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4 nights in Miami--please help

We're staying in Miami Beach for 4 nights at the new Canyon Ranch. We're in our 50s and want some good food for dinner (we'll do the spa thing for lunch). Our priority is good food, although my husband also appreciates a calm and lovely atmosphere. We're thinking of:
Michael's in the design district
Joe's Stone Crab
The restaurant at the Setai
The BLue Door at the Delano
Azul (too stuffy?)

We don't want a steak house and my husband doesn't love Italian. Any help prioritizing top 4?


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  1. defiantly go to Joe's, can't leave S Beach without going there.

    1. My top 4 would be...

      4 Replies
        1. re: tpigeon

          No mention of Sardinia? Who are you and what have you done with tpigeon?

          1. re: Blind Mind

            Husband doesn't love italian so I stayed away :)

          2. I'm not sure you'll get that "calm and lovely atmosphere", but I agree with Joe's (although don't expect an outstanding meal) and Michael's is definitely worth leaving the Beach for. I don't think Michy's or Ortanique are (they're overrated). Cafe Sambal would be a great alternative to Azul and, if you can convince your husband, Il Gabbiano is also good option. However, unless you are from NY or CA, you should definitely consider Asia de Cuba. It's also in Miami Beach and, in my opinion, worth it.

            9 Replies
            1. re: drmtk674

              Michys is much better than cafe sambal

              1. re: tpigeon

                I think THEY would definitely enjoy Cafe Sambal over Michy's. Michy's has no atmosphere and the food has become mediocre. Even though gas is cheap now, it's still not worth the gas money.

                1. re: drmtk674

                  In bizarro world you would be correct. We live on earth, the planet where superman is the good guy.

              2. re: drmtk674

                Have you been to Asia de Cuba? I saw the menu, it looked great, but I was a little astounded by some of the prices (and I usually don't even look). The menu sounded right up my alley. Is it a "scene" though? Love to hear more about it. Thanks.

                1. re: sibeats

                  Asia de Cuba has always been a favorite of mine in NYC. As far as the restaurant being a "scene", what new place is not? I would suggest giving it a shot on a week night if you are avoiding that sort of vibe. Its definitely worth it!

                  1. re: amatias

                    How do you know if you never tried the one in miami? The food could be terrible. I have eaten at asia in both ny and la btw,,,

                    1. re: tpigeon

                      I'm sorry....then why is it you're asking? Having read the reviews from other people, I think would justify anyone trying it out. If I was happy w/ Nobu in London, LA or NYC, then I would certainly try it in Miami too. Right? And for anyone that has visited numerous restaurants, there is always a chance of having one bad experience. That's why we try!

                      1. re: amatias

                        My point was not giving it a shot but saying it is definitely worth it. How do you know?

                        1. re: amatias

                          BTW, The answer to your if it is good in LA or NY it is good in miami is "not necessarily" - For example, Jerry's deli is certainly not as good(I liked Jerry's in LA when I went years ago and was excited for this one to be open. This one disappointed to say the least.) I believe it is a combination of staffing issues and food distribution issues that can cause vast differences in quality between cities.

                2. What days of the week will you be here? Places like Michy's and Michael's can get a bit hectic on weekends, though with good reason.

                  1. 1. Michy's
                    2. Senora Martinez
                    3. Michael's
                    4. Scarpetta at Fountainbleu (I know your husband is weary of Italian, but this is NEW Italian. Meatballs and red sauce are optional)
                    IF still iffy about Scarpetta, any of the top three would definitely suffice a second visit.

                    1. Michael's Genuine
                      Michy's / Sra. Martinez (I might choose one or the other, but if you really like one then visit the other)
                      The atmosphere at all of these is more "lively" than "calm and lovely", though not outrageously so.
                      Joe's, if you want an old-school vibe - not the polished and elegant old-school vibe, more like old-school steakhouse vibe.

                      I'd pick Talula over any of the other places you've listed in a heartbeat, and over Joe's if you're not a stone crab fan.

                      Incidentally, I thought the food was surprisingly good at Canyon Ranch (surprising b/c I'm so wary of the calorie-counting ethos) and would go back even if not staying there or on a diet.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Frodnesor

                        Talula and Cacoa are the most underrated restaurants in Miami. Ortanique and Joe's are overrated. Sra Martinez was nice.

                        1. re: PhatBuddha

                          how's the Ice Box for brunch or lunch?

                          1. re: sarapeater

                            I think it is inconsistent but when it is on it is very good. Especially the french toast...

                            1. re: sarapeater

                              I've always had good non-dessert food at Ice Box. Their brunch is yummy. But you can also do Balan's a few blocks down - it's cheaper for breakfast.

                              1. re: almostinamerica

                                Balans got worse. I don't recommend it anymore.

                        2. 1. Senora Martinez (Hands down best Spanish food in Miami)
                          2. Joe's (staple), but I would also consider La Dorada or Baleen's for seafood.
                          3. Ortanique on the Mile
                          4. Michy's (I'm in love with Michelle Bernstein!! LOL)

                          If you've never visited Miami before you need to make room for pastelitos and croquetas in the morning.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: BottomsUpMiami

                            please tell us more about pastelitos and croquetas