With its aqua ocean and balmy breezes, Miami is the perfect place to fall in love.
The most romantic restaurants share the same winning factors: a stellar menu, seductive cocktails, intimate ambiance, and exceptional service. Whether you want to wow your Tinder date or celebrate your longtime squeeze, let the sparks fly at any of these ten dining destinations.
Just be sure to book a reservation before you get dolled up.
Amalia1900 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
lennoxmiamibeach.com This charming, out-of-the-way South Beach spot screams romance, right down to the fair-trade, locally sourced Mediterranean fare that Argentine native chef Hernan Griccini prepares. Focusing on seasonal ingredients, Griccini produces shareable dishes from his open kitchen, ranging from organic beets to warm brie to grilled branzino.
Amara at Paraiso3101 NE Seventh Ave., Miami
amaraatparaiso.com Michael Schwartz's Amara at Paraiso is beautifully set on Biscayne Bay with lush indoor and outdoor seating, all with a waterfront view. The James Beard Award-winning chef, best known for his Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, calls Amara at Paraiso a "love letter to Miami." The menu includes Latin American-influenced dishes cooked using a wood grill and a Josper charcoal oven. This restaurant is so romantic, it features a special marriage proposal package that includes the best seats in the house, a photographer, and a special menu.
Casa Tua1700 James Ave., Miami Beach
casatualife.comSet in an inviting and intimate Mediterranean villa surrounded by a serene garden, Casa Tua feels exactly like its name: your home. The Tuscan theme extends to a menu that evokes a weekend getaway to Southern Europe: spaghetti, beef tenderloin, and branzino. Leave room for dessert — the signature dessert platter for two is not to be missed. And if you don't plan to drive, explore the encyclopedic collection of wines to pair with your fairytale dining experience in this hideaway on James Avenue.
Cecconi's Miami Beach4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
cecconismiamibeach.comItalian and Mediterranean dishes are served on a foliage-filled patio at this restaurant tucked inside the Soho Beach House. Begin your evening at the 14-seat bar before sitting down to dinner. Look up to find the night sky competing with thousands of tiny white lights twinkling in the many trees dotting the property. The menu is classic, and appetites are made hearty by the soft hint of salt air. The music of pounding waves is provided by the ocean just a stone's throw away. Because the goal of a romantic meal is to sate, not stuff, start with a classic tuna tartare, and share an order of handmade spaghetti with Maine lobster, chilies, and basil before moving on to Dover sole with lemon and capers, or the grilled seafood for two. Be sure to indulge in a final toast with the restaurant's housemade limoncello.
Juvia1111 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
juviamiami.comIf you time your arrival right, you can catch the sunset from the rooftop dining room complete with vertical gardens. (There's a special prix-fixe sunset menu Wednesday through Sunday evenings.) With panoramic views of South Beach and beyond, this penthouse-level hot spot is a great place to impress your date. The menu isn’t too shabby either, offering an eclectic mix of contemporary takes on Japanese, French, and Peruvian cuisine. Specialty cocktails such as the "Lavender Kiss" with rose gin, Dolin, lemon juice, egg white, and blueberry lavender syrup will help alleviate date-night jitters and let Cupid take aim.
Leku1100 NW 23rd St., Miami
lekumiami.com Most restaurants offer a place to dine, but the Rubell Museum has created a romantic masterpiece with its restaurant, Leku. Savor Basque cuisine in a lush tropical setting with dishes and cocktails inspired by the art showcased at the Rubell collection. Take, for example, the Allison, which is named for the painting by Allison Zuckerman which hangs over the bar. Dine a la carte, or indulge in the ten- or 15-course tasting menus (with optional wine pairings for each).
Mandolin Aegean Bistro4312 NE Second Ave., Miami
mandolinmiami.comTake a stroll along NE Second Avenue in the Design District and stop at the blue-framed door of Mandolin Aegean Bistro. Enter the 1940s home and feel like you're in a Greek village complete with blue and white accents. Head to the cozy back patio for a complete Grecian experience, and enjoy a seat at a lantern-lit table beneath the trees. Share the Greek sampler, which comes with warm housemade bread and a trio of dips — tzatziki, olives, and tirokafteri — and then feast on Mediterranean delicacies such as whole grilled sea bass and chicken kebabs — hearty chunks of grilled chicken served with orzo pilaf and maroulosalata, the classic Greek green salad.
Matador Room2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
matadorroom.comBypass the elegant midcentury-modern dining room at celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Latin restaurant inside the sleek Miami Beach Edition and opt for a table on the candlelit terrace. The wow factor of the stunning alfresco setting is enhanced by the menu. Crunchy calamari, caviar service, and arroz con pollo will make you immediately fall in love — with the food.
Noma Beach at Redfish9610 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables
noma-beach.comChef Donatella Arpaia gives one of Miami's most stunning dining venues a culinary facelift at Noma Beach at Redfish. The property — a gorgeous coral rock structure — is tucked into Matheson Hammock Park and is directly on the water, so your dinner soundtrack is accompanied by the gentle sound of the rushing waves and the hint of salt in the air. Start with a dozen oysters before decadent fire-grilled meats and Italian specialties, including a spaghetti alla Chitarra that's perfect for a re-creation of the famous Lady and the Tramp scene.
The Surf Club Restaurant9011 Collins Ave., Surfside
surfclubrestaurant.comIf your idea of optimal romance lies in a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie, then Thomas Keller's the Surf Club Restaurant is the only setting that will do. This exquisite restaurant is all "champagne wishes and caviar dreams," as they say. Thomas Keller's menu is a hit list of every decadent classic white tablecloth dish: Caesar salad served tableside, lobster thermidor, Dover sole, and beef Wellington — however, the precision, care, and passion that comes from the kitchen make each item feel like it was just invented.