Dining Discoveries in South Florida
Foodie Find: Via Emilia Garden
In Midtown Miami’s growing restaurant scene, Chef Wendy Cacciatori and wife Valentina Imbrenda have opened their second Miami restaurant, Via Emilia Garden. The sister to their South Beach venue Via Emilia 9, this modern dining room opens up to a garden and an authentic Italian market. Focusing on Northern Italian cuisine, it’s named for the merchant road in the region of Emilia-Romagna.
Foodie Find: Tigertail + Mary
In the latest culinary evidence of Coconut Grove’s explosive and stylish comeback, the James Beard Award-winning Michael Schwartz has opened his second restaurant, Tigertail + Mary. Don’t miss the grilled leeks with sauce gribiche or the charcoal-grilled artichokes served with smoked tomato vinaigrette and topped with fresh mint leaves, which are large and meaty...
Specialties from the Clay Oven at MASKA
Maska has moved into the Miami dining scene, bringing with it a Michelin Star chef. Hemant Mathur, the Executive Chef, is the first Indian chef in the U.S. to be awarded the most esteemed of restaurant ratings...
Foodie Find: Keto Menu at the Tuck Room
It’s unlikely we’ll recommend a lot of movie theater dining in this column and it’s a certainty we’ll rarely mention chicken fingers. So listen closely, because at the Tuck Room at the iPic theater in North Miami there is a Keto friendly menu offering a few items we haven’t enjoyed in years.
Foodie Find: The Tanuki Burger Cones at Tanuki
This modern sushi establishment expertly pairs fresh fish with inspired ingredients such as dry miso and black truffles from a menu that clearly took thought and skill to create. The standout item is the Tanuki Burger.
Foodie Find: Villa Azur
Located in Miami Beach and inspired by the South of France, Villa Azur throws a Thursday party that packs the house with the style set while serving up a sophisticated suite of culinary offerings.
Foodie Find: PM Buenos Aires Fish & Steak House
Located squarely downtown - amidst Miami's skyscrapers and its after-hours social scene - PM Buenos Aires Fish & Steak House is serving up prime menu selections, hand-selected wines and dazzling cocktail combinations.
Foodie Find: Worcestershire Braised Short Ribs at CVLTVRA
In the latest flavors to fuse, celebrity chief Sebastian La Rocca is combining Latin and Mediterranean and serving them up in dishes at his new restaurant CVLTVRA, located in in downtown Miami.
Foodie: Find: Caviar Russe
Tucked into the lobby of the Four Seasons on Brickell is the outpost of the Manhattan hotspot, Caviar Russe. Here, upper echelon pretension is belied by two welcoming features. First, there are the “power hour” prices that bring champagne and its finest culinary accompaniments accessible to almost anyone working in or traveling to this bustling business district. And also, a prevailing attitude suggesting there’s no wrong way to consume your caviar – put it on a canape, pop it on to a potato slice, top it with crème fresh and hard eggs or spoon it on to your tongue straight.
Foodie Find: Sugar @ East Hotel
Sugar – the rooftop bar crowning the stylish and swanky East Hotel – is named for a sweet sensation on the tongue but serves up large helpings of candy for the eyes. Overlooking the city’s most theatrical features, the backdrop for this 40th-floor setting is the glittery Miami skyline and its dramatic bay waters...On the menu, don’t miss the Korean Chicken Wings with sesame and peanuts.
Foodie Find: Blue Matisse Restaurant
Fresh, Peruvian-inspired specialties are a feast for the eyes – as well as your taste buds - at Blue Matisse Restaurant in the InterContinental at Doral Miami. Offered Monday through Friday for lunch, the small-plate delicacies, featuring daily ceviche specials, are drawing a dedicated audience of those who live and work in the City of Doral.
Peruvian-born Yoel Salini, the InterContinental Doral Miami’s Food & Beverage Manager, is responsible for the the success of Blue Matisse Restaurant’s reinvented luncheon buffet...
Pictured: Peruvian Japanese Nikkei Tuna Causa
Foodie Find: Ms. Cheezious
There was a time when tracking down the beloved Ms. Cheezious food truck was akin to a culinary version of Where’s Waldo. But for the droves of hardcore fans out there, some stability has been added to aid their addiction. In addition to the two trucks that still make stops all around the city (including the weekend stops right outside of Gramps Bar in Wynwood), the grilled cheese favorite finally opened their first brick and mortar restaurant in February.
Located in Miami’s MiMo district, Ms. Cheezious offers the same delicious fare that they’ve built their stellar reputation on, except now the menu is twice as long. Some of the new mouth-watering editions include the Mackin Melt -- which consists of creamy gouda mac n’ cheese with house cured bacon on bread -- and for those that prefer sweet to savory, the S’mores Melt: roasted marshmallows, salted chocolate hazelnut spread and graham cracker crumble on sourdough bread,
Foodie Find: Lulu’s Nitrogen Ice Cream
Liquid nitrogen is taking the ice cream world by storm! SocialMiami’s Lauren Cohen, an ice cream aficionado, was among the first to get a taste of the action at Lulu’s Nitrogen Ice Cream. The new ice cream spot in Edgewater celebrated its grand opening with a selection of 5 delicious flavors - Cookies ‘n Cream, Nutella, Vanilla, Strawberry Sorbet, and Coconut!
Foodie Find: Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne
The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne is spicing up Sundays with a Southern Jazz Brunch. On the third Sunday of the month the place is rolling out New Orleans specialties such as the corn spoon bread & seared scallop pictured here. There’s also an ocean’s worth of seafood at the raw bar including oysters, shrimp and stone crabs. Plus ribs rubbed in every direction, dirty rice, and other specialties from New Orleans. Of course, brunch regulars such as eggs benedict, French toast and bacon make delicious appearances while the dessert selection is plentiful enough to require it’s own room. As an entertaining side, there’s a five-piece brass band, a tarot card research and a magician.
Foodie Find: Quality Meats
Finally, we can have our steak and eat it too. Quality Meats of Manhattan fame has arrived in Miami Beach, dressed for the occasion in modern woods, dim lights and a sleek and gleaming bar backed by cozy corners waiting for collections of friends. And thanks to the menu’s "Seared Three Filets," we don’t have to make any succulent sacrifices. This dish delivers three choice cuts in prepared Oscar, Au Poivre and Wellington — topped with a single pastry puff...
Foodie Find: American Social
American Social is the waterfront spot that soars with sophistication. There's no tropical theme here, as the place is drenched in rich woods, old-Chicago brick walls, and pour-it-yourself style taps throughout. That complements the cuisine and sprits served here, as the Brickell Avenue location – a second to the American Social on Las Olas Boulevard — specializes in local craft beers.
Foodie Find: Cavalli Miami
Cavalli Restaurant and Lounge is a decadent dining experience that begins with a seductive space adorned with rich leopard fabrics, striking woods, and crystal accents. It’s critical to begin here with a Roberto Cavalli Cocktail, the prize being those poured with the designer’s namesake vodka. Consider the Tre Eccellenze, for which the infused vodka is combined with aperol, fresh citrus juices and orange bitters...When you’re ready to taste the Italian temptations, Executive Chef Stefano Mazzi — who hails from Florence, Italy — will prepare succulent plates of authentic fare that’s appropriately dressed for the occasion. The Andria Burratta cheese is served with a thick collar of salty ham and enhanced with a drizzle of oil.
Fins Foodie Find
One does not ordinarily equate a Foodie Find to a football game, but our beloved Miami Dolphins have made the connection.
In addition to Sun Life Stadium's signature food items, the Fins have created partnerships with BurgerFi, Cold Stone Creamery, Cuban Guys, Sushi Maki and Bru's Room Sports Grill.
Yet, our two Fins Foodie Finds come via the two remaining eateries from the team's seven restaurant partnerships - Michelle Bernstein's Crumb on Parchment and Bokampers, owned by Dolphins' great Kim Bokamper.
Foodie Find: Larios on the Beach
Music mavens Gloria and Emilio Estefan are known for celebrating their Cuban heritage with chart-topping songs and even landmark Florida eateries serving up authentic Caribbean fare. But it's perhaps lesser known that the songstress comes from a genetic line of culinary masterminds, as her grandfather was chosen to chef for some of Cuba's most central figures. Gloria, in turn, has inherited the flair for choosing top ingredients and combining them with plated precision.
That's why she's had a strong hand in creating the menu at Larios on the Beach. Any of the main meals are sure to satisfy your Cuban-food cravings. But you must start with the Estefan Cuban Combo, which is a table-pleasing platter arriving packed with breaded stuffed potatoes, pork tamale, bacon wrapped maduros (sweet plantains,) traditional croquettes stuffed with ham, chicken and cod fish and all served up with crisp plantain chips to scoop up some homemade black bean hummus. Also order the ceviche, prepared traditionally -- but top-notch -- with corvine, lime juice, red onions, cilantro and jalapeño peppers.
Foodie Find: La Gazzetta
La Gazzetta - serving homemade but modern Italian fare - is Stephan Fortier's 21st restaurant and if he's gotten things right before (at the Astor, to name one success) then he's absolutely perfected them here.
Walk inside and you've stepped into the merger for which Miami's been longing: a New York eatery meets the Seattle drinking establishment. The mix makes for metropolitan all the way, with cozy, red banquettes, rich woods, and a bar that beckons patrons with a mouth-watering selection of champagnes, wines and spirits. The menu, meanwhile, is listed on newsprint - that's how the place was named - so it can be altered to offer selections that are fresh and seasonal.
Foodie Find: English Pea Ravioli at The Forge
The Forge reigns supreme as Miami's most decadent steakhouse but now, with a menu remake from executive chef Christopher Lee, the place is also serving selections that are succulent, satisfying and suitable for vegetarians. Sure, taking center stage is the 40-ounce dry aged prime tomahawk chop and the bone in dry aged porterhouse. And you can't miss the seared foie gras with glazed doughnut and citrus. But a standout starter is the English Pea Ravioli with a sweet onion nage that's foamed, making the sauce light but definitely not lacking (pictured).
Foodie Find: The Traymore
The Traymore — located inside the Metropolitan by COMO — is the latest in Miami Beach’s luxurious landscape of lodging. This place has gotten a modern makeover that incorporates the building’s original terrazzo flooring and imposing white columns with contemporary touches.
The menu lists an ocean’s worth of seafood creations by chef Miguel Puelles, a Peruvian chef who’s made headlines for his work at the Mandarin Oriental. While you're there, sample from over 40 kinds of gin shaken into cocktails with the likes of rosemary and thyme, fresh pear or sweet watermelon nectar.
Foodie Find: Cebiche at La Mar by Gastón Acurio
Just beside the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, La Mar by Gastón Acurio has opened in the Mandarin Oriental and is serving seafood, Peruvian style. Outside on the patio, the water and Miami skyline combine to offer a dramatic backdrop while inside, rich woods, fishnets with dangling crystals and a bar covered in aqua create a setting suitable for an enclave this luxurious.
Foodie Find: South Beach Wine & Food Festival
No other city in the world is filled with more culinary treasures – we’re talking about both tasty dishes and the chefs who created them – than Miami Beach during the Wine & Food Festival. This year, presented by industry giants The Food Network and FOOD & WINE magazine, the four-day event was packed with exclusive VIP Dinners hosted by the likes of Michael Mina, late night parties featuring Sammy Hagar, and open-air, beach side soirees, such as Moet Hennessy’s The Q.
Pictured: Meat Market seared up chipotle-glazed, slow roasted rib eye
Foodie Find: Lure Fishbar
Lure Fishbar, a New York-native eatery that's opened a South Beach location in the Loews Miami Beach, is serving up - fine-dining style - platefuls of creatively prepared sushi, sashimi, Carpaccio and seafood. Much of it is caught from local seas but among the restaurant's standouts is the Seared Diver Sea Scallops. The meat is lightly browned on both sides, served fat and succulent over creamy truffle mashed potatoes and thinly-sliced Brussels sprouts, which impart both taste and texture.
Pictured: Naruto Trio Roll
Foodie Finds: Miami Spice
Miami Spice is a great time to get out and try new restaurants throughout the Magic City. Check out the offerings from Miami Beach hot spots including the Dutch, BLT Steak and Fontainebleau's Gotham Steak, Scarpetta, La Cote & Hakkasan
Foodie Find: Whiskey Joe’s
With fresh fare on the table and a dramatic view out back, this casual island eatery elevates relaxed, outdoor dining.
If Key Biscayne were missing a link between its own, elegant lifestyle and that of the casual, kick-back flavor of the Florida Keys to its south, the cultures have been connected by Whiskey Joe's. Operated by Rusty Pelican owners and located in the Rickenbacker Marina, the surrounding waterfront combined with the sophisticated Brickell Avenue skyline becomes a breathtaking backdrop.
Foodie Find: Blue Collar
You better bring your appetite to Blue Collar in the MiMo Arts District. This quaint, bluesy spot is packed-full of soul. An overhead chalkboard with daily specials and unique vegetable dishes is positioned above an open kitchen, and an array of workman-type lunch boxes decorate the wall.
SocialMiami visited Blue Collar for lunch on a rainy South Florida afternoon. We especially enjoyed some of the blue collar metaphoric nuances like the lunch boxes and coffee served in a thermos -- how workman chic.
Foodie Find: Open Kitchen
Great food can often be found in small, chef-owned and operated restaurants. Open Kitchen, the 14-seat eatery in Bay Harbor Islands, is just such an establishment.
A true Foodie Find, Open Kitchen is owned and operated by chefs Ines Chattas (former GM of Icebox in Sobe) and Sandra Stefani (former owner of Casa Toscana).
Foodie Find: Baru Urbano in Brickell
Lunch, Sunday brunch, happy hour and late night, Baru Urbano has you covered. The Brickell hotspot, across the street from Perricones, has indoor and outdoor seating with a rustically urban and upbeat décor. The fare mixes South American and Caribbean cuisine and adds a bit of USA. The result produces several dishes that are Foodie Finds.
The Cartagena Street Ceviche is bite-sized pieces of shrimp in a spicy pink sauce. The Solomillo is 10 ounces grilled pork tenderloin topped with a blackberry demi glaze. But dessert steals the show the Tarta de Fresa Baru is decadent and bold. Made with a merengue crust topped with fresh whipped cream, dulce de leche, walnuts and sliced strawberry, each bite is crunchy, creamy and sweet. Its a late night dessert Foodie Find.
Foodie Find: Chef Rothschild & Avenue 29
Chef Andrew Rothschild has taken his talents to Aventura at Avenue 29. Located at the venue that was once The Ivy and Heavy Burger, Chef Rothschild has some major renovations in store for the north side hangout. The buildout includes a state-of-art chocolate bar and chic lounge at the back bar, which is separated from the main dining room.
As any foodie in Miami knows, Chef Rothschild likes to get creative with his menus and his latest features a gourmet sampling of comfort food, mixed with creative salads and snacks.
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