Don’t sleep on taking your main squeeze out for a date night on Valentine’s day. The Magic City’s got plenty of delightful restaurants for you to cozy up to your boo-thing or Galentine.
These are our 14 favorite spots for the 14th.
Normandy Isle’s Rouge is an unexpected experience in Moroccan-French cooking. It’s part luxurious garden, part Casablanca (there’s live jazz at the grand piano every Wednesday), and your best bet for an upscale meal in North Beach. Moroccan born chef/owner Nabil Hach Al-luch bought the space in 2012, and created a menu with dishes like Moroccan braised duck and apricot, rabbit stew, and branzino en papillote.
Soya e Pomodoro
This charming Italian restaurant is full of romantic nostalgia. Hailing from the Italian city of Pompei, it’s no surprise that former owner Armando Alfano chose a Great Depression-era bank as the site of his Downtown restaurant, with the giant bank vault the backdrop for nightly jazz performances. Guests sit on mismatched tables and couches, dining on impeccable Italian delicacies served up by chef Cristian D’oria, ranging from vegetarian-friendly options like the sfoglia di melanzane, a baked layer of eggplant, smoked mozzarella and fresh tomatoes topped with a puff pastry, to the more meatier filetto alla provola, a fillet mignon medallion pan seared & served with smoked mozzarella & sautéed spinach with homemade mashed potatoes.
Peacock Garden Café
OK, spoiler alert, there aren’t any peacocks. But if you’re looking for a brunch spot with a relaxed, romantic ambiance, head over to the Peacock Garden Café stat. Named after the family who helped found Coconut Grove, it’s open for lunch, dinner, and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Spend an afternoon sipping tropical mimosas and enjoying a crab cake eggs benny while you soak in the breeze on the patio. We’re relaxed already.
If you’re tired of the usual SoBe vibe, take a stroll down Española Way and get transported to a delightful cobblestone European enclave. The street is blocked off to traffic, so you don’t have to worry about that crazy Miami traffic killing your vibe. There are tons of awesome restaurants, and we couldn’t just pick one — but we especially love Tapas y Tintos for their fantastic nightly flamenco performances and A la Folie Cafe, because we just can’t resist an adorable French café.
What they do: Restaurants
Website: Visit Here
Hours: Everyday, 8 a.m. to 5 a.m.
Address: 419 A Española Way, Miami Beach
This New American eatery from Jason Odio of Sidebar is new to the scene in the Grove but already making waves. They have a crazy delicious seasonal menu and begin your feast with buttery parkerhouse rolls that would bring a tear to Paula Deen’s eye. The best suggestion we can give you is to try the short rib. It’s a little piece of heaven.
What they do: American, dinner, brunch
Website: Visit Here
Hours: Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday to Thursday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Tuesday to Thursday, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday to Saturday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Sunday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Address: 3540 Main Hwy
La Bouchon du Grove
For a classy evening in the Grove, La Bouchon is a favorite. Diners are seated close together in an open-air setting that’s reminiscent of France itself. If you grab a table near the open windows onto the street, you can people watch while you drink wine and eat steak frites, duck confit, foie gras, and other classics.
Glass & Vine
Newly opened by the mastermind behind Coral Gables’ wildly successful Eating House, Glass & Vine is one of the newest additions to the Coconut Grove food scene. Tucked away in Peacock Park, the restaurant’s lush garden outside and high gabled seating inside creates an ambiance that’s unrivaled. The menu is broken up into three sections: Garden, Sea, and Land, featuring things like a watermelon salad, scallops, and grilled duck breast — and all in portions big enough to share. With a heavy emphasis on aesthetics, the dining experience becomes an artistic one. And the best part of it all? The food and drinks taste as good as they look.
Perricone’s Marketplace & Cafe
From the rustic interior to the delicious Italian menu, Perricone’s is wholly inspired by its founder and owner Steven Perricone. The menu features favorites like a hearty Neapolitan meat lasagna and a light caprese salad. Many of the recipes come from Perricone’s own grandmother.
Inspired by Dali’s melting clocks and Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia, this Catalan eatery is anything but ordinary. It inconspicuously popped up between an optometrist’s office and a mini-mart a little over a year ago, relying on word of mouth and locals to garner a steady stream of customers to its quaint Downtown locale. It’s easy to miss when walking along N.E. 2nd Ave., with its green awning blending in with that of the supermarket next door. However, after trying their eclectic and delicate Catalan-style small plates, paired with the perfect glass of wine, this will be a meal you’ll surely never forget.
(Photo Courtesy of Stephan Goettlicher)
With rustic furniture and a Neapolitan wood-fired oven, Ironside Pizza serves some of the most authentic pizza in town. Dining in is quite the delight, as the open windows and wooden chairs create an inviting and relaxed atmosphere. We suggest the classic Margherita, complete with tomato, mozzarella, and fresh basil.
It’s a gas station, wine bar, cafe, and dessert shop that also miraculously meets all your convenience store needs. Seriously, this place has it all. From the outside it looks like a standard gas station and convenience store, but inside it is anything but ordinary. You know it made in our “Best gas stations in Miami” list. It’s in our Coral Gables guide, but it’s not technically Coral Gables, but it’s right on the cusp and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take you there.
Crazy About You
Brickell locals recommend Crazy About You for reasonably priced house wine, appetizers, and (shareable) entrees. During happy hour, the entire menu is half off (except wines) and you’ll get half off at the bar on Wednesdays.
The Vagabond Hotel’s Restaurant and Bar is one of the greatest additions to Biscayne Boulevard. Self described as “part restaurant, part bar and part art gallery,” Vagabond has a killer tequila bar, awesome martinis, and seasonal punches. We recommend sitting outside and sipping a poolside cocktail.
The Alvarez brothers and their partner Sebastian Cardona planted their flag (sky blue and white, natch) at this 2nd Ave. spot serving up classic Argentinean flavor in 2012. A night out at Fiorito means simple, succulent Argentinean specialties and fresh Spanish flavors. The rustic, cozy space is perfect for date night, and is imbued with love for their home country — especially footballer Maradona, whose birthplace inspired the name.