We’ve had a solid two months to digest the band’s epic Halloween run in Vegas, and now it’s onto sunny Miami where the focus turns to New Year’s Eve and the first shows of 2015. Will the band revisit their stroke of instrumental genius via their Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House soundtrack or bring something entirely different to the table? It’s the big question heading into the last week of December:
What could Phish possibly do THIS time for the midnight gag?
While we’re all left to ponder that until the stroke of midnight on December 31st, we’re also pretty sure Miami is going to be a great venue for the fans and the scene every other day that isn’t NYE. We’ve put together a handy guide filled with suggestions for good food, great bars, and late-night fun, and we’ve also added some beach recommendations (Miami, duh!) to get you through the weekend! We’ll be following along on Couch Tour as the band will be webcasting from each night via LivePhish.com, which you can pre-order here.
Check it out…
LATE NIGHTS / SHOWS:
Electron @ The Stage (TICKETS)
Dopapod & The New Mastersounds – Grand Central (TICKETS)
Kung Fu & The Motet @ Railroad Blues (TICKETS)
Roosevelt Collier’s Jimi Meets Funk Superjam w/ Adam Deitch, Nigel Hall, Luther Dickinson @ Will Call Miami (TICKETS)
POSTERS / PINS:
Pete Mason brings his popular PhanArt event to Miami on January 2nd from noon to 5pm at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts – 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132. This is five blocks from American Airlines Arena. Artists include Ryan Kerrigan, Party Time Pins, TRiPP, Isadora Bullock, Michael Boyer, StuPINdous Creations and so much more. Of special note will be performance during the exhibition of San Francisco-based pianist, Holly Bowling who has created a name for herself with an amazing cover of THE Tahoe “Tweezer” on piano.
GOOD FOOD / EATS:
Elia Gourmet – 888 Biscayne Blvd Ste 110, 33132
This is close to the Arscht Center so it’s a perfect brunch stop before you head over to the PhanArt show. Greek inspired menu with omelets, paninis and more.
Biscayne Tavern – 146 Biscayne Blvd, 33132
Another spot close to American Airlines Arena. Gastropub with a happy hour. Menu items include goat cheese stuffed dates, eggplant fries and some top notch calamari.
Sugar Cane – 3252 Northeast 1st Avenue, 33137
One of the pricier options in Miami, but the reviews back it up. They have three different kitchens operating (sushi, tapas, grill). Menu items include goat cheese croquettes, pig ears and beef short ribs. Large selection of oysters too!
Whisk Gourmet – 7382 SW 56th Ave, 33143
Hole in the wall but very popular spot so you might have a to wait for a table but it’s well worth it. Menu items include a fried green tomato sandwich and a pork tenderloin sandwich with red pepper aioli. Sign me up!
Happy Wine in The Grove – 2833 Bird Ave, 33133
More a wine store with the option to eat (just ten tables). If you like crushed grapes this place is a must as the walls are lined with bottles from everywhere. Menu items include meatballs with tomato-wine reduction and a goat cheese mousse and ham croquetas. HEADY TIP: Saturday and Sunday brunch is mimosas, sangria, and bellinis for only $1.85 until 4pm!
Coffee drinkers rejoice! The best coffee in Miami and probably some of the best in all of the country. The reviews are glowing on this one. They’ve also got a bacon n’ corn waffle and pumpkin spice pepitas cake on the menu. Expect a line.
La Latina – 3509 NE 2nd Ave, 33137
Locals love it. If you like plantains this place should be on your radar. Menu items include a cheese and sweet plantain arepa and pork empanadas! They’re open until 5am on Friday and Saturday!
La Camaronera Fish Market – 1952 W. Flagler St., 33135
Don’t go here for a sit down meal. There are no chairs. However, if you’re looking for one of the best fish sandwiches you’ll ever eat, stop in. Yellowtail, lobster, mahi, shrimp, you name it.
Jimmy’z Kitchen – 1542 Alton Rd, 33139
Known for serving Miami’s best “Mofungo” this hole in the wall spot is a hit with locals. Their ahi tuna special also comes highly recommended.
Puerto Sagua Restaurant – 700 Collins Ave, 33139
Open from 7am to 2am everyday. Known for their authentic cuban food, especially the oxtail stew. Outside tables if that’s a prerequisite for you in South Beach.
Honorable mentions: Jaguar & Greenstreet, Monty’s (on the water, really good drinks, seafood, sometimes live music), and Bougainvillea’s (awesome bar with live music), The Yardbird (great spot for brunch)
Honorable South Beach mentions: Lincoln Road Mall (outdoor shopping and restaurants), Wet Willie’s (famous for the huge frozen drinks), La Sandwicherie (SoBe late night food), Big Pink (food so good and full bar open really late), Coconut Grove (great food, bars and restaurants), Gardner’s Market (amazing quick sandwiches, cheap and delicious, multiple locations)
BARS / BEVERAGES / DRINKS:
Kill Your Idol – 222 Espanola Way, 33139
Vintage jukebox, hanging Bruce Lee figurine and a stripper pole. You can’t go wrong here — or you can if you want — and that’s probably the point. Monthly art installations, and they serve cupcakes. This is eccentric as it gets. The perfect spot to pre-game.
Mike’s at Venetia – 555 Northeast 15th Street, 33132
This is likely your closest and cheapest location to American Airlines Arena. They are open until 4am so it’ll likely be a go-to spot for Phish fans. Especially because the address reads 5-5-5!
The Broken Shaker – Indian Creek Hotel, 2727 Indian Creek Dr, 33140
Some of the best hand-crafted cocktails in Miami. Inside is filled with ping pong tables and bocce ball. The off-menu drink, the Herbal Old Fashioned is a must have. Don’t drive there as parking is very, very limited.
Monty’s Sunset – 300 Alton Rd, 33139
Cheap pitchers of beer with seating on a huge ocean-side dock. Don’t go for the food as the reviews aren’t that great but the people watching is.
ART / CULTURE:
Wynwood Walls – 2520 NW 2nd Ave, 33127
FREE. This is your one-stop-shop for galleries and street art murals. A must-visit while in Miami as far as I’m concerned.
Chihuly at Fairchild – 10901 Old Cutler Rd. Coral Gables, FL 33156
Good timing on this one as the exhibit just opened on December 6th and runs until May 2015! Dale Chihuly’s impressive glass will be featured throughout the 83-acre park. Admission is $25 for adults.
Art Basel– This annual event just recently wrapped up so the street art leftovers are still permeating the city especially near Collins Park.
Coral Castle Museum – 28655 South Dixie Highway, Homestead, FL 33033
Outdoor sculptures carved from Coral by Ed Leedskalnin. Although admission is a little pricey ($16) for the small area, the art and story behind the man who created it all is worth it.
History Miami Museum – 101 West Flagler Street., 33130
Check out the Beatles exhibit, Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles! Over 400 items from private collectors are on display. The exhibit runs until mid-January.
Art Deco tour – Miami has the largest concentration of art deco in the world. Here’s a good resource to map out some spots.
Wingsuits are optional. No matter how much fabric you bring for yourself, you’ll be seeing a lot of skin here regardless. This is also the go-to spot for surfers.
The 85th Street Beach
This is routinely listed among the best beaches to go swimming. No buildings loom over you and bathrooms are readily available.
Virginia Key on Key Biscayne
Picturesque and somewhat off the radar. Probably your best bet for some beach time seclusion.
Bal Harbour Beach @ Collins Avenue at 96th Street
Great spot to find some shells and ample shade. No bathrooms however.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
This beach has a historic lighthouse, trails and some tropical wilderness. This isn’t South Beach and that’s exactly why we’re recommending it.
Key Biscayne Beach
Quieter and less touristy then south beach – you only pay a few dollars for parking (sometimes) and there are covered picnic tables where you can have big parties (even bring kegs if you’re into that)
New Year’s Eve will be the band’s 40th and final show of 2014. We’ve never been able to predict this band, and likely never will, but it’s still fun to try – especially coming off that absolute gem of a Halloween set filled with danceable instrumentals tunes. If Trey Anastasio’s own words are to be believed, a few of those Halloween songs should make an appearance in Miami. In a November interview with the Boston Globe, Trey said the new tracks will enter Phish’s catalog, so let’s hope he wasn’t just blowing smoke. Fans always try to guess which song will ring in the new year after “Auld Lang Syne” but with them having played “Fuego” in the spot last year at MSG, all bets are off. “Chalkdust Torture” has enjoyed a great 2014 so we think that might be the one. And of course, “Harpua” has yet to be played this year so that’s on the bust-out radar as well.
All we ask is that our jams be long and your trips are short.
See you on Couch Tour, and for the heads making the trip, have fun in South Beach!