Finding the Best Spots for Solo Dining in Miami and Fort Lauderdale

2018 Dinner for One; Drinks for Two. Powered by Blogger.

Oporto Cafe - Mediterranean - Miami

Being of Portuguese descent, I was eager to go to Oporto Cafe in Miami for some authentic Portuguese cuisine. This solo diner was not disappointed! 

                         Chouriço Assado

                        Amêijoas a Bulhão Pato

Describe the restaurant in three words:

Outstanding Mediterranian Dishes

Solo dining rating:


Metered parking along the roadside (strongly recommend using Parkmobile) 
Parking behind the restaurant can be a little tricky
Uber is easily accessible

Bacarhau com Lagosta

Can you eat at the bar?

No; there is no bar for you to dine at in this restaurant. That doesn't mean you'll stick out like a sore thumb at a table for one. It is a relatively quiet yet cozy and intimate restaurant. That being said, there's a greater chance of you sitting at a table for one.

What to wear:

Florida Casual; Jeans and T-shirts mixed with more casual chic atire

People watching entertainment rating:

Not much to look at unless you're sitting next to the large window near the entrance. Even then all you see are dinners in the small outdoor seating area. You could be creative and try to read the lips of other diners like I did; give them accents, backstories, and conflicts to resolve before the check arrives. 😆

Organic/Vegan Friendly

Yes; many of the appetizers and entrees are seafood; if you'd prefer a particular ingredient left out of your meal, just give your waiter advanced notice.

Main Dining Area

What is good about it for the solo diner?

Being of Portuguese descent, Oporto Cafe was on the top of my list of restaurants to explore.The best thing about dining #onthesolo at Oporto Cafe is the amazing staff. I will single out Raul who actually managed to make me feel l as if I was having dinner with him! 😊 He was extraordinarily attentive and checked on me numerous times during my dining experience. It was not done in a hovering manner; more like someone who wanted to make sure that even though I was the only solo diner in the restaurant, I felt welcomed and comfortable. In between courses, he stopped by my table to ensure I was enjoying the meal and in need of nothing.

Their wine list is mainly Portuguese, and as such I enjoyed two glasses of Pinta Negra Tinto. 🍷
I decided to be a tad gluttonous and order two appetizers to accompany my wine; both of which are depicted in the above photos. The Chouriço Assado (grilled Portuguese sausage, $9.95) came out first, fully lit with a warm flame. As a lover of 99% of seafood (I don't do octopus) I also ordered the Amêijoas a Bulhão Pato (clams cooked in garlic, cilantro, and white wine sauce, $12.95). Both were extremely well prepared and delicious.
As my main course, I ordered the Bacarhau com Lagosta ($39.95). There are over one thousand ways to prepare Bacarhau (codfish) and Oporto Cafe features ten delicious options; I was not disappointed with my choice. A bed of fresh red peppers, garlic, and onions supported the perfectly grilled Bacarhau. The lobster was equally deliciously prepared with garlic and butter.

Some other options on the menu include Grilled Sardines served with Baked Potatoes and Salad; Beef Short Ribs cooked in Red Wine Sauce and served with Rustic Mashed Potatoes; Grilled Octopus topped with Olive Oil and Garlic, served with Mashed Potatoes, Onions, and Peppers; and Alentejo style Chopped Pork served with Clams and Fried Potatoes. 

I am not a big connoisseur of desserts, so I elected to forego the sweet treats at the end of the meal; however, Raul graciously completed my meal with (one, or two, or three 😉) servings of a Port from Portugal. This was a very memorable and enjoyable part of my dining experience, as Raul fully engaged in fun and light-hearted conversation with me during the last 15 minutes of my time at Oporto Cafe. A reasonable bill (considering I ordered so much food) for a delicious and  authentic Portuguese meal in SOFL.

What is not so good about it for the solo diner?

Because Oporto Cafe is so intimate, and there is no bar at which to dine, the inexperienced solo diner may find their experience awkward and intimidating.

I was seated at the back of the restaurant (close to the restrooms), while couples and groups were seated closer to the heart of the restaurant. Raul, as mentioned, was very friendly, and personally, I never felt awkward or uncomfortable at my table. He checked on me regularly and made me feel welcome. 

If you're a new #onthesolo diner, I suggest bringing something to occupy your time while awaiting your courses; your phone, a book, or anything else you may use to pass the time. The staff is very friendly, but you may actually 'feel' like you're dining alone.

Would I return?

I would (and did with my sister) return to Oporto Cafe. It was an outstanding and authentic Portuguese dining experience in Miami.
My Partner in Crime 😊

Oporto Cafe
2257 Coral Way
Miami, Fl 33145
(305) 859-2228

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