Save the date: Pinecrest

 

You and your date could use some fresh air -- time to head to Pinecrest.

wayside market image
Get fresh at Wayside Market. Photo: Chris Cutro
 

By Nikki Novo

Even after you two shared an insightful conversation on where to find the best mojitos in Miami, you still can't really tell if he has a soul or not. Maybe happy hour at Blue Martini isn't the best way to get to know someone after all. One thing is for sure - he did look good in that suit. You've decided he deserves a second date, but this time you're handling the details. Challenge him to venture south of his Grove limit and join you for a day outdoors in a far away land called Pinecrest.

You have an activity-filled day ahead of you, so start by grabbing a bite to eat at Pinecrest Wayside Market. Referred to as "The Fruit Stand" by locals, the outdoor market has held its place in the elite neighborhood since 1948, selling everything from locally-grown produce and homemade hummus, bread and arroz con pollo. Test his sharing skills by picking up a bag of organic chips and a container of their delicious chicken salad (made fresh in the back kitchen). Saddle up to one of the wood benches surrounded by towering Banyan trees or take it to go, but don't forget to try their famous milkshakes made with fresh fruit, low fat yogurt and your choice of honey or sugar.
Pinecrest Wayside Market, 10070 SW 57th Avenue, 305-661-6717

Just a few blocks down, past where Red Road meets Old Cutler Road, is tranquil Matheson Hammock Park, offering nature trails perfect for a leisurely bike ride. Take the bike path through the 100-acre park for scenic views of the mangroves, greenery and charming ponds.
Matheson Hammock Park, 610 Old Cutler Road, 305-665-5475

If you haven't felt the desire to throw him and his bike into the mangroves yet, cross the park to the south and take a peaceful stroll through Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. In addition to its succulent landscapes, Fairchild currently exhibits impressive sculptures by Fernando Botero, Dale Chihuly and Roy Lichtenstein. Give him a chance to catch his breath and take the guided tram tour -- although walking hand and hand might be preferred.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, 305-667-1651

The sun is about to set, what better way to end the day than at one of Miami's most romantic settings, Red Fish Grill. Housed in a coral rock building, the enchanting restaurant offers breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay. Keeping with the outdoors theme, you won't want to miss dining outside on the candle-lit patio, enjoying the bay breeze and beach views. Start off with their tasty calamari, which doesn't even require marinara sauce. Next, choose from any of their perfectly cooked seafood dishes, the grouper being the local fave. Lastly, order a bottle of wine and toast to second chances.
The Red Fish Grill, 9610 Old Cutler Road, 305-668-8788

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