As sharks education and celebration kicks off the week of July 23, what better way to celebrate these impressive animals of the sea than with a trip to one of these fine restaurants on the edge of Miami’s warm waters.
What makes Crazy About You so special–aside from the reasonable prices–is dining on the romantic cobblestone terrace, which abuts the bay and offers inspiring views of the sparkling skyline across the water. Sip a specialty cocktail or glass of wine by candlelight, and enjoy one of the signature entrees that invoke the flavors of Mexico, Spain, and Italy. Since it’s Shark Week, choose a dish from the sea, like the Tuscan Seared Salmon or the Chino-Latino Mahi Mahi, topped with a sweet ginger coulis.
Where: 1155 Brickell Bay Dr., Suite 101, Miami, FL 33131
The Rusty Pelican is an island unto itself: a great, sprawling building with wall-to-wall windows flanked by towering palm trees and surrounded by gentle emerald waters. But forget about the poetry of the place. What really matters is the menu, which is rife with exotic, contemporary seafood dishes with a distinctive Latin flavor that embodies everything South Florida. Dine al fresco and enjoy the incredible city view along with that delicious Chilean Sea Bass and Smoked Sweet Plantain Mash.
Where: 3201 Rickenbacker Cwy., Key Biscayne, FL 33149
This sweet little spot features a charming waterfront terrace that invites great conversation and a little romance beneath its rope-lit palm trees and clothed tables. Come at sunset for an incredible show starring the sky, and dine on fresh seafood with a twist. For starters, you can’t go wrong with the Fried Calamari with sweet chili banana sauce or the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with red pepper coulis and aji amarillo crema. Favorite entrees include the Cumin-Crusted Bigeye Tuna, Caribbean Mahi Mahi, and Pan-Fried Snapper drizzled with lemon ginger vinaigrette.
Where: 9610 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156
True to its name, La Mar serves up a mess of ultra-fresh seafood that you can enjoy overlooking Biscayne Bay and basking under the glimmering Miami skyline. Chef Gaston Acurio prepares authentic Peruvian fare, from upscale dishes a la the Andes to urban street food and the traditional seafood of the down-home coastal regions. His talent for fusing Asian and Peruvian cuisines is well known in foodie circles, and the signature cocktails he serves up are as elegant and nuanced as the ocean-colored decor.
Where: 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami, FL 33131
Crystalline aquamarine waters lap gently at the edge of Smith & Wollensky’s terrace, a cool stone space punctuated by umbrella-clad tables. At night, the warm glow of the Edison string lights and the slow, salty breezes inspire romance. This is the place to be for fine dining in South Beach. USDA Prime dry-aged steaks and just-caught seafood populate the contemporary menu, and you can’t go wrong with a steakhouse that specializes in martinis and Manhattans.
Where: 1 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
The River Yacht Club is a hip, happenin’ place, and it happens to have the perfect waterfront patio hangout for a lively, celebratory dinner. The high-energy vibe and the feel-good cuisine make for a satisfying night out. Chef Jeff Pfeiffer is all about seasonal menus and locally sourced ingredients, and his influences span the globe, from his Thai Coconut Mussels to the Scallops Provencal.
Where: 401 SW 3rd Ave., Miami, FL 33130
White linens, long-stem wine glasses, fresh flowers, and lovely water views are just some of the ways Il Gabbiano transports you straight to the Motherland. The fine Italian cuisine here features fresh pastas and scampis and fragrant, flavorful seafood, veal, and steak dishes. A fantastic wine list entices you to get just a little giddy, and the cool bay breezes and a friendly, attentive wait staff encourage lingering over espresso.
Where: 335 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33131
Casual and elegant, the Artisan Beach House serves seasonal selections made with fresh, local ingredients. Bold flavors, inventive pairings, and international influences are evident in the menu selections, which include steaks, half-chickens, short ribs and all manner of seafood. The patio offers ocean views as far as the eye can see, and if you come as the sun’s setting, you’ll get quite the eyeful.
Where: 10295 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour, FL 33154
If celebrating Shark Week is on your menu for July, do it in style with some fine dining oceanside. Look out at that great expanse of water, and send a happy little shout-out to all of our fine, finned friends out there.