The 5 Best Restaurants That Opened in Miami in June 2022
If you’re looking for a Michelin-caliber “Cool Ranch” infladita, you’re in the right place
To keep tabs on every Miami restaurant and bar opening is folly. But to keep tabs on the most worthy? Yeoman’s work, and we’re proud to do it. Thus we present Table Stakes, a monthly rundown of the five (or so) must-know spots that have swung wide their doors in the past 30 (or so). Let’s eat.
Miami is ready for summer and its newest restaurants are here to help.
Ambiance-driven spots mean you can enjoy the curated chaos or all-day outdoor brunch; those struck by culinary wanderlust can dig into contemporary Korean or Japanese-Mediterranean fusion fare without boarding an (oversold) airplane. And for high rollers, a new nostalgic prix fixe promises to be “always fun, never formal.”
Here are the five best new spots to put on your to-eat list.
You’re here because… “Balagan” is a Hebrew word evoking a certain kind of wild chaos, and it’s an apt descriptor for the explosive flavors and festive ambiance at this new indoor-outdoor spot serving up Nikkei cuisine and craft cocktails. It’s the newest venture from Ilan Sitt, founder of top Miami hotspots like Wayku and Paperfish.
You’re dining on… creative Peruvian-Japanese fusion specialties from Chef Henry Hané, who Miamians will know from B Bistro + Bakery and Jattö. Think spicy tuna tostadas with pickled onions and furikake or torched scallops with Parmesan leche and lime zest. Ceviche selections may marry tuna with ginger ponzu and seared pineapple or pair the raw fish with an explosion of tropical fruit like kumquat, mango and passion fruit. Craft cocktails are the perfect accompaniment: The Rose Cloud combines sake, hibiscus and yuzu; the Ginza Yesper features shochu, sake, kombu and lemon. Or snag a bottle of sake to let the balagan really begin.
You’re here because… you first fell in love with Akino and Jamila West’s phenomenal Southern American food at their Copper Door pop-up, and while the couple renovate the historic Little River house that will soon be Rosie’s forever home, The Backyard has become the place to be for all-day brunch and more. The laid-back outdoor setting offers a shady space perfect for digging into Chef Akino’s delicious plates.
You’re dining on… Southern American fare with a subtle Italian flair. Think wild mushroom polenta topped with a perfect poached egg and a snowfall of Parmesan, fluffy lemon-ricotta pancakes or stellar fried chicken and waffles with bread-and-butter pickles. Wash it all down with a delicious cup of local coffee.
You’re here because… this highly awaited brainchild from chef/owner Michael Bolen marries fine dining and nostalgia for a restaurant as unique and exciting as Miami. Sit back, relax and enjoy his innovative tasting menu set against the backdrop of classic rock anthems, old-school hip hop and ’80s dance classics. The sumptuous space was designed by local interior designer Paula Lemme, complete with a lion mural from Canadian artist Derkz. Given the chef’s motto of “always fun, never formal,” it’s the perfect setting for what Bolen has up his sleeve.
You’re dining on… a creative prix fixe ($120) inspired by South Florida ingredients and Bolen’s childhood favorites, all with a fine-dining twist. Think a playful “Twinkie” with sesame amazake or a “Cool Ranch” infladita, but also tuna paired with pineapple and shiso or New York strip with charred onion and watercress. Wine, beer, sake or house-made kombucha make the perfect accompaniment.
You’re here because… you’ve encountered another of Olivier and Julie Demarle’s delicious establishments in Paris, and so you’re thrilled to find that their first venture in the U.S. is in Miami. The Japanese-Mediterranean fusion restaurant has found its ideal home here, offering guests the choice of a vaulted bar area decked out in subtle pale hues or a lush outdoor garden setting.
You’re dining on… creative fusion fare inspired by Japan and the Mediterranean Basin, with each dish more innovative than the last. Think tagliatelle with uni and lobster, ceviche tacos piled in a crispy gyoza shell lined with nori or steak tartare served atop bone marrow with house-made brioche and yuzu dijonnaise.
You’re here because… you’ve long enjoyed the Korean fare from Jennifer and Michele Kaminski’s ghost kitchen, so you’re ready to line up for the sisters’ new pop-up location at the Oasis Garden behind the Shelborne South Beach. The new brick-and-mortar spot boasts the same delicious food with an even more enticing ambiance. Be sure to stop by for happy hour deals on food and drinks from Thursday to Sunday, and don’t miss karaoke every Friday night.
You’re dining on… contemporary plays on classic Korean fare imagined alongside their mom, Chom “Sunny” Kaminski, and James Beard Award-winning chef Allen Susser. Bibimbap is topped with an Instagrammable heart-shaped egg and edible golden stars as well as your choice of protein: ribeye bulgogi is a classic, but spicy Korean chicken is also a fan fave, and plant-based diners will love the Impos-Seoul-ible Meatballs glazed in gochujang. Marinated short ribs, melon salad and more also feature on the menu, crafted with an eye towards sustainability and nostalgia in equal measure. Pair your choices with a cocktail from the extensive menu crafted by Alexa Delgado, like The Last Imoogi with dragon fruit and rum or the Spice & Seoul with gin, chartreuse, cucumber and kimchi seasonings.
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