7 nights/Miami - advice on choices
We are coming to Key Biscayne in a couple of weeks for 7 nights, 2 adults, 2 teens. I've narrowed my choices down to the following:
I've been rethinking Sra Martinez and Nemo after reading the latest here on CH. We were at Nemo 3 years ago and liked it, thought we'd give it another try. Do you think Sra Martinez is just average and not worth bothering with?
Since we are staying on Key Biscayne we don't want to travel to SoBe too often as the drive is a real drag with all the traffic.
Last year we ate at Azul and Michael's, loved them both, definitely want to go back to both again.
Any other thoughts? Places not to miss? We are not interested in steak places, cost is no issue, not really into "the scene", but looking for good food.
Sub for Sra.Mar: If you want nice tapas and do not want to deal with the drive, consider Xixon or Ideas closer to KB.
Also have lunch at Boater's Grill on KB just inside the state park. Ceviche in CG at Jaguar...
Do Nemo for Sunday brunch instead. Do Joe's Stone Crab for lunch.
No Cuban food for you?
Por Fin is not really a tapas place though they do have a few tapas-style appetizers (bacalao croquetas, patatas bravas). The food is above-average and it's a nice classy-looking place. Actually Ideas isn't really a tapas place either though the food is very authentically Spanish (indeed more straight-ahead Spanish than Por Fin, which dances around the Mediterranean). If it's tapas you want, I like Copas y Tapas (mostly sandwiches but the short list of tapas are pretty much all very good) or Taberna Giralda, both in Coral Gables.
I've enjoyed all the meals I've had at Sra. Martinez though not necessarily every dish. I wouldn't say it's just average. The room itself is also terrific and has a great feel without being too "sceney". I also like Pacific Time in the Design District, and Red Light further up Biscayne (though that may be too much of a trek for you from Key Biscayne).
Thanks for weighing in, your opinion is always appreciated here! After reading a few negatives about Area 31 I cancelled that reservation and made one at Pascals on Ponce for something different. So as it stands we are set for Pacific Time, Azul, Sardinia, Nemo, Michaels, Sra Martinez and Pascals.
If you were to choose, would you go to Por Fin or Sra Martinez? Or am I trying to compare apples & oranges?
Not entirely apples to oranges. Both have a Spanish thing going on, and many of the items at Por Fin can also be ordered in 1/2 portions. I still prefer Sra. M to Por Fin as I think there's more variety and interest to the menu. I do like the "Eggs at Por Fin", they do pretty good bravas, the clams were good, the arroz negro also. I actually may need to take back what I said about Por Fin's tapas options, I just took a look at their online menu and it seems there's a lot more than I recalled (I usually go there for lunch as I work in the Gables). PF also does good prix fixe lunch specials w/ several choices.
Pascal's is always nice.
I like your line up:
from Pacific Time, I liked the grouper cheeks and the crisp dates, avoid some dishes like seafood salad
from Azul, I liked the chargrilled octopus salad, also had a nice gnocchi dish and fish curry, desserts are good
from Sardinia, check the pastas and salumis, also wine selection, forget the roast pig
from Michael's, look for pork belly, share mediums, decent desserts but not better than Michy's desserts
from Sra Martinez, liked the poached fried egg, rabbit, sea urchin, didn't like any of the desserts
I prefer Sra Martinez over Por Fin. Xixon is good
squeeze in some Cuban such as a cuban sandwich from Enriquetas Sandwich Shop
At Pascal's I like the haricot vert salad, the cheese souffle app, the roast duck, the scallop w/ short rib; if you're there for lunch, don't miss the short rib-stuffed burger.
I haven't been to Nemo in ages - maybe once since Michael Schwartz left. Reports seem to be that they still haven't updated the menu. The latest chef to run the kitchen there used to do good work at Mark's South Beach, but I haven't tried. Published reviews indicated it was same old, same old.
If you like octopus, try it at MGF&D - my wife loves theirs. Slow-poached in olive oil before being briefly grilled, I believe.
We went there last year and didn't have a great experience. I had very high hopes after reading all of the great reviews here. I'll take most of the blame as I had some strange reaction to a mixture of odors coming off my tuna tartare and my husbands blue cheese salad, and I spent most of the evening unable to eat. That being said, the place was empty which made it a little uncomfortable and the food that we had just wasn't anything to write home about. I realize it is a favorite here, so maybe we just had an off night all around.