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South Beach for 50th B'day - thinking about the following:

-Casa Tua
-The Forge
-Something you'd recommend over everything else??

Have read the South Beach postings but haven't seen either of these restaurants and wondered what the SoBe experts thought. Picked them strictly on menu/ambiance/ reviews elsewhere.

Looking for great food and atmosphere. Walking distance from the Catalina even better unless parking isn't an issue.

Price not really an issue as this is a special occasion, but not looking to spend extra without getting something worthwhile either.

We like all kinds of food, but probably not interested in anything Spanish, Mexican or Asian.

Thanks for the input!

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  1. I think you need to tell us more about what you are looking for (what is most important to you in a restaurant before we can better answer your question).

    I have not been to the latest incarnation of the forge (which is not in SOBE btw - it is a little north). Casa Tua is beautiful, and the food is good, but overpriced. It may just be the place you are looking for, it is certainly a place to impress people.

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    Casa Tua
    1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

    19 Replies
    1. re: tpigeon

      Pringle>

      If you are here now (or before the weather turns warm and wet in summer ) I'd point to romantic places near the Catalina like the garden at the Raleigh (Royal), terrace at Delano, garden at the Eden on 23rd Street, Cecconi's or Casa Tua (tho' TP is right it is spendy).

      If you prefer glitz over greenery, Meat Market on Lincoln is good food and a sceney atmosphere (Prime 112 still the #1 steak scene).

      AG

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      Meat Market
      915 Lincoln road, Miami Beach, FL 33139

      Casa Tua
      1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

      1. re: advisor_Girl

        Just had another great meal @ Meat Market last night. Their steaks are phenomenal. Also was pleasantly surprised by the brussels sprouts w/ bacon, onion, & almonds. Another great spot for sprouts. It's a nice walk from the Catalina too, probably about 10-15 minutes depending on your pace.

        Pubbelly is the hype of the town right now. I thought it was somewhere between "ok" and "good". Gluttonous menu and pricing on some items was high for what you get. I thought the 2 best things I tried were the "spaghetti & meatballs" and the McBelly sandwich. Parking can be a real bitch over in that area though and def not walking distance from the Catalina unless you want to really take a nice, long stroll.

        Another one that I have always liked but admittedly have not been to in awhile is the Lido @ The Standard Hotel/Spa. Haven't been in about 3-4 years though and that's a drive but easy parking/valet.

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        Meat Market
        915 Lincoln road, Miami Beach, FL 33139

        1. re: Blind Mind

          Definitley looking for something more special than spaghetti and meatballs...and not really looking for gluttonous, so I'm guessing Pubbelly is not for us...the "garden" restaurants sound lovely...definitely more our style than the "scene" places. We're planning this for May or early June, so it may get a little iffy as far as pleasant weather. Will keep that in mind, but will check out your suggestions on line...thank you!

          tpigeon, I guess to narrow it down, it's just 2 of us, so probably more romantic atmosphere than loud and glitzy. Don't care much about people watching, but definitely care about the quality of the food. It's hubby's 50th, so I want something memorable and wonderful. We like all kinds of food, I just don't want to be limited by ethnic restaurants...except Italian which we both love. A place that's creative and different would be great...or one that has over the top service for special occasions...something to make it stand out. We live in Broward, and the furthest we go for dinner is Las Olas or Delray Beach. Just want to make this special :-) Hope that helps.

          1. re: pringle347

            I'd probably stick with casa tua.

              1. re: pringle347

                Just adding another opinion here.....I do not consider the inside atmosphere at Casa Tua to be all that special. This is just my personal opinion, of course. Sitting outside there is nice but I always worry about the weather. Another consideration for italian food with atmosphere would be Il Gabbiano which is on the water and has both inside and outdoor seating. My favorite italian restaurant on South Beach for wonderful food is Osteria del Teatro. I always enjoy the food there but it is less trendy than the others for a 50th BD. (I prefer the food there to Casa Tua. though). I haven't been to the new Forge only because the reviews have been so mixed. Wherever you go....have a wonderful birthday dinner!

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                Casa Tua
                1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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

                1. re: Debbie

                  I agree with you about the food at osteria del teatro but the ambiance at casa tua kills the ambiance at del teatro. IL Gabbiano is a great space but it has been a long time since I have had the food there so I don't feel qualified to offer an opinion. It is also less cozy than casa tua but has excellent water views if you eat outside.

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                  IL Gabbiano
                  335 S Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33131

                  1. re: tpigeon

                    Thanks guys...totally undecided! Casa Tua sounded perfect, but I"ve been hearing it's just too overpriced..and that if it's too warm out, you totally miss the beauty of the outdoor garden, and that the traffic noise can be quite intrusive. Il Gabbiano looks nice...and I'm not tied to Italian...despite my earlier comment about avoiding ethnic food, I'm hearing good things about Indiomania that are sparking my interest. Just don't know...maybe the atmoshphere isn't so important if the food is really incredible. Apologies for being wishy washy...and thanks for all the suggestions!

                  2. re: Debbie

                    Also...I was originally thinking we'd be there in early May, but now it looks like late June will be the best time for us to get away overnight...so the weather will definitely be a factor.

                    1. re: pringle347

                      Try DB bistro moderne.

                      It is not in south beach but neither is IL Gabbiano.

                      Romeo's Cafe might be an option for you. I have not been in years though and it is kind of far, but it is unique.

                      1. re: tpigeon

                        What do you think about Nemo's?

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                        Nemo
                        100 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                        1. re: pringle347

                          I have not been in a long time. They seem to have adapted much of Prime 112s menu. I heard they will soon be renamed Prime Fish. That is all I know about it. If I had to bet, I would say the food at DB Bistro is better.

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                          Prime 112 Restaurant
                          112 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                          1. re: pringle347

                            You are overthinking this. Nemo hasn't been very interesting for years. It's a beautiful space but the menu was stagnant after Michael Schwartz left (and not executed as well). It was closed several months ago to "re-concept", I wasn't aware that it had reopened and haven't heard anything about the new makeover.

                            -----
                            Nemo
                            100 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                            1. re: Frodnesor

                              Thank you. And yes, I may be overthinking it...but I only have one night, it's a special occasion, and I want to make it...special. Despite a love for it, we only go out to dinner about 4 -6 times per year. (except when we are on vacation with the kids, and that's a whole different kind of dinner), so I just want to find a great place. When it's Broward (home turf) I'm more familar with the offerings, so it's never difficult to find something good. But I know absolutely nothing about South Beach except that everyone has a different opinon, LOL. And even that is fine...every comment good or bad, helps narrow things down.

                              1. re: pringle347

                                I will tell you this: South Beach is not nearly the dining destination it was 5-10 years ago. But if you want romantic atmosphere, and you love Italian food, I think most folks will tell you Casa Tua fits the bill, though I've not been myself. For a similar alternative, perhaps Cecconi's in Soho House. Again I've not been myself, but what I've heard from folks who have visited is similar: gorgeous space, good (possibly a bit overpriced) food, nice experience. The chef at Cecconi's used to be the chef at Casa Tua. Initial comments on service at Cecconi's suggest it was somewhat shaky, but hopefully they've got that sorted out.

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                                Casa Tua
                                1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                2. re: pringle347

                  I would stay with Casa Tua..................
                  the food is superb.............we were there last week and going back tonight.....If the weather is right the garden is beautiful

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                  Casa Tua
                  1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                  1. re: Raisel

                    STK all the way! Just 3 -4 blocks north of you. Expensive yes, worth it YES!

                    U only turn 50 once!!!

                    1. re: netmover

                      You can NEVER go wrong at Casa Tua...NEVER! I'm a big fan of this restaurant as I've been there probably 6 to 7 times in the last 18 months (always for lunch) and have NEVER had anything less than excellence served to me and my party of five or six. If it's hot, sit inside. If it's not, sit outside! If it's good enough for Hollywood's A List.....and South Florida's most discerning pallets....it's good enough for all!

                      EMac66
                      Ft. Pierce, FL

          2. NOBU ASIAN
            OLA LATIN
            BOTH ARE VERY CLOSE TO THE CATALINA-BOTH GO AGAINST YOUR PRECONCIEVED GRAIN...BOTH ARE AWESOME ENOUGH TO CHANGE YOUR OPINION ABOUT ASIAN AND LATIN CUISINE !!!

            1. Slightly off-topic, but howsabout Club Deuce Bar for afters?

              1. I would definitely celebrate at CASA TUA...............very romantic and wonderful food....Request the garden..In addition, they have valet parking.
                If you don't mind a short drive, I would highly recommend AZUL. Everything about this restaurant, at the Mandarin hotel, was perfect.
                The menu, the service and the ambience made for a very enjoyable evening............. Ask for a window table.

                http://www.mandarinoriental.com/miami...