by Rick Munarriz - 406 Reviews - 155 List
In Miami, this we can guarantee: There's always a party going on somewhere. From a high-tech playground in the financial district to a dueling piano bar in the Grove to a high-tech wine bar in South Miami where swiping plastic is the key to unlimited sips, South Florida has it all. These were Miami's hottest spots in 2009.
Updated: September 28, 2010
Swiping plastic is the new way to an oenophile's heart, as this wine lovers prepay for debit cards that they can use at self-service, climate-controlled wine dispensers with a clear bias toward reds. From one-ounce samples to half or full glass portions, dozens of international varieties are available nightly.
Between the kilt-wearing staff, the Guinness-braised meats, and the Irish trinkets on the wall, there's no mistaking that this is a pub. Those perceptions can be quickly altered for patrons who happen to stumble in during open-mic karaoke or poker nights.
This is where George Jetson picked up Jane. Tricked out-touches at this downtown tech spot include LED glass bars that change colors, an interactive wall that ripples as guests walk by and an iBar counter where the bar-top is a multi-touch projection system where barflies can pull up digital menus, doodle or pay their tabs.
More "club" than "supper" the real treat at this South Beach hangout is when the dining room tables are cleared away and the music gets cranked up. It's then when dancers strut down the runway and the action gravitates toward the dance floor and the throwback bar.
Passport envy takes on a sudsy flourish at this brew-based watering hole. Regulars can maintain virtual passports that are stamped as they knock off the whopping list of more than 400 beer varieties. Clearly this is a long-term goal for aspiring beer-trotters.
The New Hotel's tony pool area is converted into a nightly beer garden as barley buffs sip indie brews on patio tables by the boutique hotel's watery playground. The beer list leans on indie domestic brewers including Dead Guy Ale, Land Shark Lager and Left Hand Brewery.
Tattoo artists Ami James and Chris Nunez became celebrities as TLC's "Miami Ink" showcased the duo's tattoo parlor. This is their lounge, where ink admirers can enjoy the tattoo artwork that decks the walls like a "Hate" revolver or a fitting "In Loving Memory of My Sobriety" cross-shaped tombstone.
Aventura's first wine bar is an aggressive vinoteca, sporting a selection of 100-plus different European and California wine bottles available. The kitchen's equally inspired, as wine sippers feast on fried risotto balls and meatball sliders to clean the palates.
Coconut Grove needed this lively dueling pianos concept to recall its nightspot heyday. Hailing from the Netherlands, revelers take swigs of nearly frozen Heineken slush as song requests are sent down to a pair pianists tickling the ivory on cherry red pianos.