Tantalize Miami, 330 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Sexy, sophisticated and sensuous — this place is unlike any other restaurant in South Florida. Think “Moulin Rouge” meets (and falls in lust with) “Show Girls” and the duo runs off together, has a love child and names it Tantalize Miami! Add in some delicious food and, well, you have the perfect relationship.
When you first walk up to Tantalize it’s dark, mysterious and manned like it should be. After the doorman gives you the once-over (maybe a twice-over if you’re hot,) you walk through a front bar area (built to accommodate a wait) and into the main two-story dining room, which is awe-inspiring, to say the least.
The walls, the carpet, even the stairs glistened in all shades of red: scarlet, crimson, ruby, cherry and cardinal. It was probably just the lighting or perhaps, I’d stared into a television light a little too long (I had just hosted Deco Drive an hour before my arrival.) Nonetheless, the place was incredibly sumptuous and seductive, inviting me to let my hair down and have a little Friday night fun. Mirrors, shiny wallpaper and candelabras decorated the walls and music danced freely in the air.
I was quickly whisked away to my table, which happened to be on the second floor in a balcony-esque area, granting me the most gorgeous view of a ginormous, opulently bedazzled chandelier. I was also catty-cornered from a stage, which was draped with heavy black theatre curtains (that were closed.)
I started my dinner with a drink named in honor of the eatery: “Tantalizer.” And boy, was it ever! The creative concoction, which was probably the best part of my night (made with St. Georges Green Vodka, Giffard Creme de Violette, fresh lemon juice, thai chili syrup and prosecco,) was sooooo good, I had TWO (insert crying emoji here.) What can I say? I’m a sucker for sweet and spicy. I also tried the “Temptress” (with gin, ginger liquor, Aperol and fresh lime juice) along with the “Seducer” (dark rum, fresh lime juice, mint and key lime espuma.) All three drinks were interesting and elegant.
My appetizers were just as amazing. The “Lamb Foie Gras Meatballs” were rich and beyond decadent (made with Sherry Foie Gras sauce, pistachio chimichurri, mushroom chicharron and croutons.) The “Tacos de Pulpo” (malanga shell, pomegranate BBQ octopus, pepper Escabeche, iceberg and pickled Fresno peppers) were a first for me. I’ve never had an octopus taco, but I’m officially a convert. Just as I was about to eat my last taco, the aforementioned stage and black curtains I was sitting catty-corner from came up and the stage came alive.
For a few songs, dancing girls (think burlesque without the nudity) performed a couple of interesting, high-spirited routines, flanked in jazzy, over-the-top showgirl outfits. They also shimmied and pranced around the dining room, flirting and flaunting themselves about the dinner crowd. It was completely campy, but classy, too. I loved it! I’ve secretly always wanted to be a showgirl dancer, but with zero coordination, I’ll have to stick to twisting and twirling my words, not my body. For dinner…
For my last few spotlights, I’ve eaten meat-heavy during my main course, so this time, I wanted to change it up a bit. The “Malta Salmon” was the perfect opportunity to do just that (with Farro, horseradish onion cream, shaved Brussels sprouts, sweet soy and pea shoot salad.) It was the perfect plate. For dessert, I noshed on the “Guava Bread Pudding.”
Usually, I hightail it after the sweet stuff, but instead, I traipsed my way about the restaurant, fully enjoying its decor and interesting side rooms that accommodate private club parties. I really enjoyed my night out at “Tantalize Miami.” It was thoroughly unique, delicious and daring! That’s why it’s one of my favorite things.
The restaurant is on South Beach on famed Lincoln Road. Parking is always tricky on the beach, but Tantalize is far enough east, it’s on the driveable part of Lincoln (which means, there are a few garages and lots around to accommodate your car.) With that being said: the Magic City is quickly becoming one of those places where it’s better to hop in a cab or uber it to your destination.
Tuesday-Friday: 7pm-11pm, Saturday: 7pm-12am
Editor: Matthew Auerbach
Photographer: James Woodley
Writer: Shireen Sandoval
Producer: Jessie Rosario
Styling: Jackie Kay