As couples and groups gather for dinner around Caribbean lobster, steaks, and tapas, the wine flows freely, and eventually, the stillness of early evening gives way to the revelry of nighttime. Flamenco dancers climb onto tabletops, music begins to play, and diners set down their forks to clink glasses, deliver celebratory champagne baths to their loved ones, and do some dancing of their own.
This is the scene at Casa Panza, where dinner transforms into an all-night party. Set amongst Little Havana's sparkling nightlife, the Spanish cafe wraps festive visits in an equally festive experience. Outside, a bastion façade mimics that of a fortress, and inside, Spanish tiles, bodega-style wine racks, and hanging ceramics further immerse guests into the exotic decor. On Friday and Saturday nights, flamenco dancers flock to La Cueva, a party area where 50 to 70 guests can take in the show while noshing on tapas and paella. Even more live music can be found at Salon Rojo, a ballroom and nightclub that books performers from around the world and hosts private receptions for up to 250 guests.
Each case of the munchies is unique. Luckily, The Munchies Grilll is more than prepared. Colombian, Mexican, Venezuelan, and Peruvian dishes all have a place here, from tacos to arepas stuffed with chicken, shredded beef, or cheese. Carne asada or grilled pork chops with rice, beans, and plantains are just a couple of the filling meal options. Less expected menu items include hot dogs loaded with crushed potato chips, mozzarella, and Munchies' sauces. Burgers, salads, and steak sandwiches are also available. For sugary cravings or particularly demanding sweet teeth, check out the Munchies Delight, composed of cake, vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.
Named Best Healthful Fast Food in 2009 by Miami New Times, Pepper’s Burrito Grill crams burritos and tacos full of fresh ingredients, and grills up a sizzling menu of quesadillas, enchiladas, and other traditional Mexican fare. Rice and beans rub shoulders with pico de gallo and cheese within the cozy walls of the fish burrito, waiting to be joined by a cuddly companion of beer-battered tilapia and its beer-battered teddy bear ($8.99). Heath-conscious diners can opt for a whole-wheat tortilla for $0.50 extra, or switch to grilled fish at no additional charge. Dress up a shrimp taco “A La Mex” with a hard or soft corn tortilla topped with onion and cilantro ($3.99). An appetizer of queso fundido primes palates with melted chihuahua cheese, sausage, and peppers ($5.99), and a refreshing margarita is perfect for cleansing the palate in between more margaritas ($4.50).
Looking for the antithesis of a South Beach bar? Get to Wood Tavern in Wynwood. Known for its outdoor bar with shared picnic tables, bleacher seats and plenty of standing room, this local hangout is miles away from the pulsing, expensive vibe found elsewhere in town. Graffiti is everywhere, from the walls to the tables to the classic Cadillac parked on the side of the bar, and the joint offers a wide variety of craft beers from local breweries, though more national labels are also available. Be prepared: seating is first-come-first-serve, and the place gets busier the later it gets. No reason to get dressed to come to this truly neighborhood establishment – people come to drink and socialize.
Half Moon’s empanadas are made from scratch daily, using fresh ingredients, a soufflé cooking method, and a secret dough recipe designed to titillate taste buds. Design your own dozen by choosing from 16 different handcrafted empanadas, jammed with meats, vegetables, and spices. Offered in regular or spicy options, beef and chicken empanadas fold floury flesh around a medley of meat, onion, pepper, and egg. Other edible pouches come loaded with creamed corn and béchamel sauce (the corn); smoked pancetta, mozzarella, and plum (the Americana); and bacon, cheese, and herbs (the bacon cheeseburger).
Drumline Live transports the African-American marching-band tradition to the vaunted theatrical stage of the Arsht Center. An armada of musicians culled from historically black colleges gathers in a vibrant stage show, with vivid, drum-filled musical selections illustrating the drumline's artistic lineage in African culture through classic Earth, Wind & Fire cuts and chart-busting top 40 hip-hop hits. While dazzlingly complex drum cadences fill the audience's ears, choreographed dance routines keep their eyes from the temptation to turn into a second set of ears. This Groupon nets a single seat for the January 16 performance on the second of four tiers at the architecturally striking Arsht Center, which also features elegant dining options (not included with this Groupon).