Best Miami Restaurants
by: Samantha Ferguson

Baleen Miami, perfectly set with the shimmering ocean and the illuminated Miami skyline, this Miami restaurant has topped the charts for favorite Miami restaurant for a romantic evening. Located in Grove Isle’s Hotel and Spa, Baleen Miami offers one of the best oceanfront dining experiences that is a seafood lover’s dream come true. Although very expensive, it is well worth it for those special occasions, as whoever may accompany you will truly appreciate your pick. To ensure that your experience is the best that it should be, request a table that faces the ocean before hand as these tables are limited.

Baleen’s Menu: We had the opportunity to enjoy a few great appetizers and entrees that were overlooked by executive chef Donna Whyter formerly of Nikki Marina and Donna’s Bistro. Our table expressed rave reviews for the Lobster Bisque with Lobster & Crème Fraiche ($13.50), the Tuna Tataki with Ponzu sauce ($14.95), and the abnormally large Crab Cakes with Avocado Salad ($13.50). For the Entrees, the Chinese Fried Snapper was cooked to perfection which was accompanied by coconut rice ($29.95) and the Kansas City Sirloin Steak that had a delectable herbed butter ($48.95). The Latin Mahi, which encompasses the local Miami flare, was served with a roast jalapeno-tomato mash and chimichurri sauce ($27.95).

Ortanique on the Mile, located on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, is’s favorite all-round restaurant in Miami. This small yet splendid restaurant, which features eclectic Caribbean cuisine, is perfect for any occasion such as Mother’s Day, a first date, or a get together of old friends.

Ortanique’s Menu: While dining at Ortanique, we enjoyed the West Indian Curried Crab Cakes ($16.00), which had a subtle but noticeable curried taste, and Ceviche Del Mar, which was the catch of the day. For the Main Course, we recommend the Black Angus Beef Tenderloin ($40) accompanied by manchego-truffled mashed potatoes. Another favorite is the Jerk Chicken Penne Pasta ($19) accompanied with sun dried tomatoes and shitake mushrooms in a cream sauce. The Horseradish Crusted Scottish Salmon ($28) is also very delicious.

Novecento in Brickell is’s favorite happy hour restaurant in Miami. Novecento, an Argentinean Miami Restaurant with a hint of Mediterranean and Pan-Latin cuisine, is a favorite among locals as it is great place to start your Friday evening. This restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, which for the latter, is especially lovely in the cooler months from November to February. Novecento is a fun place to wind down, meet new people, and have a few drinks with a great meal.

Novecento’s Menu: For happy hour, we recommend the Quesadillas ($7.95) and Seafood Tempura ($7.95). These scrumptious appetizers should keep you satisfied while you enjoy your drinks. For an entrée, we suggest trying the Milanga ($11.95), which is pounded beef or chicken that comes lightly breaded.

Las Culebrinas in the Grove, located on SW 27th Avenue and east of US 1, is our choice for best Cuban restaurant in Miami. If you can’t speak Spanish, don’t be intimidated as the staff is always accommodating and happy to serve you. With three other locations to serve you, Las Culebrinas in the Grove is always packed for dinner.

Las Culebrinas’s Menu: Las Culebrinas’s bread and garlic herbed butter is a mighty combination that gets the appetite going. With an abundant menu items to choose from, you will most likely need a couple extra minute when your server comes by for your order. We recommend the Salpicon de Mariscos ($7.50), which is a seafood combo in vinaigrette sauce, and the Camarones al Ajillo ($6.95), which is shrimp sautéed in garlic sauce.

Tantra restaurant is the place to try if you want to get a real sense of South Beach. If you are not a local or unaccustomed to the Miami Beach restaurant scene, Tantra may be a bit shocking to you. picks Tantra as the Best Miami Beach Restaurant to bring your out of town friends to. After entering Tantra from the fresh cut grass, get ready to have your senses aroused with scented Jasmine candles, music, sexual décor, and most importantly, the eclectic cuisine. Currently, Tantra is one of the trendiest restaurants in Miami and is considered to be a Monday night hotspot. Be prepared to see the chic locals here.

Tantra’s Menu: Don’t get too overwhelmed by the sultry names given to their appetizers. The Tantra Love Apple is definitely worth a try. Layered with Laura Chenel goat cheese, this Homestead tomato is sliced and drizzled with basil oil and pomegranate seeds. For a seafood entrée, we highly recommend the Florida Keys Black Grouper pan seared or the Ginger Kissed Salmon. For the Land lovers, the Double Cut Rack of Veal with Porcini will never disappoint you.

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About The Author

Samantha Ferguson is the co-founder of, which is a free restaurant guide featuring restaurant menus for consumers to view when making dining decisions.