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Think back to the scene from Scarface filmed on Miami’s seafront. Beautiful women, cyclists, skaters, hundreds of bars, exclusive restaurants and venues: the place you have in mind is Ocean Drive on the Atlantic coast, one of the most famous streets in the world. It faces a beach lined with palms and dotted with lifeguards’ huts, while all around stand the unmistakable buildings of the Art Deco District.
As you walk past a hotel, a restaurant, a boutique or a Hollywood-style villa, you cannot help feeling hopelessly fat – everyone is in perfect form – and possibly a bit poorer than average. But don’t let that daunt you, here are some tips for finding out the best places to eat in Miami without spending a fortune.
Places to eat in Miami up to €25
The new Metropolitan by COMO hotel on Collins Avenue is totally designed by Paola Navone, the Italianissima Archistar, who is highly acclaimed in the US. It is perfect for enjoying the hotel facilities even as non-residents, like us. At the Gin Bar and Traymore restaurant you can choose from 40 different gin labels (from eight to 18 euros).
The rooftop spa is imbued with a holistic spirit, with its ocean view and exposure to all the elements: it goes under the name of COMO Shambhala Urban Escape and offers locally grown organic produce. And since the byword in Miami is “healthy”, you can still keep to your budget and choose one of the therapeutic wellness juices (around €10), a kind of magical potion for eliminating water retention, made from cucumber, parsley, celery, fennel, pear and mint. Alternatively, go for a dish such as “Marinated chicken skewers with assorted grains, dried fruit and nut salad with tahini yogurt sauce" (around €18 euro).
Also on Collins Avenue, on Thursday evening, try dropping in at the STK Miami Beach, which has just launched its Lip Service Party in the lounge area, a rather special happy hour that continues into the night: drinks are priced at $5. The trendiest are Flower Power: Fernet Branca and St. Germain.
Places to eat in Miami from €25 to €50
To enjoy the breathtaking night-time view from the Traymore Restaurant you have to be prepared to part with a few more euros. Here you can try the best seasonal Florida fish recipes by chef Joan Loaisiga: for about €32 Euros ($36) you can enjoy a dozen East and West Coast oysters, pomegranate mignonette, aji amarillo and horseradish.
At number 1685, take in the Deco atmosphere of the Delano South Beach hotel and get dazzled by the all-white furnishings. Go upstairs to the Rose Bar and order a Provence cocktail, made from Absolut Elyx, Lavender and Lemon (€18) together with a plate of House-made chips (€14). All the Italian-style food of this iconic hotel is produced under the supervision of chef Jason Bamford, while the main restaurant is Bianca, which certainly lives up to its name. Your budget will allow you to try whatever first course you fancy: spaghetti with tomato sauce ($25 dollars, approximately €22) or with squid ink ($32 dollars, about €28) or pappardelle with a Bolognese sauce.
In the middle of the Delano lobby stands the Umi Sushi & Sake Bar, ideal for those who love Japanese-style cuisine. We recommend the poached Maine Lobster, Wagyu Beef, Black Truffle (also priced at $32).
Places to eat in Miami from €50 to €100
One of South Miami’s best views can be enjoyed from the panoramic terrace on the ninth floor of the Juvia, located on Lincoln Road: offering a fusion of French, Japanese and Peruvian cooking styles, this is now the “in” place to go for an aperitif or dinner. If you wish to get the best out of the location, it is mandatory to book a table with a view of the city. You can order a couple of Nigiri Toro ($40, about €35 or a Rib Eye steak for two at $80 (approximately €71).
The international upper class stays at the exclusive St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort. You too can afford to get a glimpse of the St. Regis Bar and Wine Vault, one of the venues inside the hotel, situated on the lobby floor. A magnificent mural by Santiago Rubino and Chinese black marble floors will accompany you on your way to a tasting session in the scintillating silo cellar. It also offers a rare selection of cognac, scotch, tequila, rum and special whiskies, stored at an ideal temperature of 16.6° C. Chef Scott Dolbee will be on hand to offer sushi.
The real attraction here, however, is the atmosphere and the pleasure of enjoying a drink in peace and quiet. At 7.30 pm, it is time for the sabrage ritual, the tradition of opening a Champagne bottle with the stroke of a sword (sabering). You can choose from 2500 bottles produced in 14 different countries. There are labels worth thousands of dollars but $100 (about €88) will be sufficient to avoid cutting a poor figure in one of the chicest venues in town.