Today’s dating culture is ruled by Seamless dinners, Netflix binges and the occasional happy hour outing, which puts staying in on date night high on the list of lame and expected romantic gestures—especially when the most romantic restaurants in Miami have so much to offer. Show your significant other you’ve still got the right stuff with a hot night out at one of Miami’s best restaurants—and a drink at one of best bars in Miami before or after—and ensure a perfect date night or Valentine’s dinner, from Coral Gables to South Beach. Our complete guide to the most romantic restaurants is below.
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Most romantic restaurants in Miami
Who has time to light candles and set the mood? Not you, and that's fine because Komodo has it all under control. The upscale Asian restaurant and lounge, the result of a partnership between restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow and nightlife impresario David Grutman (of LIV and Story), is about as sexy as it gets. Cozy up at one of the bird's nest tables suspended above the restaurant and order dim sum and crispy chicken salad (tossed tableside) to share.
Mark Soyka's latest restaurant is a beautiful coral-rock-and-wood structure, which used to operate as a pump house. What remains is a cozy interior and picturesque backyard with a pond and a leafy hammock that transports diners to faraway places. Bringing you back is the contemporary American menu packed with tasty, shareable options, such as the lamb and steak frites.
Take a pseudo trip to the Greek Isles via reservations at this Greek/Turkish spot in the Design District. The spacious outdoor area’s rustic blue-and-white design helps to keep up the illusion, while dishes such as the whole fried fish and the authentic Greek salad (without lettuce!) dupe your taste buds almost instantly. Any table in the restaurant’s courtyard is sure to impress, but on nights when it’s too hot, take a seat inside by the window. Nothing ruins a date like sweating through a meal.
Maybe you live in a small apartment with your significant other or maybe you’ve got roommates. Whatever the scenario, your place is probably not equipped to host a romantic night out, at least not in the high-ceilings with constant mood lighting kind of way Coya is. It’s also got all the things you love about Peruvian cuisine—ceviche, tiraditos, anticuchos. Plus Coya also has a dedicated Pisco Bar with more than 20 varieties of the Peruvian spirit, which bodes well for Brickell, an area known for its happy-hour crowds.
When your lady is a looker, she deserves an equally stunning view. Take her (or him, because the same rule applies to the guys) to La Mar and book a table on the terrace for a clear shot of Brickell's twinkling skyline. Next, you'll order up one of chef Diego Oka's delicate ceviches and the arroz chaufa (Peruvian fried rice), served tableside. Cocktail options are aplenty, but if this is your first time at La Mar, or trying Peruvian food altogether, the classic pisco sour is a must.
The Matador Room from Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten looks like the kind of place where you might have spotted Frank Sinatra or Marilyn Monroe circa 1960. For ladies, this translates to a reason to dress up, meanwhile gentlemen get a turnkey date out of their reservation. The Art Deco decor and oversized supper-club-style booths, which you two can have all to yourselves, is about where the retro influences end. The menu, a modern take on traditional Latin cuisine, is composed of small and large plates packed with plenty of local flavors and Florida-sourced ingredients, all of which is meant for sharing. Take the Cuban homestyle arroz con pollo with crackling skin and lemon zest, or the chipotle chicken tacos, both down-home dishes done up to five-star standards.
Couples looking for a secluded spot away from prying eyes will want to reserve a table in the 300,000-bottle wine cellar. Although any seat in the house bodes well for romance. The place itself is a Rococo-lover’s fantasy: multi-chambered, ornately decorated (and priced) and completely over the top. You’ll find the typical steakhouse fare to pair with all the decadent wines, and a number of way to “accessorize” your entrée—from Maine lobster gratin to shrimp scampi to garden vegetable chimichurri. Made plans after dinner? Opt for something lighter, like one of chef Julia Doyne's new composed seafood dishes.
When you can’t afford to give your girl the latest Versace fashions, you do the next best thing: book a dinner reservation at the late Gianni Versace’s former manse turned restaurant. Gianni’s at The Villa serves up Italian/Mediterranean fare helmed by executive chef Thomas Stewart in partnership with neighboring Setai’s executive chef Mathias Gervais. For the best views of the property, skip the Medusa dining room (formerly Versace’s formal dining room) and make your way to the patio, which overlooks the impressive mosaic garden and pool. Like the opulent décor, the dishes too are over-the-top in presentation and ingredients, like the decadent Langosta—a pan-seared Florida spiny lobster served with tomatoes, basil, and baby vegetables—and a whole Branzino fish for two.
Light Mediterranean-inspired dishes coupled with the charm of a Parisian bistro always bodes well for romance. Such is the case at Marion, where the lighting is also never too bright nor the music ever too loud, which is why you’ll find plenty of patrons cozying up to their dates. The café, market, bakery and oyster bar is casual enough for a leisurely lunch yet boasts a varied menu and plenty of options, making it a worthy destination for a night out. Executive chef Jean Paul Lourdes is responsible for the comprehensive menu that goes beyond charcuterie and raw bar offerings, though these are great, too. Think hearty paellas and shareable portions of rib-eye steak and roast chicken, which is cut and served tableside. You’ll want to save room for pastry chef Christina Kaelberer’s sweet creations, such as pillowy strawberry marshmallows that taste like the real fruit and a trio of profiteroles served with a drizzling of rich melted chocolate.
Talk about a looker. Palmeiras Beach Club at Grove Isle is worthy of a visit if just for the spectacular views alone. Make a beeline for any of the tables at the periphery of Grove Isle—fire pit table combos surrounded by comfy booths, or lounge chair and couch set-ups—all steps away from the water. Balmy or breezy, your date will think you went to great lengths to set the mood when all you deserve credit for is making a reservation; Palmeiras handled the rest. Whether you choose to dine al fresco or in the airy, all-white dining room, you’ll find the food at Palmeiras stands up to its remarkable surroundings. The Mediterranean menu, with pops of Spanish and French influences, runs the gamut from fresh seafood to hearty land fare to delicate house-made pastas.
Special occasions call for a splurge, both fiscal and caloric. Blowing a wad and indulging with your SO over an extravagant dinner facing the water is what it’s all about at this pricey pasta joint, which is ideal for fans of garlic, truffles and homemade pasta that’s a far cry from Ragu. Spaghetti alla carbonara will set you back $27, while risotto with porcini mushrooms is a divine culinary creation with an ungodly price tag of $37. If you really want to splurge, there’s a filet of beef with sautéed foie gras for $55. Service is old school, but what you’re paying for here is the view. Considering Miami’s volatile real estate market, it makes sense.
Soho Beach House’s Italian restaurant (the club’s only area open to non-members) is a one-stop for good food and a good time—the menu of house-made pastas and an outdoor dining area practically set the mood for you. Be sure to reserve a center table near one of the trees covered in bistro lights: The soft yellow glow is subtle and sexy, and it will keep you from accidentally knocking anything over.