Since its debut as the Miami New Times’s Best New Bar of 2010, Brickell Irish Pub has been dishing up hearty Black Angus burgers with porter-beer mustard and aged white cheese washed down with beer, whiskey, and cocktails, frequently to the tunes of live bands. Sports such as football, basketball, and thumb wrestling light up 20 HDTVs and a vast projection screen, and poker nights, sports nights with pool and darts, and other events keep crowds lively. The kitchen, meanwhile, infuses the air with the heady scent of glazed korean barbecue ribs, irish crab cakes, and chicken marinated in dijon mustard and topped with pecan-wood-smoked bacon and whole-grain avocado mustard.
The decor follows suit, traipsing along in the Irish trail that the beer and bites carve. Barrels of Guinness and Jameson lean against green walls in the mood-lit bar, and intricately carved dark woods and overstuffed booths lend the space a spirit soaked in heritage. Every year, Brickell lends its party-ready attitude to a rollicking St. Patrick's Day street festival, whose crowd toasts inside and in the streets.
Instead of turning to friends to set them up or winging it online, Miami's singles often seek out the expertise of Heart Tango, a speed-dating enterprise that helps match young professionals with like-minded individuals. Daters meet up at area eateries and lounges known for their romantic vibes and heart-shaped restrooms. Once there, singles search for a match among approximately 20 people, spending a few minutes each with prospective significant others. After the two- to three-hour events, daters can log into their profiles, which become available 24–48 hours after the close of the evening and alert them to mutual love connections.
Nestled in the heart of Brickell, Temaris beckons to passersby with fresh seafood and sushi, ideally enjoyed with an ice-cold glass of Japanese beer or sip of sake. Guests lounge on the spacious sidewalk cafe area dining on South American-style ceviche, salmon ladled with mango sauce, or seared tuna with spicy ponzu. Omakase chefs prepare specialty temari plates and rolls made with ingredients such as grilled chicken, avocado, salmon, and narutomaki tuna, while desserts such as mochi ice cream and Brazilian bonbons cap off meals.
Fusion cuisine is exciting because it can be a maze of unexpected flavors and startling twists on tradition. A certain level of compatibility is also important, though. It's a relief, then, that chefs at SuViche—voted the No. 1 favorite at Grand Tasting Village—chose two culinary traditions that draw heavily from the sea. Plates here blend Peruvian and Japanese ingredients and techniques, allowing sushi rolls to shine alongside fresh ceviche. The acidity of pickled ginger makes flavorful sense in bowls of ceviche, in which citrus juices already sparkle sharply, cooking sashimi-like cuts of fish. Wonton chips and teriyaki traditional in Japanese dishes also give ceviche a crunch and a sweetness that seem obvious in retrospect. And the exchange works both ways: golden aji peppers and cilantro give sushi rolls hints of spice typical of South American cuisine. Diners can watch the chefs roll maki or hold retirement parties for popular spatulas in the open sushi bars.
Within the colorful walls of Hamachi Fusion Cuisine, chefs dice and slice a kaleidoscope of veggies and seafood both cooked and raw, creating an eclectic menu of sushi rolls. Their raw version of a california roll tucks tuna or salmon into seaweed wrappings, an alternative to their cooked version, which uses the more familiar crabstick. Jalapeños top the Hamachi Special roll’s spicy tuna filling, and the Celebration roll pairs crisp shrimp tempura with creamy avocado and cream cheese.
After meals, patrons can also sip drinks at a sleek U-shaped bar whose underside glows electric blue or lounge on sleek black banquettes as ancient Romans did during gladiatorial games' traditional sushi breaks.
At Chinois Chinois, chefs prepare familiar Chinese and Japanese dishes but set the dishes apart by adding a touch of American flair. They mix veggies into pan-Asian noodle dishes including lo mein, pad thai, and curried singapore noodles, and they prepare nearly a dozen seafood dishes. At the sushi bar, chefs roll out more than two dozen classic delicacies, such as salmon and cream cheese or shrimp tempura drizzled with spicy mayo. They also plate temaki, long, conical rolls stuffed with raw fish, and they arrange sushi boats filled with more than a dozen pieces.
Guests can dine amid statues of Asian deities and shoji screens that pop against deep-red walls, or they can sit on the outdoor patio, which is sheltered from the street by a row of leafy palms.