Before our parents arrived in Miami for my birthday celebration, D and I gave much thought to where we wanted to feed them. Places that would satisfy both tastes, — my parents are Latin; his are American — somewhat showcase Miami and not empty
our their wallets. We did good, for they left happily fed and had few, if no complaints. The options were endless but here’s our brief guide.
Hosteria Romana – Ocean Drive is not fit for all parents, so for the South Beach experience we headed to EspaÃ±ola Way. Lively, but not too crazy. At Hosteria Romana, you’re in for a fun time. Servers sing, joke and carry plates on their heads. I’m serious. But the food at this Italian restaurant is good. They have a seemingly endless selection of homemade pastas, pizzas (watch out, they’re big), meats, risottos, you name it. Great choice for a special occasion. For a large group, try their Piatto Rustico, a platter of cheeses, vegetables, prosciutto, salami and other meats. Parent verdict: An A+.
429 Española Way, Miami Beach; 305.532.4299
Garcia Seafood Grille & Market – Not that the Miami River is very scenic but the idea of fresh seafood by the river has a nice ring to it. It was a rainy day, I got lost getting there and the outdoor seating area overlooking the river was closed. The inconveniences were worthwhile. Garcia’s has good quality seafood at reasonable prices. The grilled grouper and the swordfish are my favorites. Also try the fish ceviche appetizer. Oh yes and the flan was memorable, creamy and smooth. Parent verdict: My dad asked for seconds the next day. (Note: Go early for dinner; they close at 9PM).
398 NW North River Dr., Miami; 305.375.0765
Oasis Restaurant – This Mediterranean restaurant is good for a casual meal. If you’re driving down Arthur Godfrey, you can’t miss the tacky camel standing on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. The menu has a good selection of salads, sandwiches and platters. The turkey meatloaf with arugula and tomato chutney is a comforting and tasty meal. I’m a fan of their garden salad with green goddess dressing; add chicken and you have a nice dinner. Always check out their specials; the garden burger is another good bet and so is their chicken shwarma and steak gyro. Parent verdict: They’d go just for the pita chips and hummus they bring you before dinner.
976 Arthur Godfrey Rd, Miami Beach; 305.674.9005
Andiamo – Aaah, pizza. Andiamo at the 55th Street Station on Biscayne has some of my favorite pizza in Miami. Great toppings, not greasy and very tasty. This is another place D and I visit often for an Andiamo salad, pizza, an ice cold beer and car watching. Many people leave their nice cars to get detailed at the neighboring car wash and stop by to munch on pizza. Try Mulberry Street (Italian sausage, tri-color peppers, red onions, tomato sauce and mozzarella); Cappriciosa (proscuitto, artichokes, tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan); and my most recent favorite, Bella Bambina (pancetta, caramelized onions, tomato sauce, mozzarella, smoked Gouda and Parmesan). Parent verdict: It’s a good thing they deliver.
5600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305.762.5751
Panfiore – My best friend and I are big fans of this Italian sandwich shop by the Lincoln Road theaters. We would often sneak a sandwich into the movie theater and try not to annoy all other moviegoers while unwrapping it. I took my mom there once and she was hooked. Every time she visits Miami she requests a visit there. In fact, this time we went twice. Their sandwiches are filling and made with fresh ingredients. Favorites include the Pollicino (Parma ham, fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, olive oil, salt & black pepper); the Girotondo (turkey breast, fresh mozzarella, sun dried tomato, arugula & balsamic vinegar); and the Pulcinella (fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, olive oil, salt & black pepper). Parent verdict: My mom’s requests speak for themselves.
1627 Alton Road, Miami Beach; 305.674.0930
For more ideas, see last year’s Birthday Bites.
[tags] miami, dining, parents [/tags]