I tried to do a TOP 10 like they do in the Miami Herald, but I just couldn’t narrow my list 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 goes, in no particular order (and even a few honourable mentions …):
El Cielo
1) El Cielo, their breads are divine. The whole experience there was seductive.

2) The Continental, tie between the Shrimp Bao and the Philly Cheesesteak Eggrolls. Both burst with flavor and texture.

3) True Loaf Bakery, this was tough because I love everything, but I am going with the cranberry and walnut sourdough bread.

Komodo Pastrami egg roll
4) Komodo, the pastrami eggroll.

5) StripSteak, the bread pudding.

Ironside Pizza-chef

Ironside Pizza-miami
6) Ironside Pizza, involtini, stuffed with eggplant, zucchini and mozzarella fiordilatte with truffle oil. Great for sharing if you must.

7) Proof Pizza and Pasta, raw Brussel sprout salad with apple cider, cranberries and gorgonzola, I LOVE this!

fireman derek

s’mores pie fireman derek
8) Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop and Cafe, okay this was a tough one because everything is SO good, but I will say the s’mores pie.

9) Beachcraft, great new restaurant. I loved the razor clams, but you also have to order Zak the Baker bread with raisin butter.

10) Marion, rotisserie chicken carved tableside. I know it is $42, but it was fabulous!

11) Japanese Market, order the Love Roll. It’s not on the menu. It is a spider roll topped with salmon that has been torched, and drizzled with truffle oil, just dreamy.

12) Kyu, may be my favourite new restaurant this year. The coconut layer cake is AMAZING! Everything else is pretty outstanding too.

13) Alter, Chef Brad Kilgore’s soft egg in a sea scallop infused cream topped with Ossetra caviar – sublime.

The Grill at Bal Harbour
14) The Grill at Bal Harbour, bring back your roasted artichokes! In the meantime, the fried chicken breast sandwich with cheese, tomato, kale slaw and shoestring fries – only served at lunch.

15) Pinch Kitchen, roasted organic carrots with tzatziki, toasted almonds, mint and lemon zest. Also, where do you find such HUGE mussels??

16) Makoto, Kani Salad – king crab, cucumber and avocado salad with yuzu and koshu aioli, it’s wonderful.

Le Zoo
17) Le Zoo, bravo Stephen Starr for another winner. I think your Warm Shrimp Salad is a knockout.

18) Bagatelle, the best frites in Miami, topped with parmesan and truffle oil. Why is it the French know how to make the best French fries, extra crispy, yum?

19) Myumi Food Truck, a refined Omakase served out of a truck, it’s transporting.

Pub Belly Sushi
20) Pubbelly Sushi, their tuna on crispy rice, drizzled with truffle oil is superb.

Honourable mention:

1) Burgers and Shakes: the grilled chicken breast with cheese, avocado and bacon was our best $7.99 value for quality. The sweet potato fries were a crowd-pleasing, indulgent treat.

2) Talde Kitchen, music is unbearably loud here, but it may be worth the noise for the Kung Pao wings.

3) Crumb on Parchment, the turkey on pretzel bread is top notch.

4) True Loaf Bakery, on Sunday served a brioche roll with cheese and an egg on top. It was so good I was humming.

5) Alinea Miami, actually the best execution and visually joyful meal I had this year and perhaps ever, but it was a pop-up, so it is not in my top 20.

6) Nui, great Spanish Tapas, every bite was exciting and bursting with flavor.

Happy dining!

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