Foodie and Non Foodie restaurant for Ft. Lauderdale/Miami Special Occasion?
More upscale than Morton's, not a chain, and she likes simple food. That's actually a pretty tall order!
One idea I might suggest is to take her to one of the nicer hotel restaurants along Fort Lauderdale beach. I know this was always a hit with my elderly parents.
Two places they enjoyed very much were North Ocean Grill at the Pelican Grand and 3030 Ocean at the Harbor Beach Marriott. I'm sure they would be very willing to accommodate her tastes and make it a special evening.
In Miami DB Bistro, 1500 degrees, Zuma (has all kinds of food options)
Casa Tua is overpriced but great ambiance and it is good, same can be said about il gabbiano (I have not been to either of them in a while)
Places I have not been to but you might want to look at
Burbon Steak (even though it is a chain)
1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
17624 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles, FL 33160
Bourbon Steak is a real class act. I'm not quite sure I'd call it a "chain" - yes, Michael Mina has several restaurants, including 5 Bourbon Steaks around the country, but they each have their own chef and their own menu, other than a selection of Mina "signature" dishes. It is a steakhouse but there is enough variety to please non steak eaters, and the cooking and atmosphere are top notch. Also Aventura is relatively geographically desirable from Ft. Lauderdale.
19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180