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Jan 27, 2012 12:46 PM

Group dinner in Miami in March

I'm looking for a restaurant to hold a dinner for about 80-90 people in Miami in early March (on a Tuesday night). Food needs to be top notch -- not steak/meat-focused; fish is good; Asian/Latin/American all good, as is not-too-traditional Italian. I'm looking for a place with a private room or where we would do a buy out. Atmosphere should be sophisticated in a fun way (not stuffy/stodgy). Have tried many, many places that cannot accommodate our group. Last time we went to De Rodriguez which worked out well. Budget is generous, but not off the charts (Cecconi's quoted $35,000 for a buy-out...yikes.)
Thanks in advance for any ideas you can send my way!

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  1. I should add that we are staying at the Mandarin anything within a 15 minute drive. Would prefer South Beach or Downtown Miami.

    1. You could try Sugarcane, Sra Martinez, Sustain in the Design District... maybe Asia de Cuba @ the Mondrian on South Beach, Zuma @ the Epic Hotel in Downtown Miami

      1. Do you not want to do it in Azul at the Mandarin Oriental? They did a great special event dinner for us a month ago:

        You should talk to Sra. Martinez about doing something at the Crumb & Parchment space across the street. I've had a dinner (for about 35) and a cocktail event (for about 100) in that space and they did an excellent job on both.

        DB Bistro Moderne in the JW Marriott Marquis may also have a space, though it's got a slightly stuffy feel to it.

        Sugarcane doesn't to my knowledge have another space to use and would probably be tough to buy out. You may be able to get Sustain for a night though I actually don't know if that space seats 90. Could possibly also buy out Area 31 in the Epic on a Tuesday night.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Frodnesor

          Sobe4u: Thanks for these ideas. We have actually looked at all of those except Asia de Cuba (not great for our crowd, since many are from NY and have been to the one here). Sustain is still in the mix -- how's the food? Sra Martinez -- I think there was an issue with seating us/privacy, but I need to look back at that.
          Frodnesor: We will eat at the hotel the first night, so want to go out the second night. I have not heard of that Sra Martinez space, so will definitely look into it! DB Bistro isn't right (b/c of the one in NY). Area 31 was on our list, but they told us today they need us to pre-order our entrees, which we'd prefer not to do (and haven't needed to do in the past0.

          Thanks both for the great suggestions!! let me know if you think of any more.

          1. re: Frodnesor

            Frodnesor: just looked at the write up of your dinner at Azul -- WOW, does that look unbelievable. I ate at Azul several years ago and thought it was quite good.

            1. re: debra1234

              The chef now at Azul is relatively new - Michelle Bernstein had been there first, then Clay Conley, it's now Joel Huff. At least a few of the items from that dinner are variations of dishes that appear on the menu.

              I like the food at Sustain quite a bit. It's in the same kind of genre as Michael's Genuine - focus on local seasonal ingredients, generally not fussed with too much.

              1. re: Frodnesor

                I adore Michael's Genuine so that is a huge endorsement for me (I would do my dinner there, but definitely too small). My only other concern about Sustain is the space. We will take over the restaurant -- it looks like they will use existing seating and just push tables together to make groups of 8-12.

                1. re: debra1234

                  Your group would be a tiny bit scattered at Sustain but it could work. There is one long banquette which could probably be set up as tables for 10-12 and then several larger tables in the middle that could also take groups of 8-10.

                  (I"m sure you'd have trouble buying out MGFD anyway).

          2. Tuyo may be a good call. (closed on Tuesdays which may work to your advantage)

            I've heard great reports about the Edge at the Four Seasons but have not been yet. May be worth looking into.

            4 Replies
            1. re: The Chowfather

              Thanks Chowfather. Tuyo looks interesting, although maybe a little stuffy in atmosphere? hard to tell from the photos. I went to Norman's many years ago and thought it was fantastic, so I'm sure the food at Tuyo is likely great. I'll look more closely at The Edge, but it's probably too steak-focused for my crowd.

              1. re: debra1234

                Edge is a great spot but I held back on recommending based on your "no steak" qualification. I will say that the lobster corn soup, all tiraditos/tartares, clams, calamari a la plancha, and corvina w/ basil crust - all non-steak items - have been outstanding on my visits. I think my favorite was the butcher cut filet though. Chef Brooks makes his own rub (diners get a bottle when they leave) and that's all this steak needed. He's an Aussie and spent a few years in Boston so the guy knows seafood. Menu can be found here - Worth a look for sure.

                1. re: Blind Mind

                  Thanks Blind Mind...I'll take a look!

                  1. re: debra1234

                    Apparently Edge is a lot more seafood centric than I imagined according to this local review from a respected food writer -