By Josie Gulliksen and Yours Truly
Dial up the romance on Valentine’s Day with our picks for a romantic dinner, stroll through one of Miami’s most beautiful gardens, the angelic sounds of one of Opera’s masterful singers or spend the day as a pampered couple in one of the city’s iconic landmark hotels. Plus, two last minute additions you won’t want to miss. Here are our best bets for Valentines Day in Miami 2020. Note all prices are plus service and tax.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables
They’re calling it “Love in the Garden” and the name fits. The special Valentine’s Day concert begins at 5:30 p.m., perfect for watching the sunset and features the music of jazz and classic soul music artist Kitty Carmichael accompanied by a five-piece band. Bring your own picnic basket and blanket or choose from a few delectable packages for sale. The “Cupid’s Sweet Box” includes bonbons, chocolate covered marshmallows and pretzels, and a small red velvet cake for $20 and/or a large blanket for $25. Tickets are available for $65 for members and $80 for non-members. For $285 you can have the Between Us Package that includes an indulgent bag of goodies complete with a large blanket, fromage, crudités, wine, water and chocolates.
Zuma in the Epic, 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami
Located in the heart of Downtown on the bottom floor of the modern and contemporary Epic condominium, the Miami River views here are breathtaking. Equally impressive here is the ambiance and menu. For Valentine’s Day they’re offering an elevated menu where highlights include lobster tempura with sesame ponzu and truffle mayonnaise as well as grilled scallop with ume butter and mentaiko. Their prix fixe menus are $165 and $225 for a multi-course Omakase menu, the latter includes a few Wagyu beef options. They dial up the romance with décor that includes a suspended bird cage, white and red Tafta ribbons and flameless candles with pink, red and white orchids. Cancellation must be made 48 hours in advance. Seatings are at 5:30, 8 and 10:30 p.m.
AQ Restaurant by Il Mulino, 17875 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach
Boasting old-world elegance, with floor to ceiling windows that look out onto romantic views of the pool and ocean, AQ by Il Mulino is offering an indulgent four-course Valentine’s Day dinner. Classic items including grilled octopus with Campari tomatoes, black olives and potatoes, gnocchi pesto, filet mignon, pollo scarpariello and classic chocolate covered strawberries and tiramisu are just some of the options. Price is $150 per person and includes a complimentary glass of prosecco.
La Placita, 6789 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Five-time James Beard nominee Chef José Mendín’s homage to his beloved Puerto Rico, La Placita gets as much attention for their delectable menu of inspired and authentic Puerto Rican dishes as for their MiMo District building, painted in Puerto Rican flag colors. On Feb. 13 and 14 enjoy their special $50 menu for two while admiring the display of mortar and pestles inscribed with the names of famous Puerto Rican celebrities. The mortar and pestle are essential for making their Mofongo, Puerto Rico’s iconic dish made with mashed green plantains.Included in the shareable menu along with a complimentary glass of champagne is roast pork or churrasco steak, a few side options, salad and traditional Puerto Rican dessert Tembleque.
Tanuki, 1080 Alton Rd., Miami Beach
Located on South Beach, but in the quieter area of Alton Road, Tanuki’s atmosphere is whimsical Asian with a large but adorable hat-wearing bear sculpture to greet you as you enter. The open kitchen is also fun as you watch masters at their craft preparing eye-popping dishes. Feb. 13 and 14 they’re offering a $98 menu for two that boasts a nice variety of dishes. Choose from Prosecco or Premium Rose as your welcome drink then dishes to share include crispy snapper, salmon nashi and warm, comforting mushroom hot pot to name a few. Finish the meal with a sweet strawberry lychee heart and chef’s choice dessert. The menu is available Feb. 13 and 14.
Juvia, 1111 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
Set atop an ultra-modern parking garage that doubles as an event space, the rooftop Juvia on South Beach has the most enviably romantic views around. Perhaps because it’s located at the tip of Lincoln Road and therefore offers glorious views of the landscape all the way to the ocean. Having painted that picture, you’re sure to enjoy their $150 per person prix fixe menu choices of amuse bouche with foie gras mousse and apple toast, roast Peking style duck breast, braised pork belly with broccoli rabe and vanilla raspberry profiteroles with warm raspberry and caramel sauce. Throw in a complimentary POP Moet and your Valentine’s Day meal is complete.
Planta South Beach, 850 Commerce St., Miami Beach
Chances are you’ve never seen such a decadent sounding plant-based menu so if you’d like a healthier option for Valentine’s Day, Planta South Beach is a great choice. Chef David Lee’s upscale plant-based options are colorful, beautiful and delicious. On Valentine’s Day the prix-fixe sharing menu for two with highlights like a coconut, mango and avocado ceviche, plant-based croquetas, house-made “picadillo” empanadas and paella for two. End your meal indulging in the dulce de Leche soft serve with nuts and churros. Sharing menu is $65 per person.
Andrea Bocelli concert at American Airlines Arena
Celebrate Valentine’s Day a few days early with a date night to Andrea Bocelli’s Feb. 11 concert at American Airlines Arena. One of the world’s most beloved tenors, the Italian opera singer is beloved by the music industry’s biggest names like singer Celine Dion and music producer David Foster who agree about Bocelli’s “angelic voice.” He will perform music from his extensive repertoire including classic operas like “Aida” and “Turandot.” Concert is at 8 p.m.
Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables Candlelight Spa romance package
The iconic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables harkens back to another time and is the ideal romantic Valentine’s Day spot. Offering a Candlelight Spa romance package in a private candlelit couples’ suite it includes a guava massage featuring a warm hand massage with Cocolavie candle plus complimentary champagne. The package also includes complimentary signature chocolates to take home and they’re also offering a 20% discount on any candle on the day of booking. The romance package is $350 per couple.
AND JUST IN AT PRESS TIME, THESE ADDITIONS FROM KAREN:
Doma, 35 N.E. 26th Street, Wynwood
One my favorite places in Wynwood is Italian restaurant Doma. And happily, they have a V Day special that sounds scrumptious. The four course menu priced at $79 per person includes highlights like rib eye involtini, broccoli rape risotto, tiger prawns and lemon risotto, seared yellowfin tuna steak, 8 ounce filet mignon and strawberry caramel mousse. Indoor and outdoor dining in a garden courtyard.
M & V Restaurant, Cafe and Wine Bar, 12953 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami
A gem I just discovered thanks to culinary society Les Dames d’Escoffier is M & V Restaurant and Cafe in North Miami. You’ll be hearing much more about this Italian and French restaurant with chef Fabrice di Rienzo who is a disciple of culinary stars Paul Bocuse and Daniel Boulud. The French Lover menu includes three courses and a glass of Cremant de Limoux Rose Sparkling Wine. Starring dishes include foie gras terrine for two, a divine quenelle of Mahi Mahi on a bed of risotto with mushrooms, or short ribs braised in red wine with creamy radiatori pasta and parmesan. For dessert choose between house made chocolate lava cake or creme brulee. Price is $55 per person .