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Need great restaurants in Sunny Isles!!

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

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  1. 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. 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

        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. 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. 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

            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

              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

                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

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

                  1. re: Frodnesor

                    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. 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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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.