Prelude by Barton G – Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center
1300 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33132
Prelude by Barton G serves up a feast for the eyes and the senses. It’s an American restaurant that focuses on high-quality style and offers gourmet food arranged so beautifully, you won’t want to eat it. It’s the second South Florida Barton G. owned by restauranteur extraordinaire Barton G. Weiss and it’s centrally located inside the Adrienne Arsht Center, so you can avoid paying for parking or valet twice and conveniently walk across the street to the the Ziff Ballet Opera House having a full belly and having experienced fine cuisine before a night of opera. In addition, you won’t have to worry about proper dinner attire as your opera evening wear will be a perfect match for this locale. For the best deal, order from the pre-fixe menu and pay $29 per person for a two-course meal.
Los Ranchos Steakhouse – American Airlines Arena
401 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33132
Convenience is key when choosing a restaurant before a big event, but so is taste. Los Ranchos Steakhouse has Latin food that’s so good, its website is called BestSteakInMiami.com. It’s located inside the Bayside Marketplace, which is directly across the street from the American Airlines Arena so you can park at the Triple A and then walk over to Bayside. Enjoy a hearty churrasco steak and a generous side of rice and pair it with Miami’s signature drink, the mojito. Attire is casual, so don’t worry about being underdressed or overdressed. Your rock or hip hop clothes will do just fine and with entrées starting at $13 per person, you won’t break the bank.
Bongos Cuban Cafe – Hard Rock Live
5733 Seminole Way
Hollywood, FL 33314
Bongos Cuban Cafe is a great introduction to Cuban food if you’ve never tried it. If you’re a Cuban cuisine connoisseur, you might find the food a bit tame for your liking, but it will be satisfying nonetheless. Bongos is famous in South Florida mainly because its owners are Gloria and Emilio Estefan, who are basically the queen and king of the Miami music scene. Unlike the Bongos adjacent to the American Airline arena, this locale is toned down with neon blue and purple lights that reflect the Miami nightlife but with seating and decor that match the sophistication of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino where it is located. So again, you can walk from the restaurant to the Hard Rock Live and not have to move your car or change your casual attire.
Related: Best Music Venues In South Florida
The Knife – BB&T Center
12603 W. Sunrise Blvd.
Sunrise, FL 33323
If you have never eaten authentic Argentinian food, then you have simply never eaten a good cut of meat. The Knife is an Argentinian steakhouse with several locations in South Florida. This location is in the Sawgrass Mills Mall so while you will have to park in an entirely different location, you will not have to pay twice for parking. Again, Argentinian restaurants are heavy on the meat, so expect thick cuts of steak and heaping portions of sausage, fresh off the grill. There are also salad options and chicken alternatives for those who aren’t so keen on red meat. Partake of the full bar to enjoy a pre-show drink and save a few dollars since the prices are semi-reasonable with dinner averaging around $30 per person.
Bin 18 – James L. Knight Center
1800 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33132
Unlike the other venues, Bin 18 will require a small drive of about two miles and you’ll have to pay for parking on the street and depending on whether or not the American Airlines Arena has an event that night. Bin 18 is one of those little gems that most people still haven’t discovered. It’s not big or fancy, but you can get an amazing wine selection paired with savory tapas and your casual attire will be welcomed. There is a $35 pre-theater menu that consists of combinations of tapas, or order a surf and turf-inspired entrée instead. However, you must try either the cheese plate or the warm figs, both of which take savory to a new level and will leave a lasting impression on your palate.
Related: Best Tapas In Miami
Niema Hulin was born in Newark, NJ but raised in Lexington, South Carolina for the bulk of her formative years. In 2002, she moved to Miami after graduating from the University of Florida. Since then, Niema has worked in film, television and commercials as a Production Assistant and Production Coordinator. Some of her films have included Bad Boys II and I Am Number IV. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.