Sunday, July 19, 2015

Atrio: An Unexpected Date Night Spot in Brickell


Maybe it goes without saying, but us Miamians love dating just as much as we do partying, and for that reason, it is no surprise that our city has as many great date night spots, as it does clubs.

Looking for a fabulous evening out with your honey? Hit the beach. Want something more classic? Try Coral Gables. Artistic? There's Wynwood. Cozy? Downtown.

Sadly, Brickell has often been left out of the date night rankings, mostly being chosen as the go-to place for happy hours and business lunches. 

But like any rule, there's always an exception, and in this case, it's called Atrio. Just recently, I had a chance to experience their new dinner menu, and let me tell you, I was quite impressed!  

The whole night, I kept thinking what a great place this would be a for a romantic date night, and up next, I've rounded up the top five reasons why. Read on to find out! 

Reason #1: Killer Views
First off, the place is nestled in the 25th floor of the Conrad and offers floor to ceiling windows, which means one thing and one thing only: breathtaking views. If you are looking to score some points with your date during dinner, make sure to book a table by the window at sunset time... you can thank me later! ;)

Reason #2: Refreshing Cocktails
There's no better way to start a date, than with a few cocktails. If you share this philosophy, then do like we did, and kick things off with some drinks at The Bar at Level 25, right at the entrance of the restaurant. Their cool summer drinks like the watermelon mojito and the smoked margarita are perfect to break the ice (if it's a first date) and/or set the tone (if you've already been dating for a while) for a fabulous night ahead. Oh, and while you are at it, why not pair them with some light appetizers, like the nectarine gazpacho or the tuna tartar?
Our drinks, in the making!
Roasted peach gaspacho... 
Tuna tartar, served in black mini ice cream cones!
Reason #3: A Spectacular Wine Cellar
The team behind Atrio knows wine, and they have the selection to prove it: no less than 200 vintages from all around the world, all beautifully stacked in the restaurant's wine room. Reserve this place for a special wine tasting with your love, or if you want to come back with a group of friends, you can even host a private dinner for up to ten people! 

Reason #4: Innovative International Cuisine
After enjoying the view, having a few cocktails and visiting the wine room, you've probably work up quite an appetite, which is convenient as the food from this place is well worth exploring. French chef Virgile Brandel injects some of his country's favorites (think foie gras and tuna nicoise salad) into the menu, together with a wide selection of dishes from other international cuisines, such as a coconut-based ceviche with bay scallop, rock shrimp, red snapper and yuzu (one of my favorites of the night), and the beef tenderloin carpaccio. 

Many mouth watering options to pick from here, so up next, I'm rounding up some  of the faves of the night:
Foie gras with caramelized apricots and olive tapenade
Fried goat cheese croquettes
Everyone's favorite: coconut-based ceviche with bay scallop, rock shrimp, red snapper and yuzu
Beef carpaccio, with endives stuffed with stracciatela, topped with truffle oil and pear pearls
Short rib empanadas
Lobster salad with mango, avocado & grapefruit
Main Course: herb marinated grouper with avocado fries (amazing!) and harissa aioli
An old favorite: grilled red snapper with mofongo and pear salsa
Reason #5: Awesome Dessert Selection
As if the mouth watering dishes I showed you above were not enough, the place also has some irresistible desserts to pick from, so no matter how much you order before, make sure to leave some space for sweets (the doughnut bread pudding should not be missed!)

Atrio is located at 1395 Brickell Ave, Miami

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