In a town fueled by high-profile moments, love often takes a back seat. Here, five local romancers serve up their favorite dishes to share, and reveal our city’s more amorous side.

Casa Tua
Scallops at Casa Tua


Romancer reviewer: India Hicks, jewelry designer and founding member of Casa Tua
Why Casa Tua: “The feeling of being removed from the hustle and bustle of South Beach, a hidden oasis behind a wall of green, a garden filled with candles and lanterns, fresh flowers, and starched white linen—what could be more romantic? The food and taste and flavor are completely European, which is often a challenge to achieve authentically in Miami. [My ideal romantic evening is] to be with my other half, David, at a small table in the upstairs bar having a cozy dinner with Miky and Leticia [Grendene], the owners and dear friends. At the end of the evening, there’s always a dessert, a plate of mini assorted Italian pastries and biscuits to be dipped into a sweet wine, or the cold zabaglione, with mascarpone cheese, rum flavor, and mixed berries. On a special night, I get a Bellini—fresh peach juice and Champagne.” 1700 James Ave., Miami Beach, 305-673-1010

Radio Bar
Radio Bar’s Rosé Kiss


Romancer reviewer: Teddy Collins, the “very happily with a girlfriend” bartender at Radio Bar
Why Radio Bar: “Everybody leaves their egos at the door when they come in. Patrons make eye contact across the bar; I’ll feel the energy and flip a couple of shots. Guys are pretty polite about it and will be like, ‘Whatever that girl wants or needs or is drinking, fill it up, tell her it’s on me.’ Our drink menu is progressive. For February, I love avocado margaritas—avocado is an aphrodisiac. I like to use reposado tequila. It’s aged, so it has a nice barrel-flavored, spicy taste. I muddle a half of an avocado, and I put in Chartreuse, which is an Italian liquor dating back to the monks. It’s a little bit creamy because the avocado has a nice silky texture. I also do a sugar, salt, and cayenne-pepper rim to get a sweet and spicy taste.” 814 First St., Miami Beach, 305-397-8382

The Setai Bar
Open-air dining at Cecconi’s

FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME: The Setai Bar and Cecconi’s at Soho Beach House

Romancer reviewer: William Garcia, concierge at the Delano
Why The Setai and Cecconi’s: “For a first date, I would start at The Setai, having drinks at the bar. That courtyard in the back is one of the most romantic places here. They have a jalapeño-infused passion drink [the Chili Passion martini] that I like a lot. It’s busy but it’s not crazy, so you can actually have a conversation. And then, I would go to Cecconi’s. The setting is spectacular. It has an open-air courtyard, the lights in the trees, the mason jars hanging from the pergola on the roof. On a first date, keep it light. They have an amazing octopus. Oysters, especially because they’re an aphrodisiac, are a great choice. For the main courses, they have a branzino with cherry tomatoes and olives, which is excellent. A couple of glasses of rosé would be great with the appetizers. They have a really good Albariño wine that goes well with the seafood. It’s a very crisp white wine that I love. It’s such an elegant, laid-back, and relaxed place, you feel very at ease when you’re there.” The Setai Bar, 2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-520-6400; Cecconi’s, 4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 786-507-7902

Smith & Wollensky
Smith & Wollensky at sunset

FIRE RESTARTER: Smith & Wollensky

Romancer reviewer: Nathalie Cadet-James, CEO and president of wedding/ party-planning company Luxe Fête Event Planning and Design Studio
Why Smith & Wollensky: “To rekindle romance, Smith & Wollensky on a Sunday at sunset is really a great place. I recommend the Charlie Smith [platter] with its seafood items like lobster, big shrimp, oysters, and clams. That and a bottle of Champagne, outside. Everyone is super friendly. It’s not fussy, it’s not pretentious, which is what I like about it—it’s not so much ‘scene.’ If you’re going to connect with someone, you want an environment that’s conducive to just it being about you guys. Being outside on the water, great seafood, a great bottle of Champagne, and then maybe the beach afterward, it’s truly romantic. The location is just as important as the actual food. I recommend it to clients and friends.” 1 Washington Ave., at South Pointe Park, Miami Beach, 305-673-2800

Whole Foods Market
Close encounters at the Whole Foods hot bar

CRUISING CORNER: Whole Foods Market in South Beach

Romancer reviewer: Zac Courtney, partner at digital creative agency DeepSleep Studio and cofounder of Teal Blue Management
Why Whole Foods: “At Whole Foods, you’re going to find the health-conscientious girl who’s taking care of herself. My friends and I have posted up at the standing bar in front of the registers. We’ve spent a Sunday afternoon there pulling prosecco bottles from the refrigerated area and picking up sushi or the hot bites that are ready-made. My favorite snack is the Miami Beach/Lido Beach club sandwich, one of the ready-made hot sandwiches: turkey, Brie, and tomato pesto. We put an iPhone in a cup and play music, and eat and drink at the Whole Foods and just people-watch—check everybody out as they’re checking out.” 1020 Alton Road, Miami Beach, 305-938-2800

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