Byline: Roxanne Robinson

For the seasoned (and savvy) South Beach visitor, a “fine dining” experience on Ocean Drive can sound like culinary torture. But there are at least two notable exceptions: 1220 and the Terrace at the Tides Hotel.
Overseeing both restaurants, as of recently, is chef Paul Wade. Beyond the shared helmsman, however, they offer two distinct experiences.
The Terrace provides alfresco dining on the front porch, where one can take in all the sights, sounds and cool breezes from Ocean Drive while enjoying the cafe-style menu.
On the other hand, 1220 is a more suitable destination for the hungry in search of a full fine-dining package, where each detail is attended to. Positioned inside, near the hotel’s lobby, the restaurant features live piano accompaniment Wednesday through Saturday.
For starters, some of the highlights are the pan-seared foie gras and the special appetizer of Florida conch, with black trumpet mushrooms and white truffle oil. The seared beef tenderloin served with lobster spring rolls is a refreshing take on the “surf ‘n’ turf” cliche, while the pink snapper fillet served with mango risotto is a quintessential Caribbean treat. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert — the key-lime cannoli is one of the finest key-lime treats out there.

Also while in South Beach, be sure to check out Bambu, South Beach’s answer to Nobu. It’s partly owned by Cameron Diaz, making it one of the best see-and-be-seen eateries of late. And if you’re looking for a little respite from the madness, look into staying at the Century Hotel, which is under new management. The rooms have been given a face-lift, and the friendly, service-oriented staff is a rare treat in South Beach.

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