Have a few precious hours with your love (or potential love) and need a date night pick? South Miami has several ideal places to impress a date — whether it’s your first time out or ten thousandth. Choices include an airy Italian bistro, authentic Portuguese, traditional steakhouse, cozy Japanese, bustling Chinese, and lively Cuban, served with a side of Salsa dancing.
Spris Artisan Pizza
You’ll notice Spris’ airy dining room filled with eclectic décor and quirky light fixtures as you peer through the floor-to-ceiling windows, and feel compelled to grab a seat at one of the cozy leather banquets that line the restaurant’s perimeter. Inside, the scents of fresh pizza baking in the wood-oven will entice you and your date to order a couple of pies to pair with one of the various wines or beers on the menu. Other delicious dishes include the eggplant parmigiana, lasagna, calzone and meatballs. Even items on the lighter side, such as the assortment of bruschetta, Asian salad and oven roasted chicken are perfectly seasoned and prepared. Because Spris allows its proprietary pizza dough to rest for 48 hours, it’s easy to digest so there will be plenty of room for a specialty dessert to share with your sweetheart. Of the eight from which to choose, we recommend the Nutellino and the Zuccotto- both are filled with sweet, creamy chocolate goodness. Lovebirds who happen to be early birds can take advantage of Spris’ 5:30-7:00 menu, during which the price of select pizzas match the time of the order.
Winner of countless “Best of” distinctions, this elegant Portuguese restaurant is well known for its impeccable service and outstanding food. From the start of your meal until the finish, you are in for something special. Guests rave about the attentive service and cozy atmosphere. Favorites include the cod fish croquetas and the paella, but every dish is on point and can be perfectly paired with a bottle from the extensive wine list.
Technically in Coral Gables, but close enough to South Miami to count, Shula’s 347 has low lighting plus dark wood floors and tables that add to its stylish and romantic appeal. Sit at the well-stocked bar or in a booth to enjoy award-winning Shula Cut® steaks, which are center cuts of Premium Black Angus beef aged with Shula’s unique aging process and served with smashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Add shrimp or lobster for a more luxurious meal. While steaks are the main event, at Shula’s 347, guests recommend the crab mac and cheese made with Boursin cream sauce and the burgers. Portions are generous and the staff is attentive. The quiet ambience is just right for whispering sweet nothings to your date.
A South Miami favorite, Akashi, the name of which aptly translates to “gem” in Japanese, is a quaint little space with dark lighting and a stunning saltwater fish tank. The sushi bar boasts a broad range of fresh fish and seafood presented in an enticing display. The menu offers cooked Japanese dishes in addition to the generous and artistic preparations of seafood. Sushi boats are impressive but must be requested at least 24 hours in advance of your visit, so plan ahead if you want to really impress that special someone.
No Name Chinese
Wine lovers are in for a treat at this nameless, modern Chinese restaurant that serves nearly 100 wines, grouped in unique categories such as Sweet Juicy Dumpling Love; Luscious, Plush and Tropical; Delicate and Scintillating and Fat Daddy Juice, to name a few. The wine list alone should make for the start of an interesting date. Accompany your wine selection with No Name Chinese’s (that IS the name) upscale, contemporary Chinese cuisine and Dim Sum, created with locally sourced ingredients. The high-end service parallels the outstanding food. This is one favorite date destination that shall remain nameless.
Show off your sexy salsa skills at this expansive authentic Cuban restaurant that boasts a full bar, colorful decor and live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Take a break from dancing in the beautiful outdoor terrace or in the bright and lively dining room to enjoy favorite dishes such as the tostones with sour cream and caviar, arroz frito Cubano (Cuban fried rice), fresh fish and seafood and cap off your meal with the El Domingo dessert, dough layered with cream cheese ice cream, guava drizzle and candied pecans. No need to worry about calories at this hotspot. We’re sure you’ll dance them off.