to Lola's the other night and I was very disappointed. I keep hoping for something wonderful to happen in Hollywood, but....

              1. re: Sobe

                Hi Sobe

                I checked out Chef Allens menu - food and wine - and they look pretty good to me. Why do you think he doesn't get much love on the board? I had seen a posting for them and had writen them down as a possibility.

                Based on the menus - it looks like a winner to me!


                1. re: Cookiefiend

                  Sorry I didn't respond to this sooner. Missed your post. Anyway, when I said "no love" I was simply referring to the fact that they do not get mentioned on the board. I was not implying that they get bad reviews or negative posts etc. I think the lack of posts are partly due to the location. Most requests on the board are for the South Beach and Miami area and not Aventura. Not all but a majority. The fact that they have been around for twenty years also plays a role. I enjoyed the tasting menu last time I was there.

              2. I've made reservations for Michael's Genuine - Saturday, Talula - Sunday and Chef Allen on Monday.

                thanks for all the help guys!


                13 Replies
                1. re: Cookiefiend

                  Well played. Interested in hearing a post mortem. Haven't been to Chef Allen in a long time.

                  1. re: Frodnesor

                    I'll post our thoughts, it's the least I can do!

                    1. re: Cookiefiend

                      \threadjack alert\
                      for which I apologize in advance. Wife and I making our semi-annual pilgrimage to Sobe early October (before *SOB* Stone Crab season opens). Staying at the Ritz in Key Biscayne for three nights and the Ritz in West Palm (Manalapan for the geographically finicky) one night. Have car will travel. Already booked at The Forge for our steak craving. Wife likes Italian and we haven't tried Sardinia so that may be a mortal lock for night #2. Looking for suggestions for night #3. Anything new on Lincoln Mall? I'm thinking fresh fish/seafood. Undying gratitude and bonus points for anyone who comes up with a suggestion for dinner in the West Palm Beach area. Unfortunately we are limited due to Wife's food allergies. Nothing oriental (which means another trip to Miami w/out dim sum, dammit) and neither of us like Indian. TIA!

                      1. re: Rondo

                        Le Bon on Lincoln Road is newer but if you're down semi-annually probably doesn't qualify as new. Belgian food, same owners as Tiramisu and Spris, very good moules and frites, probably a good place for other fish/seafood (I always get moules & frites when I go).

                        I very much enjoy Sardinia and think it's worth trying if you haven't been yet.

                        In West Palm, I've only been once but thought that the Daniel Boulud place in the Brazilian Court Hotel was a nice meal. The menu is sort of confusing, broken up into "themes" of "traditional", "seasonal", "voyage" (international) and something else, but the food was pretty good. Pricey, but if you're already booked at the Forge then you must be a big spender!

                        1. re: Frodnesor

                          Thanks, as always, Frod, for your suggestions. Have yet to try Le Bon. Passed by it the last couple times down. We really like Spris so maybe we will give it a whirl this time around. There are a number of Belgian restaurants here in Philly and it would be interesting to compare Fla moules and frites against Philadelphia's finest. How do you rate A Fish Called Avalon, assuming it is still around?
                          As for West Palm, not sure we would enjoy Boulud. We don't mind paying through the nose for a good steak but we aren't that excited about what we consider "chi chi" food and, to us, Boulud definitely fits the category. Believe me, "basic food at a decent price" suggestions are always welcome. We usually do one "to hell with the cost" meal (in the past it's been Barton G; gotta love the pageantry that comes along with the food) so this time The Forge is our pick. We were thinking of Prime 112, but we passed by it last trip down and were a little taken aback by the prices. From what I've read here it seems to have only gotten worse. If I'm not mistaken (and please tell me if I am, I have a thick skin) The Forge looks like it gets more play from the locals and is not as "touristy" as P112. Anyhow, if I find a diamond in the rough I'll report back. Or if you (or anyone else is reading this - Attention Advisor Girl, please pick up the red courtesy phone in the lobby) have any further suggestions I'd love to hear them. Also if you ever get to the Ritz in Key Biscayne the little restaurant between the pool and the beach makes a mean fish taco!

                          1. re: Rondo

                            Rondo, having just dined at both the Forge and Prime 112, BOTH could be considered "to hell with the cost" restaurants, in my opinion. While the steaks have an edge at the Forge, almost everything else is better at Prime 112. Furthermore, I greatly prefer the atmosphere at Prime 112. Of course, this is a personal preference. The Forge is ultra ornate, somewhat garish, and stuffy, while P112 is more modern, lively, and trendy. On the other hand, you will be promptly seated for your reservation at the Forge (the dining rooms are not always filled), while you will most certainly wait at P112. Just "food for thought".

                            1. re: Rondo

                              It's been a long, long time since I've been to Fish Called Avalon so I won't speculate.

                              Boulud's place is definitely "chi chi" so skip if that's not what you're looking for. I havaen't been up in West Palm enough recently to make other suggestions.

                              Haven't done the Forge for a while and haven't done P112 but from general consensus on this board I think Debbie hit it on the head.

                              1. re: Frodnesor

                                We live 5 minutes from Turnberry and belong to their club......lunch in the grill room is just OK......the beach club is old but the food is pretty good for lunch.
                                Dinner in the area - Aria at the Aqualina hotel on Collins ave. is great. All the fish is super fresh and prepared very well. Its upscale and service is very professional. Call and reserve.
                                Bella Luna in the Aventura mall has really good Italian food, they are known for their pastas.
                                Our last meal at Timo was disapointing at best.
                                Bal Harbour is another choice, Carpaccio is wonderful with a great menu, and service and food to match.
                                If you want a good steak, veal chop or chinese food head to Christine Lees at the Gulfstream race track just down the street from Turnberry. Its a beach tradition that has just moved to their new home and the veal chop is superb...all of their beef is prime and made on a char grill, we are eating there this week just for a veal chop.
                                If you have a car and want to travel 10 minutes Pescecane {sp?} on Harding Ave in Surfside is the best Italian restaurant in this part of Miami. Call and reserve, they are busy every night. This restaurant is a little gem that is now very, very popular.
                                Please let us know where you dined and how you liked your choices.

                                1. re: dlgc


                                  How is the new Michael Mina place looking in Turnberry? When is it scheduled to open up? Seen the space or menu at all? Thank you for any feedback

                                  1. re: mikek

                                    The room is closed off so nothing to see. They say the opening will be winter 2007. No menu but have been told it will be a steak house, and open to the public...just what we need!!

                                    1. re: dlgc

                                      Thanks for the recs, everyone. Perhaps we will do P112, for lunch, on our next trip. We'll let you know how we made out at The Forge and wherever else we park our carcasses for lunch/dinner.

                                    2. re: mikek

                                      We stayed in the Turnberry Resort this weekend, Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak is supposed to open in December

                                      I'll be posting our notes later this week!
                                      Thanks to everyone