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New Yorker looking for a special occassion Miami restaurant

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Hi everyone,

I'll be in Ft. Lauderdale for a few days and was hoping someone could suggest a great restaurant in Miami (jacket not required). I'm going with two friends who are less adventurous, but the right place can accommodate most people. I don't care about price, though I do want quality food that is creative. Must have a good wine list and availability for a week from Friday. My fall back option is always Gotham Steak because I know my friends will love it, but I want to avoid steak houses.

In NY, I would typically go to Le Bernadin or Eleven Madison Park for a special meal like this, which are probably at a higher price point then anywhere in Miami.

I've heard good things about Michael's genuine. Someone recommended Scarpetta, but I never really liked the NY one.

Any suggestions are much appreciated.

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  1. The Forge might suit your requirements. We vacationed in Miami this January and had a very good meal there. They have excellent steaks for the red meat lovers and many other choices. The green beans w/ chili oil was one of the best veggie dishes I have ever had and the apple pie sundae dessert was great and came w/ a carmel apple on the side, They have a great wine list. 1500 degrees at Eden Roc Hotel was also wonderful. If you can get the group to go for the tasting menu, they will not be sorry. Locally procured foods prepared very well w/ great wine pairings in a lovely but casual venue. We also ate at Hakassan and Scarpetta which were great, but can be found in NYC. The combo of food/service/value made 1500 our top choice, but you could not go wrong with any of these. Enjoy, and I hope you have as great a trip as we did!

    1. Hakkasan
      Zuma
      Michael's
      Michy's
      Juvia - Haven't eaten there yet, but definitely fits the bill for a special occasion. Beautiful restaurant + Spectacular View... But I can't vouch for the food.

      1. Don't worry. There are zero restaurants in Miami that require a jacket.

        1. You might enjoy Tuyo in downtown Miami, Norman Van Aiken's newish restaurant. We don't have anything in Miami , IMHO, which compares to the likes of Eleven Madison Park or Le Bernadin. Michael's Genuine is VERY casual, but the food is good and interesting. We were underwhelmed by the Forge.

          1. Recommendations I second
            1500 degrees is a good compromise because their non steak dishes are great. I have not heard amazing things about gotham so I never made it there.
            Zuma has very good food and a great ambiance

            Great ambiance but not world beating food
            Juvia has unbeatable views in south beach - the food was good but overpriced
            Casa Tua - has a nice ambiance ditto on overpriced
            Given you want creative you might want to do Juvia if you are so inclined.

            I have not been to Tuyo but have heard great things. It does qualify as a special occasion place and has creative dishes.