Miami has all the natural ingredients for a romantic rendezvous: Soft shores, ocean breezes, and fiery sunsets abound, making for photo-worthy and kiss-stealing moments. Some area restaurants flaunt these picturesque vantage points as their backdrop, designing their spaces around the city's visual wonders and captivating patrons by their location alone. Inland haunts have also found ways to lure lovers into their venues; some drape guests with fauna within al fresco courtyards while others nestle them inside cozy, hidden nooks. These ten Miami restaurants have found a way to capture their individual sense of beauty and elevate it, creating undeniably romantic, date-worthy ambiances
Those seeking all-around elegance a la the French Rivera will find it in Villa Azur; the posh restaurant and lounge epitomizes Mediterranean chicness with plush furnishings, bronze crown moldings, and a ceiling-high library. Outside, white linen drapes and softly lit foliage cloak guests in amour. Plated standouts include beef tartare and mushroom sauce rigatoni. Cap the meal off with assorted macaroons or tarte tatin. (305-763-8688)
The District Miami
James Beard nominated Chef Horacio Rivadero helms The District Miami, an inviting, loftily designed restaurant dotted with eclectic touches. Located in Buena Vista, patrons can nosh on Pan American-inspired bites like yucca mash and ceviche under brick archways and a black and white muraled ceiling. Industrial details like metallic chairs and caged bulbs are softened by floral artwork and vased orchids. The District Miami serves brunch and dinner on its sidewalk terrace or inside its wood-paneled dining room. (305-573-4199)
La Mar by Gaston Acurio
La Mar by Gaston Acurio made the Mandarin Oriental home in 2014, dazzling patrons with passionately prepared Peruvian food by their namesake global icon. A table on La Mar's deck frames Brickell's concrete landscape, its soothing bay waters reflecting the city's rising towers. The al fresco decor is minimal, with only a handful of oversized umbrellas acting as sun shields. La Mar's serenity seeps inside as well; an open cebiche bar and vertical garden line the far walls, while teal chairs carry the eye to the bayside windows. (305-913-8358)
Red Fish Grill
Red Fish Grill's cozy, Old Florida interior is only surpassed by the lush Matheson Hammock Park that surrounds it. The stone exterior once harbored the beach's pavilion and remains just steps from the park's famously placid cove. The restaurant's tropically serene backdrop mirrors Red Fish Grill's exceptionally prepared seafood: Classically cooked halibut and salmon join dishes like cumin-crusted bigeye tuna and Caribbean bouillabaisse. A superb wine list and tasty desserts complete a picture-perfect meal. (305-668-8788)
French and Moroccan flavors meet tablecloths inside Rouge, a lovely bistro on Miami Beach's Normandy Isle. Guests inside Rouge are treated to screenings of old foreign films while guests outside can cuddle up steps from a raised, brick fireplace. Indeed, the courtyard anchors this off-the-path gem; potted plants and herbs are met with bold red flowers and candles, creating an ambiance unlike any other in Miami. The details beckon diners to imagine themselves worlds away, further impressed by the floor's compass star mosaic. The menu keeps the delights coming, serving regional delicacies like caviar and lamb sausage-stuffed quail. (305-720-9125)
Daytime dates belong to the Perez Art Museum and its waterfront eatery, Verde. Inside, floor to ceiling windows brighten a neutrally colored, laid-back dining room, opening up to views of Biscayne Bay. Though simple in decor, the slanted ceiling and specks of green add intrigue to the crisp space. Guests may also sit outside, noshing below the museum's airy, hanging gardens. Powered by Starr Restaurants, Verde serves brunch, lunch, and dinner and is anchored by dishes like the squash blossom pizza and snapper tiradito. (33132, 305-375-8282)
Nestled inside Soho Beach House's center courtyard, Cecconi's plates Italian fare under enchanting, billowing greenery. Jar lamps hang from wooden gazebos while pillowed banquettes meet mini table lamps. During the day, the teal blue tiling and matching seating takes the forefront as the pool peek-a-boos through the far wall. At night, the Silverwood Button trees twinkle, making the night sky's magic feel just within reach. (786-507-7902)
Miami Beach's Juvia is a rooftop sparkler flaunting French, Japanese, and Peruvian inspired cuisine. Situated atop Lincoln Road's 1111 Garage, this James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Restaurant Design offers wondrous, unobstructed views of Miami Beach and Downtown Miami. Juvia's stylish, urban-meets-Eden polishings include a lavender and white color palette and Wonderland-worthy vertical garden. Wood flanks the walls and ceiling while marble tops mark the bar. A retractable roof allows for service year round, rain or shine. (305-763-8272)
Michelin starred Chef Jean-Georges unveiled Matador to Miami Beach in late 2014, serving Latin-inspired small plates inside the newly minted Miami Beach Edition. Matador beckons mid-century glamour inside a sunken, rotunda shaped dining room. Rich browns and warm ambers glow under pinhole lighting and the hotel's original chandelier. Outside, hanging gardens whisper over stunning breezeway tables, overlooking the ocean and pool. The shared plates add a gregarious, festive element to the handsome space, which was known to host the Rat Pack after their shows at the Fontainebleau. Matador manages to hold on to that legendary, tucked-away allure but propels guests into the present day with its approachable but tantalizing cuisine. (786-257-4600)
About Liana Lozada
Liana is a Miami Beach-based lifestyle and travel writer. Liana was raised in South Florida and thus witnessed the area's growth first hand. She specializes in digital media and social content, and has documented Miami's lifestyle evolution for over five years.
Liana is also an "airline kid"; she credits this upbringing for igniting her travel writing work. She enjoys creating itineraries for "traveler-types" and has curated pieces that highlight luxury, outdoor experiences, dining, culture, and trends.
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