Miami’s Best New Restaurants Include Top-Notch Vegan and Some Extremely Non-Vegan Steaks
There is literally something for everyone
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.
Big, bold dining rooms are unsurprisingly de rigueur here, and this month, the city has welcomed not only a brand new rooftop bar complete with Latin-inspired shared plates, but also a steakhouse imported from NYC with a dining room so lavish it would give Liberace pause. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are the five spots we’re most excited to welcome to Miami this month.
You’re here because… When someone says “rooftop” you say “where?” And the answer these days is Elevar, a newly renovated spot atop the AC Hotel Miami complete with graffiti murals and ever-changing local art installations, not to mention regular music nights focusing on jazz, house and more. And the panoramic views of Biscayne Bay certainly don’t hurt!
You’re dining on… Latin-inspired shared plates like marinated tuna and avocado tostadas or hand-made corn tortilla tacos filled with grilled local grouper, steak or chicken. A creative cocktail menu offers something for everyone: Think rosemary G&T, blackberry mango sangria or a glass of refreshing frosé.
You’re here because… You’re hooked on plant-based fare (or at least have friends who are), and the bold vegan menu at PLANTA Queen has something for everyone — vegan, vegetarian or steadfast omnivore. Built on the core values of sustainability, local sourcing and, of course, deliciousness, PLANTA Queen’s first Florida outpost in Coconut Grove is already a hit. Now, founder Steven Salm and executive chef David Lee are thrilled to bring the concept, with its signature bright walls and disco balls, to Fort Lauderdale.
You’re dining on… a wide variety of Asian-inspired plant-based creations. Crispy rice is topped with ahi watermelon and avocado, while “unagi” nigiri sees the traditional barbecued eel replaced with eggplant. “Crab” Rangoon are stuffed, instead, with cashew and hearts of palm, while udon noodles are topped with a rich truffle and mushroom cream. Stop in on Fridays for Disco and Dumplings, when options may include crispy veggie gyoza or potato truffle dumplings in winter melon broth.
You’re here because… dining out with friends got a whole lot easier once you agreed to disagree and start frequenting food halls instead. And since Miami has welcomed quite a few of late, it’s getting easier all the time. Chef-driven Alton Food Hall is home to 18 different vendors, both local and nationally renowned. The central bar, Airmail, draws inspiration from Cuba’s first international flight-based postal service (and the rum cocktail that shares its name).
You’re dining on… an array of choices, each more delicious than the last. Grab some shrimp and fried plantains from Miami’s Very Own, or snag some wontons and bubble tea from Dumpling King. Carnivores will be in heaven facing off with cheese- or bacon-loaded Golden Burgers, or they may want to grab a cheesesteak from Capriotti’s, piled high with American wagyu. On the other end of the spectrum, vegans can eat their fill at Alexia’s NUDE VEGAN or dig into an Impossible beef bulgogi bowl at moonbowls. It’s the best of all possible worlds!
You’re here because… maybe you’re already a fan of Matthew Kenney’s plant-based fare, or maybe you’re just excited by the prospect of a new California vegan spot to try. Either way, this beautiful, minimalist space is welcoming not one but two Kenney concepts: casual marketplace and café Make Out Miami and the brand’s flagship concept, Plant Food + Wine. Both are temporary previews of what, in the fall, will receive a more permanent upgrade, and each offers a slightly different approach to the vegan fare Kenney has become known for at his 60 restaurants around the globe.
You’re dining on… a simple, sustainable menu of bowls, salads and wraps from Make Out Miami — think kale Caesar with creamy sunflower seed dressing or a kimchi wrap with collard greens and peanut-almond dipping sauce — as well as a varied menu of upscale vegan fare at Plant Food + Wine. Kenney fans will recognize the tomato and zucchini lasagna with macadamia ricotta or kelp noodle cacio e pepe. And don’t miss the creamy flan borracho for dessert.
You’re here because… the glamour and decadence of this NYC import is too good to resist. The high-energy steakhouse combines top-notch meat and fish with French influences and an immense, 700-bottle-strong wine list. Ken Fulk designed the jungle-themed lounge that welcomes guests upon arrival, complete with a gilded ceiling and Murano glass leaf chandelier. The main dining room, meanwhile, is decked out in custom zebra upholstery, while extravagant private dining rooms are festooned with disco-ball walls and silver ceilings. It’s bold and brave and honestly kind of perfect.
You’re dining on… All the classics you’d expect from a steakhouse of this caliber, ranging from raw bar offerings like shrimp cocktail with spicy remoulade or Maine lobster with vadouvan aioli to prime aged steaks with your choice of sauce. A few unique offerings like a mushroom millefeuille and caviar vichyssoise round out the menu, all served by your pink tuxedoed waiter.
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