Top Five Restaurants in South Miami
|Signature soufflés from one of the best.|
On the other hand, it does match up pretty well with the dining scene in Coconut Grove -- a very minor compliment, but you couldn't have even said that much a few years ago. So let's not commiserate over what South Miami doesn't have, but instead celebrate the following five restaurants that would make any neighborhood proud. Disagree with my picks? Impossible!
This teeny-tiny bistro puts out fare filled with nothing but big French flavors. Marseilles is the home of the café's namesake liqueur, but it's also home to bouillabaisse, and Pastis's chef/owner, Philippe Jacquet, puts out as good a version as anyone in town. Most entrées run in the $18 to $20 range, which is a bargain for this caliber of French country cooking.
7310 S. Red Rd.; 305-665-3322
The Captain has ruled the Pinecrest roost for decades, and we all know why: really fresh seafood. You can pick up some at the market up front, but it's way more fun to grab a seat in the throwback dining room amid the antiquated nautical décor. The service staff is also a throwback to the days when waiters were efficient. Prices are more than fair, and the extensive wine list is known for having the best prices in town.
9625 S. Dixie Hwy.; 305-666-5979
Lan Pan Asian Café
You have to pull into Dadeland Station to hop this pan-Asian train, a small price to pay for surprisingly inventive and consistently delicious foods from Japan to China to Korea to Vietnam. And speaking of small prices, just about everything is under $20, and most items are less than $15. This is one of the true secret gems in town. Chef Johnson Teh is also owner of the excellent Yuga in Coral Gables.
8332 S. Dixie Hwy.; 305-661-8141
The Italian food at this casual indoor/outdoor eatery is always fresh and tasty. Pastas, dried and fresh, are especially noteworthy, and the various meat, fish, and poultry entrées are consistently good too. Mains come with starch and vegetable, and just about every one is under $25. While you're at it, you can grab a thin-crust pizza from sister Blú la Pizzeria del Sole next door.
5894 Sunset Dr.; 305-666-9392
After 16 years, Two Chefs and chef/owner Jan Jorgensen are still going strong. The European-based American food would be considered among the best in any neighborhood. Who else is putting out galantine of hen? There are signatures such as escargots, meat loaf, and the amazing soufflés, but this is no stodgy continental cuisine -- Jorgensen is immersed in today's culinary goings-on like few others. The wine list is one of the best in Miami, and the spirits collection is the best.
8287 S.Dixie Hwy.; 305-663-2100