"I am in total disbelief of how my blog has organically gained traction. I am flattered when I have strangers come up to me and who recognize me from my blog. The struggle for me is, that I am not a professional writer, just a professional eater, so trying to put out a weekly newsletter is no easy task. How many adjectives can you use to describe the taste of something? It is not easy!
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.
Kiki bills itself as a fine dining establishment with modern Greek food in a waterfront setting. The restaurant opened last April 2017. It is frequented by high rollers, celebrities and wannabes. Situated right next door to a place with a similar concept is Sea Spice.
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.
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.
Palmar is a welcome addition to Wynwood. It's a fun, unfussy, and appealing place. The selections are creative, fashionable, and current, and the staff is friendly and helpful. Best when Chef Diaz is in the house!
The food at Paon in Miami is cooked with depth and complexity by Chef Cassino. There are many options for carnivores, pescatarians, and vegetarians in a warm, friendly atmosphere, where the chef's talents are highlighted in every dish.
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.
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.
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.
1-800-Lucky in Wynwood, Miami is a buzzing marketplace is already a hangout for locals and tourists alike. It has always been difficult to find good Asian food. Now you can find it under one roof. Just be prepared for crowding and lineups. But that makes it part of the fun.
Ghee Indian Kitchen brings something fresh and unique to Miami's Design District. The focus is on strong, bright flavors and farm fresh foods. There were so many other dishes that I wanted to try so we will just have to make a return trip.
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.
Tatel's opening in Miami has been eagerly awaited by many. After all, global superstars and restaurant partners Rafael Nadal and Enrique Iglesias, and basketball star, Pau Gasol, are ambassadors for the Spain-based project, along with business entrepreneurs Abel Matutes and Manuel Campos Guallar. The first Tatel restaurant has become one of the trendiest restaurants in Madrid.
It is simply amazing what the kitchen can do with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seed, flowers and seaweed. Is it for everyone? No, but you will get an unexpected array of foods you never thought possible made with masterpiece presentations in a tranquil oasis.
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.
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.
At Miami's Cream Parlor expect generous hospitality, by owners who believe in their business, their community and their patrons, in a quaint, well priced, and inviting mom and pop operation. They are bringing their unique sense of style and favourite home recipes and serving them up all day long in their cozy environment.
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.
Bal Harbour celebrated in style on February 12th, with over 2,000 people strong taking part to toast the 70th Anniversary of the village. It was the perfect night to come out and enjoy a special concert, party and fireworks right on the beach near the jetty behind the Ritz Carlton, Bal Harbour.
Tanuki in Miami is lively, and colorful, with graffiti-covered walls, reclaimed wood and yellow leather banquets with blond wood tables and digital lights accenting a long wrap around bar. Samurai swords decorate the walls. The central focus of the room is a seven-foot statue of a Tanuki, a Japanese talisman said to bring good luck.
Miami has a new "secret garden" – a romantic, lush oasis that doesn't feel like Miami but a little like Hawaii. Our evening was relaxed, intimate, and aesthetically appealing. They are open daily from 4pm till midnight and will soon be adding a Sunday brunch.
I am a big fan of the Pubbelly Group and in particular their sushi restaurant. I was happy to hear they were opening at the Brickell City Center at 701 South Miami Avenue. It is so refreshing to see malls like Bal Harbour and Brickell City Center opening quality restaurants.
At Artisan Beach House in Bal Harbour, Miami,say the food is rustic, but that's being modest. The dishes may read like comfort food but they are ambitious and infused with dynamic, energizing flavours.
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.
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.
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!
Phuc Yea was one of Miami's first pop-ups. It's since reopened in the trendy MiMo district. I would call the restaurant a mash-up of Vietnamese and bold Cajun flavours. The owners and staff were friendly and courteous and so it pains me to report I was not a big fan of the cuisine.
The Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary allows collectors, art connoisseurs and art world luminaries alike the opportunity to admire or acquire investment quality blue chip contemporary post-war works by International galleries.
I recently discovered Casa Gioia (which translates to "house of joy") in Miami – my new favourite bakery for 2016/2017. Everything is truly exceptional, artisanal and unique. It's a new local treasure for me, "sharing joy one bite at a time".
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.
What else does a Jew do on Christmas Day when everything else is closed? Go for Chinese food, natch! Tropical Chinese is the real deal. It's authentic Chinese cooking, where everything is hand-crafted from scratch, since 1984.
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.
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.
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.
With the opening of Nichi's Sweet Confections, people in Bay Harbour, Bal Harbour, Surfside and North Miami can rejoice! There is finally a bakery serving delightful, made-from-scratch baked goods! It's really filled a void in the area (and in my stomach ...).
Miami's Paradigm Kitchen serves "clean soul food", and they serve it with a smile. It's no wonder when I visited during lunchtime the place was doing brisk business – the food is really good and crowd pleasing.
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.
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.
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.
I have my friend Fenwick to thank for recommending I try a new spot at 17070 West Dixie Highway in North Miami.
I am often asked for suggestions for not-so-fine dining, reasonably priced neighborhood restaurants that also serve great good.
I think the newly opened Lettuce and Tomato Gourmet Gastrobar fits the bill.
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.
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.
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.
The candies are quite unique. Try the champagne gummy bears made with Dom Perignon, and single malt cordials. The packaging and presentation is beautiful. I love their customized bento boxes, where you can choose the selection. They also make great personal or private gifts, and party favours.
There wasn't an empty seat in the house at Beaker and Gray Miami. The place was hopping, the food was excellent and the bar was busy pouring its famous craft cocktails all night. This has definitely become one of Miami's best and busiest new restaurants this year.
I have never seen Miami with a store so beautifully designed, with such rich interiors and innovative pieces of art within. For me Christian Dior has always been a visionary and one of France's best designers. Now he has a store in North America that befits his luxury goods.
Unscripted Bal Harbour held another interesting Art Chat on April 28th, 2016, at the St. Regis Hotel in Bal Harbour. A full house came out to hearMr. Franklin Sirmans, the director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), and a curator, writer and educator, interview world renown artist, Teresita Fernandez.
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.
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.
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.
Black Brick Midtown was one of our favourite new restaurants last year, so I thought it was worth returning again to see if the cooking and service still lived up to my expectations. I am happy to report that we had a delicious meal there.
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.
Set in a former auto body shop, they have kept the original garage doors – hence the name. The place looks cool and there was quite a buzz. That may die down once the excitement of a new place opens, especially when they are not delivering a good product.
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.
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.
Zuma, for years, has been a favourite restaurant of mine. They serve weekend brunch from 12-3, at a cost of $95, $135 and $350. We tried the first two options and quite frankly the $95 option is the way to go. The buffet is HUGE. Please come hungry.
20 Most Delish Dishes in Miami – El Cielo, Beachcraft, Pubbelly, Myumi Food Truck, Pinch Kitchen, Le Zoo and More. I tried to do a top 10 list, but I just couldn’t narrow it down! The truth is, I have dined out every night for 3 ½ months ... I've tried a lot of dishes, to say the least!! Here's some of my favourites (including honourable mentions (I know, I'm bad ...)).
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.
We attended with friends of Usher and got to enjoy the concert backstage and up close. Let me tell you, these artists put on a stupendous show. The highlight of the evening was meeting Usher – he was a true gentleman, very friendly and humble. His wife and manager, Grace Miguel, treated us like rock stars.
Considering it is the first year for this small show from the organizers of Art Palm Beach, it was well attended. I also thought there was a good cross-section of international galleries exhibiting modern, contemporary and emerging art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Local galleries like, The Baker Sponder Gallery and Vertu Fine Art, were also present. I was surprised to notice that Rosenbaum Gallery wasn't there to support their city's first art fair, as their main gallery space resides in Boca Raton.
We're excited to announce that you can now find Shanea Savours Miami restaurant reviews on SocialMiami.com. To celebrate becoming a Contributor, @ShaneaSavours is taking over @SocialMiami's twitter this weekend as an introduction to their 50k+ follower family.
When I first visited Drunken Dragon, after it opened, I was in love with this new concept of sharing plates and Asian fusion food. I looked forward to returning to see if it was still how I remembered it. If it is your first time visiting it make sure you take the address with you as the restaurant is signless and has blacked out windows. Located in a seedy strip plaza, the sign above it says, "Market".
We opted for a chef's tasting at $65 for five courses, two appetizers, two mains and a dessert, which is a relative bargain. It works out to $13 per course. Yes they are tiny portions but each dish is labour intensive and has good quality ingredients. I think for a first time here that is the way to go so you can sample some of Chefs Brad Kilgore’s cooking. But a la carte is also an option. The wine list was also quite reasonable. We enjoyed a bottle of Whispering Angel Rose that went well with our dinner. Please note the prices have not increased in the past year.
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.
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.
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.
For the past few years one of Miami's top hot spots and a magnet for celebrities, hipsters, and fashionistas has been Cipriani Downtown, located at 465 Brickell Ave in the Icon Building. The gorgeous nautical-themed dining room, designed by Michele Bonan, is backdropped by the beautiful bayside setting – one of the most stunning in Miami.
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.
The evening held lots of surprises. The organizers really outdid themselves, there was so much going on. It was a who's who of celebrities, philanthropic icons, business leaders, fashionistas and exhibitionists. The people watching was off the charts. The evening was co-hosted by Gloria and Emilio Estefen, Tommy Lee Jones and his wife Dawn, and Christian Slater and his wife Brittany.
A cool concept has opened at 7610 NE 4th Ct., in the same courtyard as Ironside Pizza. At F27 they serve customized ice cream using liquid nitrogen to freeze the it to 27 degrees Fahrenheit. They operate specially designed machines to enable them to use liquid nitrogen, which is injected into the ice cream liquid base. This is a flash freezing process that causes water crystals to be the smallest, achieving a velvety, creamy and smooth texture.
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.
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 ...
The best part about Myumi, a charming food truck in Wynwood, Miami is the sushi, it's so fresh tasting and the chef explains where each piece comes from. It could be Alaska, Japan, Boston, Florida , Scotland etc. The menu rotates based on availability. The meal is quite traditional, there are no gimmicky surprises.
I have read rave reviews about the newly opened Salty Donut so naturally, I had to give it a try. The Miami born craft donut shop is currently operating out of a trailer at 29NW 24th St. This this their temp pop-up location is before opening in the Wynwood Arcade once construction is complete.
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.
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.
Palm Beach Luxury footwear boutique, Stubbs and Wootton is a located at 1 Via Parigi, in a shopping alley off of Worth Avenue. They have been purveyors of handmade artisan-crafted slippers, loafers, espadrilles and sandals since 1993. They are made in Spain and have since opened stores in New York, Southhampton and Palm Beach.
I have been visiting Capri for over 25 years in a row, and one of my favourite shops is 100% Capri. It is a luxury lifestyle brand shop owned, run and designed by my friend Antonio Aiello. He is suave, charming and multi-talented. His luxe brand of stores is now becoming a worldwide chain with locations in the poshest of places including St. Bart's, the Graff Estate in Cape Town, Dubai, Rome, Mykonos, Florence, Beverly Hills and Bal Harbour to date.
We decided to take a day trip to the upper Florida Keys. I didn't have a lot of information on where to stop for lunch so I decided to try Marker 88 at 88000 Overseas Highway. It has been popular since the late 60's and it is one of the few restaurants located on a natural beach with ample outdoor seating.
I heard about a new place in the heart of South Beach, called Dirt at 232 5th St. (between Washington and Collins). It bills itself as a new "fine food" served fast, dining experience. They serve high-quality, nutritious food quickly and affordably.
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.
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,
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.
This is a Mexican restaurant in case you couldn't guess from the name. This is the third incarnation in the last few years at this spot, and it may not be the last.
The Miami Herald gave it 2.5 stars which is a pretty decent rating, so I was intrigued to try it.
Ni.Do. Caffé first opened about five years ago in the MiMo area of Miami to rave reviews. I loved the food and the casual ambience there. However when I ate there several months ago it wasn't up to its typical high standards. So it was with trepidation that I tried the new location at 11052 Biscayne Blvd.
Whenever I am shopping in the Design District in Miami I almost always make a quick pit stop to 3930 NE 2nd Avenue, to have lunch at celebrity super chef Michelle Bernstein's bakery/cafe, Crumb on Parchment.
One of my favorite shops in Bal Harbour is Nest Casa. They are purveyors of exceptional gifts. Yes they are extremely expensive, but where else can you find such lines as Baccarat, Hermes Table, Kelly Werstler, Missoni Home, St. Louis Crystal and Riva to name a few under one roof in Miami.
I have driven past this shop so many times in MiMo, on my way to the Design District or to Wynwood, and have always wanted to stop in to check it out. The windows always piqued my interest. So I finally decided to drop into Serge de Troyer at 6323 Biscayne Blvd; and I am so glad I did. I wanted to buy out the entire store and redecorate my condo.
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.
I have searched high and low to find a great bakery in Miami for years, but to no avail. Thankfully in 2013, True Loaf Bakery opened in the Sunset Harbour area at 1894 Bay Road a couple of doors down from Lucali Pizza. Yes for those of us on the beach it is a schlep to drive all the way there but let me tell you, it is worth it. I just load up on a large order and freeze a large portion of it.
Even though it just opened right after Christmas, Komodo at 801 Brickell, is already making a name for itself.
A collaboration between restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, of China Grill fame, and nightlife impresario David Grutman, of LIV, Komodo is a beautifully-done, trendy yet high-end, contemporary Southeastern Asian restaurant.
There are very few restaurants left in Miami where you can put on a suit and a dress these days. The Matador Room in Ian Schrager's Miami Beach Edition Hotel is an exception. Located at 2901 Collins Avenue, it's a stunning, sunken circular space, to mimic the feel of a bull fighting arena, with high ceilings, and artwork of famous Matadors and their costumes. Inside is very elegant and refined. I also love dining outside on the terrace surrounding the beautiful pool. It has a romantic, tropical feel which is very sexy. The crowd is dressed to the nines.
I was a fan of Zak the Baker before he opened his bakery/cafe in trendy Wynwood. I have had some of his fabulous breads in some of Miami's top restaurants. Most recently I enjoyed his breads at Beachcraft and Cypress Tavern.
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.
Whenever I am visiting Miami I try and eat lunch or dinner at Mandolin Restaurant. The food is great, but even more so there is something about this historic 1940's restored house that I find charming. Located at 4312 NE 2nd Ave, in the Buena Vista neighbourhood just north of the Design District.
Are you coming here to eat gourmet food, no. But, if you are looking for great family fun, where the kids can run around in a big open space and jump in blow up slides and dine alfresco, you can't get much better than this. The parking is free and there is a DJ spinning tunes. You can pull up by boat as well.
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.
If you don't mind going to a restaurant that is super casual, with simple decor, ugly art work, and a no frills kind of place but has really good food at reasonable prices then I recommend Proof Pizza and Pasta. It is located at 3328 N. Miami on the corner of 34th street, which is in Midtown and not too far from the Wynwood district. Don't let me scare you, it is still an inviting space and clean.
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.
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.
Bal Harbour, home to some of Miami's most high end boutiques has now added the French luxury leather goods brand of Goyard to its roster. This store is only one of a handful of stores outside Paris. This is the first free standing boutique in the Southeastern United States.
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.
My love affair with grilled cheese started in my early childhood. That is why I would seek out the Ms. Cheezious Food truck seen around Miami and Wynwood the last several years. It was voted best food truck in Miami for many years.
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 .
Judging from our experience tonight, the New Nobu Eden Roc will be one of Miami's new " Hot Spots" to dine at. The restaurant is located inside the Iconic Landmark Eden Roc Hotel at 4525 Collins. The new Nobu is an improvement in looks from the Shore Club or even the New York restaurant.
Michelle Bernstein finally reopened her restaurant after a renovation. This was a highly anticipated meal for us. The restaurant is no longer called Michy's but it is now Cena. The restaurant is very cool looking, it is a 60's modern look of old Miami.
We enjoyed a wonderful lunch at The Grill at Bal Harbour – situated on the second floor of the mall, just up the escalators and straight to the back. I suggest making reservations now that everyone has discovered the restaurant.
We started our meal with "Pisco Sours" a traditional Peruvian cocktail that is so goooood! I had the Ceviche Misto and David had the Grilled Ceviche, a dish that the Chef invented for his wife who doesn't eat raw fish. Both were excellent choices.
Miami has a beautiful new restaurant reminiscent of a Parisian Bistro, displaying bold and playful artwork that is for sale. The crowd is tres chic, but you shouldn't go before 9pm to get the full impact.