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Jan 17, 2009 09:28 AM

Help me pick new Miami Beach restaurants

Foodies help me pick 3 really great restaurants on Miami Beach for our February midweek stay. I have already been to Sardinia (love), Osteria del Teatro (did not love), Emerils, Nobu,Talulah , Grazie, Tiramisu, Ice Box, Le Bon and of course Joe's Stone. To name a few. Should we try Casa Tua? How about Gotham Steak? I want to try new ones! We will be staying at the Loewes. We will have a car but want to stay in the Miami Beach area.

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  1. I haven't tried these places but here are the ones I am trying soon
    Red - seems to have the best rep among the new steakhouses -- better word of mouth than gotham so far...
    Hakkasan could be open by then - very excited for that one in the fountainbleu
    The new sushi place in the Lowes may have potential too. I don't know its name but one of the owners is apparently highly regarded in the sushi world.
    Macalusos is a good option too - get meatballs and sausages, cheesecake for dessert.

    I would not go to casa tua unless you are going for scene alone. The food is not bad but it is not as good as either Osteria (which you didn't like but I do very much - ever had the lobster papperdelle there? Expensive but amazing...), Sardinia (my favorite restaurant on the beach) or Macalusos and is more expensive than all of them. It is beautiful inside though.

    1. go to Micheal's Genuine in the design district -- it''s just a short cab ride away and is totally worth leaving the beach! We were leary the first time we went because of all the media hype but it is truly wonderful -- delicious, innovative, locally sourced food and none of the Miami pretensions! The staff is lovely, Michael is a genius and you shouldn't miss this spot!
      I know the menu changes but if they have the local tomato and beet salad it is divine as is the peanut butter icecream!

      1. Meat Market on Lincoln Road is probably worth trying if you're in a steak-y mood. There's also a new menu at the Grill at the Setai which looks very nice (including a good-looking $55 3-course prix fixe with several options), though I haven't tried. Gotham Steak is in the Fontainebleau which is not South Beach proper, rather up around 41st Street. We ate at Scarpetta (Italian, and like Gotham, a NY executive chef, here Scott Conant) in the Fontainebleau which I thought was very good.

        Also new but as yet untried by me in South Beach are Layla at the Astor Hotel (Moroccan), Red Steakhouse already mentioned ... also coming soon, Au Pied de Cochon (French) ...

        TP - what sushi place in the Loew's?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Frodnesor

          I'd read about it somewhere, but all I could Google was this.

          1. re: lax2mia

            That's the one, I know very little about it except the chef is very highly thought of. I forgot where I read about it.

        2. Michael's is a must; not on the Beach but a 5 min drive. Scarpetta in the Fontainbleau. Asia de Cuba is new on the Beach. Prime 112 or Italian. If you haven't tried Casa Tua you should try it - its a lovely setting and the food can be very good.

          5 Replies
          1. re: midmit

            Thanks. Been to Michael's many times. Well deserved reputation however we want to stay on the beach.

            1. re: mom2mateo

              Casa Tua is an awesome place to of Miami Beach's best....on of South Florida's very best.....No sign in front....surrounded by a huge hedge....ultra private....ultra chic....and the food is outstanding....Some throw rocks because they find it hard to get in on short notice and if a leaf of lettuce isn't situated on the plate just becomes this huge issue...I've dined there 5 times and each time was nothing less than spectacular....Always make sure to keep your eyes open too....You never know who you'll see making their way through the dining room to head up stairs to go to the private dining area....Demi...Brangie....Madge....Pretty cool place....Make reservations well in advance...especially if it's during "the season" cold as hell up north!!


              1. re: LargeLife

                LL I agree that casa is an awesome place to go but I disagree about the food. It is good but overpriced. Osteria del teatro and Sardinia are both better food options but it is difficult to beat the ambiance there...

                1. re: LargeLife

                  Casa Tua has its fans, and its detractors, but it's preposterous to suggest that the criticims are because it's "hard to get in on short notice and if a leaf of lettuce isn't situated on the plate just right." Here's a good example of some pretty concrete criticisms->

                  The most common opinion seems to be that the atmosphere is wonderful, the food is good, but not as good as it ought to be for the price.

                  Since I've not been to Casa Tua, I wonder what those who have been to all 3 places would conjecture given that OP has said she loved Sardinia but not Osteria del Teatro.

                  1. re: Frodnesor

                    could have depended on what you eat there. specials are better than regular menu items at osteria. These days I am thinking that sardinia is actually better than osteria and is the south beach champ. I am going to need to go to scarpetta before declaring a miami beach champ though...

            2. We're here in South Beach for a week right now (long time NYC/Outerboroughs CH poster) and really liked Michy's. We went with some friends who've been before and they think it's very good as well. Half orders of several things is the way to go. I know it gets some mixed reviews here but I'd recommend it and go back. It's not in the immediate area but close enough.

              You say you've been to Talulah... it was highly recommended by some locals we had some drinks with last night. I assume we should believe them and go, correct? Thanks.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Steve R

                OP wanted to stay on the beach which would take Michy's out of the mix, but that's the only reason I wouldn't suggest it.
                I'm a big fan of Talulah.

                1. re: Steve R

                  I think michys is pretty universally considered amongst the top in miami on this board. I think you are getting the mixed part from the fact that she experiments with some dishes at times and at times these experiments don't end up working. I have had not so great dishes there but always a great meal. To me, part of the fun is trying the stuff out.

                  I would classify michys as possibly uneven because of the experimentation but not inconsistent. Every time I had the same dish there it was just as good as before. This is unlinke michaels which I like but I find the same dishes can vary from good to wow that was great.

                  Agreed on Talula - it is great.

                  1. re: tpigeon

                    Talula is great as well. Been there done that. What about Scarpetta? Pesce just reviewed it for The Herald and it was a very good review. Should I trust her? I want to check out the renovation at the Fountainbleu so I am inclined to try them before Casa Tua. So if I go italian the first night what non italian for the next night? I like Nobu but have not been in years. My husband does not like sushi too much and the prices there are ridiculous so I hate to impose it.

                    1. re: mom2mateo

                      Frod liked scarpetta. I have not been but have heard very good things (not just from frod and the herald).

                      Red is another option - you should read my recent post on it comparing it to p112.

                      1. re: tpigeon

                        I did like Scarpetta.

                        Agree as well that a perception of "mixed" comments as to Michy's is more likely attributable to comments about particular dishes rather than the experience as a whole. There have been some dishes, or components of dishes, that I've not liked (many of which are no longer on the menu, which changes often), but it is still one of my favorite local restaurants.