Need Dinner Recs Near Miami Intercontinental
I will be wandering from the desert (Tucson, AZ) for a convention in early May. Convention site is the Miami Intercontinental. Our group will be 5-10 for dinner (two nights). Need medium-high ($) restaurants with some pizazz and good food. Decent wine and full bars required, but this group is not comprised of foodies.
Prime Blue Grill is a new steakhouse and right next door. I haven't tried yet.
La Loggia on the other end of downtown does passable Italian but is more of a lunch place for lawyers and businesspeople. Downtown really clears out after dark.
Over in Brickell Ave. area (very short cab ride) you've got mostly chains - Capital Grille, Morton's, Gordon Biersch, Rosa Mexicano, PF Chang's ...
Rosinella does reasonably good Italian but not much pizazz.
I'm sure there are a couple newer places I'm forgetting.
Frod always has a handle on our local food scene. Apart from his recs, the ones he referrred to has forgetting may be mostly on South Miami Ave. (basically street behind Brickell so not too far either) such as:
Oceanaire Seafood: High end seafood/steak place
River Oyster Bar: According to fellow hounds, not only has varied selection of oysters, etc. but also has great ceviches to boot.
And there is also a place that just opened in the old Firehouse Four space (well known old-time local hangout) called: Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita (quite a mouthful I agree). I have not been, but according to recent Miami Herald review http://www.miamiherald.com/1010/story...
ok, affordable Spanish style in what is still a knock out space.
Azul at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Brickell Key (depending on your room you may be able to see across the river from you hotel) still offers a great room/atmosphere and solid food even though their former star, Michelle Bernstein, is now up the road a ways doing her own thing at Michy's
If you are more interested in the "chain" type, right on the other side of your hotel at Bayside Marketplace there is an outpost of a very good local Nicaraguan style steakhouse, Los Ranchos. You could do a lot worse than their famous Churrasco steak which is a relative bargain compared to the high-end steakhouses that seem to multiply daily in and around downtown.
Hope this helps. Enjoy your stay and hope you dine well!
Upfront: thanks to Miami folks for suggestions. Our group of 14 will be at Sardinia this Sunday. Now, however, the four people from Tucson need a Saturday night place. We'll be traveling all day, arriving at the Intercontinental at 6:30-7:00 p.m. Chains won't interest us, we will have car but won't want to travel too far, and will want to get a "Miami feel". Any cuisine other than Italian (Sardinia on Sunday!) will be fine. Looking for casual attire. Cost not a big deal, but our "big" meal will be the Sunday dinner.
will be fine, but Italian
River Oyster Bar is a great pick as is Indochine which is located next door and also yummy. After dinner you could pop over to Tobacco Road for some suds and great live music (next to Indochine; the block basically goes New River Oyster Bar - Indochine - Tobacco Road - bridge back to downtown Miami). Im suggesting these places because you said casual attire and not Italian.
I disagree with Frod on Rosinella. I dont find the food to be memorable at all. Kinda bland for me I guess but Im also judging on one experience so take my opinion with a grain of salt. A killer restaurant in the area is Il Gabbiano but you dont want Italian so stick a fork in that idea. Ive heard great things about Oceanaire and Dolores Dont Call Me Lolita but I havent tried myself.
If you want the laid back Miami vibe Id do New Oyster River Bar then Tobacco Road. Thats a winning combo.
MGF&D will be tough to score a Sat. night reservation on such short notice. Oceanaire is a chain and not particulaly "Miami". Not much "Miami" about Indochine (a grab-bag Thai/Sushi/Viet place) either, other than that it evidences our city's general lack of really good Asian eateries.
I'd third or fourth River Oyster Bar, which I hadn't tried when this post was started but have been to since and am now a fan.
I've also now tried Prime Blue Grille since this thread was started and had a nice grilled whole fish but not much else I liked there.
BM, I don't think we particularly disagree on Rosinella. "Reasonably good but not much pizazz" is not far off from "not memorable at all."