Eileen Andrade knows a good restaurant when she sees one. The local Miami chef runs a couple herself: Finka Table & Tap and Amelia’s 1931, two creative and delicious Cuban fusion spots. Her family also founded one of Miami’s most legendary Cuban restaurants, Islas Canarias. So, yes, she knows good restaurants.
And that’s why we asked her to walk us through some of her favorite date night spots in Miami. Andrade was kind enough to give us the scoop on the places she and her girlfriend love, ranging from beautiful outdoor restaurants where you can introduce the parents to intimate spots for cocktails and pasta. Below, in her own words, she tells us why she loves them.
“I love the vibe. It’s just a very sexy vibe. Nothing crazy - it’s not loud. It’s dimly lit. And you kind of forget that you’re in Miami and it kind of transports you to a completely different world. It’s always hard to get a reservation because it’s just a super popular date night spot. The service is always spot on. The food is always delicious and extremely consistent. I usually get the lamb chops. I’m a creature of habit and it’s hard to find good lamb chops in Miami.”
“I think the cuisine there kind of defines Miami. It’s tropical, with some Latin and Caribbean notes on the menu. The view is so Miami too. You’re going to see the bridge leading up to the beach and the water. It’s a tropical vibe, but it’s still sexy. And at night, it’s dimly lit and not too loud. It’s nice and private too, but I really love Amara because it showcases what Miami is all about. They have a grilled chorizo appetizer that I love. I went once with my girlfriend, and I kind of don’t remember what we ordered, but we went with my parents and her parents, and that’s actually where they first met each other. Maybe that’s why I also have such a fond memory of it.”
“This is our favorite date spot. We’ve been here - I don’t want to say too many times, because you really can’t go here too many times - but a lot. It’s traditional French cuisine - extremely simple but well done. Everything is extremely fresh. We always get the whole sea bream (daurade au citron). They bring it out for you, then debone it in the back and bring it out filleted. When the pumpkin risotto is in season, we always get that too. This is definitely a place that you want to dress up. It’s fancy and an expensive dinner - maybe better for an anniversary or a birthday.”
Editor’s Note: Jaguar Sun will end its Lot 6 pop-up on June 12. Soon after that, they will be moving back into their Downtown dining room soon.
“I loved their Lot 6 pop-ups. The venue was amazing and the massive tree in the middle of the space is breathtaking. But I’ve also been to their dining room in Downtown. Their martinis are amazing. Last time I went we had a couple vespers and espresso martinis. The Parker House Rolls are great too. Sometimes it sounds silly to order bread at a restaurant, but this is something you can’t skip out on. I like the Downtown space more for a Happy Hour or first date. It’s not too formal - you can kind of just mingle with other people at the bar.”