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.
Core aims to prepare creative, authentic dishes with seasonal ingredients. It’s a Canadian bistro with French influences that has finally brought a neighbourhood fine dining experience to the east end of Toronto.
Go to Limo for the view of Cusco, Peru, the ambiance, the Pisco sours, and the chill out music. Beautiful day or night, and one of the town’s better dining options.
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.
There is a reason El Mercado in Lima, Peru has a buzz, and has people lining up and waiting to get in. Many say it’s the top seafood restaurant, and who am I to argue, when I enjoyed my meal so much.
Momofuku Kōjin in Toronto is a new frontier for David Chang of Momofuku fame. He has given Chef Paula free reign to showcase her cooking skills, which are innovative and extremely satisfying.
At Wynona in Toronto, the experience was more than pleasant and relaxed, with good food at moderate prices, in a casual atmosphere.
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.
The experience is fun at Pa’La Restaurant in Phoenix, AZ, and although the menu is minimal, everything is healthy and of the highest quality.
Labora Restaurant in Toronto’s Campo Food Hall serves robust and flavourful food with appreciation for the simple and perfect preparation and flavour pairing.
Toronto is getting some new, cool places to dine. You should add Mira to your list, for a fun, crowd-pleasing, and appealing evening.
The menu offers a creative and contemporary take on the dishes.
Mendin and Friends Dinner Series at Habitat, Miami delivers inspiring, well executed and appealing dishes.
I was truly impressed with the culinary excellence, meal is opulent and rich tasting.
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.
Finally, Miami has a worthy sushi counter with Tokyo trained chefs. Michelin starred in New York and with a location in Kuala Lumpur, the Azabu Miami offshoot has debuted, and it’s a sublime and memorable experience. The sushi is traditional, of the freshest quality and was superb.
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.
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.
Many restaurants come and go but the Pool Room and Grill in New York have stood the test of time and were always packed with the privileged few of the business, society and celebrity world.
Zen Restaurant in Toronto aims to preserve the culture of Japanese cuisine, providing excellent service and beautifully prepared dishes using fresh, unique ingredients. It exceeded our expectations and lit up my umami sensors.
Dashi in Miami’s River Yacht Club serves beautifully presented dishes that tempt all the senses with equally beautiful views. I don’t think you will be disappointed!
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.
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.
Estia is Toronto’s new “it” restaurant of the moment. The emphasis is on fresh, simple, uncomplicated dishes, that are cooked well. And really, isn’t this just what people are looking for?
The restaurant is chic, and sophisticated with a hip vibe.
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.
Avra Madison Estiatorio in New York is a new “it” restaurant serving upscale traditional Greek cuisine, conveniently located across from Barney’s and the shops on Madison Avenue.
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.
One of the things I love about New York is that are no shortage of wonderful little neighborhood restaurants everywhere you look. One such gem, new to the scene is Gloria.
Ocotillo in Phoenix is the quintessential modern Arizona eatery. They are a new gold standard, capturing the hearts of locals and tourists alike.
I am not exaggerating when I say that the lobster at Lobster Sea Grille in Miami is the best damn lobster I have had in eons. My table all raved about the quality and execution.
Since returning to Toronto from Miami, one of my most anticipated new restaurant openings has been La Banane. In a few short months it has become Toronto’s “it” restaurant.
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.
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.
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.
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 emphasis is on freshness, combined with high quality ingredients and sophisticated cooking techniques. The dishes are creative and showcase a modern cuisine focusing on Moroccan and Mediterranean influences.
Turkiz is a lovely restaurant with a creative menu of fabulous food. Of course, the highlights here are unquestionably fish and seafood creations. The name, “Turkiz” means, “turquoise”, which is perfect for the spot, and since opening in 1991 they’ve been really packing them in.
It took great pains to write this review because I love Gloria Estefan. Emilio was in the house when we were here, and you can see how nicely he treats his staff. I also love the idea of marrying food and music, as long as both are excellent.
Pierchic Restaurant in Dubai is surely one of the most romantic restaurants you will find. It is situated at the end of a long wooden pier with captivating views across the Arabian Gulf.
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.
Mignonette Uptown in Miami is no frills, straightforward, simple, quality seafood in a comfortable and laid back atmosphere. I am always excited about the birth of a new restaurant, especially under the capable hands of Chef Serfer.
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.
Luke’s Lobster rolls in Brickell City Centre are the real deal, with ultra-fresh wild-caught Maine lobster. An exciting new addition to the Miami food scene, if you are a lobster fan it is not to be missed. The food made me hum, I will return!
Peruvian cuisine is among the most varied and best in the world. Each region has its own local culinary treasures depending on the climate and landscape, including influences from the indigenous population including the Incas as well as cuisines brought from Europe including Spain, Italy, and Germany. There can also be influences from Asia and West Africa as well.
Olla in Miami has only been open for two weeks as of writing this review and I think they are doing an excellent job here. The chef is Marcus Samuelsson. He was friendly and very welcoming, and let me tour his pristine kitchen. Boy, it’s hot back there.
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.
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.
For me “Dôa” means, “dead on arrival”. Cool place, but you’ve got to upgrade the food and service. I am too old for this and was very disillusioned.
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.
The crowd is mostly young and hip, and there is a boisterous and energetic feel to it. The night I dined there, actress Jodie Foster was in the house too. I had been a couple of times when it first opened but I admit I hadn’t been back in quite a while. I have to say even though I enjoyed it then, I think the kitchen has improved even more.
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.
Montreal has a rich food culture which we have enjoyed exploring on our short trip there. One of the toughest reservations to snag was at the iconic restaurant Joe Beef at 2491 Notre-Dame West. We actually had to use connections to get in. It didn’t help that it was voted the #4 best restaurant in Canada in 2016.
Look for the Chase Bank on the corner and Bergen Hill is in the same building off a side street. It’s a great neighbourhood spot. I haven’t seen this kind of creativity and execution from a kitchen in a long time.
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.
Seven Lives Tacos Y Mariscos in Toronto serves Tijuana style tacos. I like the blackened mahi-mahi the best. Sean Riehl, a former San Diegan, opened this humble shop, and I can tell you business is going gangbusters.
I was impressed with the level of technical precision, and the elaborate, complex dishes. But was I blown away? Was each dish brilliant? Unfortunately, neither was not the case for me. Of the 22 small bites, I would say 4-5 were standouts. The rest were merely good. There were was a lot of theatrical value, flavour explosions and original dishes.
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!
Sip, taste and laugh the day or night away – Toronto needs more unique places like Bar Raval! The intimate space can hold about 40 persons. It’s tight, crowded and fun. You eat with your hands or toothpicks. The dishes are small so you can try a lot of things, and the menu is weighted heavily on seafood. We tried a lot of delicious dishes including the canned scallops, razor clams and serrano ham with manchego cheese. Things were fresh, flavourful and well seasoned.
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’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.
I was a little nervous to try Vaucluse because Pete Wells slammed it in his review in the New York Times. But, I am a Michael White fan. The menu was a mix of traditional and contemporary takes on French cuisine. There were dishes like chilled seafood, pates, beef tartare, foie gras, chicken, duck, pork and lobster dishes. He also has daily specials and things like quiche on his lunch menu.
A very sophisticated eatery featuring both steaks and seafood, the restaurant is very beautiful and dramatic. I wish the food would live up to the decor and service. It is not that the food is terrible it just did not wow us.
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.
Hidden in a dingy market where the staff is not so friendly and the place has lots of rules – no phones, no takeaway, no second orders – the Chef works sushi wonders.
The best rolls for me weren’t even on the menu but thanks to an insider I knew what to order. Now I can share this information with you …
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.
We visited Cantina la Veinte for the first time last year. It is located at 495 Brickell Avenue on the ground level of the Icon Brickell. It is owned by Mexico’s largest hospitality group, the Cinbersol group. They obviously have deep pockets because this is not your average Mexican joint. It is a 210 seat Mexican showcase, with a black onyx bar, antiqued mirrors, black and white tile floors, dark wood paneling, and shelves with copies of tasteful Mexican artifacts. The space is quite glamorous, the waiters are well dressed, and the crowd is hipsters or wannabes ready to make a dent in their wallet.
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.
Here is my list of restaurants that I want to try this year, or that I have already tried and enjoyed.
The meal started with toasted French bread and a divine creamy truffled cheese. I had the jumbo lump crab salad with avocado, mango jalapeno, and cashew, in a curry dressing with cilantro and toasted coconut. It was a glorious dish.The Maine lobster salad was equally good and it was set on a bed of organic quinoa tabouleh, with preserved lemon, citrus segments and fresh mint. The seafood ceviche was good but on the spicy side.
Coyo Taco is located in the heart of Wynwood at 2300 NW 2nd. Avenue. In is in between Panther Coffee and Freshii. There was a lineup outside the door so I decided to see what all the fuss was about.
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 have been wanting to try Garcia’s for years. After all it is on Michelle Bernstein’s top ten list and she gave it rave reviews. I […]
Located at 423 Washington Avenue, between 4th and 5th St., Izzy’s Restaurant serves New England fare in a cool, hip South Beach setting.
The Driftwood Room is the work of New York Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, the Food Network Star Chef of Butter Restaurant and the China Grill. Located in the newly renovated and restored Nautilus South Beach at 1825 Collins Avenue, the restaurant is quite attractive, but weather permitting I suggest dining on the large terrace. It has that beach inspired feel and reminded me of St. Bart’s.
In the heart of the Wynwood district on a very interesting street at 218 Northwest 25th Street (it is worth checking out the stores and art warehouses in the area) is a industrial looking space with a wide open kitchen.
Our FAVOURITE thing to do is rent a private boat and driver (through the concierge), he will take you around the entire island and drop you off for lunch at La Fontelina beach club if you do a half day, or if you do a full day try Recommone(near Narrano on the mainland) restaurant La Conca del Sogno -waiter Alfonso, and after return to Marina Grande…always the BEST day of the trip!
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.
We tried a newly opened restaurant in the RBC Water Park Place called Muki. It is located in Toronto’s Harbour front area at Bay and Queens Quay.
The cuisine is called North Western frontier food which is now the Pakistan and Afghanistan border. The food is rich and heavy. Most dishes are based around meat but there are a few vegetarian options. It serves renown Kebobs, which are some of the best we tried in India.
I have walked by this restaurant a million times but never thought about giving it a try. But since we are going to India we thought we would have a refresher course in Indian food.
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.
Located in the former Corner House Restaurant on Davenport is Flor de Sal – a beautiful, attractive, bright and nicely decorated space.
Quality Meats from New York bring their steakhouse restaurant To South Beach. It has an Art Deco feel to the place with an outdoor patio.