Warm nights and art deco lights make up the glamorous backdrop of Miami and lately, a burgeoning culinary scene fringes on the dominant DJ-devoted territory. While the sun sets at 7 p.m., the night doesn't start until 9, a fashionably late hour for dinner and a little shopping (retail stores close as late as midnight) before a night on the glittering town. On my first visit to this electric city by the sea, I center my agenda in exploring Miami's hottest restaurants that cater to a group of girls that just want to indulge luxuriantly and leave with a weekend's worth of hush-hush memories.
There's no better way to kick off a girls weekend in Miami than a glitzy, showstopping night at El Tucán, an experience that brings 1940s Cuba right into Brickell. El Tucán encases pure elegance and vintage glamour, from the retro ticket booth to the opulent decor in tropical pink and green hues. Brassy palm trees tower over the dining room as they embellish the high ceiling with the disco ball and the second story mezzanine that houses the VIP room and bar. After a soulful singer warms up the crowd as each table in the house is filled, the show commences with a ringmaster-style host and so does the 6-course tasting of savory Latin cuisine, perfectly paired with a round of the best champagne and carefully crafted cocktails for your table. A medley of incredible performers grace the stage and audience - a handsome Cuban singer captivating all with his buttery voice, a fun and flirtatious burlesque tease, and an electrifying troop of sequined dancers to name a few - all backed by a live, vivacious 11-piece Latin orchestra. As the night went on, you're further transported into a dreamy night at the famous Tropicana in Havana of the 1940s and the allure and desire to experience the original cabaret in Cuba nested in my current year's goals. El Tucán's taste of old Havana couldn't have arrived at a more opportune time as Cuba's once-forbidden island opens up to the U.S., serving more than just a dinner and a show, but more importantly as an introduction to a world to be seen.
The Miami Beach EDITION is a brand new hotel destination right on South Beach, with a gorgeous lobby that caters to the marble-sophisticate instagrammer and palm tree enthusiast (see first photo in post), but really pays homage to mid-century Miami glamour. Whether you're visiting for the marble pool table or the sexy minimalist poolscape, you must stop by the Market at EDITION. Warm light pours in from the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Collins Ave and appetizingly-displayed gourmet stations await to serve you seafood, charcuterie, and desserts amongst an extensive menu of fresh, healthy fare dreamed up by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Each of the marinations from the Raw Bar is a MUST, before diving into a rich charcuterie and cheese board. Literally any of the pizzas will satiate and the angel hair pasta with ricotta cheese is a heavenly experience for the carb-lover (who isn't?). It's Miami, so you can't miss out on their decadent Key Lime Pie, but the star of the dessert menu is the Sundae with Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Popcorn that blows away your sundae expectations. Couple all of this with their Lychee Belinis or Bloody Marys and you've got a fabulous morning-after luncheon with your girls, before taking a dip in the pool.
It's comforting to have a familiar taste of home in a new, exciting setting, so I took my girls to STK Miami Beach, a favorite steakhouse to frequent back in LA. Its swanky, decadent decor with plush leather booths and sexy lighting lives up to its locale in the Art Deco District and stays true to their tagline "not your daddy's steakhouse." No matter the night, the clientele is consistently dressed to the nines and ready to party, presumably during and after their juicy steak. The DJ sets and energetic vibes of this chic restaurant turn a traditionally stuffy restaurant to a posh destination for drinks, food, and revelry. STK Miami Beach takes the classics seriously, so you can't go wrong with any of their prime steaks or Seared Foie Gras. Don't forget to order the Mac and Cheese and Parmesan Truffle Fries, because you're going to dance it off the rest of the night anyway. If there's a place to be seen and to finish an unforgettable girls weekend in South Beach, STK is it.