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 thirty (or so). Let’s eat.
For the first edition of Miami Table Stakes — our monthly-or-so roundup of all the most exciting new restaurants — we’re delighted to say that the city turned out some absolute stars (both Michelin and otherwise).
Get that reservation page up, because you’ll want to book some seats stat at these fresh spots.
You’re here because… you want your dining experience to be theatrical, multi-sensorial and totally delicious, and this import from London’s Mayfair ticks all the boxes. After two years of pandemic-related delays, the first American outpost of this ornate, Japanese-accented fish joint has finally hopped the pond to arrive in Miami, boasting the same immersive, over-the-top design (the work of Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and restaurateur Richard Caring) that sent people flocking to the original. Think a massive fish tank filled with tropical fish, 10 Damien Hirst sculptures and that’s just the beginning.
You’re dining on… dishes from the mind of Michelin-starred Björn Weissgerber, a German-Swede who spent his childhood behind the scenes at his dad’s spot in his hometown of Lauf and part of his early adulthood at Ca’s Puers in Mallorca, where he earned his first Michelin star in 2002 at the tender age of 27. At Sexy Fish, he’s serving up dishes ranging from Korean-accented salmon tartare to Wagyu gyoza with foie gras and Périgord truffle or lobster tempura with smoked Marie Rose dip. Opt for the premium tasting menu for the whole table for a sensorial experience of Weissgerber’s luscious pairings, where yellowtail finally abandons jalapeño and yuzu in favor of caviar and asparagus, and Wagyu dances with king crab for the most elegant of surf-and-turf finales.
You’re here because… maybe you’re specifically interested in sampling the cuisine of executive chef Hernan Griccini, who worked for a time at Michelin-starred Nerua Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain, or maybe you just can’t resist the promise of truly excellent pasta. Either way, the luxury Lennox Hotel has scored a home run in landing the Argentine-born chef to helm its new restaurant, boasting a beautiful covered patio and an open kitchen churning out Mediterranean specialties with a slight Latin accent.
You’re dining on… Mediterranean fare featuring seasonal ingredients and fusion touches, like fried Brussels sprouts with guacamole and crispy almonds or steak-frites with red onion marmalade and a touch of curry. Don’t miss the pastas like porcini mushroom ravioli with walnuts and taleggio cheese or fiocchi stuffed with ricotta and pear and dressed with balsamic glaze, truffle oil and sage. The dessert menu offers something for everyone, from Italian pavlova with lemon curd to a classic tres leches cake to a warm banana pudding served with dulce de leche ice cream.
You’re here because… you’re hungry on the CocoWalk. Recently joining Sushi Garage and Botanico is this quality ingredient-driven dim sum spot that does mostly takeout and delivery but also has a few tables outside if guests opt to eat in.
You’re dining on… dim sum with a focus on duck (no surprise!). Duck bao buns, duck spring rolls and duck fried rice are joined by baozi filled with pork belly, seven-spiced chicken or crispy tofu as well as heartier, more substantial mains like ginger beef or Singapore noodles.
You’re here because… an experimental menu celebrating a fusion among Peru, Colombia, Spain and more is too tantalizing to ignore. With a Michelin-star-spangled kitchen led by Henry Hané (the man behind such Miami stalwarts as B Bistro, Osaka Miami and Earlybird 305) and executive chef Aleric Constantin (ex-Michael’s Genuine and Vagabond), this industrial-chic dining room is the ultimate stage upon which to serve up culinary creativity to the nth degree.
You’re dining on… an ambitious selection of Latin-accented plates ranging from slightly elevated comfort food — like a Sullivan Street bread service with Cuban coffee butter, panzanella salad with stracciatella and charred squash — to ultra-modern experiments; think Dippin’ Dots made from foie gras, fruit and savory pastry cream. Innovative cocktails include a chipotle- and hibiscus-spiked pisco sour or a rum-tinged negroni. The team is proud to source as locally as possible, with George Stone Crab and Frice Cream featuring as some of its many Miami-based suppliers.
You’re here because… you’re looking for a luxurious, Mediterranean-inspired dining experience, and you trust Show Hospitality (Mau Miami) to bring it to you! This massive restaurant’s dining room sees patrons surrounded by tropical accents inducing climbing plants and waterfalls. An outdoor patio, meanwhile, is perfect for people-watching.
You’re dining on… Mediterranean flavors with a Southern twist from brunch to dinner. In the morning, dig into a stuffed salmon omelet with cream cheese and capers or the Mykonos omelet with mushrooms and feta. The sea informs many of the options, from the shrimp and grits to the bagel and lox. Come dinnertime, you can choose from a surf-and-turf menu of wild-caught fish, Maine lobster and king crab legs or a Cajun ribeye, filet or massive Tomahawk steak (with or without lobster tail). Hearty pastas and loads of options for sides round out the menu nicely.
You’re here because… you love the menu and craft cocktails so expertly cultivated by husband-and-wife team Cesar Olivo and Adriana Perez Benatar at Reunion Ktchn Bar, so you’re eager to see what this team can do at this spot, which opened around Thanksgiving (and we’re including it anyway). A little bit hipper but just as delicious as the original in Aventura, Korner 67 expertly marries casual and upscale.
You’re dining on… a panoply of tapas-style choices with global influences, ranging from duck prosciutto croquettes to a spectacle-worthy smoked burrata with macerated tomato. The menu also features larger portions of dishes like whole grilled branzino with almond couscous or filet mignon stroganoff. There are a few familiar choices, if you were already a Reunion Ktchn regular, including the flaming Greek saganaki cheese or the seafood risotto, but there are also some newcomers like Portuguese bacalhau stew. And the creativity doesn’t stop with the cocktail menu, which includes options like a shishito pepper mule with ginger or a white truffle-infused old fashioned with chocolate bitters.
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