Here are some highlights of best bites and must tries during my last trip down south focused mainly on the South Beach area:
At Zuma restaurant located in downtown Miami at the Epic Hotel is a modern Japanese isakaya - my favourite dish at this place was their the salmon and tuna tartare presented on a mini washboard with a little scoop. This innovative dish was fresh, and exactly the way it should be served with little crisp.
The Villa by Barton G which is Giovanni Versace's old stomping ground in the crux of downtown SOBE. As you approach it, you feel like an a-lister as you have to go through the exclusive velvet rope and iron rotted gates into the opulent mansion where you forget where you are and transformed into the lap of old luxury. We ate overlooking the outdoor pool and the mosaic tiles of the Medusa of Versace - and my favourite dishes was our dessert platter which came with a chocolate praline mousse, beignets, home made chocolate truffles and small key lime sorbet lumps.
At the Big Pink - which has the biggest menu at the most reasonable prices at the tip of South Beach - we herded ourselves down here for brunch at this diner and be warned that the portions are enormous! We LOVED the mac and cheese - it was the perfect comfort to start our day. The world famous nemo polenta fries were ok - they were a bit mushy and our taco salad was ginormous!
Prime Italian - is a very popular spot for dinner famous for celebrity sightings and good eats - a show stopper for us was the kobe beef meatball in marinara sauce - it was huge and insanely good. I would just go back and order the meatball - only one came and it's all I ever would need. The only other memorable item was their sky high red velvet cake which we didn't come close to polishing off.
Smith & Wollesky - a classy waterfront club with a good view of the ocean and a good place for a drink and snack where we soaked in some sun rays. A stand out for me was the tuna crudo on a block of pink Himalayan salt - the simplicity of the raw fish, lightly drizzled olive oil and seasoned only with the salt block was a great refreshing snack to have with the weather.
At the beloved Nobu located in the popular Shore Club hotel - we were truly spoiled by unique items that weren't on the menu. Our server was a friend of ours and he put together some specialty dishes that I will never forget. Salmon sashimi wrapped with asian pear was the perfect blend of delicate sweetness; lettuce leaf wrapped white fish tuna was another standout; and their white fish tempura was light, flavourful and crunchy - the way tempura should taste! And of course a classic Nobu dish which is their jalepeno yellowtail - a must try!
I look forward to many more adventures in Miami!