MIAMI, Nov. 26, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- By Karen Weiner Escalera, Editor of www.miamicurated.com
Bought your dream artwork at Art Basel Miami 2014? Or even if you didn't, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate this time of year. Here are six picks of the best Miami restaurants for a special occasion based on food, décor, service, attractive crowd and a "buzzy" atmosphere.
La Piaggia – Coincidentally this is where I kicked off my early birthday celebrations this month, invited to lunch by a group of good friends. This outdoor spot which even sports its own beach, is a take on a watering hole in the French Riviera. It's terrific fun, ideal for people watching (think beautiful young women with supertight bodies wearing supertight dresses and stilettos and their often handsome companions).The menu is well curated, and the Mediterranean cuisine reliably good. Perfect South Florida winter temperature, soft late afternoon sunshine, wine that flows, and you have an afternoon made for lingering, lingering...
Thea's Supper Club — You have to be flexible with your dates on this place because they're only open one or two nights a month, but it's worth it. Few people could pull off a sophisticated supper club that's at the same time unpretentious and casual. That is, few besides Thea Goldman. And add to that an eclectic mix of people, very good Italian inspired food, an intimate, romantic atmosphere (seats 40), and you have a winning formula. Interestingly enough, the location is part of the reason for the mix of people as it's next to the Wynwood Arts District, south of the Design District with its fashionista crowd, near the courthouse, in a scientific building of the University of Miami Technology Center, and down from Jackson. Plus, there's a three piece band playing "trova", Cuban ballads from the 1920's to 1950's which suit the elegant theme of the evening.
Hakkasan – In asking friends which places would make their celebration list, they all mentioned Hakkasan. The decor is described as "haute Chinois" with seating areas of romantic, welcome small spaces and an international, well dressed cosmopolitan crowd that comes for the best Chinese food in Miami. As with most Chinese food, it's made for sharing, which means it's ideal for a celebration with a group of friends. They have a way with festive cocktails as well, and a seat at the bar before dinner makes for a perfect sendoff for the meal.
Bianca – The terrace of Bianca at night has to be one of the more romantic restaurants in Miami. Tables are lit with just the right number of candles and are well spaced so there's a feeling of privacy. You sink down in the chairs, just the right amount to be comfortable. Service is attentive and unobtrusive. And then there's the food, which shines, thanks to Neopolitan chef Luciano. Since we're talking celebration, splurge and order the Tagliatelle with black truffles and cream — rich, creamy, totally decadent.
Red the Steakhouse – If your idea of celebration is a top of the line steak, luscious sides (especially the mac n' cheese) and the best of American desserts, then this is the place. The rich deep red and black décor and soft lighting make for an elegant setting, the service is among the best in town, and the large, happening bar is, well, very happening. The wine list is quite good as well, and the martinis, generous. What more do you need?
Zuma – This is a pick for lunch with its attractive crowd (dinner can be crowded and frenetic), buzzy atmosphere which still allows you to carry on a conversation, and Asian cuisine that never disappoints. Ingredients are top notch, the presentation is creative without being precious, and the service is attentive and friendly. You can also sit outside along the River, glorious on a beautiful day.
Karen Weiner Escalera is the editor of www.miamicurated.com, a blog on quality food, fashion and culture in Miami. Her mantra is "food worth the calories, stylish fashion with flair, and world-class culture and entertainment," and a taste level from a long career in luxury travel.
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