11 Dimly Lit Restaurants For A Sexy Little Night Out

Sure, you can’t really read the menu—but damn you look good.
11 Dimly Lit Restaurants For A Sexy Little Night Out image

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

Sorry, Thomas Edison, but lightbulbs are not sexy. They can burn you, people will laugh if you struggle to screw one in, and they only bring out the detail of that pimple on your forehead. Sure, there are lightbulbs at the restaurants on this guide. But they’re appropriately dim, accentuated by candles, and create an atmosphere that's exactly what you need when you're feeling hot, hot, hot like that Toyota commercial from the '90s.




$$$$Perfect For:Date NightDrinking Good Wine
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It is kind of impossible not to feel hot in NIU Wine. There’s the lighting, of course, which is dark and heavy on candles. But they also have a really delicious menu of small plates you can pop into your mouth without getting sauce all over your face. The wine selection is stellar, and 75% of the people sipping wine inside the narrow room are probably on a date, giving the atmosphere the sexual tension of a middle school dance (but much less awkward).

photo credit: Virginia Otazo

$$$$Perfect For:Date Night

A tasting menu is usually the fastest way to turn a promising sexy night out into one filled with regret and Pepto Bismol. But not at Palma. This tasting-menu restaurant in Little Havana has all the things you need to set the mood: long taper candles in wine bottles flickering against smooth, bare walls, a quiet playlist that won’t force you to shout compliments between songs, and a dining room so dark you’ll feel like you’re in a cement cave (a sexy one). But the best part of Palma is the food—seven to eight courses of light dishes that won’t ruin your tummy or the Settlers Of Catan game you’ve got scheduled tonight.

Jass isn’t sexy in a modern way. There’s an old school romance to the Mediterranean restaurant in Buena Vista—but that’s what we like about it. There are white tablecloths, chandeliers, and jazz musicians being all soulful in the corner of the dining room. There are also real candles on each table, which a server lights as you take your seat. You won’t find any buzzwords on the menu, only straightforward, tasty Mediterranean and Turkish dishes.

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

Schnitzel House is a great restaurant with dive bar lighting. You could walk in here at 3pm and trick your body into thinking it's 3am very easily. The windows are covered by reflective blinds and the lights are dimmed at all times. But lighting aside, Schnitzel House has one of our favorite restaurant designs in town. It’s got splashes of ‘80s Miami sprinkled throughout the restaurant. There are mirrored surfaces, glass blocks in the patio bar, and it’s such a fun reimagining of the classic German restaurant that used to occupy the same space.

Margot, with its purplish lighting situation, feels like being inside a lava lamp. It’s tough to have a full meal here without ordering a disproportionate amount of small plates. But you’re not here to get full anyway. You’re here to execute that yearning stare you’ve been practicing in the mirror while you sip a great wine-based negroni. Margot used to be a gamble because it’s small and they don’t take reservations. But they take them now, which is good because waiting 20 to 45 minutes for a table isn’t very sexy.



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The windows of Cote have a level of tint we’ll call “speeding Nissan Altima” that keep this place nice and dark. Pretty much the only source of light here is the grill in the center of the table, where some really excellent beef sizzles away. Cote also has a very impressive air filtration system, so don’t stress about leaving smelling like beef. This place is a bit of a scene, but isn't that kind of what you're looking for on a sexy little night out? Music thumps overhead, everyone is very pumped to be there, and the martinis are some of Miami’s best. The butcher’s feast tasting menu comes in well under $100 and will have you leaving full—but not too stuffed to continue being sexy.

Krüs feels like a secret, and secrets can be sexy. Although they can also be heartbreaking and/or land you in jail. But Krüs is very much the good kind of secret. The dining room is located up a spiral staircase directly above Los Felix (which also has a great lighting situation) and the secluded space is intimate enough to trick you into thinking you’re at someone’s house. Shelves full of wine line the walls, and glass block windows give the room a social media filter-esque glow during sunset. You could not eat anything here and still have a great night, but you should absolutely eat things off the unbelievably delicious seasonal menu.

If you ask us where you can go that’s fun, sexy, and delicious, there’s a 98% chance we’re sending you to Jaguar Sun. We love this little Downtown cocktail bar, which also serves some of Miami’s greatest pasta. It is where you want to be if you’re on a date, in the mood for a martini, or just want to sit in the corner and seductively smear honey butter on the world’s greatest Parker House roll.

Yes, Gibson Room has a bit of a man cave decor going on, with all those severed animal heads and trophy fish lining the walls. But it’s still dim, energetic, and—particularly on nights when there’s live jazz—a fine place to let loose your aura of sex appeal like a skunk spraying its musk. The house gibson martini is appropriate for nights like that, and the food is much more ambitious than your average bar food. Get the velvety tamal en cazuela with roasted foie gras.

Soya e Pomodoro feels like you’re eating in an alleyway, though there is technically a roof. Shirts hang from a clothesline overhead, the doors remain open at all times, and there’s not a fluorescent bulb in sight. Instead, the dark room has candles on each table and live music on Thursdays and Saturdays, which is when this place is at its sexiest. The Downtown Italian restaurant is doing its best to make you feel like you’re on a cobblestone street somewhere in Italy, and after half a bottle of wine, it’s pretty convincing. At least more convincing than any other Downtown restaurant.

Frenchie’s can make you feel like you’re in a bistro in Paris’ red light district—except you’re in Coral Gables. There’s a glow from the red light bulbs that makes everyone in the restaurant look effortlessly sexy. Framed posters of melancholic Frenchmen like Serge Gainsbourg line the walls alongside long mirrors, so you too can practice your mysteriously brooding look. Normally, we’d tell you to order the escargot in garlic butter or rich French onion soup. But if you’re interested in getting the kind of kiss the French are famous for, maybe order the duck confit instead.

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