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Need great restaurants in Sunny Isles!!

m
ms. mika May 5, 2011 08:21 AM

We're taking a girls' weekend in Sunny Isles and will be staying at the Acqualina resort, without a car. Any recommendations for nearby delicious places to eat? We'll likely eat at Il Mulino one night, but the other nights are open. We're looking for places with a fun atmosphere, but most importantly fantastic food. Price isn't much of an issue- we'll definitely splurge on dinner. I would love some fresh seafood, but we have one girl who does not eat seafood, so would need other options. The concierge had suggested Chef Allen's, but looks like that is closed.

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Il Mulino
1800 E Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

  1. s
    southocean May 5, 2011 08:34 AM

    Timo, about a half block south of your hotel. Search this board for references, or see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/777904

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    Timo Restaurant
    17624 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles, FL 33160

    1. p
      pilches May 5, 2011 10:54 AM

      The Copper Chimney is very good Indian food not too far from your hotel. Bisselah Cafe is good for lunch. Also, the H Restaurant right near Timo has good French food. Epicure for lunch (great tuna salad).

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      Timo Restaurant
      17624 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles, FL 33160

      1 Reply
      1. re: pilches
        h
        hana May 10, 2011 08:03 AM

        The Bisselah Cafe has closed and is now somethign else. Can't remember the name. In the big shopping center near Burger King/CVS and the Bingo Hall, there is a very good grill place (kosher - closed Friday/Sat). Excellent food - something like Lula? It's next door to the gelatto plce.

      2. Frodnesor May 5, 2011 11:17 AM

        Chef Allen's has closed.

        Timo (Italian / Mediterranean) is very close and very good.

        I've only been to Copper Chimney (Indian) once, but I liked it.

        Hiro's Yakko-San (Japanese izakaya) is even closer now, moved to a spot on 163rd St. Causeway. Also nearby is Racks, where I like the pizza (other stuff is more hit-or-miss).

        A bit further north in Hallandale I like Il Mercato.

        Naoe is in Sunny Isles and has outstanding Japanese food, but if you have a non-seafood eater, it's not an option.

        Some more suggestions, slightly further away, in this thread ->

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/738756

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        Timo Restaurant
        17624 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles, FL 33160

        1. m
          ms. mika May 5, 2011 12:26 PM

          Thanks for the feedback- it's helpful. The concierge also suggested Bourbon Steak or Ocean Prime- we're from Chicago and Houston so we have plenty of access to steakhouses, but are either of these better than the other or outstanding?
          It seems like Timo is a favorite, so I think we should definitely go there.

          Naoe looked great too- but unfortunately that won't work for us this time!

          I had read some mixed reviews of H restaurant- what's the atmosphere like there?

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          Bourbon Steak
          19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180

          Timo Restaurant
          17624 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles, FL 33160

          6 Replies
          1. re: ms. mika
            Blind Mind May 5, 2011 12:28 PM

            Bourbon Steak blows away Ocean Prime in every category except location. You would need a car/cab for that though as it's in Aventura.

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            Bourbon Steak
            19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180

            1. re: ms. mika
              muushupork May 5, 2011 01:03 PM

              imo bourbon steak is not worth the cost. however i have never had anything less than excellent meals from timo. Naoe is my favorite place period.

              1. re: ms. mika
                Frodnesor May 6, 2011 06:14 AM

                I completely blanked on Bourbon Steak - it is excellent, and I'm not really a steakhouse guy. It is both outstanding, and leaps and bounds better than Ocean Prime (which is a very average steakhouse).

                Bourbon Steak is pricey, but it's also one of the nicest dining rooms in town, one of the best wine lists in town, service is outstanding, aside from the food. If you want to do it in a lower-budget fashion, go to the bar/lounge area in front and order from the Burger Bar menu - one of the best burgers in town (plus other items in the ~$20 range).

                In answer to your question about places that are more casual / not as heavy, I actually think Timo fits that bill pretty well. The menu has a pretty sizable selection of smaller plates, and as often as not we will order 2-3 of these each instead of an entrée for a lighter meal.

                I am not a big fan of Carpaccio. It won't kill you, but the food is not exceptional in any way. It's more for people-watching and atmosphere. If you're willing and able to head that far south, though (and it's not far, only about 10 minutes) then I'd throw into the mix a couple other places ->

                Chowdown Grill - casual, contemporary Chinese-American, and the kind of place that would fit your desire for a more casual fun atmosphere and a less heavy meal. All of the house-made dumplings are great, they do very good banh mi style sandwiches, you can get a choice of proteins with a choice of house-made sauces, and always be sure to check the specials which are usually more adventurous than the regular menu.

                Makoto - I've only been once, but had a good first experience at this new Japanese place in the Bal Harbour Mall. Like most Japanese places it is somewhat seafood-intensive, but there's enough on the menu to satisfy a non-seafood eater (several robata items, steaks, etc.). Not inexpensive, though.

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                Bourbon Steak
                19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180

                Carpaccio
                9700 Collins Ave Ste 139, Bal Harbour, FL 33154

                Timo Restaurant
                17624 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles, FL 33160

                1. re: Frodnesor
                  Blind Mind May 6, 2011 10:06 AM

                  Chow Down Grill is a bit of a stretch from Sunny Isles....

                  1. re: Blind Mind
                    The Chowfather May 7, 2011 12:13 PM

                    it's less than 5 minutes

                  2. re: Frodnesor
                    d
                    dlgc May 6, 2011 10:15 AM

                    Makoto is a fun dining expierence, lots of people watching, good drinks and great food. There are chicken and steak dishes on the menu for non seafood eaters.

                2. m
                  ms. mika May 5, 2011 01:06 PM

                  are there any places you'd suggest for dinner that would be a bit more casual but still have a fun atmosphere? (and of course great food!) was wondering if doing timo, il mulino and bourbon steak would be too many pricey heavy meals. any small plates or tapas places?

                  if we could, i would definitely go to naoe, but one of the girl's doesn't eat seafood, so that won't work this time unfortunately.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ms. mika
                    s
                    susabella May 5, 2011 08:07 PM

                    Take a quick cab ride down to bal harbour and go to Carpaccio. It has the best atmosphere, fantastic people watching, the food is delicious, the service is outstanding and dining crowd is very international. There is outside dining, its in the Shops at Bal Harbour where all the designer stores are like Hermes, Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, etc. Theres a french restaurant there too, but I think Carpaccio is far better. It stays open late, and its a very fun place place to walk around window shopping, very pretty space there, with Koi ponds and palm trees everywhere. I think the girls will love it! It's like 5 minutes away in a cab.

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                    Carpaccio
                    9700 Collins Ave Ste 139, Bal Harbour, FL 33154

                    1. re: ms. mika
                      n
                      Nick May 6, 2011 05:35 AM

                      I'd say Hiro's Yakko-San for a more casual place with small plates (even though their new location is a bit less casual). Keep in mind, however, that there is another Japanese restaurant named Hiro nearby. You want Yakko-San.

                      Here's a thread about favorite dishes there:
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/350490

                      1. re: Nick
                        m
                        ms. mika May 6, 2011 10:22 AM

                        This place looks great too. What is the atmosphere like? And more importantly, do you think a non-seafood eater would still find things to love here?

                        1. re: ms. mika
                          Blind Mind May 6, 2011 11:21 AM

                          They moved to a new location so the atmosphere is a bit more "mainstream" than when it was at the old location (homey, divey kinda atmosphere) but it's a nice space and the food is fantastic. Plenty of good non-seafood items @ Yakko-san.

                    2. b
                      Bigstu99 May 7, 2011 08:04 AM

                      Good luck... Beside Il Milino only place to recommend in Sunny Isles Proper is the H...

                      I'm not a fan of Timo. Hiro has a great reputation but the sushi is better at Ginza buffet!

                      Take a ride to Gulfstream to Texas De Brasil

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                      Timo Restaurant
                      17624 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles, FL 33160

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Bigstu99
                        Frodnesor May 7, 2011 12:36 PM

                        Considering that Hiro's Yakko-San didn't even serve sushi until about a month ago when they reopened in their new location, that might well be right. Likewise, if you're comparing it to the "Hiro's" on 163rd St. Causeway, I think folks have tried to make clear that is NOT the place they're recommending despite the similar name.

                        Enjoy Ginza buffet.

                        1. re: Frodnesor
                          b
                          Bigstu99 May 10, 2011 11:00 AM

                          Not confusing with hiros on 163st but with Hiro's sushi express 17048 w Dixie which I always thought was part of Hiro Yakko San @ 17040 West Dixie hway.

                          1. re: Bigstu99
                            Frodnesor May 10, 2011 01:06 PM

                            I think Hiro may have also owned the Sushi Express, not sure if he still does, but that's also not the place that's been recommended.

                            Once again for clarity's sake:
                            Hiro's Yakko-San
                            http://yakko-san.com/
                            3881 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach
                            In the Intracoastal Mall near Old Navy.

                            Not Hiro Japanese Restaurant further west on 163rd St. Causeway.
                            Not Hiro's Sushi Express.

                            1. re: Frodnesor
                              m
                              ms. mika May 11, 2011 12:24 PM

                              Thanks for the clarification. We've added it to our list, so I'm looking forward to trying it.

                              1. re: ms. mika
                                m
                                ms. mika May 25, 2011 07:46 AM

                                Quick question- what is appropriate dress for Hiro's Yakko San? Assume it is casual- but how casual? Don't want to be overdressed. thanks!

                                1. re: ms. mika
                                  Frodnesor May 25, 2011 09:10 AM

                                  Pretty much anything would be OK. The new place is nicer than the original location, which was a hole in the wall, but certainly jeans and even shorts would be fine.

                                  1. re: Frodnesor
                                    taiga May 25, 2011 12:05 PM

                                    Hiro's Yakko San is an authentic, typical Japanese place which thrives on consistently flavorful Japanese plates to be shared. I have yet to experience their new sushi, but would always go for the others.

                              2. re: Frodnesor
                                crowmuncher Jul 22, 2011 10:35 PM

                                Love them all depending on my mood,money situation & occasion. Love to go to hiro's express for take-out, ginza for pig-out and yako for the most special occasions (when i can afford it. All three r very different

                          2. re: Bigstu99
                            p
                            pearlD Jul 26, 2011 01:26 PM

                            What is GINZA like? Is it a 'buffet' along the lines of those chain places like The Mandarin (all you can eat style?) We will be in a condo at 163rd this winter (couldn't get our previous rental in Aventura) hoping for some 'new' & different places with good food (all types) in our new area..we will be spending 6 weeks (Jan & Feb) 2012....looking forward to a change.
                            We have several 'all you can eat Chinese Buffet' here in Toronto..but I think they are pretty terrible unless someone is looking for quantity not quality..a zoo scene for sure!
                            Is Ginza a Japanese version ?

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                            Chinese Buffet
                            1533 W 49th St, Hialeah, FL 33012

                            1. re: pearlD
                              p
                              pearlD Jul 26, 2011 01:38 PM

                              My mistake...we're staying at 172nd not 163rd...this is Sunny Isles eh?
                              We will have a car so I think it doesn't matter much........
                              Last year my big discovery was the 'pickled lox/salmon' at Sage Deli..almost needed to take out a loan to pay (lol!!) but worth every penny!!! Never had anything that great in Toronto..my mouth waters at the very thought!!!

                          3. crowmuncher Jul 26, 2011 02:26 PM

                            Ginza's is all you can eat. I do not go to buffets- only Ginza because I enjoy the food. I am not such a fan of Emerald Coast (another Sunny Isles buffet for ex). I have been invited or have gone to EC because it was convenient location, but I am not one of those people who gets excited about buffets. I have been back to Ginza's many times though (by choice) which speaks for itself

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                            Emerald Coast
                            16850 Collins Ave Ste 106A, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: crowmuncher
                              b
                              Bigstu99 Jul 26, 2011 04:20 PM

                              Emerald coast closed ...thank god......used to have my office in shopping center always going down hill for years

                              1. re: Bigstu99
                                crowmuncher Jul 26, 2011 05:02 PM

                                had no idea, last time I was there was like '08

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