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One Night in Miami

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My husband and I are flying into Miami and only staying for one night. We would love to have a nice dinner, it's for our 10th anniversary. However, we are on a budget. Honestly, between $10 - maybe up to $20, but $20 a plate being the most we would want to spend. With this price range what restaurant would you recommend in Miami Beach, South Beach. We have a car but thought it would be nice to enjoy the area. Would love to sit waterfront but again, our budget limits us.

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  1. Tough question because that is a difficult price range for South Beach plus there aren't a lot of waterfront spots. I'm inclined to recommend Puerta Sagua since it fits the price range plus you get to experience Cuban food but it's not very anniversary friendly... I'll post back if I think of anything else.

    1. After talking to my husband we would rather spend a little more and get a good meal. Still, however, I think we would like to be under $30 a plate. It doesn't have to be waterfront and I really want sea scallops! Does that help broaden our options? :) If it doesn't have waterfront would still like outdoor seating with a fun Miami vibe, and great ambience. Thanks!!

      5 Replies
      1. re: daisyduck0427

        I am assuming $30 includes tax and tip. Scallops are a no go if this is the case.

        Rosinella - have not been in a long time but it was decent. The only one with great outdoor seating.
        Tap Tap
        Clarkes - more of a fancy pub

        1. re: tpigeon

          $75 max for the meal.

          1. re: tpigeon

            Wow, tp...I cant believe you didnt suggest Shake Shack. ;)

            I recommend the rijsttafels at Indomania. The restaurant has a nice setting for an anniversary and the food is terrific and affordable. You'll have a great meal at the price point you're looking for and you will leave full. It's just off Collins on 26th so you could have a nice stroll up the boardwalk depending on where your hotel is too.

            Menus here: http://indomaniarestaurant.com/menu.html

            1. re: Blind Mind

              Third the rec of Indomania. You'll get your money's worth and it'll be a really unique meal that you'll remember. Also, if you're here before June, you can walk down the street to Broken Shaker, a pop up bar that's only around till then. At $11 each drinks at Broken Shaker are on the reasonable side but may be tapping out your dinner budget. But having one drink each outside on in the large garden patio area would make it a memorable evening.

              1. re: lax2mia

                I will 4th indomania now that the budget is 75 and not 60. You can do the seafood rijsttafels and get your scallops too. Should be $28 per person, lots of food. With tax & tip you should be right there but hope you like water :). There are less expensive rijsttafels but you must order them for the whole table so you have to agree on which one you want.

                I would choose indomania above the other choices I gave you. I thought you had a hard limit of $60 which to me makes indomania very tough with tax and tip.

        2. If you want waterfront on a budget, consider getting off the beach.

          Instead, what about Red Light or Anise Taverna on the Little River? It's not South Beach and it's not sceney, but it's pleasant on the water (if you disregard the dodgy neighborhood around it - across the river from Red Light is a strip joint) and at both places the menu pretty consistently holds under $20 (the whole fish at Anise Taverna goes over, but with a few mezze to start you can probably split a fish between two people).

          In the same vein, The Federal on Biscayne Blvd. is in a little strip mall but has sort of charming outdoor seating (inside is nice too). Prices for mains tend to veer over $20 but many of their starters are pretty substantial and a couple could make a good meal, including a couple nice scallop dishes.

          If you're fixated on the Beach, Indomania is a very good call. It's a nice cozy place, very good food, reasonably priced.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Frodnesor

            How about Crazy About You in Brickell on the water if the beach is not compulsory? In the price range and romantic.

          2. What do you all think about Sylvano's given the parameters of the request?

            Food is decent. It is romantic (except maybe for the multiple TVs) and in Miami Beach. Close enough to the ocean for an after dinner stroll in the moonlight! Could definitely do it within the stated price range. I think it is a nice spot for an anniversary.

            5 Replies
            1. re: BigBonesBradley

              Sylvano's isn't open any more - the Pubbelly guys are taking over the space and turning it into an Italian place to be called Macchialina. In any event, SoBe probably has any number of serviceable if unexceptional Italian places that are closer to the beach than Alton Rd. - i.e. Rosinella, mentioned above, which is on Lincoln Road, or Spris, also on Lincoln Road (both with outdoor seating).

              1. re: Frodnesor

                I thought Macchialina was going into the spot on Alton which Sylvano's left to move to Liberty Ave. or did the Sylvano's on Liberty close? If not, then it'd be too far to walk from Liberty to the beach so that's moot.

                1. re: lax2mia

                  I didn't know Sylvano's moved, thought it had just closed.

                  1. re: Frodnesor

                    Sylvano's is open and located in the old La Parilla Liberty spot. Love that location.

                    1. re: The Chowfather

                      Agreed. Except for the lack of parking, I love the location too. I know there is a public parking structure around the corner, but I believe it is a $20 flat fee (at least on weekends). Same decent food at fairly reasonable prices, but in a much nicer setting.

            2. Thanks for all the responses. Honestly I hadn't checked in a couple of days. My husband and I talked and decided on Joes Stone Crab!? Is this a good place? It seems to be recommended a lot and the scallops were about $25 a plate. So I thought it would work. However, is this good for an anniversary dinner. Also I am planning to dress up.

              We were thinking of going to the Clevelander later for drinks because it has live music. Is this a good place to go? Otherwise I have been intriguied by Jazid? Thoughts??? :)

              15 Replies
              1. re: daisyduck0427

                Joes is great but be prepared for a 2 hour wait for your table.

                1. re: tpigeon

                  I guess the question is, is it worth the wait?

                  :) Is there a bar in that area afterwards that would be fun for a drink? I liked the idea of going for a walk after dinner and then getting a couple of drinks.

                  1. re: daisyduck0427

                    Yes but it is a hassle. You have to be in the mood for it. It is not a place for a nice quiet evening. Never had scallops there btw. You will probably blow your budget big time by going to Joes.

                    Clarkes or the Room and there are some other places right around there but I don't know their names.

                    1. re: tpigeon

                      Is Indomania an Indian restaurant? I struggle with Indian. LONG story.

                      What about Fresco's?? Is this a good place it's on the water and the menu has a variety of options. We are going to buys scallops and make them with my sister. She lives in Palm Beach and knows of a great local fresh market. :)

                      1. re: daisyduck0427

                        Indomania is indonesian. I have no idea if that is a problem for you.

                        Tiramisu is more expensive than rosinella except for their happy hour. It is decent like rosinella and so is spris next door which is pizza.

                        I have not been to Fresco as it is new and will probably not go unless I hear it is worth going to.

                        Try Joes for breakfast.

                        1. re: tpigeon

                          Spiga's ??? Thank you for answering all my questions.

                          1. re: daisyduck0427

                            Over your budget. If you want higher budget restaurants change your parameters.

                2. re: daisyduck0427

                  I haven't had the scallops at Joe's, but their seafood is all very fresh and I'd be surprised if it wasn't good. To stay within your budget at Joe's, share some seafood and the fried chicken, which is very good and very cheap ($5.99, I think, for half a chicken). Get some skinny sweets (potatoes) and Key Lime Pie. I would go for the medium or select stone crabs, but you could do the scallops instead. Joe's Take Away is quick (if you don't want to wait for a table at the restaurant) and has a nice area to sit (but it is counter, not table, service).

                  For a drink nearby, I like The Room, which is about a block away from Joe's. Very good beer selection in a small but cool room. Probably more of a NYC atmosphere than SoBe, as they have 3 bars in NYC.

                  1. re: Fineas

                    I agree that you can eat well at joes pretty cheaply but I think that should be done at the takeout rather than the restaurant itself. The restaurant to me is if you want to splurge, mostly because it is a pain in the neck to get a table most nights.

                    1. re: tpigeon

                      I agree. I go to the Take Away 5-6 times for every time I go to the restaurant itself. but I am a local and for a visitor the Take Away may not give the atmosphere/scene they might want.

                      1. re: Fineas

                        That's right, but to wait to get a table and not splurge once you finally get to sit is kind of a waste so that is why I did not recommend Joes for dinner in this case.

                        1. re: tpigeon

                          I don't see the need to spend extra money every time I have a long wait for a table as if spending the money makes the wait less painful. I generally don't like waiting for a table at all, but if I was visiting Miami from out of town, I'd be very happy with a dinner for two at Joe's with an order of medium stone crabs claws (usually around $27), fried chicken ($6), skinny sweets ($7), grilled tomatoes ($7), seafood bisque ($7), and a slice of key lime pie ($7) for under $55, whether I waited for 90 minutes or not. In fact, I'd feel better about the wait if I wasn't paying $70 pp. That is a damn good (and big) meal at Miami's most iconic restaurant for a pretty fair price overall.

                          1. re: Fineas

                            I feel going to Joes is more like an event and would not be thrilled at the prospect of waiting 90 minutes for half of the above meal. To each their own.

                            1. re: tpigeon

                              I love the suggestions for the meal but I have to agree I don't think we want to wait that long. I think we are going to Joes for breakfast.

                              I told my husband about Spiga's before you suggested Sardinia and he thinks we should go there. We have looked at both of the menus and he seems to prefer that. He also is getting overwhelmed with me changing my mind. :) Spiga's has excellent reviews and I think that we will really enjoy it. Thank you so much for all your help. Our plan will be

                              Thursday evening: Spiga's for dinner
                              We our going to get Key Lime Pie from Joes for takeaway for dessert.
                              Then we are heading to The Room and/or The Clevelander

                              Friday Morning: Breakfast at Joes
                              Heading to Delray in the afternoon for Lunch: Cafe Luna Rosa
                              Then we are spending the weekend in Palm Beach.

                              Thanks for all your help. :)

                              1. re: daisyduck0427

                                Clevelander is something I associate with fist-pumping imbeciles on "Jersey Shore". Jazid can be cool but is divey. Clarkes is an Irish pub. The Room is cool but be prepared for heavy chainsmoking going on there.

                                I'm sticking with my Indomania recommendation (I do not like Indian food at all. This is not Indian food, I linked the menu previously.) followed by a walk up Lincoln Road to Upstais at the Van Dyke which is a classy joint that has live music nightly. If you're here in April, here's this month's lineup: http://www.soulofmiami.org/2012/04/01...

                                If Indomania is a no-go for you, Tiramesu is a decent option, nothing noteworthy, and you can dine outside. Same with Cafe Books & Books. Both are a short walk to Van Dyke.

                3. We also considered TiramesU, is this a good place or No? Lots of questions I know but could you also recommend a good place for breakfast? :)

                  1. unless I don't understand the menu all of their pasta dishes were under $20 a plate and many other options were under $30. The website states that their prices include gratuity? I am just trying to clarify, I don't want to be caught off guard by $100 or more bill. However, we are perfectly fine with water for dinner, as we are planning for drinks later. (Above and beyond dinner budget, we wanted to go somewhere else for drinks.)

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: daisyduck0427

                      They mean the tip is automatically added to the bill. It is not included in the pricing of the food.

                      You might as well eat at sardinia if you are thinking about spiga. Sardinia is one of the best italian places in miami.

                      1. re: tpigeon

                        We looked at the Sardinia Menu but we didn't understand it!! :)

                        1. re: daisyduck0427

                          That probably sounds silly, clearly we understand some of it and some of it we don't. Thanks again for your input. It's really been helpful, we're excited to go to Joes for breakfast, I think that will be better then dinner.

                          1. re: daisyduck0427

                            Sardinia's website was recently updated and not very well. But generally speaking, apps run about $12-14, pasta dishes run $16-24 (you can also order 1/2 portions for about 2/3 the price), and meat & fish entrées run $26-43. They also do several very nice vegetable or salumi antipasti and you can pick 3 items for $18 (nice to share).

                            I have not been in a long time but Sardinia is one of my favorite Italian places on South Beach particularly for their regional (Sardinian) dishes.

                            1. re: daisyduck0427

                              I can recommend particular dishes if you tell me what you are looking for. I know a lot about the dishes at sardinia.