The best restaurants for date night in Miami

An ongoing list of where to go on a date right now

Nov
10
2023

You’ve been assigned the nerve-racking task of picking a restaurant for date night in Miami. It could be the first, second, third, or maybe you’re in a serious relationship where you’ve lost count.

This guide is worth your time if you are ready to share 10 to 15 small plates with someone that you potentially want to keep around. Just kidding about the 15 small plates. But, no really, this one is for those who are committed to a 2-hour meal frame. Choose your partner wisely because we’ve got the best restaurants for date night in Miami.

ERBA


Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Address: 227 S Dixie Hwy
Cuisine: Italian

If you want to wine and dine your date, bring them to Erba in Coral Gables. This is Chef Niven Patel’s newest Italian restaurant, inspired by the time he spent in Florence learning how to make pasta.

There’s something about the burgundy and gold-colored space that will instantly set the mood. You’re going to want to match the vibe and dress up.

The menu features house-made pasta and a generous appetizer section. Some of our favorite dishes so far include the Tomato TonnatoCacio e Pepe Pave (a delicious crispy potato), Chitarra pasta with tomatoes, plus a Rotolo pasta with hazelnuts, pumpkin, and ricotta that made us feel like we were in New York, tasting Fall. 

 

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BOUCHON BISTRO


Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Address2101 Galiano St
Cuisine: French

Want to impress your date with the latest restaurant by a Michelin-starred chef? You’ll get brownie points if they love French food.

Bouchon Bistro is the newest restaurant by Chef Thomas Keller to open in Miami. If you’re into fine dining, you’ve heard of Chef Keller’s acclaimed restaurants The French Laundry in Napa Valley and Per Se in New York City; as well as, his first restaurant in South Florida, The Surf Club Restaurant inside the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club.

Bouchon situated in the historic La Palma building in Coral Gables, is a classic French restaurant offering dishes like beef tartaresteak frites, a seafood towerroasted chickengnocchi à la Parisienne, and buttery escargots. Get the chicken, it’s so juicy and we barely ever order chicken at a restaurant. 

QP TAPAS


Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Address: 3000 Florida Ave
Cuisine: Spanish, Izakaya, tapas

QP Tapas is a great spot for a spontaneous date with your significant other. You thought you were staying in, but changed your mind and are now craving tapas and wine. 

QP Tapas is a pop-up serving Izakaya-style Spanish tapas at The Fountain Lounge at Mayfair House Hotel & Gardens in Coconut Grove. Chef Josh Elliot has created a menu that includes crudos, yakitori, paella, and Okonomiyaki (a savory Osaka-style pancake) paired with wine & sake.

Chef Josh is adding his Asian take on mostly classic Spanish delicacies, but uni risotto and steak tartar do make an appearance on the menu. 

And speaking of Steak Tartar, make sure you order the one at QP Tapas. This original dish is served with shrimp crackers for texture and made with a ramen egg and a chili crunch dijonnaise. Other standouts include the Stuffed Piquillo Peppers with confit tuna belly, wasabi aioli; and the tender Charred Lamb Belly prepared with fish sauce, date teriyaki, and coriander.

 

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THE SURF CLUB RESTAURANT


Neighborhood: Surfside
Address: 9011 Collins Ave
Cuisine: Modern American

The Surf Club Restaurant is worth the drive. And if you’re looking to wow your date, then this is it. Take the good ones here. The ones that truly deserve the world. 

Excellence exists at the Surf Club Restaurant. And we want to celebrate any major life achievements at the Surf Club. So make sure to save this spot for all the special occasions you want to celebrate. 

The à la carte menu interprets classic Continental cuisine delivering a sense of nostalgia through every dish. Start your meal with a beautifully executed cocktail at the bar before heading to your table. We loved the refreshing Basil Smash with gin. 

From the appetizers, we recommend the best crispy, Jumbo Lump Crab Cake of your life and the Hass Avocado & Garden Vegetable Louie

Moving on to the main event, let us introduce you to the best Fettuccine Alfredo we’ve ever had. It wasn’t overpowering. It was light and creamy. Normally, we’re meh about truffles but in this dish, it made sense. This is a splurge experience and if you’re going to spend $53 on pasta in Miami, this is where you should do it. 

If it’s your first time at The Surf Club, order the Prime Beef Short Rib Wellington for $150. The dish comes with a Périgourdine sauce and serves two. This is an intricate dish, so if you’re going to try it somewhere try it at The Surf Club.

One last thing, you have the option of booking in three different spaces. Reserve in the Club Room if you’re going for a more pristine and classic outing. The Banyan room is brighter, for those looking to feel like they’re dining al fresco except you’re not and there’s AC. And the lounge is more vibey with live music at times. Choose wisely, that’s all.

KLAW


Neighborhood: Edgewater
Address: 1737 N Bayshore Dr
Cuisine: Seafood, steak

It’s not easy to find a restaurant that provides good views and good food. And a rooftop? We would have said good luck until Klaw came into the picture. 

This is the only rooftop in Edgewater with a menu that features a high-quality beef program and sea delicacies. It’s also our favorite restaurant for a date night rooftop situation.

The rooftop has a more condensed menu in comparison to the main dining room. And although you won’t be able to order the tableside Norweigan King crab legs, it’s still worth it.

At the rooftop, order the black grouper crudo with caviar, yuzu kosho, finger lime, scallion, avocado, and leche de tigre; the baby-size crab tacos with spicy dashi butter, avocado, lime, and kimchi; and the stracciatella with grilled black mission fig, shaved speck ham, buttered croutons aged balsamic, toasted walnuts, basil oil, and herb salad. Order the Maine lobster roll and picanha that are only available at the rooftop lounge. 

MIAMI SLICE


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 1335 NE Miami Ct
Cuisine: American, Pizza

We love Miami Slice for a comfy date. We’re bringing someone that we want to play footsy with while sitting side by side on those stools. It can be a quick date, but it’s always a cute and delicious one. This is probably the only spot on this list that could be less than 2 hours if you want to cut it short.

Miami Slice, located Downtown near the Arsht Center is one of the best, if not the best pizza you will have in Miami. Truly ahead of its time. Come as you are, to this elevated experience. The best seat is at the marbled bar where you can see all the pizzas being finished and topped off with fresh grated Parmesan.

Ask for the “kicks” which are “IYKYK” type of add-ons like stracciatella and other good stuff to pimp your slice. Our recommendations include La Salsera with a kick of stracciatella and the Leeks on Bacon. But they’re honestly all good and you’ve never had a Margherita this good.

The best day to avoid lines is for sure Monday. We recommend arriving at 4:45 to be the first one at the bar. It’s easier to score a seat with one other person so stopping by with a date is a good idea.

WALRUS RODEO


Neighborhood: Little River
Address: 5143 NE 2nd Avenue
Cuisine: Wood-fired kitchen

If your date has taste and a refined palate, bring them to Walrus Rodeo. This is Boia De’s sister restaurant located in the same Little Haiti shopping center and is one of our favorite newcomers. 

The menu theme is “charred”. They’re all about those wood-fired oven flavors with dishes like the Charbroiled Island Creek Oyster and Charred Bone Marrow. They recently updated their pizza selection and we need you to order the Clam Chowda Za with Florida little neck clams, potatoes, and crispy pancetta. Close your eyes, because when you take a bite of this pizza, you’ll think wow, “que rico un clam chowder.” Confusing? Yes. Delicious? 100% percent.

At Walrus they know what to do with the meats. And we love everything about the Porcelet Porchetta. Make a little lettuce wrap with the sliced porchetta, rocket pesto, pepperonata, and rodeo ranch. Oh and off the menu, you must order the Mustard Green Lasagna with lamb ragu, grana padana, and stracchino. It’s the most unique lasagna we’ve ever had in Miami.

 

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LIDO RESTAURANT AT THE SURF CLUB


Neighborhood: Surfside
Address: 9011 Collins Ave
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean

Lido at the Surf Club is where you want to bring your significant other on a surprise day date. Or if you’ve messed up and want to make it up to them. Trust us, this is the spot. Once you step inside the Four Seasons in Surfside, all negative thoughts and any anger will go out the window. At least while you are there. After that, you’re on your own. 

You’re going to Lido for an Italian Mediterranean dining and retro glamour experience. We recommend sitting outside on the oceanfront terrace. The menu highlights simple Mediterranean cuisine. Some of our favorite dishes include the Ricciola al Limone, sliced yellowtail, “Amalfi” crudo with lemon dressing; Vitello Tonnato, thinly sliced veal, tonnato sauce, crispy capers, and Aged Balsamic; and the Saffron Risotto with organic Acquarello rice and Amarelli licorice.

MIGNONETTE


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address210 NE 18th St
Cuisine: Seafood

Can we agree that oysters are sexy? Claro que si. We want you to feel your most confident self while stopping by this neighborhood restaurant with someone you truly know to the core. 

At Mignonette, you’re sharing some delicious seafood dishes. Mignonette offers a little something for everyone. For appetizers, try their spicy tomato Mussels or the mouthwatering Charred Octopus. For your main course, we recommend the Crispy Skin Stripped Bass or the Red Fish with andouille crust, both paired with the rich bomba rice and succulent shrimp and lobster consommé. And be sure to end your meal on a high note with either the classic Carrot Cake or a tangy slice of Key Lime Pie.

 

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ZITZ SUM


Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Address: 396 Alhambra Cir Suite 155
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese

If you love an exciting and surprising take on Asian food, add Zitz Sum to your date night rotation. It’s a special place so we’d make sure to bring someone you really like. It’s casual enough that you can wear sneakers, but heels also would work, thanks to the dim and cozy lighting. 

The elevated Dim Sum & Izakaya concept by Chef Pablo Zitzmann is inspired by Japanese and Chinese street food with a Miami twist. The menu changes daily and we’re always pleasantly surprised by the delicious and balanced dishes that Chef Pablo comes up with.

The dumplings are hand-rolled daily and we always want to order that whole section. We can’t get enough of the Braised Lamb Shank Bao with a labneh sauce, and the chicken and foie gras Wontons in Brodo. The Grilled Scallop is one of our favorites cooked and served with a potato & parmesan sabayon. Don’t skip the yellowfin tuna Crudo with a tonnato white soy sauce. As for staples, we’ll always go for the Korean-style Tartare hand roll with tobiko, egg salad, and nori. 

 

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JOLIET


Neighborhood: Miami Beach
Address: 1209 17th Street
Cuisine: Seafood

Joliet, a neighborhood seafood restaurant located in Miami Beach proves to be an exciting and rare find. The menu created by the talented Chef Juan Garrido is inspired by the sweet, spicy, soulful, and bold Cajun flavors found in New Orleans cuisine.

If you’re stopping by with a date, we recommend sitting at the oyster bar so you can catch all the shucking. You’re getting a dozen oysters. We had the East Coast Beau Soleil and Momma Mia. They have four variations of mignonettes, fine herbs, Calabrian chili, passion fruit, and a classic white pepper. Get all of them.

The fish dip is by far one of the best fish dips we’ve ever had. Each bite is set to be enjoyed with chow chow pickles, and a housemade hot sauce on a fried saltine cracker. The New Orleans-style BBQ prawns soaked in a Worcestershire, garlic, and beer sauce are a must-order. We also loved the simple Johnny Cakes served with pimento cheese and country ham. They tasted like childhood.

Sharing is the best way to do Joliet right, especially if you’re getting the Whole Broiled Lobster with melted Parmesan and lemon. This dish was delicious and cooked to perfection. Leave room for the Coconut Rum Cake. We took a second home.

 

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ORILLA BAR & GRILL


Neighborhood: South Beach
Address: 426 Euclid Ave
Cuisine: Argentinean

Orilla is located inside the Urbanica Hotel on Euclid Street in Miami Beach. It’s a modern Argentinan Steakhouse led by renowned Chef Fernando Trocca. You’re coming here for a little mystery where you can be coy and play footsy under the table. This is a sexy, contemporary restaurant so we’d dress the part. Grab a table on their covered outdoor patio and go for the meats from the charcoal grill. The menu also includes Argentina empanadasmollejas or sweetbreads with a criolla sauce; burrata with roasted leeks and salsa verde; chicken milanesa; and wagyu cheeseburger with crispy pork belly.

TROPEZÓN


Neighborhood: Miami Beach
Address: 512 Española Way
CuisineSpanish

Tropezón, an Andalusian gin, and tapas restaurant, located on South Beach’s Española Way, is where you need to be if you’re partner is craving Spanish food. Order the boquerones fritospan con tomatepatatas bravas; the marinated white bean salad with octopus salpicón, calabrian chili, cherry tomato, cucumber; and the duck confit paella.

 

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WABI SABI


Neighborhood: Little River
Address: 851 NE 79th St
CuisineJapanese

Wabi Sabi by definition means to not only accept, but to embrace the beauty of imperfections. Since opening in 2018, Wabi Sabi has stuck to this philosophy, delivering elegant and simple pieces of sushi. 

We love this spot for a relaxed date night and a high-quality dining experience. The light wooden space offers seasonal fish and hard-to-find ingredients. Their menu features omakase platters, rolls, hand rolls, and donburi bowls. To start your meal, we recommend the thinly sliced Usuzukuri. You can order by the piece from their nigiri and sashimi temaki selection or get the Nigiri Omakase that includes 12 pieces and 1 maki for $100 per person. We’d get one of those as well as the Chirashi over rice (that’s 12 pieces of sashimi). If you’re still hungry, order the Negihama with hamachi, scallions, and wasabi or the eel cucumber and avocado maki. For dessert, an Ikura or Botan Ebi (sweet shrimp) handroll. 

THE GIBSON ROOM


Neighborhood: Coral Way
Address: 2224 SW 22nd St
Cuisine: New American Pub

Chef Michael Beltran and Ariete Hospitality group have transformed The Mighty on Coral Way into The Gibson Room. It’s dark, mysterious, and great for some subtle PDA. We recommend sitting at the bar to take off the pressure, especially if its an early date.

This neighborhood tavern host vinyl nights, live music programming with elevated cocktails, and pub-style dishes. You almost don’t feel like you’re in Miami until of course, you see the huge marlin (maybe it’s another fish) hanging on the wall or when you read croqueta on the menu. 

But it’s also really great that you can go somewhere in Miami, and have a tasty Chicken Schnitzel. This one can be shared and it comes with heirloom tomato, salsa verde, fried egg, and boquerones.

Other favorites included the grilled oysters with garlic butter, parmesan, parsley, and the strozzapreti, which made us feel like a fancy kid. It’s served with Benton’s country ham, bacon, tomato, and crushed red chili flakes. And of course, we washed it down with a House Gibson martini with gin vermouth, sherry, and onions. We’ll be coming back for the double smash burger, B&B pickles, special sauce, American cheese, and shaved lettuce.

AMAL


Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Address: 3480 Main Hwy
Cuisine: Modern Lebanese

The team behind Eastern Mediterranean restaurant Byblos recently opened a new restaurant concept in Coconut Grove. Stop by Amal, when you’re in the mood to dress up, but don’t want to go to the Beach. This a great spot for those that have been on a few dates already. You’re not sure if you’ll grab drinks after, however, conveniently Amal has a rooftop bar called Level6. 

The menu focuses on modern Lebanese dishes created by Chef Wissman Baki. Expect a sharing-style menu that includes dips, cold and hot mezze, plus skewers.

The space is so freaking gorgeous. We honestly wouldn’t mind our house looking like this. Imagine, sandy interiors with earth tones like rose and terracotta. They’ve also incorporated small palm trees throughout the restaurant to give it a touch of Miami. Anyways, we could live here because it’s so pretty but also because the food is fresh and tasty.

Our favorite dishes so far (but for sure we’ll be back for more) include Amal’s hummus served warm with beef tenderloin, pomegranate, and roasted pine nuts; beef kibbeh on a bed of cucumber yogurt; the refreshing and sweet monk salad with roasted eggplant, capsicum peppers, parsley, and a pomegranate garlic emulsion. 

 

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LION & THE RAMBLER


Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Address: 804 Ponce de Leon
Cuisine: New American

For the experimental eaters, those that love to cook, and those that get excited about sourdough and butter, go to Lion & the Rambler. We feel like this is a great spot for a cozy date with someone you feel totally comfortable with. 

This modern American restaurant offers an inventive a la carte menu focused on South Florida flavors, and homemade Koji – a Japanese fermentation starter used to make fresh miso and produce from the best local farms in town.

The menu will change frequently. Must-orders include the yecora rojo focaccia with house-cultured butter; the steak tartare with green blueberry capers, Shelburne farms two-year aged cheddar; and grilled tiger prawn with Calabrian chile butter and lime. And of course, our favorite, the maitake mushrooms with escargot butter. 

BOIA DE


Neighborhood: Little Haiti
Address: 5205 NE 2nd Ave
Cuisine: New American

Since 2019, Boia De has consistently delivered some of the best food in Miami, if not the best food. So naturally, it’s challenging to score a table at Boia De. However, if being flexible and/or spontaneous is your thing, keep this restaurant in mind. 

There is a walk-in counter, specifically held for those without a reservation. You can also use the “notify” feature on the Resy app to be alerted when a table is available. Or if you’re a planner and know you’ll be with your significant other for at least another month, then you can plan your dine 30 days out. Either way, this will be one of the best meals of your Miami life, so maybe make sure your date is worth it. 

Order the potato skins with Stracciatella, hard egg, and caviar, or Luci’s chopped salad to start. Work yourself down to the pasta section and try out the bufala ricotta gnocchi pomodoro and the tagliolini nero (served cold) with king crab, vin juane, truffle, and herbs. End the meal with a crispy tiramisu or the carrot cake. They’re constantly adding new dishes to the menu, so make sure to ask what’s new. 

KRÜS KITCHEN


Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Address: 3413 Main Hwy
Cuisine: Globally-inspired, seasonal kitchen

If you haven’t been to Krus Kitchen in Coconut Grove for dinner, NOW is the time. Chef Sebas Vargas and the incredible Krus team have created a menu from the heart. Everything has been carefully thought out and made from scratch (even the bread and butter). 

This is the food of fine dining except it’s in a chill, market setting located on a second floor. It’s a great first-date spot to drink some amazing wine or great for recurring dates. You can dress nice but also wear sneakers. 

Enter through sister restaurant Los Felix, and head upstairs to Krus Kitchen. The space is vibrant, with so much natural light and a cornered open kitchen. It is decorated with biodynamic wines and other products on display, which is always nice to look at while waiting for your dishes to arrive. 

And speaking of, this evolving menu will change with the seasons but for now, after trying the entire menu with maybe two exceptions, our favorites include the agnolotti stuffed with taleggio cheese, smoked corn, porcini broth, and hazelnut oil; Krus bread with an anchovy brown butter, black garlic, and sea salt; oyster mushrooms with a red miso potato foam, quinoa, and green onions; chitarra with mussel emulsion, caviar, and Meyer lemon; the Day’s catch crudo with wasabi radish, finger lime ponzu, bonito, and avocado. 

 

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NIU WINE


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 134 NE 2nd Ave
Cuisine: Wine bar, Mediterranean

Go to NIU Wine with someone you’re really into. Someone you really want to get to know, where the conversation flows, and it’s actually a dialogue. 

It’s a true wine bar where you can try beautiful wines by the glass and talk about your travel dreams with this promising partner. 

The food is spectacular and the playlist is weirdly perfect. The small menu of dishes changes often and is presented on a chalkboard. Dishes we love include the tomato salad, anchovies with smoked butter, patatas bravasoysters, and deep-fried Brie.

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JAGUAR SUN


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 230 NE 4th St
Cuisine: American, pasta

Jaguar Sun is probably our favorite place in Miami. Some may say it’s a cocktail bar, others, a restaurant with an awesome pasta selection. We’d like to think of it as a combination of both, where we can always count on fun, original and balanced cocktails. And where the food is delicious and consistent. Not an easy find in our city, especially in the obscure lobby of a residential building.

It’s always a good time at Jaguar Sun, so make a reservation here for a first date or for any date that follows. Our favorite dishes include the Hokkaido Scallop, the Wagyu Beef TartareAgnolotti with blue crab, and the Spicy Rigatoni. Leave room for a Wolf Whistle, their version of a tequila espresso martini paired with dessert. Oh and also, if you stop by on Tuesday, they have $1 oysters available all night. 

LEKU


Neighborhood: Allapattah
Address: 1100 NW 23rd St
Cuisine: Basque

Leku is a modern, Basque-inspired restaurant serving beautiful Northern Spanish dishes. The open-aired spot located inside the Rubell Museum has a beautiful garden view that will make you forget you’re in the industrial Allapattah neighborhood.

This restaurant is for a special date. Let’s say a work promotion or a birthday celebration.

You’ll want to start with one of their delicious gin and tonic cocktails. Our favorite dainty dishes for sharing include the croquetas de ibérico made with 5 jotas ham, the simple and tasty tomato basil cracker, and the grilled country bread with a trio of house-made butter. Off the menu, we’d go for the salt-baked gambas. Think of this dish as an A+ science project. Presented tableside, your server pours what looks like water on the uncooked shrimp. Wait a moment and you’ll start seeing a mountain of salt, forming and cooking the gambas. Your server will then remove the excess salt to the side of the plate. Chef Mikel Goikolea recommends sucking the shrimp head for maximum flavor and we couldn’t agree more. We’d also order the grilled wild mushroom rice with homemade aioli and the jamón Ibérico tartare.

 

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MANDOLIN AEGEAN BISTRO


Neighborhood: Design District
Address: 4312 NE 2nd Ave
Cuisine: Mediterranean

For those that love Rom-Coms, and all the gushy love stuff, Mandolin is calling your name. This Miami favorite serves Greek and Turkish dishes. It’s almost always fully booked, so we definitely suggest you plan ahead and take someone you’re really into. 

We recommend the mussels with white wine, garlic, lemon, and oregano; the grilled Halloumi with heirloom cherry tomatoes and fresh oregano; and grilled octopus to start.

From the sandwich section, we’d go for the spicy mandolin kebab, with a grilled house blend of ground beef and lamb, onion, parsley, sumac, and spicy greek yogurt. If you are trying to cut back on calories, then whole mediterranean sea bass grilled with extra virgin Aegean olive oil, lemon, and oregano is the way to go. But don’t forget to order a side of house cut fires with garlic greek yogurt to share.

SOYA E POMODORO


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 120 NE 1st St #2502
Cuisine: Italian

Soya e Pomodoro is a classic Downtown restaurant serving simple Italian dishes. If you love a good neighborhood gem and are all about nostalgia, bring your date here. 

It’s rustic with unmatched vintage furniture, family photos, and even a snowman providing a cozy and quirky experience for diners. During the day, we’d bring a client and during the night, we’d bring a date. Both will fall in love with Soya e Pomodoro’s authentic ways. Order the fusillo fresco affumicato with homemade fusilli w/ sauteed arugula, mushrooms & smoked mozzarella in fresh tomato sauce.

DOYA


Neighborhood: Wynwood
Address: 347 NW 24th St
Cuisine: Aegean

We love Doya for a first dinner date. The space has lively energy, plus the cocktails and food are spot on. Located in Wynwood, Doya is serving Aegean flavors from the coast of Turkey. We are talking dips, local produce, refreshing and light plates, plus an amazing octopus’ dish that keeps us coming back for more. When you come to Doya you are coming not only for the top-notch hospitality but the meze dining experience. 

One of our favorites on the menu is the Cretan feta dip with peppers, Kalamata olive oil, garlic, pistachios, and walnuts. As well as the manti beef dumplings, drenched in a garlic yogurt sauce.

 

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MACCHIALINA


Neighborhood: Miami Beach
Address: 820 Alton Road
Cuisine: Italian

If you’re looking for a neighborhood spot in Miami Beach with West Village vibes, stop by Macchialina. It’s dark, and romantic with a quaint bar inside. And it also has the cutest outdoor “Giardino” set up. Chef Mike Pirolo is a pasta expert, and Jacqueline Pirolo runs an award-winning wine program. The menu changes frequently, but some of their standouts include the Cavatelli Macchialina and the Spaghetti Pomodoro. Don’t skip on the most refreshing Tiramisu. It’s made with dulce de leche and an espresso granita giving it an additional texture that is not usual when eating tiramisu. Make sure you dive deep in with your spoon.

 

THE HUNGRY POST
PHOTO CREDIT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL AT THE SURF CLUB
The best restaurants for date night in Miami