Wine racks the color of warm wheat chaff crisscross the walls at Holleman’s Restaurant, the sleek bodies of the bottles reflecting servers as they slip through the dining room. The vessels, stamped with labels from France, Argentina, and Italy shimmer beneath visions of Black Angus steaks, fresh pasta, and racks of New Zealand lamb. From the kitchen drift the scents of garlic-and-rosemary demi-glace and cognac-and-peppercorn sauce. In that busy room, New York strip steak crackles against the open-flame grill and chefs busily mold crabcakes.
Beneath wrought-iron chandeliers, the high-topped tables are covered in crisp white cloths like ghosts appearing in traffic court. On some evenings, the smooth twang of an electric guitar fills the room, flitting softly beneath a crooning singer.
Doma Polo Bistro is a Buenos Aires–style bistro that pays homage to the sport of kings, both in its decor and in its menu of proteins hearty enough to replenish famished polo players. In reality, it might be more likely to fill the bellies of another kind of athlete—the Miami Heat play just across Biscayne Boulevard at American Airlines Arena. The most outrageously carnivorous option available to mighty appetites may be the picada de parrilla, a trove of grilled skirt steak, blood sausage, chorizo, golden sweetbreads, veal kidneys, and beef or chicken empanadas, served with an ode to meat recited tableside. Even in less decadent feasts, the Argentine taste for beef makes itself known via rich stews and subtly spiced salads.
As the wait staff—which the Miami NewTimes called “extremely attentive, friendly, and timely”—help them rifle through the menu, Argentine transplants and other Miamians alike dine in an enormous space built to resemble an elegant barn. Below raw wooden rafters, leather booths are cut into stalls that are lit softly by copper fixtures. On one wall, some 2,500 wine bottles bearing more than 150 different labels peek out from a metal grid of cubbies.
Flamma pairs the brisk elegance of waterfront dining with a robust menu of richly seasoned meats. Diners glide up via boat, car, or ghost horse to sup on the flavorful foodstuffs, with exotic entrees including the stew-like fish moqueca ($24), seared ahi tuna ($25), and Hawaiian pork chops ($19). More traditional steakhouse fare includes a center-cut filet mignon ($29) and New York strip ($27). Visitors with indecisive tongue brains will delight at the full Rodizio ($46.90) option, which merits entrance to a ceaseless parade of meats hewn fresh from the skewer to the diner's plate. This feast includes options such as brazilian sausage, flank steak, leg of lamb, and chicken parmesan drumsticks, which can be paired with selections from the eatery's vast wine cellar or sips from a carefully concealed flask of porpoise sweat.
Rare Steakhouse facilitates fine dining in a classic steak-house environment in its kosher-certified, 4,000-square-foot eatery, brandishing a menu of fresh meat, seafood, and sushi. Taking the helm of a raging wood-burning grill, executive chef Aryeh Goldenson crafts cooked-to-order entrees, such as the boneless rib eye, hand cut and wet aged for 21 days ($38), or braised short ribs, capering about in a bed of apple barbecue sauce for four hours ($38). Dive palate-first into pan-seared sea bass with a macadamia crust ($36), or sample sushi rolls such as the Red Dragon roll, a zesty blend of peppered tuna, avocado, and salmon spicy enough to lead a tango class in a pool of hot sauce ($15).
Shula’s Athletic Club—named for Don Shula, the NFL Hall of Famer who coached the Miami Dolphins to a Super Bowl trophy in 1972—doesn’t find it hard to fill its sprawling 40,000 square feet of space. A cardio room with more than 50 pieces of equipment, a spinning center, weight rooms, fitness-class studios, and basketball courts spread through the facility, luring athletes for independent workouts and personal-training sessions. Dozens of weekly fitness classes range from calorie-burning Zumba workouts and Vinyasa-yoga sessions to spin classes that help students practice for the day they have pedal-powered cars.
The athletic club also accommodates older exercisers with aquatic aerobics and seated Silver Sneakers workouts, and it keeps kids busy with confidence-building youth sports programs. Young legs run over a new 60-yard athletic field or nine lighted tennis courts where kids whack tennis balls and low-flying hot-air balloons with rackets.
920 Grill's elegant dining room sets a decorous tone for an evening out. Sterling-silver-framed mirrors reflect the light glinting down from ornate chandeliers and send it scattering across tablecloths and diners’ wineglasses. As diners sink into their upholstered chairs to peruse a menu of steak, seafood, and pasta, Chef Gus Lamendia is hard at work preparing meals that include juicy, 16-ounce boneless rib eyes, sesame-seared ahi tuna, and house-made fettuccini bolognese. The restaurant's friendly staff can make a recommendation from the accessible but carefully curated wine program to complement the meal or make one's imaginary friend more interesting.