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

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

Stiltsville Fish Bar - Seafood - Miami Beach

Southern hospitality meets seaside charm in the peaceful neighborhood of  Sunset Harbor....this is a must-go for anyone who has a soft spot for simply delicious food at a fabulously relaxing venue .... 

Describe the restaurant in three words: 

Warm, Relaxing, Inviting

Solo dining rating:


There is a large parking lot directly across from Stiltsville. There are also ample parking along Purdy Avenue and surrounding streets.

Can you eat at the bar? 
The Bar
There's a good size bar. There were a few solo diners sitting enjoying meals and drinks. Two large screen TVs on either side of the bar with surfing videos playing on a loop.

What to wear:
Stiltsville is a casual dining spot. Lots of shorts and flip flops, a few Hawaiian shirts and jeans...nothing over the top as is typical on Miami Beach. 

People watching/entertainment/atmosphere rating:
Stiltsville gets high marks from me in these three categories. There are exposed beams and air conditioning vents running along the ceiling. Softly lit low hanging lights, high top tables and comfortable sofa seating are the audience to the well stocked bar, which thrilled me with a few well crafted cocktails. The music perfectly added to the laid back vibes; reggae and oldies played softly overhead and views of Biscayne Bay glistened from the large clear garage doors that opened up to the outside dining patio. I sat alone at my high-top table and soaked in my surroundings; just perfect.

Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly
Stiltsville has what they refer to as the "Skinny Mermaid" menu which includes both low calorie and vegan options. Try the hammock salad, a mix of grapefruit, hearts of palm, avocado, local tomatoes, and butter crunch lettuce ($9/$15); and a smoked fish salad lettuce wrap po'boy filled with wood-smoked, roasted, and chilled local catch, lettuce, tomato, and house-made pickles ($14). According to Chef and co-owner Janine Booth, vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians will all have items from which to choose.

What is good about it for the solo diner?
Hotel Nacional
Everything! From the moment I walked through the door, I truly felt like I had been transported to small tropical hideaway in the Caribbean. I was warmly greeted and promptly seated at one of the high-tops near the bar. My server was Raul...easy on the eyes and equally friendly. He gave me a cocktail menu and made recommendations. I just happened to be there during "Crawfish Eddie's Happy Hour" and  took full advantage of the whole "drinks for two" thing. πŸ˜‰ 
I ended up choosing the Hotel Nacional which is a delightful mix of Havana Club Anejo Blanco Rum, apricot liquer pineapple juice, vanilla bean, lime juice ($7). I was ready to begin another evening enjoying food prepared by "Top Chef" alumni; this time Chef Jeff McInnes and Chef Janine Booth.

Cobia Tiradito

I decided to try the Miami Spice menu; $39 for a three course meal...can't beat that. Raul further described the menu and made suggestions. First course options included roasted oysters, smoked fish dip, cobia tiradito, sweet corn spoon bread, or a hammock salad. I chose the cob tiradito...great choice number one; it was delicious! Imagine avocado, crispy hominy and popped corn aji amarillo chili, cilantro and lime. The corn was actually popped! It may have very well been one of the best appetizers I've ever had...fresh with just the right amount of heat. 

Shrimp N' Grits
Main course choices included fried chicken, fish wings, pan seared fish and grits, or the local catch of the day, served either grilled or steamed. If you've read any of my past blogs, you know that I have a weakness for shrimp and my main course choice was a no brainer. I ordered another drink, and soaked up the atmosphere a little more. There were more diners now; the sun was setting over the bay and the patio doors were hoisted open. The setting sun flooded the dining room; it was beautiful. Then it happened... a huge bowl of what turned out to be the best shrimp and grits I've had outside of New Orleans was brought to my table. Over the years, the Miami Spice menu portions have been notoriously small...but not on this evening, and not at Stiltsville. The stone ground grits, creole sausage melted tomatoes, sweet peas, and shrimp butter was breathtakingly delicious!  
I did my best, but it was impossible to finish. I waited a while before ordering my dessert; my stomach was begging me to stop, but I couldn't. I had one more course to go and I'm no quitter.  It was another no-brianer...key lime pie. Yum!

What may not be good about it for the solo diner?
Stiltsville Fish Bar is perfect in every way for a solo diner. This is the kind of place where you can be as quiet and self absorbed or as social as you wish. It doesn't matter because your experience will be the same. The diners are all a part of what you would expect at a place called Stiltsville; a simple, relaxing, and calm escape from the norm.  

Would I return?
It's hard not to fall in love with the amazing food and vibes just feet away from boats bobbing on the waves of Biscayne Bay. Come for the food ... and stay for the sunset. I did. 😊

Stiltsville Fish Bar

1787 Purdy Ave.,

Miami Beach


Tapped App Review of Raul


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