Fiola in Coral Gables, Miami is the type of restaurant you would expect to find in a in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. Dinner was deeply satisfying and picture perfect. The cuisine is inspired by regional Italian classics, using local, seasonal ingredients.
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.
Toronto’s Frilu Restaurant is a modern, casual eatery, serving fine dining, with warm, gracious hospitality and showcasing playful, creative and dramatic food.
Alma Restaurant in Toronto is unpretentious, approachable, and delicious, with an eclectic menu. Chef Anna Chen is producing a larger than life winning formula.
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.
At Wynona in Toronto, the experience was more than pleasant and relaxed, with good food at moderate prices, in a casual atmosphere.
Gennaro Amitrano Restaurant in Capri is an elegant, intimate restaurant with professional service, sound pacing, and each dish a visual joy. Is this Capri? A resounding YES!
Mirabelle in Rome combines a great view with refined gastronomy. You know you are in excellent hands and are in for a special lunch or dinner.
At Giulietta Restaurant in Toronto everything on the menu sounds enticing, and every dish that passed by me looked like exceptional regional specialties.
The menu at IL Covo Restaurant in Toronto is more on the rustic side, with robust flavors. You will find tasty and creative dishes, that are reasonably priced.
Labora Restaurant in Toronto’s Campo Food Hall serves robust and flavourful food with appreciation for the simple and perfect preparation and flavour pairing.
Tanto Restaurant in Toronto serves dishes with Italian, Spanish and Argentinian flavours and influences. Almost every protein and vegetable spends time on the grill, reminiscent of Frances Mallmann. It was a nice change from the usual.
Palat Restaurant is an eye-catching spot, and made me do a double take as I was driving by. I hadn’t heard a thing about it, but decided to try it on a whim, for lunch. It was so good, I returned for dinner the next day.
Miami’s St. Roch Market is a contemporary multi-vendor food hall where the curated food and beverage program is accompanied by a high quality, hospitality driven experience.
Sherwood’s Bistro and Bar in the Little River district of Miami is a uniquely charming place with reasonably priced, simple food.
The 18,000 sqft. Casa Tua Cucina in Brickell City Centre, Miami includes 12 unique dining stations, such as pizza, fish, pasta, crudo, cheese, coffee, gelato, pastry, chocolates, rotisserie chicken, meat and even a flower shop.
Le Morocain in Marrakech’s La Mamounia Hotel will transport you to the heart of Moroccan hospitality. The food was diverse and exotic with a fusion of flavours and textures.
Thought by many to be the best pizza in the Universe, Brooklyn’s Roberta’s Pizza has opened an outdoor Pop Up in Miami’s Design District.
I may be away from Toronto this winter, but I am still keeping tabs on new restaurants. Look forward to you letting me know what you think about these about these as well as anything I should try on my return!
It’s hard to pigeonhole the cuisine at Restaurante Triciclo in Madrid but it’s easy to love. The food captures a multicultural spirit, with Spanish, Peruvian, Chinese and Italian dishes. They push the boundaries and serve well prepared and attractively presented dishes.
La Mamounia in Morocco is iconic, opulent and you will be ensured a most luxurious stay. It is hard to tear yourself away to tour Marrakech – it’s an intoxicating haven.
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.
Maker Pizza focuses on what matters – fresh ingredients, creative recipes, cooked to order options and friendly staff. It has been rated number one in many Toronto publications and I can see why.
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.
Metamorfosi in Rome delivers an exceptionally good meal of fusion cuisine with an eclectic, international feel. It’s a special restaurant in every respect. Highly recommend.
JK Kitchen Restaurant & Terrace in Capri delivers a level of luxury, charm, style and attention to detail that creates a truly special evening.
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.
Da Danilo in Modena, Italy is a family run restaurant where the food is made the same way as it was 50 years ago. It’s an unexpected surprise.
I know when I book Ristorante Da Giacomo in Milano I will always get a consistently good meal. It is an old Milanese trattoria that is tried and true with a kitchen that is well-executed.
Everything is extremely fresh at Sud Forno in Toronto. One fabulous treat is the bombolini, an Italian sugar donut with fillings of Nutella or crema.
Toronto’s La Palma is a new fun restaurant with respectable food.
The menu is Italian at heart with a California sensibility.
A restaurant that has been generating a lot of buzz in Scottsdale is Fat Ox, a mega restaurant that opened in November 2016 at 6316 North Scottsdale Road under the leadership of Chef Matt Carter, previously of Zinc Bistro and The Mission.
Chris Bianco, the James Beard award-winning chef, who has a national reputation for pizza has himself another winner, with his newest venture, Tratto in Phoenix, AZ.
Bar Ape uses refined recipes and serve an artisanal, handcrafted from scratch, gelato bar. The flavours are intense and the mouth feel is sinfully creamy.
At Valentino Italian Cucina in Ft. Lauderdale Chef Giovanni creates expertly prepared Italian dishes with a modern twist using fresh, high-quality ingredients in all that he prepares.
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.
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 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.
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”.
On a whim, I decided to try a new spot that I had heard nothing about. Located at 1099 NE 79th Street is a hidden gem you may not have heard of but you will be glad that you are now. Ferraro’s Kitchen and Wine Bar is sure to impress.
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.
Chef Cacciatori works magic at Via Emilia 9 in Miami, a little gem of a restaurant. The food is soulful and luscious. I love fresh pasta so I decided to go with a four-course pasta tasting.
Brooklyn’s Paulie Gee’s has come to Miami. The crust is thin, but not soggy, and nicely charred and tender, just the way I like it. Every month they collaborate with another restaurant to incorporate what they are known for into a pizza.
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.
Leña in Toronto is a recent venture by the O&B Group. Located in the new Saks 5th Ave, it’s quite striking and sophisticated for a restaurant within a department store. They have many restaurants from Canoe, Auberge de Pommier, Jump, Luma, to the O&B Canteen.
Fendi has arrived at Art Basel. If you head over to the Design District you can shop and selfie with Fendi’s cherry red, customized three-wheeled Italian truck from the 1940’s.
Fi’lia in Brickell, Miami is a play on the Italian word, “figlia”, which means “daughter” – Chef Michael Schwartz two daughters. He has expanded his operations and opened this restaurant in partnership with the Related Group. It is located on the main floor of the SLS.
Crudo is Chef-Owner Cullen Campbell’s imaginative eatery, serving small plates including his fabulous silky crudos. Phoenix seems to have quite a few restaurants located in strip malls, though it is unexpected to find an upscale restaurant that impresses.
The food is never boring – it’s truly unforgettable. When people ask me, what is my favourite restaurant in Toronto, Buca Yorkville is always on the top of my list. I am seriously impressed with the level of food, the knowledgeable and friendly staff, the high-end crowd and the remarkable creativity of the menu. Rob’s food is a modern approach to dining without being gimmicky. Long live the king.
I am always seeking out new restaurant spots and I forget to revisit some of my favourites. I am embarrassed to say that is has been years since I have been back to Carisma, but you would never know it from the warm greeting we received from owners, Margi and Michael Pagliaro..
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.
The menu is quite large with unique takes on Tuscan-style cuisine, plus the waiters ramble off a number of nightly specials. The servers are polite, knowledgeable and provide great recommendations based on your preferences. Chef Angelo Elia still cooks in the kitchen and occasionally greets familiar guests.
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 …
Folks, we have a winner. Ardo is open for lunch during the week and dinner Monday to Saturday. Toronto needs more places like this. I am totally enamored with Ardo.
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.
JK has one of the largest pools on the island, with clean, comfy chairs and shade if needed. We are pampered at the pool by Michele, who looks after all our needs. The crowd is a great mix of young and older, from celebrities to jet setters to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
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.
Everything we tried was a home run at newly opened Ufficio Restaurant in Toronto. It was fresh, tasty, and seasonal. The cooking was quite sophisticated and well-executed. You have got to try their grilled homemade focaccia bread!
The restaurant has a nice ambience with dark green leather banquettes, navy lacquered painted ceilings, and copper shelves stocked with backlit wine bottles and jars of preserved lemons. The menu is large with lots of choices. It is divided into pizza, one: small plates, two: pastas, three: mains, and vegetables.
Bar Reyna – the new project of the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of View the Vibe, Nicki Laborie – is located at 158 Cumberland St. in Toronto’s trendy Yorkville area. The best dish of the night was the falafel bowl. I liked the crispness of the falafel.
It is Scott Conant’s pastas that remind you of why he became famous in the first place. His Pasta Pomodoro is a signature dish. Such simple ingredients but it is the best tomato pasta you might ever have.
Did you know Shanea is a contributor to SocialMiami.com? Click through to see some of her latest reviews.
When I return I want to try some wood fired pizza, but it did look a little too charred for my taste. Our neighbours seemed to be enjoying their veal parmesan. There is even a cheeseburger on the menu and I presume that it must be good as well.
Nathalie Diamantis of Bulgari, flew in from New York to oversee the evening. Champagne was flowing and chef Victor Barry of PIANO PIANO was there to greet guests and supervise the wonderful hors d’oeuvres being passed around.
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?
David Chang challenges our taste buds and brings food to a new level. He takes some of my favourite dishes and makes them new and unique.
Why has this place been popular since day one? First, it feels like you are dining in someone’s private home. The background music is chill. Note I said background music – not the blaring, can’t hear yourself think kind that is so popular these days. The crowd is trés chic, the ambiance is sophisticated, elegant and romantic. It’s difficult to get a reservation, and it certainly has an air of “snob appeal” … though some might consider it rudeness, than anything.
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.
Patrons are in for a treat! Kaori is Miami’s first 360-degree cinematography dining experience. The space is so aesthetically pleasing, with cutting edge technology, art, music and scents. The food presentation is most beautiful, a complete knockout in the terms of creativity.
Quiet and more elegant, MC Kitchen stands out from many other restaurants in this area. It’s uber-talented Chef, Dena Marino, was an Iron Chef alumni. The food is what I would call modern Italian cuisine with inventive takes on Italian classics.
I liked my Insalata di Salmon, which was fresh tasting and perfectly grilled. They serve Lavazza coffee and it was prepared like espresso we get in Italy. In addition, they gave us a tiny glass of limoncello. I don’t think I would run back but it wasn’t a total disappointment. We also really enjoyed dining al fresco.
Exploring the complex and ever-changing story of Italian high fashion (alta moda) through a contemporary lens, the exhibit highlights stunning garments designed by Italy’s biggest names.
What I found most interesting was how many of the creations are still relevant. It is a small exhibit, but it is one worth visiting.
Made in Italy Gourmet has a wine bar and a retail market with items such as oils, sauces, pasta, and Italian artisanal products. There is also an Italian wine library with over 2,000 bottles in all price ranges. And don’t forget the cheese and cured meat counter. Their motto: Taste, Live, Share. They really follow these ideals.
Here’s my list of must-try’s for 2016. Comment with some of the spots you are dying to try!
Here is my list of restaurants that I want to try this year, or that I have already tried and enjoyed.
I discovered Sharron Lewis Design Center in 2014, but the shop has been around since 1999. The showroom is located at 1601 NE 2nd Avenue, south of the Design District at 16th Street in the historical Franklin building,
Shh, I have a little place to tell you about but don’t tell too many people, I want to be able to get a table. It is off the beaten track in an artsy complex that houses architect and design firms. If you go to Biscayne Blvd heading south turn right at 79th street and drive a couple of blocks in you will run right into the Ironside complex. At 7580 Northeast 4th court in the Little River District, park your car in the lot for free and wander inside this complex till you find Ironside Pizza.
We had the pleasure of eating at Via Verdi and we were impressed with the food as well as the warm welcome from the Carro brothers and their staff. A special shout out to Fabrizio who really made our dinner very special with his meal suggestions and conversation.
Best old favourites and new loves.
Bazi restaurant (CLOSED) at 1200 Collins is another new restaurant that opened recently in Miami. It is located in the lobby of the beautiful Art Deco Marlin hotel.
Considering the hotel is over ten years old it is in pristine shape. Clean and beautiful principal rooms as well as guest rooms. Ours was on the smaller side but lacked for nothing. Every room has a view of the beautiful gardens and pools and best of all the Taj Mahal.
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.
Zucca Trattoria located at 2150 Yonge St. across from the former Art Shop, has been around forever. Well at least since 1996. We used to go all the time but we have neglected it, always wanting to try new places. But we tried it again tonight and I have to say, Andrew Milne has some of the best Italian food in the city.
1) Roscoli, great deli/restaurant near the Campo Fiori, amazing carbonara and burrata. The tomato soup is wonderful and so are all the cheeses. They have a […]