South beach on Sunday help...last minute!
Hi everyone, this is very last minute. I'm taking out a client in south beach tomorrow night (sunday)
We had reservations at the Forge, but i am not interested in being in a "sugar daddy" place as my client is older and i'm (female) still picking up the tab! plus that's just eww. I'm in my late 20's and client is fairly hip as well. Any more "trendy" but great food places to go to on a sunday? i love to people watch so anything that hits that would be great. Money is not an issue.
Osteria Del Teatro at the corner of Washington and Espanola is the best Italian food I have ever had (and I've been to Italy). The atmospher is excellent for a business meeting because the tables are small so you can sit face-to-face, the location is great for people watching without sitting outside, the waiters are excellent (a rarity for South Beach), and it is not loud so you can carry on a conversation (something you will not able to do at The Forge (their music is very loud), or anywhere outside on a Sunday night, or Prime 112.
The food is fresh, local seafood, authentic Italian (not heavy). The pasta is freshly hand-made daily.
Save room for the tiramisu - the best I've ever had.
I suggest you make a reservation. If you're driving, they may not have valet parking - try the garage on 16th just east of Washington (it's only a block from the restaurant).
BTW - here is another Chowhound discussion about Osteria Del Teatro http://www.chowhound.com/topics/351085
Should have stuck with The Forge, which, by the way, is not South Beach. To people watch, try somewhere on Lincoln Rd like Quattro, or try DeVito's or Prime 112. Both have good food, and nice spots, plenty of celebutards to gawk at and you can hear each other speak. Gonna have trouble with reservations, though, so maybe early is a good bet.
re: Miami Danny
I was just at the Forge for the first time in about 12 years earlier this week. Forgot what an over-the-top place it is, and the meal experience was actually quite entertaining. It probably varies night to night but it' wasn't such a sugar-daddy crowd (and BTW, you'll see much of that on South Beach as well during Boat Show weekend - I recall being at Table 8 last year this time shortly after it opened and wondering "What the hell are all these old guys in blue blazers and khakis doing here?").
The "deckle steak" at the Forge (described as the cap of the ribeye, and priced at something north of $60) was, however, disappointing. A thin cut (maybe 1/2 inch), didn't particularly look like a ribeye, with lots of not-completely rendered connective tissue. Good dense meaty flavor but the texture was much more like a skirt steak.
Still a fun meal, next time I'll order something else.
re: Miami Danny
I do not recommend DeVitos. Go to either quattro or casa tua first if you want overpriced italian. As far as it being an italian steakhouse, go to tuscan, much better steak and it is not a total ripoff.
I also understand the OP's desire not to go with a presumably older man to the Forge. She has a point.
well i still have the forge reservation as a back up in case. I think the company has something at the blue door the next night. I'll look into the other options. Both of us are into excellent food. I have been to china grille and sushi samba in NYC, while neither super stellar food wise..they are "fun" atmosphere places and that's more what i'm aiming for. thank you for your help! yes, he's 20 yrs older than me!
"I do not recommend DeVitos." Can you expand? I had a business lunch here last week with six people-the burrata was very good, as were the short ribs, beef carpacchio, mushroom gnocchi (outstanding) and a couple of other things we ended up fighting over. The only dish that was terrible was the fried calamari salad. Someone else paid, so I never got to see the wine list, but my host was in the wine biz and he ordered some stellar bottles (I don't know the cost) including Cheval Andes. I think this is actually a great place for a business dinner.
re: Miami Danny
Maybe the prices are a little higher, but twice as much is an exaggeration. And the service at Prime 112 is by turns snotty and bitchy. And I would guess the burrata at Ago probably doesn't serve 6 people. And P112 is loaded with old dudes and their fresh young things, or just old dudes-I wouldn't have a business meeting there unless I was trying to impress some old dude. Hmmmmmmmmm?
re: Miami Danny
It is not an exaggeration, I paid both bills when I went one after the other (apparently you never saw the bill at devitos), when you consider drinks (not wine - we did not drink wine at either place) you end up paying nearly twice as much.
Who cares how many people the burratta serves, it sucks compared to agos. As far as the crowd goes, P112 is what it is and Devitos wishes it can come close.
If you want family style servings and want them to actually be good, go to tuscan. If you like trying to overseason everything to compensate for astronomical prices, Devitos is your place.
OK, let's actually compare (using prices from both restaurants' websites) ->
DV - $8/piece
P112 - $18
DV - $16
P112 - $16
DV - $19 ("kobe")
P112 - $13-25
DV - $10 - 24
P112 - $14-18
DV - $12-19
P112 - $37
DV - $38
P112 - $45
DV - $49
P112 - $2-3
DV - $2.5
P112 - $33
DV - $29
P112 - $34
DV - $33
potato & veg sides
P112 - $11-14
DV - $10
I don't think you can say there's much distinguishing between them on price.
Incidentally, the DeVito website is hilariously self-congratulatory - on the flash opening screen, here are some of their own quotes (note - their own, not from others) ->
"In what is arguably one of the hottest corners of the globe, it takes something truly remarkable to make tastemakers rise and take notice."
"America's most anticipated Italian restaurant."
"As the latest installment from David Manero restaurants, DeVito South Beach is another shimmering example of the quality inherent in everything David Manero touches."
Look, we stuffed our faces and had drinks for 5 at p112 and it came out to $450 with tip. Two nights later I did the same thing at devitos for 4 and the bill came to nearly $700. No one had anything exceptionally expensive at either place.
I will concede that we are much better at ordering at prime 112 as we know what we like and it happens to be amongst the cheaper stuff on the menu. I would not visit Devitos again to try to figure out what is actually worth the money there, as nothing even came close.
PS. Drinks start at $18 at devitos and run to $26 (these are not special in any way). P112 is in the 12 range. I have no idea about the wines.
Bottom line is, I have never seen a poorer value/dollar proposition than Devitos, and that includes Barton G.
I think you may have trouble getting a decent reservation on sunday as this is the boat show, so I am going down a list of places that hipness matters.
Nobu - The cooked dishes are far better than the sushi. Your best choice in my opinion for both food and hipness.
Table 8 - Get steaks here - they are some of the best in town, I think the rest of their food is merely good now.
Blue Door - (overpriced, but hip, food is good)
Quattro (overpriced, but hip, food is good)
Setai (overpriced, but hip, food is good)
Casa Tua (overpriced, but hip, food is good, possibly too cozy for you)
Ago (overpriced, but hip, food is good)
Bond St - Best sushi in town - should have a good crowd this sunday
Social - should be packed tonight because of the boat show. This place is perfect when packed but it is a morgue when not. Haven't been in a while so can't vouch for the food.
Kobe Club - Have not been but I am sure it is hip, brand new chodrow place.
Tuscan - Might be hip enough on boatshow weekend, food is great there (one of my favorite restaurants) but it has family style portions.
Sushi Samba - Good food, hip.
Sardinia - more out of the way, better food than everything except, perhaps nobu, but is a little more lower key than the others and not quite as expensive/impressive as the other places I mentioned.
P112 is off the table. 1) you won't be able to get a res. 2) if the forge freaks you out, so should P112 as it is more trendy but has the same type of reputation the forge does.
Edit: I would just lke to say for the record that I feel dirty recommending quattro and casa tua over sardinia :).
Edit again, I looked over your prior posts and if you seem to care about food quality a lot so maybe sardinia should move up in the rankings unless your client does not. I think you will be able to get a res at one of these places but you need to do it asap.