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Help me pick new Miami Beach restaurants

m
mom2mateo Jan 17, 2009 09:28 AM

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.

  1. midmit Feb 6, 2009 07:18 AM

    Do not go to Gotham. I think you will be disappointed. The service was painfully slow for us recently and I've heard that similar complaint from people. The Nobu in Miami Beach is lauded by many, although expensive, and is considered, by the Nobu group, to be the best of their bunch. Scarpetta is conclusively a winner so far, according to the 4 friends who've been there. Govind Armstrong just opened his burger spot on Alton Rd. called 8oz Burger. We're going to try it this weekend. There's a new sushi rest. on 20th in the Purdy/Sunset area of the beach called Shiso. Even though it's not on the Beach, I don't think you should miss Michael's in the Design District for lunch or dinner.

    8 Replies
    1. re: midmit
      Frodnesor Feb 6, 2009 07:40 AM

      *The Nobu in Miami Beach is lauded by many, although expensive, and is considered, by the Nobu group, to be the best of their bunch.*

      ??? Can you explain the last part of that sentence?

      1. re: Frodnesor
        midmit Feb 6, 2009 08:34 AM

        Sure. I've been told that the Nobu group, or Myriad, consider the Nobu in South Beach to be their best example of Nobu Matsuhisa's Japanese cuisine. The Nobu of which they are most proud. That's what I meant by 'bunch'. Sorry if it was a little unclear.

        1. re: Frodnesor
          w
          Wursthof Feb 6, 2009 08:39 AM

          I have been to Nobu NYC, London, Hawaii, Nassau and Miami. Nobu Miami is in my opinion the worst of the bunch I have tried. I have been three times and feel no need to go back there. All three times the server has tried the double tip trick and the food is nowhere near as good as the other locations I have been.

          That being said. It doesn't seem like much has changed on the Miami/Sobe dining scene since last year when I visited. I, too, was looking for some newer and really good places to try. I definitely want to go back to Michael's and maybe Michy's.

          I liked Conant's cooking at L'Impero in NYC where is he cooking in Miami?

          1. re: Wursthof
            midmit Feb 6, 2009 09:19 AM

            Regarding Nobu, I have only been to NYC otherwise and do prefer Miami but haven't tried the others. So, 'the best of their bunch' were not my words - just somthing I'd heard. However, while I like Nobu here, I go very occasionally and that is because of the price, location and I don't find the food to be very innovative. I know from many that you must carefully check your bill at the end of the meal and carefully monitor what you ordered with what is brought to your table as they have been know to slip a few things on the table and then the bill; I can't say I've experienced that however. I've not had a bad meal there, I do love the rock shrimp and Black Cod Miso but I've had better sushi and japanese food elsewhere - though not necessarily in Miami

            1. re: Wursthof
              Frodnesor Feb 6, 2009 10:16 AM

              Wursthof - not sure when you were last here, but new and notable (to me at least) in the past year:
              - Michelle Bernstein's new tapas place, Sra. Martinez, in the Design District, opened in December.
              - Red Light, lower budget, locally focused, New Orleans influenced, opened last April.
              - Pacific Time, reincarnation in the Design District of an old Lincoln Road spot, updated with a heavily "small dish" menu, opened last May.
              - Scarpetta, Scott Conant's place in the Fontainebleau (as already mentioned upthread), just opened a month or two ago.

              Many, many other new places that have opened in the past year (several but not all spin-offs from other cities) - Meat Market, Joey's Wynwood, Gotham Steak, 8oz Burger Bar, Prime Italian, Phillipe, Asia de Cuba, Area 31, Shiso Sushi, Sushi SoBe, Red Steakhouse ... can I stop yet?

              I'm also surprised to hear that the Miami Nobu is considered their best example. I've had some good meals there and some disappointments, and service is definitely a weak spot.

              1. re: Frodnesor
                w
                Wursthof Feb 6, 2009 04:20 PM

                Frod
                Thank you. Your posts are always informative. Ihave leaned towards the places that you have given approval to and have usually had a good time and enjoyable food.
                The menu at Scarpetta looks good. Especially the pasta dishes. I will probably try that.
                The menu at PT has some dishes on it from a visit a long time ago when I went and it was on Lincoln. The sample menu doesn't really seem to emphasize small dishes but if you have a current one I would like to see it.
                Casa Tua menu looks good but I'm not a big fan of the see and be seen places myself. Can they execute the food to a high level?

                Michy's was good last year but not entirely sure I am dying to go back. I will def go back to Michael's and Talula.
                I'll probably try Martinez as I am a big fan of Tapas.

                I'll have to research some of the other places you mention and check out the menus.

                Anything to truly not miss?
                Thanks again.
                I will be there the last week of Feb.
                Has Hakkasan opened yet? I had a really enjoyable time there in London. Even though it is a see and be seen place there.

                1. re: Wursthof
                  Frodnesor Feb 6, 2009 08:52 PM

                  Re PT, if you came across a website, the only one I've seen is an old, vestigal one from the Lincoln Road restaurant. You can get an idea of the new restaurant's menu from here, though it's a bit dated and incomplete ->
                  http://southflorida.menupages.com/restaurantdetails?restaurantid=42671

                  The places mentioned above, along with MGF&D and Talula, would be on my hit list.

                  Hakkasan had not opened as of my last visit to the Fontainebleau a few weeks ago, and I've not heard any update since. I also liked Hakkasan in London though it was equal parts scene and food. I predict the Miami location will be the same.

                  I forgot earlier to mention Blade, new sushi restaurant in the Fontainebleau, which I've only tried once and thought had some promise though it certainly wouldn't fall into the "don't miss" category.
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/588543

                  1. re: Frodnesor
                    s
                    sibeats Feb 7, 2009 08:15 AM

                    What about Asia de Cuba? I looked at the menu on the website, which sounded great, but I was astounded at some of the prices. Has anyone been? Anything to report?

        2. Steve R Feb 1, 2009 06:16 AM

          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
            Frodnesor Feb 1, 2009 06:57 AM

            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
              t
              tpigeon Feb 1, 2009 10:19 AM

              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
                m
                mom2mateo Feb 1, 2009 10:34 AM

                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
                  t
                  tpigeon Feb 1, 2009 07:04 PM

                  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
                    Frodnesor Feb 1, 2009 08:02 PM

                    I did like Scarpetta.
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/585152

                    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.

            2. midmit Jan 19, 2009 02:53 PM

              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
                m
                mom2mateo Jan 29, 2009 04:21 AM

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

                1. re: mom2mateo
                  l
                  LargeLife Jan 31, 2009 08:04 AM

                  Casa Tua is an awesome place to go....one 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 right...it 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"...ie cold as hell up north!!

                  EMac

                  1. re: LargeLife
                    t
                    tpigeon Jan 31, 2009 10:54 AM

                    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
                      Frodnesor Jan 31, 2009 01:07 PM

                      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->
                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/42064...

                      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
                        t
                        tpigeon Feb 1, 2009 05:15 AM

                        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. Frodnesor Jan 17, 2009 01:58 PM

                  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
                    lax2mia Jan 17, 2009 02:01 PM

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

                    http://www.decodrive.com/features/art...

                    1. re: lax2mia
                      t
                      tpigeon Jan 19, 2009 04:58 AM

                      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. f
                    fishlips58 Jan 17, 2009 01:04 PM

                    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. t
                      tpigeon Jan 17, 2009 12:18 PM

                      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.

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