Miami loves to be wined and dined, but in a sea of restaurants throughout the city, finding the ones worth the hefty bill can be a challenge. Just because a restaurant is expensive, doesn’t mean it’s worth a visit on a special occasion. When it comes time to celebrate something special, there’s a lot to take into consideration from the food to the service to the atmosphere and attention to detail. Not all restaurants are created equally, and sometimes a night out calls for some serious spoiling at one of the city’s finest establishments.Read More
16 Special Occasion Restaurants That Are Worth the Splurge
Worth breaking the bank for
The Surf Club Restaurant
Thomas Keller’s the Surf Club Restaurant features a menu of classic continental cuisine that’s been reinterpreted by the legendary chef. The ambiance transports diners to a romantic setting that feels as straight out of the 50s with dark blue and wood tones and cozy dining tables. Guests can dine on popular dishes including an avocado Louie, New York strip steak, and a table-side prepared Caesar salad, with every detail calculated with extreme detail right down to the interactive butter service.
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
One of the best known fine-dining experiences in the world — and the only restaurant to receive two stars by the Michelin Guide upon its arrival in Florida — the Miami Design District outpost of chef Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is led by several longtime proteges of the famed chef. Guests dine at counter seating akin to sushi counters, dining on a meal filled with plenty of tapas-style dishes. There are tasting menus, along with plenty of a la carte dishes like the La Caille made with caramelized quail, foie gras, potato puree and the Le Boeuf created with with prime ribeye, butternut squash tartlet with caramelized onion.
Earning Michelin stars at both the Miami and NYC locations, Cote is a Korean steakhouse that’s where the visit is a special occasion all in itself. Each table is equipped with a grill where your various parts of your meal and cooked to your liking right in front of you. At $64 per person the Butcher’s Feast is quite the deal — featuring four cuts of meat and several (unlimited) sides. Also, all wines by the glass are served out of magnum bottles.
The Bazaar by José Andrés
Located inside of SLS South Beach, this high-end restaurant features an elevated menu that blends James Beach award-winning chef Jose Andres’ Spanish heritage with influences from the local Latin culinary community. Guests can dine on dishes designed for sharing like empanadillas de bacalao, bone marrow and jamon de toro, while sipping on uniquely crafted cocktails and high-end wines.
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Housed inside the historic Miami Women’s Club, this surf n’ turf spot took nearly five years to open and it seems to be worth the wait. While this is definitely a splurge, the Norwegian King crab claws are served tableside and covered in a melted garlic butter sauce. Protip: arrive early and grab a drink on the sixth floor for stunning views of Biscayne Bay and South Beach from Edgewater’s only rooftop bar.
The swanky and massive 13,000-square-foot space boasts a serenely stylish indoor dining area, an outdoor terrace complete with an intimate omakase-style bar, and bites like shawarma-spiced wagyu dumplings, Alaskan king crab tempura, and an assortment of nigiri and sashimis.
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Forte dei Marmi
In the swanky South of Fifth neighborhood, diners craving high-end Italian food should head to chef Antonio Mellino’s Forte dei Marni. Candles light the dimly lit space that’s somehow both inviting and full of privacy. The menu includes sharing options like the Florentine-style T-bone steaks; tagliolini with red prawns; whole Mediterranean fish; and fettuccine with mushrooms and black truffle.
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This mainstay in Miami’s food scene, features modern Japanese food, inspired by traditional izakaya-style dining, boasting a non-stop crowd of sleek, chic, celebrities, scene-chasers, and food lovers.
Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford is executing high-end meals at Michelin-starred Stubborn Seed with dishes like a seared foie gras with pumpkin, crispy duck with creamy grits, and poached Maine lobster. The menu rotates constantly with plenty of seasonal a la carte options as well as eight-course tasting menus.
Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis
A swanky establishment in the heart of South Beach, Milos doles out Mediterranean food with a whole lot of ambiance. Sharing menu space with other notable plates from the region, Greek dishes earn their keep with grilled vegetables, yogurt, octopus, and fried potatoes.
Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant
This 100-year old restaurant is an institution and thought to have started the stone crab craze that captures Miami to this day — and still exudes a classic elegance not found in many restaurants nowadays. Ordering the namesake stone crabs is a must, which are served with a mustard sauce that is a legend in its own right, but stone crabs aren’t the only notable item on the menu. From an assortment of seafood dishes to steaks, to its popular fried chicken, there is something for all tastes.
La Mar by Gaston Acurio
Located in Brickell at Mandarin Oriental, La Mar by Gaston Acurio offers a combo of well-executed upscale novo-Andean fare and Asian-Peruvian fusion dishes. Think classics like lomo saltado, local offerings like yellowtail snapper, and several ceviche options.
Sexy Fish Miami
While the overwhelming opulence of Brickell’s Sexy Fish might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s definitely worthy of a special occasion visit for those looking for an over-the-top night out. The Asian fusion menu features sushi, sashimi, miso-glazed cod, and Japanese A5 Wagyu. Opt for the omakase menu to be served 10 of the restaurant’s signature dishes and don’t skip out on the cocktails — it’s one of the prettiest menus around.
Dirty French Steakhouse
Easily the sexiest steakhouse in Miami, Dirty French by Major Food Group serves up vibes just as delicious as its steaks. Celebrate special occasions here over martinis, steaks, and classic side dishes.
LPM Restaurant and Bar
LPM Restaurant and Bar is Brickell’s answer to high-end French Mediterranean cuisine. Seasonal Mediterranean produce shines through in dishes using artichokes, courgettes, lemons, olives and tomatoes, paired with pristine seafood, meat, and pasta. Menu highlights include a whole roast baby chicken, gnocchi with tomatoes, and branzino, all complemented by a substantial French wine list that includes an extensive selection from Provence.
A D.C. transplant, Fiola is an updated take on traditional Italian cuisine in an elegant setting. Guests can select from la carte menus featuring twists on Italian classics during from lunch into happy hour and dinner. Signature dishes like the lobster ravioli with ginger and chives; cacio e pepe; charred octopus; and grilled Australian lamb are favorites among those who often frequent the restaurant.