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Feb 6, 2008 06:49 PM

Posh dining in South Beach

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!

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  1. 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    1. Top 10 List:

      Prime 112
      Joe Allen
      Barton G
      Social Miami
      Casa Tua

      11 Replies
      1. re: sachetbag

        This list has some very questionable calls.

        1. re: tpigeon

          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

            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

              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. ->

              Same is true of Quattro, e.g. ->

              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

                Thanks for doing the heavy lifting Frod :).

              2. re: sharoni345

                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

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

            2. re: sachetbag

              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

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