Note from Karen: Thanks to a reader for this blogpost idea!
Where to hold that special dinner or event for a group of friends or family? Here’s Part 1 of a two part series of the best event spaces Miami. In this first part, we focus on private dining rooms, from wine cellars and whimsical Mediterranean lounges to a restaurant tucked inside a Downtown Miami art gallery: our seven picks for the best private rooms Miami’s restaurant scene has to offer:
Byblos is a swank Mediterranean spot on Miami Beach, and if you throw a private event there, it gets even swankier. The private dining area is 2,300 square feet in space—meaning it’s large enough to host a seated dinner for up to 55 people. The food alone is enough to impress; think modern Eastern Mediterranean plates like red-chili lamb ribs with dukkah and buttermilk sauce, Middle Eastern fried chicken with tahini and za’atar, and sweet jeweled couscous with saffron, barberries, and almonds. Add good food like that to a room with deep red velvet curtains, candlelit tables, plush velvet couches with teal and patterned maroon pillows, a shimmering bar that glows in the room’s dim lighting, VIP service, and of course, beautiful people-watching, and you’ll have one refreshingly “Miami” twist on your haute Mediterranean night out in South Florida.
La Cava at Faena Miami Beach
If you’ve been to Faena Miami Beach, then you know that nothing there is done lightly. And at this over-the-top, Instagram-worthy hotel, the same holds true for its private dining rooms. Perfect for wine lovers, Faena Hotel’s La Cava room puts a 22-seat, hand-carved rosewood dining table (the work of Frank Pollaro) right in the middle of a 2000-bottle wine cellar. The intimate ambiance and posh feel is only further complemented by the room’s dim lighting, plush red leather seats and enchanting lit centerpieces that give the table an ethereal feel. In terms of food, party organizers can choose from plates from Los Fuegos or Pao, or create their own customized menu alongside the hotel’s executive chef team.
The brainchild of Chef Michael Beltran, who was once sous chef at Michael Schwartz’ Cypress Room, Ariete serves a New American menu that’s as unique as it is delicious. The private dining room follows suit! Hidden in Ariete’s basement, this private dining room—also called “La Cava”—is marked by coral walls, candlelit tables for up to 50 guests, and wine cellar lockers where the restaurant team can guard your precious commodities… a.k.a., your favorite bottles.
The Forge is a Miami institution, and for good reason. A 1920s blacksmith forge turned star-studded restaurant and wine cellar, this celebrity favorite is a knockout—one with original Dali and Rousseau paintings, wall sconces from Napoleon Bonaparte’s own bedroom, a Paris Opera House chandelier, a library, hanging Swarovski crystals, “Mad Hatter” chairs, cathedral ceilings, Tiffany stained-glass panels and an eight-room underground wine cellar with 300,000+ bottles. There are a few private dining options here and you can’t go wrong with any of them. That said, the gem is definitely the wine cellar. Right in the middle of its multi-million-dollar collection, there’s a long glass table with throne chairs and standout chandeliers, perfect for private dining groups of up to 14.
Quaint LaMuse Café is Alice in Wonderland come to life! It’s whimsical. It’s inviting. It’s a restaurant in an art gallery—Avant Gallery—that’s covered in so many art pieces, grassy vines, flowers and colors that you won’t know where to look first. Attached to the side of the EPIC Hotel, the cafe delicately spills onto Biscayne Boulevard Way, making for a cozy indoor-outdoor venue that you can buyout and have all to yourself. Like the name implies, a space like this is all about inspiration. Rent it for your next private dinner for up to 110, and let the playful setting, artist-fueled food and “living room” feel set the tone for a fanciful night in Downtown Miami.
Gianni’s at The Villa Casa Casuarina
South of Fifth
Most Miamians know about Gianni Versace’s ornate Ocean Boulevard castle, but if you have yet to go, just picture the wildness of Versace’s designs in a multi-million-dollar oceanfront mansion. It even has a name, Villa Casuarina, and is decked out in retro, jaw-dropping design elements and interesting architecture, many pieces of which were flown in in from Italy. Everywhere you turn, another Instagram-worthy moment awaits: like a pool lined with 24-karat gold tiles, two rooms made entirely out of seashells, and a mosaic of Versace’s signature Medusa head. With a recent renovation came a standout Italian restaurant, too, Gianni’s. Choose from any of its lavish private dining areas, be it the open-air courtyard, the terrace overlooking the mosaic garden, The Moroccan Room, or Medusa’s Dining Room, and enjoy a dinner party with haute Italian plates.
Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis
South of Fifth
This is one of the best Mediterranean restaurants in Miami—and around the world. At Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis, expect classic Mediterranean fare with a haute, creative twist; like the signature vegetable appetizer with lightly-fried zucchini, eggplant, tzatziki and kefalograviera cheese, or the Ekmek Kataifi dessert with layered phyllo, custard and chantilly cream, all topped with pistachios. The swank, all-white spot sits on the equivalent of South of Fifth’s “restaurant row.” Its private dining room looks a lot like a mini library, minus of the fact that it’s filled with round white dinner tables, a 67-inch flat screen TV and plenty of lighting, and can fit up to 55 seated guests and 70 standing.