South Beach’s southernmost point was once known for some random waves and stone crabs. Today, it has emerged as a foodie focal point, boasting some of the best restaurants in Miami. And while credit must be given to the place that started it all—Joe’s Stone Crab, the venerable seafood landmark where sitting and former presidents have cracked crustaceans next to rock stars and entertainment moguls for over a century—South of Fifth, or SoFi, rather, has exploded into a tantalizing slice of culinary real estate.
While Joe’s is the Grand Poobah of SoFi restaurants, the Don Corleone of the scene (emphasis on “scene”) is the glitzy, glammy steakerie known as Prime 112, which often feels like a melting pot of hipsters, high-flying CEOs, musicians, socialites, and other SoFi regulars. Sure, the $25 Kobe beef hot dog is a major attraction here—as are the steaks—but it’s the parade of drool-worthy fancy cars and their equally fancy drivers that attract gawkers and gastronomes. When things get a little too red-carpet crazy at Prime 112, the vibe might be a little more mellow across the street at its Italian sibling—aptly named, yep, you guessed it, Prime Italian—where the meatballs are almost as gigantic as the personalities that frequent this saucy spot. There’s also Prime Fish around the corner, for those see-and-be-seafaring folk craving a delectable Dover sole.
Red, the Steakhouse
As small as SoFi is, it’s still big enough restaurant-wise to sustain another stellar steakhouse, this one being Red, the Steakhouse, a fave of several celebs, where a “reserve” of steak selections includes dry-aged tomahawk rib eye and A5-grade Miyazaki Japanese Kobe beef. All steaks are seasoned with a zesty mash-up of Kosher salt, peppercorns and an “aglio brushing.” Whatever that is, it’s delicious. The difference between Red and Prime 112 is not so subtle; it’s like comparing Red’s siren-like, starlet-esque sultriness to Prime’s more bombastic, rap-star-quality flash and self-awareness.
Also in the ‘hood is Estiatorio Milos, where Miami meets Mykonos. A high-end Greek and Mediterranean restaurant, Milos is where those forsaking prime cuts take their power meals. Stellar seafood and service are serious biz here at one of the city’s best restaurants, where the signature dish—a three-pound whole fish in sea salt—has been described by critics as nothing short of theatrical, especially since the fish is deboned and stripped of its salty cover-up right at your table.
Light but hardly least is My Ceviche, which can be yours too if you crave Chef Sam Gorenstein’s light, fresh, and flavorful take on wild-caught seafood tossed with onions, tomatoes, and cilantro and mixed with his rockin’ riff of a citrus-based sauce. It’s fast, light, and far from fancy—but it’s right up there with the SoFi standard of stuff-your-face excellence.