Food & Drink

Miami’s 14 Most Romantic Restaurants

Published On 02/03/2015 Published On 02/03/2015
George Apostolidis
Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar
Cristina Izquierdo
Mandolin Aegean Bistro
Soya e Pomodoro
Red Fish Grill
The Rusty Pelican Restaurant in Miami
Villa Azur
Mandarin Oriental
Pied a Terre Restaurant
15th & Vine Kitchen and Bar
The Forge
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1. Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar 11510 SW 147th Ave, Miami, FL 33196 (Kendall)

Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant in Kendall is, point blank, a nice suburban restaurant. It's not a de facto steakhouse, but it does serve a solid selection of black Angus beef and New Zealand lamb racks. The menu sticks to high-class standard American dishes, like an iceberg chop salad and salmon cooked three ways. The spot is dark and almost sultry with white tablecloths and wine bottles stacked behind the bar.

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2. Juvia 1111 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach , FL (South Beach)

Perched atop the penthouse level of 1111, Juvia offers eclectic small plates, panoramic South-Beach views, and an enormous, vertical garden. Serving a trifecta of French, Japanese and Peruvian cuisines, the rooftop spot is known for its array of creative dishes and craft cocktails. The menu features everything from lobster-avocado ceviche and truffle oil-coated salmon nash, to larger entrees like milk-fed pork confit and sushi grade tuna steak. Patrons sit on an array of purple couches and white wicker chairs, hundreds of feet from the city below, while sipping on house cocktails like the vodka-sake-vanilla concoction Juvia calls "Perfect Yuzu." For chilly nights, the ultra-modern eatery is equipped with a glass-encased indoor space, where guests are welcome to enjoy (sheltered) food and drink without sacrificing the 360 degree Miami views.

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3. Romeo's Cafe 2257 Coral Way, Coral Gables, FL 33145 (Coral Gables)

There is no menu as Chef Romeo Majano prepares a custom coursed dinner based on your preferences and the day’s available ingredients, which you provide upon sitting down. While the restaurant’s décor is a bit reminiscent of your parent’s home, the restaurant offers an intimate environment with only 28 seats.

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4. Mandolin Aegean Bistro 4312 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137 (Design District)

From a Turkish/Greek husband/wife team committed to the simple rustic cuisine their often-contentious people have in common, Mandolin's on the roster of intimate Buena Vista date spots, and looks like a cottage lifted from the Aegean coast.

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5. Soyka's Restaurant 5556 NE 4th Ave, Miami, FL 33137

When making your reservation at this “American bistro”, make sure to ask for outdoor seating. Looking in, that narrow section looks like a restaurant within a restaurant. With Old World chandeliers and lavish greenery separating each table.

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6. Soya E Pomodoro 120 NE 1st St, Miami, FL 33132 (Downtown)

Housed inside the former lobby of an old Miami bank, it’s a trip to Italy complete with romantic lighting, mismatched furniture, Italian servers, and homemade pasta. Did we mention it’s actually run by Italians?

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7. Red Fish Grill 9610 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156 (Pinecrest)

Cozily nestled in Matheson Hammock Park, Red Fish Grill is a Miami staple. It’s widely regarded as one of the most romantic dinner spots in the city: palm trees swaying in the breeze, twinkling lights, and striking views of the coastline sunset that only get prettier as you work your way through the well-stocked wine list. The seafood-obsessed menu features brightly flavored favorites like tuna tartare with yuzu-soy vinaigrette and Caribbean bouillabaisse with coconut milk.

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8. Cecconi's 4385 Collins Ave, Miami, FL 33140 (Miami Beach)

With outposts in Cali and London, Cecconi's is known for simple, authentic, Venetian food from Chef Sergio Sigala (see? Authentic!) that's served in a sophisticated dining room and beautiful garden area.

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9. The Rusty Pelican 3201 Rickenbacker Cswy, Key Biscayne, FL 33149 (Key Biscayne)

40yr-old landmark The Rusty Pelican looks like a Key West-beach-house-meets-country-club, with a labyrinth of glassed-in wine bottles separating the dining room from a 200-person indoor/outdoor lounge with low-slung couches, in addition to an expansive upstairs terrace.

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10. Villa Azur Restaurant & Lounge 309 23rd St, Miami Beach , FL 33139 (South Beach)

From a couple nightlife/restaurant veterans and actor Olivier Martinez (aka, the dude who banged Diane Lane in a hallway), comes Villa Azur: a stately-but-relaxing French eatery aiming to capture the "glamour and allure found in the French Riviera" by hiring a ketchup-hating Franco-designer to dress up the sprawling indoor/outdoor space with vintage chandeliers, mod leather couches, and antique wood fixtures.

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11. La Mar by Gaston Acurio 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami, FL 33131 (Brickell)

Peruvian culinary maestro Gaston Acurio is mixing Andean and Asian flavors into a bold menu that highlights his home country at this chic restaurant inside the Mandarin Oriental. The menu includes made-to-order ceviche; tiraditos, or Peruvian-style sashimi; and causas, a traditional dish of potatoes whipped with seafood, avocado, tobiko, tomato, and egg. The drink selection is equally quintessential Peru, offering various takes on the pisco sour.

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12. Pied à Terre The Cadet Hotel 1701 James Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (Miami Beach)

Nestled in the historic Cadet Hotel, Pied à Terre strikes the balance between sultry and charming, refined yet unpretentious; think cottage-meets-cabana. It’s one of the most romantic restaurants in South Beach, a place to take pretty dates if you’ve got a pretty penny. The menu offers both à la carte and tasting options, and is predominantly French with Mediterranean influences: note the cold terrine of foie gras, centrally placed between crispy Coteaus du Layon and mango-apricot chutney, capturing the tropical zing for which Miami is known. There’s a decorated wine list for those trying to impress with their bottle knowledge, but don’t fret if you’re intimated: the sommelier will be happy to assist.

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13. 15th & Vine Kitchen and Bar 485 Brickell Ave, Miami, FL 33131 (Brickell)

In true Miami fashion, 15th & Vine is serving American cuisine with heavy Latin influence, perched a full 15 floors above the city. While snacking on small plates like scallop and dragonfruit ceviche, guests can gaze out at sweeping views of Brickell Avenue and the Biscayne Bay below through enormous floor-to-ceiling windows. With a capacity of only 96 patrons, the dining experience at 15th & Vine is fairly intimate -- individual tables are sectioned off with white marble dividers, heavy, red-cloth chairs surround each of the expansive tabletops, and a private 10-person dining room is available if reserved ahead of time. The outdoor space features a flourishing vertical garden, a wood-paneled deck, and of course, more striking city views, all of which are best enjoyed with a glass of red wine.

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14. The Forge Restaurant & Wine Bar 432 W 41st St, Miami Beach, FL 33140 (Miami Beach)

If you think New American food tastes best when consumed in a space with all the opulence of Jay Gatsby’s mansion-meets a medieval library-meets a Tim Burton-themed wedding a la Martha Stewart, well -- you should probably try to grab a highly coveted reservation at the Forge. Regulars rave over gussied up comfort food like the black truffle macaroni and cheese pot pie, decadently tempting enough that you’ll likely ignore the server’s advice to “let it cool.” Fortunately, the cavernous wine cellar – one of the largest in Miami – features enough chilled wines to offer a cooling respite.