I arrived in Miami around noon, starving for fresh air, warm weather, and food that was not wrapped in plastic from an airport vendor. My friend Chantal picked me up from the airport and drove me to one of her favorite lunch spots in the Indian Creek Hotel. This very conveniently located 61 room boutique hotel is just one block from the beach and boardwalk, and less than 10 minutes from both South Beach and Lincoln Road, with rooms ranging from a standard room to a suite or 1 bedroom for $79-$149 a night this time of year.

Creek 28 was the tonic I needed after my two connecting flights and seven hours of travel from Los Angeles. The restaurant is behind the lobby in a nice courtyard garden surrounded by trees, bougainvillea, and lush plants growing in a small pond. The swimming pool of this boutique hotel was hidden behind greenery, affording privacy for the sunbathers and calm for the diners.

Even though the weather was a balmy 80 degrees, I couldn’t resist ordering the tomato soup with white truffle oil. I am glad I gave in to temptation because it was a fabulously complex, light, and mouthwatering choice; I would have licked the bowl if I was not in public! Chantal had the grilled chicken salad, full of vegetables and greens, perfectly dressed and presented. For my second course I chose the grilled pita and 3 spreads, including a lemony white bean puree, red pepper Muhammara and a mixed olive spread.

Lunch was so good we nearly came back for breakfast the next day, but after staying up until 2am, we slept past breakfast, oh well, that just means I’ll have to come back on my next trip.