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A mix of upscale and relaxed chic, Juvia sits at the top the stylish 1111 Lincoln Road garage and has spectacular views of Miami Beach to the North and East. The Asian meets Peruvian cuisine prepared with classic French techniques leaves plenty of flavors to savor.
Dine waterside with an unparalleled view of Government Cut at Smith & Wollensky. The upscale steakhouse has an award-winning wine selection and does its own meat aging and butchering. Side dishes — think mashed potatoes and the best creamed spinach this side of Popeye — are served family style. If steak n’ wine isn’t your thing, S&W’s food menu includes outstanding seafood, and its drink menu offers a wide range of cocktails under the “mixology” umbrella. (Ever had a pear-ginger martini?)
3. The Ritz-Carton’s DiLido Beach Club
The beachside view and sounds of the ocean set the stage for a relaxing afternoon at the DiLido Beach Club at the Ritz-Carlton. This is the place to go for light seafood bites followed by an evening of drinks and people watching. The drink menu has wines, a variety of sangrias and mixology-inspired cocktails. Try the chili-rita — a concoction of tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, Thai Chili simple syrup and passion fruit.
Cibo (pronounced “Chee-Bow”) has a large third-level patio with a view of the city that serves craft beer in barrels and wine. Its two other distinct areas are a cocktail club and a main restaurant with a dramatic two-story 3,000-bottle wine cellar (bottles are retrieved by a “wine angel” on a cable with harness). Pastas (some are homemade), pizzas and hearty mains round out the epic menu. Its fancy interior, impressive wine cellar and plenty of seating make this a classy spot in the SoFi neighborhood for Italian comfort food.
The Avalon Hotel’s fish and seafood house across from the beach and boardwalk has been around since travel magazines first started declaring the Beach the American Riviera. It’s not trendiness that’s kept A Fish Called Avalon afloat all these years, though — it’s solid seafood, attention to quality, and, of course, location. The wide outdoor terrace away from the hubbub (but still lively) is the place to be.
The breathtaking views of South Beach and Ocean Drive and celebrity owners in Gloria and Emilio Estefan are reasons enough to go to Larios on the Beach. The sexy lounge-like atmosphere has live music on the weekends, tasty Cuban food (notably the shrimp-stuffed tostones, potatoes stuffed with Creole ground beef and flan con queso) and knockout mojitos (many say the best in town).
7. The Standard’s Lido Restaurant and Bayside Grill
No restaurant in Miami rivals the waterfront retreat at The Standard Hotel for a combination of bay views and remarkable food. Diners nibble creative Mediterranean fare on the bayside deck while sunbathers lounge around the pool. The drink menu is large and includes mixology-inspired cocktails for those looking to booze (notably the Wake N’ Bake—a jalapeño-infused tequila drink with spicy tomato mix) and juices for the health-conscious (think liver cleanse made of kiwi, beats, pineapple, celery and milk thistle). Service can be spotty but the scene is pure Miami.
If a tiki-style raw bar next to a pool that overlooks the Miami Beach Marina sounds like your cup of tea, check out Monty’s. The outdoor deck extends to the walkway that links the marina to South Pointe Park, which is a nice stroll to take along the water after dinner to check out the view from the beach’s southern-most tip. Highlights from the menu include she-crab soup, stone crabs (when they’re in season) and (surprisingly enough) some of the best ribs in town. Happy hour features live music and discounted raw bar and booze selections. Their “famous pain remover” drink comes in three strengths. Try number three but don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Did we miss a spot? Let us know in the comments!