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Best Of :: Bars & Clubs

BEST POOLSIDE BAR
The Raleigh Hotel

BEST POOLSIDE BAR The Raleigh Hotel 1775 Collins Avenue

Miami Beach

305-534-6300 Step poolside at the Raleigh Hotel and you'll swear you've stepped into the 1940s: a quartet of guayabera-clad young Cuban men lounging on the patio, smoking cigars under a lazy ceiling fan. A server in crisp whites makes his way among tables that surround a gumbo limbo tree bejeweled with soft lamps hanging from its branches. Humphrey Bogart sits at the bar with a tumbler of scotch and a cigarette, while Esther Williams emerges from the spectacular fleur de lis-shaped pool. Okay, maybe not that last part, but there's a certain tropical elegance going on at the Raleigh, a beautifully restored design by L. Murray Dixon, crafted at the height of his career. The scene here is relaxed and unassuming, with plenty of breathing room for the charm of dreaming about zoot suits and big bands.

1775 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 33139
MAP
305-534-6300
PERSONAL BEST

Terri Weisberg is an easygoing, gentle woman who takes her profession seriously: "Years ago I worked at a little Irish place on the Beach called Kelly's, and one of my co-workers at the time was named Best Bartender by the New Times. I thought to myself, Wow, it would be so great to have that honor someday."

Weisberg can now be found either behind the bar or on the floor at Flanigan's Seafood Bar and Grill in Coconut Grove. She also makes special appearances at other Flanigan's locations around South Florida to train newcomers to the world of mixology.

But her manner, while often emulated, can't be duplicated. Slightly daffy but ever so attentive and kind, Weisberg combines a salt-of-the-earth tranquility with the keen skills of observation only someone with many years in the tavern trade -- nearly 30 -- can come by.

Best sports bar in Miami: Flanigan's Seafood Bar and Grill in Coconut Grove.

Best reason to live in Miami: Fun in the sun. We've got the best weather (most of the time), and there's always something happening for everybody.

Best cheap thrill: Going window shopping at one of our many malls.

Best not-so-cheap thrill: Not going window shopping at one of our many malls. I can't seem to get out of a mall without spending $200 or more. I guess it's a good thing I don't have very much time off.

Best beer on tap: Yuengling. It's America's oldest brewery, established in 1829 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

Best place to get away from it all: Miccosukee Resort & Gaming. You're in Florida but you're not.

What entertainment and relaxation trends do you forecast for the year 2015? There will be a new stadium for the Florida Marlins; there should be one well before 2015. There will be lots more indoor/outdoor restaurants on Miami Beach with great views of both the ocean and the beautiful city of Miami.

PERSONAL BEST

Terri Weisberg is an easygoing, gentle woman who takes her profession seriously: "Years ago I worked at a little Irish place on the Beach called Kelly's, and one of my co-workers at the time was named Best Bartender by the New Times. I thought to myself, Wow, it would be so great to have that honor someday."

Weisberg can now be found either behind the bar or on the floor at Flanigan's Seafood Bar and Grill in Coconut Grove. She also makes special appearances at other Flanigan's locations around South Florida to train newcomers to the world of mixology.

But her manner, while often emulated, can't be duplicated. Slightly daffy but ever so attentive and kind, Weisberg combines a salt-of-the-earth tranquility with the keen skills of observation only someone with many years in the tavern trade -- nearly 30 -- can come by.

Best sports bar in Miami: Flanigan's Seafood Bar and Grill in Coconut Grove.

Best reason to live in Miami: Fun in the sun. We've got the best weather (most of the time), and there's always something happening for everybody.

Best cheap thrill: Going window shopping at one of our many malls.

Best not-so-cheap thrill: Not going window shopping at one of our many malls. I can't seem to get out of a mall without spending $200 or more. I guess it's a good thing I don't have very much time off.

Best beer on tap: Yuengling. It's America's oldest brewery, established in 1829 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

Best place to get away from it all: Miccosukee Resort & Gaming. You're in Florida but you're not.

What entertainment and relaxation trends do you forecast for the year 2015? There will be a new stadium for the Florida Marlins; there should be one well before 2015. There will be lots more indoor/outdoor restaurants on Miami Beach with great views of both the ocean and the beautiful city of Miami.

BEST MARTINI

A librarian walks into a bar. She is looking for the best martini and an even better man. Sexy and sophisticated is the way she wants her martini and her mate. She scans the bar and finds an empty seat next to a handsome gentleman. They smile and the young bartender asks what she'd like. A girl likes an attentive bartender who won't keep her waiting and gives her three olives without even asking, and the Rose Bar delivers. They take the time to make a pristine martini that is cold, smooth, and with not a drop too much vermouth. She touches pinkies with the handsome gentleman as they reach for their martinis: hers a vodka (Grey Goose, $14) and his a traditional (Bombay Gin, $12). Did he call her a heathen? Doesn't he know James Bond drinks vodka martinis? Bond would commend the Rose Bar for a martini shaken to perfection and a little cloudy with tiny bubbles. She tells him that shaking increases the antioxidant activity in the drink, which can reduce the risk of cataracts, strokes, and cardiovascular diseases. He is impressed with her mad librarian skills and forgives her for not drinking a real martini. Elegant lighting, glamorous clientele, and scintillating conversation with a handsome fellow makes the night a delicious chapter in the sexy librarian's novel.

BEST MARTINI
Rose Bar

A librarian walks into a bar. She is looking for the best martini and an even better man. Sexy and sophisticated is the way she wants her martini and her mate. She scans the bar and finds an empty seat next to a handsome gentleman. They smile and the young bartender asks what she'd like. A girl likes an attentive bartender who won't keep her waiting and gives her three olives without even asking, and the Rose Bar delivers. They take the time to make a pristine martini that is cold, smooth, and with not a drop too much vermouth. She touches pinkies with the handsome gentleman as they reach for their martinis: hers a vodka (Grey Goose, $14) and his a traditional (Bombay Gin, $12). Did he call her a heathen? Doesn't he know James Bond drinks vodka martinis? Bond would commend the Rose Bar for a martini shaken to perfection and a little cloudy with tiny bubbles. She tells him that shaking increases the antioxidant activity in the drink, which can reduce the risk of cataracts, strokes, and cardiovascular diseases. He is impressed with her mad librarian skills and forgives her for not drinking a real martini. Elegant lighting, glamorous clientele, and scintillating conversation with a handsome fellow makes the night a delicious chapter in the sexy librarian's novel.

1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 33139
MAP
305-672-2000
BEST BIKER BAR

The bikers started showing up at the Nite Cap six or seven years ago. That's when bartender Biker Joe arrived looking for work. Biker Joe's friends -- leather-vested, hog-riding, heavy-gutted -- soon crowded the place, feeling right at home with the big American flag out front, the old veterans drinking inside, the 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. hours of operation (except Sundays, when opening time is 1:00 p.m.). The $1.50 draft beers didn't hurt. So far it has been a happy union. "Oh, we treat 'em real good," says Cookie McAlpine, a sprightly 66-year-old who, along with her since-deceased husband, bought the bar thirteen years ago. "We throw parties and stuff for them. If it's a real biker party, we put out a sign that says öBikers Only.' And we reserve the parking lot for bikes." Not to be missed is the Nite Cap's customized ceiling. For $35 an artist will paint something of your choice on a ceiling tile. Examples include: "David & Rona Together Forever"; "Stay Drunk, Avoid Hangovers"; and "In Memory of Shaggy Bob."

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BEST POOLSIDE BAR: The Raleigh Hotel

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