By Nikki Konefsky
Miamians are craving more from local restaurants these days and eateries are responding by getting into the groove and serving up live music as a sumptuous side dish - yummy. So whether you prefer Latin drum beats with your arroz con pollo or classic rock as an accompaniment to your cheeseburger and fries, favorite local haunts are spicing things up and offering customers a large musical menu. Below are some of the places that struck a chord with us.
Soya e Pomodoro
The perfect blend of Italian hospitality and downtown Miami charm, Soya e Pomodoro has patrons dancing on their feet the latter part of most weeks. Served alongside delicious pasta and seafood dishes, the restaurant's musical fare is eclectic, energetic and well...it just rocks. On Thursday nights, Soya plays host to a Cuban jazz band -- think Buena Vista Social Club -- with guitarist and trumpets to boot. Friday nights the musical talent varies as several local musicians that play for diners, like occasional visits by seven-year-old guitar prodigy Lucciano Pizzichini, who has jammed with the likes of Santana and Juanes -- and yes, he's still in elementary school. Amazing music compliments amazing food at this citified eatery. The whole experience is sure to leave you saying gratzie!
120 NE 1st St.; 305-381-9511
Luna Star Café
Similar to kicking back and listening to tunes in your best friends living room, Luna Star Café in North Miami offers visitors a truly balanced experience. With interesting and eclectic live music, often featuring impressive singer/songwriter types with a folk flavor, we recommend checking out their website to get the 411 on what they have cooking -- musically speaking that is. Foodically speaking, their menu is extensive and delicious with fresh, mouthwatering paninis, salads, pizzas, desserts and much more. This intimate neighborhood joint also boasts over 50 different domestic and import beers and an array of caffeinated beverages to keep customers vibeing to the music all night long.
775 NE 125th St.; 305-799-7123
The favorite watering hole of University of Miami students and seniors alike, Sunset Tavern has been rocking South Miami and beyond for over ten years. Like their food and beverage selection, Sunset Tavern offers a variety of musical acts to enjoy alongside your pressed duck sandwich. Robbie Hunter, a local acoustic guitarist plays there most Wednesday and Friday nights, DJ Holly Rock spins the latest tunes on Thursday evenings and you can ease into your workweek with the Mike Bordelon Quartet, a nice complement to Sunday brunch on the patio. Sunset Tavern is good old neighborhood fun, and the joint is definitely in tune with what their diners are looking for.
7230 SW 59th Ave.; 305-665-0060
At Sheba, live music and a chance to eat with your hands -- just remember to wipe before you clap. Photo: Nikki Konefsky