When we surveyed savvy local scenesters about their favorite “it/hit” dining spots,we had an idea of which places would make it to the top of the list. After all, flash & glam have long been the essential ingredients that make the Miami Beach dining experience what it is. But, let’s see what you think. Here is our list of the five most BUZZworthy restaurants currently on the Miami Beach dining scene…
1. STK / 2377 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
It’s tough to live up to the hype generated by the announcement that STK would be opening in South Beach followed by delays, false starts and some major competition in the glitzy steakhouse category. What ups the ante for STK is surely Coco de Ville, the adjacent nightspot that draws some pretty impressive eye candy all night long. But the kitchen at STK delivers even as the dining room sizzles so loudly you may need to shout to be sure the waiters hear your order. There’s a catwalk, great lighting and a DJ who keeps things thumping while you try to keep your eyes on your plate and your date. Sizzle, steak, scene… STK. Hip Tip: STK serves steaks in ladylike portions so you can easily eat petite.
2. Meat Market / 915 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach
It’s easy to understand the success of steak houses all over Miami Beach when you consider that Arthur Agatston founded the multi-million dollar South Beach Diet here on our shores. Reducing carbohydrates to a four letter word, Agatston updated the Atkins revolution and galvanized bikini society once and for all. Eating meat, eggs, cheese and bacon while maintaining a washboard abdomen is definitely a lifestyle choice and Sean Brasel’s Meat Market is a sleek and sexy temple of all things lean and mean on busy Lincoln Mall. From the pristine creations at the restaurant’s raw bar to the perfectly grilled meats, this is one spot where a weekend table lets you check out the town’s fittest and finest. Hip Tip: The Friday Happy Hour is one of the hottest on the Mall.
3. Solea at the W South Beach / 2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Whether dining indoors in the drop-dead-gorgeous dining room or overlooking the sea, Solea elevates the Spanish tapas menu to lofty heights and gets pretty sceney to boot as the evening wears on. Best to dine with an adventurous group of friends who’ll enjoy round after round of small plates and lots and lots of wine. This place is a great ice breaker for a friendly evening, a romantic rendezvous or a “Welcome to Miami” cocktail. Servers are well versed on the finer points of the menu and wine list and it’s best to listen to their suggestions and remain open to unusual dishes like rabbit or cuttlefish. One of the most successful spots in an otherwise formulaic W Hotel property, Solea captures the energy of South Beach and actually turns up the heat. Hip Tip: Keep the party going after dinner at Wall.
4. Blue Door Fish at the Delano / 1685 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Unless you live in Paris where your every turn yields yet another jaw-droppingly beautiful sight, we bet your first impression of the Delano Hotel’s lobby and lounge areas will be breathless admiration. South Beach is filled with artful restorations of MidCentury properties but this one is as good as it gets. Lofty, spacious, gleaming dark woods, seductive white drapery that softly shimmies in the gentle sea breeze. Everything (and everyone) in the hotel’s majestic center hall looks elegant, leggy and … important. Capturing that essence and putting it on a plate is the handiwork of French (with a dash of Rio) star Chef Claude Troisgros, a legacy of the most important culinary bloodline still hard at work in France. His new Blue Door Fish menu is seafood-centric, deceptively simple and decidedly delicious. Choose something freshly caught and opt to have it grilled “a la plancha” or as part of a thoughtfully composed and delicately sauced dish. While the price points may seem extravagant, the meal never will. Subtle, sophisticated and serene, everything about Blue Door Fish is designed to dazzle..
5. La Côte at the Fontainebleau / 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Miami Beach is an island of golden sand napped by tropical blue waters shaded by swaying palms. It’s a wonder anyone ever eats indoors! That’s the essential element that distinguishes La Côte at the Fontainebleau, a 2-level open-air restaurant with a view to the pool and Atlantic Ocean that seems swiped out of the playbook of a swank French Riviera hotel. Of all the 5-star offerings at the plush resort – and they are formidable – La Côte exceeds expectations with it’s sexy vibe, Mediterranean fare and DJ enhanced bar scene. Hip Tip: Slip into something revealing, sip an intoxicating tropical drink and enjoy the tapas-style snacks at one of the city’s most breathtaking bistros.