San Francisco is one of the culinary epicenters of the Americas. Some would argue, including myself, that it is THE best food region in the United States. Quince Restaurant is a perfect example.
Coral Gables seems to be getting some excellent restaurants of late, and you can add another one to my hit list. There is no better restaurant in Miami right now serving dim sum and Izakaya than Zitz Sum.
Last year I reported that Mamey was my best meal in Miami. This year Chef Niven Patel, one of my personal favourite chefs, has opened a second restaurant called Orno, serving New American wood-fired dishes that are chef-driven and ingredient-focused.
I’m back recommending my favourite new and notable Miami restaurants along with my tried and true choices for ShaneaSavours 2021 Hit List.
The food at Little Mad in New York has a flavourful mix of cultures, with influences of Italian, French, American, and Korean all intertwining into interesting and wonderful creations. This is definitely on my must-return list.
One of New York’s best-rated Italian restaurants is Rezdôra at 27 East 20th Street. It got three stars in the New York Times and received a Michelin star. It is authentic, and the chef cooks his pasta to perfection, with inventive variations, so for that reason, I am recommending it.
New York’s Tacos Güey is the first Mexican restaurant that I want to try again, and soon. It is a casual, modern Mexican eatery that is creating some ambitious and delicious dishes made with quality and multidimensional flavours.
Newly opened 63 Clinton in New York was truly a memorable dining experience with the dishes pure joy. It was fine dining without the snob appeal.
Torino Italy’s Berton Al Lago one-star Michelin restaurant is located in the modern il Sereno hotel on Lago de Como. I was disappointed and found the food here to be mediocre at best.
Wayku Restaurant in Miami offers a Latin fusion menu rooted in the Andean culture that is small but well-chosen and artistically prepared. It’s worth checking out.
Miami’s most anticipated restaurant, Carbone, recently opened its doors. If you are lucky enough to score a reservation, make sure to come hungry to enjoy the robust and vibrant food.
Miami’s Osteria Morini, in the Kimpton Palomar South Beach is a cut above the competition. An NYC transplant by the Altamarea Group, it’s my favourite restaurant in Miami this year!
La Wagyeria is one of Miami’s most unique, creative, easy to digest, and memorable dining experiences. If you are able to snag a reservation on their Instagram, you will be in for a treat.
Cote Restaurant in Miami has imported NYC’s high-spirited and interactive vibe along with Miami’s diverse and vibrant population. It is an elevated experience, with an attractive, fun, and seductive atmosphere, excellent engaging service, and succulent steaks that make for a memorable experience.
Dinner at Chef Niven Patel’s new restaurant Mamey in Coral Gables Florida was vibrant, bursting with flavour, and had my taste buds dancing. His food is always top-notch.
Acclaimed celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson, a James Beard Award winner, champion of Top Chef Masters, and Chopped All-Stars, has opened his third location of Red Rooster in the historic Overtown district of Miami.
Marked is a new, large, colourful and dramatic restaurant, serving food over wood burning heat. Inspired by Maria Morales travels and adventures through South America.
I have always longed for delivery from upscale and delicious purveyors. Unfortunately, it took a pandemic for eateries in Toronto to bring delivery and takeout to the masses. Here is my latest list of restaurants in Toronto offering takeout and or delivery.
In the hope people are continuing to support local eateries and caterers by ordering takeout or delivery from participating restaurants, I’ve created a second edition of my favourite spots in Toronto for takeout / delivery.
I have shared some of my favourite places in New York open for takeout or delivery during the Covid-19 social isolation quarantine. Many of these establishments need our support now more than ever.
I have shared some of my favourite places in Miami open for takeout or delivery during the Covid-19 social isolation quarantine. Many of these establishments need our support now more than ever.
Chica Restaurant in Miami is the second location, the first residing in the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Both are under a Top Chef master alum, Lorena Garcia.
Būcaan Restaurant is definitely one of the more innovative spots in Palm Beach. The menu focuses on a progressive American menu, featuring signature small plates, using fresh ingredients and big flavours.
Osaka is a Japanese/Peruvian Nikkei restaurant group with a location recently opened in Miami. The entire menu sounds delicious, all in all it was a delightful meal, and a new unique and cultural dining experience for Miami.
The Jim and Neesie Restaurant in Miami features eclectic American cooking with a modern twist on global influences, and they are not afraid to cook with bold flavours! Bravo on a tasty first impression.
Chef Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc in Napa, CA is a great place to walk to if you are staying in Yountville, especially if you are craving some family-style comfort food! Recommend!
At The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa, we were taken on a culinary journey. Even if the dishes seemed modest the ingredients were unforgettable delicacies. Each bite brought a new appreciation for the perfect preparation and flavour pairings of each dish.
Miami’s new Ember Restaurant by culinary director Brad Kilgore serves rich delicious American comfort food cooked largely on the wood fire grill.
The food at Adele’s Restaurant in Nashville was simple and seasonal, sourced from local farms and purveyors, and is well executed. Every member of the staff was genuinely warm, welcoming and hospitable.
Arthur’s Restaurant in Toronto offers American classics like crab Louie, steak tartar, oysters Rockefeller, Dover Sole, veal chop, prime rib and steak. They have already established this new spot as a see and be seen place.
Our meal at Ad Lib Restaurant in Coral Gables conveyed an appreciation for perfect preparation and flavours. The restaurant has a cool, casual vibe, with sophisticated, yet approachable choices.
Silverlake Bistro is our new go-to place in Miami for an insanely good meal that is moderately priced and served with a genuine smile. They use quality ingredients and flavours that had our taste buds dancing.
Mason Eatery in Miami is a good choice for a casual, approachable meal that is nostalgic, and more than a deli.
The Miami food scene continues to explode and I had been waiting patiently for Cvltvra (pronounced, “cultura”) to open. The restaurant is an infusion of Latin American and Mediterranean cuisine, and overall the menu was ambitious and creative. Don’t wait for a game or concert to visit!
Back by popular demand, my personal favourite list of Miami restaurants for 2018/2019 in no particular order, as well as new openings I want to try.
The Surf Club Restaurant in Surfside, Miami is a luxurious place that respects attention to detail, and will take care of your every need. Expect impeccable service, finesse, glamour, and impeccable execution.
Chef Alpala of Zazu in Quito, Ecuador works closely with farmers, grows vegetables in the restaurant’s greenhouses and selects his seafood from the nearby coast. Dining in a modern setting with quality ingredients and refined service. One of Quito’s top choices.
At Obra Kitchen Table in Miami my meal was a gastronomic feast, that was creative, ambitious, innovative and yet unpretentious, approachable and casual. Considering the pedigree of the chef, the food was moderately priced.
In Phoenix’s captivating Desert Botanical Gardens is Gertrude’s restaurant, situated in an oasis-like garden setting and known for its seasonally inspired cooking.
At Emily in New York the tough decision is agonizing over what to order, the fabulous burger or the sumptuous pizza. I say order one of each and split them.
Chumley’s in New York is the resurrection of an old speakeasy under Chef Victoria Blamey. The menu mixes American gastropub standards along with some bistro style favourites – the burger is medal worthy!
We had an enjoyable evening at Amara at Paraiso. I felt like I was in the tropics, or at a chic beach club. The menu focuses on clean balanced food, and simple cooking techniques enhanced by the flame.
Sherwood’s Bistro and Bar in the Little River district of Miami is a uniquely charming place with reasonably priced, simple food.
I would have to say Nusr-Et Steakhouse is Miami’s newest “it” restaurant of the moment. It’s one of the best steaks I have ever had. Here the steak, a good quality cut of meat, is perfectly cooked, tender and juicy and full of flavour.
Toronto’s new Blueblood Steakhouse harkens back to a day when glamour and high-end dining was a mainstay. It’s a classic steakhouse that goes to great lengths to create a special evening.
Chef Norman Van Aken’s new restaurant, Three in Wynwood, Miami, is not only stunning, the dishes are infused with innovative flavours. They are hoping to become the first restaurant in Miami to receive a Michelin Star. They just may just get what they wish for.
At Madrid’s Dstage the meal is a special interactive experience. Each dish is beautifully presented and every ingredient is beautifully contrasted in a perfect balance.
The food at Habitat in Miami is delightful, and the pricing fair. The food respects the elements and honours simplicity. I was impressed with the level of service from everyone in the restaurant.
Just when you thought you were all caught up with the latest restaurants in Miami, here comes a new list to keep you busy this season. Watch for my upcoming reviews.
Toronto’s Aloette is a neighbourhood bistro that’s been packed from day one, and for good reason. The food was reasonably priced for the exceptional quality.
At the Mandarin Oriental in Milan all your senses will be pampered in this sumptuous, prestigious and stylish hotel.
Seta is one of Milan’s best dining destinations. It sets the bar high, with original, conceptual Italian dishes that not only look stunning, they also taste it.
Osteria Francescana in Modena, IT serves modern Italian cuisine in a sophisticated setting. It’s the ultimate stage for Chef Massimo to showcase his supreme talent.
If you go to Gabriel Kreuther in New York be prepared to be wowed. The chef presents inspired tasting menus in an impressive setting.
Motel Morris in New York Motel is not a motel, it’s a restaurant in Chelsea with an ode to the 1960’s motel culture.
Augustine restaurant in New York is stunning. You would never know it just opened in November of 2016. It looks like it is right out of Belle Époque Paris.
The meal was indulgence – a culinary adventure that was expertly served in a magnificent art deco setting. Everything that adorned the plates was thoughtfully conceived and gorgeously executed.
Ocotillo in Phoenix is the quintessential modern Arizona eatery. They are a new gold standard, capturing the hearts of locals and tourists alike.
Toronto’s Grey Gardens is fresh, seasonal and creative. A neighbourhood place where you can drop by for a drink and snacks, or stay for dinner.
Jerusalem Chefs Rina and Alice have created a tasty and inventive menu in their modern and cozy restaurant. We were happy to have this option on a Saturday afternoon in Jerusalem.
At Forte dei Marmi in Miami they go to great lengths to bring you the flavours of the Amalfi coast, using high-quality ingredients, exceptional regional specialties and inventive Italian cooking in a beautifully presented in a relaxed and vibrant setting.
The Norman Hotel is elegant and sophisticated and the staff is courteous, respectful and well-trained. It offers 24-hour concierge service, high-end interiors, and great personalized customer service. A stunning new addition to central Tel Aviv.
There’s a buzz to La Petite Maison in Miami. The place exudes luxury, charm and style. They’ve really gone to great lengths in terms of hospitality, bringing in staff from the Dubai and London locations to assist the opening. If they can just refine the food, the discriminating clientele will return in droves.
The vibrant menu showcases farm fresh, conscientiously-sourced, truly soul-nurturing dishes. This one is worth a visit. The chefs’ passion and creative expression is reflected in their cooking.
The pizza at Stanzione 87 in Miami cooks in an Italian wood burning oven in under 90 seconds. The pie is soft, elastic, tender and fragrant with a sauce that tastes perfect.
Loving Alan Richman’s 30 commandments for making restaurants—and any dining-out experience—better in GQ. Spot on! Check them out here.
Blue Ribbon Sushi has a brand new spot inside the Plymouth Hotel at 336 21st Street in Miami. Here they will service the hotel with an all-day food and bar program as well as a poolside menu.
Miami’s Toscana Divino offers a selection of traditional Tuscan and “moderna” fare. The dishes are unexpected and sophisticated. The chef believes in providing quality, flavour and freshness in the artisanal approach of “Fatto in Casa”.
Tarbell’s in Pheonix, Arizona consistently serves good food and keeps me coming back time and time again. The chef has a solid grasp of new American favourites and puts an upscale spin on them.
Cardon y El Tirano in Miami is creative, flavourful and eclectic. It’s not all about the glitz like so many places, instead, it’s modernizing the local food scene by bringing new, interesting choices to locals and tourists alike.
We had dinner at the Bird and Bone, under the tutelage of Chef Richard Hales. He is the chef who also helms Blackbrick and Sakarya Kitchen. Hales’ interpretation of American cuisine takes it to another level. I prefer this restaurant to Yardbird.
Upland Miami is an offshoot of the New York restaurant with the same name by restauranteur Stephen Starr and his Chef Justin Smillie of Il Buco. At Upland the food showcases Smillie’s rustic/comfort food and seasonally influenced fare.
Located close to the Miracle Mile, “Oh My Gosh”, is the perfect name for this Miami sweet shop because that is what you say when you will bite into your first brigadeiro.
Le Coq Rico New York’s poultry taste better than your average birds. They might just serve one of the best roast chickens this side of Paris.
STK in Toronto is a large, impressive, even sexy restaurant in the former Studio Cafe. This is a place to mingle, meet and greet.
New York’s Covina restaurant has a very casual vibe – a relaxed but nice atmosphere. Covina has a U-shaped bar, colourful banquette seating, and an open kitchen with a copper tiled pizza oven. Everything coming out of the kitchen is rather good, some of it even quite creative. The menu is a playful mix of a Cal- Med dishes.
We experienced a warm welcome from the minute we walked through the doors. Cindy’s menu features a beautiful range of ethnically diverse and seasonally driven dishes that spotlight her culinary approach to global cuisine. Still, I could detect some of her signature Island flavours in many of the descriptions on the menu.
Glass and Vine in Coconut Grove was created by Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, a James Beard Award nominee and winner of the Food Network’s show, Chopped, and Grove Bay Hospitality Group. The indoor/outdoor 200 seat restaurant is located in the heart of Peacock Park.
For me, the restaurant was hit and miss, and more on the miss side of things. The rolls were beautiful looking, but not at all traditional.
Miami’s dining scene keeps getting better. Let me introduce you to last season’s favourites, new restaurants and my most anticipated for the Fall and Winter of 2016-2017 …
On September 12th internationally renowned artist and philanthropist Peter Tunney opened his first exhibit in Toronto. He brought 55 new pieces and also created live art right on the streets of Toronto in support of Artists for Peace and Justice.
There really were no standouts except for the amazing Smashed Potatoes. I would rather come for a drink at the bar, but the food doesn’t seem to stop the people from coming. The place was packed and the crowd was beautiful.
You can’t win them all, and sadly, Chef Laurent Tourondel’s newest restaurant in New York was a big disappointment for me. This is actually the second restaurant by the celebrated Chef that did not live up to expectations. The other was now the closed Market Restaurant.
Bal Harbour Unscripted Art Project gives you the chance to meet your neighbours over a glass of wine, while enjoying an educational evening together. Through Unscripted I’ve been able to visit exclusive, private art collections and hear fascinating talks from some of the world’s leading art experts.
There seems to be a new trend hitting the streets of Toronto – the Paleteria. A Mexican frozen treat, it’s similar to an American popsicle, but […]
If you are seeking a unique and indulgent city experience in a superb location, the J.K. Place Roma is unsurpassed in Rome – it has an abundance of style and a staff that exudes warm hospitality.
The 7-month exhibition features some of his most impressive pieces, providing an opportunity to see and explore the full range of his artistic achievements by immersing visitors in the beautiful environments created through his extraordinary vision and talent. This show is not to be missed.
The chef has a passion for what he does and you can see and feel it in the attention to detail. How he can create such wonderful food in such a tiny kitchen is a wonder to me. This place lives up to its reputation with great quality food and service in a romantic setting.
My last night in Arizona I saved Chef Branden Levine’s brand new restaurant Sel. Each plate we tasted was carefully executed and boasted sophisticated and bold flavours. This restaurant is a welcome change from the casual eateries in Arizona. The Chef’s mission is to change the way people dine here, and he is doing an excellent job of it.
Ariete is a contemporary American restaurant with an indoor/outdoor space. It had a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere with a good looking bar, stone floors and a lot of warm wood.
This is the Pubbelly boys first restaurant off the beach. Considering it has only been open a few weeks you would think they would be present to make sure things were running smoothly. I kept reading that this restaurant is like nothing you’ve seen before. Well, I hope not nor do I wish to see it again.
It is nearly impossible to get a reservation at Carbone in Manhattan, NYC. In fact, getting in is like winning the lottery. Now I see why – it was fantastic, why did I wait so long to come here?
It’s one of the better places in the entertainment district, but it was underwhelming and fell a bit short for me. I would still go back and I would try it for brunch as well. It has the potential to get much better and I hope it does. And it doesn’t seem to detract from customers – the place was buzzing on a weeknight.
This is Francis Mallmann’s first venture in the United States. One of Argentina’s best-known chefs for preparing Haute-French food, his new vision led him to cooking with wood fires the way he saw gauchos and Indians cook in Patagonia.
I decided to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and I chose to visit the private art collection of Attorney Alan Kruger and his wife Judge Amy Dean. Their collection ranges from contemporary Latin American Art from the Brazilian Neo-Concrete movement (1959-1961) to contemporary installations. The hosts were very generous to open their beautiful apartment and to curate their eclectic collection to us.
On Wednesday, March 16th, Israeli-American sculptor, Boaz Vaadia, celebrated the reveal of his installation at the new Armani development in Sunny Isles Beach.
We were told we were standing in the middle of the largest private gallery space in the world.
Gary Nader Fine Arts specializes in Latin American Art, but the collection includes Modern and Contemporary Masters. For me, I was most impressed by his HUGE collection of Botero sculptures, paintings and drawings. The manager said it was the most extensive, privately-owned collection of Botero in the world! It was mind blowing.
Unfortunately, SuViche, is going to go in my pass section. The first strike was the lack of cleanliness. This usually means a dirty kitchen as well. All might be forgiven if the food was great but I am sorry to report it was mediocre.
Miami is really becoming a cultural destination with the World Symphony, the Opera House, The Adrienne Arsht Center, The American Airlines Arena, Art Basel, and Art Miami, the Boat Show and so on. There is always something to do. One thing I always look forward to is Art Wynwood.
You know how sometimes you crave a simple meal, you don’t feel like getting dressed up and you just want something good but unfussy, well I would like to suggest Blue Collar on 6730 Biscayne.
We started with some rolls, like the NaiYaRa Roll, which was probably my favourite. It contained salmon belly, cucumber, avocado and truffle oil. The presentations were all pretty, but if you know good sushi, you are mostly getting pretty rolls. Is the quality of the rice or the fish transporting? No. It is more designer rolls, which is fine.
We only went for lunch but I can’t wait to go back for dinner later next week to try the American Southern barbecue technique of slow cooking, and smoking. We saw the chef select some wood that was piled on the side so he can start smoking some meat – he said takes up to 14 hours.
Not every restaurant is trendy or a scene. A restaurant doesn’t have to be hot to be good.
The Traymore Restaurant at the Art Deco Metropolitan by Como hotel isn’t cool but it it is low key, warm and inviting.
To be fair I have only been here once and I couldn’t sample all the dishes I would have liked to.
The ambience is relaxed and sophisticated with a nautical beach chic look. There is lots of wood , stone floors, an open kitchen and a lovely outside bar area and patio that would be glorious on a nice day. It was closed for our dinner for some reason and it was an icebox inside the restaurant, strike one. They try to seat us at the worst table next to the kitchen entrance and by the waiters station, strike two.
I am embarrassed to admit I had never heard of El Cielo although it has been open for a year. A friend who lives in Florida told me I should give it a try. I have to say our dinner has far surpassed anything I have had in Miami this year.
Here is my list of restaurants that I want to try this year, or that I have already tried and enjoyed.
I am apologizing in advance to everyone who will be upset when I tell them I have never been a fan of the James Beard award-winning Chef, Michael Schwartz. I have never found his food that appealing to me. I have also never cared much for his two other restaurants in the Design District.
We really enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Pinch Kitchen. You can tell they cook with passion as it shines through in all the well-cooked and flavorful dishes.
The experience of Talde Restaurant in the Thompson Hotel on 4041 Collins Avenue, starts at the entrance. It’s cool, you feel like you are going through some graffiti strewn back alley. The dining room has a large shipping container in the center of the room and has banquets as part of it. There is a lot of hand painted graffiti throughout. The music is VERY loud, making it hard to talk. The majority of the music is hip hop. Overall the atmosphere is fun and casual.
Sometimes you just don’t feel like getting dressed up or like spending a fortune on dinner, but you still want some delicious food. This is when we go to Burgers and Shakes at 7401 Collins Ave. You can’t miss the place it is located on the corner and it always has a lineup. This small joint is popular for a reason, The food is good and the prices are right.
Only open three weeks, Beaker and Gray is already making an impression with their global cuisine tapas and their craft cocktails. Located at 2637 N. Miami Avenue in Wynwood.
The standout dishes for us were the Spanish Octopus served cold, the Pumpkin Gnocci with pork rib and the Oxtail and sweet potato .
Best old favourites and new loves.
Last year the Matador in the Edition Hotel was the THE new hot spot in Miami. This year I predict the newly remodeled One Hotel and its new restaurant Beachcraft will be wildly popular.
Of course everyone wants to try The French Laundry at least once in your life. So go ahead, beg your concierge or use a connection to try and get you in. We have been twice and I wouldn’t go back again.
I really looked forward to Dining at this restaurant more than any other this trip down to Miami. The Miami Herald gave it rave revue and 4 stars.