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Posh dining in South Beach

s
spaghetti o Feb 6, 2008 06:49 PM

I'm headed down to Miami the first weekend of next month and wanted to snag some killer reservations. We'll be staying at the Setai and are looking for some restaurants in the area with a great scene and killer food. A decent wine list is a must, but all types of food are enjoyed. Thanks in advance for your help!

  1. s
    sachetbag Feb 7, 2008 08:29 AM

    Top 10 List:

    Prime 112
    Quattro
    Sardinia
    Wish
    Nemo
    Joe Allen
    Barton G
    Social Miami
    Joe's
    Casa Tua

    11 Replies
    1. re: sachetbag
      t
      tpigeon Feb 7, 2008 08:35 AM

      This list has some very questionable calls.

      1. re: tpigeon
        Frodnesor Feb 7, 2008 10:54 AM

        To be more specific, Barton G would certainly not make any list of mine for "killer food" - unless you are willing to consider using the sword on which they serve swordfish as something other than a serving implement. It's a gimmicky, showy place with mostly mediocre food. I have not been to Social since they abandoned Michelle Bernstein's menu, the new one on the website looked pretty unexciting. Joe Allen is a nice low-key place with pretty solid eats, but is not what I'd call "posh," "killer food" or a "great scene." Casa Tua is certainly posh but commentary here on the food is decidedly mixed. Same is true of Quattro. I've not been to Nemo or Wish in a long time; recent reports suggest Nemo is in decline, though Wish still has its fans.

        1. re: Frodnesor
          s
          sharoni345 Feb 7, 2008 01:47 PM

          Wish is gross..and I would not consider it posh at all...
          Casa Tua(Italian)-Great food and good scene
          Blue Door at the Delano(eclectic) - Good food good scene
          Michaels Genuine(go for lunch)- great eclectic fresh food and great scene
          Quattro(Lincoln road)- people watching and great food

          1. re: sharoni345
            Frodnesor Feb 7, 2008 02:03 PM

            Michael's Genuine has great food but is not on South Beach, rather is in the Design District.

            Others have not been nearly so positive about Casa Tua, e.g. ->
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/420646#2763671
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/355021#2212493
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/451312#3057257

            Same is true of Quattro, e.g. ->
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/379375

            I'm not taking a side as to either of these, having not tried either, only noting that opinion is definitely mixed.

            1. re: Frodnesor
              t
              tpigeon Feb 7, 2008 07:31 PM

              Thanks for doing the heavy lifting Frod :).

            2. re: sharoni345
              Icantread Feb 8, 2008 08:53 AM

              I'll second Casa Tua, though I've heard the negative feedback as well. You better shell out money if you are going to enjoy it. Does Maison D'Azur not qualify as posh? It's sort of a throwback posh, and very enjoyable. Also, great drinks though the bar is tiny.

              1. re: Icantread
                Frodnesor Feb 8, 2008 10:04 AM

                "throwback posh" is well stated.

                1. re: Icantread
                  t
                  tpigeon Feb 8, 2008 06:04 PM

                  I spent a small fortune at Casa Tua but was still disappointed.

          2. re: sachetbag
            m
            mikek Feb 7, 2008 11:47 AM

            The only three on that list that I could send people to with absolute certainty are Prime 112, Sardinia and Joe's. I cannot speak to Wish as I have not been there.

            1. re: mikek
              s
              Sinicle Feb 8, 2008 05:34 PM

              Joe's is an institution and worth a visit...I would not consider posh nor really killer food.

              1. re: Sinicle
                t
                tpigeon Feb 8, 2008 06:04 PM

                Joes does have killer food.

          3. Frodnesor Feb 6, 2008 08:46 PM

            Please don't take this the wrong way, but you know it's the season when every tenth post is someone visiting South Beach from out of town looking for someplace with great food and a cool scene. Here are a couple recent examples - with links within that should be helpful.

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/486476
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/474094

            Focusing in particular on your focus on the wine list, I think one of the more interesting wine lists in South Beach (with the kicker that it's also one of the better restaurants) is at Sardinia. Heavy focus on Italian wines including much greater regional breadth within Italy (including, it shouldn't surprise, Sardinia) than you'll see just about anywhere else.
            http://www.sardinia-ristorante.com

            The former sommelier at a good Coral Gables place recently jumped ship and moved to Escopazzo on the Beach, a place I haven't been to in ages. Also Italian, they recently did a menu revamp to feature exclusively organic ingredients. I can't vouch for it other than to say I'm interested in trying it myself.
            http://www.escopazzo.com

            I think the best food on the beach is probably at Talula. The selections on their wine list are usually pretty interesting but their pricing (and you'll find this to be the case at many South Beach places) is very high.
            http://www.talulaonline.com

            While all of these are nice places to dine and are certainly upscale food, I'm not sure I'd call any of them "posh" or say they have a "great scene." Perhaps Prime 112 would better fit that bill.

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