Although my favorite cuisine to eat in Miami was Cuban, for dinners I enjoyed Italian and Chinese. To share with you are dinners at Cecconi’s @ Soho Beach House and Hakkasan @ Fontainebleau. Both restaurants offered great ambiance and service. Enjoy!
1. Cecconi’s @ Soho Beach House (dinner)
Classic! Romantic! Beautiful restaurant with the most amazing Italian food. The Tres Leches here is divine despite it not being an Italian dessert. The service is outstanding. Make reservations ahead of time.
p.s. Since the restaurant was so dark, my food photos turned out horrible, and thus I improvised with a few pictures I found online - image courtesy of Cecconi’s, Yelp, Google Images.
Cocktails for my husband and I while the rest of the group enjoyed a bottle of red + complimentary bread on the side.
Tagliolini, Mushroom, Truffle (left) – my dish… unbelievably good, the truffle and mushrooms together complimented one another.
Ravioli, Ricotta, Spinach (right) – hubby’s dish… very tasty, but a small portion.
Other dishes ordered that I did not try…
Rigatoni Bolognese (left)
Spicy Salami, Red Onion, Mushrooms Pizza (right)
Tres Leches (top) – exceptionally good. Why? Because it was completely soaked in cream sauce. The best I've had to date!
Tiramisu (bottom) – very good, light and creamy.
LOCATION: 4385 Collins Ave @ Soho Beach House, Miami Beach, FL.
MENU: Cecconi’s menu
VERDICT: 5 / 5
Perhaps I’m being too generous with my rating compared to some of the reviews I found on Yelp, however I thought everything at Cecconi’s was perfection. I was thrilled with my drink, my meal, the desserts, the ambience, the service, even the value. Given a restaurant of this caliber, one that is so elegant and romantic, I found the prices to be quite reasonable. I loved Cecconi’s and this is one place I will return to the next time I'm in South Beach.
Food: Excellent | Drinks: Excellent | Décor: Outstanding | Service: Outstanding | Value: Excellent
2. Hakkasan @ Fontainebleau Hotel (dinner)
Hot & Swanky restaurant. Good for Cocktails and Dim Sum, but save yourself some bucks and skip the mediocre, flavorless entrees.
Muga Rose Wine from Rioja, Spain – we each had a glass and some. Light and fruity wine, loved!
Dim Sum Platter (top left) – consists of 2 vegetarian dumplings, the rest are seafood. Delicious platter, worth it.
Crispy Almond Prawn w/Pear (top right) – almost like a fried shrimp dumpling, crunchy, unique, tasty.
Grilled Shanghai Dumplings (bottom left) – chicken dumplings were bland. Let down!
Roasted Mango Duck (bottom right) – although I’m not a fan of duck, our group still ordered it. I didn’t like the taste or texture, nor did it pair well with the mango.
Rice Noodle Vermicelli w/Shredded Chicken (main) – this noodles were good, but again didn’t have that wow factor.
Sautéed diced Chicken w/dried chili in “Szechuan” style (top right) – sorta like Kung Pao Chicken, but underwhelming. It was good, but not good enough.
Tofu Claypot in Black Bean Sauce (bottom right) – there was no flavor in this dish, a total waste of money.
Sanpei Chicken Claypot (main) – not a bad dish that consisted of basil, but not enough gravy, and the chicken had bones. Not too impressed.
Roasted Chicken Satay (top right) – total failure, boring dish, this is not what we expected. Chicken Satay should be grilled with those grill marks. Misleading name!
Jasmine Rice (bottom right) – perfection!
Mango Custard w/grapefruit, calamansi, and coconut – out of this world. Just tasted like a mango mousse with flavors of coconut. Outstanding and gorgeous presentation!
LOCATION: 4441 Collins Ave @ Fontainebleau, Miami Beach, FL. (global locations - London, Mumbai, & more)
MENU: Hakkasan menu
VERDICT: 3 / 5
Man, what a huge letdown! Given the quality and décor of this gorgeous restaurant, one would expect nothing short of perfection, however to my dismay that wasn’t quite the case. Every single of the 5 entrees ordered were underwhelming. The appetizers were hit or miss with my favorite appetizer being the Crispy Almond Prawn. I would have loved to try the Wild Mushroom Lettuce Wraps, however since we were in a group, I had to be conscientious of other people’s taste palettes. On the other hand, the dessert here was outstanding, simply out of this world. It was the perfect ending to an otherwise average meal, a light dessert with a mousse-like texture that almost melts in your mouth. Heaven!
Despite my harsh review of the food at Hakkasan, I’m not completely ruling it out, this sexy establishment would be a great spot for Cocktails and Dim Sum before heading out to a lounge/club. However, DO NOT SQUANDER YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY ON DINNER – IT IS A TOTAL WASTE!!! Unbelievable how they get away with serving such mediocre, flavorless entrees at high prices just because they can. Unfortunately, this was the worst meal on the entire trip, and yet the most expensive. Shameful!
Food: Average-Below Average | Drinks: Excellent | Décor: Outstanding | Service: Excellent | Value: Average
The food looks insanely delicious!!!
Thanks Asmita, it was.
You look gorgeous in that picture with the white blazer!!! I've been to Hakkasan and I wasn't impressed either. So overrated, but gorgeous!
Thanks Kate. I agree, Hakkasan is so overrated.
Agreed with Kate- you look stunning in that photo :)! I'm not usually the biggest fan of Chinese fusion but now I'm craving it like no other. Believe it or not, the Mumbai Hakkasan is actually part of the chain. My favorite dim sum on the menu is the truffle & edamame dumpling....so delicious 🙂
Thanks K.. that's so sweet of you to say. Yes, I saw, Mumbai Hakkasan is part of the chain, I'm wondering if the Mumbai version is slightly more Indo-Chinese... that would be awesome... so much more flavor. I love edamame dumplings.
Eva @ Eva Bakes says
Whoah - I totally missed both of these places the last time I was in Miami. I need to go back just for Cecconi's. That tiramisu looks amazing!
It's okay Eva, definitely check out Cecconi's, the tres leches was even better than the tiramisu, surprisingly! 🙂
Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking says
Wow, Honey! Looks like you totally soaked up your culinary experience in Miami. What a wonderful bunch of restaurants!
Thanks Georgia... it was totally a culinary experience like all my trips.
Cecconi’s sounds like an amazing dining experience. Great reviews!
Thanks Pam... it was a great experience.
I've been to Hakkasan in San Francisco, which actually just opened less then a year ago. I got to go the day before it opened and eat everything for free, thanks to a close friend of mine working there. The ambiance and service was undeniable. I had someone escort me from my table to the restroom! However, the food was less then desirable. I would of been happier eating at a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant. You are definitely paying for the name and environment at this place!
That's great everything was free, great hookup. 🙂 The food is so mediocre, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so. Yup, definitely paying for the ambience.
You look gorgeous in that picture. I think white is a great color on you!
Sorry Hakkasan was such a let down. There are so many overrated places that I can't stop going to though so I understand that you can't write it off!
See you tomorrow...here's hoping we won't be writing off that fabulous bakery!
Thanks Ameena.. that's so sweet, I like white too. 🙂
I know, I'm the same way, if a certain place has a certain number of reviews, I have to check it out for myself... it's hit or miss. I would go back for drinks and dim sum.
Yes, I don't think the cafe will be a let down, I so need to eat a salad, I've eaten so much crap lately.
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
Gorgeous you and thanks for making me so hanggggrrryyy at 1am with all these deliciousness.
And I agree with you about satay -- it should be grilled and not roasted 😉