Chef Mendin’s menu at Rivertail Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale is large, featuring a raw bar, snacks and such, on a bun, from the grill, chef’s specialties and sides. Would I recommend people driving from Miami? No.
Cafe La Trova in Miami has a small but well-edited menu that raises the bar on Cuban food. Chef Michelle Bernstein pays attention to the history and flavours of the Islands, intertwined with Miami style and culture.
Newly opened Spanglish Restaurant is truly a love letter to the very soul of Miami. The restaurant celebrates the city’s multicultural background, taking the best of both worlds and fusing them into one unique concept.
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.
Miami’s new Ember Restaurant by culinary director Brad Kilgore serves rich delicious American comfort food cooked largely on the wood fire grill.
It’s easy to see why Henrietta Red in Nashville was the most anticipated restaurant opening in 2017 and a semi-finalist for best new restaurant by the James Beard Foundation in 2018.
Butcher & Bee in Nashville creates original, cooking-ambitious dishes that are utterly delicious. Every ingredient is treated with respect and tastes so fresh.
El Jardin in San Diego, California is definitely worth a visit to try Chef Wilkins high-end, refined, yet approachable Mexican cooking. She is breaking some boundaries when it comes to Mexican food, and I couldn’t be more delighted.
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.
Chef José Mendin, a five-time James Beard award nominee and the man behind the Pubbelly empire has created La Placita in Miami, a restaurant cooking food from his homeland.
James Beard award finalist Brad Kilgore opened his latest venture, Kaido in the heart of the Miami Design District. The focus is on fresh, local ingredients and equal emphasis on great cocktails.
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.
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.
Michael Schwartz recently opened Genuine Pizza in Miami’s Aventura Mall and will be expanding this new restaurant in 18 locations in the next 3 years.
Wabi Sabi by Shuji in Miami is an intimate eatery that’s elevated sushi and poke bowls. They had us dancing in our seats, and that doesn’t happen too often. Congratulations to the chef!
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.
We found the shareable tapas plates to be more to our liking, I would recommend going heavier on a large variety of these and lighter on the mains. My favourite dish, however, is the tender, charred octopus à la plancha, with arugula, and Marcona almonds.
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.
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.
Dizengoff in Wynwood, Miami serves simple, elevated food at affordable prices. Their freshly made hummus and tahini are creamy and dreamy.
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.
Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva offers refined tasting menus and a la carte dishes featuring carefully sourced ingredients, and bold flavours, some dishes using more than twenty varieties of chilies.
Dining at Binkley’s in Phoenix was one of my most memorable experiences that I won’t soon forget. Without a doubt, it is the best restaurant in the city.
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.
Virtu Restaurant, in Scottsdale, opened four years ago in 2013. That same year they were named Best New Restaurants in America by Esquire Magazine and they have also received a James Beard nomination. I thought I needed to check out the place and see for myself.
The Upper East Side crowd gets to feast on bold flavours and textures with unique interpretations of dishes. The plates are small, but inventive and elevated with a complexity that isn’t expected.
Bazaar Mar by Jose Andres at SLS Brickell offers a vibrant overwhelming mix of sophisticated and whimsical cuisine, in a playful, Mediterranean interior. The emphasis is on fresh fish from local and Caribbean waters. It is a meal to remember.
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.
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.
James Beard nominated journalist turned baker, Amy Rosen, spent months on end testing and perfecting the perfect cinnamon bun. Unsurprisingly, she’s created a truly excellent product. The spirals of sticky, yet light and fluffy brioche pastry dough have the perfect crust on the bottom and are topped with a light glaze. I had mine right out of the oven, and Amy was there personally glazing my order.
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.
Bachour Bakery and Bistro in Miami is great for breakfast, lunch or brunch. Be sure to leave room for one of Bachour’s breathtaking creations. He was a 2016 James Beard Awards Outstanding Pastry Chef semifinalist.
The new Dizengoff location in Chelsea Market, New York, is one of the most exciting new restaurant openings this year. I tried a few extra toppings that they were kind enough to bring out for me from the back and they were fabulous and added another dimension to the hummus.
Did you know Shanea is a contributor to SocialMiami.com? Click through to see some of her latest reviews.
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.
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.
Antonio Bachour, James Beard award nominee and one of the city’s most acclaimed pastry chefs (from Bal Harbour St. Regis) has teamed up with Henry Hare, the former chef of Eating House (a favourite restaurant of mine) to launch this delicious new spot. One of the perks of my job is having a little extra pull. Chef Antonio came outside to greet us and warmly invited us inside.
Alinea has been on my list for years. More than just a dinner, it’s performance art. Innovation at the highest level, and a science project all rolled into one. For me, personally, it was a phenomenal food experience. A well conceived and show-stopping menu, the dishes are beautiful, yet experimental, complex and labour intensive, each executed with precision.
The menu is divided into four sections. Crudo, small plates, rice and large format dishes. There is also a section called Binchotan service, where they grill meats, fish and seafood table-side.
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.