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Dining recommendations in Miami/South Beach

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My husband and I are coming to Miami next weekend for a long weekend and looking for some suggestions. We are in our 30's and are staying at the Standard in South Beach.

We want to do one night in the Design District and are deciding between:
- MIchaels Genuine
- Fratelli Lyon
- Sra. Martinez

The other 2 nights we'll probably stick to South Beach. The night we arrive we'll probably do something fairly casual, and the other night we'll do more of a night out.

We're not looking for anything too high end, or pretentious, or expensive, though will splurge for one of the nights as necessary. We like good atmosphere - could be trendy and fun, and/or lower key and romantic, and possibly somewhere with outdoor dining or outdoors for a drink first, and a good wine list (and possibly beer list for my husband who's a bit of beer conaisseur). Food-wise we're up for anything though definitely want to indulge in local fare some of the time.

We'd be walking or cabbing. As well, any recommendations for a place for a drink prior to or after dinner would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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  1. Sardinia is a great option for you as it is walking distance. Therefore I would not do fratelli as there is more an overlap between fratelli and sardinia than your other to dd choices. I have not been to sra but the general consensus is michaels is better. I personally find that michaels consistency varies but is always at least good.

    I would do a sunset dinner right where you are. Second best view in the area (asia de cuba wins first place but is much more expensive and I cant vouch for the food). Stick with the grilled items if you take me up on that rec.

    If you decide on asia de cuba - do it on a friday as that is their hot night.

    Other night out options are
    P112
    Meat Market - havent been yet but consensus is good and it is a hopping place so far.
    Scarpetta - have heard great things and is also a very in spot now (not in south beach though it is at the fountainbleu).

    3 Replies
    1. re: tpigeon

      Not sure I would recommend a steakhouse to people visiting for a weekend, when there are so many other great, new, and up and comers to checkout!While I think your rec's are always on point, I guess I am taking the opportunity to vent and, "SAY NO TO STEAKHOUSES!" It is like literally kicking a dead cow with no less than at least 4 having opened since Jan '09 and I would rather throw a steak on a grill than shell out a hundy for a steak dinner(and that is for one person)!

      Sra. Martinez is actually quite good and have been a few times since Art Basel. Pacific Time in the DD is also quite good, though be careful with the service.

      1. re: jmdhsmiami

        fact of the matter is those places are night out places whether they annoy you or not

        1. re: tpigeon

          perhaps, but she also says nothing too high end, or pretentious, or expensive (and P112 and though I haven't been Meat Market sounds exactly like that) and not sure I would blow my one big night at either of those places and would rather splurge at Sardinia, Alta Mar, or something else on the beach.

          Since you are staying at the Standard, for the space, I would take the available shuttle over to the Raleigh for drinks one night or hit up Score on Lincoln Road. It caters for the 10% crowd if you know what I mean and they have great happy hour and good prices and you get a great show ; )

    2. I think Michael's Genuine and Sra. Martinez are in a different league than Fratelli Lyon. By the way, the beer selection at MGF&D is excellent.

      On South Beach, Sardinia is very good and is one of the few places you could walk to easily from the Standard. Their wine list also has a very interesting selection of lesser-appreciated Italian regions (including of course Sardinia, which also strongly influences the food). I think Talula has the best food on South Beach with a lower key atmosphere than many SoBe places, and a nice outdoor patio. You can start across the street at the Setai for a cocktail first, if you like. For a more lively vibe, there's Meat Market on Lincoln Road - only been there once and the food wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good, and it's definitely not just a steakhouse. You will generally find wine list prices on South Beach to be vastly inflated, though Talula has been reigning theirs in a bit lately.

      Papa's got a brand new blog!
      www.foodforthoughtmiami.com

      1. The Standard is a great place. Friends have stayed there and loved it. Rooms are spartan, but comfortable.

        Given Sra. Martinez is tapas and the Michael's menu goes from snacks to small plates to regular entrees, you could do a tapa crawl of the two venues. Sra. Martinez has the more esoteric drink menu so I'd start there and order 2 or 3 tapas to split then head over to Michael's (across the street and a few storefronts down) for either more apps or mains. I'd do after dinner drinks on teh patio at Brosia just because it's a killer space.

        Sardinia is a great idea. If you want to skip Italian, Joe Allen's on the same street is more homey American and really solid. Also their bar makes killer, old school cocktails.

        2 Replies
        1. re: lax2mia

          I'm in town for two nights this weekend. From what I've read on this board, it would seem that MGFD is the top place in Miami. However, is it too casual for a Saturday night dinner? I've been to Sardinia and enjoyed it but was looking for somewhere new. Thanks.

          1. re: lax2mia

            Do they really make good old school cocktails? i'm going to have to check them out.

          2. I just want to chime in that we went to Fratelli Lyon last month and had the most horrible experience!! We had a reservation for 6 people for 10pm made days in advance. After waiting 15 minutes we were offered to sit in the hallway where only apps and drinks are served until the table would be ready. We were starving and sat in the hallway. We order drinks and a 3 or 4 apps. The waiter brought out some of the drinks and 2 apps (did I mention we were starving) about 20 minutes after we sat. No plates, no forks, no silverware. The waiter and other drinks and apps where no where to be found. What we ate was not particularly good or memorable. We couldn't get any help, the manager didn't care, the hostess, didn't care, the waiters didn't care, and I am pretty sure the owner My. Lyon himself didn't care. By this time it was 10:45 and we really had eaten some olives and cheese and we still had no table. We decided better to get out there before we invested any more time and money. We begged to get our check which took even more time. It was 11:00 pm and we left without eating and if my memory serves me correctly I don't think we ever drank anything either!! We left and had Tacos at about 11:30 on Biscayne in the 70s cant remember the place - but very yummy and NO WAIT!!