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Jun 19, 2008 04:32 PM

One night in Miami

We're arriving and staying in Miami one night before a cruise in November. We're staying near the port We won't have a car, but can take a taxi if necessary, but prefer to stay "close-ish" to the area..

Can anyone recommend a restaurant for that one night. Something uniquely Miami. It's our first time there and we want to do it right!


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    1. OK, what if we want to venture into South Beach for that 'One Meal'?

      5 Replies
      1. re: CEfromLA

        For something uniquely Miami I'd say OLA but I haven't been to its new incarnation. Blue Door is over-the-top Miami with good food. Can you be more specific on what you're looking for?

        1. re: lax2mia

          I wish I could!
          I'm looking for something that I can ONLY get in Miami/South Beach. Someplace that when I tell people I've eaten there, they're jealous.
          I'm not interested in Asian, since Los Angeles has that pretty well covered. Maybe something seafood-y. Good food, but not too pretentious. Fun and funky is OK, too, if the food is good.
          Thanks again!

          1. re: CEfromLA

            "Someplace that when I tell people I've eaten there, they're jealous" isn't necessarily the criteria I'd use when choosing a restaurant, but if that's what you're looking for go to Michael's Genuine in the Design District (not South Beach). You can tell your friends in L.A. that it beat out Comme Ca and Fraiche in the NY Times' top 10 new restos outside of NYC. And the food is good. There's usually one type of local fish or another on the menu. By November our growing season is just beginning so there may be some more local product on the menu. Taxi ride would be about the same as to South Beach.


            1. re: lax2mia

              Yes..Michael's is where you want to go for food, but if you really want to see South Beach you may not get everything on your criteria list. Do a search for South Beach on the board to decide what would be more interesting for your group. Consider Joe's Stone Crabs since you are coming in November, very Miami...

              1. re: lax2mia

                Come on! When you go on vacation and get to eat in wonderful restaurants, don't you want your friends to be envious? I know I am when they do!
                Thanks for the suggestions!

        2. There is a beautiful restaurant that just opened on brickel called Il Gabbiano, You can see the menu here
          The view is spectacular and VERY Miami, otherwise, you can try the top of the Conrad hotel, spectacular and chic....Fun Florida vibe and the old stand by, china grill. Great food, tons of energy in a Miami landmark. Best food, Michaels by far but certainly doesn’t have the "Miami" feel that you want.

          3 Replies
          1. re: hungrygirlmiami

            Not to go on a tangent here but Michaels is amongst the best restaurants in Miami but not the best by far. First of all I have found it to be inconsistent. Second, even when it is on, Michys, Sardinia, Osteria Del Teatro, Prime 112, Romeo's cafe, ortanique etc. are all in its class and you can easily argue any one of them to be superior.

            1. re: tpigeon

              But of Michy's, Sardinia, etc. which one can you say is an only in Miami thing? What differentiates Micheal's is the effort to use local product. I guess Prime 112 can be an only in Miami place too - overcrowded, overpriced, overarrogant. But yeah, the food is good.

            2. re: hungrygirlmiami

              Other than the view, Il Gabbiano is a spin-off from the NY restaurant Il Mulino and there's nothing remotely "Miami" about the food, which is Italian by way of NY. China Grill is also a Miami spinoff of a NY restaurant run by a NY restaurateur (Jeffrey Chodorow). There's also nothing particularly historical, notable or "landmark-y" about China Grill's building other than the TV networks seem to enjoy showing its colored lights when they do nighttime "city shots" during sporting events.

              I also think most days that MGF&D has the best food in town but I wouldn't say "by far". I guess "Miami feel" means different things to different people, b/c to me MGF&D's food is more reflective of the city and its surrounds than any of the other places mentioned.

              OP should note that "heading to South Beach" does not necessarily mean heading to the best restaurants in Miami, most of which of late have cropped up in lower rent districts. But if you are looking for South Beach recs, there are plenty on this board depending on what you're looking for.

            3. I would head west to Versailles for an authentic Cuban meal. When I think of good food in Miami. Not fancy but really good.

              1. I'll second Joes for stone crabs. It is really the only place in Miami that people may have heard of in LA and you can't get stone crabs in LA either. They don't take reservations so either go early or expect to wait. The wait is a Miami scene with the locals and snowbirds fighting over tables and trying to get the attention of the hostess for faster service.

                Prime 112 is another SoBe option with good food. It is a see and be seen place similar to Mastros in Bev Hills. Make your reservations at least 2 weeks in advance to get a decent time.

                Both are a 10 minute cab ride from the port.

                1 Reply
                1. re: scscr

                  For a while Joes was shipping crabs and key lime pie to Lundys in Sheepshead bay brooklyn and Lundys was shipping clam chowder to Joes. Get the Jumbo stone crabs and creamed spinach. If you can get there early (around lunch) you can avoid the wait and still get to Versailles for dinner.