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Proposing in Miami - need Dinner suggestions

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I will be visiting Miami with my Girlfriend for the first time and will hopefully (finger's) crossed be leaving with my Fiancé. I have no idea where I am going to propose (maybe the Vizcaya?), but I do know that I want to be dining on a tasting menu with wine pairing that night. I am chef where I'm from, so I'm looking for something that is out of this world. I am staying at 13th and Ocean Drive and I do have a vehicle but would prefer a nice stroll to and from the restaurant. Could I kindly get suggestions for a Thursday night tasting menu meal? Cheers everyone.

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  1. I can't think of a single place in Miami with a tasting menu. Just not happening in this city (for better or worse). Perhaps Palme D'Or at the Biltmore in Coral Gables is your best bet. I'd suggest NAOE if you're both adventurous sushi eaters, but not really a place you can stroll to (maybe a walk along the beach in Sunny Isles and then walking over to the restaurant).

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    Palm d'or
    Coral Gables, FL, Coral Gables, FL

    NAOE
    175 Sunny Isles Boulevard, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160

    1. On Miami Beach you could try Casa Tua or Talula, you should call in advance but both of them will usually setup a tasting menu.

      Its a drive but I know that the Mandarin Oriental has a package where you can eat on their private beach by the water and they bring you food from Azul, which is great.

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      Talula
      210 23rd St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

      Casa Tua
      1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

      Azul Restaurant
      500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami, FL 33131

      1. Congrats in advance.....you might want to try The Restaurant at the Setai. They have a tasting menu w/ wine pairings that feature Asian/Indian cuisine. If you want a $20 cab ride off the beach, consider Michy's which offers three price levels for tasting menus and the chef is considered by many to be the top chef in Miami (Michelle Bernstein).

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        Setai
        101 20th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

        1. I would seriously consider sitting outside at Casa Tua. Perfect setting and we had a great meal there recently. I'm sure they will put together a tasting menu for you.

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          Casa Tua
          1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

          2 Replies
          1. re: The Chowfather

            Agreed on casa tua. For this purpose, I would go there over talula (or the setai, or anywhere else in south beach) for sure, though I think the food at talula is superior and a better value in general.

            1. re: The Chowfather

              Congrats and I second, third and fourth Casa Tua.

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              Casa Tua
              1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

            2. Congratulations! Check out Eos at the Viceroy Hotel. It is downtown Miami, on Brickell, so it is not that far away from South Beach. Eos is on the 15th Floor, and they have an outdoor patio, so you can get a great view of Biscayne Bay and the sunset (depending on what time you are there). The food is fantastic, and they do seafood, meat, soup, and desserts well. Not sure about a tasting menu. There is also a lounge with light food on the 50th floor (Club 50). Check out the restaurant menu and other photos of the hotel here: http://www.viceroymiami.com/cuisine/r...

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              South Beach Cafe
              121 5th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

              1. On-Beach options:

                Talula ("New American") - 7 course tasting menu, nice garden patio area, probably the best food on the beach. Here's another recent thread on tasting menus with some details on Talula's ->
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/612925

                Casa Tua (Italian) - I haven't been myself, and reports have sometimes been mixed, but lately seem strong. Romantic setting, probably a good option. Tasting menu is not listed on the website but I've heard from others that have had one there.

                Restaurant at the Setai (miscellaneous Asian) - 12-course "Menu Gourmand," probably do wine pairings too, pretty location, interesting exotic menu, though I was disappointed in the execution during my recent visit ->
                http://www.foodforthoughtmiami.com/20...

                Nobu (Japanese) - omakase menu. If you've never been to a Nobu before, the "classic" omakase lineup is a great way to sample some of their best dishes. If you've already been there done that, I've found subsequent omakase experiences have been mixed. Not a terribly romantic setting. Wine pairings unlikely.

                Sardinia (Italian) - offer "terra" and "mare" 7-course tasting menus, though they may only be available Sunday - Thursday.

                Another possible option - I went this past weekend to the recently reopened The Forge in mid-Beach. It's a very luxurious setting, and the food (from Chef Dewey Losasso, formerly of North One Ten) was quite good. They do not have a tasting menu listed, but if you call in advance I'm sure they can arrange one for you.

                Off-Beach:

                Michy's ("New American" / hodgepodge) - they will put together a tasting menu for you, very good food, somewhat quirky venue, very good service.

                Sra. Martinez (Spanish) - also from Chef Michelle Bernstein of Michy's, will also put together a tapas tasting menu, though between the two locations for a romantic dinner I'd choose Michy's.

                Area 31 (Seafood) - does a 5-course "sustainable seafood" tasting menu.

                Palme d'Or (French) - has a few different tasting menu options, nice location. Along with Casa Tua, probably the most romantic of the options available.

                NAOE (Japanese) - omakase bento box + nigiri, outstanding food, but read more about it to make sure it's what you're looking for as a celebratory meal with your new fiancé (also a bit of a trek from South Beach) ->
                http://www.foodforthoughtmiami.com/20...

                Timo (Italian-ish) - regularly do a nice 4-5-course tasting menu, with wine pairings, nice location, though sort of out-of-the-way from South Beach.

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                Michy's
                6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33138

                Setai
                101 20th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                Timo
                Collins Ave, FL, USA, Collins Ave, FL

                Sra. Martinez
                4000 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33137

                NAOE
                175 Sunny Isles Boulevard, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160

                Casa Tua
                1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                4 Replies
                1. re: Frodnesor

                  Thank you everyone for the great suggestions, links to other threads and accounts from your personal experience. These forums are the best and only way to know the local foodscape before arriving at the destination.

                  I am already going to Naoe (made reservations on Open Table yesterday). I plan on going to Francesco some point in the week, Joe's, Versailles and Hakkasan for dim sum. Michy's looks very similar to what I do, I'll give it a try, but I think for the special night I am going to speak to the team at Talula or Casa Tua.

                  I am also in the mood an "underground" small tapas joint with seriously good wine and food. I do have a vehicle so I can get around. What is the word on El Rincon Asturiano?

                  Finally and slightly off topic - what do you all think of the Vizcaya as the proposal location? Any other suggestions for a nice setting, water, gardens and stuff. I am not the most romantic guy, but am trying here!!

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                  Michy's
                  6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33138

                  Hakkasan
                  Miami Beach, FL, Miami Beach, FL

                  Casa Tua
                  1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                  Talula's Cafe'
                  3045 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306

                  El Rincon Asturiano
                  225 SW 17th Ave, Miami, FL 33135

                  1. re: KCookN

                    You've got a pretty good lineup. We were just at Michy's tonight, sweetbreads w apples and salsify were great (she's got a very good touch with sweetbreads) and also had a really lovely cobia with an uni risotto and citrus garnish.

                    If you turned up my blog you know my thoughts on Rincon Asturiano. There's another good one, Xixon, but I think they're currently in the process of moving locations. I also like Copas y Tapas in Coral Gables but they're predominantly sandwiches with only a very limited tapas menu. Taberna Giralda, also in the Gables, can be good but is somewhat less reliable.

                    Vizcaya is beautiful - good call.

                    (Thanks for the kind words by the way).

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                    Michy's
                    6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33138

                    Xixon
                    2101 SW 22 ST, Miami, FL 33145

                  2. re: Frodnesor

                    P.S. Frodnesor. I really love your FoodForThought blog. In the past 2 days I have read each and everyone of your write-ups (Well the Southern Florida restaurant write-ups). Happy to know the connection now.

                    1. re: KCookN

                      I'm going to add one more - Gibraltar on Grove Isle is incredibly romantic and would be great for popping the question. Its on a private island right on Biscayne Bay and there is seating on the waterfront. Bonus if you get lucky w/ a full moon. The chef Jeff O'Neill is fairly new there but hails from Daniel Boulud and Le Bernardin in NYC. That's quite a resume. Early word is that the food shines. I'm sure you could reach out to the restaurant and maybe get in touch with Jeff and maybe have a tasting menu whipped up for ya if they aren't already doing that.

                      Enjoy Miami and good luck!

                  3. I just had a spectacular meal at D Rodriguez Cuba in the Astor Hotel--a Frodnesor tip. They have a beautiful courtyard that is very romantic. Wonderful service and the best tres leche (though theirs is a quatro) with amazing caramel on top that I have ever had. Great ceviches too.

                    1. Frodnesor; I have read your blog on Ricon Austuriano but I always look for second opinions or even another suggestion. Thanks again everyone. I have spoken to Talula and I have their 7 course with wine pairing (140 a head) reserved in one of their private alcoves.

                      I have to still make reservations for Francesco and Michy's.

                      My line-up is as follows:

                      Arrive Wednesday: I need to great suggestion for amazing groceries, cheeses, and cold cuts - as a chef I do plan on doing fantastic breakfasts every morning.
                      Wednesday Night - I'm at Naoe at 8pm
                      Thursday is the big day - Lunch in Little Havana (Versailles, but personally I want a side walk stall style place.
                      Thursday Night - I'm at Talula for 8pm
                      Friday Lunch - We're riding with Dolphins around noon, and she's on a shopping spree on Friday early afternoon, lunch ???
                      Friday Dinner - Michy's
                      Saturday Lunch - Francesco
                      Saturday Dinner - El Rincon Asturiano
                      Sunday Lunch - Dim Sum, High end (Hakkasan), Lower End (Tropical), or Dim Saam (thanks Frodnesdor at Sayaka)
                      Sunday Dinner - I'll cook something at home, or maybe we'll have a cheesy on the strip meal.

                      I have no idea how this will work out as I have not included much sighseeing in our agenda, nor much beach action (though we will be living across the street - we're at the Carlyle so that should not be an issue every morning if need be). How far away are the high end shops (I want to buy one piece of high-end garment or accessory each day we are there) - thank god I have saved up for this event!!

                      Honestly, I wouldn't mind trying Tap Tap, and grabbing some authentic serious Trinidad food - any suggestions. Driving to Orlando to continue to the holiday on Monday, so I can stop somewhere north to grab a bite. Suggestions welcome!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: KCookN

                        If you want more walk-up stand type of Cuban food, go to El Palacio de los Jugos. Really good, and you will able to find some interesting stuff there to cook with. They have 5 or 6 stations with different foods, one for pig, one seafood, one sandwiches, one beef, one juices and one fried. You will get about 3 lbs of food for $9.

                        In Orlando, make sure to try the Ravenous Pig. There is an amazing fish shack up in West Palm, but the name is escaping me. Definitely try that for your drive up.

                        Shopping is up and down Lincoln, make sure to check out Alchemist. Super high end boutique stuff but stuff you cannot find even in NY/LA. Merrick Park/Bal Harbour are car rides away but very nice as well.

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                        El Palacio
                        21485 NW 27th Ave, Miami Gardens, FL 33056

                        1. re: KCookN

                          It is pricey, but the best option for gourmet grocery shopping on the Beach is Epicure Market on Alton Road & 16th St.

                          -----
                          Epicure Market
                          1656 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                        2. For the proposal, casa tua is about as romantic as it gets on the beach. Casa Casuarina is also romantic and I believe Barton G is the chef (but im not positive and do not know anyone whose eaten there). Barton G outside is also romantic and really fun, but the food is about fun, rather than serious gastronomy. I adore Talula and the patio is cute but its not as romantic as Casa Tua. As for the proposal, vizcaya is cool but slightly random. I think some great options are south point park all the way down at inlet of government cut (if its gonna be at night). I was also recently with my boyfriend on the beach at night in sunny isles (which is about 20 minutes north of where you were staying). It was quiet, empty and super romantic! Good Luck and Congrats

                          -----
                          Talula
                          210 23rd St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                          Barton G Restaurant
                          1427 West Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                          Casa Tua
                          1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139