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

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

Alter - American - Wynwood

Alter would have made my top five list for solo diners without me even tasting the food....

Describe the restaurant in three words:

Complex, Innovative, Electric

Solo dining rating:


Parking in Wynwood can be a challenge. There is valet parking, however,  there is also a ton of parking along the roadside. You may not be able to get a spot exactly in front of Alter, but you won't mind the walk if you do end up parking a bit away. Weekends—especially evenings—are packed. There's always Uber or Lyft as an alternative to driving but be prepared to wait for 10, 15 minutes, maybe more for your driver to make their way through epic traffic. Consider getting out and walking through the neighborhood where you can feast on the amazing wall art that makes Wynwood so special.

Can you eat at the bar?
There are two distinct sections of Alter; one inside where you have a great view of the kitchen and its inner workings, and outside which is more open and tropical in feeling. Outside is where you will find a full bar with a good amount of seats.

What to wear:
The dress code at Alter is typical of most Wynwood restaurants, chic but casual. The diners were a mix of jeans and sundresses, heels and sneakers.

People watching/entertainment/atmosphere rating:
It was only the second time in my ten month journey into dining out solo that my place setting was indeed set for one. There was no awkward, “Will you be dining alone with us this evening?” or “Are you expecting another guest?” Nope. I had made reservations for one, and they immediately sat me at my table prepared for one. Alter, one of many exceptionally innovative restaurants in Wynwood was a pleasure from beginning to end. The staff can best be described as a well-oiled culinary machine; the open kitchen is giving diners a front seat to the magic that is James Beard nominated Chef Brad Kilgore’s “Philharmonic". 

Alter definitely has a “warehouse look” that combines a true industrial feel with a range of other styles, from the earthy to the polished. The industrial look leaves nothing to the imagination; it lets the structure ‘hang out’ and bears its bones. Exposed air ducts and electrical conduits, concrete walls and columns left exposed, raw, and rough. Bright pink neon lights swirl above the interior bar and kitchen. Alter is pretty small, and as such, there are no long tables for big groups. Instead, the dining area has a definite intimate feel; lots of tables for between two and four guests. The dining area has a definite intimate feel; lots of tables for between two and four guests. At night the interior can be quite dark..but equally comfortable outside seating allows for light to flow. Pulsing background music was classic and old school; think Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and B.B. King.

Alter is definitely vegan/vegetarian-friendly.  Diners have the choice of choosing from an a-la-carte menu, or from one of three prefix tasting menus which include wine pairings. Both have vegan/vegetarian-friendly options.

What is good about it for the solo diner?
Soft Egg
I opted for the five-course tasting menu ($79 + $60 wine pairing). Having been forewarned that I would suck as a human being if I did not have the Soft Egg, I went with the Soft Egg. A curious combination of sea scallop espuma, truffle pearls, chive, and Siberian caviar. HOLY SH*T!!! It was one of the - if not the - most unique and insanely delicious dishes I’ve ever tasted!

My dinner continued with a magnificent Glazed Short Ribs for my main course, Mexican Chocolate for dessert, and a cheese course. All were served with perfect wine pairings.  
Glazed Short Ribs
Just when I thought the evening couldn't possibly get any better, I saw Chef Seth buzzing around the “pass”. I had to meet Chef de Cuisine, Seth Blumenthal. You’d think that the man on Forbes “Miami’s Best Kept Secrets” list would be too busy to chat with a foodie … but he wasn’t! I asked him a few questions about the meal and he generously gave me a few minutes of his time. The cherry on top, Chef Seth let me take a selfie with him!
Mexican Chocolate

What may not be good about it for the solo diner?
Sorry, not sorry. There are no negatives here. You can sit outside in the crowd and be social, or inside and soak up the magic that is Alter.

Would I return?
Absolutely! The food is extremely forward-thinking and out-of-the-box; I NEED MORE! On this same night, I would be seated next to another top-tier Miami chef … a lovely pastry chef from the Fountainblue and her husband celebrating an anniversary. She noticed my note-taking and the conversation grew from there. I was alone, but again, I was not lonely. It was a perfect solo dining experience in every possible way.

223 NW 23rd Street
Miami, Fl 33127

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