Bienvenido a Miami [travel]

To conclude this week’s travel theme posts, we go to the beautiful South Beach Miami. These pictures are from a recent girls’ weekend and here are some places we dined at and loved!




This is acclaimed chef Michelle Bernstein’s restaurant in Miami. We stayed in South Beach and this was the only place we visited that was not in SoBe. Hailing a cab was such a pain, but this meal was well worth it!

We’re all big fans of roasted beets and burrata so naturally we ordered the roasted beet burrata salad. Loved the addition of the slightly tart and crunchy apple.

Simple yet delicate with bold flavors. Loved everything we ordered here. I was especially impressed with the curried butternut tagliatelle. It’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted before but everything on the plate just works!

The fettuccine carbonara was simply perfection. Serrano ham, cherry tomatoes, and peas…all together with Saint Andre cheese and a poached egg. Very rich and comforting.

Oooh these goat cheese gnocchi! So light and pillowly, perfect with the lamb meatballs and to soak up all the delicious harissa tomato sauce.

The best baked alaska I’ve ever had! It’s got a base layer of pistachio cake, then the rest dulce de leche ice cream and Italian meringue. The passion fruit salsa was the cherry on top and just tied the entire dessert together.


Lario’s on the Beach

A great Cuban restaurant on Ocean Drive. I had cravings for their cafe cubanos and cafe con leches for weeks after coming home from Miami.

Apparently they used to be “on the beach” but has since moved, or that they were under construction, not sure which. The restaurant, when we dined there, was tucked behind a hotel but we were seated right in the quaint courtyard. This was my favorite Cuban place from the trip. We were the only ones dining in the courtyard around noon, it felt private and exclusive. The service was wonderful as well.

Great roast chicken.

Order the ropa vieja! Shredded beef slow cooked in criollo sauce with onions and peppers. All entrees come with two sides of your choice. I am crazy about the moro rice (rice with black beans) and the tostones (crispy plaintains.)

Also, we realized that people don’t really eat until very late, such as 2pm for lunch or 8:30pm for dinner. Must be all the partying…this city truly doesn’t sleep.



A yummy Italian restaurant right on Washington Avenue, Organic Italian cuisine with a lot of options for Vegetarians as well as raw dieter. I was especially impressed with the asparagus flan, it’s a must if you dine here! smooth, silky, and delicate, with provola cheese, shitake mushroom, and white truffle infused oil. Yummy!

Burrata cheese with warm tomato confit…NEED I SAY MORE?

We enjoyed every dish but didn’t take a lot of pictures due to the dimmed lighting. Overall, a great restaurant, a little pricey, but well worth it. The manager and the staff were very attentive and fun to talk to. Reservation is recommended.


Polo Norte Restaurant

We wanted something simple and casual on our last night in South Beach, and were still craving more Cuban food so trusty Yelp came to the rescue. Polo Norte was just a couple blocks from where we stayed and it’s a casual Cuban eatery that serves homestyle Cuban food, Cuban pizza, wraps, and ice cream desserts. We especially enjoyed the Maraquitas con Mojo (fried plantain chips with mojito garlic sauce). Generous portion, too!

I loved the churrasco wrap, spinach tortilla filled with churrasco strips, white rice, beans, and maduros. We also ordered the guava bbq pulled pork pizza. While I didn’t like the thick doughy crust, I really enjoyed the flavor combo of the guava and bbq sauce, will have to try to make it at home sometime.

Of course we had to have a pitcher of Sangria! Polo Norte also serves fresh fruit juices and fruit shakes.

We didn’t order any of the ice cream desserts though everyone around us did. We did get the tres leches cake…a light and fluffy cake soaked in three different kinds of milk. It was a little bit sweet but just a divine way to end our dinner.


Tongue and Cheek

This place seems like a popular hangout for both locals and tourists. It’s definitely a fun and vibrant place to have brunch. They offer new American fare, with a little bit of that hipster vibe. We had a delicious brunch here although the price was definitely not pretty. Everyone enjoyed their dish and the only complaint we had was that some entrees’ portion sizes were small. Some cool dishes on the menu were the beef cheek burger and the beef brisket benedict. I wanted something with heavier flavors and their huevos rancheros did not disappoint. T&C also serves fresh juices and I ordered the carrot-ginger-pear-pomegrante juice and it was a lovely way to refresh and to re-energize.

These were so fun to eat – “munchkin” donuts filled with dulce de leche, with a side of spiced Mexican chocolate for dipping.



On our last morning in South Beach, we woke up bright and early to practice sunrise yoga on the beach. I supposed it was our attempt to “detox” and to undo any damages done that weekend. Beach yoga is A LOT HARDER than it looks, but being able to practice the sun salutation while witnessing a spectacular sunrise was very spiritual and enriching.

Pura Vida

After yoga, we walked a few blocks over to continue our detoxification. This restaurant didn’t look like much from the outside but once we took a look at their menu, we knew that they definitely know what they are doing. Pura Vida tailors to vegetarians of different levels, and yes they also serve proteins like chicken, turkey, and salmon. I loved their fresh juice selections! The above blended green juice was called “The Best Healthy” and was a blend of spinach, ginger, pineapple and strawberry. I loved it so much that I now frequently blend it for breakfast.

It was a bit chilly doing yoga on the beach so I wanted a hot breakfast. “The Hot Meal Bowl” was perfect! Brown rice, chicken breast, and guacamole on top of soup of the day (lentil). So wholesome, comforting, and yes it was delicious!

My girlfriends and I also shared an acai bowl. Acai is a powerhouse berry from the Amazonian Rainforest and is usually seen in the form of frozen puree. An acai bowl is a bowl of layered fresh fruit, granola, and semi-frozen blend of acai puree and banana. We loved the acai bowl at Pura Vida, very fresh and kept us full and energized or our long journey home.

Miami South Beach is full of wonderful cuisines, anywhere from the extravagant and luxurious over-the-top indulgences to the health-focused feel-good foods, and all the delicious Cuban food that I just cannot get enough of. I really do love this city that never sleeps, never a dull moment. Rowdy fun, great water sports, beautiful beaches, ample shopping, peaceful relaxation at spas, and most importantly, lots of great food! Until next time.





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