Ah, Valentine’s Day: a romantic tradition for many, an over-hyped holiday for some. No matter your view on the holiday, all food lovers can celebrate together, as this is often the night when chefs bring their A-games. Look for inventive food pairings, original themes, dreamy ambiences, well-valued prix fixe dinners, and lots of flowing wine. Miami has some of the best settings and offerings in the country for Cupid’s big hurrah (and this year, Valentine’s happens to fall on a weekend — bonus for weekend travelers). Fall in love with some of our favorites, below.
The Bazaar by José Andrés
Spaniards are a passionate bunch, and José Andrés doesn’t come up short. His mainstay, The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel, is offering a five-course prix fixe menu, inspired by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, on Valentine’s evening. Aptly titled “Neruda in Love,” dishes will include rose petals with honey and cotton candy foie gras, and mushroom rice with Alba truffles, roasted cod Porrusalda, and jamón serrano. Price of the menu is $150 per person.
BLT Prime at Trump National Doral
You may have recently seen the newest Trump property on Miss Universe or The Celebrity Apprentice, but you couldn’t taste what they’ve been cooking over at BLT Prime. The famed steakhouse will serve a special three-course Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu priced at $65. Menu items include Kumamoto oysters, braised rabbit rillettes, roasted arctic char, and red velvet cake. You can make reservations here.
A tasty and understated option in Miami’s hopping midtown area, Bocce is sure to please as guests enjoy a glass of Prosecco and a four-course menu for Valentine’s Day. Highlighted dishes include ostriche affumicate with oysters and smoked citrus granite; maltagliati all'astice with lobster, butternut squash, and kale; half branzino with Mediterranean sea bass; and tortina di mousse al cioccolato (baked chocolate mousse). $55 per person.
VanDutch yachts are getting in on the V-day action through a partnership with Roberto Cavalli’s restaurant (Valentine’s Day happens to fall during the Miami International Boat Show). VanDutch rose wine will be poured inside as jazz music plays in the background. An à la carte menu will be served as well as some specials from the chef. Oh, and the upstairs lounge transforms into an A-list dance club after midnight. Email them for reservations.
Cecconi’s Restaurant at Soho Beach House
Truly one of the most romantic (and best) meals in Miami is at Cecconi’s. Though situated in one of the city’s swankiest venues, the restaurant is reasonably priced, beautiful, and delicious. While they aren’t serving a specific Valentine’s Day menu, this is one of the more romantic settings you’ll find. The best table is 107, situated directly under the famously lit tree. Don’t miss the truffle pizza or pumpkin tortelli.
City Oyster and Sushi Bar
The South Florida restaurant scene is big and Broward County — just 30 minutes north of Miami, has some exciting offerings as well. One of the area’s finest, City Oyster & Sushi Bar, is not just working the couples crowd, but also catering to groups of friends (girls’ night!). The journey begins with the Sweet Heart Roll (crab, mango, avocado, red tobiko, spicy tuna, spicy mayo, and eel sauce) before diving into delicious mains like the pappardelle with shrimp, and the pan roasted bronzini with Brussels sprouts. End the night with a delicious homemade dessert like creamy chocolate peanut butter pie with peanut brittle.
Essensia Restaurant at the The Palms Hotel & Spa
Essensia at The Palms Hotel is taking a direct route on Valentine’s Day, offering a menu featuring 18 of the best natural aphrodisiac ingredients, including: oysters, avocado, harissa, crab, asparagus, ahi tuna, and many more. From the passion in the preparation to their genuine farm-to-table cooking (ask for a tour of their beautiful outdoor garden), they’ve earned the right to name this menu “seasoned with love.”
Yes, Miami Beach’s famed landmark has numerous restaurants, but this Valentine’s package is unique. The “Dinner & Show” features a BleauLive performance from Grammy Award-winner Michael McDonald. Priced at $175 per person, the package includes one pass to BleauLive, a two-hour open bar with specialty cocktails, and pre-show dinner (at 6 or 7 p.m.) at Michael Mina 74. The meal features items like lamb meatballs, Florida snapper, truffled chicken bucanti, and MM74 beignets.
Florida Cookery at the James Royal Palm
Located smack in the middle of South Beach, Florida Cookery always manages to offer inventive food while keeping a low profile. Their romantic three-course dinner will be served outside, around the beautifully lit pools. The menu includes oysters two ways; a surf and turf entrée comprising braised short rib with parsnips, English peas, and a sautéed diver scallop; and a choice of chocolate passion fruit gateau with chocolate hazelnut micro cake or raspberry gelée. Before heading to dinner, stop by the James Club for delicious Valentine’s cocktails, including The Love Potion and Sweet Indulgence.
La Savina Mediterranean Grill at The Mondrian South Beach
As Sobe’s only westward-facing luxury hotel (with breathtaking nighttime views of the Miami skyline), the Mondrian offers one of the city’s most romantic settings. La Savina’s new restaurant chef Tien Ho (named "The People's Best New Chef in New York" by Food & Wine Magazine while he worked at Momofuku) offers dishes inspired by the island of Formentera, Spain. Top selections include hamachi with Serrano chili; scallop with yuzu, jicama, and sorrel; crab salad with espelette, grapefruit, and Spanish olive oil; Valencia rice with braised kale and slow-roasted tomato; and a 24-ounce Niman Ranch grass-fed ribeye.
Mandarin Oriental, Miami
One of the most stunning hotels in Miami, The Mandarin Oriental offers breathtaking views of the city’s skyline. The property’s two upscale restaurants have both created mouthwatering Valentine’s options. At Azul, a sumptuous five-course menu will be served from 6:30 to 11 p.m. for $148 per person. Patrons will enjoy Laurent-Perrier Brut champagne with dishes like Beausoleil oysters, Maine Lobster espagnole, and wagyu beef duet. The hotel’s slightly more casual but no less stunning La Mar by Gastón Acurio will serve a trio of special dishes created in celebration of romance. The “Power, Passion and Spicy” menu is a la cart and features dishes like the “Passion Tiradito” with thinly sliced salmon, peanut sauce, and passion fruit leche de tigre.
Ortanique on the Mile
Lovers of cocktails will delight in Ortanique on the Mile’s distinctive offerings, a great option before or after dinner. In addition to menu specials, the restaurant has created a themed cocktail—the Lovers Lane Martini. The delish martini includes muddled sweet watermelon, St. Germaine, lychee juice, and Bacardi Grand Melon.
The Setai, Miami Beach
One of Miami Beach’s most sophisticated hotels, the Asian-inspired Setai is offering a five-course Valentine’s menu from 7 p.m. until midnight. The evening kicks off with complimentary glass of Taittinger Brut, Prestige Cuvee for the couple. Dishes include Kuchi oysters, a hamachi crudo, farm egg caviar, lamb polpette, and a chorizo paella. For dessert diners will enjoy a “Ménage a Trois Red Velvet Heat:” Valrhonna chocolate mousse, feuillantine, and raspberry crémeux. Price: $145 per person.
One of Downtown Miami’s few rooftop restaurants is laying it all out with a four-course Valentine’s Day dinner. Savory dishes include the Marilyn Monroe (shrimp tempura, crab salad, scallop, and spicy aioli), red heart ravioli in lobster sauce, and pork chop Neapolitan-style. Desserts such as the lava cake with raspberry coulis and compote will leave diners with a sweet taste. There will be three seatings: 7, 9, and 11:00 p.m., $95 per person. You can make reservations on their website.
Traymore at Metropolitan by COMO
The newly opened Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach, the inaugural hotel property in the U.S. by COMO Hotels and Resorts, is taking things up a notch for Valentine’s Day. The property’s Traymore Restaurant is offering a four-course menu consisting of chilled east coast oysters with cucumber and Thai chili mignotte, slow cooked black cod with red ribbon chard, and coffee crusted dry aged beef tenderloin with cherry-bone marrow butter. The dinner is priced at $75 per person, and reservations can be made by calling the restaurant or by emailing them.