Dinner for 8 in Miami, great food, fun ambiance
I'm organizing a dinner in Miami for a group of 8 thirtysomething foodies coming from NYC and Chicago. We're looking for delicious, interesting food (comparable quality to what we get at home, but with a Miami take) at a venue that will be good for a group of our size and has fun ambiance (we wouldn't prioritize scene over food, but we still like a little scene). Staying at the Viceory, so something within a cab ride from Brickell is preferred. Was wondering if any of the following restaurants would be good choices or if you suggest another spot:
- Michael's Genuine
I've had better food experiences at either Michy's or Michael's Genuine than at Ola, though Douglas Rodriguez has a new restaurant ("De Rodriguez") in the Astor Hotel that may be worth checking out (I've not been yet). Michy's does not have a full liquor license, only beer & wine, if that makes any difference. Sra. Martinez (Michelle Bernstein's other restaurant, in the Design District) also has been putting out great food lately and I love their (small) bar.
What you're looking for as far as "local flavor" might lead you one way or another. MGF&D probably has a stronger focus on local ingredients than just about any other restaurant in town, while Michelle Bernstein's cooking probably has more influence from the styles of the "local" cuisines (which largely means Latin America) than Michael's. As far as Latin influence, Douglas Rodriguez's is more obvious than either, with his new place focusing on updated Cuban food, while Ola is more Pan-Latin.
I just did dinner for 8 at Sra Martinez a few weeks back and it was a great time. That or Michael's Genuine you can go wrong with. For a more quiet venue, I'd suggest Area 31 too as its right around the corner from the Viceroy at the Epic Hotel (Kimpton)