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Jun 29, 2008 01:27 AM

Foodie and wine suggestions for a week in Miami Beach


We are two self confessed foodies and wine lovers and going to be in Miami Beach from the 15th – 22nd July and looking for food and wine related suggestions for our trip?

I’m ideally looking for restaurant suggestions, perhaps one ‘fine dining’ experience (with modern influence, not too old or stuffy), then some Japanese\Asian restaurant suggestions and some general ‘must visit’ places. We are a couple in our early 30’s and budget shouldn’t be a problem. We will be staying at either Tides or Gansevoort but will travel all over to dine, so there is no need to suggest local restaurants. We’re also up for suggestions which maybe outside of Miami, if they are worth the drive.

I’d also like any suggestions of farmers markets (we are there Sat – Tue) which we could visit, also any fine food delis and any other food related experiences.

Many thanks in advance for all suggestions.


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  1. for a true fine dinning experience, there are a few restaurants, statrting with maison d azur in the anglers hotel, nice fresh fish and also french specialties. michys is another one.. best steakhouse in town and overall fine dinning is bourbon steak in the fairmont resort. for fine italian there is il mulino in the aqualina resort sunny isles. il gabiano close to downtown in the biscayne corridor, timo"s in sunny isles is also a very good choice for italian far as wines from this list bourbon steak has the deepest and priciest list,although il mulino and il gabbiano have a better italian selection..

    1 Reply
    1. re: nikostoumbaios

      Just to clarify, Il Gabbiano is IN downtown, at where Biscayne begins, inside the condo tower aptly named One Miami.

    2. Miami Beach is more "scene" than fantastic food/wine, though I like Talula, Casa Tua, and Nemo.

      For your fine dining experience, I'd suggest Palme d'Or at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. Amazing food and extensive wine list.

      1. Very similar thread here, I won't duplicate what's reflected there ->

        Japanese/Asian is not a strong suit for Miami. Yakko San in North Miami Beach does very good izakaya-style Japanese tapas and sashimi (no nigiri, no maki). On the beach, Bond Street in the Townhouse Hotel has been good, if pricey and lounge-y. There's been a chef change recently and I haven't been back since.

        Not sure if Upper Eastside Greenmarket (Saturdays @ 64th & Biscayne) is still going on but basically everything other than mangoes is out of season right now. There's a "Farmers Market" on Sundays on Lincoln Road in South Beach but I've never seen anything resembling an actual farmer there, just folks who buy and resell bulk produce.

        1. Good Sushi - try Bond Street and their new place Domo Japonese at 2nd avenue and 40th Street in Design district. Both veru good.

          1. There's one place that is an absolute must for any foodie, Sardinia. It's a locals favorite with a fantastic wine list and the best cheese plate I've ever encountered. If you're a true foodie then you know that Daniel Boulud has a show in MOJO called "After Hours" and he actually did a show from Sardinia in Miami--that's who good this place is. The fare is obviously Italian but not like any other Italian place you've ever been to. A lot of chops & meat dishes compliment the variety of pasta offerings and the service is attentive and unobtrusive; the best part about the service is that you actually have to ASK for the check unlike nearly every other restaurant in Florida where they try to herd you out. A couple of other suggestions for a fun and interesting meal is Barton G.'s. Although its becoming popular with tourists, its not a trap but just a fun atmosphere with good food.

            Good eats!

            13 Replies
            1. re: orlandofoodie

              What is unique about Sardinia (at least for Miami) is the focus on regional Sardinian fare - clams w/ fregoletta (a little round pasta similar to couscous), carasatu breads (a Sardinian flatbread), spaghetti w/ tuna bottarga, etc., and also a wine list that has a very good selection from some more unusual Italian regions. Whether or not I'd consider Sardinia a "must" depends on where OP is coming from. For instance, if from San Francisco, SF has a very good Sardinian restaurant called La Ciccia and I'd look for something you couldn't get at home.

              I don't wish Barton G upon anyone. Overpriced and silly, all about the spectacle, mediocre food. If what you're looking for is a swordfish served on a sword, or a duck served in a duck decoy, knock yourself out.

              1. re: Frodnesor

                i agree with frod on barton g. the food is halfway decent but as far as wine is concerned it is the weakest of the bunch .not to mention that they are always out of most of the wines on the list

                1. re: nikostoumbaios

                  and refuse to permit any corkage whatsoever notwithstanding the unimpressive wine list.

                2. re: Frodnesor

                  I was just at Barton G's last Tuesday with party of ten people. The food was outstanding the service was incredible and the place is FUN FUN FUN ……. My guest are still talking about it. It is over the top, …. So you whoever wrote this must not get the fun of the place. Talk about places to avoid in South Beach this is not it. We loved it.

                  1. re: ericslvr

                    Frod's side of Barton is closer to reality. Bond st is the best sushi in south beach which frankly isn't saying much. People from the west coast or NY ain't gonna be impressed.

                    1. re: ericslvr

                      No, I don't get the fun of overpaying for food that's about on par with Cheesecake Factory just because it has a goofy name on the menu and a campy presentation. I will say this - the space itself is wonderful. Years ago Kerry Simon had a great restaurant there called Starfish which was really special. Shame it's gone.

                      TP, Bond St. ain't bad, but "best sushi in south beach" is a bit like being the one-eyed king in the land of the blind. But if you're on South Beach and looking for Japanese it'd be my first choice.

                      1. re: Frodnesor

                        I didn't realize Simon spent time in South Beach. I think his new place at the Palms in Vegas recently opened.

                        1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                          Found an interesting article on former SoBe restaurants. Can't place Jada. Didn't love Suva. Wasn't Mayya short lived?

                          1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                            Simon spent a good bit of time on the Beach before heading to Vegas. First a place at the Raleigh called Blue Star, then Starfish, then Max's South Beach (awesome meat loaf).

                            Chowf... - Mayya was good. Too bad Miami can't seem to maintain good upscale Mexican. Anyone remember Las Puertas in the Gables? Awesome duck tacos, and they did a menu from Like Water for Chocolate that was fantastic. But we digress.

                          2. re: Frodnesor

                            I did say "frankly isn't saying much" for the record :).

                            1. re: tpigeon

                              You did indeed - I was agreeing although that's not so clear from my post.

                          3. re: ericslvr

                            I'm glad you had a good time in Barton G. Many of us were fans at one time or other and became thoroughly disappointed over the last several years. If anything, we would love for Barton G to regain some of it's previous glory, but for every one person I've ever recommended going there and actually had a good time, there were 10 who did not. Truth is they are very lucky to be in a tourist mecca, otherwise they'd be out of business. There presentations are still very creative but style only goes so far without substance.

                            1. re: ericslvr

                              Every year I host 15 friends of mine for New Years who love to party. We are all mid-20s. Having said that, there are tons of places where we have had better food AND more fun - Prime 112, Nobu, Bond St, Social, Maison D'Azur to name a few. At the most, and this is if someone is insisting on going, I will tell them to go for a dessert and a drink and get out of there. Sorry, the food is bordering on inedible, in addition to being obscenely overpriced.

                              Having gotten the negatives out of the way - two other places that I have not seen on here that I HIGHLY recommend (actually my 2 favorites in the city right now) - Michael's Genuine and Red Light. Michael's wine line is concise but efficient, and has some interesting choices on it.

                              Red Light is still in the soft opening phase, but you can bring your own bottle with a $10 corkage (they only have about 5 reds and 5 whites right now). They have some good beers however. I went this past weekend with a group of 4, we ordered 3/4 of the menu and the only thign that was not GREAT was the brown rice with mushrooms (rice of all things was undercooked a bit!). I would call in advance to make sure their A/C is back up and running however.

                              Bourbon Steak was fantastic when we went, and I would also recommend stopping by Prime 112. In Coral Gables, Pascal's on Ponce, Ortanique on the Mile and Por Fin are all very good as well.