Where To Stay

Sip and Suck: Hotel Christmas Dining Guide…Miami-style.

Snow is cute, but suckling pig and Champagne-smelling bays are better. You’ve cut, basted and served all year. Now you want to be served in style–Miami-style. Check out this hotel dining guide that will curl your toes and tickle your nose.

Where:  Cioppino

What: This Christmas Eve Dinner is prepared by Bergamo-native and Chef de Cuisine Ezio Gamba who creates meals inspired by his hometown. Four-course menu includes Strawberry and Prosecco Risotto, Maine Scallops over Pappardelle, Ricotta and Black Truffle-Stuffed Ravioli, Livornese-Style Grilled Swordfish Loin, Pan Seared Prime Filet Mignon with Porcini Sauce, and a mélange of desserts.

What Else:  Christmas Holiday Brunch Buffet includes culinary theatrics  featuring freshly made sushi, caviar, artisanal cheeses and meats, fresh breads and tasty dipping sauces, homemade pastas and traditional carving stations. French Pastry Chef Patrick Lassaque will recreate the Land of Sweets, a lavish dessert room. A dinner buffet will also be available.

When: On Thursday December 24th, dinner is from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; On Friday, December 25th, brunch is from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30p.m.; Dinner is from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Reservations required).

Why: I absolutely love Cioppino’s brunch. The food is so fresh, and the view of the Atlantic Ocean is Mediterranean-beautiful.  

How much? Christmas Eve dinner is $100 for adults and $30 for children. Christmas brunch and dinner are $82.00 for adults, $40.00 for children respectively.

Cioppino at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne, 455 Grand Bay Dr., 305-365-4500.

Where: Bistro One LR

What: Christmas Champagne Brunch includes prime rib, herb roasted turkey, orange glazed honey ham, chilled seafood selection, hand rolled sushi, ceviche, all-you-can-drink Champagne, eclectic desserts, and more.

When: Noon to 4 p.m. on Friday, December 25th.  

Why: I love Champagne, and if they’re really pouring Champagne and not Prosecco or Cava, $85 is a steal. Plus, you’re near the ocean-Mmmmmmm.

How much? $85 (adult), $45 (children 12 and younger).

Bistro One LR at Ritz-Carlton South Beach, 1 Lincoln Rd., South Beach, 786-276-4008.

Where: Bourbon Steak Miami

What: Christmas menu includes a tempura Maine lobster with Satsuma tangerine, grilled fennel and Sausalito Springs watercress, a main course of wood-grilled local black grouper served with caramelized salsify, swiss chard and a pinot noir reduction and American Kobe beef tasting of Rib Eye and New York Strip accompanied by celery root and black truffle jus. A la carte menu will also be available.

When: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, December 25th.

Why: Michael Mina (the chef behind the restaurant’s base menu) makes damn good food.

How much? It’s an a la carte menu, so no set price.

Bourbon Steak Miami at The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort and Club, 19999 W. Country Club Dr., Aventura, 786-279-6600 (Reservations). 

Where: Azul

What: Christmas Eve and Christmas menu include: First Course: Toro Tartare, Soy, Wasabi, Israeli Osetra Caviar. Second Course: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Nantucket Bay Scallops, Ginger Foam, Hazelnuts. Third Course: Pan Fried Lemon Sole, Celery Root, Green Beans “Almondine,” Black Truffles. Fourth Course: Suckling Pig “En Porchetta,” Cider Glaze, Mustard Polenta, Braised Greens. Dessert: Roasted Chestnut and Bourbon Moelleux, Tempura Anjou Pears, Granny Smith Apple Sorbet, Cider Reduction. Limited a la carte menu will also be available.

When: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday, December 24th and Friday, December 25th.

Why: Not only is the Biscayne Bay view beautiful, but Azul’s Chef Clay Conley is a strong culinary artist. I haven’t been disappointed.

How much? $95 per person.

Azul Restaurant at Mandarin Oriental Miami, 500 Brickell Key Dr. Brickell, 305-913-8358.

Where: Cafe Samabal

What: Christmas Eve and Christmas menu include: First Course: She-Crab Soup, Seafood Quenelles, Caviar, Avocado Oil OR Duck Prosciutto Salad, Baby Spinach, Walnuts, Tangerine and Honey Vinaigrette OR Seared Jumbo Scallop and Rock Shrimp Newburg with Grilled Asparagus Tips. Second Course: Kurobuta Pork in Four Peppercorn Crust, Port Wine and Dry Cherries Sauce, Cinnamon and Maple Syrup Sweet Potato Mash, Spicy Kimchee Broccoli Rabe OR Venison Medallions with Blackberry Citrus Sauce, Apple and Horseradish Rosti Potatoes, Charred Grape Tomatoes and Green Beans. Dessert: Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle Cake, Holiday Spiced Black Tea Ice Cream, Gingerbread, Brandied Cherries OR Roasted Apple Parfait, Caramel Pot De Crème, Candied Walnuts and Five Spice Ice Cream. Limited a la carte menu will also be available.

When: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, December 25th.

Why: The view here is also Miami Christmas, and if you don’t like the food, Azul is right next door.

How much? $55 per person.

Cafe Sambal @ Mandarin Oriental Miami, 500 Brickell Key Dr., Brickell, 305-913-8288.

Where: BLT Steak

What: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 3-course menus that include Lobster Salad with Orange Reduction, Almond Aioli and Sherry Vinegar Dressing, Catalonian-style Bean Soup or Quail Escabeche Salad with Apricots, Poached Quail Egg and Mustard Vinaigrette and Catalonian-style Monkfish and Shrimp Stew, Canneloni Stuffed with Chicken and Truffles in a Cream Sauce or Veal Cutlets served with Potato and Bacon Terrine. Dessert options include Coconut Cream Mold, Guava Soup, Caramelized Pineapple and Coconut Sorbet or Traditional Christmas Nougat. You can also order from the restaurant’s blackboard specials and an a la carté menu.

When:  6 p.m. -11 p.m. on Thursday, December 24th and Friday, December 25th.

Why: It’s on Ocean Drive. Need I say more.

How much? $75

BLT Steak at The Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr., South Beach, 305-531-6100.