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Dec 5, 2011 09:10 AM

Chef headed to Miami need good eats??!

Hi Everyone,

My wife and I are headed to Miami and I need some help with some real foodie options.

We are staying in south beach for 3 nights, and I will have a car so we can drive anywhere.

I was looking for a great Cuban restaurant for lunch one day and we would like to head into little Havana for a bit, so maybe something there? I will take anyone advice but I really don't want to eat at a tourist trap, looking for something real cuban wise!

Also need some help with dinner options. I was thinking DB Bistro one night but , I have eaten in his restaurants before and I have never been disappointed. Not Really interested in michys, menu looked ok, but if i should go i will.

Thank you to everyone in advance.

Chef Billy

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  1. There's a general consensus that there's no "great" Cuban in Miami, but it's always okay to go to one of the Miami institutions for Cuban:

    - Versailles is where every tourists go with locals for Cuban.
    - Sergio's (on Coral Way) is another popular spot - I like their empanadas (they even have vaca frita empanadas) and their tortilla de platano for breakfast (big enough to share)

    But for "upscale" Cuban, I think people would refer you to De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean.

    And for a healthier take on Cuban (since most places are heavy, greasy spoon type of places), I like OYE! Cuban Grill in Pinecrest.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mialebven


      Great Thoughts, Thank you!! Any Ideas on Dinners hot spots?

      1. re: mialebven

        What about La Casita on calle ocho near coral gables? More upscale setting than Versailles and much much much better food. Not too expensive. 100% Cuban. Maybe you just don't like Cuban food?

      2. For your lunch question I'd consider going to Enriquetas for their pan con lechon, or if you don't mind heading out west, to El Mago de las Fritas for their namesake frita or a traditional sandwich cubano at Luis Galindo's Latin American.

        If you've been to Boulud restaurants before I don't really understand why you'd go to DB Bistro when there are so many local options that you won't find elsewhere. That's no knock on DB, which is a fine restaurant (though by no means anywhere near the best of the Boulud empire).

        If you want more local flavor, I'd suggest Michael's Genuine, Michy's, Red Light, and for a number of places you won't find elsewhere, I'd add Naoe (exceptional but not for everyone, completely omakase Japanese), Sugarcane, Sustain, Sra. Martinez, maybe the Pubbelly restaurants on South Beach. Not unique to Miami, but very good, is Bourbon Steak in Aventura.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Frodnesor

          AWesome, thank you so much, i was hoping not to go to DB, love it there but want something different. i will check out all you suggestions thank you so much.

          we are staying in south beach so pubbelly may be a good option

          1. re: chefsklls

            The best pan con lechon I have ever had is at Papo llega Y Pon. It is a dive and it is only open for lunch (closes at 3 or 4pm)

        2. Eduardo De San Angel in FLL is one of my fave spots. Always go there before departing on a cruise. Lovely space, top notch service and very well executed dishes. Beer and wine only, and their "margaritas" made with agave wine are worth a try.

          The huitlacoche crepe with squash blossom can be ordered as an appy, and should be. Unique and wonderful dish.

            1. I would say michys is pretty delicious... I think it far surpasses sra martinez. Definitely one of my favorite miami spots.
              The pubbellys are pretty fun and good (a tad overpriced for the amount of food though). Ate at pubbelly sushi last night and was very impressed. We should have paid much less for the amount of food we ate, but the food was innovative and of high quality.

              Sugarcane is never a miss for me, but like pubbelly... its "tapas" style which translates to small plates at high prices and has a similar aesthetic. The good thing about sugarcane is that you can make a reservation, whereas at pubbelly, you may have to wait for some time... especially on a weekend night.

              Another fun cuban option is El Palacio de los Jugos (On red road and Flagler road). The food is yummy and its a fun environment. Its more of a market vibe then a restaurant but you can eat there (outdoors on a picnic bench). I happen to think the cuban food is quite good there.
              Versailles is not amazing BUT a lot of the dishes are tasty, it is an institution and has a fun vibe. I prefer it over Sergios.

              Zuma, while i haven't been in a while, has a very good robata and offers some interesting japanese/seafood.
              I adore all things Boulud but the dining room at DB in miami is a little stuffy and not so fun. The food is quite good, but I agree that you could find some more interesting, unique to miami options.

              Ive always had good meals at meat market on lincoln road
              I have also heard very good things about scarpetta

              10 Replies
              1. re: morganeats

                sounds great thank you for your reply!!

                1. re: morganeats

                  We did decide on Michys because everyone i spoke to said it is a must do!! so we are in.. also decided on pubbelly gastropub for cocktails and dinner another night. we are still making up our minds on our last night for dinner.

                  for lunch we think we are going to head to lil havana and find somewhere interesting. we like the market idea where we can eat out side so that may be a great option, and the lincoln road lunch option is a definate bc we are headed there one day to walk around a people watch.

                  does any one have a strong like or dislike to Red Light ?

                  thank you everyone

                  1. re: chefsklls

                    It can take painfully long to get food at red light but the food there is great. Particularly the shrimp.

                    1. re: tpigeon

                      ok got ya!! are ther eany really stand out Tapas joints i should check out

                      1. re: tpigeon

                        Also, sometimes the a/c doesn't work, but at this time of year that shouldn't be a big problem.

                      2. re: chefsklls

                        I'm a big Red Light fan. Food is very good and very reasonably priced even if the pace is a bit slow (even that's improved) and the a/c issues are non-issues this time of year.

                        For tapas I'd suggest Sra. Martinez for a higher end experience, for something more modest and very authentically Spanish I enjoyed Rincon Asturiano. I used to like Xixon quite a bit but haven't found it quite as good since they moved. There's also several tapas-ish places already mentioned in this thread (i.e. Pubbelly, Sugarcane)

                        1. re: Frodnesor

                          Great thank you!! We did decide on Pubbelly one night. Whats the word on Restaurant Eden?

                            1. re: chefsklls

                              Never been but heard from a foodie friend that it was overpriced

                              1. re: morganeats

                                If you follow fronds or tpigeons advice closely, you will do just fine. Period.