It’s a Thursday night and you’re getting the weekend started early. Happy hour is over but you want to keep the party going. Where to next? The spots on this roundup always served incredible bites, beautiful people, and the best vibes.
Cecconi’s Miami, housed in the member only hot spot Soho house is a romantic respite from the craziness of Miami Beach. When you walk onto the terrace you’ll be transported to the patio of an Italian villa. Trellises and spindly trees dot the courtyard and after dark, the restaurant is bathed in soft white light.
Every time I dine there I find myself realizing that I’ve been eating for several hours. It’s the type of spot where no one rushes you out the door. Servers are attentive but never overbearing. To be frank the food is so good it’s hard to want to to leave even after the meal is finished.
For the summer they have added some new cocktails and entrees to the menu which definitely have to be tried. If you’re a Mezcal lover you’ll appreciate the Smoked Berry, its smoldering flavor is perfectly balanced by the juicy berry flavors. The Tangerine dream reminded me of an adult push pop with hints of Rosemary sans the sticky fingers. We had the Ahi Tuna Tartare and were tickled that is presented to the table for your viewing pleasure before it is freshly constructed. The Pappardelle Lamb Ragu was flavorful and the lamb melts in your mouth. For a sweet finish try the Coconut & pineapple Tres Leches it manages to be creamy, but not too heavy.
STK South Beach
STK is not your Daddy’s Steakhouse but it is a bonafide good time. I’m not sure if its Dinosaur bones lining the bar ceiling, stunning floral arrangements, or the DJ rocking on the 1 and 2’s but STK screams it’s going to be a great night.
It’s not often that sides can give an entree a run for its money but at STK that’s a given. The Mac & Cheese, Sweet Corn Pudding, and Foraged Mushrooms stand on their own. Did I mention while you’re enjoying all this deliciousness that you’re also zoning out to some awesome tunes? I know its rude to dance at the table but it’ll be hard to not at least nod your head as you enjoy your meal.
But back to the important stuff. Meat! STK’s Tomahawk steak is legendary and always perfectly cooked. The Lil’ Brgs* also steal the show with mouth-watering Wagyu beef. This is a meat-eaters paradise but if you’re on the pescatarian side try the Scallops and be prepared to be wowed.
Have you ever had a mound of cotton candy placed in front of you and then gotten to watch it be obliterated by a miniature blow torch. If not, I’d recommend giving The Cloud a try. It’s sure to be the perfect ending to an already amazing meal. If you’re not so big on the pyromaniac experience try their Coconut Guava Rum Cake. It is fluffy, rich, and perfectly decadent.
Chotto Matte is an architecture and interior designers foodie fantasy come true. Located in a quiet alley it’s easy to walk past the white, boxy exterior if it weren’t for an enormous door that is left slightly ajar. Once inside your senses go into overload with the sights of plush seating, a buzzy bar, and walls that are covered with street from 1_3_1.
As you approach the center of the restaurant your eyes are drawn up to a retractable roof that also happens to be award-winning. If the fickle Florida weather isn’t cooperating be sure to stop in any way because the food and vibe are buzzy yet refined. If you go on a clear night you get to enjoy a little stargazing with their delicious Nikkei (Japanese and Peruvian) cuisine.
I highly suggest the Tentáculos de pulpo, Langosta deluxe ceviche, and the salted caramel chocolate fondant. Any of their sushi/sashimi options are amazing and will leave you satisfied. The Pisco Peach and She’s So Smoking are my favorite cocktails on the list but go prepared to try several(Uber/Lyft use is highly suggested).
Planta South Beach
Planta is a Vegan spot that offers plant-based, locally sourced food with a twist. It also happens to be a perfectly designed space. It feels like a Spa you get to eat multiple courses in. With natural colors and well-placed greenery, you will feel perfectly a peace as you eat your Steamed Dumplings ( the hot chili might make your sweat though).
It’s also very likely that an item on your plate came from their rooftop garden. Every single item was fresh and had complex flavor profiles. Texture can be tricky with vegan items but every item I had had the same texture as its non-vegan counterpart. I went with a friend who is a proud carnivore, he was amazed that he couldn’t tell the difference.
Their Vegan Mac & Cheese is epic. It tasted just as good if not better than many non-Vegan options I’ve had. The Bianca Pizza is also a standout and also happens to be Gluten free. If you get a chance to eat on their patio be sure to soak up the chill pace that only spots south of fifth can provide.
The Aspiring Gentleman was hosted by Cecconi’s Miami and STK. All opinions are my own.