Located in an Italian-style villa, this restaurant's distinguishable only by an open gate and diners seated at elegant outdoor tables. You won't find any signage outside and you might think you're walking into some millionaire's home on South Beach but you'll be greeted shortly by one of their amicable staff members. Start off with bay scallops topped with fresh herbs and olive oil or red wine-marinated beef carpaccio before progressing to an adventurous selection of pastas such as pumpkin and hazelnut ravioli or lobster and artichoke lasagna. Tantalizing main dish offerings include veal marinated in lime juice, seared beef tenderloin with foie gras, and scaloppine with wild mushrooms. After dinner, cleanse your palate with frozen champagne soup and fresh fruit salad.
If you're seeking to eat out somewhere a bit out of the ordinary, consider a trip to the illustrious Villa Azur. This Mid-beach restaurant offers French Mediterranean fare with obvious, within the confines of an elegant dining room and lounge area. Among its physical attributes are white walls with high ceilings lined with bronze crown moldings, cozy tables with comfortable beige seats, and a small, intimate library with plush couches and superb mood lighting. Outside, you'll find ample seating on chairs and love seats, surrounded by verdant foliage, underneath a white linen canopy. As for their menu, oysters, tiger prawns, caviar, and Maine lobster precede truffle ravioli, iberico pork tenderloin, and prime porterhouse. It all goes down smooth with any selection from the in-house wine cellar, La Cave d'Azur.
Miami is replete with waterfront dining options, but these can often be a bit out of price range. For a more affordable option that still delivers a romantic ambiance and delectable cuisine, we recommend Crazy About You. This Brickell-based restaurant and lounge offers and array of international cuisine that's sure to please every palate. Craving Mexican? Try the ox-tail tacos with chipotle mayo. Or if you're feeling Italian, start your dinner with the burrata caprese (with zucchini carpaccio) and then move on to the firecracker rigatoni or the faux risotto. But maybe your date is craving some all-American dining. They'll be pleased with the bbq baby back ribs and the kale salad with gulf shrimp. With every entree including an appetizer of your choice and glasses of house wine priced at just $5 (bottles for $15), you'll surely be as crazy about them at Crazy About You.
Rouge is something of a hidden gem, nestled deep inside a shopping plaza and completely unassuming until you step inside. Located on Normandy Isle, this lovely bistro blend Moroccan and French flavors for a limited but certainly varied menu. Among your choices will be a gorgonzola souffle, dates stuffed with spicy chorizo, a baby octopus salad with deep fried kale, wild patagonian prawns with curry risotto, braised squab with raisins, and a mediterranean sea bass with moroccan-spiced vegetables. Basically, nothing here is typical, boring, or overdone, and your tastebuds will thank you for it. Those sitting inside the bistro will enjoy screenings of old foreign films while guests seated outdoors will enjoy the lush plantlife and coziness of the fireplace.
Nestled inside the exclusive Soho Beach House's courtyard, Cecconi's is a posh noshery serving delectable Italian fare. Wooden and marble-top tables are surrounded by cozy seating on the inside, and on the outside, twinkle lights wrap around trees and hang from jars while lush greenery fills every available space. In other words, you and your guests will be enchanted by the fairy tale-like ambiance. As for the food, Cecconi's serves breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and dinner, and even provide a vegan and vegetarian menu for those so inclined. Start mornings here with goat cheese and asparagus frittatas and cold pressed green juice, go for the grouper, baked gnocci, or maine lobster spaghetti the rest of the day. And don't forget to order off the incredible dessert menu.
Those seeking a refreshing change to the usual SoBe restaurants should look up, way up, at the rooftop gem known as Juvia. Flaunting French, Japanese, and Peruvian inspired dishes, this eclectic eatery boasts nothing but the freshest ingredients and boldest flavors. Located at the top of the 1111 Garage on Lincoln Road, Juvia is a popular spot for lunch for the South Beach business crowd (with a $23 prix fix menu, why wouldn't it be). Guests will not only enjoy delicious gourmet cuisine, but also sweeping views of Miami Beach and Downtown Miami. Don't forget to indulge in one of Juvia's signature cocktails, like the Pacha Mama Spritz and the Jalisco Flower--powerfully refreshing.
Open since 2014 at the Mandarin Oriental, La Mar by Gaston Acurio has quickly solidified itself as one of the premiere restaurants in Miami for perfectly prepared Peruvian and fusion cuisine. This Brickell-based establishment embraces an ocean-inspired theme throughout: the inside is all dark wood with teal scale paneling across the bar, plus rich brown and teal seating throughout, and gorgeous dishes reminiscent of oyster shells plate the food magnificently. The outside, which overlooks Brickell bay and give sweeping views of the city's rising skyscrapers is even more minimalistic, with white tables and chairs and umbrellas to keep the sun's rays to a minimum.
This restaurant is known for having the area's best breakfast (two kinds of bacon, endless frittata and omelet combinations, plentry of fresh fruit, straight from the oven pastries, Belgian waffles, and four different types of pancakes are just some of the selections), but its vast champagne brunch buffet on Sundays (10am-2pm) presents some tough decisions. Everything is presented so elegantly, you'll want a little bit of it all. How about an omelet made any way you like? Pastas? Sushi? Or even caviar? Afterwards, there's a chocolate fountain and no shortage of sinful dessert offerings. Indeed, no one walks away hungry! Live music complements the meal perfectly, and al fresco seating is available in the tropical courtyard.
Matador Room made its debut on the Miami Beach food scene toward the end of 2014, just shortly after the Edition Hotel opened. Run by Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, you'll find a Latin-inspired menu, with flavors mainly hailing from the Caribbean, Spain, and South America. Open daily for lunch and dinner (with a killer weekend brunch), you'll find a spinach and manchego pizza, a roasted turkey, ham, and gruyere Cuban sandwich, and a gourmet arroz con pollo that will change your life. As for the restaurant's look, it's all glamour, with warm beige and deep browns plus plenty of mood lighting from golden candlelight and chandeliers setting the ambiance. Opt to sit inside or out, where beautiful hanging gardens and breath-taking ocean views await.
For American cuisine with a creative French twist, try the elegant Forge. Renovated in 2009 in honor of its 40th anniversary, the space is chock-full of eye-catching antiques and an eclectic mix of upholstered and metal furniture. The farm-to-table menu draws you in, offering tantalizing dishes such as herb-infused steamed local snapper "In a Bag" and grilled wild salmon with basil mashed hearts of palm. Beef is a favorite, and the 16-ounce aged oak grilled "Super Steak" has been named the nation's number one steak by "Wine Spectator." Speaking of wines, the cellar houses an enormous collection �" more than 80,000 bottles of various vintages. Also, the Enomatic wine serving system, that serves wine by the glass, is great for sampling different wines by the ounce.